My Thoughts on The Bachelor

Monday night I was watching The Bachelor and I was horrified – it was equal parts I can’t believe I’m watching this and I can’t believe these people are serious.

As I sat and watched the bachelor go from being convinced that a certain woman might have been “the one” to complete and utter shock upon finding out that “the one” had conducted herself “inappropriately” with a crew member, I had to do some soul searching of my own.  I had to ask myself some important questions – Why do I find this show to be so completely ridiculous?  And why am I watching it?

Why do I find the show to be completely ridiculous?…The bottom line is that I think I’m a bit to old school to be comfortable with The Bachelor’s format, women trying out for a man.  I am however comfortable with The Bachelorette’s format, men trying out for a woman.  Why do I watch the show?…Because it makes me somewhat uncomfortable. 

I know that double standards are tired but unfortunately desperation never looks good on a woman and the things that these women do look desperate – not romantic.  When women act desperate it doesn’t come off as being romantic or determined, it just looks stalker-like.  When men take desperate measures their efforts are most often romanticized. 

I would dare say that when women take desperate measures they are quietly being sized up for their straight-jackets.  Trust me on this one.  You might say I’m absurd but you can look at pop culture and see clear instances where men chasing women was romanticized:

•   John Cusack standing outside of his love interests house in the rain with a radio over his head – Say Anything 
•   Laurence Fishburne standing outside of Rachel’s dorm yelling/begging for her to come down – School Daze
•   Dwayne Wayne running down the aisle at Whitley’s wedding screaming “baby baby please “– A Different World

Reverse the gender roles in any of the above situations and the woman would be classified as grade A stalker material.

Aside from the fact that the vast majority of the women on the show seem to have some sort of chemical imbalance, I am further baffled by the odd camaraderie that these women have with each other.  Patting each other on the back and giving each other hugs of encouragement that they made the cut; giving each other pep talks when one gets sad and is thinking about going home… “you should stay, don’t quit on Jake”.  Are they working together as some sort of team to fall in love with this man???

And then there are the polite/passive-aggressive ways that they interrupt each other to steal time with Jake and read a note, or talk about their yodeling hobby etc.  They’re all desperately plotting a way to properly “express their interest” to him…almost like they were trying to pledge.

Even more bizarre are the tears that are in the women’s eyes when they get sent home.  You JUST MET THIS GUY – you can’t be sad that you didn’t get him, you’ve got to be crying simply because you aren’t the winner of “the prize”…in this case said prize is a doe eyed blonde man who’s playing the role of the good guy.

Each girl that went home on Monday night had the same general statement…I came here to find true love, and I thought I would be the one for him but I guess he just couldn’t see that – did you really think that you would be the one?  Did you really think that in the first couple of days he would be able to see you for who you were?  The first round of cuts is all about looks (and this makes sense, it happens in real life).  I’m not saying that it’s impossible to find true love on reality TV but if you’re shocked that you didn’t find love on ABC’s The Bachelor you might as well pull your lip over your head and swallow – I’m just sayin!

DS Download:  None of us would like to imagine that love is contrived or desperate, most of us imagine that love is natural and that falling for someone is an organic process – not one that turns on when people are miced up and dealing with a camera in front of their face.  However for Jake’s sake I hope that – in the midst of all that comes with filming a reality TV show – he finds “the one.”

7 thoughts on “My Thoughts on The Bachelor

  1. Just wanted to let you know that I’m now a loyal subscriber through Bloglines and I’m loving the more frequent posts. Keep up the great work, Christina!

      • Hi Christina,

        I, too, wanted to let you know that you have more readers than you think. I subscribe via RSS feeder and your posts are sent to my Blackberry, via a software called Viigo. I really enjoy your stride!

      • Yes it does, Bloglines is one of the better web-based RSS readers out there. You should check it out!

  2. I first had to laugh at your state of horror (while you continued to watch the show)! I think back to the one and only time that I watched The Flava of Love (and it was only about 30 minutes or so). My mouth was wide open the whole time in disbelief and I was speechless. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why and how so many of my well-educated friends could enjoy such buffoonery. I’d rather watch paint dry. No seriously, if you watch closely you’ll see the colors…ummm, nehmind.

    As for The Bachelor, I’ve never watched it. However, I have heard of the show and I understand its basic premise. Personally, I think all of the “contestants” are crazy. Crying over someone who you just met is the equivalent of saying “I love you” on the first date. While you may have thought it was a good idea at the time, I assure you that it wasn’t. I guess it’s no surprise that I tell you that I’m not much of a fan of “reality” TV. I mean, is it really real!? BTW, The Bachelorette…not hot either. I’m sure that you’ve come across your share of desperate men. Andderuh, how did that work out?! Only on TV…

    I somewhat agree with your sentiments regarding the different opinions on the acts of desperation of men vs. women. However, there is one aspect even greater that sex that truly defines the difference between being romantic and stalkerish – whether the attention is desired. It’s similar to the “I just wanted you to know that I’m thinking of you” message. If you like the dude, it’s sweet. Otherwise, he’s a loser and needs to stop harassing you. Regarding women’s acts of desperation, we (men) generally don’t expect nor desire a woman to appear to be desperate. Desperate women don’t appear to be a “prize” worthy of the time, attention, and pursuit.

    With that said, I think I’ll see if I can get on The Bachelor. I mean, why wouldn’t I be interested in a show that provides many thirsty, desperate women pining over me? Then again, I think I’ll stick to real life instead of reality TV…although sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference…

    • Aaron, i love your comments, especially your insight into women and desperation. I guess for men it’s generally true that they want to work for it (it=”the one”) and a desperate woman means there’s nothing to pursue/work for. All women inherently know this, it’s hammered into our head – don’t give anything to easily, make him work etc. Knowing this true-ism (men want to work to pursue the right one) the format of The Bachelor is even more peculiar – it automatically puts women in a light that isn’t generally sexy to a man.

  3. Well, what can I say? I’m old-fashioned (but not old) with a progressive twist…where courting, being a gentleman, and taking the initiative still reigns supreme, but women aren’t simply restricted to the kitchen and the bedroom. There are plenty of other rooms…like the boardroom! 😉 Respecting and valuing a woman’s worth, especially “the one” as you say, makes treating her like a queen seem like a more than acceptable requirement. A friend recently said, “He doesn’t treat me like the queen that I am.” I thought the statement (and realization) was admirable. If a woman doesn’t respect herself first, then many men won’t either. Throwing yourself at a man, as The Bachelor suggests, doesn’t suggest self-worth. And you’re right again. A woman who is self-confident and has self-respect exudes sexiness.

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