College Life: Is The Bachelor Franchise Really For People of Color?
Kelli Carter ~ Staff Writer
After this summer and the uprise of people who are more willing to speak up on racial injustices, fans of the bachelor saw the lack of diversity on the show. If there were people of color (PoC) on the show, they were never the ones to be engaged or even a lead.
We are about halfway through Matt James’ season of the bachelor. Matt James is the first ever black man to be the bachelor in this franchise. Many people of color truly believe he fits an agenda of how perfect you have to be in order to be on the show as a PoC compared to an alternate white bachelor.
Elena Nicolaou, a writer for O magazine, said that Matt James is a “philanthropic former college football pro, who gives free food tours to low-income elementary schoolers in New York City.” Most of the time the bachelor is just a ‘basic white man.’ In a way, it is like ‘in order to be a person of color as a lead on this show, you need to be phenomenal.’
This idea of not being a typical black lead on this show also goes for women as well. Rachel Lindesy had to carry a huge burden of figuring how to be a successful black woman and not have to lower her ideals due to men feeling intimidated by her. She was also the first ever black person to hold a lead in this franchise.
Robin M. Boylorn, a writer for Slate, said, “Rachel Lindsay was clearly a strategic pick as the first black bachelorette. A Dallas-based lawyer and daughter of a judge, Rachel has all the trappings of upper-class white affluence alongside a black girl aesthetic and homegirl sensibility. She is black, but not black-black, not stereotypical black.”
Not only does this franchise show the ideal black person, but if you are looking for these leads to find black love, you will definitely not find it here. Interracial love seesm to be a trend when there is a black lead.
Matt James even started his season off by giving a debrief with Chris Harrison, saying that just because he is a black man he feels the pressure to be with a black woman but he is going to do it his way. Other bachelors and bachelorette have never had to bring up the topic of dating outside of their race.
I honestly love the bachelor and all the drama that is on it, but I find it really hard to connect with the people on the show because I do not see girls like me or leads who are white really wanting to make a connection with the PoC’s on their season. This really begs the question: how genuine is the show when it comes to people who are not white?