The Bachelorette’s Michelle Young: I’ve Had People Say I Talk About Race Too Much

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The Bachelorette’s Michelle Young: I’ve Had People Say I Talk About Race Too Much

What about Joe?

I love the quiet humbleness that he brings. He has quiet confidence. He doesn’t have to be the loudest guy in the room. And then of course, I mean, the basketball chemistry—got to love that.

Listen, the chemistry you and Nayte had the other week, I was like, “Whoa.” You guys were dressed alike too, in button-down white shirts. I’m thinking, Did they coordinate this?

Yeah, that was a coincidence actually. 

And then Rick?

Rick surprised me a lot. I never had to question him, or I never was worried about him. I always knew that he was there for me. I always knew that he would look out for me. He did a really nice job with guiding our conversations, whereas as the lead sometimes you’re the one that’s always guiding the conversation or asking the questions. He definitely took it upon himself to tell me how he was feeling, and I appreciated that.

Does height matter to you in a guy? 

For me, no, not necessarily. I feel like it’s the person behind that. I know that it matters to a lot of people, but for me, one, we had a very tall cast. Like, these men are giants. I’m not sure where they found them, but really, all of them ate Wheaties for breakfast or something. But that’s not what I was basing it off of. For me, physical appearance and attraction is important. We’re humans, let’s be realistic about it. But at the same time, you could be this physically attractive person, but if you don’t have depth and layers to you and a level of intellect that I’m looking for, then it’s not going to work.

Speaking of depth and layers, I love the emphasis the last few seasons on talking so much more openly about mental health. We saw that last week with Joe, but I also like that you opened up about your experiences as a Black woman and how you’ve often felt not respected. What has the feedback been from viewers, and what has made you feel good about getting that out there?

Being able to tell my story and see how it has impacted or inspired others is why I wanted to tell my story. And what’s so cool to see is these messages that I get from moms and daughters and other women of color and girls of color, like how they felt, a moment of relief when I was able to express that. That’s something that’s really important to me. And by expressing what I’ve been through is never me saying, “Poor me. This is what I’ve been through. I’ve gotten the worst of it.” No, that’s not what I’m saying, but I only know how to tell my story. I can’t tell other stories. There’s always going to be people who are like, “She talks about race too much. There’s too many conversations about race and being seen,” and all these different things.

Have people said that?

You know, we live [in the age of the] internet. Internet, social media. Yeah. And it sucks that it’s like that. But also my message is supposed to be positive, and I’m not telling the person next to me that I know everything about them and what they’ve been through, but truly just voicing where I have struggled and embracing these men where they have struggled. And how we were able to come together, be vulnerable, share these things, express ourselves because I think it allowed all of us to take a step forward with our own personal growth.

Absolutely. How would you say the experience has changed you overall?

You don’t necessarily get someone coming on and being like, “I’m going to change the world on a reality-TV show,” but I’m going to change the world from a reality-TV show. And this is just the start of it, of being able to have this impact, especially on the youth, especially in these different areas where, as a community, we need to get better. This is just kind of giving me leeway to do that.

You’re the first Bachelor or Bachelorette I’ve interviewed who has said you’re excited more about the exciting things that this can lead to for you and the platform that you have versus—not that it’s any less important—being out in the open and possibly with the love of your life after this.

Yeah…I come from a family where we don’t care about the spotlight. I’m not here for the money or here for the likes and the follows and all those different things. I mean, I’m legitimately still trying to learn how to use Instagram. [Laughs.] But truly, it has been an amazing experience and amazing things that can come from it and amazing changes that can be made.

With the finale coming up at the end of December, we’re seeing a lot of emotions happen here.

Did you expect anything less?

I did not expect anything less, but now that you’ve seen how they’re editing the finale promos together, is there anything you would’ve done differently?

I mean, is it comfortable watching myself cry on the screen? Absolutely not. I don’t know if anybody would feel comfortable during that. Maybe, but for me, that’s true; it’s what I always feel at that time. That’s the raw emotion that I was feeling. Film does not lie, so I can’t change it. They’re going to see how I was feeling at every single moment.

Well, I hope those emotional tears fade way to happy tears, whatever happens.

Yes. Yes. I hope so too.

The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays on ABC, and is available the following day on Hulu.

Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram @jessicaradloff14.

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