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Lachey, who hosts the Netflix dating show alongside her husband Nick Lachey, addressed the lack of diverse body representation on the show while speaking to Insider. She claimed that diverse contestants may not be represented past the “pods” stage of the dating “experiment” because they are “insecure” and “afraid to be themselves”.
“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 told the outlet of the possible reason contestants with diverse bodies may not make it past the first stage of the dating show.
The 41-year-old also said that the couples who have progressed past the pods stage of the “experiment” over the last two seasons have fit into conventional beauty standards, before claiming that Netflix’s casting process gives people who may not fit conventional beauty standards a “fair shot”.
If you haven’t tuned in, the show follows male and female contestants who, in the first stage of the experiment, communicate through a wall from separate rooms called pods. If they form a relationship, one contestant then proposes to the other, at which point they move on to the next stage, where they meet in person and continue dating.
“I wonder if they truly don’t have enough time in those two weeks to find themselves... and then be themselves to then find that spouse,” Lachey added of the reason for the lack of body diversity on the show’s first two seasons.
On social media, Lachey’s comments have been met with criticism.
“Vanessa Lachey really went on record to say the reason bigger women aren’t featured on Love Is Blind is because they are too insecure to make a connection? Girl should have just said nothing,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Another said: “Hahah you are so full of sh*t @vanessalachey. Not all fat folks are insecure and those that are insecure are not likely to try and be cast on a show like yours. Just admit that your show and you are vapid…”
“Yeah, I’m going to call bulls**t on @vanessalachey’s ‘there isn’t diversity on Love Is Blind because of their insecurities’. Honey,” someone else wrote.
Lachey’s claim also prompted backlash among fans who noted that Netflix had advertised season two of the show as having a more body “diverse” cast, as the trailer showed contestants talking about various body insecurities. However, when the show aired, plus-size contestants were only shown in the first episode.
“This is the biggest load of bullsh*t. Y’all advertised soooo hard that your cast was wayyy more ‘diverse’ this season but when it came to the actual show NONE of them got more than 90 seconds of air time,” one person tweeted in response to Lachey’s comments. “Pull your head outta your a** @VanessaLachey #LoveIsBlind.”
While fans have not been impressed by the body diversity on the show so far, Lachey told Insider that Netflix is committing to “embracing” diversity. “You will see some of that in the dating reality television world of Netflix soon,” she said.
The Independent has contacted Netflix and a representative for Lachey for comment.