The issue of diversity has become a constant discussion point in The Bachelor and other types of reality shows, with cookie cutter, blonde stereotypes representing what’s expected to be a sample of our population. The show cherry picks their own ideal Australian women for the Bachelor to court, taking on a whole new meaning of the phrase digging through trash to find treasure. Not only are the participants white-washed but a majority of them are blondes with similar facial features. It’s come to the point where if there was a line up at a police station it would be hard to distinguish one girl from the next.
Producers take advantage of the fact that we live in an impressible age where social media dictates our lives, where everything that is broadcasted, tweeted and instagramed has an effect on our own perspective. While it is a purely superficial reality show, every TV show still has an impact on our society. Reality shows like Jersey Shore have created a subculture of heavily tanned individuals, glorifying behaviours such as binge drinking and fighting. Women have enough issues as it is without the pressures of slimming down and achieving a desirable look just to attract their own modern day bachelor like Matty J.
Women are not only competing for their chance at love with The Bachelor but also for their fifteen minutes of fame, after all isn’t that what a majority of them are in the competition for. Or do they really believe that true love is on the other side of a heavily constructed reality show?
The show also takes a dig at the intellectual capacity of these contestants reducing them down to shallow, image obsessed girls whose idea of conflict resolutions are catfights. While progress has been seen with the introduction of a bi-sexual contestant, more barriers can be broken down by introducing gay bachelors and bachelorettes or even upping the age to what’s considered as the true age of an actual real life bachelor, mid 40’s.
We hope people can take these shows very lightly and to just treat them as fodder for the office gossip the next day. Let’s hope that people who are watching The Bachelor realise that there is more than one nationality, that being young and beautiful does not mean everything and that a test based on whether your ideal date is going to the beach does not determine compatibility. There will come a time when the public will become sick of the same ideals being shown over and over again and hopefully this will start a discussion around change.
SheSociety is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.