Bachelor 25 - Matt James - F1 - F4 - *Sleuthing Spoilers*

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Post by Doats Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:30 pm

Ok, Let me first say that I'm truly not trying to be argumentative with this post. However, I am an amateur historian who currently volunteers for a museum and have, in the past, worked for a Parks department, both of which have a focus on the 1850s-1860s timeframe. Because of this I have for years worked to accurately reproduce and sew women's 19th century clothing: underpinnings, corsets, chamises, petticoats, gowns, etc. (Dresses were referred to as gowns then and the term did not imply evening dress.) And in full disclosure, I have very limited experience of men's clothing during this time period, mostly just shirts as tailoring is beyond me.

Hoops were resurrected with a vengeance in the later 1850s, mostly to relieve the heavy weight of up to the 10 petticoats that women wore to give volume to their skirts. These hooped skirts were worn by women across the U.S.; even Queen Victoria wore huge hooped skirts on her tiny stature and it was said that her skirts were the widest at the English Court. Women did not wear the hooped skirts while working (fire danger!) but donned them for other events as that was the fashion.

So having said all this, I never, in all my extensive research, ran across a reference to hooped gowns as being racist or only worn by the "upper classes." I have no opinion as to the degree of Rachael's racism as I am not on any social media; however, I did want to say that my studies and research never suggested that hooped skirts in and of themselves were an outward statement of racism.

Please forgive me if I have offended anyone...

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Post by Doats Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:33 pm

Wanted to add that I just saw the above photos of the women in their "ball gowns." Please let me say that those gowns definitely do NOT represent an accurate picture of what was worn at the time.

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Post by sportsgirl94 Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:12 pm

@Doats wrote:Ok, Let me first say that I'm truly not trying to be argumentative with this post. However, I am an amateur historian who currently volunteers for a museum and have, in the past, worked for a Parks department, both of which have a focus on the 1850s-1860s timeframe. Because of this I have for years worked to accurately reproduce and sew women's 19th century clothing: underpinnings, corsets, chamises, petticoats, gowns, etc. (Dresses were referred to as gowns then and the term did not imply evening dress.) And in full disclosure, I have very limited experience of men's clothing during this time period, mostly just shirts as tailoring is beyond me.

Hoops were resurrected with a vengeance in the later 1850s, mostly to relieve the heavy weight of up to the 10 petticoats that women wore to give volume to their skirts. These hooped skirts were worn by women across the U.S.; even Queen Victoria wore huge hooped skirts on her tiny stature and it was said that her skirts were the widest at the English Court. Women did not wear the hooped skirts while working (fire danger!) but donned them for other events as that was the fashion.

So having said all this, I never, in all my extensive research, ran across a reference to hooped gowns as being racist or only worn by the "upper classes." I have no opinion as to the degree of Rachael's racism as I am not on any social media; however, I did want to say that my studies and research never suggested that hooped skirts in and of themselves were an outward statement of racism.

Please forgive me if I have offended anyone...

Thank you so much for this; I never knew the history of hooped skirts.  This was really interesting to read.


Last edited by sportsgirl94 on Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Amethyst Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:33 pm

@Doats wrote:Ok, Let me first say that I'm truly not trying to be argumentative with this post. However, I am an amateur historian who currently volunteers for a museum and have, in the past, worked for a Parks department, both of which have a focus on the 1850s-1860s timeframe. Because of this I have for years worked to accurately reproduce and sew women's 19th century clothing: underpinnings, corsets, chamises, petticoats, gowns, etc. (Dresses were referred to as gowns then and the term did not imply evening dress.) And in full disclosure, I have very limited experience of men's clothing during this time period, mostly just shirts as tailoring is beyond me.

Hoops were resurrected with a vengeance in the later 1850s, mostly to relieve the heavy weight of up to the 10 petticoats that women wore to give volume to their skirts. These hooped skirts were worn by women across the U.S.; even Queen Victoria wore huge hooped skirts on her tiny stature and it was said that her skirts were the widest at the English Court. Women did not wear the hooped skirts while working (fire danger!) but donned them for other events as that was the fashion.

So having said all this, I never, in all my extensive research, ran across a reference to hooped gowns as being racist or only worn by the "upper classes." I have no opinion as to the degree of Rachael's racism as I am not on any social media; however, I did want to say that my studies and research never suggested that hooped skirts in and of themselves were an outward statement of racism.

Please forgive me if I have offended anyone...

Doats, in an effort to try to be fair, I wondered the same thing -- are these dresses meant to be a (not-necessarily accurate) reflection of an earlier time in both the north and the south? Perhaps so. But...the fact of the matter remains that I have never seen nor heard of such a social event at a northern or western school. GCSU also hosts a chapter of Kappa Alpha, which has racist ties that are documented, and also a history of hosting "Old South" antebellum-themed parties. It may be that this party represents an evolution of the "Old South" tradition. That's why I'm curious about which organization hosts it. And if it's so benign, why are there no POC in the photo?

I'm not saying the photos are definitive, but they raise questions, especially coming after a bunch of other photos that are also questionable. At what point do you say, girl, you have got to be kidding me. Who would come on the show with this type of background, with a black bachelor in the lead role? It's just not believable.
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Post by sdmom Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:34 pm

Any sign of SHV recently? Anyone still tracking?


"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree"~ Martin Luther
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Post by sportsgirl94 Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:38 pm

@sdmom wrote:Any sign of SHV recently? Anyone still tracking?

The WTA taped Thursday I believe. Matt had an IG story last night from Bern’s steakhouse in Tampa Bay. Rachael has limited comments on her IG and hasn’t posted anything recently.

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Post by Doats Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:38 pm

@Amethyst wrote:
@Doats wrote:Ok, Let me first say that I'm truly not trying to be argumentative with this post. However, I am an amateur historian who currently volunteers for a museum and have, in the past, worked for a Parks department, both of which have a focus on the 1850s-1860s timeframe. Because of this I have for years worked to accurately reproduce and sew women's 19th century clothing: underpinnings, corsets, chamises, petticoats, gowns, etc. (Dresses were referred to as gowns then and the term did not imply evening dress.) And in full disclosure, I have very limited experience of men's clothing during this time period, mostly just shirts as tailoring is beyond me.

Hoops were resurrected with a vengeance in the later 1850s, mostly to relieve the heavy weight of up to the 10 petticoats that women wore to give volume to their skirts. These hooped skirts were worn by women across the U.S.; even Queen Victoria wore huge hooped skirts on her tiny stature and it was said that her skirts were the widest at the English Court. Women did not wear the hooped skirts while working (fire danger!) but donned them for other events as that was the fashion.

So having said all this, I never, in all my extensive research, ran across a reference to hooped gowns as being racist or only worn by the "upper classes." I have no opinion as to the degree of Rachael's racism as I am not on any social media; however, I did want to say that my studies and research never suggested that hooped skirts in and of themselves were an outward statement of racism.

Please forgive me if I have offended anyone...

Doats, in an effort to try to be fair, I wondered the same thing -- are these dresses meant to be a (not-necessarily accurate) reflection of an earlier time in both the north and the south? Perhaps so. But...the fact of the matter remains that I have never seen nor heard of such a social event at a northern or western school. GCSU also hosts a chapter of Kappa Alpha, which has racist ties that are documented, and also a history of hosting "Old South" antebellum-themed parties. It may be that this party represents an evolution of the "Old South" tradition. That's why I'm curious about which organization hosts it. And if it's so benign, why are there no POC in the photo?

I'm not saying the photos are definitive, but they raise questions, especially coming after a bunch of other photos that are also questionable. At what point do you say, girl, you have got to be kidding me. Who would come on the show with this type of background, with a black bachelor in the lead role? It's just not believable.

I was referring only to the fact that hooped gowns were in themselves NOT a racist statement. I have and had no comment on the balls themselves.

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Post by Lennoxcolinrolland Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:39 pm

Seems like those on another forum have now also obtained a picture of a previous very popular bachelorette in an Antebellum dress.


Matt is in Tampa at the moment, seemingly for the super bowl.

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Post by Doats Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:44 pm

I hope my continuing wearing of ante and post bellum gowns at interpretive and living history events is not considered racist. I wear these garments to demonstrate what women of all social classes were wearing at the times. They are a means of allowing visitors to the sites to, in effect, "touch the past," one of the key elements of historical Interpretation.

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Post by Diana Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:53 pm

just when I think it gets worse, it does. Holy sh*t Rachael is a vile human being and I am not sure how ANYONE could justify this. I preparing myself for bible quotes and forgiveness though. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

All IMO

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Post by luvnunity Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:56 pm

@Diana wrote:just when I think it gets worse, it does. Holy sh*t Rachael is a vile human being and I am not sure how ANYONE could justify this. I preparing myself for bible quotes and forgiveness though. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

All IMO

I’m exhausted from all the apologetics. Literally exhausted. I CANT!
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Post by gabriele Sat Feb 06, 2021 5:40 pm

Changing the name of the ball doesn’t wipe away its inherent racism. That’s just semantics. The balls are still rooted in racism and glorifying the Antebellum South.

Eta: Some pertinent info:

41. Unsavory Ambition

...even white Southerners who did not own slaves aspired to join the slave-owning class and would defend the institution [of slavery] as integral to the identity of the antebellum South.

31. Ladies of Despair

Although the economic agency of white women was restrained by their gender, the ideal of the white Southern Belle was inseparable from the practice of slavery. In fact, because slaves “helped” a white mistress fulfill her domestic duties, slave ownership was celebrated a moral avenue through which a (white) Southern belle could uphold her feminine duty and social status.

30. Skirts: A Lot of Hoopla

Southern Belle fashion culture was a fusion of Victorian English and French influence. The large hoop skirts were inspired by Victorian English styles; if a lady were affluent enough, she’d travel to London or Paris to import a personal seamstress to her home.

(emphasis added)

Unsettling Facts About The Cruel World Of The Antebellum South

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