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Yes, Love Island need to work on their diversity, but here's why it's okay


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With the temperatures rising we are all set to start dreaming of the perfect summer; enchanting destinations, unlimited cocktails and maybe even summer love.

Although a good majority of us are still bound to our work desks, every year a few lucky individuals get to experience all of that, for free, while we watch from rainy England.

Cocktail by pool

Of course, I'm talking about Love Island and whatever you say, I know you’ve been watching it.

At the very least you've been sneakily reading about the contestants, thinking “how did THEY get picked?”

It seems this question has been extremely popular this year and Twitter has noticed one major plot hole; all the contestants look the same.

In today’s changing society where body positivity is constantly making headlines, it seems strange that Love Island would not do more to please the public and cast at least a few people who don’t resemble a Barbie or Ken doll.

However, although all of us would love to see some diversity, there are a number of reasons why the Love Island contestants may have to all look the same and why our own confidence shouldn't be dictated by them.

Body confidence

All body types are gorgeous, but on Love Island everyone is toned, tanned and no-doubt in perfect shape.

Let’s admit it, the guys and girls there are not unhealthily skinny and they’d hardly make it on the fashion runway.

However, they’re not plus size either; they are people who go to the gym a lot, spend a lot of time working on their bodies and, as a result, love showcasing them.  

It requires an extraordinary level of body confidence to be able to subject yourself to 24/7 camera surveillance when walking around in a swimsuit.

While everyone, regardless of size, should have the same confidence its undeniable that many of us would spend our time in the villa focusing on one tiny imperfection, scared that it might be noticed. 

Although society is beginning to accept the idea of thick thighs and stretch marks, it is no surprise that the number of applications from people with differing body shapes might have been pretty low, especially given the uniformity of past contestants. 

Not everyone on the show even applied

Have you noticed how the majority of the contestants already have big Instagram followings, affairs with second-rate celebrities and a minor history of trying to be on TV?

Although some of the cast are genuinely found through the application Love Island producers actively scout social media, to ensure the widest possible outreach for all the drama.

So even if you did apply, you might not have been popular enough for them, regardless of body type.

Likelihood of connection

The entire premise of Love Island is to ensure couples keep changing so that the drama keeps flowing.

For this, it is easier to have similar types because, frankly, it doesn’t make that much of a difference who you choose.

Put seven extremely different body types in one house and you're likely to find that individuals will stick to the one type they prefer, which would seriously cut down on the drama.

Viewers can be hypercritical 

Our society has, thankfully, shifted towards acceptance, love and body positivity.

But that’s society as a whole and individual watchers can still be critical, picky and petty.

Even Dr. Alex, who in real life is a normally built, handsome man has been body-shamed by viewers, for not being fit enough (where are his abs, God forbid?) or tanned enough (Don’t they have sunbeds in the ER?).

Even his fellow Islanders have been quick to friend-zone him.

This begs the question, even if variety was introduced are people actually ready to accept it?

The format

When Love Island was re-introduced in 2015 it was an instant hit, attracting both viewers and money.

Back then society was just at the beginning of the body-positivity movement.

The clash between Victoria's Secret’s “The Perfect Body campaign” and DOVE’s “Real Beauty” only happened in late 2014 while Ashley Graham only secured a Vogue cover in 2017.

It comes as no surprise that back in 2015, producers picked a certain type and as the show kept making money and attracting viewers they had no need for diversity.

It's also important to remember Love Island has never actually faced a significant Twitter backlash for its lack of body-diversity before this year.

But who is to say that they’re not going to take a note for next year?

Even show host Caroline Flack, when asked whether she thought Love Island “portrayed an unrealistic body image for young girls” by The Telegraph, admitted “I guess it is ... but the type of people that apply are already quite body-confident.”

We might actually be seeing the beginning of a change.

Ultimately, wherever you stand on Love Island as a premise, there is one thing that we all should remember; we should all love ourselves for who we are and certainly not let a TV programme shape our confidence.

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