Love Island? Thank U, Next

While I’m sat here in our chaotic family office, Chihuahua-on-lap, eating my way through the last slice of morello cherry pie I can think of 101 good reasons to hate everyone’s most-loved, most-watched ITV2 series, but you’re all people with lives so I’ll make it as brief and hopefully conclusive as possible.

As a 24-year-old gal who once ogled over reality shows from XFactor and Pop Idol to I‘m A Celebrity and beyond, in my old age, or perhaps conscious brain, I’ve become completely, utterly and unashamedly bored of it all. I know what you’re thinking, you’re about to exit the page; “Ev chill out, it’s a bit of harmless fun,” my rhetoric to you would be “What about the planet babe? What about representation, diversity and social responsability.” When did we stop caring about the above? While it may seem that appearance-based shows like Love Island seem like harmless trash tv gold, through the fake tan and veneers- pun intended- it actually presents quite a few serious problems.

I suppose this is my way of saying I’m boycotting the show.

It may seem more evident than ever that there is an 84 year-old-soul living within me, but after admittedly watching the previous two summer series of ITV2’s Love Island, I can decidedly say I couldn’t bring myself to watch a third. For those of you who don’t know the show, to quote the excellent and reliable source of information that is Wikipedia “A group of men and women participate in a series of tasks with a partner that they keep swapping till they meet the love of their life.” Pretty accurate, for once, apart from the last part. Sometimes in life you need to eat your way through two thirds of the crisp packet before deciding that maple syrup and bacon is an unacceptable flavour of fried potato snacks, this is kind of how I feel about my experience with the show. I think we can all be partial to a touch of escapism, it’s the beauty of TV, but it’s become so mind-numbing to me, that for the most part I would leave it on as background noise whilst going about doing something else.

Am I the type of person who also enjoys a history-based documentary or a period drama? Yes. Can I also appreciate a bit of a twenty-first century sh*t show? Also, yes. But at what point does escapism become damaging?

I’d say I got through about 4 episodes of each season before thinking ‘what on gods good green Earth am I watching?’ I’m certainly not here to demean anyone’s intelect, but I mean, one contestant didn’t know the meaning of the word Brexit. I mean…I can’t. I kept giving it chances because it was supposedly so ‘great’, emphasis on the word supposedly. Each and every time I would only find myself captivated by the the underdogs, the characters who didn’t rely on their outwardly appearance to succeed. Doctor Alex the welsh A&E doctor and more recently, Curtis, the male dancer. I’d go as far as to say the show acts as an evening gap-filler for most people. It’s an everyone will be talking about this tomorrow at work, or better still in the group chat, type of vice. More-so, what about all those Facebook and Twitter memes you won’t understand?! Well, let me tell you, the world goes on around these crazes and it’s okay not to get dragged into it. Good for you actually if you don’t, you are graced with both taste and decorum!

I suppose the point I want to make is; what does it actually bring to the table? More harm than good if you look at it collectively. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I realised what I would actually be getting myself in for, in writing and researching this post. Apart from the world of abuse I’m potentially opening myself up for, it’s now forcing me to think about the impact of this show. The influence of the media often created a lot of the struggles I was presented with as a growing girl, with on-going body image issues to this day, from articles to shows about diets, surgery and ‘the perfect body.’ Love Island is the modern-day equivalent of this type of image toxicity.

I have an issue with the inaccurate representation they portray. Toned, bronzed, conventionally ‘attractive’ people adorned with clothes, swimwear and products to surreptitiously promote to devoted fans of the show. If I see one more Love Island plastic water bottle, I swear. Is this popular show somehow exempt from preventing climate and environmental damage? I think not. I just hate how detached it is from reality. I want to see women pulling out their bikini bottom wedgies as they get up from a 4 hour poolside nap, sunburnt and confused. Last night’s mascara smudged down their face, pimples, cellulite and scars showing as they talk about their experiences and real-life stories. Wearing the same pair of shorts for the third day in a row because that’s what people do on holiday!! This is part of what it means to be a human surely? Not the perfectly-polished, filtered version that is coming through screens across the U.K. It’s time we stopped feeding this shit to young kids, it’s eternally damaging.

If they continue the show, there needs to be more diversity; contenstants that don’t necessarily fit that instagram model mould. I want to see people of all ethnic origins, all body sizes, all genders, ages, professions and religions having chats that aren’t heavily edited by producers, because that would be an accurate representation of society. That is a show I’d tune in for.

It’s near impossible to encapsulate all that is wrong with Love Island in one simple, concise post; each issue deserves it’s own platform. There is so much I haven’t even touched upon; mental health issues caused by the surge of success following the show, the fast-fashion brands sponsoring the primetime pageant, the list is biblical. As a blogger you may have been expecting posts entitled ‘how to get the Love Island look,’ ‘how to single-handedly kill the planet with your fashion choices inspired by Molly-Mae’ or ‘tips for a winter sun tan’ – all themes in keeping with the show – but that’s just not me. I am the useless blogger after all.

This is really just a few thoughts I wanted to get off my chest while the media has been it’s usual Love Island fuelled frenzy. If you did enjoy the post and want me to go a little more in depth with a possible part 2 of this, then please do drop me a message @the.uselesss.blogger on Insta.