When Reality TV Turns Tragic

Sometimes I like to pretend that I don’t have really embarrassing guilty pleasures… Like watching reality television on a Saturday afternoon. But, sadly, I have to admit that I do. And The Bachelor is by far the worst of them.

In case you have more self-control than me, you should probably know that a new season started a few weeks ago, and Ben’s season (the current Bachelor) is quite a hit already. According to tvbynumbers.com, The Bachelor is number one in all of the key female demographics in adults from ages 18-49!

The Bachelor is a ridiculous show where a group of women battle to win one man’s heart, whomever he chooses at the end of the season, he generally proposes to. In the advertisements for the show, they justify this competition as a competition of love for Ben’s heart. Now, not only are all these women stuck in the same house together for about a month and a half, they have to date the same man the ENTIRE time AND fall in love with him. Whoever does “well” in his eyes, gets a rose to secure her place on the show for the next episode.

I enjoy indulging myself in the unintentional humor of the series and mock the fake and obnoxious personalities these people degrade themselves to. But, honestly, its terrifying if you think about it. So many gender stereotypes are constantly being reinforced, encouraged, and exploited.

The basic series set up is a group of “attractive” women who are slowly weeded through by a presumably ideal man, boozing up the ENTIRE time, crying, yelling, and fighting over their common love interest. This type of reality TV not only reinforces ideas that women are emotional basket cases, but that women are irresponsible and easily manipulated for the idea of “love.”

The part that saddens me the most is when they scroll through the biographies of the women; most of them are educated college graduates with “comfortable” lifestyles. When I generally think of independent and educated women, I think of women who constantly have this running through their minds…(in the lovely words of Destiny’s Child!)

“Try to control me boy you get dismissed

Pay my own fun, oh and I pay my own bills

Always 50/50 in relationships

The shoe on my feet, I’ve bought it

The clothes I’m wearing, I’ve bought it

The rock I’m rockin’, I’ve bought it

‘Cause I depend on me

If I wanted the watch you’re wearin’, I’ll buy it

The house I live in, I’ve bought it

The car I’m driving, I’ve bought it

I depend on me, I depend on me

All the women who are independent

Throw your hands up at me

All the honey’s who makin’ money

Throw your hands up at me”

(I hope everyone was singing that in their head :))

But, that’s clearly not the case for these women. They mostly have similar stories of “blah blah, I need love and a man.” I call BULL! No one NEEDS a man or a woman for that matter.

Many of these women alter their personalities to try and seduce him and tease him, and then they expect a happy marriage in the end? This is clearly is a very rare occurrence.

We all have our guilty pleasures, but we should be mindful to not let them inadvertently brainwash us into the stereotypes society wants us to be. So, nice try ABC, but we’re not falling for it!

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