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Why I Don’t Watch “The Bachelor”

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

Let’s start out with a disclaimer; I have watched “The Bachelor”/”Bachelorette” before. Thirteen seasons, in fact. I’m not judging you if you do watch “The Bachelor(ette)” because I get it. I get the draw to the drama. Plus Ellen DeGeneres watches it, and she’s arguably the greatest human being ever, but that’s for another time. In the end, I had to stop watching it because I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I knew when I watched the show that the whole premise was twisted. The idea is for one single person to find love among twenty-five people of the opposite sex. Because it’s such a large group of people vying for the same person, it becomes a competition. Trying to figure out one’s true feelings regarding that one bachelor or bachelorette is overshadowed by the desire to beat everyone else there. That’s not to say every single person feels this way, but everyone wants to feel special. And those who are honest with themselves are criticized by the viewers. For example, in Brad Womack’s first season (season 11 of “The Bachelor”), people were outraged that he didn’t pick either of the women in the final episode. Maybe he didn’t give the best reasoning for saying no to the women, but he was honest with himself in that he didn’t feel that deeply for either woman. He came back for a second season and still didn’t find a working relationship with the woman he chose.

He’s being critiqued and defended and having his physical attractiveness drawn to all in one photo

The show has a major lack of diversity. The cast is always largely attractive white people. There are hardly any people of color, and when there are, they leave pretty early on in the show. It also lacks body diversity. The women are thin, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a one piece bathing suit. The men are incredibly fit. There has never been a season of “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” with transgender people or gay people. It’s a constant display of single pretty, straight, white people.

Look at all those white people

There’s also the matter of fact that each season is filmed in about seven to ten weeks. It’s very possible for a couple to find love in that time span, but when you’re dating twenty-five women or men at one time, you can’t really devote your time to getting to know any one person well enough to determine if it’s love.

In addition to the short amount of time, the dates are ridiculously romanticized. Yes, it’s absolutely meant to be that way because the show is about finding love, but when the group travels to exotic and beautiful places around the world, how would anyone not fall in love? The dates involve things like helicopter rides or picking out expensive jewelry and clothes or having musicians come in to play just for the couple. The show just doesn’t take place in real life. No one can truly know if they would work out in their daily life outside of the overly romantic situations. Six couples out of the thirty seasons are still together. That’s not a horribly significant success rate for a show which perpetuates “finding love.” The show is secondly about entertainment, which is why it has lasted so long, but at what price?

Hey! Another helicopter date

This show has also become a socially acceptable form of cheating. It’s probably not as extreme as someone in a married couple doing it with the spouse’s best friend, but it’s still cheating nonetheless. The bachelor or bachelorette goes on dates with multiple people a week and makes out with all of them, too. That kind of environment can play emotional games on anybody. Do not even get me started on the absurd idea that is group dates. Can we all admit that that is so weird? Not only would you be vying for a guy’s attention on the show, but then there are the forced dates on which you have to “steal him away” in order to even get to know him. I have a hard enough time finding a date in real life without fighting twenty-four other girls, so I think I’ll pass.

Paige Netzel is a senior at the University of Iowa, studying English and Creative Writing with a Cinema minor. Coffee, creating playlists, and gratitude are essential to keeping her going. Check her out on Twitter for some hecka funny tweets or on Spotify for those dope playlists.
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