The Bachelor: Match Maker or Debt Maker?By Caitlin in Money
Even though participating on The Bachelor may seem like a dream come true, it can turn into a nightmare of struggling to pay your way out of debt. Yes, it has some benefits like fame and “possibly everlasting love,” but it comes at a large price, literally. Not only do contestants pay the price of potentially having their heart broken in front of millions of viewers on national television, but they also spend ridiculous amounts of money on clothes in order to get prepared to be on the show. As one contestant said to another on this season’s third episode (which aired January 18th), “Olivia said she spent, like, $40,000 on clothes. It’s insane.”
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The Pressure to Spend
Not only is this insane, but very unrealistic for the majority of women. Some of the people on this show are born into wealthy families and do actually spend thousands of dollars on clothes. However, those born into average income households who do spend that type of money could possibly end up in debt. Considering these contestants may go home after the first rose ceremony, they still have to pack enough appropriate television outfits for the entire eight-week competition, which can include traveling to a variety of locations like freezing glaciers and warm beaches. It’s so easy to lose track of money, especially in competitive circumstances when you’re pressured to look perfect.
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Not only does this television series portray unrealistic expectations about women and their physical appearance, it also portrays unrealistic expectations about what it’s like to actually date somebody and fall in love. Yes ladies, maybe in your wildest dreams you put on a thousand dollar dress, take a helicopter ride to a rooftop terrace and enjoy a candlelit dinner with your prince charming. But in real life, this rarely happens (not unless you’re Anastasia Steele from Fifty Shades of Grey). The Bachelor falsifies women’s dating expectations, making viewers believe there’s a chance they’ll find true love with a tall, rich, perfect guy who looks like a male model, who will wine and dine them on luxurious dates every night. Well, here’s a reality check for the viewer’s whose heads are in the clouds. Even though it may look effortless and credible, it is highly unlikely and very rare. It can actually cost thousands of dollars to go on a real Bachelor date.
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Dressing for Debt
As for dressing like a Bachelor contestant, some of the women actually spend even more money than the cost of the dates. With heavy importance placed on appearance, some women have their priorities disordered and end up spending thousands of dollars on clothes, dressing for the show. The former Bachelorette, Jillian Harris, confirmed on her blog the ridiculous amount of money, she spent preparing for the show. As she wrote, “I had re-mortgaged my house and I spent something like $8,000 on clothing… but now that designer labels are even more important, I can see how someone can spend that… easily!!”
As you can see, it is very easy to lose track of your finances and overspend when getting prepared to go on the show. Within a matter of days, Jillian Harris spent eight thousand dollars on clothing, when she could have bought a car. While the majority of us may never have the opportunity to be a contestant on the Bachelor, it’s very likely that we will all experience at least one situation where we feel the pressure to spend a lot of money to look a certain way.
When dealing with these high-pressure situations, be sure to keep track of your spending and stay in your budget. Even though looks are important on the Bachelor, dresses won’t be the main reasons why the Bachelor finds love and they certainly won’t be the reason why you succeed or fail in your high-pressure situation. No matter what the circumstances are, who you’re meeting, or where you’re going, buying overpriced items which you can’t afford won’t increase your confidence or worth. Carrying a positive, self-assured attitude with a pair of shoes from Payless and a smile will look better than any thousand dollar dress. So shop smart, stay in your budget, and say no to credit card debt.