Last night’s viewers witnessed yet another Catfish first: the catfish herself called in for Nev and Max’s help.
Twenty-year-old Ashley had been sending photoshopped pictures that slimmed down her figure for seven years to her online friend/lover Mike. Ashley finally wanted to come clean about her weight, and hoped that Mike’s feelings wouldn’t lessen upon seeing the real her.
In fact, Ashley was so consumed in her own lie that it never occurred to her that Mike could be lying about his photos, too. After a whopping five years of photo-less communication, Mike finally sent Ashley three pictures of “himself” looking like something out of a 90’s Abercrombie ad. To Nev and Max (and the rest of the world… come on, Ashley) this was a clear red flag of a double-catfish.
It didn’t take long for Nev and Max to track down Mike, and even less time for him to own up to sending fake photos. In fact, he said he assumed Ashley knew they weren’t him because “she’s a smart girl.” Somehow, though, upon hearing the news from Nev, Ashley was shocked and began to cry. But soon she changed her tune a bit.
“Maybe him not looking like a Ken doll will make me feel more comfortable,” she said. “I don’t care. I just hope he’s the same person.” Oh, Ashley, you almost had us fooled.
When Mike emerges through his front door, we learn that he, like Ashley, has a “more to love” body type. And Ashley is not impressed. A series of nervous hugs is followed by Ashley slowly inching towards the door, until Max takes her outside for a private chat. Ashley admits that she is not attracted to Mike, and although she expected to see a different guy from the pictures (contradicting her reaction to the news initially), this is too much of a difference.
The sad part is Mike didn’t even notice that Ashley had touched up her pictures. In person, he found her as beautiful as ever and talked of having her meet his family. When Ashley reemerged to deliver the “it’s not you, it’s me… no actually it’s you” speech, Mike handled himself like a perfect gentleman. Ashley’s shallowness might not have been so disturbing—this is Catfish, after all—if she hadn’t been a catfish herself, and hadn’t made all these prior statements about appearance being on the bottom of her priority list.
Upon leaving Mike, Ashley breaks down because of how difficult this is for her. But the haste with which she made her decision can only lead us to believe that what she’s truly upset over is saying goodbye to the Ken doll she’s been envisioning all these years. Ashley says being on camera has started to give her more confidence in herself (she even took her first real Instagram selfie!) which is good to an extent, but in this case it’s gotten to her head. In an instant, she writes off a seven year relationship because of someone’s weight—the exact insecurity that has haunted her all her life.
In the one month later catch up, Ashley says that she’s decided to give Mike a second chance and is flying out to visit him. Isn’t it Mike who should be giving Ashley a second chance?
Written by: Talia Rebecca Ergas