It seems like every other episode and every other finale of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette is “the most dramatic ever,” but sometimes, the dramatics really come true. Chris Harrison’s hyperbole notwithstanding, some of the behavior on these shows makes me say, “Is this really happening?” When you put about 30 people in one house and take away any form of entertainment, cliques happen, conversations get misconstrued, and feuds start, and that leads to plenty of bullying on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette . This season, contestant Alex and his height have been the subject of nasty words from Chad, and it's not the first time a contestant's body has been picked apart by the fellow stars.
The entire scenario of a show like The Bachelor or The Bachelorette is a pressure cooker. You’re meant to essentially fall head over heels in love with one person in eight weeks, and, oh, did I mention that 25 other people are trying to do the exact same thing? The whole shebang is meant to create fights, and I get that — it’s a dramatic situation and you are so totally not yourself during it. But when contestants start picking on other contestants physical attributes? That rings up as “so not cool” in my book. It’s like everyone in The Bachelor mansion fell back into middle school or something.
Antagonized or not, picking on someone’s looks or physical form is the sign of a weak person. It’s low-hanging fruit, and it’s stupid. Haven’t we moved on from all of this? Apparently not, because here are some notable moments of bullying on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
In JoJo’s current season of The Bachelorette, some of the contestants (namely Chad) have been honing in on contestant Alex’s height. He’s about 5’7”, according to his bio — and he’s also a Marine, a twin brother, a handsome dude, and, as he mentioned on ABC.com, he once “ripped the door off a totaled, burning car and pulled the unconscious driver out to safety.” Um, hello, my hero? But Chad has focused all of his vitriol on Alex and will not stop talking about his height. I’m sure that we haven’t seen the last of this conversation on The Bachelorette, but I feel like Chad doesn’t realize that Alex could lay him out and not think twice, tall or not.
Poor, poor, sweet Olivia. A contestant on Ben Higgins’ season, Olivia drew ire from the other girls in the Bachelor mansion because she talked a lot about how she loved Ben and would pretty much insist on hanging out with him whenever she had the chance. Fine. Whatever, right? That’s the aim of the game. But the other women came out swinging, with Amber James saying that Olivia has “fat toes” (what is that even) and Emily Ferguson commenting on her “bad breath." Yes, on national television. Sure, Olivia put her foot in her mouth a couple of times, but she did not deserve the treatment from the others in the house. Who cares what her toes look like?
What is it with seasons starring guys named Ben? Shawntel fought for Ben Flajnik’s heart, appearing in the competition after she had appeared on Brad Womack’s season. Of course, the women who had started Ben’s season strong were none the pleased, and Shawntel was hurt by their reaction. She told People, “Hearing girls saying I'm uglier in person and have big thighs and calling me dumpster trash and a bitch was intense." I felt so bad for Shawntel that night — it was awful to watch.
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are certainly entertaining, but I’m not down with the hurtful words. I hope that the men on JoJo’s season leave Alex alone going forward — they have no right to put him down for his height.
Images: Rick Rowell/ABC (2); Kelsey McNeal/ABC; ABC