Sarah Herron says her blowout fight with Chad Johnson on last season’s Bachelor in Paradise was the “tipping point” for her to make a major change in her life. Sarah said after the BiP villain called her names like “one-armed b*tch” and “Army McArmenson” while on the ABC reality show, something inside of her snapped.
“I think my fight with Chad was the tipping point for me,” Sarah told E! News.
“It was one of those heated moments where something inside of me finally just said ‘enough is enough.’ I think it was a culmination of being irritated by Chad’s remarks and a life-long internal frustration for women of difference that I came home from Paradise and had the fuel to put something into action.”
Sarah Herron was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome and only has the upper part of her left arm, but her physical disability didn’t cause her to play victim to Chad’s bullying. Instead, Herron channeled all of her energy into launching SheLift, a non-profit organization that empowers young women to improve self-acceptance through body-positive mentorship. Herron was so passionate about the project that she quit her job in order to devote 100 percent of her time to SheLift. Last month, Herron’s organization took seven young women on a ski retreat with champion skier Jen Hudak.
Herron has a little help from her Bachelor Nation friends throughout her latest journey. Original Bachelorette star Trista Sutter is a board member for Sarah’s nonprofit and several alums of the Bachelor franchise have posed in t-shirts with SheLift’s empowering tagline, “Maybe You Literally Can Even” to help promote Herron’s organization.
Sutter told E! that Sarah Herron has inspired her and that she was “honored” to get a call to serve on the SheLift board.
“I wholeheartedly believe in her vision of helping girls conquer their own personal mountains, especially with a daughter of my own,” Trista said.
Herron, who first shot to reality TV fame on Sean Lowe’s season of The Bachelor and went on to appear on last summer’s Bachelor in Paradise, told E! she originally signed on to the ABC reality show to “get someone’s acceptance and approval of me.”
“But if I could offer Sarah from Sean Lowe’s season advice today, I’d tell Sarah that love and belonging won’t come from prince charming proposing to you on TV, it will only come once she’s able to love her true, authentic self,” Herron said.
My favorite love story of all time. The one that started as a journey to find love on a reality show and turned into a (much longer) journey to find self-love and help other young women learn to love themselves, too. Thank you universe, ABC, @theyearofelan, @beetsaladbar and @seanloweksu and @catherinegiudici giving me the most meaningful, relationship and fairytale ending I could have ever dreamed of. My wish is for everyone to celebrate love for themselves today… through self-care, donuts, and bubble baths. Love yourself… it's the only one you get!
While Sarah Herron’s Bachelor family has supported her SheLift adventures, it wasn’t long ago that she was defending some of them against Johnson. On last summer’s BiP, Johnson went on a drunken rant about his castmates. When Sarah called Johnson out for his abusive behavior, he spewed a slew of profanities and accused her of being a fame whore and poked fun at her disability. Johnson’s drunken antics cost him his spot on Bachelor in Paradise. The morning after his tirade, host Chris Harrison told him he had to leave the show.
“I regret everything that day,” Johnson admitted. “But you can’t take it back, so whatever. That’s the way it goes. …I made a joke about Sarah, and I do feel really bad about that. I am sorry to them for saying the things I shouldn’t have said.”
Herron fired back by telling Johnson to put his money where his mouth is and make a donation to her new nonprofit.
— Sarah Herron (@sarahherron) August 3, 2016
Chad Johnson later offered Sarah Herron a backhanded apology on an episode of After Paradise, during which he pointed out that she is promoting her charity. You can see the awkward exchange below.
[Featured Image by Sarah Herron/Instagram]