'If we were to be at a music festival, do you like being on a guys shoulder?' he says.
'Yeah, you’re up for the challenge, you can pick me up!' she replies.
'But - um, will I have trouble picking you up?' he questions.
Yes, you read that correctly. That is an actual question asked by one of the men from Love Is Blind.
Love is Blind is a dating show, where looks play no parts. The contestants get to know each other from separate pods, through a series of dates and intimate conversations. By the end of the pod speed dating, they get engaged to their best match, without ever seeing them. At the end of the process they should say 'I do' at the altar.
In the first episode we are introduced to Abhishek 'Shake' Chatterjeeor, and I gasped as soon as he opened his mouth. The first thing he said on his first blind date was, 'I love buying clothes for girls, what’s your size?' To which Iyanna who’s on the other side of the pod says in disbelief, 'What the fuck?' We agree Iyanna, what the fuck indeed. ‘Do you like working out?, asks Shake. Hope, 31, on the other side replies, ‘Not really’ to which he replies,’ I prefer individuals who work out.’
There are more shocking examples, but there is enough evidence here. Shake’s internalised fatphobia is incredibly distressing and a major red flag. Fans of the show instantly pointed out his toxic obsession with determining the weight of those he was dating before he’d seen them.
Furthermore, he clearly doesn’t understand the concept of the show either. You’re supposed to fall for the qualities inside the person, rather than the exterior or superficial aspects. His vile remarks are damaging for viewers, let alone how the women on the receiving end must be feeling. Basically, Shake’s attitude has rubbed us all the wrong way.
There is also something disheartening in the fact that Love Is Blind cast plus size women and made sure to have them on full view in the trailer. It was almost like they were creating a façade, insisting the show was going to be inclusive. When the full episodes aired, we saw Hope and Chassidy for a grand total of 30 seconds. The worst part was any time they were on screen, we only saw them squirm, while Shake asked more intrusive questions about their weight.
Instead, Love Is Blind favoured the stories of Danielle and Deepti who now feel beautiful after losing weight. Now, we are all for anyone getting to a place where they feel happy and content within themselves – but for the show to favour those stories, they suggest that’s the only way to be truly happy and find love. The other women's stories barely get a chance – we get no backstories about their lives, even if they didn’t end up finding love.
The shows handling of weight wasn't as sensitive as it should have been. Especially after the last few years we have had going through a pandemic, where many have struggled with self image.
Basically, it would have been nice to have truly seen inclusivity. A woman’s worth is not dependant on her weight or what she looks like – and Love Is Blind had the perfect opportunity to show just that, but they missed the mark.
READ MORE: Love Is Blind Season 1: Where Are They Now?