Why The Focus On Clare & Tenley's Ages On 'BiP'?

There have been two big debates of Bachelor in Paradise Season 2. For one, why Joe is such a jerk. And, for two, how old all the women on the show are. Everyone from Mikey, to Ashley I., to Jared have commented on Tenley and Clare's ages on Bachelor in Paradise, and it's totally throwing me off. I mean, is the Bachelor in Paradise Season 2 cast really older than Season 1? There's been so much talk of it during Season 2, yet I barely remember it being an issue on Season 1.

If anything, the younguns this season are getting a little out of hand. Lauren, before she left, had a lot to say about age, but she was literally the youngest person in the history of the show at 24. And, the rest of the "aging" talk has stemmed from other people trying to goad Clare, probably because they resent that she was such a star in her first time around, and they only wish that they could hang out with an imbibing raccoon. Because to think that Paradise is only a young man (or woman)'s game is to totally ignore the facts of the show. Here's how Season 1's ages lined up, so you can see there's really not a difference between then and now.

Marcus Grodd, 26 & Lacy Faddoul, 26

These were the young love birds of the season, and yet they were already in their mid-20s. Even the most successful relationship to come out of Paradise was between two people who are already on their way to 30.

Michelle Money, 33 & Cody Settler, 28

Michelle was one of the "winners" of Bachelor in Paradise Season 1, and she was — gasp — over 30. And, even though she and Cody broke up last year, they recently started posting photos together and seemingly resuming their relationship. So I guess it is possible to find love at the ripe old age of 34, you guys! Clare has hope! (Can you detect my sarcasm?)

Robert, 31 & Sarah, 27

These two ultimately decided to dissolve their relationship before making it to the end of BiP Season 1. But their age never once came up as a problem or as an impediment to them sticking it out.

Zack, 29 & Jackie, 26

Again, they might not have made it in real life, but they are one of the younger couples to make it to the end of the show. And, I'm happy to see that Jackie, even in her mid-20s, is just as baffled about this age obsession as Clare is.

Tasos, 30 & Christy, 25

Christy makes the record as the youngest person to even make it to the finale, and she's tied with free spirit Lucy as the youngest person in the first season. Her relationship was plagued with drama, but the age difference wasn't part of it.

AshLee, 33 & Graham, 35

Look, I don't want to call them the "oldest couple in Bachelor in Paradise" or anything especially because they'd probably be a better pick for "most unexpected couple," or "most one-sided couple," but these two did make it to the finale despite being in their, gasp, mid-30s.

Clare, 32 (Season 1) & 33 (Season 2)

She's the same age as one of the previous winners and not that much older than the rest of the people who made it to the final episode. So the haters need to shut the hell up, because Clare not only isn't the oldest person in Bachelor in Paradise history, and neither is Tenley. And, even if they were, it doesn't matter! Age should have no baring on finding true love, and if contestants have a problem with these two ladies, then they weren't the right fit anyway.

In the first season, nine of the contestants in Season 1 were 30 and over, and eight more were 27 and older. That leaves just eight who were 25 and 26, the youngest members of the cast. Season 2's breakdown is even more age-diverse. 11 of the 22 competitors are over 30 so far, but only five are 26 and younger. So, everyone just needs to calm down, and maybe borrow some of the raccoon's wine, because age ain't nothing but a number.

Image: Rick Rowell/ABC (3)