Spoilers for Too Hot to Handle below.
In my 28 years on this earth, I thought I'd met all different kinds of people. I had a small college experience, a big university experience, and I've lived in big cities and small towns in the U.S. and U.K. But after watching the Netflix reality series Too Hot to Handle, I can tell you right now that I've never met anyone like Haley Cureton.
The Florida college student fascinated me from the very first episode. First off, as soon as she meets the other contestants, she shows off her back tattoo—but has no idea what it says or what language it's in. When I watched this, I thought to myself, "Huh, I wonder what it would be like to be this human being?" I may never be able to relate to the experience of not knowing where in the world Australia is, but I found myself feeling empathy for Cureton for quite another reason.
The 22-year-old mentions in her intro that she's mostly into guys, but "if a girl looks just like me, I’m so into that. Blonde hair, big boobs, skinny—all that. I like that in a girl." Soon after, Cureton and series powerhouse Francesca Farago form a friendship that seems to be—at least on Cureton's end—a bit more like a crush. The two devise a plan to make out and trick everyone into thinking it was a heterosexual pair who broke the house rules of no kissing or sexual touching. But, as any queer person with a crush on a pretty, popular girl can tell you, there are always more feelings wrapped up in the friendship than you want to admit.
After Farago made it clear she was pairing up with Australian Harry Jowsey, it was obvious that Cureton wasn't close with anyone else in the house. She got kicked off the show after Lana said she made "insufficient progress" on making deeper connections with anyone there. We got a pretty good idea of reality-TV Haley Cureton, but who is this woman when she's out in the world? Let's find out.
She is still really not into Too Hot to Handle's whole premise.
"The way that I act really depends on the people I'm surrounded by," Cureton told Desiree Burch on the show's reunion episode on May 8. She added that the THTH cast brought out the negative side in her. She said she's "not that serious of a person; life's not that serious. The whole, like, growing and learning about yourself, that's just not me." (Pretty bold move to say "life's not that serious" in the middle of a pandemic, but okay, girl!)
Yes, of course, Burch and Cureton talked about that kiss with Farago. "From one to 10, the kiss with me and Francesca was a 15. She's a great kisser, she's beautiful, but at the end of the day, Francesca and me, we totally get each other. She's just a really good friend of mine, and I have her back no matter what. Is there more to it? I don't know. We were only together for so long, but I do love her, and I have her back."
Cureton also played a game with Burch, where she judged everyone in three words. She explained Farago as "hot twice and sure, loyal."
She's still in college.
This show was filmed last April, and those college years are fleeting. But it looks like Cureton, who's from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, is an undergraduate student at North Florida University in Jacksonville. That said, I have a lot of questions about this caption:
A post shared by Too Hot To Handle - Haley (@haley.cure) on Oct 2, 2019 at 1:34pm PDT
She's in Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.
As Cureton said in the first episode of the series, she's a member of the sorority more commonly known as "Zeta" in Panhellenic circles. Although Cureton mostly speaks about Greek life partying on Too Hot to Handle, Zeta does do a lot of work for breast cancer education and awareness.
She was a "COED girl of the day."
A post shared by Too Hot To Handle - Haley (@haley.cure) on Apr 23, 2019 at 5:13pm PDT
In December 2018, Cureton was named "COED Girl of the Day," a title that one apparently earns from being an Instagram influencer and a "standout student." At the time, it seems Cureton got recognized for having 28,300 followers. She now has 129K followers—that's what being on a Netflix reality show star during a pandemic will get you!
She and Francesca are still pals.
Farago told Women's Health that she and Cureton were very close. "I was very sad when she left. It was extremely upsetting because she was my best friend in the house, and I confided in her," Farago said. "She always had my back 100-percent, but it was foreseen that she was gonna go."
They still stay in touch, apparently: "We don't talk as much as I would like. I think [Haley's] really busy with school. And obviously, I have a busy life, as well as living on other sides of the country."
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