Photo Credit: disneyabcvideo.com
As summer approaches, my thoughts turn to June weddings, and nothing says love and marriage like competing with 24 other dudes to marry a woman who failed at competing with 24 other women to marry some other dude. Unless it’s doing all that in a mansion full of liquor and television cameras. Or involves trying to woo your future wife by showing her your abs (because washboard abs are what will see this relationship through to old age) or exploiting your kid on national television to make that lasting first impression. It’s a shame that she kicked out the guy who, upon their first meeting, suggested that they spend the night together in the “fantasy suite.” But good lord, son, at least offer to buy her dinner first.
I am a queer woman who wants the right to marry the partner who I meet, date and fall in love with. But I am constantly told that to do so would somehow ruin the sanctity of marriage. So perhaps you can imagine how thrilled I am about another season of The Bachelorette. The show’s producers actually call this ridiculous spectacle a “Cinderella Journey,” though here the fairy godmother is replaced by a cheesy host and the horse drawn carriage, by a limo filled with cameramen.
Let’s call this what it really is -- a Roman coliseum where we watch men compete to marry a woman who they just met, barely know and have only seen with professional hair and make-up. Throw in a dowry of a couple goats and a chicken and we have ourselves a party. Not to mention that the franchise (Bachelor and Bachelorette) have a whopping 16-percent success rate, and that includes the classy bachelor who had a change of heart, dumped the woman he proposed to and proposed to the runner-up all on the recap show! When “there are plenty of fish in the sea” became “your future husband is in these 25 fish, selected for their cookie-cutter looks and unstable (and therefore reality TV-friendly) personalities”?
What I do know is that people are falling all over themselves to watch them fish-flop around. And, especially disturbing to me, are moms who talk about watching it with their daughters. As if girls and women don’t have enough issues with body image, now we’re teaching them that looks (both yours and your future mates) are basically everything in the search for love. As if girls and women don’t have enough issues with being told that we should consider each other competition and thus tear each other down rather than building all of us up, let’s create reality shows where that is exactly the point: Scratch and claw your way to the top of a pile of your peers to marry a person who’ve known for a few weeks.
I think the popularity of these shows say some really disturbing things about how we view relationships, and how we want our kids to view them, but don’t ask me -- I’m over here trying to ruining the sanctity of Desiree's upcoming marriage.