Vanessa Lachey: lack of body diversity on Love is Blind is contestants’ fault

After a popular second season earlier this year, Netflix series, Love is Blind, finished filming a third season and was renewed for a fourth and fifth. In one of my past posts about Love is Blind, I wrote that one question about the upcoming seasons is whether it will ever truly test that theory by casting people who aren’t considered conventionally attractive. Vanessa Lachey, one half of the show’s host couple, has kind of taken a stab at answering that question. She doesn’t say whether the cast is more body diverse for the upcoming third season, but she does have a potential explanation for why it hasn’t been thus far. It’s the contestants’ fault they don’t make it to the engagement stage because they’re too insecure. Um, what?

Host Vanessa Lachey addressed the lack of body diversity on “Love Is Blind” in a recent interview with Insider.

She said she often wonders if some contestants don’t make it past the “pods” stage of the experiment because they feel “insecure” and don’t have enough time to make meaningful connections.

“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,” Lachey said of contestants who may not believe they fit into conventional beauty standards.

On the first phase of Netflix’s hit dating show, male and female contestants live in separate pods and only communicate with each other in designated rooms, separated from each other by a wall. The point is to get to know each other and hopefully build a genuine connection that turns into true love before knowing what your partner looks like.

When a contestant feels like they’re in love, they propose marriage and move on to the next stage of the experiment, where they finally get to meet in person and commit to exploring their relationship in the real world — with Netflix cameras following them, of course.

Lachey acknowledged that many couples who move past the pods stage fit into conventional beauty standards. She’s not a part of the casting process but said she knows that “Love Is Blind” and Netflix give people with diverse bodies a “fair shot” as far as casting them on the show.

“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,” Lachey continued.

She said no one on the show controls who gets engaged, so that is part of the reason why we don’t see more physically diverse contestants move on to the stage of the show where they go on vacation with their partners. The “NCIS: Hawai’i” star said she often has conversations about diversity on the show with her husband and co-host, Nick Lachey.

[From Insider via Buzzfeed]

I don’t think anyone was expecting insightful commentary from Vanessa Lachey, but this is a really bad take. And it doesn’t even make sense. By her logic, the contestants who don’t fit conventional standards may not make it to the engagement stage because they feel too insecure about catfishing to show their true selves in the pods. And they don’t have time to “find themselves” before finding a partner in the pods. Because the only people who need to find themselves are people with different body shapes and sizes? Ridiculous. Also, they can’t be catfish because there are no fake photos/identities involved. The one thing Vanessa is right about is that the show doesn’t control who gets engaged, they just choose the cast. There were a grand total of like, two people on the first and second seasons who fell outside of the “standard,” so how likely is it that Netflix casting is giving them a “fair shot” as she says? It would have made more sense if Vanessa’s theory was diverse-bodied people don’t even apply for the show because they don’t think it’s for them. This twisty, blaming justification is rude and ugly.

P.S. An After the Altar special for season two is coming later this year, before season three premieres. I wonder what’s going on with Kyle and Deepti.

Photos credit: Netflix

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27 Responses to “Vanessa Lachey: lack of body diversity on Love is Blind is contestants’ fault”

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  1. shanaynay says:

    Oh Vanessa, Vanessa, Vannessa…… please STFU!!!!!!

    • Michael says:

      I wish the comment section had a thumbs up option. But here is my “thumbs up”

  2. Mindy_dopple says:

    I mean if we’re just swinging old stereotypes around then wouldn’t the “conventionally” attractive people have a harder time connecting without the assistance of their looks? This is like the scene in 40 year old Virgin when Steve Carrell’s character describes boobs as bags of sand. Vanessa Lachey is trying to talk about something she quite literally has no experience in and kind of the thought that she doesn’t have any plus size or “conventionally” unattractive people who she’s truly close to, cause then she would know, personality goes a long way.

    • Emmi says:

      Love the Steve Carrell analogy.

      She basically assumes that there are no average-looking people with great love/s*x lives and they must all be insecure and afraid. Which … oh girl. She would know better if, like you say, she had friends who aren’t Hollywood-beautiful.

      It’s a really condescending and gross assumption. I haven’t seen the show. But maybe it’s the opposite of what she’s saying and the people who haven’t been able to rely on their looks entirely have actually learned who they are. What they want. Who they want.

  3. Hootenannie says:

    These decisions are made solely to increase and maintain viewership.

    I agree that the question of whether love is really blind would be served better by having a broad range of appearances, but I don’t think people who watch this show want to see any kind of legitimate experiment happen. They want to watch reality TV and see hot people.

    That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t watch if there were more body diversity, necessarily, but producers have seen the hot people approach work, so why would they change it?

    There are countless studies about how conventionally attractive people are perceived more generously than people who are not/less so- they are treated better on the whole because they are perceived as intelligent/nice based on appearance alone. It makes sense people would prefer to watch them, from that standpoint.

    • FHMom says:

      I’ve never seen any of those dating type shows, but from the commercials I’ve seen, it seems like everyone is in a bathing suit at some point on the show. I assume seeing hot people is the attraction.

      The only reality dating show I’ve watched is 90 day Fiancée and the unattractiveness, bad personalities, desperateness and bad choices of some of the “contestants” is the appeal. I mean, I think people watch to make fun of them and feel superior. I’m sure that the Lachey’s show is nothing like that. I mean, aren’t these contestants people looking for fame or to get into acing? It would make sense that they are conventionally attractive.

  4. dina says:

    I just….what the fuck?! Take a seat, Vanessa.

  5. ThatsNotOkay says:

    This last season there were several diverse bodies on the women’s side in the pods, and then they just fell off. I wondered why that happened. For whatever reason, they didn’t make a connection with a potential partner. Maybe she is trying to say that people who are used to being rejected have a harder time letting someone else in, for fear of rejection? We have seen that as being true with some of the less body diverse people who used to be overweight—they have said it outright. She might be speaking from what she has actually seen working on the show. But the way she has phrased it here is confusing and…doesn’t help matters at all.

    • Juju says:

      It sounds like what she is saying is that overweight people are insecure, and thin people are not. And I think that is flawed reasoning and kind of offensive.

      • Yup, Me says:

        Actually, her comments remind me that we are currently existing in a time where people displaying traits of extroversion to extreme narcissism are rewarded. The people who show up and show out are the most likely to make an impression. And that’s what reality (and reality adjacent) shows need.

        The people who are more likely to take their time revealing themselves to people (which is the common sense approach with people you don’t know) aren’t necessarily going to shine in this arena or format. Two weeks to get to know a new person (not to mention several new people and then select between them who you prefer to move forward with) is a ridiculously small amount of time.

        But all of that isn’t necessarily based on body size. Someone like Nicole Byer would likely get several matches on this show, if cast.

    • MaryContrary says:

      The show is heavily edited-and there have been couples who have matched who don’t get air time. So it’s hard to know what actually happened with the women who were more “body diverse.”

  6. C says:

    Vanessa and Nick are the worst part of the show. Not charismatic or endearing at all as hosts. Vanessa has always comes across as a mean girl. That interview on Good Morning America when she found out Nick bought Jessica Simpson a wedding gift was the only time I ever found either mildly entertaining

  7. Lucy says:

    Her comments are just…profoundly stupid. Wow.

  8. girl_ninja says:

    Dumb nonsensical take by Vanessa. I honestly didn’t think (and still don’t tbh) the show needed hosts for either season except for the reunion bit. She and Nick did a great job with the reunion for season 2 with all that went on there because you had to have someone lead the and ask the right questions. Vanessa lost the equity she built by tell that misogynist loser Abhishek about himself.

  9. Imara219 says:

    I watched season 2. They had this beautiful plus-size Black woman and slightly older (late 20s/early 30) Black man. They didn’t even make it pass the first episode. The show never focused on them. I was disappointed and on top of that you can tell the contestants speak in codes to get what they want during the private pod time. For example, a conceited man might ask, “do you parasail? What type of workouts do you do?” To figure out if you are plus size. One contestant last season just straight out asked “can I pick you up when dancing?” We joke in the Black entertainment Netflix groups that Black contestants will ask questions of the culture to identify race. 🤷🏾‍♀️

  10. Josephine says:

    She’s not well spoken, that’s for sure. But watching my kids growing up and seeing their friends, I will say this: The kids who consider themselves to be valuable as human beings do seem more confident, ongoing and free to explore new things and meet new people. And while it’s true that many people get that sense of value through their appearances, others find value through their humor, intelligence, caring natures, creativity, etc. Appearance is just the most obvious/easy one and the one that social media is absolutely crazed about. So I do think there is a small point somewhere in her word vomit — conventionally attractive people are often confident, and confidence is a very attractive trait. I hope we all work to build up each other based on who they are, not what they look like, but our apperance is still the biggest shortcut and way too overused.

    • Emmi says:

      Depends on the age. I’m seeing it up close right now. If your confidence is based on your looks or even just partly based on them, your 50s are going to suck. Not because people aren’t attractive anymore but because youth is a big part of it according to society and that immediate reaction young attractive people get goes away at some point. Unfortunately. There’s a reason we’re all obsessed with youth.

      • Nicegirl says:

        @Emmi, Ain’t it the truth!!!!!!!

      • Josephine says:

        Agreed. Before I hit 50 I heard from so many women that they were ignored/disappeared at a certain age and it’s definitely in part because society places so little value on older women. But having the heads up helps a ton because we’re able to build our own value on other aspects of ourselves.

  11. Christine says:

    I get that she can’t slam the show because it gives her a job, but her comments (should) cost her the job. Nick came off terribly in Jessica Simpson’s book so it wouldn’t surprise me if Vanessa was just as nasty as he seems to be.

    • Jenn says:

      Years after I got out of a very bad relationship, I realized that I’d gravitated toward a boyfriend who outwardly reflected my own warped worldview — internalized sexism and all — and then had been shocked when his loathing was turned onto me. (I dated that person until 2009, when online celebrity gossip was very tough on women.) I don’t know anything about Nick Lachey, but I remember thinking, during the reality show ‘Newlyweds’ (which painted Jessica Simpson like a dope, and Nick as the beleaguered and competent husband), he seemed to embody, at the time, a lot of the toxic traits I’d also observed in my own boyfriend. So I feel like VL probably isn’t “nasty,” but it’s reasonable to speculate that she might hold some harmful uninterrogated beliefs (“not like the other girls” etc.) that are compatible with her husband’s belief set.

  12. Pamspam says:

    Vanessa Lachey is one of those “celebrities” I irrationally despise while knowing almost nothing about her. Well; now I know something about her and I feel my dislike has been validated haha.

  13. girl_ninja says:

    I’ll add that I do think that they should broaden the age range. Older people (middle aged) are single and looking and want to find love.

  14. Andrea says:

    Growing up in America, I found the opposite to be true. My overweight girlfriends had huge confidence and snagged many a man. Up here in Toronto, women who are attractive and have it together careerwise are terribly insecure in their 30s and 40s(never met a group of women as insecure since high school to be honest) and part of it has to do with they are having a terrible time with aging and think they have nothing else to offer. They are horrified by my confidence at my age(41) as someone who works out regularly but is still overweight because it seems they haven’t been exposed to someone who is like me in a very long time.

    Vanessa needs to meet average Americans, not Hollywood types.

    • Jenn says:

      All of this. When people [are socially conditioned to] put all their value in their appearance, aging becomes… an impossible ask. Those same people absolutely malfunction when they encounter a happy, healthy fat person who seemingly cannot be convinced (despite others’ best efforts) that weight is no reflection of moral failing. Vanessa Lachey’s comment — I keep almost calling her “Vanessa Minnillo,” which really gives away my age — smacks of “I’m so insecure as it is, I can’t even imagine being 50 pounds heavier.” It’s fatphobic, and it’s self-directed. It doesn’t make me angry at her, just sad for her.