The Bachelor is Harmful to Women’s Mental Health

I usually never watch the Bachelor, and to be honest, I don’t entertain reality TV shows at all. But once I heard that this season of the Bachelor would be a black man, (bi-racial; but would mainly identify as black) along with Ryan Claytor a JMU alumna being one of his perspective love interest, I had to tune in. Now after watching a few episodes, it truly baffles me how women can go through with this process. To briefly sum up what happens on this ridiculous television show, women are put against each other to win the heart of a man they don’t even know… A show I would think to be opposed by feminist everywhere.

Why would these strong, beautiful women put themselves in a situation like this to begin with? While watching the show every Monday night at 8 p.m., you begin to witness some really uncomfortable situations. Whether it was Matt James (the previous bachelor) kissing with his eyes open, or contestants confessing their love for Matt and him responding “thank you for sharing that”, you actually start to feel sorry for these girls and begin to ask yourself the question “Are they really ok?” … But who is really ok with their heartbreak, being used as entertainment for the world to see?

Not only is their journey towards finding love being televised all over the world but these women are constantly scrutinized for their appearance, told they are “too jealous” and their actions towards each other are “petty”. But what do you expect from 37 women trying to get the attention of one man who they don’t even know?  Personally, you wouldn’t catch me fighting over any man, that man would have to fight for me.

I personally believe, being in the Bachelor mansion can cause determinantal effects on the young women’s self-esteem. By putting all of their time, energy, and emotion towards trying to win the affection of a man and receive the ring in the end, can be emotionally draining and is exploiting these young women’s vulnerability. To me, it seems like a cry for help regarding self-worth, self-esteem and validation.

Now, this doesn’t go for all the women on the show. Out of 37 there can be women who are sure of themselves and regardless of the outcome of the competition, they still know their self-worth. But there are also women who will start to ask themselves, “why am I not good enough?” a mental note that can break a woman down entirely. Even though, the show is just for entertainment, I think producers and viewers fail to realize that these are real people, with real emotions, and being a part of this process can be devastating to their mental health.  

Cheers, to the women who leave the show with their head held high and crown still shining, to the women who are still empowered and willing to continue their search for love. And to the women who are affected from the show, don’t think for a second that you’re not worth it, your prince charming is out there, and sis lets be real… half the girls who leave this show engaged, don’t even make it to the wedding let alone stay married, you dodged a bullet, and gained a second chance at love.

6 thoughts on “The Bachelor is Harmful to Women’s Mental Health

  1. This topic is one that has weighed heavily on my mind, as well. I find this show so degrading, not to mention the ridiculous tasks and challenges they make the women go through in order to win a date with the bachelor. I have noticed that there is a HUGE female fan base following this show. When I tell my female peers that I find it disgusting and that I do not watch, they look at me like I am crazy. Why do so many females find this type of television okay? Since when did we put our feminist swords down when it comes to the bachelor? It seems like the bachelor gets a free pass when it comes to feminism and I think we should hold it more accountable!

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    1. They literally put women through hell with these activities, and then a degrading voting process just to make the women feel like they aren’t worthy if they don’t get selected

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  2. This is true, the intensity of the emotions that go through all the women’s minds are troublingly valid. However, they often do not join the infamous show with intentions to compete for a man’s hand in marriage, and they know what they’re signing up for. It is more so to present themselves with the opportunity of being placed in the public eye. Just about every woman who features on the show go on to become famous, gains hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, and hence sponsorships, and are therefore automatically placed with the opportunity to appear on “Bachelor in Paradise” (which is more entertaining than “The Bachelor”, in my opinion). The bachelor is able to recruit a vast amount of beautiful women with the promise of it serving as a gateway for stardom. Additionally, this show does not persist solely as “The Bachelor” with a man surrounded by 30 different women he simultaneously dates. The show rotates seasonally to “The Bachelorette” where 30 men compete for one woman’s attention as well.

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  3. YESS! I do not understand the love of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette!! I don’t mind a reality show that is very obviously dumb – like Love Island or Too Hot to Handle – but people really take The Bachelor(ette) seriously! And its wild! My roommates started watching this season, it was their first time ever watching it, and I figured I’d sit down and try to see what the hype was all about. And I couldn’t sit for more than about 10 minutes. The women on the show were likening themselves to objects in their little interviews and being terrible to each other. This show just furthers heteronormative and patriarchal standards and I cannot stand to watch it!

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  4. This show really knows how to push my buttons. I find it really difficult for any self-respecting woman to even want to go on a show like this and subject themselves to such stereotypical and demeaning standards. I have done a little research on the show and have heard many accounts from previous contestants that the producers make a lot of the decisions for the person “looking for love” and they have very little say in who gets to stay. What you said about most people on the show not staying together is also dead on, which isn’t surprising because how can you really get to know one person that well in the some number of weeks the show is produced.

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    1. I think its so crazy that producers have a say so in what girls get to stay, because that truly defeats the whole purpose of the show and just means its fake lol. another reason why i am not a fan

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