I’m watching “Dating in the Dark,” an ABC show in which contestants, yes, date in a completely dark room. They go on some number of group and individual dates – all in the dark room, all displayed to us with night vision goggles or somesuch – and then decide whether or not they will date each other. It will totally show us whether or not true love is blind! And force people to focus on personality rather than appearance!
Well, not so much. First, all the relationships are of course hetero and all of the contestants are conventionally attractive. Conventionally very attractive, actually. And then they spend the entire time speculating about what the other people look like and outlining, definitively and without a sliver of compromise or doubt, their exacting requirements for the physical appearance of their potential mate. One man talks only about weight, saying that a previous girlfriend “blew up like a tick” and so he had to dump her. (This is what he’s saying to a potential girlfriend. On a “date.”) One of the women is thrown completely when her beau is revealed to be a chiseled lifeguard male model looking guy and wearing a small earring that she finds wildly objectionable.
All I could think, over and over again, was that at least they hadn’t cast anyone with a visible disability to serve that topic up for clearly well informed and considered discussion by these contestants. This is one show on which I’m more than happy to accept the underrepresentation of people with disabilities.
4 thoughts on “Small Mercies”
It was a pretty white show as well. I can’t imagine good lighting is a serious barrier in any of their dating lives.
Well, I think I’d want to hear someone be up front about their issues with weight before I decided I wanted to talk to them more but still, yeesh. Though I suppose I’d want to know about their lack of tact as well.
So, it wasn’t some attempt to simulate what it is like to find love when you’re blind? Then at least I’m glad for that.
Gawd, right? There are times when some piece of media is so intrinsically full of FAIL that I’m almost glad they “forgot” some group that would just wind up being extra marginalized. Kind of like when certain comic book artists leave women out of their art entirely–being invisible is rotten, but on days when I don’t have the energy to fight, I’d prefer invisibility to actively being vilified.
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