MTV is Destroying Heteronormative Stereotypes with ‘Are You the One’

If you’re anything like me (single, alone, most likely wearing sweatpants), you love a great showmance– scratch that- you LIVE for a great showmance. There’s nothing better than watching single, young millennials “stuck” on a beautiful island try to find love with each other.  Which is why millions of people, including myself, are obsessed with MTV’s Are You The One.

Are You The One is dating reality show where artificial intelligence is used to help 20-plus single men and women find their soulmate. (So basically it’s Tinder in real life). The algorithm, based on in-depth interviews, questionnaires and compatibility testing, identifies ideal pairs among the participants. The results are kept a secret from the singles, whose goal is to figure out their perfect match before the show is over. The prize? The largest cash prize awarded by an MTV show, ever- and walking away with their “potential life partner,” of course. 

This season of AYTO a bit different, however. Season 8 (which premiered this past Wednesday) is making history as it features a wide variety of 16 gender and sexually fluid individuals. MTV is proudly the first American network to air a sexually fluid reality dating competition show,” as they should be. For a long time, television shows- particularly reality dating shows- have been surrounded by heteronormativity and straight culture. For those who don’t know, the term, “heteronormative” is used to describe the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality- which, as we all know, is a horribly dated construct that is completely untrue. MTV is determined to break this negative misconception. According to a press release, MTV states, “There are no gender limitations in perfect matches, and finding love is fair game.”

It’s about time heteronormativity and societal assumptions are taken out of our everyday joys, like pigging out on the couch and watching other people fall in love. We can all agree, love is a beautiful thing, and now MTV is giving everyone a chance to find it.