Fox’s More to Love paired curvy, real sized women with one lucky bachelor in a competition of the heart. In the end aspiring plus size model Tali from NY won Luke’s heart but when the show first aired there was a very strong reaction within the curvy community over the weight of the women being displayed, the women chosen for the show and the way it was edited to show that women with some pounds on them suffer a dateless life.
I decided to sit down with former PLUS editorial model Anna Kleinsorge for her view on the show, her experience and life after More to Love.
[Maddy] By the time this interview is published – you were one of the remaining 4 in the house and were sent home by Luke. How were you feeling about making it so far in the competition to win Luke’s heart?
[Anna] Making it to the final four wasn’t too surprising, as Luke seemed attracted to me from the start. Once Heather and Kristin went home, the realization set-in that this was about finding out who Luke was
serious about and who he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Obviously, the intensity in the house increased when there was only four of us left, so I just really tried to focus on where I stood with
Luke and not be too effected by anyone else in the house.
[Maddy] We only see snippets of what really goes on so it’s hard for women to imagine that people can fall in love so quickly. Do you think you were able to spend adequate time with Luke in order to get to know him well enough to make a commitment of marriage?
[Anna] Watching the show I realize I’m not onscreen as often as some of the other girls, so making it this far may seem a bit surprising. However, not all the time Luke spent with each girl could make it into every show… otherwise the show would’ve been two or three hours long. With that said, I personally don’t feel there is a set time requirement for people to spend together before they can say they know each other. Before getting out of the limo that first night, I said to myself, “OK, if there’s nothing there then I’ll just go home and that’ll be that. But if it turns out he’s someone I could possibly date and potentially build a committed relationship with… then why say no.” I think that if you’re ready to have a committed relationship, you know yourself well enough to realize when you have a grasp of the person you’re interested in or if you still need more time.
[Maddy] I think that every blog I have read mentions all the crying on the show and how some of the girls helped to portray plus size women as desperate, needy women who lack confidence. Was there really this much crying? Was it fear or pressure that made some of the girls so emotional?
[Anna] We are all in a different place in our own lives and everyone reacts differently to the situations life throws at us; some people cry, others lash out, some retract while others step-up to the challenge. How and why we do the things we do is probably the main draw for reality television today, as the human reaction is something extremely personal and as unique as the individual reacting. I can’t speak for any of the other women of ‘More to Love’ but finding love and building a foundation for a healthy relationship is no small feat, let alone with 19 other women in the picture.
[Anna] I can imagine the tension in the house living with so many women and having to share the man you may possibly fall in love with – how did you manage to maintain focused and friendly with your competitors?
[Anna] That actually turned out to be one of the easiest parts of being on the show, as I don’t think I ever really saw it as a competition. All of the girls were so nice and I’m still good friends with many of them, but my feeling was that if it’s love, his choice would be clear and if it wasn’t then I’d be sent home. The decision ultimately came down to Luke, I figured I might as well make friends and try and have fun while we were there.
[Maddy] During the first show – every time they showed someone speaking they would also show their weight. Was this something you knew would happen?
[Anna] No, I had no idea that a number would be assigned to our weight. In fact, I have since heard the reaction caused some people to stop watching the show right then and there. Such a strong reaction, over a number on a screen… I think it is great! For a show based on finding love, it proves that size and shape shouldn’t matter; we all deserve to find love.
[Maddy] There are many that believe the show could have been edited differently and feel the women on the show do not truly represent the majority of plus size women in the US – how would you like to respond?
[Anna] I think there is a demand for more realistic body types in media, now more than ever. The buzz that was generated around ‘More to Love’ proves that people are tuned in and willing to watch when it’s approached honestly. I see the issue of “plus size” in the media more now than it has ever been, however it is an issue that is still seen as a novelty in comparison to the size 0 bodies populating mainstream media today.
[Anna] How often do plus models grace the covers of magazines at the grocery store? How many leading ladies are over a size 6? What does it even mean to be plus size? These are only a few of the questions that have yet to have definite, resounding answers. I feel that shows, like ‘More to Love’ are opening up commentary and discussions that will hopefully contribute answers to these and the many lingering questions yet to be defined in mainstream media today. There is a long road ahead in classifying what being a plus sized woman in the modern world entails and I think that it is our responsibility as plus sized women to lead by example, as best we can.
[Maddy] Lastly – how has this affected your modeling career and where will we see you next?
[Anna] It’s still a little early to see what the shows effect will be on my modeling, but since it started airing people have been recognizing me more and more. Just the other day a woman tapped me on the shoulder and told me how great it is to see a confident woman on TV. I love it when people make a point to say hello, because it shows how connected we all are and how the success of one is really a success for us all.
[Anna] As for where I’ll be next, I plan to support ‘Run for Her’ a 5K run/walk for Ovarian Cancer research and awareness being held in LA on November 15th. In addition to modeling I am also stepping behind the scenes to produce a new web series centered on the modern issues of today from a curve conscious perspective. It is currently untitled, but will be out early next year so keep your eyes peeled!