I’m sure most of you have heard of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, or Bachelor in Paradise. The shows, hosted by Chris Harrison (who is divorced, might I add), are all about competing to find love and find “the one.” There is one person (boy = bachelor, girl = bachelorette) who has about 20 women or men to choose from and find their husband/wife. At the end of each episode, contestants are awarded a rose to signify their movement to the next round of the show. The Bachelor, where there is one guy and lots of women, is currently airing. If you watch the show, last night was when the remaining girls took the Bachelor to their homes and introduced him to their families. ABC describes the program on their website:
“Bachelor Nation was heartbroken when fan-favorite Ben Higgins, the charming software salesman, was sent home by Kaitlyn Bristowe on The Bachelorette. Ben saw a ‘great life’ with Kaitlyn, only to have it disappear before him when he was left without a rose. It wasn’t easy for Ben to open himself up to love on The Bachelorette because he’s been hurt in past relationships. However, now knowing he is capable of being in love and being loved, he is ready to put the heartbreak behind him as he searches for his one true love when he stars in the milestone 20th season of ABC’s hit romance reality series, The Bachelor, returning to ABC in January 2016.”
Do I watch the show? Yes. Do I laugh at the awkwardness of the dates and the absurdity of the show’s concept? Of course. But deep down there is a BIG problem that lies within The Bachelor.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a famous humans rights activist, speaks on what it means to be a woman:
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
The biggest problem I have with this show is that it yet again places women in a competitive atmosphere against each other. We compete for EVERYTHING already. The show does not promote friendship and girl to girl support but instead a race to see who can win the attention of their suitor and stand out among the other contestants. Girls in previous seasons have done some CRAZY things to get the Bachelor’s attention, especially on the “arrival” episode where the girls take limos and walk up to the Bachelor one by one.
Like when this girl walked up to meet the Bachelor for the first time in a freaking wedding dress.
…or when Chantal SLAPPED the dude??
The girls continue to be placed at odds with one another through the seasons, since they compete for dates and private time with the Bachelor as well. This is not healthy in ANY way for anyone involved and the girls ultimately make a huge fool of themselves on the show as they navigate the extremely unnatural dating environment that is The Bachelor.
I’m going to add here quickly that after 30 SEASONS – 30!!! – of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, only 8 couples are still together.
This very, VERY small number only shows that this concept of dating is so unsuccessful, so unhealthy, and so damaging.
[Tweet “Ultimately, society today has placed a larger than life emphasis on women competing against other women for the attention of others and this has to stop.”]
Ultimately, society today has placed a larger than life emphasis on women competing against other women for the attention of others and this has to stop. It impacts mental health, self esteem, productivity, and so so much more in more ways than I can count. Dating “naturally” so to speak and without intervention from the media and pop culture is so much better and more intimate than what is broadcasted on television today.
As a woman, what can I do to help this? Its quite simple: stop competing and just start supporting.
[Tweet ” Its quite simple: stop competing and just start supporting. “]
Do you watch The Bachelor? What’re your thoughts?