BY Nina Greenhill

There are many, many things that are a surety in life. One of them is that reality tv is a heavily edited experience that has risen in popularity and consumed attention. Another, is a good headshot of a llama or alpaca at the Bacchie Mansion.

Where this season’s The Bachelorette differs from the norm is that there are two bachelorettes, and they were definitely dealt the raw prawn.

To say the Australian public has been less than impressed with this season is an understatement. They have taken their long-held resentments and issues of the program and shifted them onto the sisters Becky and Ellie. 

One resentment is diversity, of which I will happily agree that there needs to be more of, however it is not something that is the fault of Ellie, Becky, or the blokes. It’s not something that can be remedied after filming either. Yes, they are white and yes, this has been the established norm, and presumably producers and executives alike have cottoned on surrounding this backlash. This can only be fixed in the future. Don’t blame them as it’s not something they actually have control over.

One major issue I have found is the massive lot of idiots that are the candidates for Becky and Ellie’s hearts. Reports from the Bacchie camp is that the boys thought that the bachelorette was going to be a ‘hot girl’ this year and to be frank, I’m not here for it. Ellie and Becky are funny, smart, direct, and a whole host of other adjectives that are more important than being ‘hot’. They are there looking for love, and a partner to share life with. For most of us, when we get old and good looks morph into a good amount of wrinkles, what keeps couples together are the shared experience and the complementary personal attributes. Furthermore, the girls scrub up damn fine with the help of the crew and trying to keep these wonderful humans to unrealistic standards is a truly messed up thing to do. Please see next paragraph for a continuation of a slightly different unrealistic standard.

The girls did a small sneaky sneak by getting their friend and cousin to eavesdrop on how the boys were talking about them which TBH, is a fair move. What was shocking in a RECORDED show, that the boys knew was occurring, was the shaming for kissing more than one guy and the ostentatious brags about receiving kisses. Honestly, I would want to know how my potential man was talking about me and if it wasn’t in a respectful manner, such as Pascal, I’d kick him the hell outta my life. There is no excuse for slut shaming, and as Ellie pointed out, did they even pay attention to how the show was run in the other million and a half seasons out there. Exclusivity goes out the window in a group dating scenario as well as the tolerance for stupidity. If your man is comfortable with the entire nation knowing how sexist his standards are, how do you think he is going to treat you in private?

There’s a very low tolerance for drama with the sisters, which I’m here for. There was no build up, no factions forming, etc with the ‘Pascal Problem’, and they dealt with it very quickly. The one benefit to the Bachelorette format is the compressed time frame for choosing a person. A compressed time in the mansion hopefully means that the undesirable attributes like sexism, rudeness, and dishonesty can be weeded out as soon as they crop up. Ellie and Becky have tag teamed this so that timewasters and idiots just looking to land the Bachelor role or onto Bachelor In Paradise get shown the door. Yes, there are some obvious issues, like steampunk hat guy not thinking of the future, and Bloody Legend Harry going home to his son, but that’s the small slice that is life and human nature. If the connection exists and you still need to dig to figure out what you can work with, you end up tolerating more than you’d think.

Obviously, this season is going to be a bit shorter due to Rona and having two hearts to contend for, not just one, but I can live with that. Ellie’s got her head screwed on and some marvellous humour, and Becky has a level of understanding and an admirable ability to have a go, whether it be wakeboarding or whip cracking.

I think if we cut the girls some slack for trying to find love during the pandemic and through the wasteland of preening peacocks with commitment issues, we can all be better for it.

At best, The Bachelorette is the witnessing of the start of a long and happy relationship, and more commonly, at worst, it’s a way to fill an hour or two of your life by watching someone else’s. The girls on The Bachelor and Bachelorette are famously treated terribly on social media and by people who have no connection with them whatsoever. My question for you is, can you please just chill and cut the girls some slack for trying to find love while an entire nation watches? They don’t need overanalysing and judgement from a loudspeaker. They need what we all do – kindness and support. They are human, and I think we’d do best to remember that.

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