The Colton Underwood story illustrates perfectly why the “Bachelor” television show franchise has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern world.
They go on the assumption that there is such a thing as a “gay” look — and they don’t want it. This assumption goes back to somewhere around the beginning of time when gays were called “nances” (calling one another “Nancy”), sissies, or queens. That was a cross-dressing look from the 1950s, when homosexuals took on the personas of “sissies.” (“Sissy,” today, means a cross-dressing male — not necessarily gay — who dresses up as a “maid” and wants to be dominated by a woman.)
Macho, Macho Man
The cross-dressing gays were there blown away in the 1960s and afterwards by the gay “macho” look” — bare torso, harnesses, bulging muscles. This “butch,” or leatherman, look is still quite popular today. But it is a look, or code, and most gay guys don’t have it. They look perfectly “normal” (that is: heterosexual).
So, to the “Bachelor” producers, Colton Underwood looked perfectly “normal” (there’s that word again) and acceptable for mainstream media consumption: no red handkerchief coming out of his rear pocket, no leather wristband, and the guy is good-looking. So it didn’t even cross their minds that he might be gay.
The Bachelor Narrowly Defines “Attractive”
It crossed his mind, however, and he brooded in private about his own sexual orientation. Everybody on the show saw it as cool that the guy had so little sexual experience. “Hey, we’ll fix that!”
When the truth came out, there must have been some gobsmacking behind there camera. Well, yeah, because y’all views of gayness are still trapped in the world of nances and queens.
There is something nauseatingly coy about the whole concept of “The Bachelor”: It’s the assumption that what makes you an attractive candidate is a handsome face and a good line of chat. Up on the latest tunes, but “Brooklyn Center”: what’s that? Of course, these liaisons fail as the participants get tired of admiring their own bodies.
Colton, good luck! Stay away from dress codes, and be yourself.