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.