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Jen Schefft doesn't see fault in Brad Womack's 'Bachelor' rejections


By Christopher Rocchio, 11/23/2007 

If anyone can sympathize with The Bachelor eleventh-season star Brad Womack -- who failed to present his final rose to either one of his final two suitors during Monday night's finale broadcast -- it's third-season The Bachelorette star Jen Schefft.

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"I give Brad a lot of credit for not playing into the fantasy the show creates. What's funny -- and what I learned the hard way -- is that it's difficult for people (and especially Bachelor viewers) to buy the idea that men and women don't always like each other," Schefft, a publicist who clearly recognizes a good opportunity to promote her "Better Single Than Sorry" relationship book when she sees it, blogged Wednesday for The Huffington Post.

"It's entirely possible to meet 25 beautiful women (or 25 handsome men) and not fall in love with any of them... in a matter of six weeks... in isolation... with cameras all around. It doesn't mean the person is too picky, it just means they would rather be on their own than in a relationship with the wrong person. A sentiment I completely agree with."

In rejecting both DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft, Womack joined Schefft as the only The Bachelor or The Bachelorette star to reject both of his or her final suitors (Schefft rejected marriage proposals from both Jerry Ferris and John Paul Merritt in The Bachelorette's Spring 2005 third-season finale).

Schefft penned "Better Single Than Sorry: A No-Regrets Guide to Loving Yourself and Never Settling," a relationship book published by HarperCollins' William Morrow that was released back in January.

"When I wrote my book, my message was that women need to stand up for themselves - and each other - and tell the world that it's better to be single than in an unfulfilling relationship," wrote Schefft.  "I still believe that, and Brad showed us that notion applies to men, too. If we could truly started living this vision, maybe then society will realize there is nothing foolish about wanting to wait for the right person rather than making something work for the sake of being in a relationship. Or worse, for the sake of a TV show."

Andrew Firestone, a tire company and vineyard heir, proposed to Schefft on the third season of ABC's The Bachelor, and she accepted before calling off their nine-month engagement in December 2003 and appearing as the star of The Bachelorette.

"To be honest, I haven't really kept up with the show but I knew little things about Brad from reading magazines and seeing commercials," wrote Shefft.  "But given that the show has almost always ended with some kind of relationship -- the one exception: when I turned down two proposals on The Bachelorette -- I was surprised to hear he had walked away a single man. And I was even more surprised by the fallout... or lack thereof."

Schefft complained that the "overall coverage" of Womack's double-rejection "has been nothing compared to the negative press I personally received after announcing I didn't want to be with any of the guys I met on the show."  While Schefft said Womack did face "some criticism" during The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special, she hasn't "seen much denouncing him as a jerk (or whatever the male equivalent of a bitch is) or proclaiming he made the biggest mistake of his life and that he'd be single forever."

"In other words, he's been treated a lot differently than I was when I decided to leave the show a single woman," wrote Schefft.  "I'm not here to say 'poor me.' What I'd rather point out is how, when it comes to relationships and breakups, society treats women and men very differently."

While Schefft said men who walk-out of relationships are, for the most part, "blameless," she said women in the same situation "have been portrayed as 'needy' or 'pathetic.'"

"Die-hard Bachelor fans (not to mention ABC) may be mad at Brad Womack for wasting their time and not delivering a happy ending, but I can bet he won't be walking around with a stigma of being 'too hard to please,'" wrote Schefft. 

"That's what people think when a woman chooses not to be with a 'perfect' guy -- as if good looks and money are all she needs. For some reason, it's more acceptable for a man to turn down a woman than it is for a woman to reject a man. There's a fear that she may never meet anyone again -- and then what will become of the poor thing?"

(Photo credit ABC)


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