Where are all the curvy girls on Love Island?
Love Island began this week, and as ever, we are all glued to our screens. Over 3 million viewers watched the first episode, to see the beautifully groomed singletons mingle with each other. With such a large viewership, you’d think that Love Island would have at least attempted to represent a few of the shapes and sizes of the people watching.
But no. Instead, we got five girls as thin and toned as thin and toned can be.
They’re beautiful. I mean, of course, they are, with over 150,000 people reportedly applying to be on the show. I don’t even have an issue with them being thin and toned. It’s good that they go to the gym and probably eat well. What I have an issue with is that they are all thin and toned.
In the past couple of years, the mainstream media has made so much progress with embracing people of all body types. Just look at Kate Upton and Ashley Graham, leading the pack in showing that curves and beauty can and do come hand in hand. They and others have been featured in Sports Illustrated, Vogue, amongst other iconic titles.
Even in the past, Love Island has had curvy girls such as Jessica and Olivia, who have both gone onto having successful careers from the show… Which might involve selling their souls to promote tooth whitener. But still, it’s not like it has had this issue in the past. Is it because they know there will be more viewers, so they think expectations for societal standards will be higher? Or maybe they have just rolled backwards in their thinking that thin is the only definition of beauty.
Any other girls feeling like a fat pig whilst watching love island ?
— liv harrison (@oliviaharriso11) June 4, 2018
What’s problematic about what they have done is the impact on their audience. During the show, many women tweet how they feel like they need to lose their ‘chub’. Imagine young, impressionable teenagers looking at these girls and think that’s the norm, and then going and starving themselves to try and look like them, not realising that their curves are natural and perfectly great too. It is okay to self-reflect on how you feel about yourself, but you should be doing this because you want to, not because Love Island is pressuring you to.
Thoughts on Love Island this year,
I am fat.
— KS (@kaitssweeney) June 4, 2018
Their sponsors Missguided run a fantastic advert campaign between commercial breaks, featuring women from thin to curvy, all hanging out with each other and having fun, not worried about who is what size. They even encourage viewers to embrace their ‘stripes’, featuring stretch marks and showing them as an empowering feature, not a bad one. If Love Island took this real-life approach instead of their airbrushed one, viewers would be more grateful for it.
I understand that you have to take the show with a pinch of salt. The girls will have known their bodies will be on TV and will have worked insanely hard at the gym and eating ultra-healthily for months to look how they do. It’s just disappointing how such a famous, impressionable show is poorly representing what actual women look like. If you’re feeling unhappy with your body from watching the show, don’t. No matter how many wobbles or rolls you have, so long as you are happy that is what is important.