HAVE YOU TUNED IN TO the latest season of ABC’s The Bachelor?
It’s like watching a drunk person eating pizza at 3 a.m. or a ridiculous GIF on loop of someone face-planting. I want to stop watching, but I can’t.
I’m comforted by the fact that my gutter choice of reality television is shared with millions of other viewers: the members of “Bachelor Nation,” as host Chris Harrison refers to it. Whether we’re watching for pure entertainment value or to pick up dating tips (please tell me these people don’t honestly exist) is irrelevant. We’re still watching.
Along with the hilarity that’s seeping into our brains and the cynicism that’s choking our hearts are the Bachelor stereotypes that get shoved down our throats week after week, season after season, on this wildly-popular and wildly-artificial love fest. If you’re not a Bachelor fan, A) smart choice and B) shake your fists with us in vicarious solidarity.
Stereotype #1: Finding love is a full-time gig.
Most contestants on the show, at some point or other, complain “I’ve just had no luck with dating.” So the obvious next step? Quit your job, which many have admitted to doing, and sign up for this completely reasonable dating scenario where there’s only one guy to the thirty-plus desperate women. Who needs rational mathematical odds?
Stereotype #2: Twins are one person, or interchangeable parts.
Twin #1 and #2, (their names aren’t really important) were conjoined for the first few weeks of the current season and considered one person. While every other girl gets some “alone” time with Ben Higgins (the current man-prize), the twins would tag-team him like a circus act and dazzle him with their double dose of bubbliness because this is apparently how twins date. Telling them apart became easier when one suddenly broke her finger and was sporting a splint. Sadly, Ben realized they were, in fact, two people with separate personalities and dreams and, you know, lives, and let one go on Episode 4. But the twin (not sure, #1 or #2?) who’s still left on the show calls her other half during the interviews. Cute.
Stereotype #3: Dating requires a swimsuit portion.
If you aren’t comfortable lounging around in a bikini, then dating might not be for you. This is just part of the process, ladies. “Must look good in bikini” is clearly a prerequisite for being able to satisfy the male appetite, since how you look in a swimsuit is obviously so indicative of your personality.
Stereotype #4: If you’re not “bubbly,” you’re “complicated.”
“I’m just so much more complicated than anyone here and I just don’t think Ben gravitates toward complicated,” said Haitian-born/war veteran contestant Jubilee, in tears. One of the few women of color on the show this season, or really ever, Jubilee is deeper than the joyous connotation of her name. She’s quirky, with a dark sense of humor, and has opinions and sh*t. This is just bad for business. If you’re not happy and pooing out rays of sunshine and rainbows 24/7, you’re bound to die a slow death, sans boyfriend, surrounded by feral cats and boxed wine. So perk up, ladies!
Stereotype #5: Getting married is a woman’s top priority.
These ladies are willingly placed in the bubble of “love” and pine after bachelor-boy Higgins with the resolve of Black Friday shoppers at Walmart hoping to get that new Samsung whatever. They’ll beg, borrow, steal, or trample on whomever for the goods. Because all women are cray-cray, and have no other discernible interests than locking down a complete stronger.
Stereotype #6: Men aren’t supposed to see you without makeup.
When Ben stormed into the women’s hotel room in Mexico City at 4 a.m. on Ep. 5, the women screamed with hysteria. Was Ben armed with a machine gun? Was he wearing a creepy clown costume? No, the girls were just worried Ben would see their horrific, monster faces sans beautification. Because we’d rather be caught decapitated than alive without our face on, or our hair did.
Stereotype #7: If a woman can cook, she’s ready to get married.
Granted this was said by the guest chef in Mexico City on Ep. 5 during a cooking challenge, but, really, we all know this to be true. Ladies, if you’re eating store-bought sushi or ordering take-out for/with your man, you’re basically worthless and wasting everyone’s time. Grow up.
Stereotype #8: If you don’t get a rose, it’s time to reevaluate EVERYTHING.
There was Jubilee, commiserating to the camera: “I’m the most unlovable person in the world right now,” as she was given the boot. Or poor Jami, who came to a wise conclusion after being deprived a rose: “My lesson from this is don’t ever expect anything from humans. Gonna start adopting cats now.” If The Bachelor‘s bachelor doesn’t pick you, you’re clearly an unappealing old hag. For all the losers, it’s time for some self-reflection. You should follow contestant Lace’s lead, who eliminated herself, and have your personal reminders inked on your body. “Because, like my tattoo says,” she told Ben through tears and liquor, “you can’t love someone else until you truly love yourself, and I don’t know if I truly love myself just yet.” That’s deep.