“The Bachelor,” a show that pins 30 girls in expensive evening gowns against each other to fight for roses, date cards and an engagement proposal — all from the same man — would be considered anti-feminist by anyone who were to come across the show. Yet, it is still widely loved, adored and watched by millions of viewers every Monday night.
What makes the show hugely successful and keeps it running, despite the misogynistic values that built it, is the loyal fan base and the dialogues the show has created.
Fans of the franchise are known as Bachelor Nation. According to the Variety website, the fan base is comprised of mostly women ages 18-49. They spend Monday nights watching the show, drinking wine and discussing the drama on Twitter.
Many enthusiastic viewers host viewing parties for the show and participate in Bachelor Fantasy Leagues, an online game developed by ABC, which allows viewers to cast weekly predictions in hopes of winning an all-expenses paid trip to the taping of “After the Final Rose,” the show that airs after the season finale.
#TheBachelor trends every Monday at 8 p.m.
Although it is mainly a stream of memes and jokes about the stereotypical and ridiculous drama that happens every episode, there are times when the fan base comes together to praise the women on the show and discuss empowering moments.
This season, contestant Caelynn Miller-Keyes spoke to Bachelor Colton Underwood about being sexually assaulted at a party in college.
She also explained the difficult process she experienced when trying to report her rape.
The scene resonated with many viewers.
Some were even surprised to witness such an open and honest conversation on “The Bachelor.”
Laura Hensley, the national lifestyle reporter for Global News, thanked Miller-Keyes for using her platform to start a dialogue about sexual assault.
Miller-Keyes is not the only woman this season who has been praised for her strength.
In episode seven, contestant Hannah Brown failed to receive a rose from Underwood.
As she was sent home in the limo, she told the camera, “The desire of my heart is to be loved so fearlessly by somebody. I will not allow myself to not feel chosen every single day. And I’ll wait till whenever that is.”
Viewers appreciated Brown’s maturity and strength in the way she handled the situation.
This most recent season has also displayed supportive and healthy girl friendships, which is important for young viewers.
Many shows, including “The Bachelor,” tend to stereotype all women as catty and partaking in friendships that only end in backstabbing.
However, in an episode this season, Miller-Keyes defended contestant Cassie Randolph when negative rumors about Randolph were being spread.
Despite competing to become engaged to the same man, Randolph and Miller-Keyes showed loyalty, respect and support for one and other.
These types of friendships need to be shown on television more.
Although the premise of the show is degrading, and there is no excuse for it, “The Bachelor” creates a platform for contestants to: create conversation about important topics, exhibit examples of girl power and healthy friendship, and show strength in vulnerable situations to an audience of millions.
This kind of power can ultimately unite and inspire women across the country, if the show chooses to do so.
Show Comments (0)