Fallen Women on Reality TV: A Pornography of Emotion

Document Type


Publication Date



pornography, emotion, money shot, The Bachelor, melodrama, reality TV

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



The display of emotional women is a hallmark of many reality shows. Through the analysis of a woman in the reality TV show The Bachelor, who is originally presented as an attractive romantic prospect, but ultimately revealed as frighteningly over-emotional, the article suggests that this emotional display is akin to the “money shot” in film pornography (shot of the man ejaculating). The argument draws on feminist scholarship in pornography studies to illustrate how the representation of women's emotions—of female bodies unable to contain intense bodily responses—provides the climactic moments of a story about women who fail at love. The work examines what is at stake in this process, asking: what is the threat posed by emotional women and how is this threat situated in a genre that claims access to the “real”?

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Feminist Media Studies, v. 9, issue 3, p. 353-368