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The Undateables

March 18, 2012

What a terrible title for a dating show for disabled people, readers. As I have said and seen many times before, DisAbled people are certainly not undateable. It is these sorts of outdated views that give DisAbled children and teenagers the very wrong idea that they will never fall in love because no one will want them. It is these sorts of outdated views that give the parents of disabled children similar very wrong ideas that their child will never fall in love because no one will want them.

As I have grown from a DisAbled child into a DisAbled adult, I have discovered that my romantic feelings are just as strong as anyone else’s, thank you very much, if not stronger, because when I fall in love, it will be with a person- not his looks or his physical abilities. I have stopped seeing myself as ‘undateable’ and realised that the person who can see past my DisAbilities is out there somewhere- I just have to find him!

Anyway, back to the real reason for this post. It’s a show starting on April 3rd at 9PM, on Channel 4. The Channel 4 Press website says:

The Undateables is a programme about people looking for love – but with a difference.

The series follows a range of people whose ability to form relationships is affected by an impairment or challenging condition – such as being deaf, having Tourette’s or Asperger’s. The programme charts their quest to find love in an image-obsessed world where people are too quick to make snap judgements or assumptions based on first impressions – and even consider such people to be ‘undateable’.

With the help of one of the biggest personal introductions agencies in the UK, and using pro-active searching methods to find perfect matches, the series looks to help find love for those who have until now found it difficult to date. Looking for matches within both the non-disabled and disabled communities, the series sets out to revolutionise the dating scene and turn society’s prejudice on its head.

The Undateables is an uplifting and moving series exploring how society’s attitude towards anyone who digresses from what is considered to be the norm can have a profound impact on those people’s lives.

I understand that they are trying to turn the ‘undateable’ stereotype on it’s head, but in that case why not use a title like ‘Dateless and Disabled?’ This might have given the impression that disabled people are looking for dates- rather than the impression that no one wants to date us!

And as for this billboard advert- well, I see where it’s coming from but am I the only one who finds it offensive?

(Image thanks to Liberal Conspiracy)

11 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2012 6:35 pm

    I think the advert is disgusting, and the concept behind it is flawed (although I won’t know how flawed until I’ve seen the show). People with all manner of disfigurements, including some you wouldn’t think would be able to find a date, let alone a relationship, actually often do. Someone’s idea of a “hot date” isn’t the same as someone’s idea of an ideal partner, and looks might figure more heavily in the first but less so in the second. Also, if someone sees someone that has the type of face and/or figure that they would normally be attracted to but they are in some way disfigured, they might still be attracted to them.

    As for those with autism, finding a partner is more difficult for them because they may have more exacting standards besides others finding their behaviour, choice of conversation topics etc., off-putting — if they have particular preoccupations about hygiene, for example, their partner would have to live up to them, and they may find nobody does. They may also find that someone who does might have needs they can’t fulfil (such as someone who currently entertains the idea of me as a partner, and who I don’t know how to let down gently). I do accept that a large proportion of people with disabilities end up living on their own, but a large proportion of them don’t, and of those that do, there may be other reasons besides “nobody wants to date a cripple” because clearly, some people don’t mind.

  2. Jan Leyland permalink
    March 24, 2012 5:34 pm

    I loathe C4 because of their approach and exploitation of disabled people. The billboard outraged me. As the mother of an autistic son I could have wept when I saw it. I am complaining to the ASA over it. If I was physically able myself I would destroy the damn thing.

  3. samedifference1 permalink*
    March 24, 2012 7:44 pm

    Jan Leyland,

    I hope your ASA complaint is successful!

    Best wishes


    • Laurene permalink
      March 26, 2012 12:20 pm

      I am a journalist at City University for a radio programme, and I would like to talk about the show on Channel 4. I am looking for people who will agree to do a phone interview. The aim is to have a reaction, positive or negative, there is no good answer.
      I will really appreciate if you can contact me:

  4. April 2, 2012 2:06 pm

    The poster is disgraceful. Wasn’t sure who I could complain to, but I will in a moment, starting with ASA. Thanks for blogging about it and putting the poster up as reference.


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