Gender Stereotypes

Depiction of Female Contestants

Although a new batch of 25 women enter as contestants on the show each season, there are common themes that continuously arise in the way that women are represented. The show portrays troubling stereotypes of femininity – cattiness, weepiness, and a dependency on men. In general, many of the women who go on The Bachelor are framed as overly emotional, jealous, possessive or outright crazy.

The Bachelor preserves an antiquated narrative of gender roles, dating and marriage. The show demands a particular kind of femininity that ensures survival in a world run by a man. The good women, defined by their passivity and commitment to real love on patriarchal terms, are pitted against the “bad girls” who seem to be in the game out of self-interest or who do not display the proper docility. The show ropes viewers into damning certain behaviors while applauding others. While the villainous characters usually stay around for the entertainment value, it is always the good girls who win in the end.

The female contestants rarely occupy non-traditional roles in society, and instead often hold obscure job titles that imply unemployment, including “free spirit”, “dog lover”, “chicken enthusiast” or even, “twins”. The producers often use job titles to belittle the women or make a mockery of their nonexistent career.

On the show, the women must navigate a process that is all about managing their behavior to an appropriate degree – they must express their feelings without being overly emotional, they should be sexy but not slutty, smart and driven but willing to drop everything for a husband and family. Each week, viewers judge women on their ability to be “wife material”, reinforcing society’s notions of acceptable femininity.

The Perfect Villain: Corrine Olympios

Corrine Olympios was the center of Bachelor talk for as long as she was on the show, and her spirit lived on even after she was eliminated. Why is this? Corrine’s character was so out of the ordinary that it was the perfect character to villainize, and to an extent was the epitome of the ideal female villain the entertainment industry seeks. Check out this link from People TV Watch that highlights some of the moments that made Corrine stand out, and easily created a villain out of her:

The Bachelor: Corinne Olympios’ Most Outrageous Moments

To say the least, Corrine was very problematic on this show. But, despite her problematic aura, she was the center of Bachelor talk. Everyone just loves to hate Corrine. She is the ideal villain.