Lifestyle, Movies & TV

‘Bachelor Nation’: Maybe it isn’t so bad

I am a new member of Bachelor Nation — and I have no shame.

Annika Morris | Senior Graphic Artist

Every week, usually on Tuesday evenings, my friends and I gather to view the week’s episode of “The Bachelor.” We set up a projector, light a few candles and pile into one bed as Joey Graziadei appears before us, projected onto a disoriented, partially unironed bedsheet.

I look forward to this feeling every week. The comfort of being surrounded by my best friends consumes me as we take in this one night a week where our busy schedules have an overlapping gap. We throw away our stress, put aside our hours of schoolwork and exist altogether as if we had no responsibilities outside of the room. I’m free, safe and happy. 

From the way that I count down the minutes of each week until the drama can resume, you would think I have watched every season, every year, since I was four years old. 

However, this is the first season that I have consecutively watched every episode, and I plan to do so until Joey finds his perfect match and we have the next bachelorette set in stone. 

I obsess over the past episode’s strategic rose allocation and the inevitable girl-fights — oh, and by the way, I’m team Maria.

I grew up with the idea in my head that “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” set a poor example for women. My parents never wanted me to watch it, even though my mom had it on her bedroom television like clockwork every week. 

My parents believed that “The Bachelor” perpetuated the idea that a woman needed to fight for a man to fall in love with them — publicly and at the expense of other women. They also believed that the producers pit women against each other to maintain viewership, and the majority of the “group dates” are simply competitions where the prize is a rose granting them a safe passage into the next week. 

Ultimately, they believed that this show would instill a negative perception of love and how it emerges and evolves. 

Had I watched this show when I was 13, they probably would’ve been right. I was naive, unaware and highly malleable by what I was told and what I observed. I probably would’ve compared myself to the women on the show by thinking about whether or not I’d be able to win if I were on “The Bachelor” — and the even more damaging question: why or why not?

Would I be pretty enough to win? Maybe. Would I be funny enough to win? Perhaps. Would my personality be enough to pull me through? I would hope so. I would’ve been evaluating my own self worth based on all of these questions, which I now understand would ultimately not matter if I were on the show, considering my chances of winning would be more accurately at the whim of the producers. 

Although I don’t agree with the idea that the fate of supposed star-crossed lovers is up to a lesser-than-divine power, I love the show nonetheless. 

I am now old enough to understand the true game that is “The Bachelor” and admire it from the other side of a screen without internalizing its ideals. For that reason, I can separate the drama and toxicity from the reality of my own relationships and those that I will embrace just as openly in the future, whether it be romantic, platonic, familial and anything else in between. 

While I love the show for its endless entertainment, I think my love stems more from the women I watch it with. Everyday, they are pure examples of the relationships which prove to me that “The Bachelor” is a mere manipulation of connections. 

You could play the worst TV show of all time — any absolute, headache-inducing eyesore — and I’d still count down the minutes until the next episode aired if it meant I would be watching it with these women. 

They are there for me as unconditionally and loyal as they come — to each other and even to the contestant in “The Bachelor” who they choose to rally behind. Now that’s the sign of true friendship, character and even morals. 

If these girls truly saw no issue in Sydney or Jess’ actions, who have come across to viewers as gaslighting and hypocritical for targeting girls out of spite for her confidence and connection with Joey, it would speak volumes to their real-life values.

As for the negative notions that this show undeniably presents, I’ll always be young and impressionable, but the most important impression that brands me is left on me by the people I surround myself with. They are genuine, kind-hearted and caring.

I can say with unwavering certainty that these women would receive any rose I had to give. 

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One Comment

  1. Excellent article!