The fall out from Dean Unglert's love triangle with Kristina Schulman and Danielle Lombard is still going. As expected, fans rallied behind Kristina and Dean's image took a hit, but even Danielle received backlash. Now, Danielle is sharing about her Bachelor in Paradise experience in an Instagram she posted on Wednesday, and she's explaining an entirely different side to what viewers were shown.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to see the complete view of anyone's personality on a reality TV show, especially one with such a large cast. More often than not, the cast members are portrayed as a certain "type" of character with a narrow focus, even though they are real people with dimension. So, Danielle coming off as the "hot" girl who Dean was merely attracted to while Kristina was the one he had a deep connection with isn't shocking. It's not necessarily fair, but it isn't a surprise that we didn't get to know everything about Danielle herself or her time with Dean.
And with so many comments from Dean about how "hot" Danielle is, it was very easy to piece a story line together to insinuate that Danielle's beauty was the only reason Dean was into her. For all the viewers know, Dean made a million compliments about Danielle's personality, but if that was the case none of those made the cut.
On Wednesday, Danielle posted a photo of her and Dean kissing on Instagram. Of course, that image alone is going to garner attention from Bachelor Nation members, but it is really her lengthy caption that stands out here. In it, she notes that her connection with Dean really was deeper than what fans got to see, and the end of her message seems particularly directed at viewers who weren't so nice on social media.
D. Lo wrote, "I've always been criticized and ridiculed for my looks. Making me work ten times harder to prove that my success comes from my ethics and not my physical appearance." Yes, Danielle is beautiful, but there is much more to her than that and her looks don't mean that she doesn't have the same problems, feelings, or depth that anyone else does. She continued, "I've held several jobs at once, bought my first car when I was 17, and opened my first business at 23 years old."
Danielle has been poised the whole season. She hasn't subtweeted on social media, and she has been calm, cool, and collected this whole time. But even so, she couldn't help admitting, "It's heartbreaking and disappointing to see how my relationship was depicted as something only surface level."
No one can argue that Kristina is a well-spoken, caring person, who has been through a lot, but that does not mean that those words do not apply to Danielle, as well. It is expected that die hard fans of this show will take sides and have favorite cast members, but loving Kristina should not equate to disliking Danielle.
If Kristina is not hating on Danielle after dating the same man in an overlapping time period, then why is anyone else? After the season ended, Kristina spoke to Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti on their Almost Famous podcast and she didn't say a single bad word about Danielle.
Even as a good friend of Dean's and a BiP alum, Ashley explained how the story line came across to her, and said, "Watching it back I would think that he just had a physical attraction to Danielle. I don't see this being emotionally deep. Is that how you felt? Did that make you feel better or worse?"
Kristina admitted, "I was seeing it for the first time, as well. Seeing their interaction and their chemistry, their romance, I was kind of like 'Oh.' I was there, but I didn't see any of it. I was believing that Dean and I had something, but I was not seeing that he also had something with Danielle until watching it back." Kristina also added, "I don't have anything against Danielle." If Kristina of all people can see depth in Danielle's relationship with Dean, other people should open their minds, as well.
Bachelor in Paradise is a reality show that features a revolving door of cast members. It's impossible to truly know how anyone is as a person outside of the show with such little time on TV. Just because the men were fawning all over Danielle because of her good looks when she arrived in paradise, that doesn't sum up her essence, as she has now made very clear.