Just one of the gals vying for love on The Bachelor
Posted on January 24th, 2013 by Kristen
It’s really a ridiculous two solid hours of TV every Monday night. But much to my husband’s utter dismay, the two hours of 26 twenty-somethings’ quest for love with one man — oozing with steamy and obnoxious “reality” dating glory — is something I can’t seem to shake. I am, of course, talking about ABC’s The Bachelor.
Now in its 17th season, The Bachelor is still offering up just enough unexpected twists and turns to keep millions of hopeless romantics like me glued to the tube. New for this season is The Bachelor’s inclusion of a young woman living with a physical disability in the mix of contestants — a true Bachelor first. Sarah Herron is one of 13 women vying for the love of Bachelor Sean Lowe, and she also happens to have been born with only one full arm. What’s been great so far in The Bachelor’s portrayal of Sarah’s storyline with Sean is that she’s really just one of the gals hoping to find love. Sarah is experiencing the extreme dates (free-falling off a 30+ story building in the second episode) and romantic gestures (Sean arranging for a visit for Sarah on set with her French Bulldog, Leo, in episode three) as any other contestant would. She shrugged off her physical disability in a recent article in USA Today, pointing out that most women her age have insecurities. “Everybody has something about them that they don’t feel awesome about,” she told the reporter. “For me, my barrier is having one arm.” The article noted how surprised Sarah was to find herself becoming a role model for others:
“I’ve been doing a little reading of comments online and on some message boards. It seems to be incredibly positive and I get overwhelming feedback from women saying I’ve inspiring (sic) them and motivated them.” She continues, “I truthfully went on the show to meet Sean, but if I’m a role model for anybody, I’m honored that people perceive me like that.”
On a more global scale, I hope other producers and industry execs will take note — from such an unlikely source as The Bachelor — and strive to include more realistic depictions of and inclusion of people and actors living with disabilities in their programming.
But for now, at the grassroots level, as the season continues I’ll be anxiously watching, curious to see how Sarah’s story will unfold, rooting for her from the comfort of my couch. I know I’m not alone, what do you think of Sarah’s attempts to find love?