Ciara Higgins discusses the issues with the hit show Love is Blind
“Singles who want to be loved for who they are, rather than what they look like, have signed up for a less conventional approach for modern dating,” IMDb claims, luring in many a hopeless romantic in the midst of a national lockdown. I’ve always been a fan of dating shows, mostly to make fun of the beautiful idiots gracing my screen – but this show offered something different: an experiment.
For those reading who haven’t stooped to the Love is Blind level of boredom like I have, the show follows various couples over the course of a five-week period, from meeting to marriage. The couples meet in booths separated by frosted glass, in an attempt to build an emotional connection, and the events that follow the grand unveiling of their faces aim to evolve their physical and social connection, before their families and friends attend their weddings. For those of you who have seen it, I sincerely hope you’ve recovered from the whiplash caused by Jessica’s voice changing every two minutes.
After three glasses of wine, two hours of boredom, and absolutely no recommendations from anyone, I began my endeavour into Love is Blind. Within the first five minutes of watching, I realised that their experiment was flawed; the showrunners had overlooked something that I would consider vital in a show that is so adamant that personality trumps looks. Confusion took over my tipsy brain, but was quickly replaced by attraction, because everyone, and I mean EVERYONE on that show is gorgeous. Beautiful. Stunning. Absolute works of art. Tens, tens, tens across the board (take a guess at my other lockdown Netflix choice). Within five minutes, the show was taken down a peg, from an experiment to just another trashy dating show.
This would usually be something very appealing to me, but I had actually hyped myself up to watch some relatable fives fall in love with each other. “Love is blind” is a bold statement to make on a show where everyone is conventionally attractive, isn’t it? What do they have to see past, really? Their perfect white teeth? Their 6-packs and muscular arms? Their strong shoulders supporting their head of beautiful flowing hair and symmetrical facial features? Assuming these people truly fell in love in a booth that assured full physical anonymity, a pretty face is just a bonus. As someone who isn’t much to look at, I found myself rolling my eyes at the implication that the show aimed to prove that looks don’t matter.
If anything, the show seemed to prove that looks, similar religious beliefs, desperation, and an interest in dogs are what carry a relationship in its entirety. For example, 34-year-old Jessica, after days of playing with 24-year-old Mark’s feelings, still manages to gain a frail proposal. In the following weeks, her clear alcoholism and deep feelings for another man on the show did not seem to sway Mark. He persistently claimed that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met, and put his negative feelings to the side while they bonded over their Christian upbringing and their dogs. Though this led to an unsuccessful wedding, it also led to my favourite trend on Twitter in a long time (#MarkIsBlind). Another couple – the easily forgettable Kenny and Kelly – eventually did not marry, after a friend pointed out that he was not physically her type. Despite their apparent emotional connection, it was looks that came between the two. My deepest condolences to Kenny, he seemed like a nice dude. Another woman managed to overcome her fiancé by calling himself a gift in his proposal, so clearly some of the cast were just desperate; if you can see past that then you can see past anything.
Though Love is Blind aimed to prove its namesake, it in fact proved the total opposite; it proved that some people can look past a deeply shitty personality if their partner is beautiful. However, it also proved that love is real, because Lauren and Cameron are a great pair. The premise of the show is not a bad one, but it would be much more interesting if a more diverse line-up of desperate 30-year-olds had been cast.