like disney for grown ups

submitted by: sol skyers

It’s that time of the year everyone!! “Out with the old and in with the new“, and what better way to start off 2012 than with a brand new season of “The Bachelor”, where 25 beautiful women come from all across the country just to meet this single hunk.

While introducing the Bachelor to the women who are competing for his affection, they have these brief introductory scenes, where they say a little something about who they are, what they do and what they hope to find on the show. There were a few things that immediately caught my attention and struck me as odd.

Once upon a time shows such as this one, made most if its viewers feel a little green with envy that only the most beautiful women stood a shot at winning the love of their real life prince charming. However nowadays if you look closely and pay any attention at all to the stories of some of these women, you’ll quickly learn that a lot of these women may look the perfect part yet seem to have the same misfortune and bad luck that many of us women have on the other side of the HD television screen.

So far within the first thirty minutes of the show I have heard the story of a woman who had been broken up with via text message, another woman who is a relationship expert blogger, yet cannot seem to find her own true love, who, while telling her story, looked as though she was about to break out into tears. Oh, and of course, the single mother who claims her son is what makes her world go round. I don’t know if it’s just me, but who is watching the little boy who makes your world go round while you are galavanting off trying to find true love?

Now anyone who knows me knows that I myself am a hopeless romantic, but I cannot say that I would abandon my everyday responsibilities just to find ‘true love’. I think it is extremely absurd to showcase these women as desperate enough to come from all of these unique walks of life in hopes of finding Mr. Right. To me it almost appears as though all of these women represent rejection at its finest and here is where they have all been sent to rally and riot for love.

The Bachelor chosen for this season is no virgin to the whole television experience, he was previously on the Bachelorette where he himself was rejected, so all-in-all this season reeks of second chances. A woman just showed up and claims that she knows everything there is to know about wine, (catering obviously to the fact that the bachelor owns a vineyard), so he proceeds to ask her a question regarding a specific type of wine.  She then confesses that she knows nothing about wine at all except that she loves to drink it.

The lengths that people in general will go to make put themselves in the running, to win a spot in someone’s heart is rather ridiculous. This could be why two people get together then divorce or break-up later down the road. That’s the thing with being fake: anyone can do it and many people are fantastic at it. But most can’t do it for the entire ‘happily ever after’.

So the bachelor fast forwards a bit and reveals upcoming scenes, some which include women who clearly have emotional and psychological issues, which I mean many people suffer from mental illness and or some sort of emotional instability, but to have it showcased in front of millions of people just screams desperation for tv ratings. (we love to be validated in our belief that all women are neurotic and unstable).  It definitely adds drama to any reality based television show, and gives most people at home what they want to see.  And what they want to see is what they expect to see.  The socially constructed categories we have all been raised in come to full light on television – there is something audience’s love about being able to believe in the mythical Cinderella and her Prince Charming.  This show is like Disney for grown-ups.

I have carefully inspected the 25 women and I have noticed that not anyone of these women are of color, have any noticeable physical disabilities. There are no women who are plus size, nor are there any women who seem to be over the age of 30. Now I can safely assume that Mr. Ben submitted his special list of what it is he is looking for, but this perpetuates that nasty little cycle that I as a feminist does not like. So what Ben, only Caucasian females under the age of 30 who have silicone breasts are up your alley? Here I thought that true love was about the connection that was made between two people, not just on the superficial exterior. Whatever would Cinderella have done if Prince Charming had a beer belly or a receding hair line? I especially love how all the women are dolled up, looking their absolute best. All of the stops have been pulled out to make this show (or rather, showcase of white, upper class women) a success. Makeup, hair extensions, false lashes, designer dresses, perfect bodies…what happens if it rains, or when he wakes up next to you in the morning and – omigoodness – sees the real you?

So, I lastly see a woman who seemed the most ‘normal’ on the show who quit her job of five years to come onto the show…I don’t know what to say about this.  Television portrays women as so desperate and pathetic that we are willing to do anything at all just for someone else. And that their careers and old lifestyles are disposable. Which sort of makes them … a little disposable.  

I am sorry, but what are we teaching our daughters and our sons? That it’s okay not to pursue professional careers because the man of their dreams will foot the bill and sweep them off of their feet? Are we teaching our sons that it’s okay to be sought out by gold digging women as long as she has a great set of breasts?  That only skinny, white women are sexually attractive? That women and or men who may be in a wheelchair or may have a prostetic limb are undeserving of love? We unfortunately live in a world where we have to set positive and realistic examples for our upcoming generations, but it is something that must be done!

It is a new year and we are only two months in, and I’ll be damned if I am going to buy into this whole sexist, and racist, and patriarchal show. It’s getting a little old.  Wake me when Hollywood decides to let a gay or lesbian search for true love, and among those 25 suitors let there be people of all shapeus, sizes and colors.

Peace, Love & Unity

~Sol Skyers~