Vanessa Lachey's Evisceration Over Love Is Blind Baby Questions Is Progress To Celebrate

The "Love is Blind" reunion episode both started and ended as a hot mess. While viewers had no shortage of opinions about the way the episode went down, viewers faced further disappointment by co-host Vanessa Lachey's relentless line of questioning to the couples: Who was having babies? And when? It's unclear to what extent Lachey is personally responsible for these questions — we expect the producers to want the cast to take things up a notch, to prove that the show's concept works. But it is clear that asking anybody about their plans to have children, regardless of whether or not they're on television, is simply not cool. 

So what happened? As the episode began to wind down, Vanessa Lachey boldly presented the question. "I need to know, who's going to give me our first "Love Is Blind" baby?" she asked. "I don't want to ask if you're trying because that's TMI," she said, yet she still proceeded to ask each one of the couples about their baby-making plans. "Jesus, y'all really put the baby pressure on, my god," Brett says. But Lachey stepped even further over the line when she asked Brett, who works as director of design at Nike, "How cute are baby Air Force 1s gonna be?" She quite literally assumed they will have a baby. Fans of the show were quick to take to social media to share their discomfort.

Criticism of Lachey's questions reflects how far society has come with attitudes about having kids

Attitudes surrounding family planning have significantly changed in recent years. According to the Pew Research Center, 44% of people between the ages of 18 and 49 say that it either not too likely or not at all likely that kids are in their futures, a 7% increase from the same survey taken in 2018, before the advent of the coronavirus pandemic. The swift criticism of Lachey's assumptions likely reflects the growing number of people trying to move away from the pressure to procreate. It also shows that people are finally viewing a childless lifestyle as acceptable.

Viewers also felt uncomfortable, not just for the contestants, but because Lachey's comments exposed a societal expectation that they also struggled with. "You know how it goes, you're laughing along with something on TV (or with friends) and suddenly they bring up babies and it's a record scratch moment," one Redditor posted. "We just went through a miscarriage and we certainly don't watch Love is Blind for baby talk, but Vanessa decided the last 10 minutes was going to be about pregnancy." 

And given the dire situation surrounding pregnancy and abortion care in the United States, other viewers felt the questions were politically flippant. "She was also walking all over the vast changes in accessing proper care in case of pregnancy complications in some states, and how it's scaring some couples away from having children at all," another Redditor commented

Asking about family planning is extremely personal

Because it bears repeating until everyone gets it right: family planning is an extremely personal subject that should be treated as such. It is, to be frank, nobody else's business except for those involved. We get it, babies are adorable, and those asking about their potential future appearances probably mean well. However, the question tends to come across as selfish, completely dismissing the many potential barriers to having children that couples may go through; some of which might even make having children an impossibility. For example, what if a couple is currently struggling with infertility and considering in vitro fertilization? What if a woman has suffered trauma from a miscarriage, and does not want to discuss pregnancy? What if a couple does not feel financially stable enough to start their family? "As a person that went through a lot of fertility issues and was constantly asked when I was going to have a baby (while I was going through multiple miscarriages), I'm happy to see people holding @VanessaLachey accountable for her invasive a** questions" wrote one user on Twitter. Besides, some couples might not even want children. No matter the reason, asking someone about their plans to have children completely ignores the potential sensitivities that come from it, and can cause much more harm to those involved than good. Fans are even petitioning to remove Nick and Vanessa Lachey as the show's hosts.

Reality TV might not always be real, but the many barriers to conception definitely are. That Lachey received so much backlash for her baby questions is indicative of a growing sensitivity toward family planning, as well as a greater acceptance toward non-traditional families. After all, isn't bucking the status quo what "Love is Blind" is all about?