One of the notable things about Netflix’s Love is Blind—which is rapidly following the down-the-mountainside path Married at First Sight took, becoming a trainwreck that produces tabloid fuel—was its lack of body diversity.
This is, of course, a reality TV and Hollywood problem; people who fit current Western standards of beauty and attractiveness are the usually cast for shows, especially dating shows. When people in larger bodies are cast, it’s often on shows that pathologize them, such as The Biggest Loser.
Love is Blind’s second season did have more body size diversity, which is to say there were not zero people, but two women with larger bodies.
Both were edited out after episode one, which is one reason why I think Love is Blind is full of shit, but I digress.
Why did they not find love in the pods? Love is Blind co-host Vanessa Lachey says that’s their fault.
“Their whole life they’ve been so insecure about being themselves because of this crazy swipe generation that we are in and this catfishing world that we’re in, that they’re so afraid to be themselves,” she told Insider.
That a bunch of word salad (“this catfishing world”?) but it’s also very clear that she thinks people in larger bodies are “so insecure.”
Just think of the many ways she could have answered a question about that. She could have just regurgitated some marketing language, insisting that Love is Blind is raw and real and thus not everyone will find love, but she was so thrilled that all of the cast members opened themselves up and tried.
Instead she chose to blame them.
More of Vanessa Lachey’s defense of Love is Blind
Interviewed by Netflix after the season-two reunion, responding to a question about how she responded to Shake, Vanessa said this:
It’s hard not to get involved with all of these people. We have watched their love stories unfold. I feel the need to emotionally defend them, even if it’s with another cast member. There’s a lot of trauma we all carry, especially with the physical world. I am no different. I guess you can say I was triggered.
How strange she doesn’t have that empathy for people in larger bodies.
Vanessa didn’t stop with just projecting insecurity onto people, and adding to our culture’s weight stigma.
After insisting Love is Blind producers give people of different body shapes and sizes a “fair shot,” she said this:
“I wonder if they truly don’t have enough time in those two weeks to find themselves, A, and then be themselves to then find that spouse.”
Yes, people in larger bodies are the only people who have not yet figured out everything about themselves. Because on Love is Blind, every cast member is a full-formed, emotionally mature person, right?
This is all obnoxious and cruel, even though it mirrors other messages in pop culture.
Also, it’s like Vanessa didn’t even watch her own show, or listen to one of the two people in larger bodies its producers actually cast.
In the very first episode, Chassidy says, “My physical insecurities have definitely affected my dating life,” and then adds that she’s on Love is Blind because it “allows me to be judged for who I am as a person versus the physical.”
Vanessa Lachey wants you to buy Dairy Queen Blizzards
Meanwhile, Vanessa also defended the show and its casting of only straight people:
“If you think about if you did just women, then it wouldn’t be separate quarters, it would just be one big house of everybody out for themselves, I guess. And if you did the men, it would be the same,” Lachey said.
While the Love is Blind cast does mingle with their fellow same-sex cast members after their pod time, that’s on a set, and is not their actual living quarters. The Love is Blind cast stays in a hotel.
By the way, Vanessa waded into this shit-filled pond of terrible arguments and started splashing them everywhere during—and I am not making this up—an interview promoting Dairy Queen’s Blizzards for charity. (She identified a Dairy Queen tweet as a paid advertisement.)
Look, there is nothing wrong with a Blizzard. They are delicious. I am Oreo Blizzard person myself. I know that food is not “bad” or “good.”
But good god, the fact that her utterly unsympathetic pronouncements are followed by these two paragraphs is some instant classic journalism:
Lachey was speaking with Insider to promote Dairy Queen’s Miracle Treat Day coming up on July 28. Participating stores will donate a dollar from every Blizzard purchased to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
“You are bringing health and hope to local kids and also treating yourself to a summer Blizzard treat,” Lachey said.
Vanessa Lachey responds
Four days after the interview with Insider was published, Vanessa Lachey responded, insisting she was not talking about body image.
Instead, she says was talking about dating apps.
I want to clarify recent clickbait headlines that used my answer in an interview to create a negative
narrative around women and body image.
When asked my opinion on the subject of diversity and casting on Love Is Blind and why more diversity isn’t at the altar I stated, “I almost wonder if there’s something that happens in communication… if they’ve been… so insecure about being themselves because of this crazy swipe generation that we are in and this catfishing world that we’re in.”
What was NOT made clear by the article is that I was generally speaking to how dating apps may be hurting our self-esteem – the endless swiping and people pretending to be who they are not.
I NEVER associated anyone’s body type to how far they would make it in the show or if they ended up at the altar.
These headlines go against
everything I am,
everything I stand for &
everything I represent.
For comparison, here’s what Vanessa says she said:
“I almost wonder if there’s something that happens in communication… if they’ve been… so insecure about being themselves because of this crazy swipe generation that we are in and this catfishing world that we’re in.”
And what Insider published:
“Their whole life they’ve been so insecure about being themselves because of this crazy swipe generation that we are in and this catfishing world that we’re in, that they’re so afraid to be themselves.”
Vanessa did not respond directly to her quote about “they truly don’t have enough time in those two weeks to find themselves.” Who was she talking about then? People who use dating apps?
But this refutation, I think, basically makes the same point that the alleged “clickbait” interview did.
In her statement, Vanessa says she was talking about “why more diversity isn’t at the altar,” and blaming people who are “insecure about being themselves.”