Last night I saw a reality TV show The Bachelor. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s about a bachelor and a group of single women who are desperate to get married. They stay together in a gorgeous house for a week, and He Visits. He can go on single dates or group dates, and if he likes a woman he gives her a rose which protects her from being eliminated. At the end of an episode, the women he hasn’t dated get a chance to prove that they’re perfect for him, at a soiree. But he already has decided he doesn’t like them, so they just humiliate themselves.
After that there’s the mandatory ceremony where somebody Goes Home. The women get all dressed up and stand together, hopeful, vulnerable, terrified. Mr. Gallant and Charming stands next to a podium with a bunch of roses on it. He gives roses to the women he likes. His best choice is first. Of course this ceremony was full of nightmarish dramatic pause. Eventually he got to his last choice, and the woman was so relieved and grateful she groveled. Then there were a couple left, and with a sad, sad, face, he said sorry, gals, it breaks my heart but you don’t make the cut.
The mind boggles. There were 12 or 13 women, of varying ages; all of them of course pretty attractive. Some had wonderful personalities, some had children or careers. Some were pretty ditsy, but not all of them were. That’s what puzzled me. As for Mr. Bachelor, he was a nice-enough looking man, in great shape, with a small child he loved more than anything, except that he told his son “who loves you more than anybody?” and his son actually didn’t know the answer!
Then Daddy said, with a sad, tragic look on his face that kiddo had to go away for a week because Daddy had this important thing to do. He was going to choose a new Mommy! Right, this wasn’t about a big ego trip harem fantasy at all, it was for the kid. Kiddo didn’t really understand that either. Poor little sod.
It was amazing – and sad – to watch these women, a lot of whom really had something going for them, be so desperate for attention from a man who had less personality than most of them, who they didn’t know, and who made no effort to please them.
The ones who weren’t chosen went through hell, it was hard to watch, to see their real pain, and how they believe their fulfillment is dependent on the whether a man chooses them or not. Worse – that if he doesn’t, it’s because there’s something wrong with them. Even if he’s a jerk!
We all want love. We’re all vulnerable and hate rejection. But being a willing participant in a meat market? Every one of these beautiful women were desperate to please him. Only one of them said “I don’t like this”. His response? She was too needy.
It was like something out of Jane Austen. The reason I’ll keep on watching is to see if any of these women get to realize they don’t have to put themselves through this to find happiness. I think winners will be the ones who are sent home. They get to keep their lives and build on them authentically and have the chance to find love that’s real and is a two-way street.