Meet Tayshia Adams, the First Mexican and African American ‘Bachelorette’
If you’re a fan of “The Bachelorette”, you know this season was unprecedented. The first Bachelorette, Claire Crawley (who is half-Mexican and thus, the first Latina Bachelorette) fell in love-at-first-sight with one of the show’s contestants, Dale Moss and left the show early to pursue a relationship with him.
So “The Bachelorette” producers were in a bit of a pickle: what to do with the remaining suitors? These men had signed up to leave their jobs, their friends, their family in the middle of a deadly pandemic. They had sacrificed a lot to be on “The Bachelorette”.
Enter: Tayshia Adams, the 30-year-old phlebotomist from Santa Ana, California.
Oh, and she happens to be the first Mexican and African American “Bachelorette” ever.
That means this year, “The Bachelorette” has had 2 Latina leads after never having had a Latina lead in the eighteen years the show has been on.
Tayshia immediately captured the hearts of both her suitors and her audience with her charisma, her kindness, and her megawatt smile. In an exclusive interview with mitú, Tayshia told us that being cast as the Bachelorette is a “win” for minorities who “haven’t felt seen before on the show.”
Tayshia, whose father is African-American and whose mother is Mexican, has close ties to her Mexican roots. She told us that she would spend summers in Mexico when she was a kid.
“As a kid, when I would go for months at a time, I would actually come back knowing how to speak just Spanish,” she told us about her childhood summers. “It was so funny because it took a hot minute to come back, and my dad would be like ‘What?’ Because my Dad doesn’t speak Spanish.”
In fact, Tayshia still spends time with her Mexican family. “We [still] go to Mexico and spend time with my uncles out there. My uncle’s a priest out there, my other uncle is a senator.”
Tayshia’s season of “The Bachelorette” has stood out for the frank conversations she and her suitors have had about race and ethnicity.
In one headline-making episode, Tayshia and her date, Ivan (also biracial), discussed their feelings in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement. The conversation made headlines because The Bachelor franchise has never openly discussed race or racism before.
Tayshia told mitú that, growing up in a primarily white community in Santa Ana, she wasn’t exposed to a lot of racism or tough conversations about race.
“Growing up it was a different time,” she said when asked if her family had tough conversations about race when she was growing up. “I feel like cultural assimilation plays into it.”
But she added that 2020 has sparked a new dialogue within her family; one that she’s thankful for.
“I do think the conversations from this year and from this summer encouraged us to have the conversations even more, and talk about it in ways that we maybe never had before,” she said.
About “The Bachelor” franchise’s less-than-stellar track record about casting diverse contestants, Tayshia believes a new chapter has started.
“Regardless of the past, I’m seeing a change now,” she told mitú. “And I’m a part of that change. I think we can continuously go back and forth, but we’re progressing and we’re moving forward and I’m just so happy that, this year specifically, I’m able to be a part of that.”
Catch “The Bachelorette” on ABC every Tuesday night at 8pm.
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