The real star of The Bachelor (producers: Fallon Jethroe, Nikki Lazaran) this season is Los Angeles nanny Rebekah "Bekah" Martinez. She's self-assured, independent, and the chemistry between her and Arie is palpable. But Bekah has receive scrutiny for being 22, a fair amount younger than 36-year-old Arie, and the show previews tease this as the next topic of controversy. But, have any of The Bachelor contestants commented on Bekah's age? The drama may have been left on the show, considering she's friendly with most of the contestants post-Bachelor.
Still, if previews are any indication, Bekah's age is about to be talked about by everyone, as the Jan. 22 episode appears to be when Arie learns Bekah's age. In a preview scene entitled "Bekah Gossip," the ladies in the house discuss whether or not Bekah is going to bring up her 14-year age gap with Arie. Chelsea Roy commented on the age difference in the clip saying,
"Bekah M. and Arie are 14 years apart. Oh boy. That's a big age difference. And that can be a major determining factor, and if she holds out any longer telling him, maybe that might not go over well."
And, in another clip, Krystal said of Bekah, "Arie's looking for a woman, not a girl." But, not every contestant in the preview is against the age gap, though. Becca made a point to defend the other Bekah saying, "My mom and dad were eleven years apart, so to me it's not a big deal."
While, on the show, the women talked about Bekah's age potentially being a dealbreaker, it's unclear how they feel now. It seems none of them has spoken up about it since the show, though social media posts show that most of the women are friends with Bekah post-show.
It's worth noting that most of the contestants this season are considerably younger than Arie. Maquel is only a year older than Bekah at 23. Meanwhile, Lauren J. who was the oldest contestant this season at 33 years old, was still younger than Arie and sent home night one. Comparatively, 32-year-old Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay dated suitor Dean Unglert who was 25, and his fellow contestants felt that was too young, so the talk about this much larger age difference on The Bachelor is interesting.
Arie himself spoke about age and relationships to InStyle, and he didn't seem bothered by it. He said:
"Age has never been a factor for me in relationships. Some women are very mature in their early twenties, just like some are not mature at all in their mid-thirties. It’s more about: Is this person ready for that next step in their lives? And are they ready to settle down and get married?"
We'll see how he feels about Bekah's age and readiness to settle down soon enough. As for her critics in the other contestants, they may have buried the hatchet.
Chelsea posted the above Instagram with the caption, "I missed tonight’s episode but if I remember correctly, (after being hit 1000 times 😂) it involved a little bit of this. Is [Bekah] holding a miniature violin for her demo victims?" She playfully teases Bekah in a way that suggests they are now friends. While Chelsea seems to be a leading voice for criticism of Bekah's age in previews for the upcoming episode, it appears that the are now buddies — or at least on good enough terms to joke about the Demolition Derby date.
And, Chelsea isn't the only one talking about Bekah post-show. When Arie went on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jimmy predicted who Arie's final two ladies would be: Bekah and Becca. After that, Becca posted an Instagram with the caption, "[Bekah] U up?" Again, this social media interaction implies a friendship between Bekah and Becca. Not to mention, Becca has already defended Bekah's relationship, relating it to her parents similar age gap.
Over on Twitter, Bekah can be seen joking around with Seinne.
And, she can also be seen poking fun at the whole discussion surrounding her age. She posted a photo of the Twilight vampires with her head edited in, jokingly claiming the age difference with Arie is because she is a hundred year old vampire.
So, even if the other women don't immediately speak up for her, she seems ready to stand up for herself against her age critics.
And, the women this season seem to, for the most part, support and love on each other after the show. Whatever is said in the episode by the other women, was said at a time of heightened stress and should be taken with a grain of salt. While the question of whether Bekah is ready for marriage at 22 is valid, Arie's the only one who should be asking it. As for the rest of us? It's best to leave it alone.