Perhaps you, like me, spent your whole weekend binging Netflix’s new dating show Love Is Blind, and now you have a ton of questions. The main one being, why would someone ever want to go on this show? Are there seriously no other options for you, Barnett?
The show describes itself as a “social experiment” in which 30 participants have ten days to meet and propose to a partner. The twist? All of their dates take place in isolated pods, and they talk to their potential matches through a wall. And for some unclear reason, they still get more dressed up to sit alone in a room than I ever have in my entire life. After some couples find “the one”, the show jets everyone off to a resort in Mexico to see if they can create a physical connection, and then back to Atlanta to test if they will make it work in the real world. If they survive, like, a day with their partner in a random neutral apartment, they’ll be walking down the aisle and into the rest of their lives.
The show suspiciously does not give us many details as to how they chose their singles, but in an interview with E! Network after the show started streaming on Netflix, co-creator Chris Coelen revealed that all the singles were all based in Atlanta, and that the show was also filmed there. Okay, so, I’m just guessing here, but the social scene in Atlanta for young, attractive people willing to go on reality TV to get married cannot be that big.
I feel like there was a casting call posted in the greater Atlanta area that was like, “Want to be Instagram famous, but don’t want to move to LA or New York to do it? Can’t take a month off work because your feed isn’t paying for itself yet? We’ve got the opportunity for you!”
Marriage seems like a pretty high price to pay if the only reason you want to be on a reality TV show is to promote your brand. After digging a little deeper into their backgrounds, I found that half of the cast was willing to pay it. Alas, my faith in humanity grows ever smaller. Many of the contestants have personal brands or are the CEOs of their own media companies, or hold jobs like model, social media consultant, brand consultant, personal trainer, personal stylist, makeup artist, etc. Jobs that basically need all the exposure to clients they can get, and Netflix is just the place for that. (I have to give Netflix some credit, because they took away the cast’s phones during the month that they were filming, which seriously limited the number of times someone could reference their fake Instagram job in a confessional.)
I mean, the second we meet everyone at the start of the show, I was immediately suspicious. Everyone is way too hot. Like, definitely a few steps below The Bachelor, but still. Hot as far as regular, non-surgically-enhanced people go. I mean, Diamond Jack is literally an NBA dancer, which, as we all know, is a model who can also dance. And, as it turns out, a lot of them are actually models. Take Amber, for instance, who reminisces on her days in the Georgia Army in the first episode. Based on her Instagram, though, her current job is modeling for Tropic Beauty, whose Instagram bio is literally: “We produce model influencer events, photoshoots, travel and branding opportunities.”
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Lauren Speed is another example. Her bio on the show says “Content Creator”, which is the vaguest job description I have ever seen, and then we never hear another peep about it again. That is, until she shows Cameron, her new fiancé, her apartment, and there is a full-on photo studio in the living room. It turns out Lauren runs her own media company called The Speed Brand AND she has modeled in New York Fashion Week. I respect the hustle, but now I’ve got to ask how two literal models can really be on national TV claiming they hate dating apps because they get judged by their pictures.
Speaking of New York Fashion Week, another of the show’s participants, Danielle Drouin, recently posted from the runway. I don’t even remember her being on the show, and she clearly didn’t get engaged to anyone, so Netflix really wasted her hotness for nothing.
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Feeling like a Queen 👸 in @jorgecontrerasmexico collection! 👑 #nyfw #fashionweek #nyfw2020 #newyorkfashionweek #nyc #nycmodel #modelling #model #2020collection #designergowns #fashionshow #fashion #fashionmodel #runwayfashion #runwaymodel #runway #runwayshow #newyork #ascfashionweek #queen #queenstatus
I also found in my
midnight Googling spiral investigation that, in addition to all of these contestants being models, a bunch of them are weirdly connected. It does add up that some contestants would’ve known each other beforehand, given that it’s a show for the very specific demographic of model-adjacent singles in Atlanta, but something seems fishy here. It is a little hard to say, but more than a few contestants can be linked to Jezebel Magazine (a publisher of luxury lifestyle magazines, not the feminist website), which hosts tons of parties throughout the year. They named the show’s very own Mark Cuevas, (personal trainer, lover of Jessica, known 24-year-old) one of 2019’s 50 Most Beautiful Atlantans. Weird flex, but okay.
Matt Thomas, Mark’s confirmed friend, (which we know from this Instagram at an event for Thomas’ non-profit, Brawl for a Cause) and fellow contestant has also appeared in the magazine, as one of Atlanta’s Best Bodies of 2017. Not sure who gave the green light for that article, but that’s neither here nor there.
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Double tap + Scroll if you’re THAT girl that plays in a dress 😂 ⠀ Feeling some serious #FOMO? ⠀ What cities do you want to see these Sweat With US + @brawlforacause events? ⠀ Shoutout your city in the comments so we know where to take you! ⠀ GEORGIA AQUARIUM WE’RE COMING FOR YOU TOMORROW! Link in bio to join the Workout Under Water fun!! #atl ⠀ 📷@randmcphoto
Lexie Skipper, a personal stylist (another vague job description) on Love is Blind, also had a profile in the magazine, although she unfortunately did not, at least to the extent of my research, make one of their rankings. Maybe next year, Lexie. Lastly, for what it’s worth, I found a picture of Jessica at a Jezebel party in 2011, so basically that confirms that everyone knows each other and the entire show is a scam.
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**Sappy post ahead.** sorry in advance. About 5 months ago I took a chance, ran with an opportunity and focused solely on myself. I let go and let God. And let me tell you, although I thought it was one of the craziest things Ive ever done..it changed my perspective on so much in life. I have been wondering for 2 years what plans God had for me in Atlanta and what was my purpose for being here? I learned so much in my first year here and @nfinityshoes played such a huge role in developing my confidence in a new city and new experiences that I will always be grateful for. God took me on another path and then lead me to a stylist position at Alice+Olivia. (I MEAN REALLY??!!) I have always dreamed of a job in fashion (and a summer in NYC!!) but never felt “qualified” enough. God also had a plan, and here I am. I am so lucky to be able to work with the most amazing women who motivate me every day to be better. @casey_schott @brittneyrwheeler @jocelyn_bowman @christina_bauman . Overall, I am so grateful for every opportunity Atlanta has given me over the past 2 years and the friendships I have made. I finally began to only do things that bring me joy. 2019 you are exceeding my expectations already and we are only 2 months in. LETS GO!
Just kidding, but an anonymous source close to the show did tell Betches, “LC and Lexie are childhood friends.” The source told us that they went to the same middle school and have been pretty tight since then. Also, LC and Westley, who went to high school together, were one of LIB’s couples (that didn’t get engaged).
Look, I guess it kind of makes sense. Like maybe, some of them said to their friends, “I’m only going to apply for this if you do it with me.” And then their mom popped up out of nowhere and said “if every single in Atlanta jumped off a bridge, would you?” Pretty sure that’s how that went.
In the remainder of the cast, (those that aren’t models or fitfluencers), there are quite a few “brand consultants” and “social media entrepreneurs”. Giannina describes herself in her Instagram bio as a “soulpreneur.” I thought about what this could mean for a full five minutes and still couldn’t come up with anything. Carlton describes himself as a social media manager, which is fine, but LET US NOT FORGET he was Cynthia Bailey’s assistant on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, so Love is Blind is simply his way of continuing his foray into reality TV.
I’m definitely not trying to say that these people have fake jobs, because some of them do seem to run successful media companies, like Ebony Alexis (Ebony Alexis Entertainment) and Lille Mae (Glambitious I Am). However, I am saying that these are all jobs that function by gaining clients and serve to benefit from increased exposure to their brand. Production tried to throw us off the scent by throwing a bunch of tall, nondescript white men whose jobs are “scientist” and “engineer” into the mix, but I am not falling for it for one second.
Now, you may be thinking, so what if everyone was just there to promote their brand to a room of 30 singles that they already knew? But, I have to wonder, is love really blind if everyone is a model? Was the cast promised that everyone was going to be pretty attractive before they fully committed? Why was the show filmed so goddamn long ago? Everything about this show confuses me, and yet I have canceled all of my plans for Thursday night in order to watch the finale.
Images: Love Is Blind / Netflix, Giphy