On a recent episode of "Millionaire Matchmaker," host Patti Stanger, center, argued with her cohorts about the virtues of curly hair.
Patti Stanger, the brazen matchmaker with raven, stick-straight locks, is back. You may recall the curl controversy from the first season of Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker." Last year, the reality TV star directed women to flatten their textured tresses if they wanted a shot at one of her bachelors — even referring to one woman's hair as a Brillo pad.
Fast forward to the February launch of the show's second season. Stanger returns with a somewhat softer, gentler side. But it's a slow reveal.
During the second episode, textured tresses again become an issue. This time it's the Botticelli curls of a modelesque, green-eyed brunette that sparks a match of wills.
Destin, Stanger's right-hand man on the show, apparently crosses a line when he tells the curly candidate that her "makeup looks great, hair looks great."
"No, no, no, no," Stanger pipes in. "Hair does not look good."
"I love it. I love it," Destin says.
Then begins the singsongy standoff.
"Hair does not look good. Hair does not look good. Hair does not look good."
"Hair looks great. Hair looks great."
"Yeah, because you like curly," Stanger retorts, ending the repetitive chorus-like tussle. She quickly turns to the potential love candidate with finality: "I need you to blow it straight."
Oh no, not again. You can almost feel curlies cringe everywhere.
Then, an apology. (Sigh of relief.) Well, kind of. It seems Stanger (or her producers) want to avoid any curl commotion. The show cuts to what appears to be a preemptive strike.
"I usually suggest women blow their hair out to be silky straight because the men request it," explains Stanger, looking straight into the camera. "It has nothing to do with me not liking curly hair. In fact, I do like curly hair, as long as it's not damaged."
Huh? The woman's hair in this episode did not look damaged and we never actually hear any of the bachelors request "silky straight" hair. But at least she appears to give curlies a collective hug. In fact, she even hires the curly girlfriend of her right-hand man Destin to work for her. (You never hear Stanger ask her to find a flatiron.)
To her credit, Stanger openly admits she's "really harsh" during her casting sessions. And this season, she also appears empathic (dare I say, sympathetic) to the women who are chosen, often saying she has to protect "her girls."
At the same time, she explains: "If I don't use tough love in this business, they will walk all over me."
Unfortunately, the tough love was taken to heart by that brunette with Botticelli curls. After the bachelorette hammered her hair straight, she didn't even garner a glimpse from the episode's millionaire during a mixer.
Maybe next time Stanger will take a chance on a curly. And maybe curlies will give the reality star another chance. Hmm . . . perhaps there's a match here after all.