ABC unveiled its contestants for the upcoming Bachelor season on Dec. 8, which means that everyone's favorite guilty pleasure show is heading our way very, very soon. Interestingly enough, there was one key detail missing from the list of women. An age was left off of one of the contestant's bios, which prompts the question: How old is Bekah from The Bachelor? Some internet sleuthing shows that she might be the youngest contestant yet.
If you've already looked through all the upcoming contestants (and if you haven't, go do it immediately), you'll notice that Bekah is the only woman missing an age. According to RealitySteve.com, the Los Angeles-based nanny is 22, making her the youngest contestant to ever appear on The Bachelor. A little bit internet digging potentially confirms this. Prepare for some serious Nancy Drew action.
In an Instagram photo uploaded in Feb. 2016, Bekah snapped a picture of her lower body, accompanied by the hashtag "21." We know for sure that she was born in February, because she posted another picture to Instagram in January, declaring that it was one month before her birthday.
So, we can safely assume that Bekah is, indeed, 22. And a very chic 22 at that.
It seems like there must have been a very pointed reason why ABC chose to withhold Bekah's age. Maybe they thought viewers would be freaked out by the large age difference (Arie Luyendyk, the Bachelor, is 36). Maybe Bekah didn't want her age on there. Maybe there's some other reason, and we'll find out once the show airs. In the end, though, if a woman is legal and consenting, the whole age thing really shouldn't be an issue.
I do, admittedly, find it forever infuriating that there is literally not a single contestant who is Luyendyk's age or older. The oldest contestant is a 33-year-old. Either women in their 30's and 40's are not auditioning to be on The Bachelor, or ABC is making the strategic decision to only cast women of a certain age. If the latter is true, then, yes, the whole age thing should be an issue.
There's some icky stats to back up this potential age discrimination issue. Data scientist Alice Zhao crunched the numbers on the average ages of the bachelors and the bachelorettes for a 2015 Huffington Post article. Zhao found that — as of 2015 — the average age of the bachelor is 31. Meanwhile, the average age of the women vying for his affection is 26. Hmmmm. Now let's look at the other side of the equation.
The average age of the Bachelorette is 27, and the average age of her male contestants is 29. It's also worth noting that Zhao found that no woman over 32 has ever made the final four.
That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the sort of alleged discrimination The Bachelor has been accused of. In 2012, the network was sued by two African-American men, Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, who claimed that ABC “knowingly, intentionally, and as a matter of corporate policy refused to cast people of color in the role of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.” The class-action suit also asserted that ABC has an “intentional scheme” of “deliberate exclusion … underscores the significant barriers that people of color continue to face in the media and the broader marketplace.”
A former Bachelor staffer pretty much affirmed Claybrooks and Johnson's take by telling the Daily Beast: “You’ll probably see a few more black women get eliminated in the first episode. It’s sad but it’s true."
It took 33 seasons until The Bachelor decided to finally cast an African-American contestant as a lead on the show.
So, yes, it doesn't matter at all that Bekah is a 22-year-old contestant. It does, however, matter that the show present a diverse cast. Also, how great would it be if just once, the bachelor was presented with a group of women his age and older? I dare to dream.