This season of “The Bachelor” stars Chris Soules, grade-A beef from the farmlands of Iowa who has most of America’s females wondering why they have never considered dating a farmer before. As the season nears its end, one question remains: Who will Chris the Farmer choose? Sweet and stylish Whitney or shy and innocent Becca? Whitney is a charming fertility nurse from Chicago, but might be too straight-laced to live on Chris’ family farm. Becca, on the other hand, could manage alongside Chris’ lifestyle. She, too, is sweet, but very reserved and quiet, and in my opinion, boring.
See how invested I am? I can’t be stopped. And I am not the only one.
“The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” industry is pretty influential, and every Monday night, I find myself among the many watching and being sucked into this empire. This season has been dubbed the most eventful and the most watched yet, although the network was initially worried about the views it would get this time around. America has shown that fighting for love has not gone out of style quite yet. Both those awkward two-on-one dates in the desert and Chris Harrison, the host, climatically introducing the final rose every episode are each still worthy of our viewing.
Some people hate this show, and have a “holier than thou” attitude about it. All I have to say to that is, “Best of luck trying to find love.” But I have to admit, I, too, was once this way. A show about superficial people searching for a superficial love? I have better things to do. But how wrong I was about finding entertainment in such things. Like every addicting thing in this world, if you try it out just a little, you will soon be hooked.
This show is an anomaly. It promotes a instant gratification culture that most people disapprove of and try to avoid, yet we continue to watch with eager eyes from our tear-stained couches. For many, myself included, “Bachelor” Monday is a highlight of the week. Grab a box of mango mochi balls from your local Trader Joe’s and a group of friends, and you have a full evening, because come on, it’s tiring work figuring out which girl would be the prime fit for a man you have never met.
I could go on and on about how this show perpetuates a negative dating standard and unnecessary girl-on-girl hate, but I will spare you my old-fashioned mindset. Still, one must wonder why we give this show the power to alter our standard of love. As a woman in this generation, my hope of ever being swooned is slim to none. Why is that? Because shows like these uphold a superficial standard of love, one that contradicts the type of relationship built solely from strong connections with an individual.
Despite this, my actual problem with “The Bachelor” is not just the unhealthy relational conflicts it advertises. The problem, and I am sure others are in agreement, is how I have adapted the show’s concepts of “love” to my own life. I have recently found myself weighing the pros and cons of a few of my crushes, mindfully debating with myself which one would be the best fit for me. I am almost ready to emerge from a darkened room and offer the final rose to the winner of my heart. Everyone will be thrown for a plot twist as I pick Brady, a health and exercise science major who lived in my hall last year. However, instead of presenting him a rose, I will remind him of the time I slid sliced deli meat under the crack of his door and I almost got written up by my RA. You see, “The Bachelor” is ruining my standard of love.
Women of all ages fall into the tight grasp of this show. But hopefully we all know the difference between real life and reality television and can enjoy both. Who knew such dirty television would make for such high-quality entertainment? When it comes to reality TV, “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” have perfected the secret sauce to entertaining the masses, and we are licking it off the plate. Many of us still religiously tune in at 7 p.m. and stand together in union, staying loyal to a show that is slowly diminishing our hope in finding authentic love.
And we’ll be here until the end.
Collegian Columnist Zara DeGroot can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Zar_degroot.