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Why Love Island is terribly bad for body confidence


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Although the world may be in love with Love Island, the show is still problematic.

The 4th series of Love Island, the ever popular ITV2 reality show is now in full swing, but while many viewers are glued to the screen there is also an increasing amount of controversy and criticism on social media.

Woman floating in pool

The show features an initial 11 contestants, both male and female, who are supposedly trying to find their ‘soulmate’, or more often the £50,000 prize, through various original, and sometimes nasty, challenges.

Throughout the entire show, the group live in a luxury villa with 69 cameras recording their every move.

It is debatable whether the show is actually good or not, but people undeniably watch it in their thousands.

However, with popularity comes responsibility, and there is a major concern regarding the participants chosen.

Why? Because all of them have the same toned, slim beach body that apparently looks attractive on TV.

It begs the question as to whether attractiveness was the main way of deciding who would be in the show, and it appears the answer must surely be yes.

But the reason as to why those in charge only wanted to use people with the 'perfect' beach body seems slightly harder to answer.

Turning first to social media, it is arguable that its influence is dangerous because everybody posts what they like regardless of how harmful that might be.

Few people consider as to whether a post might harm other people's mental health or self-esteem.

Although that is understandable, it is arguable that society just needs to be educated on what is harmful and what isn’t, what accounts to follow and how not to take anyone’s posts personally. Basically, how to not compare ourselves with any other person.

It is a difficult task, but now more than ever it is time to deal with this issue.

Ultimately, social media is about appearance. 

TV shows, on the other hand, are about entertainment, and should not have the same freedom as those using Instagram or Facebook do.

Producers of these programmes are able to define what people see, as well as exactly what is appropriate to share, and every element of a programme like this should be scrutinised.

Although the content is understandable, having only girls and boys with the same slim, muscled, overworked structure isn’t regardless of what they are doing there.

Even worse, they were carefully chosen because they are supposedly attractive.

But the bodies and appearances aren’t realistic and, most importantly, don’t celebrate diversity at all.

It is this element of Love Island which makes people question their beauty and fall into a spiral of guilt and self-hate, the effects of which can be so damaging that it is hard to argue this show can somehow have a positive impact.

It is clear from a quick scroll through Twitter that people feel pressure from this show, with many believing they must starve themselves to achieve a Love Island body.

The Social Comparison Theory, based on the fact that judging ourselves according to how we see others is kind of a human instinct, proves that sometimes comparison is hard to control, providing one more reason for these shows to be controlled.

The solution isn’t to bring all types of bodies, races, beauties into the programme, but the reality is that there simply could be more.

They could at least show some different bodies, perhaps bodies that aren’t overworked at the gym every day, or overcontrolled with the latest fad diets. It is harmful indeed, and there is no way around.

Some people might have enough mental strength, or, let’s say, a little bit more confidence than others and be able not to feel bad about themselves when seeing this.

But some people aren’t like that and have issues regarding their body, their image, everything.

People want their bodies to be celebrated as well. They want to see them on TV.

They want, and more importantly sometimes need, somebody to tell them that it is absolutely okay to simply be themselves and have larger arms, belly rolls or a different bone structure.

Should this TV show be held responsible for setting unrealistic goals for everybody in the world who doesn’t look like any of the participants at all?

Yes, absolutely, regardless of what the programme actually is about.

Love Island is actually more of a fake, disappointing island, with some love scenes here and there.

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