The 'Golden Bachelor' Premiere Stirs Up Serious Ageism With An Over-60 Cast

Fans and Bachelor-themed podcasters spent months making fun of the women vying for the rose. Will the premiere quiet them once and for all?

Cast of The Golden Bachelor The Golden Bachelor | Disney General Entertainment Content

Some people may not want to admit this, but here I go: I am a big fan of The Bachelor series and its spinoffs. I have been watching it since day one, in 2001, when I was 36 years old.

I even listen to a Bachelor-themed podcast called “Game of Roses” that discusses what is going on in Bachelor Nation. It was on this podcast that I learned about the Golden Bachelor, a spinoff centered around people 60 years or older.  


Golden Bachelor premieres Thursday, September 28, 2023 with widower Gerry Turner as the man looking for a new love among the cast of ladies ages 60 to 75 years of age. It's a great idea.

But what did the podcasters have to say about the contestants of Golden Bachelor when this show was announced? Not a lot of good stuff.

Mostly, they were perplexed: How would they have hot tub scenes? How are women of that age able to sleep in bunk beds? Instead of doing some of the more physical challenges, maybe they could play Bingo.

Would these women wear bathing suits? What would happen in the fantasy suites? Would one-on-one dates mean sitting on the front porch, listening to HAM radio? And on and on and on.


I was horrified. I mean, these are beautiful women are over 60 — age-appropriate for 71 year-old Gerry Turner — not creatures from Mars. 

Is Turner supposed to fulfill stereotypes of successful, handsome older men and date women who are the same age as his daughters in order to please these critics? Are the women over 60, the age range Turner wishes to date within, just supposed to disappear?

RELATED: 5 Secrets Mature Women Know About Love That Young Women Probably Don't


Ageism and 'The Bachelor'

According to the American Psychological Association, “Ageism is defined as discrimination against older people because of negative and inaccurate stereotypes—and it’s so ingrained in our culture that we often don’t even notice. Ageism is one of the last socially acceptable prejudices.”

Imagine what would have happened if the podcasters made fun of any other group, based on race or culture or disability.

While it's always complicated to compare one group to any other, as every group faces different challenges, one can imagine an Asian or Hispanic Bachelor being made fun of in such a way, with media personalities using negative, inaccurate stereotypes to describe the contestants. The uproar would be swift and cutting. After all, in this day and age, using stereotypes in a derogatory way is not in any way acceptable and can actually cause someone to lose their job or be tossed out of a community.

Why do we consider younger to be better? 

I think it comes from ignorance. Ignorance that us older people are actually, well, people.


With that in mind, let me introduce myself.

When I was 18 years old, I lived in Australia where I met a man who loved me so much that he enrolled in a college in the US so that he could be near me.

When I was 19 years old, I had my first abortion.

When I was 21 years old, my car ran me over. A few glasses of wine plus a faulty emergency brake...

When I was 22 years old, I traveled the Mediterranean and Europe. I had an affair with a French Count in Paris and I slept in a cave on the island of Santorini.

When I was 23 years old, I packed my car and moved to San Francisco where I stayed in a hostel and worked for my room and board until I found an apartment.


When I was 24, I protested with other demonstrators after the Rodney King shooting and I helped shut down the Golden Gate Bridge to protest apartheid.

When I was 25, I lived through the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. We took all the beers that were getting warm and sat on a corner, trading them for stories about what had happened around the city.

When I was 27, I worked at the Four Seasons Hotel and wore Chanel suits to fabulous events.

RELATED: Why Older Women Overwhelmingly Live In Poverty — That Was My Trajectory

When I was 28, I gave up my life in San Francisco and started in new life in Maine, which was like stepping back in time in the 90s.


When I was 29, I spent 36 hours giving birth to my daughter.

When I was 31, I gave birth to a 10.5 lb boy in 15 minutes, without drugs.

When I was 32, I got pregnant with twins and had a miscarriage.

When I was 35, I got a tattoo (before tattoos were a thing!)

When I was 39, I made $150,000 in my first year selling real estate.

When I was 40, I packed up my home and my family and moved them all to Japan.

When I was 42, I had a nervous breakdown and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

When I was 44, my ex-husband left me for his college sweetheart.

When I was 45, I reconnected with a man I had a one-night stand with in 1985 and we had a few more one-night stands over the course of the next year.


When I was 46, I climbed Mt. Kathadin on a first date. 

When I was 47, I sold my big house in Vermont and moved to NYC.

When I was 48, I started my own business.

When I was 50, I entered into an affair with a married man, someone I had loved from afar in college.

When I was 52, I hiked a 17,000ft summit in Peru.

When I was 55, I met the love of my life at the breakfast bar of a guy I had met on, someone who had become a good friend.

When I was 56, I shared my bipolar journey with the Advisory Board of the Field Workers Union for the United Nations.

When I was 57, I sold my house in New Hampshire for an ungodly amount of money and moved to a little house on the coast of Maine.


When I was 57, I got engaged and, just last week, got married.

My life is far from over. In fact, I'm making some of the of the most exciting plans I've ever made. 

When I am 59, I plan to travel to Morocco.

When I am 60, I am hiking the fjords in Norway with my sister (who will be 58 years old).

As you can see, I am a woman who has lived a full life.


A smart, capable adventurous woman who is actually still living well, wearing a bikini in hot tubs and exerting myself physically.

RELATED: Why So Man 'Bachelor' Relationships End After Cameras Stop Rolling

And yet, every day, little things happen that give me pause. 

When I went to see a doctor last year about back pain, I watched this young man sum me up in one glance — an old lady and a most likely hysterical one at that. He barely listened to what I had to say and sent me off to PT where that person took one look at me and summed up my physical abilities, knowing nothing about my history.

If I don’t use a filter on my Instagram posts, I actually look my age and get fewer views, which I believe affects my business. When I tried to advocate for myself at a young woman-owned business, I was written off as too old to matter.


Ageism comes from little things that one barely notices but that are there.

Little prejudices that are still, for some reason, not taboo in 2023.

Every single person has a story — they have lived a full life. Just because they have some wrinkles and might lose things (like the glasses on their head) or forget the two-factor authentification code that came in two seconds before on their phone, they are still people, people who deserve to be noticed and respected just like those who came before them.

The Golden Bachelor will likely stir up a lot of conversation, and hopefully it will be a good thing. Maybe people will see how attractive, energetic, fun, funny and exciting life can be when you're older. 

The Golden Bachelor contestants certainly are beautiful and full-of-life. Hopefully the podcasters on Game of Roses will take notice and change their ways.


While I want to be angry at the younger generation, I can't be. If they are lucky enough to be gifted a long life, someday they too, will be older and maybe have wrinkles (if the cure for them hasn’t been discovered yet.) They too might find that they are written off just because they aren’t young, strong, and all-knowing. And it might not feel so good.

If this happens to you, take stock of the story of your life. Everyone has a story, one that will grow in the years ahead, no matter how many years there are behind. And no one should have that taken away from them, by anyone, ever.

RELATED: 5 Things The Most Attractive Older Women Do To Feel Young

Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate who works exclusively with women to help them be all they want to be. Mitzi's bylines have appeared in The Good Men Project, MSN, PopSugar, Prevention, Huffington Post, Psych Central, among many others.