I recently found myself enthralled in the latest trash reality TV offering from Netflix. Love is Blind is a series where contestants are serious about settling down, getting married and having babies are given a chance to ‘blind’ date. All the contestants occupy a single house with the guys living on one side and the chicks on the other. Each day they go into these cubicles where they can’t see each other but can basically spend time talking to each other through a wall.
So it’s kinda a modern version of Blind Date but without Cilla to keep things entertaining and no time limit on how long they can spend talking to each other. The only significant difference between this and a more traditional Blind Date scenario is that they can only see each other in the flesh once they’ve actually fallen ‘in love’, someone has proposed and they intend on getting married. It’s starting to sound a little ‘Married at First Sight’ (without the science) now, isn’t it?
The whole point of this experiment is to try bucking the trend of online dating where (arguably, just as we do in real life) we superficially judge people on looks alone. I’m not going to deny that I’m guilty of this. Naturally, I’m going to swipe right on the guy with an award-winning smile, dimples and those big man muscles, over the vertically stunted dude with crossed eyes and bad skin. Who wouldn’t? Let’s be real.
Of course, some would argue ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and it really is a case of ‘different strokes for different folks’. And I’m happy to inform you that chubby chasers, like unicorns, really do exist. The truth is that being conventionally beautiful won’t do you any harm when it comes to the dating game. So what happens when the beautiful (and not-so) people are put into a world where their looks (as well as race, background, height, etc) don’t come into play? Well, that’s supposedly what this experiment is supposed to reveal.
Hmm…So far I’ve blitzed through the first five episodes (and now they want me to sit around for a week for the next one to be released. Ugh!). We are now at the stage where we have six engaged couples who’ve now finally seen each other. And now its time to see if their physical connection matches their apparent emotional one. Hmm…I’m skeptical! The whole thing is a little weird to be honest – some people are jumping into bed with their new fiances, others are holding out (for what their wedding days?), some are having their first interracial relationship (although they are yet to take that into the real world) and some are revealing their somewhat confused sexual past.
I don’t want to give too much away. If you feel inclined to watch this trash, I’m sure you’ll find some the plot twists entertaining. And while I think the experiment had the potential to be interesting, I think the fact that it’s so highly edited removes much of its value. What happened to all the other couples that didn’t get ‘engaged’? Did some of them see each other and run away once they came to face with a munter/muntress? How about the question of other (supposedly less superficial) prejudices coming into play? Beyond the guy who asked a girl if she was a stripper because her name was Diamond, we don’t get to see so much how other factors, such as social class and education can have an impact on these blind encounters.
Also to be fair, most of the contestants that feature in the show are averagely-good looking. Sure, the show’s producers threw in a short dude but beyond that I don’t think that looks were the reason that any of them would struggle with dating in the real world. Surely if they wanted to really explore this issue they could try going the Undateables route and use a wider range of people (e.g. maybe morbidly obese or differently-abled) whose looks actually stood in the way of them finding happily ever after. But maybe I’m wrong for looking at it that way too as its quite mean to look at people’s dating/image struggles as a form of entertainment.
Finally, perhaps I’m becoming cynical in my old age, but coming from a girl who once moved in with a guy after a few days of meeting him in a club, surely proposing to someone after 5 days, regardless of whether you’ve seen them or not is a bit much. Right? Well, maybe it’s not that different from all these arranged marriage vibes? Who knows? I’ll probably watch the rest of the series…I think there is one (churchy) couple that may go the distance but I’m not holding my breath for most of these weirdos making it down the aisle.
Rinsers, Have you seen ‘Love Is Blind’? What do you think? Does such a social experiment really have much value? Have dating apps made us superficial? Or are we all just generally a bit judgier (even beyond just the looks department)? Talk to me in the comments section below.