Catherine Lowe told Insider that she didn't think her now-husband Sean Lowe would be attracted to her on "The Bachelor" because "of what [she] looked like."
"But I was probably prejudiced against him too. I was hoping he'd be attracted to a different race. And, gladly, he was," added Lowe, who is half Filipino.
Back in June, Lowe revealed that she thought she was cast on "The Bachelor" to "check a box" as a woman of color.
But Lowe told Insider she believes the show's producers are "definitely more aware of the demands for a more diverse cast every season."
Catherine and Sean Lowe are among the biggest success stories of the long-running "Bachelor" franchise. They've been married for six years, have three adorable children, and remain the only couple from the original series that is still together.
It was a future that Catherine could never have imagined when she first appeared on Sean's season back in January 2013.
"I didn't think he'd be into me because of what I looked like," Catherine, who is half Filipino, told Insider while promoting Ivory's Acts of Gentle Kindness Initiative. "But I was probably prejudiced against him too."
"I was hoping he'd be attracted to a different race," she added. "And, gladly, he was."
Catherine has spoken candidly about the franchise's diversity issue, revealing that she always thought she was cast to 'check a box'
This isn't the first time Catherine has been outspoken about race and "The Bachelor," which has come under increased scrutiny over the past several years.
"When I was originally cast, I was very flattered but somewhat grounded by the fact that I would be one of the faces that represented people of color," Catherine wrote in an Instagram post in June. "I knew that one of the reasons I was probably chosen was because I was Filipino. I counted myself out to be his fiancée because of what I assumed Sean liked."
"I thought I was there just to check a box, but I ended up with so much more. I became present with the process and as he started noticing me for who I really was, I allowed this experience to open myself up to the possibility of being fully loved and appreciated for all that I was."
"Don't count yourself out," she added. "You are destined to do bigger things than just check a box."
Lowe's post came while 'The Bachelor' faced its own reckoning over the summer
Diversity in Hollywood and beyond came under a microscope as Black Lives Matter protests spread across the country last summer. More than 160,000 people, including many of the show's biggest stars, signed a Change.org petition demanding that a Black lead be cast in the next season.
Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Matt James — who was initially cast in Clare Crawley's season of "The Bachelorette" — would become the next star of "The Bachelor," becoming the first Black lead in the show's 18-year history. Tayshia Adams, who took over after Crawley left her season early, is now the second Black woman to become the "Bachelorette" in 16 seasons. She follows in the footsteps of Rachel Lindsay, who became "The Bachelorette's" first Black star in 2017.
Longtime "Bachelor" host Chris Harrison, who is also an executive producer for the series, told Insider that the franchise has been making changes in both its casting process and behind the scenes.
"There's obviously a lot of things you won't see behind the camera — hiring practices in crew, producers, [and] people being promoted," he said back in October. "A lot of steps that won't get as much limelight, but are as equally important."
But Harrison admitted that the series still had a lot of work to do.
"At the end of the day, 'The Bachelor' and 'Bachelorette' have always been above love and relationships," he added. "You want to see your love represented on screen, and to not do that is a failure. And that's something we aim to be better at and do better at."
Lowe said she believes the producers are 'definitely more aware of the demands for a more diverse cast every season'
While Catherine told Insider that she thinks "Bachelor" producers are "doing a good job of continuing to think about ways to diversify the series, it also starts with the women and men applying to be part of the process.
"I'm just hoping that now that there's a more diverse cast, I'm hoping that more diverse people apply to be on the show," she explained.
"There's so many people out there and being exposed to other kinds of love stories is really important for our society," Catherine added. "I think it's going in that direction and I'm excited."
When it comes to their own post-show success, Lowe believes the couple's decision to stay out of the 'Bachelor' bubble has helped their relationship thrive
While many "Bachelor" stars make the move to Los Angeles after appearing on the hit ABC series, Catherine moved to Dallas to be with Sean after he proposed and the couple remain there today.
And while they share plenty of their adventures on Instagram, you won't catch the couple appearing at every "Bachelor" wedding or spin-off. Catherine credits staying off the "Bachelor" grid to their relationship's success.
"A lot of the show's 'success stories' are like that," she said. "And that's why they've been successful because they're more normal and just kind of getting on with their lives."
"We still love the Bachelor Nation and all the people who have worked on the show, but if you ask any of the married people, or the people who've been together for a long time, I think that's kind of the case."
But that doesn't mean Catherine would stop her kids if they wanted to be on "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" one day.
"Sean says no, but I'm like why not?" she said with a laugh. "We raised them!"
Read the original article on Insider