What Made Me Angry About The Bachelor Episode #1

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

And now for everyone's favorite sport: love.

The Bachelor Season 348* premiered last night {spoiler alert!} and I actually just accidentally watched it (wasn't planning on it), but now I'm hooked for a number of reasons.

1. What was twitter before The Bachelor?
2. What was The Bachelor before twitter?
3. What came first, twitter or The Bachelor?

The world will never know.

*actually season 19.

More than reignite my love of the 140-character insult, the 2-hour premier last night also did something else: it made me rather angry. It started as a slow, subtle anger, buried beneath usual, shallow thoughts that occur on a show that's literally designed for the national judgment of 30 (desperately-seeking-love) girls.

She wore cowboy boots!
She wore a pig snout!
Look at those tattoos!
Does that dress even cover her butt?

And other profound realizations occurred throughout the show, but it was only today when I was chatting with a friend on the phone re: our favorite Monday night sport post-NFL season that it hit me: last night was a pretty offensive episode when it comes to weight/size of women.

Ok, ok, I know, I know, I know, girls on The Bachelor are ALWAYS skinny. Farmer Chris requested skinny girls. That's his preference. I KNOW.

But, still, let's do some exploring of the show. The show wasn't 100% full of skinny women.

There was a group of women from Chris's home town being interviewed as part of the Live audience. They weren't all skinny. Which was fine, but they seemed to be there as an obvious juxtaposition. As if to say "Oh, and as Chris hangs out with super models in a fantasy suite, let's show you what women look like where he comes from." The (obvious) comparison left a bad taste in my mouth. Did those seemingly nice women get the same stylists, hair, make-up, and budget as all the girls on the show did to prep for the evening? I think not.

Chris also made many comments about how few choices he had in Iowa. How his whole life he had "So much time and so few women; and now he had so many women and so little time." Him dissing his Iowa options of women just added insult to injury. (I did live in Iowa until I was 7 after all ;)

Then there was Bo, the only contestant that wasn't thin, whose job was "Plus-sized Model." Bo got about 15 seconds of face time with Chris where she's talking about (wait for it) eating and said of her modeling career, "I gotta keep my curves."

Bo went home rose-less, unfortunately, but I'd like to think she and Chris in real life talked about something other than food. And, I'd like to think you can be curvy, and have meat on your bones, without having to mention it. Like the elephant in the room is your weight, and you must mention that your career depends on it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming the girl. I'm thinking Bo had plenty of things to say that didn't involve her own curves, but when the show got edited, someone thought their conversation needed to be solely focused on addressing her weight.

And, furthermore, when you're selecting girls for this show, I'd like to think you had plenty to choose from who were a little overweight, and maybe had a job that didn't require them to be as such. And maybe had a job other than "model." It's like the producers were saying "Yes, she's big, but she's a model, so maybe she has a chance on this show."

AND I'd like to think that you didn't need to choose 29 super skinny girls and 1 big girl. Maybe you could have an in-between sized girl. A medium sized girl. A very tall girl. A very short girl. I'm not suggesting there's anything wrong with being skinny (I've always been pretty thin, personally, but extra tall), I'm just suggesting that maybe size could just be a little more diversified on this show so girls who don't fit the mold of "The Bachelor contestant" don't feel unnecessarily pressured into fitting that mold.

I think women of all sizes can "find love." However, right now, I don't think women of all sizes can find love on reality T.V. The good news is, since I believe really hardly anyone can find love on reality T.V., I guess they aren't missing much.

p.s. This post obviously doesn't even address the total and complete lack of racial diversity. But I guess my point is, this show isn't even showing diverse WHITE girls. It's absolutely homogenous, which, in my opinion, is a very bad thing.

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