‘The Bachelor’ Wants to Talk About Body Image? Really?!

On the second night, Bachelor Host another group date flooded with vulnerable conversation. As we have seen increasing in recent years above Bachelor/ette, The producers once again placed some chairs in a circle to create tearful hearts between Clayton Echard and his contestants. And while some contestants share candid accounts of moments they didn’t like, it’s The Bachelor whose revelations can make the biggest impact.

After many contestants shared their experiences with body image issues, the former NFL player shared his own experience with body image disorders as a teenager. Given how little is discussed among men about eating disorders and body dysmorphia, this conversation could be seen as a step forward — at least, if it has happened on any show. fundamentally different.

It’s hard not to roll your eyes a little when you think back to the context in which all of this was playing out—a franchise so compelling that it only had one full-size contestant in 20 years. (And let’s not forget that, one contestant, Bo Stanley, went home to Night One on Chris Soules’ season in 2015—an exit that was supposed to be so insignificant that we never saw it. on the screen.)

Kaitlyn Bristowe, who met Clayton when he competed on Michelle Young’s Bachelorette season, Monday’s discussion is moderated. Contestants are asked to stand if there are things they don’t like about themselves; Everyone got up from their seats and soon enough, they dug into the specifics.

One of the most puzzling revelations comes from Hunter Haag, who recalls a toxic relationship in which she dyed her hair and purchased colored contacts to please a controlling boyfriend who also compared her body with other women. She recalls going to the gym to “get a body I couldn’t get”. Another contestant, Serene Russell, shared about her “anorexia” in her youth, which caused her to overeat in an attempt to gain weight.

Not long after, Clayton shared his own experience. “When I was young,” he said, “I hated who I am just waking up every day and seeing someone I wish I hadn’t met.”

By the time he was in seventh grade, Clayton said, he had lost 15 pounds at a time when he should have been growing. He ate less, he said, “because I hated the way my stomach looked… I would look in the mirror and I would just squeeze my stomach.”

“I’m proud of where I’ve come from,” concluded the Bachelor. “I think I turned my biggest weakness into a strength. Now that I love myself and who I am, I can share that with everyone around me.”

Cut the interview in the moment with contestant Susie Evans, who pointed out how rare the moment was. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a man talk about that feeling for them,” she said.

Eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder in men are a rarer topic of conversation than women – which may be part of the reason why men’s body problems occur. undiagnosed. In that regard, Clayton’s comment is somewhat groundbreaking for a series that often pretends that men without six packs simply don’t exist on this planet. Also, isn’t that… a problem exactly?

Fair to Bachelornearly all of our dating shows like to pretend Fat people are simply not part of the swashbuckling public. But as the giants of much of the reality dating genre, it is expected to play a more active role in changing that paradigm. (Then again it also lost 18 Years 25 Seasons To Get Our First Black Bachelor, sooooo….)

Fatigue and body shaming have always characterized this show, both on screen and off stage. During his off-season, Matt James was forced to apologize after one of his friends body shamed one of his contestants. Contestant Leo Dottavio – whose troubled background emerged during his time on Becca Kufrin’s season – once laughed on a podcast when the presenter said that women are fat. “Should be shot like cattle.” Taylor Nolan got in trouble for some horrible old tweets last year, which includes several posts about fat. Discussions broke out periodically on the show online community to address the fear of fat that pervades those spaces.

Fatigue and body shaming have always characterized this show, both on screen and off stage. During his off-season, Matt James was forced to apologize after one of his friends embarrassed one of his contestants.

But perhaps there is no proof BachelorThe attitude of anyone with more than 8% body fat is better than the comments made by former host and current non-grata character Chris Harrison.

When asked if the series could one day feature “a less attractive bachelor, like a chubby guy”, in a New York Times In a 2014 interview, Harrison didn’t say no: “No.”

“You know why that?” he continued. “Because it’s not hot, and television is a very compelling visual medium, and I know that sounds horrible, but I know that at 42, in the eyes of television, I’m old and poor. interesting. Sure, I could wear a suit and tie, but I have my hair on my chest and I don’t have a 12-pack. I live a healthy life, but I don’t work out eight hours in the gym, and I don’t want to either. And I don’t eat 50,000 egg whites.”

Bachelor the producers will likely no longer be affiliated with the guy they fired for defending women’s rights to be thrown down at the Antebellum South theme party in 2018. But Harrison’s words cut directly to the law. malicious, completely arbitrary “attraction” that appears to be alive and dead.

Yes, these beauty and body standards are still pervasive in our society — but fat people who aren’t here are accused of lying like this every day! While some immature girls can still describe outdated ideas about sex and attractiveness, many are also able to detect hotness regardless of pants size. In other words, stupid, mythical, and worst of all, horribly boring.

Nice to see Bachelor show at least some interest by fostering really vulnerable conversations, including those about body image. But if the makers want more than a nod and a wry smile, they might consider their own role in making people feel so bad about the holsters they were born with. .

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