The premise of the Netflix’s reality series Love is Blind certainly sounds interesting. It’s a “social experiment where men and women look for love and get engaged” all before seeing and meeting each other in person.
It’s a pretty cool idea, strip away the physical judgements and preconceived bias and ideas people have to see if relationships or love can really be built.
First and foremost, the show fails to do what it sets out to do because it is entrenched in anti-fatness and diet culture. Praised for it’s diverse casting, the two women in larger bodies are only seen in the first episode and are subject to other people’s fat-phobia and weight stigma.
And maybe that’s the point of this “social experiment” to lay people’s bias’ and inherent anti-fatness bare, but I think instead of helping people truly find love outside of problematic societal standards and norms, Love is Blind ends up reinforcing and rewarding those behaviors.
It’s painful to watch.
If the shows treatment of people in larger bodies, and the abhorrent displays of anti-fatness and weight bias weren’t enough, there’s more…
The is a big focus in season two on past weight loss for two of the main women. The show, or the editing, or the people involved focus so much the weight these women have lost, that it become very clear, very fast, that love is in fact not blind. The love the show is cultivating might have hidden appearances, but exacerbated and validated that fact that in order to find love people, in this case women, have to fit the standard of beauty held by, in this case, the men.
Additionally, one of the main women is represented by the show, as being consumed by her immense insecurities. Which stem from major weight loss in her past. She is defined by her past body, and has a lot of unresolved pain because of her experiences. As Lily Shell observes in her article about Love Is Blind Season Two for sheknows.com, ” Being fat is treated as inherently traumatic, rather than the fatphobia that fat people experience being highlighted as the source of the trauma.”
Our bodies, no matter what (size, shape, color, ability, race, ethnicity, age, etc.), are worthy of love and deserving of respect. It was heart breaking to watch Love is Blind and see how deeply unworthy these people felt because of their bodies. Both in past and present form.
The bottom line is, as demonstrated by Love Is Blind, we are fed the idea that weight loss will give you health, happiness, love, success, validation, and so much more. But, when it all comes down to it, it is not a fix at all. All these people have gained is a troublesome relationship with themselves, with their bodies, and with those around them.
Contrary to popular belief, weight loss won’t heal your relationship with yourself, with food, with your body, or with other people. The work is internal not external. It is a journey of healing and reconnecting, not whittling away.
At the end of the day, the show is entertaining, that’s for sure. I totally understand the allure. Plus, it’s reality television, so I think it’s important to take the whole thing with a grain of salt. What we are seeing is what has been edited and crafted, it’s not real life unfolding.
But I want better. I want a show that does better. Not empty promises of “social experiments” and “diverse casting.” All while promoting of the problematic parts love, how we view bodies, and weight stigma and fat-phobia.
In my opinion, love isn’t blind. We can’t shake our experiences, our preconceived ideas, and our beliefs. But love is a process of trusting, learning, communicating, laughing, growing, and connecting. And through that we can seem more clearly. Not shallowly judging bodies (both our own and others), but really loving for who they are.
Have you watched the show? I’d love to know your thoughts!
And if this spoke to you, or you are looking for support in healing your relationship with yourself, your body, or food, LET’S CHAT! I would love to support you. Book a free call HERE. We’ll have a cute little coffee (or tea) date. We’ll get to know each other. And we will see if we are a good fit!
I can’t wait to know you!