Love is Blind’s Zanab Jaffrey says Cole Barnett body shamed her repeatedly

The drama on Love is Blind is usually around relationships, emotional connections, and occasionally there’s a vague conflict over physical attraction or lack thereof. Last season, Shake was really gross about trying to figure out the women’s sizes in the pods and was rude about Deepti, but whatever comments he made were supposedly offscreen to third parties and not to her directly. So I think this conversation might be a first for the series. At the reunion, Zanab Jaffrey says that her former fiancé, Cole Barnett, body shamed her repeatedly in cut scenes throughout the show. When she dumped him at the altar, Zanab told Cole he’d destroyed her self-confidence. And at the reunion she shared specifics.

Zanab Jaffrey of Love Is Blind is letting fans know what happened when cameras weren’t rolling.

After leaving Cole Barnett at the altar on the season 3 “Wedding Day” finale episode, Zanab Jaffrey said Wednesday on the Netflix show’s reunion that body shaming played a part in her decision and it was her ex’s “saving grace” that those scenes were cut from the show.

“Because so much of that stuff, the pushing food away from me, asking if I’m going to eat that, trying to get me to order a salad, the daily comments about my face and my body were not used [in the show],” Jaffrey, 32, explained. “And that’s great because it really did protect you and you are now denying it, and now calling me a liar in front of all these people.”

She went on to accuse him of “trying to control what I ate and changing my eating habits,” which Barnett, 27, called “hilarious,” claiming: “I never once cared about what you ate.”

“I stopped eating,” Jaffrey continued. “I was eating a banana and a teaspoon of peanut butter just so I wouldn’t pass out on the long days we were filming.”

Jaffrey also recalled an unaired incident in which she grabbed two Cuties clementines, during which Barnett discouraged her from snacking.

“He looked at me and he goes, ‘Are you gonna eat both of those?'” she recounted. “And I said, ‘Well, yeah. That’s a serving.’ And he goes, ‘Well, we’re going out to eat later. Maybe you should save your appetite.'”

As Barnett continued to dig in his heels, Jaffrey rebutted: “This is all working out so wonderfully in your favor because they did not use it.”

Barnett later offered Jaffrey and their costars an apology as married co-hosts Nick Lachey and Vanessa Lachey closed out the reunion.

“Zay, I came here. I fell in love with you. I really did wanna get married to you, and I’m sorry for hurting you on the way and everyone else who I’ve hurt,” Barnett said. “I’m sorry I’m working on it.”

Jaffrey previously said “I don’t” to Barnett during what would have been their wedding ceremony, telling him he “single-handedly shattered my self-confidence.” She’s since opened up to PEOPLE about the decision to call it off.

“I did not stand up there and say no to the Cole that everyone got to see,” Jaffrey explained. “There was a lot more. I stand by everything I said.”

[From People]

I’ve never had a boyfriend that tried to monitor my food intake, but my friends have told me about those guys and they absolutely suck. Pushing food away from her, trying to get her to order a salad — all that stuff is awful. Making comments about her face is especially cruel. Even if Cole wasn’t doing it with the intention of hurting her and he was just thoughtless, think before you speak. Thoughtless little comments like that can be so insidious. Did production cut a bunch of that stuff to protect him? Including it would certainly counteract their supposed goals of making the show more welcoming and body diverse, especially after Vanessa Lachey stepped in it and Danielle Ruhl checked her. If memory serves, only thing they really left in were Cole’s comments after the pool party rating Zanab a 9 and someone else a 10. Which is sh-tty and also very immature.

Production did include the footage from the unaired clementine story at the end of the reunion and I actually don’t think Cole said anything wrong in that particular instance. They’re eating fruit together and he’s talking about their plans to have a big dinner later when Zanab goes for the clementines. She volunteers that she’d only eaten a banana that day and he says something like “Why would you do that? I offered you a poke bowl.” Production definitely could be protecting him and their show, but the clementine story seemed different than Zanab’s memory of it.

Photos courtesy of Netflix

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65 Responses to “Love is Blind’s Zanab Jaffrey says Cole Barnett body shamed her repeatedly”

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  1. Donna Martin says:

    I watched this show while some of the things that were said were immature at times he never came across the way she describes. At one point he asked her if she even likes him because of the way she kept trying to change him and his ways. She asked him to rate her and the others. He never brought that up.

    Anyway they were a very unlikely match one has deep issues to work through the other has some growing up to do.

    • Southern Fried says:

      @Donna, That’s how I saw it too. He’s a jerk and she’s mean and I’ll always believe her intention became to humiliate him at the altar.

  2. CROWHOOD says:

    The cuties comment is innocent if it’s a one off. If he didn’t start by saying she wasn’t his body type. If he didn’t emphatically reiterate her body wasn’t what he wanted. But since he did all those things, it just felt like another time he was focused on what she was eating.

    My sister and I have been MIND BLOWN at this “justification for Cole” tour that the internet is on- we feel like we watched a different show! Also Matt is terrifying for real for real.

    • Cee says:

      I agree with you. Some people are doing complicated gymnastics trying to justify his behaviour. The rest of the women backed Zey, even Brennon had had enough of Cole. He is a gaslighter who hides behind his boyish looks. They were a terrible match.

      Matt, on the other hand, has serious anger issues and I was surprised Colleen went ahead and married him. I wouldnt be surprised if by the time they move in together things change for her.

      • Need2talk says:

        Can we please talk about Matt- I think it’s so irresponsible of the show to let that marriage go ahead. It’s like an experiment in coherence control and domestic abuse- let’s let her marry him and see what happens. It’s awful. I am so worried for Colleen.

      • Hellohello says:

        Yes, Matt is pretty terrifying and Colleen looked positively terrified during the reunion episode. I hope that I’m wrong but that was the vibe I got. Also, his “hurt by my ex” story adds up the way abuser’s stories always do… his wife cheated on him, got pregnant and then never spoke to him again… that sounds awful on one hand but also like someone looking to escape in a big way.

        As for Cole and Zeneb, I said in his first scene on the show that he was clearly a spoiled man-child whose parents told him everything about him was perfect and he never had to take any accountability. Unfortunately, he lived up to that. Poor Zeneb seems like she’s experienced some really rough trauma. Meeting Cole didn’t help with that. I hope Cole experiences some growth and Zeneb some healing in their next chapter. They both need a healthy dose of self awareness.

      • DogMom says:

        Yes, Matt is terrifying!!! When Colleen and Matt had that first fight, he got so scary angry. I was just like, RED FLAG! RED FLAG! And that was only one instance, I’m sure there were/have been others.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Hard agree.

    • Haylie says:

      Both men and women like to make excuses for terrible men. This site is no exception.

  3. lora says:

    i did watch the show, and zanab already had a lot of issues even before cole. he was childish but never mean. they just weren’t a good match.

  4. Cee says:

    The other women backed her up – even Brennon. They said he disrespected her all the time and a lot of things weren’t shown so I believe her.
    Also, he is the dude who will always gaslight you when you tell him something he’s done that’s bothered you. He kept asking her is she was crazy, serious, he called her HILARIOUS, and, in the tapes, he asks her if she is BIPOLAR. So yeah, I belive Zay cause if Cole came across so badly with so much editing then imagine what was kept in the editing room.

    • Andrea says:

      Alexa implied there was more she witnessed that wasn’t aired.

    • CherHorowitz says:

      Also, even if you believed that maybe Cole was telling the truth that he had no idea what she was talking about and zanab was straight up lying, then why did he tearfully apologise to everyone including her at the end?! If she genuinely making it all up and maliciously lying about him on a TV show in front of him, it seems odd he would then apologise to her?!

  5. Zazzoo says:

    It’s the ultimate form of control. I dated one of these guys in my twenties. He tried to dictate what I ate, who I spent time with, it was all about control. Women need to get out at the first sign of this behavior because it gets worse.

    • AmB says:

      Yeah, comments like those are not “thoughtless” – they’re controlling and patronizing. If he “thoughtlessly” blurted them out loud instead of being more subtle, that just means he’s a dumb entitled oaf on top of it.

      • Kat says:

        Are you joking? What do you call Zanabs comments on every little thing Cole did, if not patronizing? She treated him like achild and was rude and mean to him

        People just believing her stories, is crazy bc You get to see the example that she is the problem and is just interpreting things in a hurtful way from the Cuties cut at the end.
        There you see that he isnt all those things Zanab claims. But its obviously hard for him to prove his innocence bc there are no clips to prove he didnt do something he didnt do. The opposite is easier to prove.

    • Andrea says:

      I dated a guy like Cole/Matt in my 20s too. He asked if I was going to eat that ice cream and how I shouldn’t put butter on my veggies. It crept into him not wanting me to have guy friends (I imagine Matt is like that given his behavior) and then turned into full blown verbal abuse, he kicked me one night, and another pulled a gun on me. When I broke up with him, I had to call the cops because he threatened to kill me and himself.

  6. Lisa says:

    wow she’s stunning and he looks like every guy waiting for a sandwich at Wawa. what a world!

    • JP says:

      LOL thank you! I don’t even watch this show but I scrolled down to the pictures and was like “him?”

  7. Emmi says:

    I’ve never seen the show but on the topic of boyfriends I can categorically say I would never have dated someone who had issues with my weight or food. I was always chubby growing up and told as much. By my family (close and extended) as well as at school. It was horrible. I’m 38 and it took until THIS year to feel good about myself. I told my mother about a year ago that I never ever want her commenting on my weight again and she should examine why she’s so obsessed with other women’s weight. Then I lost a bunch of weight due to gallstones and just before and after the surgery I was as slim as I’ve ever been. She faux concerned her way through those weeks. This weekend she asked if I’d gained weight since then. I said “Probably, I don’t check anymore. I lost weight by eating baby food for weeks on end. You want me to go back?” And for the first time I didn’t care about any of it. Only took 30 years.

    But one time a guy I was talking to said “Do you work out? You don’t look like it.” – “What do you mean?” – “Well, you’re a bit …” accompanied by a “fat” gesture, I told him to shut up, got up and left. I’m NOT choosing to have that in my life.

    So whatever happened here, whether he really was controlling or small remarks had a big impact on her, she’s young and on tv. I’m sure it must be hard.

    Should I watch this, btw?

  8. FHMom says:

    Years ago, I was at a college friend’s wedding and got a chance to reunite with friends I hadn’t seen in a few years. One of them just had a baby and her husband was monitoring what she ate. It was infuriating and shocking, and I get mad thinking about it. He wasn’t even discreet. The entire table knew he needed her to lose weight. This is abuse plain and simple and I was relieved she eventually left him.

  9. AngryJayne says:

    My husband and I were split on this too.
    From the get-go with Cole saying something about dating girls that are named Lily, being openly flirty with Colleen, rating Zanab a 9/10, ect. That he was immature and it wouldn’t work. Almost like a toddler, he would just talk nonstop and never took things seriously.
    I could see how he could slip into hyper mode and just say anything without even realizing the impact. Was the cuties clip as damming as Zanab made it out to be? No, but it just seemed like a bad example.
    Batiste was way worse because he always tried to justify and double down on the awful things he kept saying to Nancy.

    And yes Matt was out of his damn mind lol

  10. Sue E Generis says:

    I’m on Reddit and I watch this show. Cole is an insensitive, immature, annoying puppy. But he’s not malicious or vindictive. Zanab has major issues, is definitely calculating, manipulative and peak passive aggressive. And the way she’s been acting on social media is really disturbing. Please don’t give her any more exposure. She’s deliberately and relentlessly trying to destroy this poor boy’s life and she seems to have a problem with honesty.

    • Happy_Fat_Mama says:

      Hi Sue E Generis

      Can you give an example of Zanab being manipulative or passive aggressive?

      To me, on the show Zanab seemed to be telling Cole directly about what was bothering her.

      Also, I haven’t seen Zanab on social media, what is disturbing about her behavior?

      • Sue E Generis says:

        Too long to post but if you go to Reddit there’s tons of links to her actual posts. She’s been attacking not just Cole, but ‘the internet’ and she won’t shut up. She just keeps going. No personal accountability either. According to her, both Cole and the entire internet (no exaggeration) are all deluded and wrong and horrible and only she is the perfect, poor, put upon victim. It’s quite over the top.

    • Katie says:

      Both things can be true. They can both be terrible. And the point of the story is that what the world’s been shown of Cole is not the whole story.

    • Haylie says:

      “I’m on Reddit…”

      Say less. Please.

    • AJ says:

      I agree! Her insecurities make her appear petty and soft. She takes everything way more serious than it should be. Toughen up sister. You’re beautiful! Embrace that and toughen up a bit!

  11. Happy_Fat_Mama says:

    Zanab’s version of events is very specific.
    What Zanab says lines up with the on screen proclimation that Cole made that the thinner woman (Colleen) is his type and not Zanab. Many other costars also claim to have witnessed Cole body shame Zanab.

    The evidence here in Cole’s favour is that 1) most of his alleged body shaming is not on camera, 2) he claims to have offered her a poke bowl, and 3) he says he didn’t body shame Zanab.

    The lack of footage isn’t really convincing, because we all know reality tv is edited for a narrative that doesn’t necessarily line up with the on screen person’s direct experience of the events being filmed.

    I’m more swayed by the body shaming footage that was shown in their arguments about Cole’s “type”, but to be fair, even that may have been manipulated by editing.

    a poke bowl may be more than a banana, but I am doubtful that it is enough calories and nutrients for an adult to make it to dinner. Women need and deserve literally thousands of calories per day, throughout the day.

    Also, Zanab did grieve for her parents during the show, but I don’t think that is relevant to the body shaming question.

    So it seems to me that we are down to Zanab’s word, and witnesses that support Zanab vs Cole’s word.

    If all those people saw Cole shame Zanab, that convinces me that Cole shamed Zanab.

    Does my reasoning make sense to anybody?

    • Nicegirl says:


    • dina says:

      for sure. i am very conflicted with all this ( watched the show, have seen cole and zaneb’s social media posts, etc) but the fact remains that there were witnesses to the bodyshaming stuff as well . I hope more stuff comes out that kind of clears it all up so we can all just move on lol

      and the colleen/matt thing….. really triggering, really troubling for me personally. I don’t know, but I hope shes ok and really as happy as she has said on her social media.. she looked very uncomfy at the reunion next to him. 🙁

  12. Brassy Rebel says:

    This is why I don’t watch “reality” shows. C’mon, people! This is fishy as hell. It sounds suspiciously scripted. She now claims he body shamed her repeatedly through out the season but she was gonna marry him. Until, that is, the season finale when she left him at the altar. Reality shows are not real!

    • Happy_Fat_Mama says:

      Good point. Reality tv isn’t real.

      But people do love and stay with partners who abuse them for all kinds of reasons. So I don’t think the fact that Zanab stayed negates her claim.

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        Nothing negates her claim. However, the producers hyped a wedding finale when there was no wedding which is very convenient for them. Obvious to me that reality was massaged here to obtain a certain outcome. That’s the reality of “reality” TV.

  13. Lauren42 says:

    I’m very curious about the “after the bachelor party” thing Zanab brought up. Not one of the guys remembered anything about it, or about Cole going off to do something on his own after the party with the guys. Cole is the kind of dumb who, if he did go out on his own, would probably admit it and then try to justify it. I think he is definitely not husband material right now, but I really do wonder if he went out and got a girl’s number the night before the weddings. He looked blown away by the accusation and I don’t think he’s smart enough to lie/act as convincingly as he did on the reunion. Thoughts?

    • yo says:

      Agree and if the cuties story is any indication, I bet it’s not exactly
      how Zanab describes it. Guys can be liars so it was easy to believe Zanab at face value since we did see Cole say she’s not usually his physical type and that 9/10 rating fiasco. I’m just more shocked everyone (audience and daters) are willing to vilify them for expressing to their partners about past or current physical preferences when that is the catch/experiment of the show – dating someone “sight unseen”. This does not happen in the real world so think they should cut everyone some slack.

    • dina says:


    • adrienne says:

      I think this bachelor party story is what made me start rethinking everything Zanab was saying, because I had believed everything she said up to that point. But Cole seemed so genuinely confused about that accusation and then none of the guys could back it up. Yes, Cole was a garbage partner and super immature. But after the seeing the cuties story at the end, it seems like Zanab’s insecurity caused her to have a really skewed interpretation of what was happening. She was the one who kept asking him to rate her or if he was still attracted to her without makeup. They both need to work on themselves, but I don’t believe Cole was some master manipulator and abuser like she alleges. Just a horrible match all around.

      • Dorothy Zbornak says:

        Cole is an idiot but he’s no actor. He was genuinely shocked and confused by Zanab’s accusations in the reunion. In the cuties clip, she even says she only listens to half of what he says while he’s excitedly talking about meeting her UK family overseas post-wedding. It is HIGHLY convenient that all of the alleged body shaming happened off camera or production chose not to use it. Why would producers cover for Cole? He was thoughtless and insensitive and an idiot but Zanab was cruel to pray with him at the wedding, tell him she loved him and then berate him in front of the guests. Just humiliating and mean. Her long “I’m sorry” post she wrote on Instagram is very strange.

  14. Candy says:

    They were both awful but the emotionally abusive partner here was Zanab, not Cole. And Matt too.

  15. MaryContrary says:

    My take: Zanab has zero self confidence-she’s a gorgeous woman, but doesn’t feel that. She is also (probably based on losing her parents at such a young age) extremely controlling. My thought was, she definitely needs a lot of counseling to work through this. Cole, imo, is a 26 year old, extremely immature young man with impulse control issues (he’s already been briefly married to a woman who he’d dated for a few months-no wonder his parents were not supportive of his remarrying!) and zero self awareness or filter. They were a terrible match from the get-go.

    • Léna says:

      If I remember correctly, it was Matt (Colleen’s now husband) who was married briefly. Cole was married for a few years to his former girlfriend with whom we was for several years since high school.

      I completely agree, totally mismatch, it was painful to see the scenes between the two.

      • MaryContrary says:

        Matt had been married before to his high school gf. But yes-Cole was briefly married to someone he had barely dated.

  16. hangonamin says:

    lol…she used the cuties example as peak for Cole body shaming her, but when we all watched it just seemed like a huge misunderstanding and not abusive. if that was her best example that she continued to harp on that Cole was body shaming her…then i’m not seeing it. this is so scripted. clearly Zanab wanted a Deepti moment at the altar (which she didn’t get) and then went full force to create a narrative so she would be a champion for body positivity and domestic abuse. i wonder what the other contestants think after watching that cuties scene? maybe Zanab sold a different story as well? fundamentally, i have no idea how they got together in the first place. Cole is a man child and has clearly not learned anything from his first failed marriage; he’s immature, rash, unorganized and clearly does not have his life together. Zanab is also a very damaged person coming onto the show. both should have realized from the start this was not going to work out. they continued to pretend for the TV show to be on more episodes…

    i would argue Barista or whatever his name is and Matt are 1000% worse. i have no idea why man-child Cole got all the hate while Bibimbop and Matt just skated in the reunion. one is prime example of gaslighter and the other has toxic masculine anger down to a science.

    • Lauren42 says:

      Loved Deepti’s moment- she chose HERSELF at the altar. Zanab’s moment was much more Cole’s failings than anything else.

      Totally agree that Matt is a whole flag store of red flags. The absolute anger that radiated out of him whenever he didn’t have control over (or at least a view of) whatever Colleen was doing was scary. Colleen looked like she was in a hostage situation during the reunion, and no wonder she’s not living with that psycho yet. I wonder if she’s waiting for all the hype to die down and then she’ll leave him? I hope so.

      • Andrea says:

        Bartise and Matt were absolutely terrifying. Matt is the type of guy who excuses his behavior because he has been so wronged by a woman. I flipped out and didn’t know where you were because my wife left me! He needs some serious therapy. I would run from him. Huge red flags flying.

        Bartise is superficial and Nancy deserves wayyyy better. And his abortion stand and then banging a woman 3 days later? He is the type to deny the kid is his and skip out on child support. Nancy had a lot going for her as well as being gorgeous.

        I don’t get what was so great about Colleen and Raven. Raven seemed superficial and golddigging and Colleen seemed boring. Bartise and Cole were simply attracted to them.

    • Léna says:

      I don’t think she really wanted to have her Deepti moment. The season 2 & 3 were shoot almost back to back, season 3 was shot in the summer 2021 ! So I don’t think she already knew how well Deepti handled her own altar moment 🙂 Just pointing it out

    • CROWHOOD says:

      How could she want a deepti moment when her wedding happened before any of that was aired? I swear women will make excuses for any man with straight teeth.

      • hangonamin says:

        that’s my b that i didn’t realize both shows were shot around the same time and they didn’t know the other’s stories. so she wasn’t going for a Deepti moment, she was just going for a super dramatic moment where she went from saying i love you to this man in one sentence to then literally humiliate him in front of his friends and list out grievances. tell me that’s not for show? it wasn’t a deepti moment, it was a zanab unhinged moment.
        did i make excuses for Cole? i called him a man-child and i still believe he has no business being in any relationship. but let’s not gloss over zanab and her problematic moments. both parties here suck and i don’t think Cole deserves all the hate while the really problematic guys (barista and matt the rage machine) get a pass.

      • CROWHOOD says:

        @hangonamin you’re right, I was coming in hot. My bad.

  17. Nat says:

    Preach! So much shitty behavior was left unchecked. The Cuties scene – completely innocent. Yet we had to watch Colleen marry a dude with so much (occasionally drunken) agression, I was seriously frightened for her. And nothing Cole said was half as bad as Bartise’s comments.
    Also, why nobody even mentioned Raven’s total lack of support for man going to an Ivy League school for postgrad? She really admitted wanting him to stay and pitch in her mani&pedi bills…

    • candy says:

      Yeah, the red flags with Matt were so much worse, and like you pointed out, he has a drinking problem which was never called out, in addition to his abuse of Colleen.

    • Betina says:

      Not to pick but Berkeley isn’t an Ivy League school. Good school, but not an Ivy.

  18. Katie says:

    I’m really confused by all these posts that are basically like, “well that’s not the Cole I saw.” Isn’t the point of the story that the show (hundreds of hours of taping cut down to very little) cut out some very critical information. Isn’t that like, “your partner can’t be abusive / a raging narcissist because he’s always so fun and sweet at parties”? Zanab may also be a trainwreck herself. It could all be lies, but the basic argument of I watched the show so I know this guy’s soul doesn’t hold water.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    I do want to agree that there may have been a lot (on all sides) that we didn’t see on camera. At the end of the day this is a reality tv show so let’s keep that in mind. But speaking as a woman who had an eating disorder for years, what I felt from Z was a case of when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Bear with me. When you have deeply seated body issues, it is your gut reaction to turn almost any body/food related comment into an insult. This is something my husband and I have had to work through. He might jokingly say “oh those jeans make your booty look nice!” And I immediately took that to mean they made my butt look big, and therefor he was really saying I looked fat. Again, we obviously don’t know the entire story here, but I can definitely understand how fairly innocuous comments can be easily spun out of control.

    • yo says:


      And that’s why I think he was genuinely confused and hurt by all the accusations and blanked at the bachelor party story bc it did not happen her way at all.

      She’s an ultra sensitive/passive aggressive sourpuss and he’s a playful idiot. It was never gonna work. lol.

  20. happy_fat_mama says:

    i am starting to think that this whole show just normalizes the bad, controlling behaviour of husbands towards their wives.

    So when one wife-to-be presses an issue of abuse, her character is criticized, even when there are witnesses…. And most of the negative behaviour by the future husbands, like Batiste and Matt, is just ignored on the show?

    There is not a diamond big enough for me to sign up for that kind of mess.

  21. LaurenAPMT says:

    Cole definitely seems like an a-hole, but Zanab seemed to be triggered by *everything* he said and did. They were a terrible match, and Zanab justified completely trashing him at the altar with, “but I did love you”. Cole deserves a swift kick to the nuts by reality, but he didn’t deserve that.
    Matt was frighteningly volatile. It was never clear what was going to set him off or anger him, and the level of control he tried to exert over Colleen was concerning. She looked scared at the reunion any time she or Matt were mentioned, and she visibly tensed up.

  22. candy says:

    The biggest issue with this show is the whole premise draws in codependent/abuser types. No rational person would get married under these circumstances. These are all love bombing red flags.

  23. Jenn says:

    Grown women don’t need to be supervised by men and told when to “save their appetite”. Huge red flag. That’s a man telling you to be hungry. The reason she feels this way is because he was constantly making body comments (about her and others). This is a very insidious way to control someone’s food intake and make them self conscious of their bodies and themselves. Disgusting behavior. If you’re experiencing it – get away!