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Here’s why Matt James grew out that beard after The Bachelor and refused to shave it off until now

Matt James on The Bachelor ATFR
Matt James finally shaved his beard off. Pic credit: ABC

When Matt James shaved off his beard, many Bachelor fans took it as a sign that those Dancing with the Stars rumors were true — and they were right! Now, The Bachelor star is speaking out about why he grew it out in the first place.

It turns out that Matt decided to grow out his notorious big, bushy beard after finishing filming his season of The Bachelor and fans got their first real peek of it at the After the Final Rose reunion special.

That’s where Matt notoriously told Rachael Kirkconnell that he couldn’t be with her after her plantation-themed frat party pics surfaced, causing a Bachelor scandal that ended with Chris Harrison leaving the franchise.

Then, even after reuniting with Rachael, Matt kept his new look, one which many Bachelor fans very publicly did not like.

Matt James explains why he grew that beard

While speaking on a press call on Wednesday after it was announced that he would be joining the Season 30 Dancing with the Stars cast, Matt James explained why he decided to grow out his beard.

“There wasn’t an emotional connection to the beard. It was time to go. It’s a new chapter,” Matt explained. “Growing the beard was to get away from looking like the Bachelor because that was something I did. It’s not who I am.”

He continued on to explain more about the drastic change to his look.

“After the show’s over, they’re expecting you to act a certain way, look a certain way,” Matt said. “I’m Matt James. I’m not here to please anyone. I’m here to be the best version of myself. My appearance has nothing to do with how I treat people.”

Rachael Kirkconnell supports Matt James’ beard and his DWTS role

And in case anyone wonders how Rachael felt about Matt’s beard, it turns out she loved it, and she may have been the only one.

Matt explained that Rachael supported him, beard or no beard. “She was the only person who seemed to love my beard so that’s love right there,” he said.

The Bachelor star also said that Rachael Kirkconnel has been very supportive of his new role on Dancing with the Stars. He even said that his girlfriend has become his practice partner as he readied himself to compete on the ABC dance competition.

Dancing with the Stars season 30 premieres Monday, September 20 at 8/7c on ABC.

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