One of The Bachelor's most intriguing contestants this season is Bekah, a 22-year-old nanny who, by her own admission, doesn't believe in bras and boasts the franchise's very first short hairstyle. After 22 seasons. (I know.) Her age is also stirring up a mix of controversy and backlash to that controversy, and given that she's college-aged, some viewers might be wondering: where does Bekah from The Bachelor go to school?
It actually looks like she postponed going to college right after high school, since, according to Reality Steve, she's just been accepted to UC-Irvine to study art. Some light googling also reveals that Bekah is thanked in the acknowledgements of a UC-Irvine MFA student's 2015 thesis for her involvement in the grad student's accompanying feminist art installation, so it seems like she had some great connections to UC-Irvine's art department.
Bekah is obviously getting the free-spirited hippie chick edit this season (although sultry-voiced health and fitness coach Krystal is giving her a run for her money), so it's not a huge surprise that she's about to embark upon art school. In line with her cool West Coast vibe, Bekah grew up in Fresno, California and currently lives in Los Angeles. She describes herself as passionate and spontaneous, enjoys nurturing the sweet toddler she nannies, and even completes her patriarchy-toppling aesthetic with a furry underarm Instagram selfie, not to mention plenty of artsy and cleverly staged nudes.
As you can imagine, Bekah manages to attract some haters in The Bachelor mansion. Reality Steve dubs her "The Corinne" of this season, in reference to last season's young, convention-breaking contestant who wasn't really interested in playing by The Bachelor rules at the expense of being herself. ("Being herself," in Corinne's case, involved listening closely to her body clock and taking naps whenever she needed them, even in the middle of filming a rose ceremony.) Of course, when one woman feels totally comfortable breaking the rules to take care of herself, all the women who suppress their needs in favor of hewing closely to the rules tend to get a little cranky. It's understandable, but it's definitely not Bekah's fault.
According to promos, the other women on her season will quickly begin picking on Bekah because she chooses to keep her age under wraps until she and Arie feel each other out a little bit. He's 36 and significantly older than she is, but based on first impressions at the cocktail party, they seem to have great chemistry. Unlike Corinne, who was very invested in ending up with Nick from the beginning, Bekah is refreshingly open, prior to knowing Arie very well, admitting that she's there to check for compatibility — not explicitly to "win" the guy — and she's hopeful about the possibilities. Bekah seems both open to the experience and in it for the adventure of a passionate romance, rather than to immediately jump into wedding planning. Not that there's anything wrong with the latter or with wanting a structured life, but Arie clearly responds well to the "open road" approach.
In the promo for the upcoming season, we see Bekah break down in tears, presumably because the other women have been bullying her, either about her age or about the fact that she's being secretive with Arie about it. In one clip, we see her crying in Arie's arms, but he seems pretty supportive, assuring her that she doesn't have to hide anything from him. Hopefully that gives her the security to feel comfortable opening up about her age sooner rather than later.
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