More recent Bachelorettes were also more likely than those of earlier seasons to blur the line between the personal and professional by using their brand to sell products. These ads are often posed-yet-candid-looking paparazzi shots; Psarras points to Andi Dorfman as especially adept at this. “She posts all these pictures of her walking the streets, not looking at the camera, but a photographer very clearly takes these photos, and she tags designers in them,” says Psarras. While the earlier Bachelorettes do also have partnerships and sponsors, their promotional posts are generally more obviously posed or taken on a professional set.

Social-media posts that glorify loving your flaws were another common theme among newer Bachelorettes, but less so among the previous generation. Psarras points out that these in these posts, the more recent Bachelorettes often share images that convey the opposite of the accompanying captions. Take, for instance, make-up-free selfie Kaitlyn posted to Instagram on Jan. 10 this year. She gets down on herself about not looking done-up (and tags it “#Realstagram!”) but still looks more chic than I do when I’m full-out trying.

Overall, says Psarras, it seems the generational divide among the Bachelorettes reflects how younger women have developed new social-media strategies that play up the feminine identity we, as a society, like to see. ”The earlier Bachelorettes did the show at a time when they didn’t know what was going to happen after; it was more experimental,” says Psarras. “The newer Bachelorettes came in knowing how to perform.”

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