Ever since the Bachelor’s three-hour episode on Monday night, I’ve felt troubled. At night, I toss and turn, and during the day, my mind wanders. I try to relax, to practice conscious breathing, to move on with my life. Still, one question consumes me: What the hell did the Bachelor do to its contestants’ butts?
On Monday, Pilot Peter (the Bachelor’s bachelor) and the women competing for his love flew to Costa Rica. At first, everything seemed normal. There were the usual tears, fights, kissing. But when Peter took Sydney to a hot tub to make out during their one-on-one date, something seemed off.
What was going on with Sydney’s bikini bottoms? The edges looked fuzzy, and they hung in a way I had never before seen bikini bottoms hang in my life — covering her full butt cheeks, but not the sides.
I wrote it off as bad lighting. But then, when Peter took the girls to a waterfall to do a photo shoot for Cosmo as their group date, it became clear that bottoms had been altered.
There were the blurry edges on Lexi’s swimsuit.
There was this bizarre edit on Mykenna’s pink-and-black swimsuit that looks like it was done with a dull Sharpie.
But it was this egregious smudging in of Victoria P.’s entire backside that finally broke me.
To make matters worse, in the very next shot they showed her unedited bottoms, which looked perfectly fine.
Slightly more effort was put into adding modesty panels to the leopard-print bottoms Kelley wore when she and Peter went to visit a shaman, but producers still managed to make it look like she was wearing a big diaper that needed changing.
This attempt at belated modesty was so bizarre, I thought, as I practiced one of the full-body scans that my therapist said would help ground me in moments like this, when I got swept up in powerful emotions such as these (confusion, anger, fear). Not only did the splotchy edits just draw more attention to the butts, thus undermining producers’ own censorious efforts, it seemed like such an arbitrary line to draw. How odd that a prolonged montage of Peter and Sydney furiously making out in a hot tub was deemed family friendly, but passing shots of women’s butt cheeks were not.
As I spiraled deeper, I found comfort in the fact that I was not the only one to notice the edits.
The week’s second episode of the Bachelor is on Wednesday. Who knows what last-minute edits will have been made to the women’s ensembles.