Alternative Endings to the Bachelor
by Madeline Iva
I saw the very first season of the Bachlorette while packing for a Big Move to the South. I made it through a few seasons after that because I was fascinated by watching grown women aggressively fight for the attention of one man–while pretending not to. So deliciously perverse! Alexa Day posted about the announcement of the latest bachelorette on Tuesday, and the rest below is just one long riff about The Bachelor and other thoughts her post inspired.
I loved how the most interesting women (to me) on The Bachelor in the end ultimately had to be–I mean HAD TO BE–there for the money. (Student loans, I’m guessing.) Top ways to tell:
- They were very popular with the other women in the house. This, I think, is a key sign. But at the same time, they didn’t seem to have a secret boyfriend at home, or were there for some kind of acting career –and thus could dodge the “you’re not here for the right reasons” attack. (BTW has anyone ever gone up and attacked a contestant saying “You’re just here to pay off your student loans—aren’t you, bitch?”)
- Often they would acknowledge being on the fence about their feelings for the guy. Why? Because they weren’t that into Mr. Available. This only helps them not seem like a threat to the other women, of course.
- The fact that they weren’t so into the bachelor often seemed to make the bachelor far more into them. Like he wanted to chase them hard. After all, for most men, chasing is their comfort zone. (Some of us are challenged when it comes to being adored.) Logically, enlightened men *know* it’s okay for a girl to chase a guy. But they’re not actually comfortable with it. It’s not their usual pattern–and sometimes breaking patterns feels odd.
- Because these women were just “passing time” to earn their paycheck, they could neatly avoid conflict in the house with the rest of the women–and work on soothing things out. This is where their attention was. It’s like they reguard the other women in the house as their fellow co-workers and wanted to be team players more than they were actually vying for the heart of one man.
- There’s almost an instant, quick and quiet break up following the conclusion of the show when one of these women was chosen. The fact that a break up would immediately follow seemed like wonderful karma to me. That’s what you get, you bachelor guy, for going for the girl that’s “not that into you” and ignoring the ones who were good people and desperate for your man-love.
At any rate — I’m glad that the show chose a POC bachelorette.
But I gotta wonder: how is this show going to continue to appeal to any but the most conservative audience? Because with polyamory becoming an accepted thing amongst all the hipsters and millenials, doesn’t the idea of picking ‘the one’ seem just a wee bit old fashioned?
I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with being a monogamous type of person (I’m one myself). I’m just saying that when the Batchelor says “OMG, I’m in love with BOTH of these women” is this still the shockingly upsetting drama that it used to be? Aren’t twenty and thirty somethings across the land saying “And? This is a problem why?”
Or–a more radical theory still–was the repetition of season after season of The Bachelor/Bachelorette actually paving the way for widespread polyamory across our heartland over these last ***seventeen*** years by making TV America overly familiar with the idea that one person can easily fall in love with two (or more) people at the same time? I mean, think back to when polyamory started becoming a thing–right? Amiright?
I’m just waiting for the season when the Bachelor/Bachelorette decides to propose to *both* women or accept a proposal from *both* guys. Now that would be a ratings booster.
Maybe if this this new bachelorette says yes to a black man AND a white man we can all have our cake and eat it too.
MEANWHILE — Idris Elba for Bond. Seriously. Accept no other substitutes. Unless it’s Tom Hiddleston. Then we’ll have to talk.
Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance. Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and through iTunes. Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.