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Roses Are Ruthless

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

Twice a year, viewers across the country enjoy a television series full of drama, emotion, competition, and idealism. The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have both become a huge phenomenon in our culture. With an average of 8 million viewers every week, The Bachelor is the most recent rage. Though the show is very entertaining and has a huge following, there are a few discrepancies that are rarely called into question by the fandom. Star-struck viewers seem to miss the peculiarities that lie just beneath the surface of these two melodramatic reality shows.

1. The Contestants Always Have the Ideal Body

Every season, a parade of 20 beautiful young women (or in the case of The Bachelorette, young men) are delivered to The Bachelor Mansion via limousine. They step out of the mysterious vehicle and, to no surprise, they are all flawless. Each woman has the perfect hair, makeup, dress, and body. However, they all share one similarity in that none of them likely exceeds a 6 in dress size. In an interview with People Magazine, host of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Chris Harrison stated that there would never be a “chubby” Bachelor or Bachelorette. His reasoning being that television is a very “visual medium” and a heavier set Bachelor or Bachelorette would be considered unappealing. Considering that the average American woman is a size 12 in dress size, the idea that anything beyond a 6 is unappealing is unrealistic and slightly prejudiced.

2. The Contestants Are Always Drinking

Based on previous seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, it is pretty clear that the producers seem to exploit the nerves of the contestants with copious amounts of alcohol. In fact, it is rare to see any of the contestants in a situation where alcohol is not present and being consumed. There are toasts after every rose ceremony, drinks at every date, and routine cocktail parties. The frequency of alcohol is anything but unintentional, as the producers use it as a mechanism for contestants to open up to the cameras. It also prompts the contestants to be more emotional, thus begin the frequent breakdowns and dramatic conflicts. For example, Jordan Branch from season 19 and Ryan McDill from season 11 were both sent home because of their drunken antics on the show. However, both of the outbursts were entertaining to viewers. The more drama that the producers can create, the better reception the show will receive from viewers.

3. The Competitors Hate the Process, yet They Chose to Participate

While still competing for the heart of Nick Viall the most recent winner of The Bachelor, Vanessa Grimaldi, announced on national television that she was “fed up” with the process of The Bachelor. She also stated that she was annoyed with having to compete for time and attention. These are common complaints among participants in the show. However, this begs the question “isn’t this what you signed up for?” After 21 seasons of The Bachelor, one would think that a contestant would be very familiar with the process of elimination. Contestants often get irritated and antsy toward the end of the competition, and interactions with fellow contestants always begin to heat up. Unfortunately, reality show contestants often get in way over their heads. Specifically, on The Bachelor/Bachelorette series, contestants are isolated from the rest of the world. They have no internet or television. So by the time the end of the season rolls around, contestants are so “fed up” with confinement that they are quick to interact and cling to a romantic relationship such as the ones depicted in the show. Is it a coincidence that much of the drama and relationship insecurity occurs toward the end of the season? Maybe, but mixing insecurity, alcohol, and isolation would make a person do crazy things, like get engaged to someone you’ve known for less than two months.                                                                                     

4. The Parents of the Contestants Give their Blessing to a Total Stranger

Perhaps one of the biggest highlights in The Bachelor/Bachelorette series would be what the fandom likes to call “hometowns.” Towards the end of their quest for love, the final four contestants take their significant other to visit their hometowns and meet their families. In this episode, it is not unusual for each contestant and their family to share a meal with the designated Bachelor/Bachelorette. The parents typically spend one on one time with them and get to know them for a short time. In the case of The Bachelor, it is anticipated that he ask for the father’s permission for his daughter’s hand in marriage (in the event that she is the last contestant standing). Aside from the fact that he actually asks four different fathers this same question, isn’t it a little unconventional for the father to give his blessing to a person he has only met once?  Let alone to someone who has only known his child for a few weeks? And people wonder why only seven of the thirty-one relationships between the two shows have been successful.

Though The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are guilty pleasures for millions of people, there are some oddities that often stay under the radar. The two melodramas, while entertaining and oftentimes humorous, set unrealistic standards for relationships and appearances. The reality is that there are no flawless people, and just because a relationship is appealing to an audience doesn’t make it functional. There is no perfect process of elimination in dating, and there should be no need for alcohol-generated feelings. Although the dramatic antics, cliché pick-up lines, and dazzling dates are captivating to viewers, it is impossible for contestants to continue to live such a meticulous façade once the cameras are turned off.
















GCU 2019 Entrepreneurial Business Major
President of the Her Campus Chapter at Grand Canyon University. I am a Senior at GCU majoring in Government. I love adventures, horses and Nutella!