SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City native Marikh Mathias didn’t find love on “The Bachelor.” But for her, it doesn’t matter. She's focused on what’s next.
Mathias spoke to the Deseret News about her life after exiting “The Bachelor” and what she experienced while she was on the show.
Another Utah-based “Bachelor” contestant, Maquel Cooper, recently told the Deseret News what happened behind the scenes on the hit ABC show.
Mathias said she is focused on building her own business — an Indian restaurant in Draper called Karma — and pursuing a career as a model and actress. She also spoke about her relationship with “Bachelor” suitor Arie Luyendyk Jr., her breakout moment when she addressed glam-shaming and her potential appearance on future “Bachelor” episodes.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Deseret News: Thanks so much for agreeing to chat with us. You were on the show for five weeks. How do you feel about that?
Marikh Mathias: I think it would have been really fun to keep traveling and to keep getting to know Arie. Although I was kind of OK with the fact that we didn't have a connection, because it wasn’t like I was in love with him, and then he sent me home. There was a dichotomy to it — I would have loved to get to know him; at the same time, if something wasn't going to be there, why drag it on?
DN: How was your relationship with Arie? What do you think about him overall?
MM: I went into it really open-minded and with an open heart, but I feel like the relationship was moving very slow. We talked a lot the first night. I was one of the first girls to talk to him. When I wasn’t getting a one-on-one date, I started to get into my own head and I started to feel like it wasn’t advancing as fast as everyone else's relationship.
There is this sort of fantasy around Arie, you know, the bachelor. But it wasn’t necessarily him that I was going to miss. Leading up to it, I started to lose that fantasy of "The Bachelor," of Arie, of falling in love with him.
DN: Did they not show us any specific moments that you wish they would have?
MM: The day that Maquel went home and we found out her grandfather had died was an emotional day with the girls. We were in a very empathetic place and it really brought us closer. Me, Maquel and Lauren spent the day together and tried to be there for her, talking about the loved ones that we had lost.
DN: You made headlines for calling out another contestant, Chelsea Roy, for “glam-shaming” you on the show. It seems people made it out to be a joke, but you seem headstrong on saying that it’s a real thing. What's your side of this?
MM: I was really shocked by how Chelsea and Brittany reacted to it. I didn’t even know Brittany had an issue with it. As for Chelsea, I thought once the episode aired, we were fine. She was liking my picture about it and my posts about it, commenting; I thought we were fine. It was really kind of shocking how they reacted. And that was hard for me because this is something I felt strongly about, this is something that I think is real.
It’s more about trying to put someone into a box and trying to define them simply by how they choose to represent themselves. If you are just so closed-minded that you’re going to do that, that’s more of a reflection on you.
During this time when so many women are standing up for themselves and for each other, and to be someone who is boxing someone into this tiny little space, I feel like is very contradictory to where the world is going. As women, we should be empowering each other, and that means accepting each other however we choose to present ourselves. For me, it was a bigger issue than what was shown.
I’ve always been into makeup and getting dressed up. There have been so many times when I wasn't taken seriously because of how I present myself. Owning a business sort of changed that for me. I didn’t have to prove myself to someone. I just had to prove it to myself. That was why I wanted to have my own business — because I wasn’t comfortable with having someone telling me, “This is how much you’re worth.”
DN: What do you think of Arie and this season's controversial ending?
MM: I think he’s a nice enough guy, but there were things he would do or say that I found kind of disrespectful toward the other women. So for me, it wasn’t that shocking that he did that at the end.
Do I think he could have gone about it a different way? Absolutely. It just felt inconsiderate and selfish to drag along both women at different times. I mean, I’m happy for him. I texted Lauren after he proposed that I wish him every blessing and a happy life. I think so far with her, he’s been great. I hope he makes his decision and sticks by it and makes Lauren happy moving forward.
DN: Maquel told us you would be more likely to be on “Bachelor in Paradise” before she does. Any chance of joining the cast of “Bachelor in Paradise” next season?
MM: As of right now, I don’t foresee myself doing it. I never say never. I could have a change of heart and say, “Yes, let’s do it.” I can’t tell you yes or no. But as of right now, I’m leaning more toward no.
DN: Should people watch “The Bachelor?”
MM: I don’t think it’s trashy. I wouldn’t have gone on a show I think is trashy. I think it’s done so well because there are a lot of things discussed on the show that are really relatable. Someone goes on there and shares something about themselves and they're vulnerable.
Even (with) the glam-shaming, that’s something someone can relate to. When you’re in a relationship and you hear them talking about it on a TV show, you’re like, “Wow, I’ve gone through that same thing.” I think it’s fun to see people fall in love and have the fairy-tale ending. Sometimes those relationships last a long time and they don’t end up getting married. But I think there’s something special about watching two people fall in love. You don’t get to see everything that happens, so you have to take it lightheartedly.
DN: What are you up to now?
MM: I still have my restaurant and we’re working on a few exciting things for that. I'm continuing to model, which I’ve done for the past 13 years. I’m getting into acting, so that’s something I want to pursue. I’m really liking being creative, creating content and connecting with other people right now.
DN: Are you dating anyone?
MM: I’m really open to dating. I’m kind of casually going on dates, but there’s nothing serious right now.
DN: What's your favorite restaurant in Utah (besides your own)?
DN: What’s a hidden gem of Utah?
MM: I’ve only lived here for 13 or 14 years — I lived in Jersey before. There are a couple of bars that I really like. I love Dolcetti for gelato in the 9th and 9th area.
DN: What’s it like owning your own restaurant? How do you handle the hustle?
MM: I am very fortunate because I have my family here to help me, and they’re very supportive of all the other projects that we’re doing. They allow me to go and do these different things and kind of hold down the fort while I’m gone.
But also it’s about being invested and focused. That’s definitely something I try to maintain. I kind of keep my mind on the end goal.2 comments on this story
Running a restaurant is a lot of work. I grew up in that industry, so it wasn't the hardest to learn. It’s such a fun environment and it's really fulfilling. Every meeting you have is over food. It’s definitely a very welcome, hospitable industry. It makes all the work a little easier to deal with. It’s a lot of work, but it's also a space where you can be creative. Food is the ultimate medium for art. You get to be creative and you get to connect with other people — and who doesn't want to be around food all day?