Is TLC’s Controversial Show Helping or Hurting People With Medical Conditions?

TLC’s second season of “Too Ugly For Love?” aired on Jan. 13 in the U.K., and though the show has been met with negative responses due to its title and attitude towards people with medical conditions, it’s also garnered praise.

The show describes itself as an “observational documentary series” that follows the lives of 10 single adults who are “ordinary people living with extraordinary medical conditions” on their quest to find love.

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Last year a casting producer approached Crystal Hodges, one of our Mighty contributors, but they wouldn’t tell her the name of the show. Hodges has a birthmark covering part of her face, and when she later found out the producer worked for the company behind “Too Ugly for Love?” and “The Undateables,” she wasn’t happy.

“I know a few people in the U.K. who enjoy the shows; however, a majority of the people from the U.K. that I’ve connected with are strongly opposed to them,” Hodges wrote. “Having limited access to the shows, I only want to focus on the titles. I’m not fond of them. Maybe the show helps educate others about different conditions by raising awareness, but I still don’t like the titles.”

In one of the first teasers for this season, we meet Chloe, a 29-year-old beautician with alopecia, who’s had one relationship in the last three and a half years, according to the show. Chloe allowed television cameras to tag along with her as she got ready for dates, and she spoke about some of her insecurities.

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(Photo: TLC)

“One of the things that’s important to me is honesty,” she said on the show. “But when I go on a date, I have alopecia, which I hide, so I’m not being honest.”

The National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) told The Mighty they “applaud the producers of ‘Too Ugly for Love?’ for once again bringing awareness to those with alopecia areata.”

“As the previous series did with Jen, this new series shows us Chloe’s humanity, beauty and strength while teaching viewers about this autoimmune skin disease which has affected, presently affects, or will affect some 147 million people worldwide,” a spokesperson for the organization added.

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(Photo: TLC)

This season also features Matt, a bodybuilder with a colostomy bag and Michelle, who lost 20 percent of the skin on her legs and feet after battling a rare form of meningitis, according to the Daily Mail.

By Elisabeth Brentano

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