Photo: Michael Yada/ABC.
Rachel represents something else to me, too: that not all Black women fit into a specific box that TV producers have created for us. She's not an athlete's glammed-up arm candy you might see on VH1 or Oxygen; she's a thoughtful, independent woman who's 5'4, prefers little to no makeup, and has a super cute gap tooth. She wears a weave, but doesn't stress about a few post-Fantasy Suite flyaways — and maybe with more air-time we'll even see her with her hair wrapped or in a bonnet. (Epic morning-after material, if you ask me.) She's a smart-as-hell lawyer, a ball of energy that could take anyone in a dance-off, and manages to be the coolest girl in the room without even trying. She's stressed the importance of keeping it 100 and staying true to herself — so what we see is what we get. In other words, she's my cousin, my best friend, or even me. And I can't tell you how refreshing that is.
Photo: Via @bacheloretteabc.
But, of course, despite my enthusiasm, the news of Lindsay's new job was met with hateful comments by people uncomfortable with change. After the big reveal, I saw a sprinkling of tweets about how she's an "ugly monkey" unfit for the honor. The garbage talk persisted after her campaign photo was released yesterday, just weeks before the season premieres in May. People picked her appearance apart, claiming her skin tone looked lightened, that they hoped she would fix her teeth before the show aired, that she better get someone to style her hair "right" on the show, the list goes on...
Sigh. I'm not surprised by the racist remarks, but that doesn't make them any less irritating.
Rachel herself has acknowledged the magnitude of her appointment as the first Black Bachelorette, but quickly countered it with "my journey of love isn’t any different just because my skin color is.” Many people on Twitter agreed, saying things like let's ignore race because we're all one and love is love. Or, my fave: "Lowkey we get that rachel is the first black bachelorette but can we not make every fucking date about her skin color like with nick."
Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC.