Inside Matt James' Return To Instagram

Most Bachelor and Bachelorette endings come with a proposal and a circuit on the national morning shows, giving the lead plenty of air time to gush over their season winner. However, Matt James' season was the exception — in more ways than one. Historic for its diverse cast, which included the first-ever Black bachelor, Season 25 was also fraught with controversy and allegations of racism.

Matt gave his final rose to Rachael Kirkconnell, but chose to end the relationship after racially insensitive photos of her at an "Old South" party in 2018 came to light, per USA Today. (She has since apologized.) Longtime host Chris Harrison waded into the fray when he defended Rachael while speaking to former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on Extra in February 2021. Chris' denouncement of cancel culture and pleas to show Rachael "a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion" triggered immediate backlash, and culminated in his decision to step down from the Bachelor franchise. Hence, on March 15, 2021, viewers likely noticed that Emmanuel Acho hosted Matt's After The Final Rose special instead of Harrison.

Phew — what a firestorm. Given all the drama, no one can fault Matt for wanting to make a fresh start. In fact, could that have anything to do with his return to Instagram? Let's take a closer look at the Bachelor alum's actions on social media.

Matt James is making a fresh start

In March 2021, Matt James made quite the statement when he wiped Bachelor content from his Instagram. At the time of this writing, a cursory skim of Matt's posts shows pictures of his family, friends (including Tyler Cameron), social advocacy work and sports activities. His season's winner, Rachael Kirkconnell, is nowhere to be found. Matt also removed mention of the show from his bio.

The social media purging likely alludes to the fact that Matt has been flooded with "racial insults" after his breakup with Rachael (via People). E! News additionally reports that the reality star is eager to make a fresh start. "Matt wants a fresh start now that his Bachelor season has ended," an insider told the outlet. "He is ready for new beginnings and that is one of the reasons he cleared his IG page. He wants to step back and refocus his priorities. The show was very toxic and taxing on his mental health and he is glad it's over." 

Since his finale aired, Matt has sparked concern among fans after tweeting about his need for therapy. According to TMZ, ABC is allegedly on hand to offer help and support, but no doubt Matt has plenty of people in his corner willing to do the same.