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Love Is Blind, Season Six: Viewers Get an Answer



In the sixth season of the Netflix series “Love Is Blind,” one contestant, Chelsea, implied — through the walls of a self-contained dating pod — that she had a celebrity look-alike.

“I get one person, and it’s just because I have dark hair and blue eyes,” she coyly teased another contestant, Jimmy, before revealing her alleged doppelgänger.

“Megan Fox? Are you saying you look like Megan Fox?” Jimmy asked in astonishment when he realized who she was talking about. Although Chelsea clarified again that she didn’t see it herself, the seed had been planted. Viewers could see for themselves the way Jimmy visibly perked up at the possibility that his could-be wife looked like one of the world’s most attractive stars.

“I think that was her downfall,” said Laura Jennings, 46, who works for a software company. “If you wanted to keep it ‘love is blind,’ you would not do any of that. You wouldn’t paint the picture.”

Indeed, after proposing to Chelsea and seeing her for the first time, it became apparent to Jimmy that she did not look like the bombshell actress. His disappointment could be felt off the screen.

Does physical attraction matter in relationships? “Love Is Blind” has been seeking an answer to that question since 2020 through its central experiment: 30 men and women, kept apart from one another in gender-specific quarters, go on “dates” without seeing each other’s faces until after they’re engaged. In the current season, which has its finale next week, the shallowness is at the fore in a way that it hasn’t been in previous seasons, with multiple contestants revealing that they either aren’t attracted to the person they chose or cannot ignore their personal preferences.

After four years of asking whether love is blind, this season seems to have landed on an answer (whether the Lacheys care to admit it or not): no. Many fans have been making the same observation online. From Ms. Jennings’s point of view, it matters “100 percent.”

“If you notice anytime that a connection is made,” she said, “once they actually meet and there’s the reveal, that changes perception automatically.”

Two other contestants, Kenneth and Brittany, showed that attraction is about more than symmetrical features and a chiseled jaw. Kenneth, who is Black, said he had never dated someone outside his race, but he formed a strong connection with Brittany, who is white. But after they met and returned to Charlotte, N.C., where this season takes place, the new fiancés’ weeks-old relationship started to show cracks.

When the two eventually split before making it to the altar, the reason was unclear. Though Brittany pointed to a lack of physical intimacy (“I feel like that desire and crave between you and I is the missing piece”), many internet sleuths theorized that the real issue was Kenneth’s inability to get past the fact that Brittany wasn’t his usual type.

Alexandrina Andre, 31, a documentary filmmaker in Los Angeles, knows that everyone has preferences. She also knows they can be hard to shake. “There are just some people,” she said, “even when they try to go away from those preferences, it’s going to come back out in some way.”

Of course, attractiveness is subjective, and any relationship based exclusively on looks is bound to struggle. But most romantic bonds require some level of physical attraction in the early stages. Many studies have investigated the factors that influence what we find attractive, including our cultural preferences, evolution and the type of connection one is looking for.

In the case of Chelsea and Jimmy, Ms. Andre pointed to beauty standards that privilege one body type over another.

“Our society definitely goes for thinner women,” Ms. Andre said. “I do think if Chelsea was thinner, maybe he would have accepted it more.”

This season of the show also revealed an apparent softening of the rules, with several contestants mentioning physical features or preferences in the pods. One contestant revealed that he had a mullet, while another described his preferred body type. That same contestant, Clay, also reassured his fiancée, AD, a former cheerleader whose body has been praised on the show, that if she were to gain weight, he would make sure she got back in the gym to lose it.

Though that remark didn’t go over particularly well with fans, his comments resonated with Ms. Jennings, who is married to her high school sweetheart. Throughout their nearly 30 years together, the couple has been through phases when their attraction to each other has fluctuated along with their weights.

“We were blessed to be able to walk our journey backward and get healthy together,” said Ms. Jennings, who is a nutritionist and a personal trainer. “But during that period of time, there was a gap in our connection because of physical attraction.”

They eventually came to grips with where they wanted to be health-wise and learned how to better communicate about their feelings, Ms. Jennings said. Those alterations not only changed her mental health and her attraction to her husband, but they also inspired him to get healthy as well.

“And so those positive changes really brought us closer together,” she said.

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