Why Is It Suddenly OK To Exploit Virginity On Reality TV?

Colton Underwood

As probably everyone in the entire world knows by now, Colton Underwood is the star of season 23 of “The Bachelor,” and he is a virgin. Ever since he publicly revealed it while a contestant on Becca Kufrin’s season of “The Bachelorette,” it is all anyone can talk about. So, it’s really not a surprise that it has already been brought up constantly on “The Bachelor” even though we’re only one episode in.

Never mind the fact that he’s been an offseason player for the San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Oakland Raiders; That he started his own foundation to research cystic fibrosis and provide medical equipment to children; That he’s a dog dad of two (Thor and Sniper).

He’s an actual person beyond his sex life.

In an interview with ‘The Hollywood Reporter,’ Colton had this to say about it: “People are invested in [my virginity] now because that’s sort of been my story and what people know me for… Hopefully, after this, they know me for much more than just being a virgin.”

Colton has also strived to make light of the fact that his virginity has become the main focus of “The Bachelor.”

Colton UnderwoodTwitter

I’m glad that Colton isn’t upset by the depiction of his virginity, but as a viewer, it’s quite annoying that it is all the producers focus on.

Though Colton may be the first virgin bachelor of the show, no one else’s sex life has been played up like this.

It’s quite problematic that it’s even a focus of the show anyway. When Colton told Becca that he hadn’t had sex yet, I applauded his choice, not judging one way or the other. Yet the producers seem to have made a judgment about it by overhyping it. By talking about it so much, it’s implied that being a virgin isn’t OK like it’s some kind of barrier preventing true love or a burden that must be shed immediately.

What kind of message is that?

I’m curious to see how this focus on his sex life will play throughout the show. No doubt it will be mentioned in every episode. By the time the fantasy suites roll around, I’m sure it’ll be talked about in every breath. And I would bet that if it isn’t revealed then, Chris Harrison will point-blank ask Colton about it during his interview in the finale as if it’s really any of our business what Colton does or doesn’t do with his body. Though filming has wrapped now, I wonder if Colton felt any pressure to “lose his v-card” for the sake of the show.

If he did, that’s appalling and shameful.

I’m sure talk of Colton’s sex life won’t die down anytime soon, but I hope that it doesn’t distract from what Colton is there for: to fall in love and find a wife. I’m eager to see how his story will play out and learn more about him beyond the fact that he’s a virgin.

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This post originally appeared at The Odyssey, published with permission. 


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Andrea Avers
Andrea is a college student at Bowling Green State University. You can read more of her writing at www.theodysseyonline.com/user/@andreaavers