Columns, Opinion

Modern Beauty: Bachelor contestant blues

Let me be clear. I am not a fan of The Bachelor/Bachelorette by any means. This season’s batch of contestants are the only ones I’ve truly kept up with every week, and it’s only because my friends designated our common room as “the spot” for viewing parties. So on this Monday’s viewing, I have decided to type out my thoughts as I drearily watch on.

Here’s what I know to be true: The Bachelor provides an unhealthy habit for girls who have time to watch a two-hour show on Mondays. This isn’t exactly breaking news, but I’m compelled to write about this as I stare at Colton Underwood’s exceptionally boring face.

Why do we — women at BU — support a program that doesn’t accurately represent women and men as a whole? The Bachelor’s cookie-cutter contestants should be replaced with women and men that showcase more diversity on several levels.

Let’s start with ethnic and racial diversity. But Emily, you question, aren’t there people of color on the contestant roster? I mean, yes, but it doesn’t cut it by a long shot. The first black bachelorette appeared just two years ago even though the show debuted in 2003! When was the last time more than two Asian American women made the show?

It’s not like it’s some brand-new trend. Inclusivity is always in. Modeling campaigns show women and men with a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Is The Bachelor an exception to unwritten accurate representation rules? No.

Next comes diversity in physical appearance. We all know the checklist for all Bachelor contestants more or less includes long, extension-filled hair, pristine fake tan and, most importantly, a toned bod.

By inviting “perfect-looking” people to be on the show, it’s setting detrimental standards for viewers. It promotes the connotation that one needs to look like some standard of “perfect.” There’s beauty in different body types and different features. Viewers should relate to contestants in physical ways, too.

I feel like I’m not the only who thinks this, but a lot of the contestants on the show have shallow personalities and interests. For once I’d like to see a season without at least seven public relations specialists and whatever an “influencer” is. Where are the lawyers? What about women with interests in innovation and technology? They exist, so why not cast them?

I hope this raises good points for those who don’t see an issue with watching The Bachelor. I see problems with the entire premise of the show anyway, but that’s entirely another topic. Why do people think it’s OK for one person to date like 30 people at once? In a way, The Bachelor is allowing for an on-television revival of polygamy.

This doesn’t just apply to The Bachelor, obviously. This goes for all reality TV shows and everything that serves to influence and entertain people. Beauty isn’t specific, and Bachelor contestants shouldn’t be, either.

OK, the show is finally over. Thank God.

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