I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch The Bachelorette since the first year, and even then it was only once. I find the whole idea of selecting a person to love and marry during the course of TV show ludicrous. As a mother of two daughters, I would cringe if they ever wanted to go on a show that so misrepresents love in all of its wonder and pain and the journey that it takes to get there.
But Roxane Gay has watched the newest version and is touting that it, because it for the first time has a Black woman as its “Bachelorette” is worth checking out. I get it and understand that because it is a “first” it has a value all its own. Black women are underrepresented and misrepresented in every aspect of entertainment. The Bachelorette is no different. Is it worth watching? For some yes and for Gay, definitely yes.
As she points out,
Given the current political climate, it might seem that this pop culture milestone is insignificant. Fascism is on the rise. A petty tyrant is president of the United States. So much is so precarious for so many people. It seems frivolous, at best, to care about a reality dating show. And yet, we deserve to be entertained even as the world burns. There is enough room in our collective imagination to care about the fate of the world and the fate of Rachel Lindsay’s heart. And care we do.