After being rejected by Colton Underwood on “The Bachelor,” Hannah Brown said something that has become a guiding principle for the Northport native.
“The desire of my heart is to be loved so fearlessly by somebody,” Brown said as she was being driven home. “I will not allow myself to not feel chosen every single day, and I’ll wait until whenever that is.”
In a couple of months, millions of people will tune in as Brown, a 2017 graduate of the University of Alabama known by fans as “Hannah B,” becomes the newest lead on “The Bachelorette.” Brown is in a different position from when she was on “The Bachelor,” where she competed against 23 women for Underwood’s love. This time, 33 men from across the United States will fight over Brown, including Birmingham native Garrett Powell.
With the exception of five men she met during the season finale of “The Bachelor,” Brown had not met the other contestants as of Friday.
“I don’t have an ideal person with what they look like on the outside, but I know I want somebody who is a good human, has a good heart and just ultimately wants to know me for me and all of me, the good (and) the bad, and that they allow me to see that in them as well,” she said. “I’m excited to hopefully get to see that from some of the guys.”
Brown credits her time on “The Bachelor” with giving her a better idea what she wants in her life.
“I think my experience being on the show before was about being able to be more true to myself and continuing to discover more about what I want and what I need as a person,” Brown said in a phone interview with The Tuscaloosa News. “I hope to continue to explore that as well, because being a more whole person is going to make me a better partner in a relationship.”
Brown feels that growth on “The Bachelor” was a big reason why she was chosen to be on “The Bachelorette” and hopes each of the men on the show will experience similar growth.
“I really opened myself up to this experience and to what it could be for me, so because I have been so open in the past about my experiences, I think that will help with my relationships growing and being able to help these men be vulnerable with me and have that same growth that I did in my experience,” she said.
In addition to being the 15th “Bachelorette,” Brown is the first “Bachelorette” from Alabama. Because of the unusual circumstance she’s in, Brown has sought advice from her friends and family, the people she has always talked to about her relationships. However, she feels more confident about herself this time around.
“Ultimately, I’m in a position where I feel like I know my heart and I know myself, and I’m secure in that as well,” she said.
At some point in the season, Brown will get to visit the hometowns of different contestants. When asked where in Tuscaloosa County she would want to take one of the men, Brown said she wants to take one of them to meet her family.
“I just want to see how he can handle all the barbecue and see if he can eat as much as I can,” Brown said, laughing.
While she is now in a position to choose rather than be chosen, Brown knows the pressure she is under.
“Part of it makes me a little bit concerned about just making sure that I make the right decisions, but I feel comfortable in who I am and my discernment for that, but ultimately, I want to make sure that every man that is there is still choosing me every single day.”
Brown, who earned the nickname “Hannah Beast” for her occasional roaring on “The Bachelor” and being open with her feelings, said “The Beast” could make an appearance on “The Bachelorette.”
“If there is a guy who is just the big old jabroni, he’ll get ‘The Beast,’ that’s for sure, and I can’t wait for that,” she said. “It’ll be fun.”
Brown said she continues to be grateful for the support she has received from people in Alabama.
“It’s just been such a blessing, and I just really appreciate it and hope to continue to feel it throughout this fun, crazy, amazing process,” she said.
“The Bachelorette” will have its season premiere May 13 on ABC.
This story originally appeared in The Tuscaloosa News and on tuscaloosanews.com.
Watch Hannah Brown talk about winning Miss Alabama USA: