Why Rachel Lindsay Being the First Black Bachelorette is a Big Deal
It took me a few days to write this post, because I wasn’t really sure how I wanted to tackle the subject, but it seems I’ve made some progress.
It’s quite incredible to think that it took 33 seasons of The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise to finally select an African-American lead (this is sarcasm if you couldn’t tell). Her name is Rachel Lindsay, but the significance of picking Rachel to lead the rose ceremony goes far beyond just seeing a brown face on the television screen. Rachel Lindsay represents the single Black women I work with every single day; women who have become quite hopeless about finding their “bachelor.”
See, I am a matchmaker. I work with those who are considered “difficult.” My white colleagues cater to males because they believe that servicing women is simply too hard. There’s a bit of truth to that. Women typically are more challenging to match than men, but I don’t just cater to men. I work with Black men and women nationwide.
The moment I heard that “Bachelor Nation” selected a Black Bachelorette, I nearly fell out of my chair. “Finally!” I screamed at my Twitter feed as news started swimming downstream. But just as quickly as the excitement came, I quickly became frustrated by the messages I was reading on social media.
One user wrote, “Team Facebook; (maybe it’s jus’ me) but I wish people would stop treating the first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, as if she’s Jackie Robinson. “
Another wrote, “All things considered… this is not the kind of accomplishment that deserves respect.”
The significance of this is clearly missing! Rachel represents the hundreds of Black women I have spoken to over the years; many of them are my clients. They are smart, funny, attractive, successful, educated and totally worth loving, but they have come to believe that love is elusive, especially for them.
Many of them believe that love is reserved for those who fit society’s norms: straight hair, slim figures, and light skin. It’s a truly sad and terrible truth of how most Black women feel, and it is one of the major reasons why I decided to become a professional matchmaker.
As “Rachel” we must fight for our value to be realized everyday. While you’re swiping right, many are swiping left on Black women like Rachel, and it’s not because they’re unqualified (or unattractive).
I’m pretty sure that Rachel Lindsay didn’t just decide to join a reality show because she had men lining up at her door. It’s likely because Rachel hasn’t been getting many hits, so she decided to cast a wide net, and maybe now it will finally catch a great fish (one can hope, the odds are not in her favor).
Now don’t get me wrong, The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise is pure entertainment, but don’t think that this news hasn’t given some young Black woman a major confidence boost! If I was single, I’d be feeling myself even more right now…
For years we have been told that we are not good enough, smart enough, attractive enough or compliant enough to achieve our dreams, but today someone at ABC reaffirmed what we’ve already known, that we’re dope enough to be the Bachelorette!
Inclusion is power! All we’ve been asking for is a seat at the table, no matter how unstable that table may be.
Congratulations, Rachel Lindsay! Make us proud girl!