Regressive Prom-Dress Fashion on 'The Bachelor'

2/20/2017 - Professor of Sociology Linda Grindstaff in Quartz.

The gowns the women wear—and they are pretty much always gowns—might vary in their color and details, but they are all figuratively cut from the same cloth.

Body-hugging, usually one solid color, and conventional in design, they suggest an adult version of prom, and help play out a limited, conservative view of femininity that casts women as part sex object, part princess in The Bachelor’s addictive and regressive fantasy-reality welter.

The women are costuming themselves for a quite specific role on the romance-themed television show, says Laura Grindstaff, a professor of sociology at the University of California-Davis and an expert on gender roles in media and popular culture. “They’re all being informed by a similar cultural sensibility of what it means to perform a sexy yet respectable young woman,” she says. And that role, Grindstaff points out, is “a particularly narrow vision of femininity.”

Read the full story in Quartz.

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