By: Mia Walsh
Many people have tried to argue that “The Bachelor” is peak reality television, but the truth is that it is not that great. While certainly not the worst show, it is harmful to those who watch for two reasons: it portrays poor relationship dynamics and perpetuates harmful stereotypes.
Per the nature of the show, “The Bachelor” is deeply rooted in drama, distrust, and many other unhealthy relationship patterns. The women must prove their love to a man, and this usually resorts to women being pitted against each other. Vying for attention and love in a relationship throughout the season in aim for an engagement ring is weird energy. Cameras are constantly rolling. The girls put their whole heart into winning a date, and eventually the ring at the end of the season, and when they do not succeed, their self-worth crumbles, which can send a bad message to impressionable viewers.
Another reason that “The Bachelor” is harmful is that it plays into — and plays up — harmful stereotypes. The premise of the show has one man entertaining around 30 women. The show encourages him to share his time equally among them all, and be a, well, bachelor. That includes anything from speaking with the contestants to having sex with them. The trope of sleeping with all of the contestants is so regular in the show that when a bachelor is a virgin or chooses not to have sex, it is emphasized for shock value. This reinforces the stereotype that men “want one thing”/need to have sex to prove their manliness, which is harmful to all viewers, no matter their gender or age.
Overall, “The Bachelor” is just another reality T.V. show with faults that make it inexcusable. (But give us an openly gay bachelor, dammit!)
By: Cristina Formichelli
While the “Bachelor” franchise is certainly not made up of the best shows on television, they are certainly not the worst, either. The empire that is “The Bachelor”, “The Bachelorette”, and “Bachelor in Paradise” takes over pop culture and the internet with its controversy, “stars,” and, of course, drama. Often, events of last night’s episode are the break room and classroom buzz that next morning, bringing strangers and friends together to bond over and discuss the hot goss’. Fans look forward to watch parties and wine with their friends and loved ones once per week, rooting for their favorite couples and booing off the villains. Also, to the inner romantic, watching one person fall in love with beautiful people in beautiful places is so fun and butterfly-inducing, even if the romance is scripted or doomed to fail. It may be “trashy” television, but ask any member of Bachelor Nation and they will say it is not always the content of the show that they love so much, but the social currency it possesses.