Love Is Blind: What The Response To Chelsea Blackwell’s ‘Megan Fox Lie’ Really Proves

Her insecurity and self consciousness prove only that love really isn't blind at all

love is blind

by Jessica Barrett |
Updated on

The very foundations of Love Is Blind, the experimental dating show which has now been running for six seasons on Netflix, is that you find your life partner ‘sight unseen’. Hosts Nick Lachey and his wife Vanessa hammer this point home through various, faintly awkward, segments within the show, where 30 contestants are let loose to enter the now infamous so called ‘pods’ where they spend days dating a series of members of the opposite sex.

They are on the hunt for what is solemnly referred to as ‘their person’ (which is 2024 talk for husband or wife, and the dates get ever cut-throat as each contestant strikes potentials off their list until they propose to The One.

Now in its sixth season, Love Is Blind viewers know this format all too well. The idea is that when they accept a proposal they finally get to see what their fiancé or fiancée looks like as the partition doors are pulled back. Until this point they are not strictly meant to have discussed looks: hair colour, race or body type, if they want to play the game properly (although a few contestants have tried their luck, like Shake in season two, who asked Deepti if he might be able to ‘carry her on his shoulders’ at a music festival in attempt to figure out her weight).

This season, a conversation between contestants Chelsea Blackwell and Jimmy Presnell, who both hail from Charlotte, North Carolina, caused a wave of controversy thanks to an exchange about which celebrity flight attendant Chelsea resembled. Although Chelsea herself said she ‘didn’t see it’ and told Jimmy not to ‘get excited’ she revealed that she had been compared to Megan Fox over the years. She told him she’d get told ‘all the time’ that she looked like a certain celebrity during flights. ‘It’s just because I have dark hair and blue eyes,’ she added. Jimmy was like a cat who got the cream, asking if he could marry Chelsea ‘right now’.

Immediately after their first post-engagement meeting, though, Jimmy said in a confessional interview that, even though he was still attracted to his fiancée, she had ‘lied’ to him about her appearance. In fact, Jimmy struggled to compliment much more about Chelsea than her teeth. Viewers weighed in on the subject online, with one commenter on Chelsea’s TikTok writing, ‘MEGAN FOX? NO NATALIE NUNN’, referring to another reality star, who’s known for her appearance on Bad Girls Club. ‘You could be Megan Fox’s sister in like a Khloe Kardashian way,’ another quipped. YouTuber Trisha Paytas also added: ‘I see it girl. Ppl be wildin.’ Chelsea was eventually forced to speak out, joking in a video that has now been viewed 13.4 million times, ‘This would be a great time for the people who have ever told me that I resembled her to come forward…’

As the episodes have unfolded, we have watched Chelsea’s growing insecurities about Jimmy’s decision to propose to her over executive assistant Jessica Vestal (who delivered one of the most iconic monologues the show has ever seen, telling Jimmy he would ‘need his epi-pen’ when he saw what he was missing out on when he chose Chelsea).

Jimmy has done almost nothing to reassure Chelsea’s obvious insecurity. He has upset her by telling AD how great she looked, even apparently spinning her around to get a better look at her body. He, according to Chelsea, has said that Jess 'looks like a Kardashian'. It’s actually painful to see Chelsea’s diffidence play out so publicly in the group, and behind closed doors with Jimmy, as she almost begs him to validate her and show her he’s committed. Even prior to meeting Jimmy for the first time she tells the confessional camera that she is ‘thicker’ than the other girls, something which certainly isn’t apparent to me as a viewer, and even if she were, it shouldn’t be an issue with someone she felt truly confident with.

In episode ten we see Jimmy take the mum-of-one aside and tell her that she was his 'number one', although he has now fully committed to Chelsea, slept with her, met her friends, and told her he thinks she is ‘perfect’. Of course Chelsea is far from it when it comes to their relationship, and has certainly put a lot of pressure on Jimmy (telling him, for example, that he likes to 'party' too much when he goes out for one drink with his college friends), though it becomes more and more clear that this is a result of her insecurity.

And therein lies the major issue for these two - and the show. It's becoming more and more clear that love really isn't 'blind' at all. Jimmy was initially attracted by Chelsea’s eagerness to please him and there’s no doubt Chelsea was feeling insecure, after being pitted against Jessica who is so self assured. Did that play into her decision to use the ‘Megan Fox’ card? Possibly. But whether you think she looks like her or not, do you think she deserves to be torn apart by hundreds and thousands of trolls laughing at her for even daring to compare herself to a good-looking celebrity?

The bigger point at play here is how we see ourselves - and how we want others to see us, which is a huge element of the dating show. It’s not shallow if you don’t have a physical connection - if these couples do have one that’s a bonus, but it still doesn’t mean they’re going to have a happy relationship (in fact only eight couples who have married over the previous seasons are still together, including Cameron and Lauren from season one).

Even though they claim to take looks out of the equation while these contestants fall in love, arguably there is a great deal more pressure on their looks once they have committed to getting engaged and those screen doors pull back. The society we live in is geared towards easy and emphatic judgement of looks, and being on a reality show is never going to be able to remove that - in fact, it's hugely compounded. For this reason, the 'Love Is Blind' experiment appears to have failed, because there is simply too much discourse around looks in almost every episode this season. Is it still a wildly entertaining show? Yes, but has it removed physical looks and attraction from the alchemy of falling in love? Nope.

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