Nate Mitchell quickly made an impression on season 19 of “The Bachelorette.” He was nicknamed “Floppy Hair Nate” on Reddit, and he fully embraced it by adding it to his Instagram bio. Mitchell snagged Gabby Windey’s first one-on-one date of the season and some “Bachelor Nation” fans are already rooting for him to be the next “Bachelor” lead if he doesn’t snag a final rose. This early fan-favorite contestant recently addressed some viewer commentary on his hair, and he did not mince words.
Here’s what you need to know:
Mitchell Had No Interest in Tolerating Criticism on His Hairstyle
“The Bachelor” subreddit captured what appears to be a now-expired Instagram story Mitchell shared. Someone had replied to one of his Instagram stories with “Not a fan of the hair,” and “The Bachelorette” star replied. Then, he shared a screenshot of the brief conversation to his Instagram stories with some additional notes.
“I find it funny that people that are not of color comment on my hair. If it’s not for you that’s fine but you don’t define black beauty just like I don’t define what you should feel comfortable in with your own body or skin,” Mitchell wrote to the original critic.
Then, Mitchell wrote an additional note for everyone watching his Instagram stories. “I will personally only address this once because its obvious to most. We (POC) may not have always been in text books or magazines but we have always had beautiful hair. Whatever your beauty looks like I love and will only respond in love to these comments. I hope you get this opportunity to change your line of thinking.”
Many Fans Applauded His Response
In the Reddit thread regarding Mitchell’s response, most people who commented loved how “The Bachelorette” star handled this.
“As a POC that has struggled with loving my natural hair..his response is really great to see,” one fan commented.
“What a mature and respectful response to an immature and disrespectful comment,” noted another Mitchell supporter.
“Glad he called out s*** like this. It happens way too much to black people,” detailed someone else.
Some Redditors did not understand the distinction between people criticizing Mitchell’s hair versus fans criticizing “Bachelor Nation” contestants across the board. Someone else, who appeared to be a Black woman, replied and provided some valuable insight for those still learning.
“His hairstyle is not uncommon for a black man. So yes, this is rooted in racism. We can do better by all contestants. But don’t equate not liking Blake M’s highwaters to not liking Black hair. Black hairstyles have been policed, denigrated, and used as an excuse to deny us opportunities for far too long…I’m so sick of people (usually not POC) rushing to exclaim something isn’t about race and giving whataboutisms into situations that aren’t at historically or socially equivalent every time a POC calls someone out for any racism that isn’t extreme.”
Another response noted, “This person’s insult was rooted in white supremacist ideals that are directed at black men and women everyday and that’s above and beyond taking issue with how someone chooses to dress or wear their jeans.”
The overwhelming majority of the responses in the Reddit thread were supportive of Mitchell and felt his response was total perfection. Issues related to racism and diversity have been front-and-center with “Bachelor Nation” over the past few years, and those issues were the catalyst for former host Chris Harrison leaving the franchise. Production appears to have upped the ante in putting together more diverse casts in recent seasons, but as Mitchell’s comments show, acceptance and understanding regarding race are very much still a work in progress.