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The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

First Asian American Bachelorette

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As the 28th season of the hit reality TV show The Bachelor has come to an end, many find themselves anticipating the next installment in the Bachelor Franchise: The Bachelorette. 26 year-old Jenn Tran was a contestant in last season’s Bachelor, and while she was eliminated during week seven, she still continues to hold a place in viewer’s hearts. The upcoming season of the Bachelorette, which will air this July, marks a notable milestone as Jenn Tran will be the first Asian American bachelorette in the history of the franchise. Tran is Vietnamese American, and in her announcement of being the Bachelorette she noted the importance of this fact: “Growing up, I never got to see anyone who looked like me lead their own love story on TV. To be able to inspire a generation of people to be proud of their culture is something I’m so grateful for.”

 In past seasons of The Bachelorette the women in the “spotlight” role have primarily been white. There have only been two other times that the Bachelorette was a woman of color: in seasons thirteen and sixteen. It’s a jarring statistic that seems to sadly mirror the tendency of underrepresentation of women of color in the media. Though American reality TV touts itself often as a “slice of life” institution, it historically and currently has neglected to reflect the actual diverse makeup of the general populace too often. 

The faculty advisor for Asian Culture Union, English teacher and LFA alum (2017), Angela Zhou, shared how this is a big step forward in representation in the TV industry. She stated that she has been watching The Bachelor Franchise since high school with her sister, and they still watch and bond over it even though they live in different states. She emphasized, “This representation is huge because where we see Asian individuals is usually in a background or supporting role.” Tran being the newest Bachelorette, pushes against this historic maltreatment of Asian American representation as she will be the primary focus or main character ( if you will) of her own season of the Bachelorette. Zhou added, “This next season finally puts a minority figure in a desirable spot.” 

Liv Kelly ‘25, an avid fan of The Bachelor franchise, shared that the show is consistent in terms of knowing what to expect when watching it. Although she said that this season will definitely be significant and notable as, “Most people like Jenny from the recent season of the bachelor.” Kelly further added, “It’s more representation that will bring more people of color into watch then in recent seasons.” Meaning because of the show’s recent past with not hosting women of color as the bachelorette very often, this season more people of color will want to watch. 

This development perhaps alludes to and coincides with a larger trend within the media: people of color occupying leading roles. However, this feat can not simply be treated as a trend or a fad that quickly dies out. Tokenism is not equitable to representation, and that is important to be cognizant of. Tran’s season of The Bachelorette is hopefully yet another indication that representation in the media, especially in historically white dominated media, such as the Bachelor, is truly on the rise. 

 

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