Love Is Blind star Danielle Ruhl is speaking out about her fellow contestants’ confidence on the show after host Vanessa Lachey claimed that a lack of body diversity is what made contestants “insecure”.
In an email to E! News, season two contestant Ruhl explained how Lachey’s recent comments weren’t necessarily true, as there were many females on the show who were “confident” in themselves -- regardless of what their bodies looked like.
“There were certainly more confident women than myself who participated in this experience, regardless of body type,” she told the publication.
Earlier this week, an Insider interview with Lachey -- who hosts the Netflix dating show -- prompted backlash on social media because it featured Lachey claiming that some contestants didn’t make it beyond the pods stage (where people date and get engaged before meeting in person on the show) because they feel “insecure” about their bodies.
“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 claimed, before adding that she didn’t think Netflix’s casting process gave people a “fair shot” if they didn’t fit conventional beauty standards.
Many pushed back on the remark and argued that insecurity wasn’t as much of a factor as Lachey claims it was.
“Not all fat folks are insecure and those that are insecure are not likely to try and be cast on a show like yours,” one person wrote.
In her comments in response to Lachey, Ruhl insisted that she “can attest that many individuals with different body types, etc. were confident, enthusiastic and optimistic about finding love.”
“Weight doesn’t and shouldn’t define someone’s confidence and after getting to know each woman, their confidence all shined and I admired them for it,” she told E! News.
The 29-year-old then specified how relationships in the pods are based on the “connections” and “feelings” that people form when behind “the wall”.
“There were women who had developed feelings for men on the other side of the wall,” she explained. “However, it is also dependent on how the men are connecting with everyone as well.”
Throughout the series, Ruhl notably started a relationship with Nick Thompson and ultimately ended up tying the knot with him.
Ruhl also emphasized that she’s not judging Lachey, as the 41-year-old former TRL host had “minimal interaction” with contestants during the “pods stage.” She also noted how Lachey’s remarks could have been due to things she heard from “other team members”.
“The hosts had minimal interaction or involvement during our time in the pods so her comment could have been an assumption or something she heard from other team members,” she explained.
Ruhl even offered Lachey some praise and added: “After getting to know Vanessa on a personal level, I can say that she genuinely cares about the cast.”
The Independent has contacted Netflix for comment.