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'Bachelor' star Bekah M reveals contestants have to buy their own wardrobe: 'I was so broke I returned everything that still had tags on'

Taryn Ryder
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Bekah Martinez’s Bachelor photo. (Photo: ABC)

Ever wonder how much Bachelor contestants spend on their wardrobe? Thanks to Bekah Martinez, it’s confirmed: The girls fork out a lot.

Martinez, or “Bekah M,” as the fan favorite was known on Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season, breaks down how much it costs for the girls to compete for love — and look good while doing it. Turns out those fancy dresses they all have to wear at cocktail parties are not provided by production. 

“Basically the only packing list you get is like, ‘OK, prepare for eight weeks and all kinds of weather.’ They don’t want to give you any kind of hints about where you’ll be going, so they tell you to pack everything — bikinis, snow gear, just whatever you might possibly need,” she tells Glamour. “And then, of course, there are the formal gowns.”

Between cocktail parties and rose ceremonies, Martinez figured she needed around 10 dresses to be on the safe side, assuming she would go far.

“I didn’t have really any at all. I was like, ‘This is going to cost me thousands of dollars if I buy all of these,’” she recalls. “Knowing that there’s a potential to go on the show for two months and not make any money during that time — I’m not working, but I still have to pay rent and all my living expenses — there was no way I could spend a few grand on clothes.”

Martinez borrowed clothes from friends and connections in the fashion industry but still ended up spending $700 or $800 at Nordstrom Rack.

“When I got back to Los Angeles, I was so broke I returned everything that still had tags on,” she explains. Martinez estimates that girls who didn’t have her resources to borrow outfits spent “at least a couple thousand, easily. You need a pretty extensive wardrobe.”

Bekah M’s first-day look. (Photo: ABC)

The women also have to provide their own beauty products, but she said the show supplied “little things” like “face wash, face wipes, body lotion, shampoo, and conditioner.”

Martinez continues, “They had a lot of basics on hand whenever we needed them. If we ever needed to buy extras of things — I ran out of eyelashes, for instance — producers would let us use their phones to order stuff on Amazon and have it shipped to our next location. A lot of girls did that. I also bought a $50 jacket, and when I found out we were going to Florida I ordered a couple of swimsuits online that were about $20 each.”

Food is always provided by the show (and all of that alcohol too, we assume), and Martinez reveals that producers would usually let them buy stuff at the airport.

“It was kind of funny, like asking a mom or dad. You’d be like, ‘Can I get this magazine? Can I get these pistachios for the plane?’ They’d pretty much always buy us things like that,” she says. “Everything was taken care of, unless we wanted to order clothes.”

The women aren’t paid for their time on the show and many give up their jobs to embark on the experience, so there is no revenue coming in.

“I didn’t realize how difficult it would be coming back,” she shares. “I had six weeks of not working, and then on top of that I didn’t get paid at all for being on the show. Plus, I took out expenses in preparation and then had to pay rent and bills while I was gone. I was definitely pretty broke when I got home.”

Many Bachelor contestants turn into social media influencers after the show, and that’s what makes it “100 percent worth it,” Martinez says.

“It gets you a lot of exposure, and it’s no secret that a lot of the women are able to support themselves after the show through social media advertising,” she admits. “I’m very lucky that I’ve had a lot of different opportunities come my way, through appearances and sponsored social media posts. And The Bachelor was really just a wonderful experience overall, so I’d certainly do it all over again.”

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