The diversity of bodies is a problem in reality dating shows. It is evident that even shows meant to portray “genuine people”—like Love Island or The Bachelor—tend to prefer certain types of people: those with slender bodies. However, it seemed reasonable to expect that a reality TV program called Love Is Blind, which debuted on Netflix in 2020, could be able to break the mold by demonstrating how meaningful connections, rather than outward appearances, are what really key when it comes to finding love.
Unfortunately, there is a dearth of body diversity even on a show that mandates that men and women blindly date one another behind the walls of “pods,” only revealing themselves in person if they become engaged based on an emotional connection. Even though the candidates on the show have come from many racial, religious, and socioeconomic groups, most of them have similar, slim body types.
Co-host Vanessa Lachey recently gave her take on why this would be the case in an interview with Insider in response to criticism that the few contestants who didn’t match that image on the program weren’t extensively featured and ultimately didn’t find love. She attributed it to the fact that these participants were “insecure,” which prevented them from making deep connections.
She claimed of those few outliers that “they’ve been so insecure about being themselves their entire life because of this weird swiping culture that we’re in and this catfishing world that we’re in, that they’re so terrified to be themselves.” Lachey remarked, noting that she is not involved in casting, “I wonder if they actually don’t have enough time in those two weeks to find themselves, A, and then be themselves to then find that spouse.”
She seemed to imply that all people with larger bodies are insecure about dating and may possibly have participated in catfishing schemes in her obviously inappropriate remarks. Her justification also shifted the focus away from the show’s producers and onto the participants’ failure to find love (the same people who cast Abhishek “Shake” Chatterjee, a man who spent some of his time in the pods trying to determine the weight of his blind dates ). In general, it’s a sweeping assumption about someone based on their weight that is just untrue.
According to Rachel Wright, M.A., L.M.F.T. , a relationship, sex, and mental health therapist, “We live in a fatphobic society, therefore yes, absolutely, being fat presents for many people as a lack of confidence.” “To imply, however, that there is a connection between everyone being obese and lacking confidence? That alone is fatphobic “Adds she. Making a connection between them is extremely risky. Your body size, shape, color, or anything else about your looks has no bearing on your potential to discover love.
Love Is Blind contestant Danielle Ruhl, who claimed that she battled body dysmorphia while on the show, offered her opinion on Lachey’s most recent remarks in an interview with E! News . Regardless of body shape, she remarked, “There were definitely more self-assured ladies than myself that participated in this event.” “…One’s confidence shouldn’t be determined by their weight, nor should it.”
People have responded to Lachey’s unsettling remarks on Twitter as well. Your justification was inadequate and a ‘cop out’ because you have a diverse body, wrote user @mrsraejohnson “Because you don’t think curves will make for excellent television, you don’t feature varied bodies. I’m done with extending forgiveness to shows who made mistakes in the first place.”
Maybe you and your producers are the only ones who believe that obese people are unattractive or undeserving of love? tweeted @MeaghanWray “Everyone experiences insecurity when dating. Because we’ve had to be, develop, unlearn, and learn in order to please THIN PEOPLE, I’d wager that big women are MORE confident.”
Without a doubt, Lachey is receiving justifiable criticism for her remarks regarding the lack of body diversity on Love Is Blind. It’s sadly just one illustration of how reality dating TV show producers ignore the opinions of their audience, choose people with diverse body types, and refuse to take responsibility for the problem. Take this as a reminder that anyone should be able to look for love on a reality show, regardless of weight and attractiveness.