In case you haven't heard: Rachel Lindsay is the next Bachelorette, and people (understandably) can't stop talking about it. She's the iconic franchise's first African-American leading lady, and that fact alone makes her an epic, historic pick. Though I could talk forever about the importance of finally casting a black Bachelorette, her race isn't the only thing that makes her a standout choice for the title. The 31-year-old Dallas native is also a career-driven, super-educated lawyer — and her stint as the Bachelorette will undoubtedly be inspirational for other ambitious women who, like Rachel, might have put love on hold to build a career.
Though fans weren't necessarily thrilled about the current Bachelor season being spoiled by the announcement, already, many members of Bachelor Nation have voiced their support of Rachel as the Season 13 Bachelorette. Even (or perhaps especially) on reality TV, representation matters, and the fact that a career-oriented, over-30, woman of color will take the spotlight on a notoriously non-diverse franchise speaks volumes. It's clear that tons of viewers are captivated by her charm, intelligence, and genuine desire to find a husband after focusing on her career for so long — and that they relate to her and hope she succeeds in finding love.
Rachel Represents The Delayed Marriage Trend
More traditional folks might think women need to choose between building a career or building a family — but Millennial women are flipping the script, and going after both professional and romantic success.
“In a love relationship, an ambitious women is clear about what she does and does not want out of a relationship,” psychologist and dating experts, Nikki Martinez tells Bustle. “She knows the qualities that she is and is not looking for, and she is not afraid to ask for them, or walk away.”
Being a high-achiever doesn't mean you can't have a fulfilling love life: According to the 2017 Match Singles in America study, 47 percent of "high-achieving women" had dated in the last year, and 41 percent had had sex, which proves that not all high-powered career ladies are walking stereotypes of lonely, bitter spinsters who are "too busy" to date.
Millennials are delaying marriage more and more, and it's no longer out of the norm for a woman to make it to her 30s without getting hitched.
Although Rachel has publicly said that one of her biggest regrets is focusing too much on her career, it's total BS for her — or any woman — to believe that she can't have a kickass career and a serious, loving relationship. Rachel's hardly the only person who's put work first: Millennials are delaying marriage more and more, and it's no longer out of the norm for a woman to make it to her 30s without getting hitched. And heck, at 36, Nick Viall is one of the older Bachelors, so it's clear that the franchise understands the marrying-later trend (even though there are still plenty of early-20s contestants).
Career-Oriented Women Can Have It All
But just because Millennials want to find professional success and financial security before settling down doesn't mean they don't still desire love. In fact, in a 2016 VICE study, 31 percent of single Millennials said their biggest fear is never finding love. Throughout this season of The Bachelor, Rachel has been forthcoming about feeling that exact same fear, which is undoubtedly refreshing for viewers in a similar situation. Rachel is only the second lawyer-Bachelorette in the show's history (the first being Andi Dorfman, of course), and it's definitely reassuring to have such a go-getter in the spotlight.
When it comes to dating and relationships, there's no one "right" time to decide you want to settle down.
Naturally, producers would want to cast a leading lady who's a reflection of the viewers — the more relatable the star, the betting the ratings — so it's nice that the franchise is getting in touch with the love and dating trends of a huge chunk of their audience.
Me: I hate The Bachelor/ Bachelorette— Iris WestAllen (@4lifeofs) February 14, 2017
Abc: Rachel is the next Bachelorette
Even if you're younger or less professionally established than Rachel, watching her journey to find love will no doubt be relatable and endearing. When it comes to dating and relationships, there's no one "right" time to decide you want to settle down.
If you want to embrace your independence and get your sh*t together before you even think about finding a significant other, then that's your prerogative — same goes for anyone who can juggle both a love life and a killer career. No matter what your personal dating policy is, I think all of Bachelor Nation can agree that someone as successful and ambitious as Rachel deserves this chance to fulfill her romantic dreams and finally have it all — like so many Millennial women desire.