• Stephanie Hinds

The Bachelor Recap: You're Joking, Right?


I missed the “exciting” season premiere of season like, 101 of The Bachelor. However, during a 5 hour break between a lecture and my shift at work, I decided to watch it online.

It never ceases to amaze me how silly I can be sometimes.

To sum it all up, 25 plus an additional 2 women were selected amongst a sickening number of women who applied to be contestants on the show after finding out that the bachelor would be no other than some guy named (get your accents ready) Juan Pablo Galavis.

From what I know, he was on The Bachelorette last season and despite not winning the heart of Desiree Hartstock, he did win the hearts of women all over the world. Critics say it was his devotion to his daughter and life as a single dad that wooed us all. But maybe, just maybe, it had to do with his athletic build, perfectly messy hair, enchanting eyes, and “romantic” accent.

I watched in agony as the “wide” variety of blondes, brunettes, and the token black female were introduced. Each of them trying desperately to put on ridiculous Latin accents to impress him, appear genuine, loving, and “in it for love”. Despite vomit sitting comfortably at the back of my throat, I was able to waste an entire 86 minutes of my life that I will never get back.

As the show progressed, I found myself questioning the ultimate purpose of the show, particularly, the unintended consequences of it.

Maybe some of the women are in it for love, certainly some of them are in it for the publicity, and I bet a few of them are in it hoping for some sort of sexual encounter.

But as I sit here in the audience of God knows how many women, more critical than enticed, I can’t help but think about what this show says about women, and how it portrays us to be.

A number of these women in their introductions jumped at the chance to tell the stories of their “sad” and “depressing” love lives. One of them stated, “I was hoping to be married by 31.” As the visual image of depression grows on her face, she tells the audience the story of how that all fell apart after her ex-fiance called off the wedding six weeks after their engagement.

Aw, how sad. Two words: move on.

My spirits rose when a few of the women portrayed themselves as career-oriented females. One of them is a criminal prosecutor, one of them is a pediatric nurse, and to be honest those were the only two careers I remember really. My spirits sank again when the women attributed their devotion to their career as the reason they were unable to find love.

As if we haven’t seen this enough in our society; the unspoken ultimatum given to women; it’s either your career or your love life, and you'll be lucky if you can fit motherhood into the equation.

Although, Marissa Mayer did a fine job of indulging in all three.

I’m sick of it all.

After watching the show, unsure of whether or not I would progress to the second episode (luckily I have 6 days to decide), I couldn’t help but feel like women can do better. As much as I’d like to blame the television production company, I’m quite sure it wasn’t them holding knives to the throats of the contestants who uttered the following remarks:

“I’ve been dying to hug you.” (Dying, really?)

“It’s not just a rose, it’s my future.” (I doubt your future was that bright anyway, honey)

“I’m sick and tired of people looking at me and feeling sorry for me.” (This came from the woman who had been dumped by her ex-fiance and she said it as her eyelashes slightly unglued themselves)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t actually know any women like this. Not in real life. Most of the women I know who are single are single by choice, or patiently waiting for love. And half the women I know in relationships are dying to get out. Although we ought to be more careful with our use of the word "dying", right contestant #1?

Maybe it was my mistake to watch the show, although I do recall truly enjoying it when I watched it a few years ago. Mind you, that was before I took a few Women and Gender Studies courses at the University of Toronto and totally gave in to trashy, over-sensationalized television drama. I can’t be that unfair though, because I do watch every Real Housewives there is religiously. (New Jersey is definitely my favorite. Gotta love those Italians)

But how can we be onlookers of such genuine tragedy?

If you ask me, which I’m well aware that you didn’t, the biggest part of this tragedy isn’t the lame essence and desperation of the show. It’s that it has been so popular that it has lasted for like, 101 seasons, and evolved itself into The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad.

The only ray of light I found in the entire show came from, drumroll please, the Canadian! Woohoo! 29-year-old opera singer Sharleen came to the rescue of dignified women. She was granted the holy grail (first impression rose) for being “elegant” and “beautiful” according to Galavis, and undesperate, according to ME.

Prior to the rose being delivered to her, she mentioned on camera that she felt, quite frankly, that the build-up of the chemistry she anticipated fell short of what she felt, or didn’t feel, after meeting (accent time) Juan

Pablo. She opened up about how forced the connection felt, and then she uttered these magical words:

“It’s about whether I feel something or not. That’s the most important thing.”

The best part of the entire show was her nonchalant reaction to receiving, and apprehensively accepting the rose. She actually said, "Sure", when he asked her if she would accept it. Priceless. She proved to everyone that desperation doesn't win you a rose, just ask the girl in the pink dress with the terrible dye job who thought he called her name, had to turn around, and asked if he'd take them both anyway. Yeah, that really happened.

Sharleen proved that being cool, calm, and collected in the midst of such madness might get you farther than an erotic massage 5 minutes into your one-on-one time.

Bravo!

I know that come next Monday, I will face a moral issue of whether or not to tune into it on television. And if I do it will be because I have absolutely no homework, will have consumed a glass of wine or two, and really, to see Sharleen, my heart (and vagina’s) hero.

But the promise I’m making to myself and to my readers is that I will not let down my sense of reality, and certainly not my understanding of it, and believe for one second that this is a fair representation of women.

But in case it is, we have got a lot of work to do.


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