Like every other reality TV-addicted Aussie, I eagerly watched Sophie Monk’s promo for her season of The Bachelorette. And as always, Sophie made me laugh with her signature goofy-yet-hot schtick. She’s walking down a pretty street, looking longingly at couples smooching, and emoting both loneliness and sex appeal. But soon, I stopped smiling, when I noticed something missing: a person of colour.
In the promo, Sophie saunters past several couples who are in a loving clinch. They are all white. There are even two dogs who lick each other – and they are also white. At the end of the clip, Sophie faces the camera with a horde of
stalkers supporters behind her, and in my bleary, midnight haze, I couldn’t spot a single person whose skin tone was darker than pasta.
I know it’s just an ad for a frothy, reality-ish show. But pop culture can be a micro-representation of how society is perceived. And the perception here is that only white people are desirable, dateable, pashable…and visible.