Clare Crawley is damn proud to be the oldest ‘Bachelorette’ star ever: I know ‘what I won’t settle for’

Clare Crawley will be the oldest lead on “The Bachelorette” at a real-world young, but a Bachelor Nation old 38, and she doesn’t care what you say about her age.

“A lot of people put it out there as this negative thing, but for me, it’s just more years under my belt, more learning and knowing what I want, what I don’t want, and what I won’t settle for,” Crawley, who turns 39 on March 20, said on Monday’s “Good Morning America” after she was revealed to be the next Bachelorette (watch above).

The hairstylist, who finished in second on Juan Pablo Galavis‘ season of “The Bachelor” in 2014 and has since appeared twice on “Bachelor in Paradise” and on “The Bachelor Winter Games,” is just the third thirtysomething woman to headline “The Bachelorette,” which, like the entire franchise, favors the twentysomething age bracket (Trista Rehn was 30 and Rachel Lindsay was 32). Peter Weber‘s final three on “The Bachelor” this season are two 23-year-olds and a 26-year-old. “Babies!” Crawley exclaimed. “I feel like I can be their mom almost.”

SEE The new ‘Bachelorette’ star is Clare Crawley, and that’s a good thing

Crawley, who was briefly engaged to Benoit Beauséjour-Savard after meeting on “The Bachelor Winter Games,” shared that she has no age preference, noting that she’s “known to date younger guys,” but she’s not sure if the younger gents will be able to handle her. “I’m wondering if they’re ready for me, for my age,” she said. “So I feel like that would be more of an issue than me with them because I feel so much younger at heart than my actual age. I’m proud of my age, but I just feel younger and I feel like that, to me, is what’s important.”

According to Reality Steve, who’s learned 14 of the potential suitors’ ages, including a 40-year-old, some of the younger men in the running are being cut due to the the age difference. A 25-year-old shared as such on Facebook on Monday.

Crawley also doesn’t have any specific physical quality she’s looking for in a guy, but wants someone who will “take off his armor.”

“I want a man who is strong, is willing to take off the body armor, open himself up and be vulnerable. And I think that is some serious strength right there. So I want a man who can do that,” she said. “A lot of people have seen that side of me that stood up to Juan Pablo and was like, ‘Don’t mess with me.’ And I am that strong woman still, but what even more so is added to that is, like I said, taking off that armor and actually saying, ‘I’m strong enough to let somebody in, to be vulnerable and open up and share that with them.'”

“The Bachelorette” will premiere on Monday, May 18 at 8/7c on ABC.

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