Shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are controversial and, apart from invoking a sense of schadenfreude within me (I’m working on minimizing that), don’t offer realistic choices. I mean, what is it with creating new shows with previous rejects? It defeats the purpose doesn’ it? These shows tend to remind me of sites like BeautifulPeople.com a dating site that focuses only on, you guessed it, stereotypically ‘beautiful’ people. This site has most recently been in the news for rejecting overweight people and it’s not the site that rejects the potential members, but the ‘beautiful members’ who (callously) vote.
This global community, which allows users to decide whether prospective candidates have the necessary aesthetic appeal to join them, has just expelled more than 5000 members for letting themselves go over the festive period.
There is narcissism all around us. Anyway, back to The Bachelor/Bachelorette. A friend of mine busted me watching a recent installment and harangued me about it.
“What are you doing Mz Feminista? Watching The Bachelor?”
I defended myself. Admittedly it wasn’t a good defense. “I just get a kick from watching these contestants build themselves up for rejection,” I said. Admittedly, it’s the only part I tend to focus on, as well as the way the female contestants propagate the knight in shining armor myth, as well as their Barbie fantasies. But Andy Ostroy’s Huffington Post blog recently discussed the racial angle and, dang…it’s true! Wait…it’s not that true. Ostry takes the following view:
So what the heck is happening over there at ABC? Why the obvious conscious decision to keep the show lily white all of a sudden? Is there not even one smart, strong confident black woman that could’ve been vying for Jake’s attention? Not even one successful, intelligent black man for Jillian? And I say this with a huge grain of salt, and a heavy dose of sarcasm, as the mere ethnic tokenism of these two shows over the years is insulting in and of itself. Out of 25 candidates, you’d think at least 20-30% would be black, Hispanic and Asian. Simply having one never made ABC inclusive.
It’s a fair and realistic observation. You’d think, that in a country with all ethnic denominations, that the same ethnic representations would appear in the ABC programs, but they don’t. Is this the Network’s fault? What about the advertisers? But wait a second,it could -and this is where I’m leaning more toward – reflect the actual contestant. Yes, the Bachelor or Bachelorette and THEIR preferences. No, they don’t want to date African-American men or women, or Asian men or women. Just like serial killers, who prefer to choose victims from their own cultural gene pool, these Bachelors and Bachelorette’s prefer relationship contestants from their White Caucasian backgrounds. Is that a crime? Now for the most controversial thing…
I’m betting that if they had chosen an African American contestant, the majority of the contestants would be African American.
Ostroy is a little innaccurate when he focuses on the ‘white’ angle. Who is really ‘white’?” What does ‘white’ really mean? As I understand it, many contestants within these shows aren’t really Anglo-Saxon. They may have Mediterranean backgrounds…they may be Norwegian. Whatever. It would be equally impolite just to add token African American or Asian contestants, only to eliminate them. I never thought I’d say this about a reality show like The Bachelor and Bachelorette (They’re not really….real? Nor do they reflect reality) but the actual absence of the more obvious ethnic groups actually reflects a level of honestly.
** The image above features Brad Womack and his…’realisation’ that he didn’t fall in love! It’s no surprise. It would be damn near impossible to conduct some sort of relationship that is broadcast internationally. The below follow up interview with Ellen shows how much fakery goes on behind the scenes, from the producers of these shows.If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed.
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