Should Rachel Lindsay Have To Act Like A Sugar Mama On The Bachelorette?

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
The Bachelorette is framed as a fairytale for every respective season’s suitress. She goes on magical dates with impossibly handsome men, all of whom are absolutely obsessed with wooing her. This cycle’s star, Rachel Lindsay, has watched her suitors fight for her love in various arenas — including mud wrestling, handball, and spelling bees — and forced men terrified of heights to ride on blimps to prove their affection. Rachel Lindsay is simply living the dream. That’s why one moment out of The Bachelorette season 13’s "Week 6" seemed so out of place. That awkward scene arrives in the middle of the Texas lawyer’s date with one of her favorite suitors, Bryan Abasolo, in Geneva.
When Rachel announces her first one-on-one date of the episode is going to be with the Miami chiropractor, everyone is pretty shocked. But, Bryan getting a personalized date with the Bachelorette over two men who have yet to have the privilege isn't the unexpected part — of course Rachel would pick Bryan over two guys she eventually sends home during "Week 6." The bizarre portion becomes apparent once the duo’s "high-end date" begins. Rachel and Bryan eventually arrive at Breitling, a luxury Swiss watchmaker whose product prices start at thousands of dollars and only escalate from there. The date is cute enough as the pair try on expensive accessories and make moon eyes at each other. It's when the two settle on their respective pricey timepieces that things get weird.
"I’m getting this for you," Rachel announces, smiling at Bryan and pointing at his watch, which seems to be a member of the Navitimer line. Like many viewers at home, Bryan is taken aback, asking, “Are you kidding me?” The Bachelorette is not kidding, saying, "No! I swear, I’m not. We’re gonna take these. I’ll take this one. He’ll take that one … I’m not playing." Bryan responds by covering Rachel with kisses, but he’s still totally dumbfounded. "You’re welcome. I got you." she assures her boyfriend, tapping the small fortune attached to his wrist. "I got this." The entire scene rings like a sugar baby fantasy starring Rachel and Bryan. This doesn’t seem strange because a Bachelorette contestant is getting an impossibly luxurious gift — these are people who fly in helicopters and visit the world’s finest vacation spots for weeks on end, after all. It's strange because Rachel is the one who is allegedly bankrolling this entire escapade.
If the ABC reality star were to have told Bryan, "We’re getting these watches," it wouldn’t have seemed noteworthy at all, as it would be implied The Bachelorette is footing the bill. It’s not a big leap to assume Breitling and the series have a sponsorship deal, especially considering the fact the Mexican Tourism Board effectively sponsors the entirety of Bachelor In Paradise. What's a watch compared to a whole series? Even if a partnership wasn’t in place, it’s easy to assume The Bachelorette production budget is paying for the timepieces since it handles all other expenses. It’s not like Rachel was the one buying tickets for her hot tub date with Eric Bigger last week. And absolutely no one was expecting Nick Viall to personally buy Rachel a diamond bracelet ahead of The Bachelor season 21's hometown dates. Watching the lawyer go so directly against these underlying Bachelor Nation rules, especially for a bill that’s likely in the five figures, is uncomfortable even if it's scripted.
This situation is even more unsettling when you realize Rachel may have just dropped literal stacks of cash on a televised relationship that might not be long for this world. In a confessional, the Bachelorette gushes, “You know, 30 years from now, [Bryan and I] could be talking about that time we went to Geneva, buying watches and going on a romantic boat ride.” Considering the average longevity of a Bachelor Nation relationship, it’s dubious whether Rachel is the one who personally needs to make that kind of investment — doubly so after the hometown dates preview.
Everything seems to be Sob City for the Bachelorette in Week 7, but emotions are especially high between Rachel and Bryan. In the teaser, we get a peek at what looks like a tense dinner conversation between Bryan and the Lindsay family, as Rachel’s sister Constance Lindsay says in a talking head interview, “My gut is telling me Bryan talks a lot, but I don’t think there’s a sincerity factor.” On top of that, it’s hinted Rachel and Bryan both end up bawling after meeting each other's families. “We’re at two different places. And that is so hard for me to say,” the Bachelorette says between tears. “What am I supposed to say?” It’s unclear if this possibly romance-ending sentiment is 100 percent about Bryan, or if we’re all being manipulated into expecting endless drama through the magic of editing.
Nevertheless, whatever happens with Rachel and her Floridian suitor, we can all rest easy knowing Bryan is still very much wearing his Breitling Navitimer that she bought for him.
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