Diversity & Media

The Bachelor

The Bachelor Intersectionality

In the most recent episode of The Bachelor, Season 21 Episode 6, Nick takes the remaining contestants to St. Thomas. At the beginning of the show it seems like all of the women are pretty much the same. There is minimal diversity, but it’s challenging to recognize any differences among the women because they all are pretty much fixated on the same things: Nick, spending time with Nick, getting a rose from Nick, and marrying Nick.

Pretty much all of the women express these feelings in the same way. Many of the individual interviews show the women crying over not receiving enough attention, feeling sad about not “performing” well enough in front of Nick, or feeling elated because they were given the gift of one-on-one time.

Eventually, The Bachelor gives in to racial stereotypes, beyond the heavily stereotyped representation of over-emotional, love-crazed women they are already guilty of. Jasmine, one of the two women of color who remains in the “pack”, becomes upset because she is the last woman on the show to receive a one-on-one with Nick. After spending a long time complaining to the other women about being ignored by Nick, coming off as aggressive and love-starved (she claims that she came to the show to get engaged and if that isn’t going to happen then she should just leave).

When Nick finally calls her for some alone time, she airs her grievances to him. At first it seems like the conversation is productive, but Jasmine becomes emotional and she begins to joke about being aggressive towards Nick. The mention of her “choking” him, completely changes the way he responds to her. The conversation becomes uncomfortable, and Jasmine begins to joke about being sexually aggressive toward Nick.

In this moment, the show moves from only being guilty of under-representing and stereotyping women in general, to defaulting to the stereotypes of an over-sexual, angry black woman. Directly after the conversation, Nick asks Jasmine to leave. She walks away quietly, and with an obvious chip on her shoulder.

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