When should you let your daughters watch the Bachelor?
I love watching women in red-carpet-style frocks, some with sequins, all with cleavage, line up and compete against each other to be chosen by a man.
And I know others of my ilk do too.
I’ve seen their gushing admissions of obsession on Facebook.
I also have a keener interest now that I have met four of them. (The Queensland contingent was front-row guests for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival I worked on and that has just wrapped. For the record they dressed rose-ceremony ready and didn’t seem any more desperate for love or attention that any other girls I’ve known of the same age)
But while my and my contemporaries on Facebook, fascination is just a bit of frivolous fun.
I’ve also realised as the show nears its end and yippee Sam chooses his favourite, it also serves a vital purpose for parents.
We should be not just letting our young daughters tune in to the Bachelor, but encouraging them to.
I have five daughters, three of them still teenagers, and I try to cajole at least one of them each week to watch with me.
Instead of running to the couch with a cup of tea to spend quality time with me, I get handed;
“How can you watch that crap?”
I have a friend, with two girls aged ten and eight, both of whom know the names of every Bachelorette and when they were shunned at the rose ceremony.
At first she felt guilty that she had let them watch it but too tired after a big day early in the season, she relented.
When the eight year old piped up with;
“I am never going to be like those girls,” she relaxed her feministic conscience.
I also have a male mate who has two daughters, again one ten and the other fourteen.
He too at first, as a father of future women, was adamant that the show was a decorated version of a meat market and would not be suitable for his children.
Again comments from the teenager turned his view.
“She is critical of what they wear, how they speak to each other and what they look like when gushing over a guy,” he said.
“She has actually said she hopes she never gets roses on a date.”
So instead of banning The Bachelor, it’s commitment television.
He watches every episode with his girls and peppers them with questions and opinions.
Satisfied they won’t appear in the 2025 version of the Bachelor he uses it as a lecture in future what-not-to-do dating, and how a guy should treat them.
So clearly, the exposure to this form of dating and partner choosing is harmless, indeed I’ve proven the theory, it’s helpful.
In this day and age how is it any different to the schoolyard game of red rover when you were picked last because someone thought you were slow
We had to handle rejection early.
Or if you had to go with your cousin to the school formal, because no one else invited you.
Yes hurtful, but character building, and on the bright side, lucky you had a cousin.
Or in the online dating world where you are selected or shunned based on a photo-shopped image and a heightened resume of interests.
You just aren’t part of a heavily produced television series and get invited to Fashion Festivals.
Now child psychologists may disagree with this view, which is why I am not approaching any for comment as I don’t want my small sample and thus my conclusion to be tarnished.
Which is that:
The Bachelor and soon (can’t wait) the Bachelorette are just new, innovative ways for parents to lay some foundations of self-esteem for their daughters (and sons when the Bachelorette starts and men are being scrutinised).
At the very least it’s fun and an enjoyable way to spend some time with your kids.
Well at least for those whose children haven’t worked out that it’s crap.