There’s no doubt that reality TV is engraved into American popular culture. As TV and technology advance astronomically, it’s quite the mystery as to why our intelligence continues to rise but shows like “The Bachelor” continues to prosper.
“The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” television series are the epitome of bait for oblivious young adult audiences. The shows are specially targeted toward women, which really throws a wrench into new-age feminism movements.
It’s both a little hypocritical and funny that the show’s premise is everything women are terrified of in relationships: cheating. The actual premise of “The Bachelor” is for a man to date 30 women concurrently, only to narrow it down to three in the end. How flattering is that?
It’s also humorous that the finalists get to take the bachelor home to their families, who are just as accepting of the conditions as the girls on the show are. I’d like to think that they’re just playing along, knowing that their daughters have the potential to become a full-time Instagram model or even the next Bachelorette.
Speaking of which, viewers would be mindless to think that people go on that show for actual love nowadays. It’s no secret that once a girl or guy appears on “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette,” their social media statistics skyrocket. Suddenly, they have a job both as an influencer and a diet supplement salesperson. If they’re lucky and just perfectly generic enough, they can snatch a spot as the next “single-person-put-on-a-pedestal” for six months.
As for the “drama” that ensues on the show, there is none. The creators of the show play it safe, so that there isn’t a pinch of offensiveness or obscenities to displease any particular group. However, the editors are great at cutting together absolutely nothing and making it seem like something to entice you to tune in.
What do you expect when putting people with the most mediocre personalities together on a show where they all generally follow the same traditional beauty standards? Only recently has the cast expanded to diversities outside of predominantly caucasian, yet they still ignore plus-sized and disabled women. Also, there’s a lack of LGBT+ representation amongst cast members, let alone the starring characters; there has never been an LGBT+ Bachelor or Bachelorette at all.
Not only does this show inaccurately portray real-life relationships and beauty standards, but the franchise is also entirely built off of outdated, misogynistic stereotypes. This whole idea for the so-called drama entirely plays off of the worn-down stereotype of “catty” women. “The Bachelorette,” however, approaches a territory of almost constant toxic masculinity and alpha behavior.
The truth is that “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” profit off of degrading and objectifying women. Even with attempts to preach “girl power,” it’s transparent that the franchises are nothing but Hollywood powerhouses that fund the network they air on. When it all boils down, the show brings in the exact audience that advertisers want. So, why fix something that’s not broken, right?
Gabrielle Martinez is a 19-year-old mass communication freshman from Gonzales, Louisiana.