It’s that time of year again, where to fill that Monday night void we get sucked into weeks of pretty people in bikinis and their drunken tears. With Lacy and Marcus’ wedding—which was actually kind of sweet—I was almost able to forget how strange it is that everyone is just eyeing each other like interchangeable pieces of meat. But actually, Lacy and Marcus’ start was pretty rocky too, so why shouldn’t these couples build lasting relationships on a solid foundation of deception and bet-hedging?
One thing I have to climb up on a soap box over is the casual mentioning of Jillian’s breast implants in the cast introductions. And then filming the surgery! Whether or not the operating room scene was staged, this struck me as kind of sick. I completely condone anyone’s right to get breast implants but I do not agree with it being a casual thing done with the show’s goofy playlist in the background. At the very least, they should have spent less time talking about Jillian’s black box and more time hearing about how she’s always wanted to change her breasts, how this has been a lifelong insecurity of hers, or something along those lines. SOMETHING! Not just “I spent a lot of time putting work into this butt but I can’t work out my boobs.” I’m no prude and have never believed anyone on this show should be seen as a “role model,” but young girls do watch this stuff and surgery of all types—elective or not—is serious. The show should have known better than to discuss this so cavalierly, with a wink (and then showing the men ogling her later). Drunken tears and hookups are one thing, but body image is a different beast entirely. Come on, ABC.
Fun fact: I was courted briefly to do BIP last season. Before putting the kibosh on it completely, I spoke with their background check guy (this also had to be done for The Bachelor). He asked if I had had any plastic surgery since The Bachelor. I was shocked at this question—it had only been a month or so since the show had finished airing—and voiced my surprise. He told me that so many people get something done after watching themselves (and being criticized by the trolls for their appearance) on television that it’s a routine question. Just let that soak in for a second.
As for Lauren I., I’ve met her and she is not only beautiful but also super sweet. I just wish (oh, how I wish!) that she didn’t play up the promiscuous card as the yin to Ashley I.’s virginal yang. I mean, you know that was producer-encouraged, but she didn’t have to bite. As for her calling Juelia and Tenley “old,” I have no doubt she’d had a few too many drinks and the camera that caught this was hidden. However, as a fellow “old” woman (I’m a whopping six years older than Lauren), I can tell you that I have never been more at peace with who I am, more comfortable in my own skin, and more confident in my intelligence and ability to make sound decisions. Case in point, Juelia and Tenley were wise enough to not make a spectacle of themselves by bawling on the first night with new people. Just sayin’.
Early favourites of mine are Jade, who is so effortlessly beautiful and sweet, Tenley, whose dating history with Kiptyn I’m sure many women can relate to (and whose closet I covet), Carly, who still has the most quotable quips, and Tanner, whose hilarious intro clip revealed he has no problem making fun of himself. Who will pair off, who will wind up brokenhearted, and who will arrive to stir the pot?? Don’t look now; I think I’m already hooked.
Related: Sharleen Joynt on Episode 2
Bachelor in Paradise airs Sundays and Mondays on City.
For more from Sharleen Joynt, visit her blog, All the Pretty Pandas.
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