The Transformation Of Kaitlyn Bristowe From 4 To 35 Years Old

When Kaitlyn Bristowe was first introduced to "The Bachelor" fans, she didn't get the final rose. However, she didn't give up on finding love in front of a television audience, and her notoriety helped her build a large online following that she used to her benefit.

Kaitlyn has her own scrunchie line, Dew Edit, and she's recorded a country song titled "If I'm Being Honest." Her outgoing personality made her the ideal fit for the podcast format, and her fans can continue keeping up with her life by listening to "Off the Vine." She often chats with other celebs, including a few familiar faces from Bachelor Nation. The name of her podcast pairs perfectly with another of her successful business ventures: her Spade & Sparrows wine brand. Two of the birds that inspired the label's name are tattooed on the backs of Kaitlyn's arms, and they serve as a reminder of her past. "Anyone who knows me knows how much I love home... hence my tattoos of sparrows that symbolizes always returning to where you come from," she wrote on her blog in 2015. So where did Kaitlyn call home before she jetted off to Los Angeles to pursue Iowa farmer Chris Soules?

Kaitlyn Bristowe's confessions of a pre-K 'drama queen'

Kaitlyn Bristowe grew up in the small town of Leduc, Alberta. In a blog post, she confessed that she wasn't the biggest fan of the chilly weather in that part of Canada. "For about 7 months, I'd hide indoors because I just couldn't face the cold," she wrote. Luckily, she found a way to keep herself entertained during all that time she was cooped up inside — she revealed that she began dancing when she "was a wee one." She loved the activity so much that she told the Daily Hive that the dance studio became her "second home." Kaitlyn also enjoyed figure skating. Luckily, her father was a hockey coach, so this probably helped her gain access to an ice rink to practice on.

Kaitlyn described herself as "a bit of a drama queen" when she was a kid. On her web series "9 to Wine," she recalled being 4 years old and discovering that a surefire way to make people laugh was to pull her pants down. It became her go-to move when she was in trouble. "Now, you can imagine this would be a problem at the grocery store," she quipped. She put her theatrics to better use when she began appearing in plays, including "West Side Story" and "Bye Bye Birdie." But she eventually realized that Leduc wasn't big enough for her ambitions.

Kaitlyn Bristowe makes a regretful decision at age 16

Like many teenagers, Kaitlyn Bristowe experimented with a look that would later make her cringe. During a 2019 episode of her "Off the Vine" podcast, she recalled getting cornrows when she was 16 years old. She was seemingly clueless about cultural appropriation at the time, saying that she was always "so jealous" when she saw other girls rocking the hairstyle after returning from vacation. "And I went and got cornrows put in my hair with beads on the ends," she said. Kaitlyn even has a keepsake commemorating her follicular faux pas: a glamour shot that she had done at Walmart, for which she also rocked "frosty lip gloss that looked like I ate white powdered doughnuts" and "a big Christina Aguilera nose piercing." "I thought I was ahead of my time," she confessed.

At age 19, Kaitlyn Bristowe moved to Vancouver on a dancing scholarship, per the Daily Hive. Things were looking up for her, but life wasn't easy. "I didn't have anything except this hockey bag of clothes and the support from my family," she said on "9 to Wine." While she pursued her dancing dreams, Kaitlyn earned a meager paycheck at a restaurant and shared a one-bedroom apartment with three other people. She thought that she finally got her big break when she landed a gig as a cheerleader for a Canadian Football League team, the Sea Lions. "Thought I peaked. That was it for me," she said.

Kaitlyn Bristowe's heart gets crushed

At age 26, Kaitlyn Bristowe made a huge decision for the sake of love, and it drastically changed the course of her life. After falling head over heels for a hockey player, she followed him to Germany and put her own dreams on hold. "I was kind of following his life and not doing any sort of exercise," she told Elle Canada. "That's when I realized I needed fitness in my life. I wasn't dancing anymore." Kaitlyn also struggled with the emotional repercussions of letting go of something so important to her. "A small part of me was dying every day that I wasn't doing what I loved to do," she said on her web series.

She and her boyfriend both came to the realization that her sacrifice wasn't worth their relationship, and she moved back in with her parents when she was 27 years old. Kaitlyn was so depressed that a doctor prescribed her an antidepressant and Valium, which just made her feel "numb." She got addicted to the Valium and lost a great deal of weight, at one point weighing just 93 pounds. Her mother tried to help her by playing uplifting YouTube videos in her ear while she slept. "Eventually, I just knew I couldn't live like that anymore," Kailtyn said. "I was sick of being numb. I wanted to feel feelings again."

Kaitlyn Bristowe's 'Bachelor' journey begins

On "9 to Wine," Kaitlyn Bristowe revealed that she decided to move back to Vancouver for a fresh start, and she was forced to pretty much start over. She began teaching spin classes and landed a job as a restaurant hostess. She eventually worked her way up to a managerial position within the popular Cactus Club Cafe chain. "I helped open those around Canada," she told Sarah Scoop. She'd found a new career that would help her live comfortably, but she wasn't super-passionate about it. Then her best friend Bri suggested that she audition for "The Bachelor."

Kaitlyn submitted a video for the season starring Juan Pablo, who she described as "the worst Bachelor in the history of Bachelors." She didn't make the cut, but she got an invite to appear on season 19 in 2015. The then-29-year-old made quite the first impression on viewers by making a raunchy comment about "Prince Farming" Chris Soules. "I know you're a farmer. And you can plow the f*** out of my field any day," she said, per TV Fanatic. In its recap of the premiere, Entertainment Weekly described her as "the court jester."

Chris didn't get down on one knee for Kaitlyn, but she got a pretty sweet consolation prize when she earned a starring role on season 11 of "The Bachelorette" — after beating Britt Nilsson in an awkward popularity contest.

Kaitlyn Bristowe's next chapter

Kaitlyn Bristowe's stint on "The Bachelorette" included a confession about sleeping with Nick Viall to the man she ended up engaged to: personal trainer Shawn Booth. Three years later, they called off their happily ever after. When she appeared on the "Scrubbing In with Becca Tilley and Tanya Rad" podcast, Kaitlyn revealed that she began to experience that familiar feeling of "losing myself and trying to rely on somebody else for my happiness" during their relationship.

But things began looking up for Kaitlyn again when she found a love connection with Jason Tartick, a corporate banker who appeared on season 14 of "The Bachelorette." He failed to win Becca Kufrin's heart, but he announced that he and Kaitlyn were dating during a January 2019 appearance on "The Today Show." He revealed that they met on Kaitlyn's podcast.

After Kaitlyn was named the Season 29 champion of "Dancing with the Stars" in December 2020, Jason shared an Instagram video of himself popping a bottle of champagne and jumping up and down in celebration while watching the moment on TV. He'll soon be able to watch Kaitlyn on television again as she co-hosts the 17th season of "The Bachelorette" with Tayshia Adams, and this time he'll be doing it as her fiancé — he popped the question in May 2021. In addition to planning a wedding, the couple is making baby plans, with Jason telling Hollywood Life that they've joked that they'd love to have twins.