I’m watching the Bachelor the other night…
We have a bracket challenge going on at work that I may or may not have spearheaded so, watching the Bachelor is no longer strictly for entertainment purposes. There is $100 of wine on the line at this point.
That being said… I’m watching The Bachelor the other night…
I’m texting my coworkers who have already seen this episode and have already given me semi-spoilers. We are amused/befuddled by the excessive and wildly uncalled for use of hot tubs, so far this season. (Middle of a field after a mid-day plane ride? Mmmkay…)
One thing we all did not see coming was Jubilee, the Haitian, tattooed, potential love interest of Mr. Ben Higgins. She has survived the first rose ceremony and seems to already be making waves as we move into the second.
While Blonde Girl Number 1 is on her plane-ride-hot-tub date with Ben, Jubilee is in tears back at the Bachelor mansion– confiding in one of her competitors. This is a time I should be reaching for my phone to say something smart in the group message I’ve created with my coworkers.
Are we seriously crying already? You’ve known this guy for like 48 hours.
Or, What did you think you were signing up for?
But as I continue to watch, I don’t have anything witty or funny or condescending to say. I have nothing but empathy. I am watching Jubilee tell one of the girls in the house that she is succumbing to a very specific insecurity that I know all too well…
She is telling this other girl, in not so many words, that Ben clearly has “a type.”
What was your first give away, Jubilee?
And among tears, she is confessing that not only does she not aesthetically meet his ‘type,’ but that she’s far too complicated to ever fit into this mold.
I start to shiver.
I know this pain… oh, so terribly well.
Much like that multifaceted, layered complexity that is Jubilee, herself– I think this “insecurity” she is referencing is more than just what we all see on TV, or even on the exterior. But I clicked with it so perfectly that I had to write about it. So, let’s start peeling.
1.) The “Black” Thing.
I can only speak to interracial relationships from one perspective, just like I can only speak to racism or sexism from one perspective: My own. My, black-woman-white-male, vantage point. And, boy, is it an uncomfortable one.
Imagine adding to the already enormously awkward ritual of “dating” the fear of not knowing if you (the way you were born and fashioned by God) will be something he (the guy you’re into) will even bother to give a second look. Add to that the knowledge that you are probably not at all what his family had in mind for him. (Not that they’re for it, or against it. But when they created their precious child, you were not who they saw him marrying within his lifetime.) And while we’re adding, add the knowledge that you are DEFINITELY not what society has in mind for him, either. So, not only are you attempting to pursue someone you are interested in (scary…) but you’re also banking on the hope that he is strong and willing enough to overcome the unspoken immediate and social hang-ups that you are sure to face as simply being not the norm. *Fingers Crossed*
Now imagine doing this while living and competing with dozens of other women who already intimidate you with their appearance, alone. Their naturally blue eyes and blonde hair are, now, not just an exterior advantage. They now become a symbol of normality. Which serves as a reminder that you are abnormal. But you’re not abnormal. You’re just you. And you just like this guy…
2.) The “Complex” Thing
Assuming your life is totally perfect, everything we just covered in The “Black” Thing has officially relegated you to the “complex” realm, now. But let’s assume you are like Jubilee and myself and your life is less than perfect. That the complex realm was a place you lived in before anyone could even decipher the color of your skin. That you come from a dysfunctional family, (or lack of a family at all in Jubilee’s case), and that you maybe have not had the quietest past, and that maybe marrying White Guy is not the single goal of your life. Maybe you aren’t even sure of what that end goal is yet. Maybe you don’t always know how to be positive, 24/7, maybe as my friend Sam says, you are being ‘super obnoxious but just can’t stop,’ and perhaps a handful of bad experiences with people who could not overcome The “Black” Thing has left you jaded…
3.) The “Not Being Loveable” Thing
This one stung my soul probably more than the “black” thing, if you can believe it. This wasn’t something Jubilee confessed to her gal-pal back at the mansion, but something she decided to be vulnerable about with Ben on their one-on-one date. (Yeah! Your girl got the 1:1!! What up!) I think a culmination of Jubilee’s lack of blood-family (they all passed away, I’m assuming in Haiti?) and the points I’ve been laying out, thus far, are the culprit of this terribly sad thought process, for her.
So why’d it sting my heart so badly?
For me, it is the intense flame that is constantly burning in my spirit to be as independent as possible. To prove to no one and everyone that I just don’t need them. It’s a mindset that “I’ve got this,” and you can watch and be amazed if you’d like… but this is Kelsea’s show.
I could pin point 10 million things in my life that may have “made me” like this… but here’s the point I want to get across…
to myself and to Jubilee.
Your Black is Beautiful.
Vulnerability is the only road to true love.
And everyone is complicated. Some people just wait a little longer to show it.
Oh and just to tie up lose ends: Jubilee opens up about ALL of her insecurities to Ben on their date. Ben ends up giving Jubilee a rose. Every girl in the house ends up turning on Jubilee. All of my coworkers (and like 90% of the internet) agreed that it was unwarranted and stupid. Ben ends up kind of sticking up for her… and Kelsea continues to watch as the world slowly starts to embrace the swirl life and the “black” thing slowly starts to stop being a “thing” at all. 🙂