Caution: Spoilers for “Love Is Blind” Season Five ahead.
Can a disagreement over makeup be the catalyst for a breakup? Not exactly, but it certainly played a significant role in the unraveling of Taylor Rue and JP Pierce’s relationship on the fifth season of “Love Is Blind.” The Netflix reality series revolves around singles forming connections and getting engaged, all without seeing each other. When they finally do meet in person, they have to reconcile the other’s physical appearance with the personality they’ve come to know.
For Taylor and JP, this was a stumbling block. They connected deeply in the pods, but when they finally met face-to-face, their perceptions of each other’s appearances became an issue. Taylor was fixated on JP’s teeth gap, admitting that it could have been a deterrent in a real-world scenario. Meanwhile, JP began to withdraw emotionally from Taylor once they met in Mexico, attributing his change of heart to her makeup use — specifically, he felt she wore too much.
The issue first arose during their initial face-to-face meeting when Taylor’s false eyelashes began to sag. “These are fake, by the way. You can’t tell?” she inquired. JP acknowledged that he could tell, but reassured her that she looked “pretty.” However, it soon became clear that his internal feelings were more complex. At the resort in Mexico, JP confessed that Taylor’s heavy makeup at the reveal made her seem “fake” to him. He expressed his concern about this becoming an everyday occurrence and questioned whether he wanted to deal with her “putting on a totally different face.”
This conversation occurred while they were in bed and Taylor was without makeup. She defended herself, stating that she only wore makeup once during the process — at the reveal. JP suggested he’d prefer her to abstain from makeup altogether. “Just don’t wear makeup,” he proposed, adding, “You don’t need it. I was like, ‘This is not a real person.’ If you looked like this, I would love it.” Taylor was firm in her response: “I’m going to do what I’m want to do,” she declared. “You’re not gonna tell me what to do.”
The pair reached an impasse with Taylor wanting the freedom to wear makeup as she pleased, and JP questioning why him not wanting her to was such a bad thing. In an interview with TODAY.com, Taylor described the interaction as “hurtful,” but admitted that she left because the emotional bond they had formed in the pods was entirely disregarded in Mexico.
The incident sparked intense reactions online, with some viewers labeling JP’s behavior as “manipulative“ and “controlling.” The advice to Taylor from viewers was a resounding call to “run.” JP has not publicly responded since the episode aired on Sept. 29, and Netflix representatives have not yet responded to TODAY.com’s request for comment.
Clinical psychologist Kelsey Latimer shed some light on viewers’ reactions, explaining the distinction between expressing a preference and crossing into “red flag” territory — a term used to denote warning signs in relationships. “Expressing a preference like, ‘You look so beautiful without makeup,’ is different than demeaning someone by saying they look fake with makeup,” she states. While personal preferences are perfectly fine, the line is crossed when the tone suggests there is only one acceptable way to be attractive.
Latimer warns that asking a partner to fundamentally change, even their appearance, can be a red flag. “Relationships that are healthy will not make you feel less than or make you feel the need to change. If you are trying to change someone else, then this is not healthy either and not fair to the other person,” she advises. In fact, relationships that make you question your self-worth are worth leaving.
And leave, Taylor did. She chose to end the engagement rather than move in with JP after their trip to Mexico. “I had never lived with a guy before and so that’s a huge step in a relationship. And because I had one foot out the door, one foot in the door, I didn’t feel like moving forward with our relationship would have been smart for either of us,” she explained. “I don’t have any regrets. I learned a lot from it,” she concluded.