Except saying that she’s vain because she fell in love with Ten instead of Nine is absolutely incorrect, because she fell in love with Nine first, and initially did not accept Ten because he was not Nine.
Putting aside the fact that Christopher Eccleston is quite attractive (he’s not “pretty," no, but have you seen his eyes? They’re the color of an arctic ocean; they’re beautiful), anyone with eyes can see that Rose fell in love with Nine first. She may not have realized it, she may have not been as open with her affections, but it was there. For example:
It can be argued that this wasn’t out of romantic affection, but in “Aliens of London/World War Three," Rose is very, very against the idea of Nine leaving her behind. To convince her that he won’t, Nine gives her a key to the TARDIS, which Rose later pulls out of her pocket when she goes running after him after Mickey tells her he’s left. When Mickey mocks her about “some boyfriend he turned out to be, she snaps, “He’s not my boyfriend, Mickey, he’s better than that." Yes, she’s denying that he’s her “boyfriend," but since he clearly isn’t family, you have to wonder just what he means to her already.
It’s only been a few days, but she’s already incredibly against the idea of him leaving her behind; and if it was just the traveling in the TARDIS that she wanted, she wouldn’t say "he’s better than that." Rose already has strong feelings for Nine by the fourth episode, and her feelings only get stronger.
In “World War Three," again, we see that Rose places her faith in Nine completely. When the Doctor tells Jackie that he has a way to save the world but can’t guarantee that Rose will be safe, Rose tells him, “Do it, then." Nine looks at her, aghast, and asks, “You don’t even know what it is, and you’d just let me do it?" Rose nods and says, “Yeah." He then tells her, “I could save the world but lose you," and Rose says nothing; she just continues to look at him with that serious, accepting expression. Rose trusts him; she trusts him completely. I mean, there’s no way she doesn’t realize that there’s a good chance she won’t make it out of this alive … but at the same time, she trusts that he will. She knows, even after just a couple days, that he won’t let any harm come to her. You can say that isn’t romantic love, but I’d say it’s certainly something more than friendship.
At the end of episode five, Nine emotionally manipulates her into going with him—basically, he gives her an ultimatum. She can stay and have dinner with her family, or she can go with him. Rose chooses to go with him. She already—from episode five—would rather be with him than stay behind in London with Jackie and Mickey. (I mean, I personally don’t blame her for this, but again, she’s known him all of, what, four or five days? And she already likes him that much.)
In “Dalek," Rose knows the Doctor and cares about him enough to try and alleviate any guilt he might feel over her death. When she’s trapped behind the metal door and the Shippy Dalek is on his way to kill her, she tells the Doctor over the phone, “See you then, Doctor. And listen, it’s not your fault, okay? […] I wouldn’t have missed it for the world." Keep in mind that this is only the sixth episode, but Rose both knows that Nine is already PTSD-ridden from the Time War, knows that he constantly tears himself apart over what happened in said Time War, and cares about him enough to not want even more guilt on his shoulders because of her. Let that sink in for a moment: this is the sixth episode, and she knows him well enough and cares about him enough to make sure he won’t feel guilty over her death.
Even when she’s about to die, she makes sure to take care of him. How is that not love? Also, a deleted scene from that episode gives us this:
(well it's a moving picture so couldn't put it here but it's AN AMAZING hug between 9 & rose from dalek 1x06)
Second best hug in season one and it’s in a deleted scene. But look how she holds him—and she doesn’t even hesitate. She just pulls him close. Clearly, she has no problems being physically affectionate with Nine.
In episode ten, “The Doctor Dances," things get incredibly shippy. Nine is clearly beyond jealous of Captain Jack and Rose’s feelings toward him, but the second Rose realizes this—the minute Rose cottons onto the fact that the Doctor is jealous, that he’s upset over the fact that she thinks he can’t “dance," she starts flirting with him. Big time. Up until then, we did see Rose only outright flirting with the likes of Adam and Captain Jack, but when she invites him to dance it’s with a devilish little grin and a, “Show me your moves/the world doesn’t end because the Doctor dances." Considering that “dancing" is a metaphor for sex throughout that entire episode … they also end up dancing together at the end of the episode, and for all intents and purposes it was like Jack wasn’t in the room at all.
In episode thirteen, “The Parting of the Ways" … oh, where to even begin? First, there’s the jealousy Rose shows over Lynda. People always talk about her jealousy in season two like it’s some kind of new thing, but the fact is that Nine just didn’t flirt with pretty much any girls in
season one beyond Lynda—and when he does flirt with Lynda, we get looks like this from Rose:
(it's also moving so i can't put it up, but it shows rose completly jealous)
She may not outright say anything, but her body language says it all. Not to mention that in the next scene, she turns away with her lips pursed before looking down (I can’t get a clear shot of it, but trust me, it’s pretty huffy).
After all of that goes down, the Doctor tricks her into returning home for her own safety (giving her the TARDIS in the process, which is a pretty big deal for him, but this isn’t about his feelings, it’s about hers), and what does she do? She spends the entire time alternating between crying her eyes out and brooding about the fact that he’s dying and she’s not there to protect him. And it is just him; as much as she does care about Jack, as much as she cares about all of the other people, Nine is the one that has her focus. To quote:
ROSE: "Two hundred thousand years in the future, he’s dying, and there’s nothing I can do."
JACKIE: "Well, like you said, two hundred thousand years. It’s way off."
ROSE: "But it’s not. It’s now. That fight is happening right now and he’s fighting for us, for the whole planet and I’m just sitting here eating chips!"
JACKIE: "Listen to me. God knows I’ve hated that man, but right now I love him, and do you know why? Because he did the right thing. He sent you back to me."
ROSE: "But what do I do every day, Mum? What do I do? […] It was a better life. And I don’t mean all the traveling, and seeing aliens and spaceships and things, that don’t matter. The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. You know, he showed you, too! That you don’t just give up, you don’t just let things happen. You make a stand, you say no! You have the guts to do what’s right when everyone else just runs away!"
Now, obviously, Rose wants to do what’s right, and what she sees as right is going back and fighting—defending those that need to be defended against the Daleks. But the one she specifically mentions—the one she specifically names as the one she cares about—is the Doctor. Specifically, the Ninth Doctor, because he is the only Doctor she knows at this point. Later on, she also constantly reiterates her desire to save him, telling Jackie:
"No [Dad] wouldn’t. He’d tell me to try anything. If I could save the Doctor’s life … try anything."
Rose is clearly fixated on the Doctor. Yes, she wants to do the right thing, she wants to save the Earth of the future and Jack and everyone else … but Rose is fighting tooth and nail, arguing against both Jackie and Mickey, because of the Doctor. (It’s also worth noting that at one point she tells Mickey, “There’s nothing left for me here," when he points out that she could die trying to save the Doctor, flat out telling him that she chooses Nine over him.)
Finally, Rose rips open the heart of the TARDIS and absorbs the time vortex, becoming the Bad Wolf. Using that energy, she flies the TARDIS back to Satellite 5. Here, she gives what is probably one of the most famous speeches of New Who; and in it, after the Doctor expresses his shock and horror over what she’s done (given that it will kill her from the inside out), what does she tell him?
“I want you safe, my Doctor."
Flat out, straight up, no questions asked, she cares about him, she has risked her life for him, she is burning up from the inside out for him, she loves him, he is her Doctor. As everyone knows, the scene progresses until she straight up commits Dalek genocide for him, brings Jack back to life, and then loses the time vortex because the Doctor kisses her to take it from her, saving her life by exchanging his.
Now, you may think that the discussion ends there, because after all, that’s the end of season one, isn’t it? Clearly there’s no reason to discuss Rose’s feelings for the Ninth Doctor any farther.
That’s not true.
Bridging “The Parting of the Ways" with “The Christmas Invasion" was a short scene that David Tennant and Billie Piper did for Children in Need. It takes place in the TARDIS, immediately after Nine regenerates into Ten, and shows the reason why they crash landed in London at Christmas, why Ten needed to be in bed during most of the Christmas special, and—most importantly—Rose’s reaction to Ten and his fabulous new hair.
Spoiler alert: she did not have a positive reaction. At all.
I linked the video there, but if you don’t feel like watching it, here’s a basic rundown: Rose freaks out, demands that Ten bring “the Doctor" back, asks him if he’s a Slitheen, and though Ten manages to convince her (with some trepidation on her part) that he is still the Doctor, Rose remains doubtful and wary. When he sees that she’s not going to cheer up immediately, they have this conversation:
ROSE: "Can you change back?"
TEN: "Do you want me to?"
ROSE: "Can you?"
TEN: "Do you wanna leave?"
ROSE: "… Do you want me to leave?"
TEN: "No! But … your choice, if you want to go home."
TEN: "… Cancel Barcelona …"
If Rose was a vapid, shallow person who only cared about the Doctor after he “became attractive," then—upon seeing Ten standing there, in the body of the prettiest man in the universe—she would not have asked him to change back into Nine.But instead, as you can plainly see in the video and in the segment I quoted, she does. She asks him to change back. She even reiterates the question, just to make sure he heard and understood.
And this continues into “The Christmas Invasion." At one point, as the world is falling to pieces around them and the Doctor is laid up in bed, she says, “He wouldn’t do this. The Doctor—the proper Doctor—he’d wake up, he’d save us …" That’s clearly not the attitude of someone who is only in it for the physical beauty of a body rather than the person. Rose wanted Nine, Rose loved Nine.
Now, all of this isn’t to say that she didn’t love Ten. She absolutely did. But it is to say that the ONLY reason she loved Ten was because she fell in love with Nine and realized that, at his core, he was still the same man. It wasn’t until Rose was utterly, completely sold that Ten was Nine, in essence, that she allowed herself to fully accept him (which is the reason why he reassured her by saying, “And it’s gonna be … fantastic" there at the end, at which point she took his hand in hers). Saying that Rose didn’t love Nine and only loved Ten for his looks is absolutely absurd. Her behavior completely contradicts that.
And then, of course, there’s the fact that she emulated Nine hardcore in season four. We’d be here all day if I listed all of the parallels, but as a quick run down:
Carts around big guns
Explosions follow her and she does not flinch at them
Says “oh, now we’re in trouble" when first appearing in “The Stolen Earth," which is exactly what Nine says near the end of “Rose" about the anti-plastic hitting the Nestine Consciousness
Threatens people with a manic grin not unlike Nine’s ("D’you like my gun?")
Simply says “I’m sorry" when she sends alt!Donna off to die in “Turn Left," rather than Ten’s “I’m so, so sorry"
Has a very military-like command, not unlike Nine’s
There are more parallels, but honestly, I am too tired to list them. Basically, Rose in season four is emulating the Doctor from season one (Nine), which fits since TenToo fills a Rose from season one role (but I won’t get into that now). If Rose didn’t love Nine, if she hadn’t fallen in love with him first, I doubt she would have remembered him well enough to emulate him so clearly.
Again, not that she didn’t love Ten—considering that she threw herself into universe after universe after universe to get back to Ten, I’m pretty sure she loved him a whole helluva lot—but again: saying that she didn’t fall in love with Nine is ridiculous. It’s beyond ridiculous. It’s so ridiculous that I’m absolutely flabbergasted that anyone could even dare to suggest it. The only explanation I can think of is that they either skipped season one, or they need the words to be spoken to have them ring true.
Because honestly? The “evidence" list I provided up above is very, very small. It was off-the-top-of-my-head stuff. Just watching season one, watching Nine and Rose together, it’s impossible not to see how much they care about/love each other. I mean, seriously, in episode freaking three:
NINTH DOCTOR: "I’m so glad I met you."
ROSE: "Me, too."
BOTH: [/beam with radiant smiles at each other]
Honestly, how could anyone not see it?