I watched the finale of the Bachelor tonight. Yes, I predicated that he would not pick Sadie (I think that was easy to see on their last date), but that is beside the point.
I don’t know why I can’t seem to get over the fact that this particular show absolutely exploits the women that are on it.
They are put into a controlled environment, where roles are well defined, and true feelings (in the case of the Bachelor himself) are required to be kept secret until the end. I think it would be fair to assume that each person is guided into acting in certain ways; and if that’s not fair, then the camera magic can arrange it the way they want anyways. Can you say unethical experiment?
Related to the “controlled environment” scenario, I’ve got to believe that any sociologist would agree without a doubt that putting 25 women fighting for the same man will automatically make each women want that man even more than if it were just a one-on-one meeting. End result: these are not realistic feelings. The controlled situation makes the man more attractive psychologically to the women than he really is. I think the fact that very few of these couples (on any reality show for that matter) actually stay together. But, yes, the structure of the Bachelor in particular really bothers me.
Their families are involved and roped into the whole mess. That is REALLY unfair. If my siblings (or children) were to go on a show like that and I was expected to show up, I would be really annoyed (of course, you would have to go to support them), but these women really don’t realize they are signing up more than themselves to go on an incredibly scary roller coaster ride.
I actually feel that reality shows like the Bachelor should be outlawed. This is classic situational versus dispositional attribution, and although it happens daily in our society naturally, nobody should be put into an environment that is created around them by people looking to conduct semi-private scientific experiments that can benefit society greatly in the long run, let alone by people to profit and entertainment the World.
To take it further, this not even executed by putting on display the sincere [and coached] reactions of these people for viewers watch to judge for themselves, but instead, selectively choosing what is displayed to and having control over the way in which the public will view these folks after the experiment is over.
Note: I recall watching a news special (like 60 minutes, but not 60 minutes) where one of the more athletic shows (like Fear Factor, but not Fear Factor) had a mishap during one of their under water stunts and the contestant claimed to have chronic health issues after the show since he was stuck under water for too long. I recall him claiming that the show made them sign something that said they were not responsible for death, even if it is their fault, and they would not even release all of the footage of the show to determine what really happened, since I believe the guy went unconscious while underwater.
Well, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I guess the normal course of action would be to promote boycotting of reality TV. But we’ll save discussing the effectiveness of that approach in another post.