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What I Learned from Watching The Bachelor for the First Time

I’ve always heard of The Bachelor, but up until this year, I’ve never watched a single episode. After all of the drama and fandoms and clickbait “Tag a Bachelor Fan!” articles clogging up my Facebook feed, I decided to see what all the hype was about. After two and half months and 30 women, my first season of The Bachelor finally came to an end this week – and here’s what I learned.

1. There is always a “villain.”

Even if you haven’t watched The Bachelor this season, you still probably know the name Corinne. She has been the star of the show and the center of all gossip. Corinne is hilarious, wild, and downright crazy at some points. Right off the bat, the show used her bold behavior to frame her as the “villain” – a role, I’ve learned, exists in pretty much every season of the show.

2. At some point, I kind of WANT the “villain” to win.

For all the jokes about Corinne’s nanny and her platinum vagine, it still holds true that she was a champion of The Bachelor. She knew what she wanted and she went for it. Even though, at some points, I did find her assertiveness to be a bit too much, I do recognize that the purpose of the show is to get Nick’s (and the world’s) attention – something we all know she succeeded at.

3. Unfortunately, the “villain” doesn’t win.

As the contestants for Nick’s heart dwindled in number, Corinne was portrayed as a little less out-of-control and more as a potential winner, at least in my eyes. But when it came down to select the final three, Corinne didn’t make the cut. I guess the “villian” never had a chance after all.

4. I love/hate the petty drama.

If you tuned into this season, you know what I’m talking about when I refer to the battle between Taylor and Corinne. While I may have complained about how ridiculous they both were, essentially calling each other stupid and not “emotionally intelligent”, I have to admit that my eyes were glued to the screen during the entire sequence.

5. It’s important to stay aware of slut-shaming, both on the show and in my own thoughts.

Anyone who so as much touches Nick the wrong way is instantly pegged as an enemy to many of the girls in the house. And I get it – it’s easy and almost natural to hate on the person successfully flirting with the man you want to be with. But when Vanessa told Nick off for going too far in public with Corinne, I realized this girl-bashing and slut-shaming is not okay. While common courtesy is important, it’s Nick’s responsibility to draw the line and take into the consideration the feelings of the other women on the show.

6. Diversity is lacking.

Rachel Lindsay, a contestant on the show, was recently announced as the next Bachelorette. Despite this news being a complete spoiler for the current season of The Bachelor, it was also important for another reason: Rachel is the first black Bachelorette. With that news, I came to understand just how stereotypical the two series are – people of color are few and far between and even if they are on the show, they are rarely the winners, and never  the actual Bachelors or Bachelorettes. This is exceptionally frustrating considering how problematic and heteronormative the premise of the show is to begin with. Hopefully Rachel’s success will be a first step for not just racial diversity, but diversity of all kinds.

7. The women also have a decision to make – not just The Bachelor.

Nick isn’t my favorite, but I think he did a pretty good job at emphasizing this point, especially during the season finale. At the end of the day, even though all the female contestants are vying for Nick’s heart, they still have a choice to accept the next rose, and eventually, to accept his ring (if he offers it). The women aren’t just robots automatically trained to be in love with Nick – for them as well, it takes time and the right circumstances to find the perfect romance.

8. This season was extra frisky – and I’m proud of it!

From Corinne’s frequent sexual escapades to Raven’s comment about never experiencing an orgasm, this season of The Bachelor has been anything but PG. The point may be to attract more viewers, but I’ve enjoyed how open the contestants have been, especially when it comes to female sexuality. Raven said it best herself when she discussed her orgasm situation – it’s pegged as a taboo topic, but it’s something that needs to be addressed.

9. I’m officially a Bachelor addict.

Despite all the problems and all the utter absurdities, I haven’t missed a single episode of this season – and I have no regrets. I can’t wait to start this adventure all over again with The Bachelorette 2017!

 

Cover Photo Courtesy of PicJumbo / GIFs courtesy of giphy.com

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Elissa Gray

Northwestern '20

Elissa is a Northwestern junior in Medill studying journalism and political science. She was born and raised in Las Vegas, where her love for sushi, avocados, and hot cheetos all began. When she isn't wasting away in the library, she can be found binge-watching romantic comedies on Netflix, and dreaming about her favorite place in the world, Disneyland. 
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