A sex ed blog with more
I love watching garbage dating shows like the Bachelor/Bachelorette. I say garbage because I know that I am not learning a whole lot, yet I love them. Why do I love them? This is difficult to articulate. I think I’ve come up with some reasons:
1. Drama: It’s not me and I would never put myself in that type of situation.
2. Mainstream nonmonogamy: 25 people dating one person, and it’s totally accepted … even though they’re all apparently interested in monogamy. It’s contradictory, that’s for sure.
3. Pretty people: I personally love seeing people dressed up, trying to look their best.
4. Living vicariously: They get to travel to cool places and do super cool things!
5. Mindless drivel: I don’t really have to pay attention, but it’s silly enough to keep me entertained.
In writing this, I have to wonder what I am actually learning from these shows. I say this as I am currently watching the most recent season of the Bachelorette, so I really am actively questioning this decision. I’d like to think that I am learning how to behave in the dating world. Currently I am not dating so maybe it doesn’t apply. Then again, perhaps the way we present ourselves to potential romantic partners is also how we can present ourselves to potential friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc. I am certainly able to recognize when people are acting or saying things that deem them more or less attractive.
I guess the real question for me is: What happens when the fairytale show romance is over? I mean, they all say “I’m going to be engaged. I can’t wait. I’m ready to fall in love.” But I would guess that one of the reasons the couples don’t tend to last very long is because when the show is over, the trials of reality hit. Suddenly they have to deal with real life responsibilities, rather than 3 months of dating when everything is planned for them and the only focus is each other.
How much can you really get to know someone on a show like The Bachelor? I feel like you learn so much about a person by seeing them in their natural environment. You learn things they’re passionate about, and reality TV is anything but natural. I guess you can learn a lot about someone based on what competitors say about them and how they respond to stressful and/or difficult situations, which a reality show can definitely present… But it still seems far-fetched. Not to mention, they have to wait until the episode airs before going public, telling anyone, doing anything with each other outside of their own homes.
For me, that would be really tough. I love walking around holding hands, going for a beer, getting groceries, and other mundane daily things that involve leaving the house. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of staying home … but for 6 months?! Although, I guess if they happen to live close to one another they could really get to know each other well if they spend enough time together. Moreover, what would it be like when the couple isn’t always dressed to the nines, wearing lots of makeup and accessories, and has real life issues to figure out? Sure, you can be in love, but how will your lives change when you’re engaged or married? Which city, kind of housing, how to meld two lives, new or altered jobs, and the list goes on and on and on. I would think moving in together after being on a reality series would be a big change, not to mention being engaged.
And what about all the heartbreak? There are a lot of people who feel rejected, dejected, heartbroken, hurt, and everything else that comes with not being with a person you want to be with. Is it really worth hurting 24 people? I guess if you find love, some would say that it’s worth kissing a few frogs and sending them on their way.
Speaking of frogs, let’s just for a minute discuss the homogeneity of the men and women on the show. By that I mean, they look SO similar. On Andi’s season, it was hard to tell some of them apart. This season, there were actually TWO African American guys! Also, there were some tattooed guys, which was another first as far as my memory goes. Generally speaking, there are people who have a lot of similar features and body shapes. Heaven forbid that the Bachelorette be a woman of colour, have lots of visible tattoos, hair that isn’t blonde or brunette/long and lustrous, not wear 5″ heels or be bigger than a size 6. I would be so thrilled to see any of these on a hugely popular mainstream show. Let’s see some curvy women who know how to present themselves well.
Why do you like dating shows? Do they fill a void? Help you learn what you’re looking for?