A photo of Rachael Kirkconnell in antebellum dress, allegedly at an Old South party, has resurfaced and landed her in hot water. Read on to see the image and find out more about it.

Rachael Kirkconnell is a current contestant on this year’s The Bachelor. Competing to win the heart, and rose, of Matt James, she’s become arguably the most talked about contestant.

Following on from recent social media outpours and allegations, the latest to cause her trouble is a resurfaced antebellum photo from her college days. Although the image has been online for over a week now, interest has sparked once more after host Chris Harrison apologised for attempting to defend her.

Still from The Bachelor via YouTube – Bachelor Nation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q2ozhD3nFk)

The Rachael Kirkconnell Antebellum photo

The photo in question here is an image of the contestant at an antebellum themed ‘Old South’, now known as ‘Rose Ball’ party in 2018. The event was hosted at Georgia College & State University.

According to The Sun, Rachael’s cousin confirmed that the image is real. The photo sees her along with many other sorority girls in antebellum style dresses. The antebellum era is deeply associate with racism, with it being the time of plantations, slavery and the civil war.

The photo of Rachael Kirkconnell surfaced first on Reddit but was soon shared to Twitter, receiving negative reactions from viewers of the show.

What is an ‘Old South’ party?

An ‘Old South’ party is a widely known event in college life for the fraternity that throws it: Kappa Alpha. Kappa Alpha was founded just after the Civil War in Virginia, and in 1923 it officially claimed Robert E. Lee, a confederate army leader, as its “spiritual founder”.

Reportedly, chapters of the fraternity held Old South celebrations, in which Confederate flags are used and “plantation-style balls” are held. Guests attend the ‘Old South’ parties in antebellum-style clothing.

Kappa Alpha reportedly banned chapters from throwing the ‘Old South’ parties in 2016. One report claims that they now instead host a ‘Rose Ball’, still with an antebellum theme just no longer with confederate soldier costumes.

Antebellum-era celebrations have been widely criticised for the roots in slavery and racism.

Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images

What has Rachael said?

So far, Rachael is yet to comment or release a statement. However, it is reported that she has done so under instruction from ABC. She is expected to release a 100 word statement next week.

Her cousin however, has denounced allegations of her being racist, but admitted that the party was “wrong” to The Sun: “This party is not racially motivated but the core of the formal is what’s wrong and undeniable. 

“[Rachael] was not intentionally racist but she understands that she messed up and hurt people. I don’t believe she is racist even after this coming to light but as a white woman that is not my call to make.”

According to her cousin, Rachael dropped out of Greek life at college once she realised the “deeply ingrained racism”.

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