The Bachelorette's Postfeminist Therapy: Transforming Women for Love

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Book Chapter

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career, love, postfeminist therapy, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, therapeutic transformation, women

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



In this chapter, the author looks at how postfeminist imperatives are aligned with therapeutic transformation in recent seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette by conducting a close analysis of the presentation of the “real-life” stars of three seasons (five, six, and seven) of The Bachelorette - respectively, Jillian Harris, Ali Fedotowsky, and Ashley Hebert - and of their first appearances as participants on The Bachelor. The chapter focuses on how they are shown navigating the demands of career and love. It details how claims to emotional health and happiness are constructed within the space of the shows. The chapter explains how these claims animate key feminist concerns about postfeminist tensions between career and love, and the connections made between these tensions and ideas about therapeutic transformation. In many ways, the shows tell a fairly standard postfeminist story about the dangers of career ambition for white heterosexual middle-class women.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Bachelorette's Postfeminist Therapy: Transforming Women for Love, in L. Ouellette (Ed.), A Companion to Reality Television, John Wiley & Sons, p. 189-207