Rachel Lindsay may have made history when, as The Bachelor spoilers predicted, she was announced as The Bachelorette for 2017.
But despite being the first African-American lead in the franchise’s history – spanning 34 seasons – she says race is a non-factor for her.
While Rachel Lindsay as The Bachelorette will, by definition, lead to a lot of news stories about her race, she’s not focused on it at all.
Regarding both her own “historic” status or the race of the suitors who will be competing for her heart later this year, it’s not on her radar.
“Physically, I really don’t have a type,” Rachel told People.
“I’m very open, which I think will be really exciting when the guys come out the limo because I don’t know what I’m going to get!”
Interracial relationships are not new to her, she says.
“My dad’s side of the family is all intermixed,” she said. “If you came home and saw my family, you would see that everyone looks different.”
“From aunts, uncles and the cousins to brother-in-laws. We’re very accepting. It’s really about finding love,” Rachel, 31, tells the publication.
“Not what the person looks like on the outside.”
The Dallas attorney added in another interview on Good Morning America that she’s not any different from previous stars of the hit show:
“I’m honored to have this opportunity and to represent myself as an African-American woman and I just hope that people rally behind me.”
“[Like] they did in Nick’s season. Even though I’m an African-American woman, it’s not different from any other Bachelorette.”
And yet it is, by definition, as The Bachelor franchise has long been criticized for not being very diverse. And by very, we mean at all.
Usually, only a few minorities are cast, if that.
Of those that do make the cut, most end up being let go very fast, which makes Rachel’s trip to the end of Nick’s season pretty remarkable.
One of the top four contestants on Nick Viall‘s current season of The Bachelor, she was announced early in a surprising move by ABC.
Lindsay has not even been let go by Nick at this point.
The only other Bachelor franchise lead who was a minority was Juan Pablo Galavis, a Venezuela native who starred in 2013.
Rachel literally cannot come across worse than JPG.
Andi Dorfman was the first Jewish Bachelorette in 2014, Kaitlyn Bristowe (2015) is Canadian, and 2016’s JoJo Fletcher is half Iranian.
None will get the attention of Lindsay, however.
Nick personally took to Instagram to praise the choice in a lengthy post gushing about both the girl and her selection as the next star.
Writes Viall of the torch being passed:
“Bachelor Nation doesn’t know how it all goes down yet, but [saying goodbye to] Rachel was one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life.”
“I have met very few people who possess as much beauty, grace, and charisma as Rachel and [I couldn’t be] more excited.”
“Bachelor Nation is so lucky to have her but not as lucky as the group of men who will have a chance at winning her heart.”
“No one is better prepared to show Bachelor Nation, and the world, the beauty of embracing diversity.”
“Good luck Rachel, not that you’ll be needing it. I’m so proud and happy for you, I’m honored to be able to call you a friend. I can’t wait to watch your journey!!”
On her blog, another former star of The Bachelorette, Ali Fedotowsky, shared similar thoughts on Lindsay’s casting:
“I am so thrilled for her! Us Bachelorettes are all close and I am so happy to welcome Rachel to the group!”
“She’s cute, smart, sweet and sassy! I cannot wait to see her find love! Such a perfect choice as the new Bachelorette.”
“And yes, I am very happy to see a little diversity join our family!!!”
“Rachel said it best, her journey to find love will be no different just because the color of her skin is.”
“I think this is such an exciting time for the franchise and I will be watching her on her quest to find the one!”