In both darker and lighter versions of fairy tales, a woman’s suffering is demanded in exchange for true love and happily ever after. She must be trapped in a tower or poisoned by an apple or forced to spin straw into gold. She must wait for the hand of a man who is fooled - not once, but twice - before he finds her. Throughout any given season of “The Bachelor,” the women exclaim that the experience is like a fairy tale. They suffer the machinations of reality television, pursuing — along with several other women, often inebriated — the promise of happily ever after. Instead of bleeding from the foot to fit a golden slipper, they bleed their dignity, one episode at a time.
Roxane Gay, New York Times, May 11, 2014