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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

‘The Bachelor’ effect: How TV changes the idea of love

Peyton McKenzie

This winter brings the 28th season of “The Bachelor” to viewers who crave love at first sight and a world full of drama and endless tears. This year’s bachelor strays from the show’s conventional model, bringing in personality as well as looks. Could this be the best bachelor yet?

Joey Graziadei is a 28-year-old tennis coach from Royersford, Pennsylvania. On social media, fans claim he is “written by a woman” — a nice guy just looking for love after his failed chance as runner-up on the 20th season of “The Bachelorette.”

The audience calls this season’s bachelor a rare commodity: a man full of green flags. Praised for his sensitivity and kindness, Graziadei listens and validates the womens’ feelings, wiping away so many tears. No wonder they think he is the love of their life.

In just three episodes, many contestants have already decided that Graziadei is the man of their dreams. After the initial impressions, many of the girls confessed that when they found out Graziadei was going to be the bachelor, they knew he was the one for them. As a new watcher of the show, I was confused; how could they know he was the one before talking to him?

The women on “The Bachelor” put Graziadei on a pedestal. They obsess over him and fight for his attention in any way they can, from jumping over a wedding table for a seat next to him, to pelting each other in a game of “paint battle royale,” to even cutting off personal conversations for more time with him — all to get a rose and make it to the next day.

These catty fights make grown women look like teenagers. This show pits women against each other, which is, in part, what makes it so entertaining — marveling at how insane these women are to drop everything in their lives for a possible chance at love against 32 other women. Some of them cause fights just to draw attention to themselves and vent to Graziadei about the other girls.

This new season brings in a unique element of drama: two sisters. Contestants Lauren and Allison Hollinger came in together and initially kept it a secret that they were family, pretending not to know each other and let the best sister win. But to be honest with Graziadei, they revealed the truth. Jealousy and failed attempts to be each other’s wingwoman caused older sister Lauren to cut her journey short.

The age range of the contestants has also been one of the primary sources of drama in the season so far. Ranging from 23 to 31, these women also vary in maturity levels. One “fight” that has lingered for two episodes is an argument between contestants Maria Georgas and Madina Alam about Alam being “too old” for Graziadei, playing on each other’s insecurities to get into the spotlight.

This argument was blown out of proportion. Women looking for attention called Georgas a bully and tried to label her the “mean girl” in the house. However, to me, she is one of the most authentic women. Strong, independent and forward, she knows what she wants. She even pulled the iconic move of slipping into something more comfortable after the group date, stunning Graziadei in the second episode.

One of the most interesting elements of the 22-year-old program is that, by the end of the season, some women realize they are not quite a match and lose interest. The change is subtle, but soon, the women solely care about media attention and future opportunities.

Side by side, the only difference between “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” is the gender. But “The Bachelor” is far more popular, according to Variety. This past year, “The Bachelor” has remained the most watched out of the two, with the season 27 premiere yielding just under three million viewers. Meanwhile, season 20 of “The Bachelorette” recorded only two million viewers. One explanation for this difference is that women can be just as aggressive as men but in more clever, sneaky and fascinating ways — making for better television.

At its core, “The Bachelor” is misogynistic, antifeminist and, frankly, humiliating to women. The show forces both gender stereotypes and social expectations on women. The women turn against each other, insult each other and even engage in physical altercations — all for a man. It’s degrading and patronizing in the ways it portrays women.

So why do we continue to watch this so-called trashy television? Guilty pleasure? Do people just love love? This reality show draws people in with gorgeous women who will do anything to win, willing to embarrass themselves and throw each other under the bus to get ahead, all to be the one who wins the guy everyone wants.

Whatever the appeal of “The Bachelor,” this week brought in even more drama with a double feature playing on Feb. 12 and 13 — giving viewers double the chances to witness pointless drama, love lost and love gained.

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About the Contributors
Grace Conneely-Nolan, Associate Arts & Life Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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