The Bachelor’s Chelsea Vaughn on the Importance of Her and Matt James’ Conversation About Hair

The Bachelor’s Chelsea Vaughn discussed her and Matt James' meaningful conversation about Black hair on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast.

By Allison Crist Jan 26, 2021 10:53 PMTags
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Chelsea Vaughn is reflecting on the meaningful conversation she and Matt James shared on the Monday, Jan. 25 episode of The Bachelor.

As fans may recall, the 29-year-old runway model used her one-on-one time during a group date to discuss the politics of Black hair and divulge why she decided to shave all of hers off. What followed was a poignant discussion, and at the end of the evening, Matt even gave Chelsea the group date rose. 

Bachelor Happy Hour hosts Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin were both moved by what they watched, and on Tuesday's podcast, they made sure to ask Chelsea all about it.

"I just think that as women, and especially as Black women, so much of our self-worth is tied to our hair," the New York native explained. "And I don't know if a lot of people realize that or understand that, especially as far as Black women go, and it was just a really big deal to me, so that's obviously something that I wanted to share with somebody who I am potentially going to end up with."

Plus, as someone who grew up watching the show, Chelsea knows "there haven't been that many Black contestants."

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"Nobody's going on there talking about their hair journey," Chelsea continued. "And I think that some people might have—hopefully they don't anymore—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 insecurity to be, like, valid. And then 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 Bachelor contestant made the decision to chop off her locks while stuck at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, and she has absolutely no regrets. 

"It was such a liberating, free experience to be like, I'm gonna let that go...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," Chelsea told the Bachelor Happy Hour hosts. "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."

Becca was on the verge of tears, and Rachel made the point that "so many Black women are going to reach out to you about being brave enough to have that conversation."

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"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," Rachel added. "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! And here you are in your natural state representing yourself as a Black woman and showing that that's beautiful."

Chelsea also revealed she was thrilled with how Matt, who is bi-racial, responded and for his involvement in the emotional discussion.


"When I was showing him the pictures, he's like, 'I think you look beautiful both ways.' Obviously, a great thing for a guy to say, but he was really receptive to it," she expressed. "I feel like, just based on our upbringings—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."

Listen to the complete episode of Bachelor Happy Hour here.

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