As Bravo's reality show "Millionaire Matchmaker" gears up for a second season helping the wealthiest men find love, there's no telling what controversial remarks host Patti Stanger will make this time around. It's hard to forget the angst and anger the show's star stirred in the curly community last season with her caustic comments about hair.
During one searing moment that caused many viewers to cringe, Stanger ordered women with curly hair to find a flat iron or they're out! She even compared one curly girl's hair to a brillo pad. Ouch! Men only want women with straight, silky hair that they can run their fingers through, the brazen matchmaker told the group of wide-eyed, hopeful bachelorettes.
But could it really be true? If a woman can't (or won't) crush her curls, is she doomed to be crushed in love?
We posed that question to a handful of the leading matchmakers who attended the Professional Matchmaking Worldwide Conference in New Jersey last month. Although the love-life coaches we spoke to showed respect for the abrasive-matchmaker-turned-reality-star (after all, Stanger is credited with hundreds of marriages), they were not so quick to quash curlies:
Julie Paiva, CEO, Table for Six Total Adventures: "Curly hair or straight hair is not the point. Men fall in love with women who love men — women who make them feel attractive, strong and confident. What men want more than anything is to be the hero. It's actually really easy to get a man to fall in love with you, if you just start treating the men in your life the same way you treat the women in your life. We're always telling women how funny they are, that they're so smart, they're amazing! But for some reason, we're reluctant to give men the same compliment because we're fearful they're going to take our power away. We need to show love and not be afraid of getting hurt — and get the walls down."
Paul Falzone, CEO, The Right One/Together Dating: "I think curly hair is wonderful. Yes, some people are not attracted to women with curly hair. Maybe the guy dated a girl with curly hair in high school and she broke his heart and he'll never date another girl with curly hair. But I don't think your hair has a lot to do with what you're looking for in a relationship. Whether your hair is curly, straight, blond, brunette, redhead, you should go for it!"
Lisa Clampitt, President, VIP Life: "Men look at the whole package. For my female members with curly hair their hair just fits in to who they are, their personality and their attractiveness. There's not a specific anti-curly hair [message from men]. It's really the whole package of who a woman is and how she presents herself. Take Julia Roberts. She's a really hot sex symbol for a lot of men and she has the curliest hair. But some men don't find her attractive at all, so it's just a matter of taste."
Bill Paye, COO, Romance Pros: "If the hair is long — straight or curly is great. My girlfriend has naturally curly hair. Sometimes she straightens it, and it looks great both ways. Long, naturally curly hair is a great look and I think most guys like that look."
Julie Ferman, Founder & CEO, Calif.-based Cupid's Coach: "In my Cupid's Coach personal match-making system, I don't see women with curly hair getting any less interest or activity than women with straight hair. I will say women who keep their hair long, as opposed to butchy and short, get a much better response from the men. But I don't think that it has to do with curly or straight."
Since it appears that many men are open to all hair textures, will Stanger ultimately soften her rigid-straight stance on curly hair in the show's second season? Or will hairstyles simply be overshadowed by a new controversy in upcoming episodes? You never know what to expect with Stanger, which appears to be exactly what draws in the many viewers who love to hate her.