Reflections on The Bachelor
Ok, we're referencing back to a previous blog about reality TV and, just a warning, be prepared for a rant. I posted a week or two back about a reality TV class I'm taking this semester, and now we are about three weeks into the thing. I had a pretty clear opinion of reality TV shows before, that they are drama-induced acid trips that are addicting for some people, and this class is just solidifying my opinions. Let's start with the one that we just finished tearing apart this week, The Bachelor. Oh...My...Goodness! I have never watched any of this stereotypical-filled-pot-show before this last weekend, never had the interest. I decided I needed to get an idea of what I was dealing with, so I watched the first and last episodes of season 1 then skipped to the season finale from this latest season. The first one wasn't bad, I have to say. It felt more authentic, even though it still felt set-up and staged a good bit of the time, but the latest season was an HD soap opera.
While I was watching the premier episode, I decided to do a tally of the women based on hair color, skin color, and for the heck of it bust size. There were surprisingly more brunettes than I anticipated, more than blondes, a few red heads, and all but two were white women. I wasn't surprised considering the guy was white, and let's face it, mass media has a bad habit of stereotyping or singling out the minorities on these stupid shows.
Though, instantly I noticed something and made an assumption based on that thing -- which turned out to be true. There was one woman, who was busty, and I mean BUSTY. Not saying it's bad, but it was sure noticeable. I made the assumption she would either be in the top five, or be the winner altogether. I was right!
I skipped to the finale of the season, and sure enough, it was miss busty and another blonde in the running. This was another thing I noticed, the other woman was a Pediatrician primarily, but she was also a dancer for the Miami Heat. What did the show focus on with her? The fact that this beautiful, blonde woman has a doctorate's degree and treats children as a career? NOPE! All you ever heard her referred as was a dancer, almost nothing about her primary career. Why is it an issue for women, especially pretty ones, to have substantial careers? Irritating! But back to the issue at hand here, as I predicted the dude picked miss busty. I went on to read about the two of them after the show, mainly because he didn't actually propose, and found they lived together for about a year before calling it all off. Go figure.
It seems that over the next twenty seasons, only two or three of the couples have actually gotten married and stayed married. So much for this idea of a "fairy-tale happy ending." That's another thing, this assumption that these shows are fairy-tales and love can be found in such a way... HA! Come on people, these people are chosen for nothing else than they look good in a bathing suit (admitted to by the main producer for the show). They are placed in an unrealistic situation (a mansion that they don't get to keep), are allowed to wear clothing and accessories that they don't get to keep, and have to "fight" for a man. Who's male chauvinistic idea was this? Most of these women have careers, they don't need a man to support them financially, nor is it necessary for every woman to be "rescued" by a "prince." Just saying.
Skip to the newest season, most of the elements are still the same but what the heck happened to the decorating, lighting, and the people? In the first one it was fairly believable, this time... whoa! Over-exaggerated decor, make-up is way heavier, outfits are more elegant, and the dude cries. Which begs the question, has the ideals of masculinity changed in the last fifteen or so years? Food for thought.
So, the next time you're watching a show like the Bachelor, the Bachelorette, or any reality show, keep in mind how people are being portrayed and ask yourself... is it REALLY reality? and why are you watching it to begin with? Guilty pleasure, or something else?