Who Is The Bachelor's Jessenia Cruz?

The Bachelor contestant Jessenia Cruz has a fan club. The 28-year-old social media marketer has a small but respectable following on her Instagram page, and they're in it to win it. Want to know more? Her ABC profile will tell you the basics. Cruz loves escape rooms and dogs, is looking for "someone with whom she can travel the world, but who will also indulge in a fabulous staycation." She's into the '80s "because of the music and super funky fashion," and she "hopes to live in France for at least a year." Do a little more digging, and it's clear that the former Miss El Paso (yup, she's a beauty pageant contestant, too) has a lot of things brewing underneath the surface.

Cruz's social media indicates that she's a fan of art galleries, Frida Kahlo, and Whataburger, and eating Whataburger after going to art galleries. Remember that wedding where she "caught the bouquet torpedo"? She and her Instagram friends do. Which means that if you're superstitious, Cruz may be destined to find love soon.

No ordinary beauty pageant contestant

The Bachelor host Chris Harrison has already given us some hints into Jessenia Cruz's future on the show. Harrison has let on that she's "not afraid of ruffling feathers," and she'll be involved in something that "will have all of Bachelor Nation talking," according to Heavy. (YES, PLEASE). The Bachelor host has further assured fans that Cruz is not what Hollywood might have you think about beauty pageant contestants. 

Which isn't to say that she didn't enjoy the pageant experience. Jessenia Cruz is proud of being a beauty pageant queen. Bustle notes that Cruz came in third runner up in Miss El Paso in 2015. When competing for Miss El Paso 2016, she upped her game. Cruz remembers that she concentrated on letting her "best self shine each day of competition, and leave the rest to fate." After winning, she reflected that competing in beauty pageants had ben transformative for her. "[I had] grown in ways I never imagined. I am not the same girl I was in high school. I struggled with believing in myself and realizing what I'm capable of," the beauty queen wrote.

Cruz didn't rest on her laurels. She used them as a "Get Out The Vote" campaign, sticking her 2016 "I voted" sticker on her crown. Cruz has also used her Instagram platform to promote Habitat for Humanity, shopping at local businesses and to support for Black Lives Matter. 

Jessenia Cruz's nerdy side

Just because Jessenia Cruz is a former beauty queen doesn't mean she's all looks and no smarts. In fact, she is bilingual. Check out her Linkedin profile: the University of Texas San Antonio Communication and Media Studies grad is fluent in Spanish. Cruz also quotes JK Rowling ("anything's possible if you've got enough nerve") as well as writer Suzy Kassem ("doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will"). She's enough of a Hobbit fan to post a picture of its pages on her Facebook profile, complete with an artsy, owl bookmark. Oh, and lest we forget to mention: Cruz has also been caught taking pictures next to Spiderman. Props for good taste.

And then there's her deeper side: the one rooted in faith. "One of the things I love about El Paso," Cruz once reflected, "is that we are a deeply religious community, we aren't afraid to show our love for the Lord, especially on this day." 

Jessenia Cruz, the athlete

What does Jessenia Cruz do in her spare time? Hang out at antique stores, and cross things off her bucket list. For example? Seeing Ed Sheeran perform live, and hiking The Grand Canyon. Because there's a reason that her ABC profile says that Cruz is looking for "a man who takes initiative, is adventurous, and who will keep life exciting and unpredictable": Cruz is an athlete.

Her social media is full of posts about The Bachelor contestant riding horses, mountain biking, and otherwise hiking with her dogs or hanging out by campfires. She's also an accomplished volleyball player who once won Libero of the Year in club volleyball. Which doesn't mean that Cruz doesn't know the meaning of a bit of indulgence. Other than delighting in a Whataburger trip, she's been known to down a slice of pizza or two, and to dream about trips to New Orleans solely for its beignets and coffee. In other words, Jessenia Cruz is a woman after our own hearts.