top of page

Love Island: Seeking Love, Fame or Both?


Love Island 2023 kicks off tonight, and here they all are: dressed half naked - not a small boob, round tum, curvy bottom or wonky tooth in sight... Where is the 'reality' here?


I have to say, that I have a love/hate relationship with ITV's Love Island. In fact, despite the program now running for nine whole seasons, I've probably only seen a handful of episodes.


In all honesty, the reason I tend to watch it is because I've been forced to by my mother! However, I can't deny, those behavioural scientists behind the TV whose job it is to get you hooked... well damn - you worked you magic on me. Last season, there I was - with my mum - religiously watching everything: who would pi*s off who, and who would spark another debate that night... It was glorious.


For a long time, I believed that 'Love Island' - in a nutshell - was basically a bunch of TV executives putting a load of emotional, unstable and desperate-for-fame wannabes in a house simply to embarrass their parents - like a goldfish bowl of poor mental health with the public staring right in.


And if I'm being truly honest, I'm still not completely sure this opinion has changed. I mean, I cringe for the contestants, I at times cringe for their parents - from snogging the face off multiple contestants, to wearing lingerie/skimpy shorts and canoodling under the covers on live TV - I mean, shouldn't you just go on 'Only Fans' and get paid for viewers to watch that?(!)


Of course, Love Island has had more than its fair share of scandal and tragedy. From the overwhelmingly sad demise and subsequent death of Caroline Flack, to multiple previous contestants ending their lives. You do start to wonder whether this is a show that we really all need in our lives.


I mean, I get it. Most young people now aspire to be famous; to be influencers. My nephew once told me (when he was 5...) that he wanted to be a YouTube star, so I recognise it's becoming the dream for many kids. 'Easy' money, right..? But, should this come at the cost of parading around in your knickers with your boobs or pecks out, or getting your nips sucked live on TV (damn, I feel for this girl..!)? Even the show's promo pictures have them all dressed half naked - not a small boob, round tum, curvy bottom or wonky tooth in sight. It's like The Barbie and Ken Movie take 2 - but with multiple Barbie and Kens!


The show in its entirety is dreadfully narcissistic, and IMO encourages young people to behave quite terribly towards one another - is this really a good way to entertain? It's also not at all realistic - this is not how people fall in love in the real world.


In the real world, we do not have to compete in a line with a number of others for the affections of our 'mate', for example. Yes - this may happen behind closed doors, thanks to online dating, but it's not as 'in your face'.


I doubt I will ever be popping down to the local pub to join a queue of others in the hope of snogging my girlfriends' fellas just to see if I can entice them away - because 'I'm just going for what I want - because 'I deserve it' (unless that's your kink of course..)! I mean, they call this reality TV, but it's far from reality.


I'm also sorry to shatter the illusion - but most people's bodies do not look like a chiseled whippet, and most people don't expect you to be wandering around half naked either looking like a demi-God, and rolling in foam for kicks. On that note, most people when holidaying in the sun - look far less glamourous.


So, just like pornography is making young people so worried about rough sex (so much so that they are abstaining...) what is the message that Love Island is actually projecting when it comes to our bodies, our behaviour, and how we dating and have relationships?


Short term, I'm sure that - for the contestants - the attention and the validation can bring about some relief to their low self esteem. Of course, there is no denying that some of this attention is positive - with many of the contestants coming away with lucrative business opportunities, partnerships with popular brands and thousands of new followers on social media.


However, for many, most of the attention will be in the form of online abuse and trolling from viewers.


Over time, I can only see immense psychological damage. I'm also sure that despite their need for fame, all of the contestants are good people. But, isn't this show and society just simply taking advantage of their underlying anxieties?


Having worked in the entertainment business, and coached a number of people in the public eye - believe me - fame and celebrity are not 'all that'. On the contrary.


Thankfully, the show producers appear to have adapted and learnt from past mistakes when it comes to emotional aftercare - but I will still encourage them to think twice about the content they produce. It can ruin lives, after all.


For example, as a man, I would seriously think twice before entering the Love island Villa. I must say, I have found it particularly difficult to watch men being pulled apart my the public - yet the women on the show (who have behaved equally as terribly) tend to be let off with nothing but praise for their actions.


This is something which leaves a bad taste in my mouth, especially as a mother of a little boy. Boys are very sensitive when they are babies - much more so than girls. I often wonder when this will change - when he will be forced to become tough, and when will he grow from a boy to a man in what I now see as a very confusing world - with a lot of hate constantly incoming. This isn't equality in my eyes, but rather the angry actions of many people who feel that any difference (be it gender, race, religion...) results in weakness. Anyway, I digress.


Of course, with selective editing - for the sake of the show's ratings - I can't help feeling that this is a program that opens each contestant up to intense scrutiny - with the show deciding who to focus on depending on the publics reaction. The motives are shallow.


As for those who find love - I'm glad some of the 'couples' have remained together; some have made a lot of money, and some... well, too many, have seen a tragic end to their lives.


So, with that, I bid you farewell. I will of course be tuning into Love Island. I mean, someone needs to update you all - right..? ;)


'til next time,


Stacy


Do you want to join an exclusive, members-only dating club

for those who want healthy relationships and family?


We are currently accepting applications. You can apply to join REDDI today!



You may also like:


Why 'Blue Monday' is the Worst Day of the Year for Relationships (iamreddi.com)


Founder Blog: The Future of Dating - Will We Go Too Far? (iamreddi.com)


Guest Blog: Less games and more connection. (iamreddi.com)


Founder Blog: The Rise of the Lonely, Single Men... (iamreddi.com)





bottom of page