Dating Show Labor Of Love Isn’t About Needing A Baby To “Have It All.” Star Kristy Katzmann Reveals Why
“I definitely watched The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I’m well-versed in that world,” Kristy Katzmann, star of new FOX dating show Labor of Love, told Refinery29 on a recent phone call from her home in Chicago. Katzmann, 42, was too actually competed in the eleventh season of The Bachelor at age 29 and vied for the heart of Brad Womack. Katzmann came in sixth place.
Thirteen years later, Katzmann is the one handing out the roses. Rather, she is doling out the Labor of Love equivalent to roses, which is approval through an app. The series, which is on in the US now, is all about direct communication. Katzmann, an Illinois account manager, spends Labor searching for a man to have a baby with — ASAP. If Katzmann doesn’t find husband and father material during Labor season 1, which is hosted by Sex and the City star Kristin Davis, she will have a baby solo as a single mom.
Some may wonder if Labor is dipping into outdated stereotypes about motherhood and a woman’s place in the world. The series does pose its premise as the only way for its lead to fully complete her already pretty wonderful life. Katzmann, however, swore Labor of Love isn’t “a perfect, idealised story” of a woman achieving an ultra conservative idea of “having it all.” Instead, she aims to encourage women to chase whatever dream they may have, “maybe in spite of the way things didn’t work out in their life.” — not shackle them to a husband and two-point-five kids.
“I understand that this will be controversial. The truth is, I just have to be willing to take the heat on this,” Katzmann said. “One of my greatest hopes is that this does open up doors for women for whatever they’re trying to do.”
When we meet Katzmann in Labor premiere “15 First Dates,” the series works hard to convince viewers she is relatable. Katzmann is revealed to be a longtime career woman hoping to invest in a lifelong romantic partnership after an extremely painful breakup. She is experiencing the added stress of finding a new partner who shares her exact plans, including a pregnancy in the very near future.
“At my age, I was coming up against men who were asking me out either under the assumption that I did not want kids or they weren’t asking me out because they wanted a family and had already ruled me out of that possibility,” Katzmann admitted.
Enter the Labor of Love casting call, which a mentor forwarded to Katzmann. “This just seemed like my best chance to really meet someone to move forward with parenthood. I was on this path already where I was looking into pursuing that on my own,” she said. “But I had always hesitated a little bit to move forward with that because I really, really wanted to meet someone to have that experience with … It wasn’t so much that it was the show [that attracted me], it was, Oh my gosh, is this the way that this can happen for me? That I can get exactly what I want?”
Despite the expected “fear” of signing up for a reality show to find the prospective father of your children (or forever letting go of that desire), Katzmann threw herself into the process.
“Going into this, everyone was very aware of what we were doing here,” Katzmann began, explaining that she was looking for love, but the “bigger” cast-wide intention of becoming parents influenced the attitude of everyone involved before they even got to set. “All that vetting had already been done for me, which, let’s be honest: That’s a dream in the dating world, regardless of where you’re at.”
Although Katzmann didn’t directly choose her contestants, she did have many conversations with producers about what she wanted in a life-and-parenting partner. Even today, Katzmann is impressed by the caliber of men Labor of Love was able to find — down to the fact that every contestant stuck around for a shocking first challenge: producing their sample, if you catch our drift, to have their own fertility assessed. Privacy cubicles are involved.
“As women, we are used to having to do stuff like that. Especially when you’re talking about pursuing parenthood. It does tend to fall on women a lot,” Katzmann says. “This was a real awakening for the men, that 'Hey, they have a part in this, too' mentality. They have responsibilities too. It was a moment of, Are you going to step up to the plate or not? Are you going to put your money where your mouth is?”
While Katzmann can’t comment on whether this challenge — or the many that follow over the course of Labor of Love — led to her choosing a winner and having a baby with that man, she also isn’t keeping totally mum either. “I’m so excited and happy right now,” Katzmann said. “I feel 100% confident that things worked out exactly how they were supposed to.”