Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Phil J. Chidester


This study investigated the messages ABC’s The Bachelor sends about ideal femininity. Specifically, the first and twentieth seasons were analyzed through a liberal feminist lens to determine if the women on The Bachelor aligned with stereotypical representations of women in media. I focused my attention on the women who progressed to the final three within the competition and the women who were depicted as the villains within the series. Then, I compared the first season’s portrayal of the contestants with the twentieth season’s portrayal. The three themes that were uncovered were sexuality, confidence, and “ladylike” behaviors. Ultimately, I argue that the show portrays women as having to have stereotypical feminine attributes in order to be considered an ideal woman. Furthermore, the twentieth season is more critical of women than the first season and gives women less agency than they were portrayed as having when the show first aired in 2002. Implications and suggestions for future research are also discussed.


Imported from ProQuest Biddle_ilstu_0092N_11211.pdf


Page Count


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Communication Commons