On Feb. 13, Netflix released the first five episodes of its newest reality TV series, “Love is Blind,” a show that has garnered much attention during the past three weeks. Although reality television is not my usual fore-taking, I was intrigued by the show’s concept of love sparked by emotional connection rather than physical attraction. After only getting through the first three episodes, I felt I had already received the answer to their overarching question, “is love really blind?”
My low expectations for the show slowly dissipated after finishing the first episode. I was initially glad to notice how the show operated by questioning the conformities of dating culture today. Dating apps like Tinder have only emphasized the importance of physical attractiveness by advertising people based on their photos. It was refreshing to see a show like “Love is Blind” work against that stigma by taking away physicality altogether.
The absence of physical presence essentially forces potential couples to talk about themselves, whether it be about their backgrounds or finding things in common. Being unaware of each other’s appearance also causes key physical factors to become unacknowledged such as age and race, a concept which was appealing. It’s good to highlight how well certain personalities work together since, to me, it’s really the most significant factor in maintaining an effective relationship.
I think Lauren puts it in the best way when she describes Mark: “We’re different races, we’re different ages, but we’re definitely cut from the same cloth.”
Despite my increasingly positive feelings toward the show, they soon began to decline as I started to notice some flaws in the experiment. Everyone has their own individual experience with love and it just felt like the show was trying to make it the same for everyone. I don’t think adding soft piano music and a slow zoom into their face is going to help differentiate between falling in love versus having a pleasant conversation.
The romanization of love is already common enough in the media. I’m disappointed but not surprised that “Love is Blind” followed through with the same idea.
Another flaw was the fact that contestants were basically choosing who they loved rather than falling in love. The amount of time the show seemed to invest in the whole Jessica-Barnett-Mark love triangle made me realize that these people didn’t even know how to discern their own romantic sentiment towards each other.
At one point, Barnett even says, “I don’t know how to differentiate feeling good from feeling the L-word.” It was frustrating to see how Barnett’s hesitation caused Jessica to immediately jump from him to Mark. Under the circumstances of a show like “Love is Blind” when people don’t feel their emotions are reciprocated, instead of feeling hurt because they aren’t loved, they feel angry because they didn’t get chosen.
The biggest issue I had didn’t really have to do with the show; it was more from being disappointed in the contestants. Even after getting engaged, the majority of couples were still worried about what their fiancé was going to look like, an affair that I assumed was thrown out the window when they decided to fall in love through a wall. By now it’s a basic human instinct to analyze someone’s physical appearance before getting to know them. I hoped this show would successfully prove otherwise, but it did to no avail.
So my final answer to the question “is love really blind?” is fairly simple. No, it’s not. The show introduces a thought-provoking concept of love at first talk rather than sight. However, the fatal flaw remains in social tendency. Physical attraction will always play a role in initiating romantic affliction, not to mention the difficulties of adequately getting to know someone through a couple conversations. Unfortunately, “Love is Blind” fails to live up to its name.
Esther Ju is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. They can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.