The Bachelor and Bachelorette series have been fan favorites for nearly a dozen years and a season never goes by without stirring up controversy. Bachelor contestant Sarah Herron is no stranger to controversy. On this season’s upcoming Bachelor in Paradise, premiering August 4th, she is raising awareness in a positive way, through her disability.
In the promos for the show, the audience learns that “Bachelor in Paradise” gives contestants a second chance at love as they explore new relationships in an isolated Mexican locale. The show opens with 8 women and 6 men with the premise of the show encouraging contestants to pair up and find a connection quickly before they are eliminated.
The audience first met Sarah on the 2013 season of the Bachelor when Sean Lowe broke her heart and sent her home. Like most Bachelor contestants, Sarah is beautiful, confident, smart, and looking for love. But what makes Sarah stand out from the other contestants is her disability.
Sarah was born with amniotic band syndrome which affects a fetus in utero when the amniotic sac ruptures causing fibers of the sac to loosen and not encircle the fetus’ limbs or hands. Typically this syndrome can result in constricting blood flow to appendages, often resulting in malformations or amputations. In Sarah’s case, amniotic band syndrome affected her lower arm, resulting in her having her hand and partial lower arm amputated after birth.
Sarah is the only Bachelor contestant who has appeared on the show with a physical disability. While her disability affects the use of her arm and has left her without use of one hand, Sarah doesn’t let her disability disable her. Sarah proudly displays her arm and showcases her beauty wearing short sleeved shirts and dresses that do not try to hide or camouflage her disability.
In fact, she told People magazine in 2013 that she feels that her disability helped her in a positive way on the Bachelor. She explained, “my situation played a role in a positive way. It helped me stand out and catch his attention when I introduced myself to Sean. I hope it's because he saw me as a unique, strong, courageous individual and that I deserved the opportunity just as much as anybody else.”
While things didn’t end up working out with Sean in 2013, viewers will have to wait and see how Sarah fares in this season of Bachelor in Paradise. Will her disability give her the same advantageous edge? How will the other contestants react? Will she struggle with feeling like she fits in with the other contestants? Based on her track record, Sarah will no doubt win over her own prince charming with her personality, strength, and courageous outlook on life and that is a quality any Bachelor can admire, regardless of ability.
Are you a fan of the Bachelor series? Do you think Sarah will find true love in this upcoming season? What sort of dynamic do you think her disability will create during the show? Share your thoughts in the comments!