Clare Crawley’s run as the Bachelorette may have been brief, but it was undoubtedly one of the most dramatic seasons of the reality dating franchise to date. While the lead definitely stirred up a lot of controversy during her stint because of her conscious dismissal of the show’s unknown rules, the bad vibes being sent her way because of it have been too much to bear. And honestly? They’re unwarranted.
It may feel like Tayshia Adams has been the Bachelorette all along because of how invested many of us are in her process, but she wasn’t always the original season 16 lead. Clare made history as the first quarantine Bachelorette, self-isolating for weeks before heading to a Palm Springs Quinta Inn & Resort to meet her 30 new boyfriends. From the jump, Clare made a strong impression on the contestants; she always spoke her mind and followed her heart, even if it made us watching at home squirm with secondhand-embarrassment. As a grown woman looking for a husband — not a boyfriend — Clare knew what she wanted.
Of course, her method for finding true love wasn't always perfect. Clare famously fell head over heels in love with Dale Moss on first sight, foregoing any attempt to get to know her other potential boos in favor of spending as much time with the former NFL player as possible. It wasn't particularly fun to watch, but at the end of the day, Clare got exactly what she set out for: a proposal from the man of her dreams.
Unfortunately, her happy ending has been marred by negativity from much of Bachelor Nation. Even before she made a quick exit with Dale, Clare was subjected to more criticism and mean-spirited commentary than perhaps anyone else on the history of this series. People accused her of being dishonest about her relationship, and day after day, her Twitter mentions and Instagram comments were flooded with comments about how terrible she was for moving the way that she did. Some even went so far as to troll her Venmo?
Clare's seen all the negativity, and in a candid new Instagram, she shares how it's been affecting her.
"Hi. It's me, Clare," the former Bachelorette captioned a recent mirror selfie. "Not Clare that you have seen edited on your television or social media squares. But the human one with feelings, insecurities, emotions, and a normal life just like you. And just like you, I’m going through things, big and small, that all of us experience at some point or another."
"Just like some of you I can be shy and awkward or even fighting off my anxiety the best I can that day," she continued. "There are good days and bad days. Being on reality TV doesn’t exempt me (or any of us) from that. I will always do my best to rise above the negativity and find the positive, but I am not superhuman. So when you choose to pass judgements without knowing someone personally or even something as small as a snide comment, please remember just like you, I am simply trying my best."
On one hand, there's a certain level of hating that comes with the territory of being on reality TV; unfortunately, people will always have something. to say. But the vitriol that Clare has been subjected to because of The Bachelorette has been nothing short of ridiculous.
Yes, she did the men on the show kind of dirty. Yes, she low-key wasted their time. However, The Bachelorette is ultimately about finding love, and Clare did exactly that — it just wasn't in the way we expected her to. And to be fair, a lot of the drama that took place on her season was also the direct result of Bachelor producers' machinations. After 18 years of watching this show, we should all know this by now: the devil works hard, but the control room of The Bachelor works even harder. If you have to blame anyone, blame them!
Trying to find the love of your life is hard enough — doing it on national television makes it a million times more difficult. Whether we agreed with her methods or not, being mean to Clare has never been a good look. Enough already.