I am one of them
One of the millions that tune in to ITV2 and watch Love Island-essentially a game show where girls and guys are trying to couple up to win 50k-a bit like blind date-but longer, mainly set around a pool and in your bikini and with ridiculous slogans like ‘get grafting’ ‘being pied’ ‘muggy’ and ‘my type on paper’.
It is pure escapism and hilariously funny, sometimes because their comments and general knowledge seem unbelievable in their lack of understanding. But also it is heartwarming, most of the contestants genuinely are keen to find love, and usually open up about their hurts, fears, hopes and dreams-and we can relate, because ultimately we all understand the fear of rejection and the desire to be wanted and loved.
But of course it isn’t real, and neither are some elements of their appearance-the girls genuinely seem to spend a 1/3 of their day doing their hair and makeup (and blowdrying their eye lashes?!). They are aware that they are being constantly filmed-which you can tell from their posture to their response to public opinion-which they glean from new contestants coming in and games they play.
Which I guess is key…I watch it and am not looking at it for guidance as to how to get in a relationship and neither am I about to spend serious cash to alter my body in the hopes that might attract someone.
And that is why love island should come with an encouragement to talk about it, because as you chat about it you realise how silly some of it is but also how worrying some of our thought processes are. Here are some of the things from this series that need to be talked about:
Adam, a current contestant, essentially dumped his partner because she wouldn’t move fast enough for him-I watched it and thought ‘what a twerp/w—er’ but I am concerned that some teenage girls/guys I work with saw it and thought they needed to do stuff before they are ready to keep someone. Adam displays some truly worrying attitudes and as a commentator put shows ‘the true colours of toxic masculinity’.
The conversation is key…to remind ourselves of our commonality but also some of the lies that society tells us that really don’t stand up to the test of time. You don’t need to kiss someone out of a sense of gratitude(Hayley), although my second kiss in life was actually that!
Neither should you play down your strengths-Alex being an A and E Dr is epic, and you don’t need to focus on some messy night you had sexually to show there’s an edgier side to you-you save lives as your daily job!!!
There is a lot of kindness in the show too…and a deep sense of loyalty and friendship very quickly and that is always something to be celebrated.
Anyway I need to go…my husband is dutifully looking after our 1 year old and I am meant to be brushing my teeth! Opps!