A blog by Maddie Brady

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Create & Cultivate Chicago 2018: What I Learned & Would I Go Again?

Create & Cultivate Chicago 2018: What I Learned & Would I Go Again?

On Saturday, I attended one of the most talked about women’s entrepreneurship conferences in the country: Create & Cultivate. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a jam-packed day of panels, networking, and instagram opportunities and boasts high-profile speakers like Shay Mitchell, Alli Webb, and […]

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s On the Run II Tour was Really Heteronormative

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s On the Run II Tour was Really Heteronormative

Over the weekend I got the chance to see the one and only Beyonce perform in Chicago. Oh and Jay-Z was there, too. But what started as a chance to tick an item off my bucket list turned into a full-blown gender theory extravaganza. If […]

Becca’s Bachelorette Recap + Who Will Be the Next Bachelor?

Becca’s Bachelorette Recap + Who Will Be the Next Bachelor?

We did it, people! We made it to the end of Becca’s season of The Bachelorette. And let me tell you, it was… pretty boring. What courteous and respectful way will Becca let this guy down? What sub-par board of tourism paid them enough this season? Which square headed white dude will she choose?! Riveting stuff.

Unfortunately, in the end, Becca ended up with Garrett “I didn’t mean to like those memes” Yrigoyen and Blake cried into a towel on national television. It wasn’t the happy ending I was hoping for Becca, but, as much as I have a thing for Blake’s capable arms, I’m not sure he would have been a good choice in the end either. He really showed his insecurity and I wanted to swaddle him more than marry him. I think Becca was stuck between a rock and a bigoted place and she chose the guy with the red flag she didn’t know about.

Becca and Garrett kissing in front of a minivan

Speaking of red flags, I was sure they were going to give some vague apology for Garrett’s online behavior, so color me surprised when they addressed Garrett’s meme-gate in length on After the Final Rose. The apology was pretty lame, though: “he didn’t mean it” and he “never meant to offend anyone” are not really excuses for liking a lot of bigoted and racist posts. As much as I’m sure he’s “grown as a person”, I still don’t trust a 29-year-old man who thinks the survivor of a school shooting was a crisis actor.

Garrett’s meme scandal is particularly frustrating when put in context of the other contestants: runner-up Blake was a survivor of a school shooting himself and spoke publicly about it on the show and second runner-up Jason supported his gay brother on Men Tell All saying “love is love is love”. Not to mention Becca’s pretty public liberal views – she’s an outspoken Hillary supporter and has supported Planned Parenthood and the Women’s March publicly, too.

At the end of the day, though, if Becca is happy taking on that emotional labor in her relationship that’s her decision. Lord knows she’s a much more patient and understanding lady that I am. I just think the whole situation speaks to the politically neutral nature of the show and how that’s back firing more and more often for them. When your show’s audience is primarily liberal millennial women, it’s hard to champion a guy like Garrett and his views. This came up a lot during Rachel Lindsay’s season – who could forget when systemic racism was explained on Men Tell All – and I think politics is going to creep in more and more each season. In 2018, you can’t ignore the enormous political divide in this country and even Bachelor Nation isn’t safe.

Becca holding a sign that says "Keep your Politics Away from my Lady Bits"

But moving on: other than Garrett’s closely monitored Instagram account and Lincoln’s conspicuous absence from Men Tell All, there was just not a whole lot of excitement this season. Luckily for Bachelor Nation, there’s always another “most dramatic season ever” to look forward to. And they wasted no time with last night’s premiere of Bachelor In Paradise.

I boycotted BIP last season after their ridiculous we-don’t-want-to-get-sued speech about consent on the show, but have been lured back in with an all-star cast and a limit on contestants’ alcohol consumption. With lots of recent Bachelor alums including hometown hero Grocery Joe and villain power couple Jordan and Krystal, I have a feeling we’ll make up for the drama we didn’t get on Becca’s season. (I didn’t watch the premiere last night cause I have a LIFE, but I’ll post on Instagram when I do). I’m also excited just to get to know people more – Who are you taxidermy Kendall? What’s Eric Bigger been doing all year? Is Leo’s hair full of secrets?

The Bachelor in Paradise 2018 Cast

But the real question everyone wants the answer to is: Who will be the next Bachelor? And oh, do I have theories. But first, let’s talk a little bit about how they make this decision.

A lot of things can affect the selection of the next Bachelor or Bachelorette. I listened to an interview with ABC’s head of Alternative Programming, Robert Mills, recently where he spoke a little about this process and he touched on several things that they take into consideration when choosing a bachelor or bachelorette:

  • Relevance – Has this person been on the show recently? Have they stayed active in Bachelor Nation? Rachel Lindsay is a great example of this since she had just been on the most recent season of The Bachelor and was still very much on Bachelor Nation’s radar.
  • Story – Are we rooting for them? Do they have a great back story or did something really dramatic and devastating happen to them? Becca wasn’t an obvious choice for Bachelorette until she got dumped by Arie – then suddenly her story of redemption made her a perfect candidate.
  • Personality – Can they carry an entire show? This is why someone like Grocery Joe, although beloved by the public, could not be the Bachelor. He’s too quiet and wouldn’t open up enough.
  • Different from past seasons – Are they a different type of lead than the last Bachelor or Bachelorette? Juan Pablo wasn’t a natural choice for Bachelor, but after Sean Lowe’s pretty chaste season the franchise needed a little shaking up.

Keeping all the above criteria in mind, I’ve laid out 8 pretty agreed upon candidates for Bachelor. Obviously there are more and I have a feeling Paradise is going to play a role in who is chosen, but as of right now these are the people on the radar of Bachelor Nation. Let’s bring in the (world’s most crudely made) bracket…

Who Will Be the Next Bachelor Bracket

The Contenders:

  1. Wills. The most GIFable contestant ever and can pull off a romphim. Who wouldn’t marry him (besides Becca obviously)? He has a strong base rooting for him, but I think he’s ultimately too reserved to carry the whole show.
  2. Grocery Store Joe. An unexpected fan favorite. The world just couldn’t let Joe go after his night one exit this season, but I think Paradise is as far as he’ll go. He isn’t the most talkative of the bunch and I think would just pick some girl on the first night saying “she seems nice”.
  3. Eric Bigger. I think Eric has a really good chance of making a comeback. He’s on Paradise this season, he had a good story on Rachel’s season, and has a LOT of abs. I would not be mad to see an Eric season.
  4. Colton. As much as Colton has all the qualities of a great bachelor, I think he shot himself in the foot with the Tia drama, especially now that he’s on Paradise. I just don’t think audiences would believe he’s ready for love again after all of it.
  5. Blake. Sweet baby Blake. I love him and he’s a fan favorite, but I don’t think he has the emotional wherewithal to be the Bachelor. He also said something about Becca being “the only bachelorette” he’d ever want, so my guess is he’s a no go.
  6. Peter Krause. Ah yes, a mystical unicorn Peter Krause season… Will we get it? Probably not. Can I still dream about it? Definitely yes.
  7. Jason. I think they have a real winner in Jason. Top 3, but we still don’t know that much about him. Charismatic, believes in “the process”, and had a super classy exit this season. Barring anyone from Paradise stealing the show, I think it’ll be Jason.
  8. Connor. We didn’t get to know Connor too well this season, but he’s on Paradise and had a strong contingent of fans once they saw how hot he was in glasses. I think he has the potential to really shine on Paradise so we’ll see.

As of right now, I think it’ll be Jason – I think he’s a good candidate and I would definitely watch that season. I doubt they’ll pull another Arie, where they choose a lead no one knows, so I think it’ll definitely be someone we recognize. But I think we need to watch Paradise for clues – I wouldn’t be surprised if someone’s storyline from there carries over either.

So there you have it. More of my feelings about the Bachelorette than you ever wanted to read. If you’re looking for more of my pop culture ramblings, check out: what I thought about The Proposal, a theory I have about Instagram, and why I’m glad Mean Girls didn’t win at this year’s Tony Awards.

Networking Tips to Help You Make Genuine Connections

Networking Tips to Help You Make Genuine Connections

As I’ve mentioned here before, I took about five months off from work this year and spent a big portion of that job searching. It was definitely exhausting, but, ultimately, I learned a lot about what I’m looking for in my career and how to […]

Is Slow Instagram Becoming a Thing?

Is Slow Instagram Becoming a Thing?

In the world of social media, everything is instant: instant sharing, instant shopping, instant gratification. But is there a movement emerging on social media to slow things down – is Slow Instagram becoming a thing? So, what does it mean for Instagram to be “slow”? […]

A Life Update from Madison!

A Life Update from Madison!

Greetings from Madison, friends! In a whirlwind of events over the last several weeks I’ve found myself back in the Dairyland and, honestly, I’m so excited to be back. At first I felt a little weird moving back when I was literally just here, but I got a great offer at a small marketing agency and everything just sort of fell into place. So, why not?! Life is funny like that sometimes.

It’s daunting moving for a job, even if it’s back to a town you know and love. I felt a lot of uncertainty and fear after I committed to move back. What if I hate my new job? What if I feel like an idiot for moving back? What if I feel left out now that I don’t work with all my friends? It was paralyzing. Instead of being excited that I finally got a job offer after months of job searching, I felt so stressed and sick.

I think I just had such a tough time in my last job that I was terrified this would be the same way. But then I realized that it can never be the same way because I’m not the same person.  I’m so much more confident in the workplace, I know how to manage my work and time, I can speak my mind when I see something wrong. I will never be that nervous 22-year-old fresh out of grad school and terrified of making a mistake and I’m GRATEFUL for that.

Sure, I’m coming back to a city I’ve lived in before and I’m living 3 blocks away from my old apartment, but things feel different this time. I feel like myself again. I don’t feel like I have to hide who I am or dim my shine anymore. I feel a lightness I thought I’d lost. I feel a sense of control and direction that I didn’t have before.

Is this my dream job? Probably not. But it’s a step in the right direction, it’s a better offer than I had at my last job (if we’re being honest), and one of my clients has a raccoon in their office so it certainly has it’s perks lol. I also think I’ve let go of the “dream job” notion at this point and am starting to see my career in the long-term. It’s tough when you see people on social media with these really cool jobs right out of school (and fair play to them!), but for most of us it’s going to take time and exploration and a few office raccoons to get it right.

All in all – things aren’t perfect, but for the first time in so long I’m embracing being in transition and am feeling really good about it. I’m leaning into things that make happy. I’m baking weird shit. I’m decorating my bathroom with boob decor. I’m watching a lot of reality TV. And that makes me really happy.

21 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Chicago This Summer

21 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Chicago This Summer

Since I’ve been job searching this summer, I’ve been watching my pennies a little more carefully than normal. Luckily, that doesn’t mean I miss out on all the fun, either. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on free and cheap things to do […]

My Favorite White Summer Dress

My Favorite White Summer Dress

Every summer I have one dress that I wear non-stop and this year it’s this beauty from Urban Outfitters. It’s the perfect summer party dress: cute, casual, and a little sexy. And with the balance of the deep V-neck and the midi length it totally […]

I Watched The Proposal So You Don’t Have To

I Watched The Proposal So You Don’t Have To

If you’ve seen any episode of this season’s The Bachelorette then you’ve also seen about one billion ads for ABC’s new show, The Proposal. If you haven’t (and you’re lucky), here’s the premise: a mystery bachelor (or bachelorette as we’ll see next week) sits in a box and judges a ten-person beauty pageant and picks one of them to propose to at the end of the hour.

It sounds bad, right? Well, that’s because it is. And not in the “so bad it’s good” way. I’ll get into the specifics on why exactly that is in a little bit, but to truly understand how long the producers have been sitting on this shitty idea we have to take a little journey back to the turn of the century…

Contestants Standing on the Stage of ABC's The Proposal

A Reality TV History Lesson:

Despite claims that “nothing like this has ever aired on television”, this show is actually not that new. In fact, Mike Fleiss, creator of The Proposal and The Bachelor, produced an eerily similar show back in 2000 called Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? This was a one-time special featuring a well-off bachelor, 50 women, and a 2-hour block of air time. And the premise was basically the same: Mr. Moneybags judges a pageant and chooses one woman of the 50 to marry on live TV.

Despite booming viewership, the show ended, well… badly. Critics tore it apart as a moral travesty and it turned out Mr. Moneybags was a known domestic abuser, which didn’t go down so well with audiences. The show was never revived as a result, but The Proposal doesn’t seem so far off.

There are obvious differences between the two: The Proposal is serialized, the mystery bachelor/ette isn’t a millionaire (probably), and it’s more ambiguous about the promise of a proposal at the end of the episode. But so much is similar that obviously Mike Fleiss just waited until America sucked enough to run this idea by us again.

(All of this information is from Amy Kaufman’s book, Bachelor Nation, by the way. Highly recommend it if you care about this sort of stuff.)

Contestants Standing on the Stage of ABC's The Proposal

But enough of the history of the show and onto the episode itself. Clearly it’s terrible. I love some great trash, but this isn’t even good enough. It’s just boring trash. For me, it doesn’t work for several reasons:

  1. There’s no story. Shows like The Bachelor only work because they tell a story and you’re rooting for someone based on their personality or situation, even if it’s not real. The Proposal misses all of that – it happens so fast, you don’t care who anyone is, and it’s hard to even remember the mystery suitor’s name. There’s nothing for an audience to connect to.

 

  1. The pageant style is too generic. Not only are people given just 30 seconds to answer questions, but they’re doing it in front of a live studio audience. It’s obvious these are just like normal people, so they’re nervous! The sound bites are rushed and generic (I was waiting for someone to wish for world peace) or they just don’t say anything at all. The whole thing is cringey and predictable and there’s really no opportunity to show their personality. Miss America at least has a talent competition!

 

  1. The proposal is not shocking. Maybe it was shocking to watch people get married on TV back in 2000, but now we see people do it all the time and we know that the vast majority of these relationships don’t last. So when the proposal rolled around it was just so clear it wasn’t real and they were just going to pawn the ring off to some stagehand afterwards. The whole proposal is just so unshocking that it really pulls the rug out from the premise of the show for me. Like we all know it’s a joke, so why even do it?

 

  1. Mike just kind of sucked. This one is pretty episode specific, but let’s be honest: Mike was the worst. He immediately axed any woman with a visible personality. By the time he got down to the top 4 he had sent home an Olympic weightlifter, multiple author/life coaches, and the woman who did the Wakanda Forever arms. The only woman he kept that had come out with a quirk was the baton twirling neuropsychologist, but she got axed as soon as she revealed she didn’t want children. Boooooooo.

 

Will I watch next week? Probably, but that’s not a very high compliment lol. I’m mostly curious to see how they treat the male contestants (bet you right now there is a talent portion and no swimwear competition). But after that I just can’t imagine the show will be interesting.

All this to say: The Proposal is all the worst parts of The Bachelor condensed into an hour. The objectification of women, the erasure of their intelligence and education, the reliance on female vulnerability to get good ratings. And it doesn’t even have any of the great drama, villains, or fantasy of The Bachelor franchise. It’s just sort of boring and awkward.

The women seemed cool, though, and way too good for this Mike guy. I hope they were all just sitting backstage drinking margaritas, befriending each other, and talking about their accomplishments. I’d definitely watch that show.

 

[Photos from TV Insider and Pop Sugar]

5 Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List

5 Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List

Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman For: Fans of the Franchise and Reality TV Buffs I’m a pretty recent fan of The Bachelor shows – I watched my first full season last summer – but have become 100% invested in the franchise ever since. So, of […]