Chelsea Vaughn Shares the Significance of Her Conversation with Bachelor Matt James About Black Hair
Chelsea Vaughn stopped by “Bachelor Happy Hour” to chat with co-hosts Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin about her experience as a contestant on Season 25 of “The Bachelor.”
During her interview, the stunning runway model reflected on the meaningful conversation she had with Matt James about Black hair on Monday night’s episode. As viewers will recall, Chelsea opened up to the handsome lead about her emotional decision to shave her head after years of wearing her hair long and feeling like she had to conform to white beauty standards.
“As women — and especially as Black women — so much of our self-worth is tied to our hair. I don’t know if a lot of people realize that or understand that, especially as far as Black women go,” she explained. “It was just a really big deal to me, so that’s obviously something that I wanted to share with somebody that I am potentially going to end up with [as] my partner.”
Chelsea continued, “I’ve watched the show since I was younger and there haven’t been that many Black contestants. There hasn’t been a Black ‘Bachelor’ lead [until Matt]. No one’s going on there and talking about their hair journey and I think that some people might see it as trivial because it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s just hair.’ And even for a while, I felt like that. I felt like it wasn’t important enough for me to bring up to people. Or it wasn’t a big enough of an insecurity to be valid. It wasn’t until I decided to shave it off that I realized how important it was and how much of an effect it had on me.”
The Georgia native went on to say that shaving her head was a freeing experience because it made her realize that she doesn’t need hair to feel good about herself either externally or internally.
“I don’t need hair to be feminine. I don’t need hair to be beautiful. I don’t need hair to be attractive to men,” she elaborated. “It was just such a liberating thing and now I feel even more like myself even though I’ve never had a shaved head. But somehow, I feel more like myself without hair.”
Rachel said that she expects “so many Black women” to reach out to Chelsea after this week’s installment of “The Bachelor.”
“For our listeners, what you don’t understand with Black women, there’s a lot of pressure for us to fit a European standard of beauty and that means processing our hair, straightening our hair, wearing extensions, wearing wigs, and we’ve been programmed for so long that our natural beauty isn’t beautiful. And it is!” said Rachel, the first and only Black woman to lead “The Bachelorette” during 2017’s Season 13.
“And here you are in your natural state, representing yourself as a Black woman and showing that it is beautiful,” she added, praising Chelsea.
According to Chelsea, she was pleased with Matt’s “receptive” response to her story.
“I’m from a little suburb in Georgia and he’s from somewhere similar in North Carolina and we both grew up in places that were predominantly white, our schools were predominantly white. It was nice to know that he could relate,” she said.
“And he also said that he used to have an afro and he shaved it off and that people said he was more approachable afterwards,” Chelsea divulged, revealing part of her conversation with Matt that didn’t air. “Even Black men have the same issues when it comes to hair. It was really nice. It couldn’t have gone better.”
Listen to Chelsea’s entire “Bachelor Happy Hour” interview below.
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