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NPR: What Would It Mean for a Hapa to Be Named the Next Bachelorette?

Caila Quinn We will know by tonight if a hapa will be named the next Bachelorette.

Speculation has been rampant that third place Bachelor finisher  Caila Quinn, who’s mother is Filipino American and father is White, will take the throne for the next Bachelorette. If so, it will mark a first for a woman of color.

The announcement will be made during the season finale of the 20th season of the Bachelor on ABC. According to NPR, only three woman of color in 19 seasons have won the final rose. Two of them were hapas, Tessa Horst and Catherine Giudici, and the third was Cuban American, Mary Delgado.

UPDATE: Quinn was not named the next Bachelorette tonight. Instead JoJo Fletcher was named. Here’s why some think Caila didn’t get it.

Other minority contestants tend to get eliminated early in the competition and even face hostilities and tensions from the other contestants.

Is it a coincidence that hapa contestants advance further in the program than other woman of color?

“As objects of beauty, these women are benefiting from two helpful stereotypes about female desirability,” said Ann Morning, a sociology professor at New York University. One is whiteness as the persisting standard of beauty. The other is Asian women as sexualized, exotic and submissive.”

2010 Contestant Channy Choch, who is half Cambodian,  remarked Bachelor Jake Pavelka “needs a little bit of Cambodian fever” after she invited him in Cambodian to have sex.

“All her moments on screen highlight her Cambodian heritage and her sexual desires — usually both at once, drawing a link between these,” said University of South Florida communications professor Rachel Dubrofsky.

Some openly question whether Quinn’s possible selection as the Bachelorette would be progress for diversity or a reinforcement of the exotic Asian women stereotype. A bigger question for some would be if Asians and other men of color  would be named possible Bachelors and how that might play with the audience.

You can read a deeper dive into this issue on NPR.


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