As a seasoned and proud, self-identifying member of Bachelor Nation, I’m not ashamed to say I was counting down the days until the newest season, Season 16, of The Bachelorette aired. After the obvious challenges of quarantine and an unprecedented online semester of school, I was ready to distract myself with the fantasy of the show, one of whirlwind romance and astonishingly beautiful people.
Ironically, it turns out the show truly matched the unusual and unique energy of 2020. The first Bachelorette, 39-year-old, relationship-desperate Clare Crawley, led an unprecedented season. Before I start going more in-depth, I’ll drop a spoiler alert here.
Not only does Crawley “find love” after four short weeks on the show, but she ends up engaged to one of the men and calls off the rest of the season promptly after. Of course, beloved host Chris Harrison wouldn’t stand for that, so he brought Tayshia Adams in to take over the role as the Bachelorette; she completely saved the rest of the season and spared viewers from Crawley’s continued absurdity.
In order to find genuine love and fulfillment with a partner, it’s important to be open and boldly put yourself out there. Although Crawley as the Bachelorette isn’t quite my cup of tea, I’ve gotta give it to her…she stuck with her gut when she felt a genuine connection with one of the contestants, despite disappointing the entirety of Bachelor Nation. I still can’t say I particularly like her, but I admire her brazenness. Her courage to put herself out there and be unapologetically true to her own feelings is a lesson we can all take away from her (thankfully) short-lived presence in the show.
We can finally move past Crawley and to my favorite part of the show, Tayshia Adams. Not only was she a fan favorite of mine as a finalist from Colton Underwood’s wild stint on The Bachelor in 2019, but she’s also the second biracial, African-American Bachelorette.
Adams’ thoughts on being a black Bachelorette really resonated with me: “I feel like you’re finally seeing love form. Love comes in all colors, shades, and this is how it’s supposed to be. You’re finding a love story. We’re seeing that on television now.” I completely agree with her honest and encouraging words about love and relationships. She’s preaching the fact that love is unpredictable, unconventional, and out there for everyone.
I think many people have predetermined notions of love or personal expectations of what they believe their partners and overall relationships should look like; however, maybe that’s a major problem in and of itself. In the same way Emily in Paris emphasizes the idea that love finds you when you’re not looking for it, Adams expresses a similar attitude. We know the end goal of the show is for her to find a man, but she does so without preconceived notions, instead championing an impressive openness to interactions with any of the men, unlike Crawley (no shade, but also a little shade.)
Through her demonstrated openness, optimism, and eagerness to find love, Adams is an inspiring role model. I can’t wait to learn more about relationships from her and see where, or to whom, this journey takes her (get back to me in December!)
During the first three episodes of this season, I found myself scrolling on my phone instead of fully paying attention to what was on screen. Seeing Adams step out of the limo a few episodes in was the saving grace for me to continue watching. I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of Bachelor Nation when I say I’m beyond excited to watch her journey of love, and I hope to gain a few insights from her along the way.