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Why I Never Watch The Bachelor

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Drexel chapter.

I have a confession to make — I’m a former reality television addict. Once upon a time the drama on the Real Housewives was more enticing to me than trying out an episode of Game of Thrones. Eventually, however, my addiction waned when I came to the realization that there’s something about reality television that seems very unrealistic. A lot of the drama that happens is very contrived, and The Bachelor is no exception.

On the current season, 28 women are competing for the chance to become the fiancée of Ben Higgins, an eligible bachelor from a small town in Indiana. Ben works in software sales, he’s sensitive, he was the quarterback of his high school football team, and he wants to find the love of his life. On paper, he’s the perfect guy and the contestants are well aware of that. So much so, that they are willing to endure jealousy, self-doubt, insecurity, and possible rejection for the chance to date a man they’ve never met before on national television alongside dozens of other women.

This show appeals to hopeless romantics that believe in fate and the idea of having a whirlwind fairytale romance, but is being on this show really worth all the trouble?

There’s no such thing as monogamy or infidelity when so many people are competing for the heart of the bachelor. As a result, the women are constantly second guessing themselves, being envious of each other, and feeling stressed. They always have to be thinking about what they should do to get the bachelor to notice them more than anyone else. If a contestant gets complacent, another woman could catch his attention. The show takes dating, an experience that should be enjoyable, and turns it into an anxiety-inducing game of strategy.

In the season premiere, Ben has to stand outside and individually greet each woman that arrives. The objective for each contestant is to make a memorable first impression. One woman stepped out of the limo wearing a unicorn mask on her head while another showed up toting a pony. This part of the show is basically a contest to see who can come up with the most creative pickup line or the craziest entrance.

As the episode continues, the ladies vie for Ben’s attention, pulling him away from heavily populated areas of the house to have private conversations.  All of these exchanges are, of course, being filmed. How can all these women be completely genuine on the show when they know they’re being watched by millions of people? I don’t want to watch a reality show where I have to question whether or not people are being authentic.

The bachelor does get to take the women out on group and individual one-on-one dates. Unfortunately, these dates are nothing more than thinly veiled product placements and advertisements. In the second episode, Kevin Hart and Ice Cube show up to promote their new movie “Ride Along 2.” Ben and his date, Caila, then have to try to get to know each other better while the two actors are interrupting the couple and cracking jokes in the back seat of a car. If I were in that car I would feel awkward and annoyed.  

At the end of each episode the bachelor must give a rose to the women who he wants to move on to the next round. The contestants that don’t get a rose react as if they’ve been dating Ben for years instead of days. It’s confusing to see these women so attached to a person they barely know. It takes a lot of confidence to put yourself out there on national television. These women must feel disappointed, rejected, and like they weren’t good enough for Ben but it’s almost as if some of the contestants love the idea of him more than the actual him. They like the idea of the “perfect guy” choosing one person out of 27 other women and having a happily ever after with her. This way of thinking is unrealistic and naïve.

While the drama on The Bachelor can be fun to watch, the messages that the show perpetuates can also be damaging.  Women should not feel like they have to make a fool of themselves or compare themselves to others for the sake of finding their one true love.

Sarah is a Marketing and Technology & Innovation Management major from Brooklyn, NY. In her free time she enjoys reading lifestyle/fashion/beauty blogs and literature, trying to get her life together, watching Netflix, and spending an unhealthy amount of time on social media. 
Her Campus Drexel contributor.