People of Color Deserve Escapism, Too

 
 
File this under: Another way The Bachelor has illuminated something so much bigger that we really need to start talking about.
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People of Color Deserve Both Representation and Escapism. 'The Bachelor' Failed to Deliver Either
 
If you've ever been asked why you love The Bachelor so much, your answer is probably something along the lines of "it's amazing escapism." And I'm with you. At its best, the show's ability to perfectly straddle reality and fantasy is zone-out gold. For me—and, I imagine, many of you—that escapism isn't just entertaining, it can also feel like a much-needed mental health coping strategy.

But if you're one of the many, many people who has never felt represented by the show, you've probably had to shut off that little voice inside your head that says, Why doesn't anyone's lived experience look like mine? before you can fully enter the world of roses and date cards.

And then season 25 came along with a beautiful promise. The franchise had chosen its first Black bachelor, Matt James, and picked a crew of contestants who were more diverse than ever before. For people of color, the show finally seemed poised to give us that elusive combination of representation and escapism that we deserve (and, quite frankly, have almost never received in entertainment programming).

Except...when the season finally arrived in early January, the show—and the drama that surrounded it—became an ugly, stressful mess.

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