Following The Bachelor’s “Women Tell All” episode that aired earlier this week, contestant Caelynn Miller-Keyes took to Instagram to post about the intense scrutiny and bullying she and her fellow contestants have been subjected to since the airing of this season.
“We live in a world where we never do anything right. Ever. Everyone always has an opinion.
This experience has been so incredibly difficult. This show is super easy to make fun of, I get it, but viciously tearing people down is absolutely disgusting. Girls on my season are getting death threats, I’m getting told to go kill myself. That’s not okay,” she wrote in her caption.
Caelynn reminds her followers that though no one made her or any of the contestants participate in The Bachelor, they’re still people and receiving horrible comments on a daily basis is still hard to stomach.
“We are real people. These emotions are real. You’re watching a tv show, but we felt all of these feelings in a very intense way. Remember that the next time you go to someone’s page to tear them down.”
The unique Bachelor experience
The Bachelor is one of the most-watched reality television shows on TV today. The contestants of the show put themselves through a unique, sometimes painful, social experiment for the entertainment of the American public.
For a young 20-something, the experience sounds fantastic. Contestants get to travel, meet new friends, live in a beautiful house, eat good food, drink a lot, boost their social reach (oftentimes to the point of making a career out of it), go on incredible dates, and maybe fall in love. What’s not to like? Caelynn reminds the show’s fans that though the experience comes with many positives, the negatives can be devastating. No one goes on The Bachelor thinking about all the death threats they’re going to get once the season airs.
Caelynn also speaks to the phenomenon of making mistakes for the world to see, as one does on a reality show. The Bachelor contestants get judged so, so harshly for their actions. With each new season, viewers can’t wait to identify the villain, the needy one, the crazy one, and the show’s editors do an excellent job of laying out exactly which women we should assign these archetypes to.
“We are not perfect. We screw up (myself maybe more than others) but this show is partly about finding yourself, and that means falling in the process. You can have your opinions, but keep the extra hurtful comments to yourself. The internet can be very dark, and instead of feeding into it, try taking a step back.”
The Fox News story about Caelynn’s post
Fox News wrote a story about Caelynn’s plea to her followers to treat her and her fellow contestants as real human beings. The site reported on the bullying she’s been experiencing and also touched on her experience with sexual assault that she shared with Bachelor Colton on the show. The user comments posted underneath the story feature site readers making jokes about Caelynn’s assault and her PTSD that came about as a result, death threats because she has a hyphenated last name, and general bullying about her (assumed) liberal politics. To be clear: these are the comments under a story about bullying.
During the “Women Tell All” episode, a contestant named Nicole confronted another woman she felt was bullying her. She was met with comments from various women about why the accused bully was a good person and why Nicole was wrong for feeling as though she was being bullied.
The two instances, the comments on the Fox News article and the discussion that took place on “Women Tell All” are not comparable in severity but the moral holds true for both: when someone feels she is being bullied, listen. If someone who feels hurt is brave enough to step forward and talk about her feelings, just listen. Bachelor contestants are people, too.
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