I am fairly confident that I have only seen The Bachelor once before in my life, namely one Galentine’s day in Germany (the night before I was to take a romantic trip to London in order to have one last hurrah with my very-soon-to-be-ex…he had the flu, I had a cold sore. At least the Harry Potter studio tour was dope.) My memory of it is clearly blurry and it was the German version anyway, so, moral of the story: I’ve never seen The Bachelor, and I’ve certainly never viewed it regularly before.
When Kate and Marianne suggested weekly viewing parties, I’ll admit I said yes because I’m all about take-out (and spending time with those twos, duh), but I have found myself pulled in. I am not so much enthralled, however, that I don’t yell at Marianne’s TV in regular intervals, so here are some tips on how to survive The Bachelor if you just don’t care:
1. Take your friends’ advice and treat it as an exercise in cultural anthropology (because the shit these ladies say is out of this world and fully outside the realm of rational thought.)
2. Don’t think too hard about the implications behind the surprising number of teachers among the contestants.
3. Ignore the blonde white woman declaring how romantic the southern plantation is as the women of color stand by silently.
4. Focus on Nick’s thighs, especially when he shakes his groove thang and or goes roller-blading.
5. Revel in Corinne. Just take it all in. #freeRaquel
6. Admire Nick’s beard.
7. Recognize that you’re being a condescending bitch.
8. Gaze at Nick’s chest.
9. In all seriousness, check yourself before you wreck yourself: I have to actively keep myself from slut-shaming the women on this show, partially because of the way the show is edited but mostly because of my complicated relationships to sex and gender, and I have to remember that these are grown women who are in full agency of themselves who may or may not believe that a reality TV show in which thirty women compete for an engagement to a single man is the way they will find their love. Yes, they offer themselves up to praise, ridicule, and genuine criticism by appearing on national TV, but that in no way legitimizes my sexist judgement of them. It may just be a TV show and I may have way too much fun making catty remarks about it, but I and others should remain critical and self-reflective while watching in order to avoid contributing to the already toxic environment women find themselves in on a daily basis.
10. Trust the process (and Nick’s CrossFit routine.)