Since 2002, The Bachelor (and subsequent spin-offs) has been one of ABC’s most-watched TV shows. As the franchise has grown over the last 18 years, one thing remains the same: the general appearance of the women competing.
ABC is currently running its 24th season of the show and former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay has spoken out about its future — and it is grim.
She told the Associated Press,
“I honestly don’t know how much longer the show can survive in this day and age, just to be honest. So many people come on, no job, no career, never worked a day in their life because they’re going to build it off of being Instagram famous or any other type of social media that you want to insert in there.”
But even more problematic than the contestants’ motive to earn that “influencer” title is the lack of diversity.
“The girls all look the same way. I think it’s going to be harder for them to find relationships that work. The show is either going to have to change or it’s gonna end… My biggest complaint is that the show does not reflect what the real world looks like. I would have women of all ages. I’d have women of different shapes, sizes, backgrounds, ethnicities. I would change it completely. And men as well.”
Lindsay actually spoke out when Peter Weber was chosen for this past season of The Bachelor instead of fan-favorite Mike Johnson. She said,
“The system isn’t working in giving us a Bachelor who is a person of color. So we need to change the system. Something has to be done. Break the rules, step outside the box, give the people what they want!”
As for the social media influencer hustle, it’s a double-edged sword. During the recent Women Tell All, Lindsay spoke out about the bullying contestants face, especially the messages of hate, racism, and downright disrespect contestants get online.
“Just imagine how uncomfortable it is to get this in your comments and your DMs every day, every week, every month. And that’s just a tip of the iceberg.”
So, it begs the question: if the producers were to add some diversity (and *gasp* even some substance) to the show, is it enough to extend its longevity? The very thing so many of these contestants are chasing, social media fame, is the same thing that’s making their lives off-camera so miserable.
Eventually, things will need to change or Lindsay is right, the show’s fate is clear.
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Aside from being a writer, Ashley is a mom of two girls and a wife to a passionate public school administrator. When she does have free time (cue laughter from working moms everywhere) she loves going to hot yoga classes, watching anything on Netflix that isn’t a cartoon, and weaving her way through every aisle of Target while listening to one of her favorite podcasts.