Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Bachelorette season reflected on attitudes towards sex, especially when it’s displayed on the camera, and was ahead of its time.
Kaitlyn Bristowe’s The Bachelorette season reflected on attitudes towards sex, especially when it’s displayed on the camera. Viewers were unappreciative of how Bristowe slept with the potential candidates, more than was preferred. Yet Bristowe standing up for herself showed an emotionally mature behavior about sexual attitudes that was a few years too early.
The Bachelorette and The Bachelor both have a history of putting too much pressure on the title characters per season. It becomes hard for them to balance a personal life with a public image, and can cause trauma inadvertently. Bristowe has stated that the subsequent pressure and constant surveillance from the crowd didn’t help with her subsequent depression relapse. She was on both of the shows, on the former as the title character and the latter as a contestant on season 19.
Marie Claire discusses how The Bachelorette took a different approach to a filmed quest for love. The audience was not pleased when Bristowe decided to see if she was sexually compatible with one of the competitors before the Overnight Dates. This went against standard Bachelorette protocol, where a relationship consummation would happen on a special episode. It was her decision to make, but she still faced slut-shaming for it. People called her a whore and told her to “un-spread” her legs when that’s not even a bird. Although Bristowe admitted to feeling guilty about how this would change the subsequent relationships, she came to stand by her choice and speak out against the haters. This confidence made that season revolutionary, where a woman refused to apologize for admitting she had sexual needs. What’s more, she’s open about how traumatic the whole experience was.
TV and sex have quite a relationship, especially where real life people and actors are involved. An actor can discuss if their character should be shown having a physical relationship or not. It’s not the same as when a real life person has to make decisions that will appear on camera, in a negative or positive light. Even so, people seem to believe that women shouldn’t be allowed to be carnal and show that they want to explore. It feels disproportionate that Bristowe received that much Internet hate because she didn’t conform to a standard protocol.
Saying you’re not sorry for finding out who you are is something that women should be allowed to do. Bristowe showed she wasn’t going to let the fanbase dictate her life, especially when she broke up with Shawn Booth and became engaged to someone who made her happy, Jason Tartick. That was a brave move, especially in light of the emotional trauma that ensued from filming. She’s remained open with viewers and her fanbase about her reasons for breaking up with Shawn Booth, wrote a song about it, and is in touch with her feelings. People wanted her and Booth to stay together, and yet she knew their relationship was over. The experience on The Bachelorette allowed her to find true love.
It shouldn’t be a case where a woman has to actively fight to have a positive attitude about sexual exploration. Yet, when we see a show that celebrates it, even by accident, we take the win. Rather than let the viewers decide how she behaved, Bristowe stood up for herself and said that she wasn’t sorry for failing to meet their expectations. It was one of the few times where the producers couldn’t cover it up with clever editing or create another stunt or challenge. For that reason, Bristowe was a groundbreaking Bachelorette, and one that reality TV should laud.
Source: Marie Claire
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