I admit it. One of my guiltier habits is watching “The Bachelor”, ABC’s reality TV show in which, in alternate seasons, one man becomes The Bachelor and the next season, a woman The Bachelorette. I liked Jillian Harris, the feisty, redheaded interior designer from Alberta who was the last Bachelorette and thought Ed, her honey from Chicago, a catch. Jason and Molly, meh. Too squeaky clean.
This season, it’s Jake Pavelka, a commercial pilot with — ho hum — washboard abs and cheekbones you could use to shave Parmesan. He’s now down to five women from whom he’s expected to find, yup, his soul-mate. Like every iteration of the show, year after year, the women competing for his affections are all young – under 35, usually under 30, perky, thin and white.
And they are all so boring! Does none of these women read or think or have a tattoo or piercing or neurosis? And, now that the average size woman is a size 14 and even Glamour is letting a few fatties into their editorial mix, how about including some girls with serious booty?
Seriously, do black, Asian or Hispanic women, let alone any other ethnicities or races, never audition for this particular show? Or do they just not make the cut? (Maybe no one even tries, due to good sense, a great job or just a more highly developed sense of embarrassment?) In all the seasons I’ve watched these shows, I can barely remember a handful of non-white, non-American women. There was a female doctor from Latin America. Gone! There was a gorgeous Hispanic male architect from California. Gone!
This season we’ve got, of course, a swimsuit model. Excuse me, have you ever, anywhere, even met someone who does that for a living?
There will, as the show winds to its usual conclusion, be a proposal with a diamond ring, many tears and sighs, rending of (tight, shiny) garments and gnashing of (perfectly aligned, dazzlingly white) teeth.
I want to see a dating show not set in “romantic” Hawaii or Seville or San Francisco. I want to see these girls competing not for a kiss or a night in his suite, but elbows-out at Stop ‘n Shop grabbing the last pork chop on sale, fighting over who has to pick up Jake’s drycleaning or duking it out for VC funds for their tech start-up or a Fulbright or a grant to cure pancreatic cancer. You know, something real.