'Survivor' 's Parvati Shallow on Making Contestants Compete in Underwear: 'Give Them Some Dignity'

Most recently, Parvati Shallow competed on season 40 shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Ama. Previously, she competed on three other seasons of Survivor

Survivor winner Parvati Shallow is questioning why contestants are still asked to compete in their underwear.

Shallow joined fellow former contestant Rob Cesternino on his podcast on Friday to discuss season 41 of the competition series, noting during their chat that players "are still in their underwear" despite the other ways the show has evolved over its two decades on air.

"People need to get bathing suits," she said.

Most recently, Shallow competed on season 40 shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Ama. Previously, she competed on three other seasons of the show.

She told Cesternino that she had been able to compete in a swimsuit on previous seasons, and she pushed back when production told her she couldn't this time around.

"I put up a huge fight," she said. "I was like, 'I just had a baby. I can't be out here in my underwear.' "

Despite her protestation, producers told her that "it's more authentic-looking for people to be in their underwear," she said.

She added, "It was a whole era of Survivor where it was bathing suits, and then all of a sudden, they switched to underwear."

Shallow expressed that she thought that allowing players to wear swimsuits instead would "give them some dignity."

Parvati Shallow
Robert Voets/getty

Shallow was first cast on season 13, Survivor: Cook Islands, and later on Survivor: Micronesia Fans vs Favorites, which she won in 2008. She also competed on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, where she finished in second place.

She was one of the first five inductees into the Survivor Hall of Fame in 2010. She returned for the shows 40th season, Winners at War, in 2019.

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"There was a vulnerability to me this time, coming back out there, that I hadn't had before. There was an emotionality that was uncontrollable," she previously told Entertainment Tonight of her fourth appearance on the show after becoming a mom.

"Even before the game started, when we were in pregame and doing press, if someone asked me about my baby, I would break out into tears. So, I was really at a place in my life that I wasn't able to separate that and put a wall up or a shield up around that vulnerability like I have been able to do in the past. That was really the difference for me."

In August, Shallow filed for divorce from fellow Survivor contestant John Fincher after four years of marriage. At the top of Cesternino's podcast, she said that it's been a "challenging season" for her as of late.

"I am learning a lot and moving through this time with a lot of support and can see the light at the end of the tunnel," she said. "I know I'm not alone. I know a lot of people have also been going through some really big challenges in their lives and dealing with a lot of losses and grief, and this has been a big season of that for me, for like a long time, so it's required a different mindset, it's required a different kind of resilience that I ever had to really embody before, so I'm taking it really one day at a time."

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