Entertainment

Everything You Need to Know About Clare Crawley, the First Latina ‘Bachelorette’

Photo: bacheloretteabc/Instagram

On Tuesday night, the newest season of “The Bachelorette” premiered and, as usual, ABC is promising that this will be the most dramatic season ever. And although the show made headlines recently for finally casting their first Black male lead, it has also broken down another barrier. This season’s lead, Clare Crawley, will be the first Latina Bachelorette.

There has been little fanfare about Crawley’s status as the first Latina Bachelorette. Instead, people have been focusing on what is supposed to be a bizarre season. Rumor has it that Clare falls in love-at-first-sight with one of the contestants and cuts her season short. But still, we might be more excited about the fact that she is Latina!

Clare Crawley was born and raised in Sacramento to her Mexican-born mother, Lilia, and her American-born father, James.

When Clare Crawley first appeared on Juan Pablo Galavis’s season in 2014 (who was the first Latino Bachelor), she revealed that her mother was Mexican. Before she left for the show, viewers even saw Crawley’s mother suggesting that she bond with Galavis by speaking Spanish to him.

Although we never saw Claire speak Spanish with Juan Pablo, we did get to see her mother have a brief conversation with him in their native tongue (which was adorable).

Unfortunately, Crawley and Galavis did not work out, and the break up culminated in the legendary moment when Clare told Juan Pablo off for eliminating her after leading her on.

“I lost respect for you,” she infamously told him in the series finale. “What you just made me go through? I would never want my children having a father like you.” The epic speech instantly made her a fan-favorite.

Clare Crawley is the youngest of six sisters, whom she says she hangs out with “all the time.”

Her father passed away from brain cancer in 2004, and she still feels the pain of that loss. Also, on Tuesday night’s season premiere, she revealed that her mother is currently battling Alzheimer’s and dementia. Right before Clare went into quarantine before filming, her mother suffered a nasty fall, which Clare admitted took a mental and emotional toll on her.

We also know, based off her social media, how proud she is of her Mexican heritage.

When she appeared on “Bachelor in Paradise” in 2015 (which films in Mexico), she tweeted about how “beautiful” her “homeland” is.

Clare also consistently posts delicious-looking photos on her Instagram of authentic Mexican food.

Usually, these posts happen around the holiday season when Crawley and her family are gathering together and practicing Mexican traditions–like tamales and pan dulce at Christmas.

We can’t wait to watch the rest of this season! We hope Clare shares more about her culture with “The Bachelorette” viewers.

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We Have a Conversation With Bachelorette Clare Crawley About Diversity, Her Identity, and Her Status As the First Latina Lead: ‘I Embrace It’

Entertainment

We Have a Conversation With Bachelorette Clare Crawley About Diversity, Her Identity, and Her Status As the First Latina Lead: ‘I Embrace It’

Photo: ABC/Maarten de Boer

When Clare Crawley was announced in March as the newest “Bachelorette” for the popular reality TV series, the media wanted to focus on one thing and one thing only: her age. At 39-years-old, Crawley is the show’s oldest Bachelorette to date. And the network doesn’t want you to forget it. 

Promo materials included Crawley posing as Mrs. Robinson from “The Graduate”. The tagline was “It’s about time” (Because she’s waited so long…get it? Yeah, neither do we). The resounding narrative was that, because of her age, this is her last chance at love. Which, for the record, is patently false.

Photo: ABC/Maarten de Boer

But coincidentally Crawley has another, much more exciting “first” under her belt: born to an American father and a Mexican mother, Clare Crawley is the franchise’s first Latina Bachelorette.

In an exclusive interview with Mitú, Crawley told us that her status as the first Latina Bachelorette is a happy accident. “That’s not something that was ever really brought up to me or ever even made a point,” she said of her casting. But it is a coincidence that she fully embraces. “I would gladly take the Latina Bachelorette!” she said, laughing. “That’s way better than saying I’m the oldest Bachelorette!”

Crawley knows that her fair-haired, light-skinned appearance might confuse some viewers about her heritage. When asked if she ever struggled with her identity (as many children of mixed-race parents have reported), Crawley said she never had that problem. “No, no, no. I embraced it. This is something that I’ve always talked about, it’s part of my everyday life.”

Crawley went on to describe the customs and traditions she experiences as a woman of Mexican descent. “My mom speaks Spanish all the time and lots of foods we ate growing up [were Mexican]. It was definitely something in my life throughout.”

Photo: clarecrawley/Instagram

She then lovingly described her favorite (and familiar) Mexican tradition: making tamales with her (five!) older sisters during Christmastime. “And when I say we make tamales, I mean, we literally make like 12 dozen of them. So, we make them for all our friends, everyone wants them.”

Although Clare grew up in a mixed-race household, she explained that she was largely unaware of the challenges her mother faced as a Mexican woman trying to make a life for herself in conservative Georgia.

“Back in the day, just because [my mother’s] skin was darker, people [in Georgia] didn’t talk to her. People didn’t want to hang out with her. It was really hard for her,” Crawley told Mitú. “It was something I didn’t realize affected her…Because when you think of racism or that kind of stuff, it’s not just towards one race.” Crawley’s family ended up moving to Sacramento–a community that proved to be more accepting of her mother’s heritage.

Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Crawley, for her part, knows that when many people think of a “typical” Latina woman, the image of her isn’t the first one that comes to mind. But as we know, there is no such thing as a “typical” Latina.

“[People] look at my skin color, they look at my hair color, or eye color, and automatically just say: ‘Oh, this white girl’. And they’ll make jokes and they’ll make off-handed things like that, but they have no idea. And I speak up, and I say it, and I defend it because it’s definitely something I’m proud of.”

And to the critics that say she’s “not Latina enough” because of the way she looks, she pays them no mind. “I think that’s their problem, not mine,” she says. “Because there’s no denying what my genetics and my DNA are. So if people have a problem with it or challenge it or question it, I think it’s just ignorant.”

Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

As for “The Bachelor” franchise and their push for more diversity (they finally casted their first Black “Bachelor”), Clare is hopeful. “I want people to be aware, more and more, that it’s 2020 and here moving forward…embrace diversity. Because everybody, every age, every shape, everything you can imagine, people in general are worthy of love.”

And as for the future Bachelorette (which if rumors are to be believed, will come sooner rather than later), Crawley has this piece of advice for her: “Follow your gut.”

“At the end of the day, you need to do what’s best for yourself,” she explained to Mitú. “Because you’re the one you have to go to bed with at night. Your conscience, your heart is the one that you have to live with…You have to live your life in a way that honors yourself. So, stand by that and you won’t regret it.”

You can catch “The Bachelorette” every Tuesday on ABC at 8p.m.

*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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It’s Finally Justina Machado’s Time to Shine

Entertainment

It’s Finally Justina Machado’s Time to Shine

Photo: Getty Images

On Monday, beloved (and not to mention, underrated) actress Justina Machado sat down for a wide-ranging interview with the Los Angeles Times.

In it, Machado covers everything from her lengthy career, to the sad state of Latinx representation in Hollywood, to the offensive phone call she had with a tone-deaf TV exec in the ’90s.

Finally, after almost 25 years of hard work in Hollywood, Machado is dominating America’s Monday nights with two high-profile gigs: a spot on “Dancing With the Stars” and the return of “One Day At a Time” to CBS after it was unceremoniously dropped by Netflix.

Naturally, with so much on her plate, the Puerto Rican actress in not only mentally, but physically exhausted. After all, “Dancing With the Stars” is notorious for its grueling practice and shoot schedules. “Every day when I come home, my routine is dunking my feet in [an ice bath],” she told the LA Times. “The first week and a half of rehearsals, forget about it–I was crying.”

But Machado is glad that she took the DWTS opportunity for what it means in terms of Latinx representation on network television.

“The thing about ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is it reaches so many more homes than [‘One Day at a Time’]…,” she told the publication. “I know they’ve had Latinas on the show, but they need a whole lot more. And so I was like, ‘I’m going to do that. I’m going to be that Puerto Rican woman that’s on that show.’”

Throughout the interview, Machado gets candid about what it’s like to be a Latina in the American entertainment industry–which is an unforgiving business.

She described the beginning of her career as plagued by insecurity. Before she began a professional acting career, Machado was convinced she couldn’t make it as an actor because professional acting “wasn’t a part of [her] world.” “Nobody was an actor in Chicago that I knew, in my neighborhood, in the inner city of Chicago,” she explained.

After she finally established her footing in Hollywood, she was then met with further doors slammed in her face in the form of racism and anti-Latino sentiment.

Like when an executive called her to tell her why her TV show wasn’t moving forward, back in the ’90s.

“He literally called my house, nice man… and said, ‘My God, your pilot is so great. Everybody loves you, everybody. But we don’t think America is ready for a Latino family.’”

What’s depressing about this story is that Latino representation onscreen still hasn’t gotten much better over 20 years later. But Machado is hopeful that the tides of change are turning

“That was acceptable for him to say…Like, what? And that was the ’90s! And look at today. How many Latino families do you see on television? So America better get ready because we’re here. We’re here.” We know that if Machado has anything to do with the future of TV, we’ll be seeing Latino families more and more often.

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