Bustle Exclusive

Jenn’s Bachelorette Season Threw Her Off-Guard

The 26-year-old is ushering in a new era for the franchise, and for herself.

‘Bachelorette’ Jenn Tran Opens Up About Dating In 2024 & Social Media
Disney/Wade Payne

When Jenn Tran was filming her Bachelorette promo shoot — the one in a life-size claw machine — she had an idea. The set needed some Shrek music. “I was in a ‘Funkytown’ mood that day, and it’s funny because I got the whole crew to start singing along to it, too,” she says to Bustle over Zoom. “At first they were like, What is this girl doing? And then they got on board with it.”

Even though Shrek is a romance, she most identifies with Donkey. “He just asks the most annoying questions at the most inconvenient times,” she says with a laugh. “Sometimes I can be that way.”

The image of Jenn rallying a room full of people to sing the Shrek soundtrack is exactly what makes her season’s tagline, “Bring on the Jenn-ergy,” feel so uniquely fitting.

In case you’re new to Bachelor Nation, Jenn first appeared as a contestant on Joey Graziadei’s Bachelor season earlier this year. The 26-year-old, who’s training to be a physician assistant, was sent home in Week 7. Now, as a lead herself, she’s looking for her own significant other from a group of 25 men — all while making history as the show’s first-ever Asian American star.

She promises that Season 21, which premieres July 8 on ABC, won’t be smooth sailing. “I was just thrown off-guard a lot of times, in good and bad ways,” says Jenn, who lives in Miami. “But the main focus of my journey is how much I learned of myself. I feel like a completely different person from when I started, and I’m so grateful for it.”

Below, she opens up about advice from a former lead, cosmetic procedures, and the problem with modern dating.

Disney/John Fleenor

Congratulations on being the first Asian American Bachelorette! You’re also the first Gen Z Bachelorette.

I don’t know if I identify as Gen Z, I’m not gonna lie. I also think they changed the dates. I was born in 1997, so I think I am a millennial by definition — and heart.

I wanted to ask because there’s been a lot said about this generation’s “sex recession” and how they’re not dating as much. What have you observed about attitudes toward love and marriage in your circles?

It’s definitely harder than it used to be. Social media and all these dating apps deter us from focusing on what’s important — our connections with people. It’s so easy to be distracted, and to swipe, and to think that there are so many options in the world because you’re constantly overstimulated. So it’s nice to be on this journey, take a step away from social media, and live in a different world for a little.

Speaking of social media, you recently made a video about getting lip filler. Why was it important to you to be transparent about that?

You see so many things online, and you’re like, Is that real? Is that fake? I want to be authentic with my audience, and I want them to be able to relate and know they’re always getting 100% honest truth from me. I view it as having a bunch of friends online. I would never lie to my friends, and I would never want to lie to somebody online.

Disney/Wade Payne

Did you get advice from Bachelor Nation alums ahead of starting this journey?

I had a phone call with Michelle Young before I accepted the Bachelorette role. I wanted a perspective from a person of color in this position. It was great to get some guidance on what this all really means, and if it was the right thing for me.

You’ve been open about your plans to finish your PA program after The Bachelorette. Have your studies helped you on the show — or vice versa?

I entered the world of medicine because I really care about people. I don’t know if this helped or hurt me, but it was easy for me to care about all 25 of these men I was dating. I could connect with each of them.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.