Dear Barb: I underestimated you. When I watched you on my TV screen, week after week, sobbing the same tired line—"Bring her home to us!"—I thought you a typical Bachelor mom, sincere and tearful and overly invested in her son's romantic life. Now I know, Barb, that you are a force of nature. Not only wildly sex-positive (to the point where it becomes a bit much, this is your son, Barb, but I support you!), Barb is expressive, decisive, and bold—everything her son is not. Barb got a revenge haircut for "After The Finale Rose." Barb knows who she is. Barb, it turns out, is the true heroine of this season. We are all Barb!
At first, I thought that Barb's "Bring her home to us" outburst was an aberration, an overemotional moment brought on by too much wine on an empty stomach (dinners on The Bachelor don't involve eating, after all; we've all been there, Barb!). Now, several hours into the season finale, I know that this is just who Barb is: passionate, spirited, vulnerable, and more certain of her feelings than her son ever was. Peter Weber's season has been marked by flip-flopping, a lot of mumbling, and a half-arsed proposal that followed a half-arsed declaration of love (wearing a hoodie, no less, while Hannah Ann Sluss was ravishing in a cocktail dress). Barb, by comparison, knows exactly where she stands.
Behold, for example, Barb's revenge haircut, which she debuted on "After The Final Rose." Clearly devastated by her son's about-face after his proposal to Sluss (I'm disappointed too, Barb!), she changed up her hair from blonde to a dark, deep brown. Sluss, a woman Barb described as her "daughter," is no longer such, and Barb is not happy.
BARBARA WEBER IS READY FOR WAR#TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/Z8KowTqx65March 11, 2020
This, by comparison, was one of the happiest moments of Barb's life (honestly, this is genuinely sad to watch in hindsight)—the moment when Barb greeted Sluss as her daughter. At the time, Barb was a bold, outgoing blonde.
Now we all know the Real reason it's "the most emotional season finale". And the reason = Mrs. Barbara Weber 😂😂😂#TheBachelorFinale pic.twitter.com/eutRcllImXMarch 11, 2020
Yes, Barb showed up for "After The Final Rose," but probably only to check in on Sluss. Barb is a woman betrayed, a woman who gained a daughter and promptly lost her, a woman seriously considering disowning her son.
Barb has disowned Peter and adopted Hannah Ann, this is the new Weber family #TheBachelor #TheBachelorFinale pic.twitter.com/U0ZhZ4XDwYMarch 11, 2020
Barb wants to talk to the manager of the Bachelor franchise #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/smwdY6o7qGMarch 11, 2020
And, honestly? It's refreshing. Sluss does deserve better. Barb's son is deeply disappointing. If I had a son and he proposed to a woman he said he loved days after being dumped by another, and then promptly dumped his wonderful fiancé for reasons that were entirely wishy-washy, I'd be pretty mad, too!
Live footage of barb ripping up peters birth certificate #TheBachelor #TheBachelorFinale #BachelorNation pic.twitter.com/BNXI1IQs2sMarch 11, 2020
Barbara writing Peter out of the will after watching this #TheBachelor #PalmBachelor pic.twitter.com/oao4jftnIpMarch 11, 2020
A full hour and a half passed before Barb got her say (although, truly, her face said everything I needed), but when Chris Harrison finally asked for her take, Barb did not hesitate. Barb informed Chris Harrison, Peter, Madison Prewett, and half of the United States that Prewett had been rude, late, and wildly unclear about her feelings towards Peter, and that Peter's family, Peter's friends, and Barb were all sure that it was not going to work out!
If my mom did this to me we would argue about it at every family gathering for the rest of time #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/VUtKo0kwZ0March 11, 2020
Now, I realize Barb is happily married (Peter might have mentioned it once or 12,023 times), so she's unlikely to be part of the Bachelor franchise—even Bachelor: Golden Years, which feels tailor-made for Barb—but I would like to see more of Barb in my life. Can we have a reality show about Barb? It can focus on her new favorite son, Peter's brother, Jack, possibly the only man Barb now considers a son.
Guess who’s back on top as the favorite son? Meet Jack, Barb’s new love #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/lsgRxud3hJMarch 11, 2020
This has been an ode to Barb.
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Jenny is the Digital Director at Marie Claire. Originally from London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and never left. Prior to Marie Claire, she spent five years at Bustle building out its news and politics coverage. She loves, in order: her dog, goldfish crackers, and arguing about why umbrellas are fundamentally useless. Her first novel, EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, will be published by Minotaur Books on February 6, 2024.
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