Bachelorette Hannah Brown has been slut-shamed for the last time, unapologetic about her sexuality and proud to have “f***ed in a windmill” — while still embodying her Christian values. But if Brown has made peace with herself, shouldn’t viewers?
Brown, 24, a religious beauty queen, debuted during Season 23 of The Bachelor, on which she competed for the love of Colton Underwood, a former NFL player whose virginity took a “backseat” to his busy career. Brown, who was racked with guilt over losing her virginity before marriage, was eliminated before contending with the Fantasy Suites.
"I made a commitment to myself when I was younger to be a virgin when I got married," Brown told Underwood on The Bachelor. "Then I was in a relationship and that didn't happen. There was a lot of guilt, and it killed me just knowing I wasn't ready for that. Because for the person I want to be with forever, I would have loved to been able to have that for them...I don't feel perfect because I can't give that to somebody."
As The Bachelorette, Brown preserves her faith, but her rising sexual confidence didn’t work for Luke Parker, a born-again virgin, who on Monday night, shamed Brown for having been sexually active, both on the show and with ex-boyfriends. Over dinner in Santorini, Greece, Parker laid down the law.
"And thinking about fantasy suites, like I've heard people proclaim their faith, but yet they've said things like, 'I'm excited for fantasy suites, I want to explore this relationship on a sexually intimate level, and that's what I'm looking forward to,' and to me that's like, uh, what, excuse me?” Parker told Brown. “There's something I'm missing here. Like I don't believe that's something that you should be doing and I just want to make sure you're not going to be sexually intimate with the other relationships here."
Parker then told Brown that if she had sex with any other contestant, “I'd be wanting to go home, 100 percent.”
Pointing out all the “red flags” she had ignored about Parker, Brown responded, “...It's like you're holding other people to a standard that you don't even live by...I've prayed so much for clarity, and I feel like I've finally gotten clarity on you, and I do not want you to be my husband."
Parker had also told Brown that the marital bed should be “pure” and threatened to leave the show if she had sex with any of the contestants. “I have had sex and Jesus still loves me,” Brown then shot back.
Parker didn’t mince words about his take on the situation even after time had passed. He and Brown sparred on Twitter after the episode aired on Monday night.
@AlabamaHannah The difference in how we view sin is seen in the response, I’m weeping at mine and you’re laughing at yours. All sin stings. My heart hurts for both of us.— Luke Parker (@luke_parker777) July 16, 2019
@luke_parker777 time and time again jesus loved and ate with “sinners” who laughed. and time and time again he rebuked “saints” that judged. where do you fall Luke? #TheBachelorette https://t.co/FlhZ5JbOCA— Hannah Brown (@AlabamaHannah) July 16, 2019
@AlabamaHannah There is a difference between eating with sinners who laugh and sinners who laugh at their sin. Sin is the very thing that put Jesus on the cross and that’s not a laughing matter. https://t.co/cU1YlEgeFB— Luke Parker (@luke_parker777) July 16, 2019
i have never said that i find my sin funny. i’m not going to lectured on appropriate emotional responses by a guy who threw deli meat in a guys lap. https://t.co/hc8lsPUUA8— Hannah Brown (@AlabamaHannah) July 16, 2019
Brown has also been slut-shamed on social media for “mocking” Christianity, with Underwood and former Bachelorettes Rachel Lindsay and Kaitlyn Bristowe siding with the Alabama native. Brown wrote in an Instagram confession, “I refuse to not stand in the sun. I refuse to feel shame...I blew it a few times...but I refuse to believe I give Christians a bad name. I’m an imperfect human. Who is yes, also a Christian….”⠀
So why is Brown’s sexual revolution so radical?
As Los Angeles psychotherapist Bethany Marshall, Ph.D. previously told Yahoo Lifestyle, we expect a lot from celebrities, especially those branded with “good girl” and “bad girl” paradigms (as is often the case on reality shows), and their inconsistent behavior can upend our beliefs about love. So, we criticize, only to be bummed out by the truth. When Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk split, Lady Gaga was “The Other Woman” despite her and Cooper insisting their relationship was platonic. The alleged truth is utterly ordinary outside of Hollywood: Cooper and Shayk were incompatible and drifted apart.
It’s appropriate for 20-something women like Brown, to shift from heightened idealism to a more nuanced worldview, Marshall tells Yahoo Lifestyle, but people intimidated by a woman’s complexity see it differently.
And Brown’s faith is central to her image. “People who are guided by dogma and a strict code of ethics are more vulnerable to judgment when they think freely,” says Marshall. “But it’s possible for religious women to also trust their inner voices.”
Brown has surprised many, including herself — so where do we go? “If people are critical of women enjoying their own bodies,” says Marshall, “they can stay in their own lanes or get introspective.”
Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to ABC and The Bachelor for comment and will update this post when we hear back.
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