Hannah Brown may have seemed like an unexpected choice for The Bachelorette, but after leading one of the series’ most unique seasons — characterized by refreshing honesty, conversations about faith and sex and a short-lived engagement ended by Brown herself — the Alabama native is being deemed a “feminist icon.”
In an interview with Marie Claire, the former pageant queen talked about the pressure that she felt going into the season with the belief that she wasn’t any of the contestant’s first choice. She even explained how this contributed to her getting caught under the spell of the season’s villain, Luke Parker, when it seemed like they were on the same page with their Christian beliefs. However, Brown’s turning point in that specific relationship, which came when Parker had suggested they “talk about sex” and then shamed her for her past relationships, became an empowering switch in the narrative of the show.
“I’m not this sex goddess. But I’m OK with talking about sex,” Brown told the magazine, highlighting one of the ways in which her season differed from previous seasons where the topic was still more taboo. Still, her honesty on the topic was met with criticism from both Parker and viewers at home. Specifically those who told her that she gave Christians a bad name.
“I try to live my life in a way that honors [God], but also sometimes human desire wins out. That doesn't make me any less of a Christian,” Brown said. “It really sucks because I had a lot of people looking at me, people who might’ve been interested in following the Lord who looked at the things that people were saying on my pages [and realizing], If that’s Christianity, then I don’t want to be a part of it.”
The 25-year-old assured the interviewer, however, that the version of Christianity portrayed through those who bashed her isn’t what she believes the religion is about.
“It’s not about adapting and moving forward. It’s about going back to the basics,” she explained. “The basis of Christianity is loving people and not judgment.”
Even so, Brown admitted that she did feel at conflict when it came to her views on homosexuality after being told “it was a sin” while growing up. When her Bachelor Nation best friend, Demi Burnett, became one half of the series’ first same-sex relationship, however, she was ready to root for whatever made her friend happy.
“I've always kind of like questioned, like, what do I believe about it?” she shared. “Now that I’m older and have true friends that have these relationships, I feel like… I know that I’m called to love. And I love my girl Demi, and I want her happiness, and I don’t want her to ever feel like she can’t be who she is.”
As for the current Dancing With the Stars competitor’s own happiness, Brown continues to preach her happiness as a single woman — for the time being.
“I am totally OK on my own,” she said. “I don’t want to have to have a man to feel whole. It’s not that I need that to feel like I have a full life. No, I have a full life. Welcome into my life.”
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