What it Means to have the Oldest Bachelorette in all of The Bachelorette History

Clare Crawley graced the screens of bachelor nation on Tuesday, Oct 13th. The show will be airing every Tuesday night at 8pm for the next 12 weeks. With COVID-19 delaying the show, this posed as a new challenge for the filming crew, however, another new added feature to the show has been with the Bachelorette herself. Clare Crawley is the oldest Bachelorette in all of The Bachelorette history, as she is 39 years old. She was featured on Juan Pablo’s season of The Bachelor, two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise, as well as The Bachelor Winter Games. She has faced heartbreak, but also has treated each of these as a learning and growing experience, as she has been noted as saying, “with age comes more life experience and self confidence.” However, she also experienced ageism against her in this season, as said by CNN, “up until Crawley’s season, the average age of the “Bachelorette” was 27. The show has featured a woman in her 30s as the lead just twice.” This helps to show that The Bachelorette is beginning to break out of its age old cycle of having individuals solely in their 20s on the show.

Within the trailer for the show, this ageism is shown twice. As said by CNN, it can first be seen when “...an angry contestant is seen storming off shouting “I expected way more from the oldest Bachelorette.” Further, with another contestant, “...Crawley is seen in tears yelling “sick sick! I don’t care what i’ve done, to sit there and say “you're the oldest Bachelorette that’s 39 that’s standing here single,’ it’s because I did not settle for men like that.” With these two instances, these help to show this ageism in that the men had put this expectation on her to act a certain way, simply because she is “the oldest Bachelorette.” Further, she has faced this unfair belief that due to her age, she should simply accept however she is treated as she is “single at 39,” and thus, should take whatever she is given. However, Clare has fought against this stereotype, in that with the above quote, she is essentially saying that she is not single due to her being  “difficult” but instead, because she will not settle for just anyone. 

With this season of The Bachelorette, Clare has fought against this main stereotype which is;once an individual hits their mid 30s, and hasn’t found their “soulmate,” then they should, and are expected to, throw in the towel completely and stop searching. However, with Clare being the Bachelorette, she has shown that one can find love and be desirable even at an older age. She has even turned her age into a positive attribute, in that she said in an interview with Good Morning America, “I feel like a lot of people put (the age) out there as a negative thing, but for me, it is just more years under my belt, more learning and knowing what I want, what I don’t want and what I won’t settle for.” With this, Clare has shown that women should not simply settle or accept treatment that they do not approve of, simply because they want to find love before their mid thirties hit, but instead should understand that they do deserve to be treated well, and thus, should not give up on finding love or settle. According to CNN, Melissa Silverstein, “the founder and publisher of Women and Hollywood and the co-founder of the Athena Film Festival…” said that with this season of the Bachelorette, it helps to show that “romance and sexuality are not just for the young.” This season of The Bachelorette will be monumental in helping to begin to change this stereotype and show that women can find love at any age.