Love Island is the UK’s newest Marmite – you either love it or you hate it. The vast majority of people that I have spoken to love it, and I have spent many a day having in-depth conversations about subjects such as whether Camilla is ‘fake’ or not. But there are some people that hate it (hi Jack), as they say that it is trash TV that genuinely makes them wonder about the state of the nation. That most people do not watch it with a sense of irony. That people look up to these islanders as idols.
But do we really? And what sort of impact are they having on our lives?
I am so excited for #loveisland tonight 🙈
— Chel🌸 (@chelseabubz_) 18 July 2017
The outfits that they wear, most particularly the girls, are often a key talking point on Twitter as the show goes on. Is Gabby’s mermaid dress gorgeous or garish? Where can you get it? Instagram page @LoveIslandOutfits will tell you exactly where you can get either the exact item or a dupe of the item from. The fact that this page has 105k followers perhaps shows that these people do have a real influence on the way that people dress, and does influence what people see as ‘attractive’. Would you have bought some of these items, had you not seen it on what are deemed some of the most ‘attractive’ people in the country?
Another thing I do worry about when watching Love Island is the amount of plastic surgery that the girls on this show have had. Even the more natural-looking girls clearly have had or have admitted to having work done – Camilla’s boobs are fake and Georgia joked about paying ‘good money’ for her nose. Whilst a lot of people that watch the show are adults, there are a lot of teenagers who watch the show, and are probably doubting their features as they watch day-after-day these sculptured Barbies bitch out of their £300 mouths. Is this really the sort of example that we should be setting our young girls nowadays, as if the internet isn’t scaring them enough? Would it have hurt ITV to put at least one real girl on there?
Remember when Chris was crying and Liv told him to stop being emotional? Yeah I have no sympathy for her crocodile tears #LoveIsland
— lara (@vvcries) 17 July 2017
At the same time, people do see that the behaviour of a lot of the contestants isn’t right, and don’t take their words as absolute gospel. Liv’s behaviour towards her boyfriend Chris has been described as controlling, manipulative and abusive; for example, telling him that him crying was the reason they were arguing. It is encouraging to see that people do understand acting towards others in this way is intolerable, and don’t just treat it as entertainment. At the end of the day, reality TV is people’s lives, even if it is very exposed to us. This certainly shows that people do watch Love Island with a pinch of salt, and the people on it aren’t seen as saints despite being all glamorous and being the talking points of the country.
Do people watch Love Island because it is a great bit of TV to curl up with a packet of Walkers with? Yes. We all do. We are all guilty of it. I think this growth of popularity is because of a mixture of people’s like of a good gossip and people’s indulgence of celebrity culture. There are bits of it that people take out and implement into their own lives, whether that’s buying clothes or perhaps a closer look at whether their relationships are healthy. But whether Love Island is having a helpful or detrimental impact on how you act outside of it does depend on the sort of person that you are, and what you allow to have influence on your life.