The Bachelor Season 25 and Bachelor in Paradise star Jessenia Cruz has opened up about her complex relationship with the franchise.
Jessenia revealed that her experience on the show was like a “double-edged sword.”
While she made many friendships that would last a lifetime and gained fans who have showed her support, she has faced plenty of discrimination.
Jessenia opened up about some of the criticism she has faced in a heartfelt Instagram post.
Jessenia Cruz claims she was ‘attacked’ for ‘being a brown Latina’
Jessenia had a rough time ahead of her exit on Bachelor in Paradise but that doesn’t compare to the hate she endured from some of Bachelor Nation.
As episodes of Matt James’s season of The Bachelor aired, Jessenia said she was scrutinized for “any way I reacted, any facial expression I made” which “was broken down into the worst possible assumptions.”
She strongly feels that she drew in more criticism than most Bachelor Nation stars due to her gender and skin color.
“I was also subjected to a lot of hate. I knew what I was signing up for, but it never occurred to me that it meant I could be misunderstood and criticized, and much less did I ever expect to be attacked online for being a brown Latina. Some of that hate reeked with racial or sexist microagressions,” she stated.
Viewers learned about some of this hate when she appeared on Bachelor in Paradise. During her date with Ivan Hall, she opened up about all the hate she has received online.
Ivan, a Black and Asian man, even admitted he didn’t receive nearly as many hateful messages.
Usually, it’s typical for contestants who get a villain edit to receive this kind of treatment, but Jessenia didn’t get that edit. That title, rather, went to Queen Victoria Larson.
Cyberbullying is wrong no matter what, but as Jessenia pointed out, she seemed to be criticized for what she represented rather than for her actions.
Jessenia was in a dark place before being cast on The Bachelor
Jessenia revealed that the selfie she uploaded was taken “moments before my first interview for the Bachelor.”
Jessenia revealed that she turned to the reality show during a dark time in her life.
She wrote, “I was jobless thanks to the pandemic, I went through a breakup that honestly crushed me, and I was a month shy from overcoming depression.”
She even mentioned that she never thought she would’ve been plagued by the mental health issue but upon her recovery, she was “open to whatever came my way.”
While the franchise brought both positives and negatives into her life, Jessenia seems to be ready to move on from the Bachelor franchise for good.
She even concluded her post by stating she was “happy to close this chapter of my life.”
She may not have found love on either The Bachelor or Bachelor in Paradise but she will likely have plenty of luck now with her platform.
Some other Bachelor Nation stars may even shoot their shot with her as Connor Brennan did after BIP.
Bachelor in Paradise airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC.