It is a truth universally acknowledged that every year one man and one woman must sacrifice themselves to satiate the network gods at ABC by becoming the “Bachelor” and the “Bachelorette” and embarking on a sacred quest to find the least objectionable suitor to date long distance for a few months before realizing that they can’t actually marry someone who they only made out with in a hot tub a handful of times.
There are at least 7000 things wrong with The Bachelor(ette). That’s why I watch every season. When I watch this incredibly odd and morally ambiguous mating ritual, my face is filled with either shock, dismay, or complete horror as I watch male contestants demonstrate the emotional range of a head of lettuce, or female contestants slut shame one another, or the Bachelor(ette) remain completely oblivious to the chaos they’re immersed in. When I watch with my mom, she’ll look over at me, roll her eyes and say something like “I’m teaching you about relationships by exposing you to the complete opposite of what you should be looking for.” It’s a very tender yet aggravating mother-daughter bonding experience.
But after years of hashing out my grievances with the franchise, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be the Bachelorette—not because I like the idea of having a hoard of very buff men vying for my rose-scented approval, but because I think it would provide me with the opportunity to raise some hell, shake things up, and call out the show for its lack of racial diversity, its glorification of toxic masculinity, and its misclassification of a date as watching twelve generic men with the same haircut play flag football.
Listen up ABC Gods because if becoming Bachelorette is written for me in the stars/a contract with a lot of fine print, here’s how things will go down:
-I would forgo the typical intro package B-roll (roller skating in cut-off shorts and looking off into the sunset) for something more my style (chasing a flock of pigeons and singing all of the parts of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in my car). This would immediately classify me as “the wildcard Bachelorette” which is a gentle way of saying “a bizarre woman who has no place on reality television.”
-I get that most guys who go on The Bachelorette are only looking for post-show pseudo-fame. They just want sponsorships from protein powder companies or recognition for their half-baked music careers, and I’m fine with that. But I’m going to make sure that only the good ones remain relevant long enough to cash in on their social media followers. In the first few weeks, I will tirelessly go after the men who incite nonsense. Any whiff of misogyny invites immediate elimination, drunken shenanigans will be investigated to the fullest extent, and if you don’t laugh at my weird jokes, then there’s the limo.
-I will not put up with helicopters, appearances by B-list country singers, or having to wear a bikini on a yacht (the holy trinity of a Bachelor(ette) date). Instead, I will drive my Volvo station wagon to all locations, hire Frank Sinatra impersonators exclusively, and wear a wet suit to maximize my comfort on the high seas. I will also request the following dates: a karaoke night where the only song option is “I Ran” by A Flock of Seagulls; a group date to Area 51 where whichever dude can sneak me into a restricted zone can literally marry me on the spot; and a Willy Wonka-esque tour of a chocolate factory that facilitates my elimination process for that week.
-I really want to have a feud with Chris Harrison. There is always a very compliant relationship between the Bachelor(ette) and long time host Chris Harrison and I would love to change that.
-By the end of this madness, I would have forgotten that I was even looking for a husband, so I’d just make ABC pay for my final two men to go on meditative retreats because obviously they must have put up with a lot of BS to have made it that far and probably deserve some R&R. Also, maybe the three of us can have a group chat. This will be the final straw for Chris Harrison, who will probably try to throw me into the ocean for messing with the status quo. Thankfully I will be wearing a wet suit and not a bikini, so I’ll be fine.
Image via Sarah Clapp.