Janice Shaw Crouse

As the girls begin to arrive in their limos, the show’s host gives Brad one final bit of advice: “Don’t screw this up!” Brad clearly begins to feel “beat up.” But for all their provocative attire and carefully applied makeup, many of the women are ill-at-ease and uncertain. Several appear desperate. Madison wears fangs and taunts that he’ll “taste good.” Ashley H. is a dentist who prefers to be called (suggestively) a “mouth artist.” Meghan, who works in fashion, wears klutzy pink platform shoes and argues that finding a guy is like shopping for shoes — you go through “lots of ugly, cheap, cheesy ones” before finding a “great one.” Raichel (no, I didn’t misspell her name) is a “manscaper” — she waxes men’s bodies. Whatever. Keltie steps out of the limo and does a high kick in her fancy gown; which lets everyone know from the outset that she is a Radio City Rockette. Shawntel, a mortician, is “around a lot of men — dead ones” (yes, this passes for humor). Ashley S. grins impishly at the camera as she squeezes Brad’s bottom — which I’m sure had nothing to do with her getting the “first impression” rose that is greatly coveted by the girls as the first rose given by the bachelor. Marissa threatens to leave if he doesn’t understand that her life revolves around sports. Melissa runs from the limo, yelling for him to “catch” her. She jumps in his arms and coyly asks, “Am I too heavy?” Jackie goes through a contrived “pinky” routine to guarantee he won’t break her heart. Britnee opens the limo window and waves Brad over, telling him to open the door and escort her inside. (Apparently, he didn’t like being bossed around; she was eliminated at the end of the episode.) Lisa M., from Kansas, wears bright red sequined “Dorothy” slippers.

Once inside the mansion, Alli, who is falling out of the front of her bright green dress, wants to know if Brad thinks her backside is too big (a previous boyfriend dumped her for that reason); she turns around, inviting his scrutiny. Of course, Brad thinks her booty is fine, just fine. Renee gets frustrated because every time she gets to be alone with Brad, another girl comes to claim it’s her turn with the bachelor. So the inanity and immaturity goes for two hours!

Two observations:

•Out of 30 girls who are offering themselves as potential mates for a 38-year-old bachelor, only five are in their 30s (four are 30 years old and one is 32) and two of the 30-year-olds were eliminated in the first round of cuts.

•Many of the girls have a past: Two of the women are mothers — Emily was engaged to Ricky Hendrik, a NASCAR racer who was killed in a plane crash just before she discovered she was pregnant; her daughter is five years old. Michelle also has a five-year-old daughter and has had “tough times” in her past. Chantal, the daughter of a Seattle Seahawks star and an executive assistant from Seattle, is divorced. Ashley H.’s “long-time boyfriend” just “recently” died.

My overwhelming impression from this opening session is that The Bachelor is a cautionary tale for today’s young adults. Thirty physically-attractive women display in prime-time television the result of lifestyles that, in an earlier era, would have been characterized as “loose” or worse. With few exceptions, these are not happy women. These girls have a large void in their lives which they are hoping to fill with glitz, romance, love, and life-time marriage. But, they have taken a path that has left them emotionally wounded, lacking in social grace, and desperate to find a “Prince Charming” who will be all that they dreamed of as young girls. Sadly, the bachelor is typical of today’s young men, as well. As he approaches his fourth decade, he finally wants a wife and children. But, even with his bulked up, six-pack physique, he comes with a lot of psychological “baggage” and, with each new revelation, seems less and less of a “Prince Charming.”

Janice Shaw Crouse

Janice Shaw Crouse is a former speechwriter for George H. W. Bush and now political commentator for the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
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