If you are a fan of The Bachelor like me – every season you root for your favorite girl to get “The Guy”. This time I am rooting for Emily, the sweeter than Carolina Sweet Tea, single mother who lost her race car driver husband (Ricky Hendrick) in a plane crash just days before discovering she was pregnant. She’s classy, beautiful, and has a stable life with her daughter in none other than Charlotte, NC.
But does getting the final rose really mean happily ever after? Is it really “reality”? Out of 14 Bachelors none, yes zero, have found lasting love. Unless you count Jason Mesnick, who on season 13, picked Melissa Rycroft and subsequently proposed to her. At the season finale though he broke up with her and proposed to the runner up. They are now married. Ok, so 1 out of 14, still pretty bleak. The Bachelorette’s haven’t had much luck either with 1 marriage out of 4.
I would venture to say the show is called reality although it is just more TV drama and the more drama the better ratings. A really good English speaking Novela to some degree, anyway I love watching it!
I wonder though what kind of message this sends to the young girls watching the show? In my job I have been given the opportunity of working with less fortunate individuals within our society. Teen mothers, single mothers living below the poverty line and families barely scraping by. They have trouble paying their utility bills and rent on most occasions. They cannot afford cars of their own, therefore rely on public transportation. They definitely could not leave their children to go on a “reality” show to find the perfect financially stable man of their dreams.
Unfortunately, many times these type of shows send a message that if you find “love” and subsequently have babies everything will be taken care of. So teenagers wanting so desperately to be adults before their time, go out and find “love” and have babies, mostly not thinking of the financial implications. The reality is that they and their children will now spend most of their life under the poverty line struggling to make ends meet. I sometimes wonder if we could show them what their lives would be 10 years down the road, would their decisions stay the same or would they change the decisions they are making.
So please, if your teenage daughters are watching the latest season of the Bachelor or Bachelorette and dreaming of the perfect man/boy, don’t forget to sit them down and discuss what really happens on “reality” shows.