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Does ‘The Bachelor Australia’ promote sexist and damaging ideals? Yeah

The Bachelor Australia is incredibly addictive. With its huge personalities, wine, and drama, it’s admittedly entertaining but also backwards as hell.

The Bachelor Australia is one of those shows you can label as a cultural phenomenon. The Australian version has clocked eight seasons and the US version is stunningly up to season 25. That’s a scary number, up there with The Simpsons and South Park. But is it innovative, daring, and creative like those shows? Absolutely not. It’s backwards as hell. One of our staffers got baked, watched The Bachelor, and found some serious problems with it. I’m here to expand on her findings without the assistance of devil’s lettuce, sadly.

Also, a quick disclaimer: we’re not looking to upset or point fingers at any die-hard fans: the show is obsessed over for a reason! However, it’s worth discussing the implications of The Bachelor’s premise and the impact the show’s portrayals are having on its audience. We reckon it’s doing more harm than good. Here are five reasons to throw away the rose and say goodbye to The Bachelor.

The Bachelor

Two-dimensional portrayals

Any reputable show writer or producer understands that an audience needs to relate to the people on screen, or, at least, understand them. They need to be believable. Brilliant shows achieve this by giving you rounded representations—those crucial details in a person. This includes their past, what they enjoy, and what makes them tick. Tragically, The Bachelor doesn’t even try. Any raw moment is ironed out in the editing room. Jump cuts, lazy scripting, and splicing cut all the soul out.

Also, every female contestant’s on-screen personality is portrayed to be as shallow as a toddler’s wading pool. If they’re not in gorgeous dresses, they’re in revealing swimsuits. If aliens watched this show they wouldn’t even know what a t-shirt looks like. What about interests or hobbies? Well, if it’s not a plan to win the man, or some cat-fight drama, it will seldom earn screen time.

Take Abbie Chatfield, for example, the seventh season’s runner-up. She copped a particularly unsavoury edit, dubbed the “slut edit”, which resulted in some awful online abuse. She discussed it on her podcast and we’re stoked she called out the bullshit.

Women are pitched against each other from the get-go

Sadly, girls fighting over one guy has created one of the most popular reality TV shows out there. Not to mention all the spinoffs! It’s unfortunately the hard truth, definitely becoming one of The Bachelormajor selling points. The deceptive edits and narrative-based scripting elevate the drama to dizzying heights, but it comes at a cost. The contestants are loaded up on champagne and told to steal the bachelor’s attention, at whatever the cost – as though their worth is determined by this one person.

Before you know it, jealousy, catfights, breakdowns, and nudity all become sickly tactical methods to score some bloke, for our entertainment. When you remember that the contestants are humans like us, forced to emotionally destroy their opponents, it’s pretty disgusting.

Although you could argue that The Bachelorette serves to bridge the gender divide, it’s undeniable that the antics of the original series significantly outweigh the expectations and forced narratives placed on male contestants.

Most of the Bachelor’s are assholes

Could you name someone you personally know that 30 girls would fight teeth and claw over for? Firstly, no guy is THAT incredible. Secondly, even if they were, 30 girls fighting over him is hardly healthy for anyone. Thirdly, does any guy actually deserve an amount of attention that ridiculous? Let’s take a closer look at some of these Bachelor’s portrayed like god’s gift to fucking earth.

Juan Pablo Galavis: When this supposed “gent” was asked whether he’d like to see an openly gay or bisexual bachelor, Galavis, in his infinite wisdom, quipped, “I don’t think it is a good example for kids to watch that on TV.” Charming. He also slut-shamed a finalist. Even the ABC knew this prick had gone too far, issuing a public apology for his “careless, thoughtless and incentive” remarks.

Jake Pavelka: This wank-stain of a human being proposed to Vienna Girardi at the end of season 14. Shortly after, they divorced. Flash forward to them talking it out with Chris Harrison and Pavelka angrily yelling at Giraldi till she cried and left.

Unrealistic to every degree

Surprise, surprise! Reality TV is about as far away from reality as JK Rowling is from being uncancelled. There are countless articles on the dangers of unrealistic expectations in the entertainment/fashion industry, but we’ll briefly touch on The Bachelor’s problem.

Okay, this shit is scripted to be as conventionally romantic as possible. From the soft lighting to the perfect roses, decadent mansions, and unachievable beauty standards, it’s oozing with clićhes that will:

  • Make dudes watching feel like they need fat stacks and washboard abs to make a girl want them.
  • Indirectly teach female viewers that they must always be the ones in pursuit and seeking to prove themselves in order to find respect and love.

These quixotic depictions of romance don’t replace a real emotional connection with someone, but The Bachelor continues to celebrate glitz over substance.

Where is the diversity?

Yes, this isn’t a problem exclusive to The Bachelor. Australian (and American) media has always felt like a white-wash and, frankly, this doesn’t help anyone. We all benefit from experiencing diverse perspectives and cultures, and when all we see on The Bachelor is white faces and limited ideals of beauty, we marginalise other groups further.

Last year, Pakistani Australian contestant Areeba Emmanuel played a huge role in the series. But guess what? She suffered from a cruel edit, being cast as a caricature villain. *Sigh* I feel like a Triple J presenter saying this, but c’mon, this is 2021, guys.

Up next: Turns out Big Brother is on again, is anyone even watching it?