Rachel Lindsay Says All Bachelorettes Should Be Over 23 — But Is She Wrong?

Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images.
Former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay has some thoughts about the next Bachelorette, Hannah Brown. Or, to be more specific, she has thoughts about Brown’s age — 24, which makes her the youngest Bachelorette in the franchise’s history.
Lindsay, who was 31 when she filmed her season of The Bachelorette, told Page Six she thinks it’s difficult for someone to be fully committed to walking down the aisle at such a young age. This, she feels, takes away from the purpose of the show.
“If you’re wanting somebody who’s committed to marriage and a proposal, and I guess to embody what the ideals of the show are, then you’re going to have to choose older,” she told Page Six.
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Lindsay, possibly unconsciously, was echoing a refrain from this past season of The Bachelor, which pitted younger contestants against women over 30, who were referred to as “cougars.” In this way, the show has a proven issue with female-focused ageism (the age of male contestants is rarely discussed), which, thanks to the format of the show, is often led by other women.
Lindsay pointed to herself and Arie Luyendyk Jr., who was 36 during his season of The Bachelor, as good examples of the show’s goal. However, it should be noted that Lauren Burnham, the woman Luyendyk ended up picking (after some indecision) was 25 when the season was filmed. Now, they are married and have a baby on the way, which Lindsay used as an indicator that Luyendyk’s season was a success. So, it is possible to make big life decisions on a reality TV show at a relatively young age.
That said, statistically, Burnham is an outlier. According to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average age for American women to get married is 27.4, which points toward a growing trend that women are waiting longer than ever before to get married — and The Bachelor is increasingly out of touch with women and the choices they make today.
In any case, regardless of her reservations about her age, Lindsay appeared to harbor no ill will toward Brown.
“When people ask me about the new Bachelorette, I say, ‘Well, I hope she has the time of her life,’” Lindsay told Page Six.
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