The Meaning Behind Clare's Bachelorette Promo Photo

The Bachelorette is officially coming back and fans are already reeling from the news. According to Cosmopolitan, ABC first announced Bachelor alum Clare Crawley as the Season 16 Bachelorette in March 2020 via Good Morning America. At the time, the outlet reported that Clare's turn as the Bachelorette "would be the fifth time that [she] looks for love on a Bachelor show," adding that she was "very positive about what the season will hold."

For those a little outside of Bachelor Nation, Crawley is a California hairstylist, per Variety, who first appeared on Season 18 of The Bachelor, later popping up on The Bachelor Winter Games in 2018 and two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise. On Aug. 27, 2020, ABC tweeted the official promotional poster for Season 16 with the caption: "Get ready Bachelor Nation! @Clare_Crawley's season of #TheBachelorette premieres Tuesday, October 13th at 8|7c on ABC. It's about time." 

The poster caused a bit of buzz among fans, but what does the new promo actually mean? And what's with that sock? Keep scrolling to learn the real inspiration. 

The Bachelorette promo pays homage to 'The Graduate'

For film buffs, the Season 16 promo poster for The Bachelorette may seem like an easy reference. According to People, the poster is "a nod to the iconic 1967 film The Graduate, about a 21-year-old who is seduced by a much older woman — and eventually falls for her daughter, too." As Clare Crawley — who mimics actor Dustin Hoffman's wall lean with a smirk in the poster – is the oldest Bachelorette lead ever as of this writing, it's quite possible that the promo points toward her age playing a part in the season. Even the "It's about time" tagline is very telling, especially for fans who didn't find the age suggestion flattering. 

"I hate this. Are you trying to make a she's too old joke with The Graduate reference??" one Twitter user wrote. "Will you also make a Lolita joke when a 39 year old man dates a 20 year old?" Yikes. Is Bachelor Nation ready for Ms. Crawley, or, shall we say, Mrs. Robinson? In the words of Chris Harrison, this truly might be the most dramatic season ever.