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  • Writer's pictureKatie Brown

Why Love Island Contestants Shouldn’t Make Us Feel Bad…

It’s that time of year again, and guess what? I have thoughts…

Firstly, I can’t use pictures of the actual contestants (I don’t fancy being sued!) and who knows what’ll happen during the next week? Who knows?

Anyway, grab your thong bikini bottoms and teeth whitening gel, let’s get started!

I adore watching ‘Love Island’ as I consider it my opportunity to unplug from my everyday life and consider what I might buy from ‘Pretty Little Thing’. Also, if I can keep up, I might even join in Twitter conversations. So far, so harmless right?

Then Georgia made a comment that hit me like a truck ‘What does she have that I don’t’?

Suddenly I was 20 again, on the dating scene and constantly comparing myself to someone else, searching ‘My Space’ profiles for clues, worrying about my outward appearance. Only time made me realize that beauty is within the eye of the beholder, sometimes you just meet some who sets of a spark within you.

But this run’s deeper than just a physical attraction and the subject of physical attraction, two people come to mind are Megan and Adam.  I’ll start with Megan, whilst I don’t find her personality alluring in the slightest, I can’t deny there’s something about the way she moves. Her curves and smoldering glances that clearly make her irresistible to men. All of a sudden, my explore feed is full of ‘Before’ and ‘After’ photos, slating her for changing her physical appearance.

My question is; Why is it a crime to want to change yourself – As long as it’s for the right reasons”

We have no idea about Megan’s mental health, her personal journey and why she made the choice to have surgery and is it really our place to troll her about this? How does it actually impact on our day to day lives? If I’m honest, it doesn’t impact me in the slightest. I’m only too quick to remember the fact a previous contestant recently ended her life due to severe mental health issues.

I’ll move on to Adam now; clearly, there’s a significant increase of pressure on the modern man to look at a certain way and Adam fits a ‘cookie cutter’ mold of the ‘Dream Guy’.  When he opened up about his past, he claimed that being overweight and bullied over his appearance had an impact on his behavior. When it comes to women, he might behave like a greedy kid in a candy shop and want to try every option, I can’t help but wonder if he’s happy underneath it all?

As a 33-year-old woman, who’s suffered from crippling insecurity and still fights an everyday battle, I started to see the contestants in a new light. One that filled me with sadness…

“You can look all around you for cues on how to behave, or you can look within, knowing that your values and principles are not dependent on the people in your vicinity.” – Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing

Just so you know, it’s totally okay if you don’t look like this…

We have Samira, with her stunning looks, talent and witty personality (hell, she’s even dated Chris Pine!) questioning why she’s being ignored?

Dani Dyer with her ditzy accent but very decent morals implying that she was concerned about Jack going into the other villa because she’s not wearing a thong bikini or sexy nightwear like the other women.

What on earth is this world coming too? For centuries people have formed long-term relationships without having to fulfill a modern cookie cutter ideal of physical perfection or open sexuality.

How could I forget? Viewers claimed that Laura ‘must be lying about her age’ and that the ‘age of 29 she should be married with a mortgage’.  Wow, I’m sorry but I missed the update about women having an expiry date! I’m married with a mortgage, but I certainly don’t want to become a frump or invisible.

I know it’s a competition, I know it’s becoming more and more staged and I’m one of the thousands (Millions?) of people tuning in and maybe I’m part of the problem too. That doesn’t mean I don’t want folk to remember that this isn’t actually ‘real life’ and that it’s okay not to look, talk or act like the contestants, they only represent a tiny percentage of the population.

Don’t forget, we’re just tuning into the highlight reel, what’s really going on behind the scenes is a whole different story…



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