If Teen Girls are the Future, Some of These Women are Definitely the Present
Welcome to week one of The Bachelor, the show where the self-esteem curve for beautiful women is similar to that of a liberal arts school.
This blog is brought to you by anxiety in the age of Trump. My body has, in recent weeks, evolutionarily reverted to caveman times, when we would wake up in the middle of the night to be had sexually by our husband/partner/owner (I always forget whether feminism was better or worse in the years B.C.). I’ve been waking up at 3:45 am every night for the past several weeks, my tiny squirrel heart beating like a tiny squirrel drum in a tiny squirrel marching band. I pound melatonin but my blood is a moat and my body barely registers that which would prove fatal for most. Normally, I lay there with my eyes closed, waiting for the sun to spin me one day closer to death, but I’m afraid that if I don’t start embracing these non-traditional waking hours, I won’t be successful. So, here we are. Welcome.
Times have changed since we last saw Bachelor Nick. The Cubs won the World Series. Climate change has advanced from “extremely threatening” to “birth control is more important than ever.” And Arnold Schwarzenegger has replaced Donald Trump as the host of The Celebrity Apprentice.
Because America elected Mr. Trump to the highest office in our country. Yes. Yes, we did.
We are all, surely, nearing the end of human civilization on earth, and through it all, Nick has continued to hold all untelevised sexual and romantic encounters at an arm's length in his quest for love.
It’s hard for me to think of Nick as a sexual being. He’s objectively attractive, without a doubt, but I’m convinced he’s responsible for all unsolved crimes in the United States. He’s shifty-eyed and suspicious, the physical embodiment of the infamous Chicagoan serial killer who took the lives of over one hundred women during the world fair in 1850. He engages in near-constant sexual activity, but his public performance of mating behavior mimics that of an eighth grader who just started acoustic guitar lessons. Nothing about him adds up.
Which makes him the perfect Bachelor.
And the women – O! The women! The women this season are a slew of 16-year-old business owners, a veritable parade of Tavi Gevinsons. Most of these women were still fetuses when Nick Viall’s pubes made their full debut, and 90% of them would be able to locate weed within 60 minutes at the nearest state university. As someone who can barely relate to men six months younger than me (I am CONSTANTLY GROWING), I’m genuinely concerned about Nick Viall’s arrested development. I’ll spend the next couple of months rooting for the handful of adult women ABC selected to potentially spend their life with the real-life Matthew McConaughey from Dazed and Confused.
Still, they’re undeniably more career-driven than we’ve seen in past seasons. Usually, The Bachelor cast consists of twenty waitresses, two nurses, a lawyer, and a chicken enthusiast. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a waitress (or a chicken enthusiast, for that matter – I, for one, am a chicken wing enthusiast). But the men of The Bachelorette are usually plastic surgeons or the inventor of Snapchat or they murdered their parents for a one-billion-dollar inheritance. It sends a message. And tonight, that message has progressed slightly. It now says, “Successful women can be hot, as long as they’re 12.”
Few of the women really matter in the first episode. There’s no way Nick Viall went to bed three months ago with all of those names to faces memorized. My own memory, genetically descended from a long line of Alzheimer’s patients, is naturally equivalent to that of Juliette Moore’s about 20 minutes into Still Alice. And there were too, too many women in red dresses last night. It was an assault on Bachelor bloggers everywhere.
The most important woman of the night was Alexis, 23, an aspiring dolphin trainer from New Jersey. Alexis is fun AF and is going to walk away from this show with six billion best friends. Budding female friendship was everywhere last night. It was primarily exhibited by how enthusiastically the women reacted to both Alexis’s dolphin suit, as well as the camel hump pun that ended with a blonde woman “accidentally” sliding her vagina onto Nick’s vertically facing hand. These women are low-drama, high-fun bitches. Nick Viall could honestly see himself out, and I’d still watch the whole season.
The next most important woman of the night was Rachel, 31, an attorney from Dallas, Texas. Rachel getting Nick’s first impression rose nearly made up for not getting our first female president back in November. She’s beautiful, a lawyer (hopefully for victims of revenge porn or something), and 31!!!!!!!!!!!!! (good job, Nick, keep it up). Also, she’s the first black woman (or man) in the history of my personal memory of this show to win the first impression rose. That means there’s a solid chance she’ll make it to the top four.
And the bottom line is this: If Rachel gets to the top four and isn’t selected to be the next Bachelorette, I will riot.
The least important woman of the night was Astrid, 26, plastic surgeon office manager. Astrid’s parents probably named her that in anticipation of how unforgiving middle school can be, but it’s a name that no longer serves any purpose and, in fact, holds her back in nearly every aspect of her life.
Corinne, who is taking a few months off from running a multi-million dollar business in order to take her gold heart and platinum “vagine” on tour, is also going to be very important this season. I don’t know how yet but I have a nagging suspicion she’s going to leave us with a lot to think about, existentially.
Then there’s Liz, the bewitchingly beautiful doula who had casual sex with Nick and then denied him her phone number as part of a grand plot to steal his heart on national television. I look forward to watching as the layers of this relationship are revealed this season. Surely, one cannot live while the other survives.
I’m also excited to see the tension that will inevitably bubble up between ABC’s attempt at feminism this season and the natural misogyny of the franchise. Will ABC air their first televised blowjob? How tastefully will it be presented? Will the American economy pay the price for how many businesses went on hiatus while this season was being shot? Will anyone bring up the election?????
Join us next week to find out which of these women will survive the Earth’s sixth great mass extinction!