Why I’m not watching Love Island
Almost daily I am asked whether I watch Love Island. When I say no, they try to get me tell them that I do really watch it, but don’t want to admit it. Again, when I say no they tell me I don’t know what I’m missing and that I’d love it…which makes me think these people might not know me very well at all. I have many reasons that I don’t and won’t ever watch Love Island.
I don’t actually have television.
No, I’m not one of those crunchy mums who literally doesn’t have a TV. More power to those who are, but Netflix is my bae and I’m not willing to give him up. Nope. I’m the lazy, tight mum who pulled the ariel out of the wall shortly after moving in and after the gaffa tape gave in I just thought “Oh well” and got on with binge-watching what I wanted on Netflix, Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer. Yes. I could watch Love Island on catch up, but I don’t want to (see other reasons below).
Reality TV is crap.
I haven’t watched reality TV since the first season of The Voice was as disappointing as my first kiss when I was 14. And I’m not going to start now. I watched all of Big Brother (the Davina Years) so am well versed in trashy TV, I promise, but not this one.
I love myself too much.
Love Island is a show solely put together on how people look. Yes, there’s a doctor in there. Yes, there’s a ‘policy advisor’ from the Department for Education in there (which FYI isn’t as senior or exciting as it sounds having worked there for 8 years). But neither of those people have been chosen because of their smarts now have they?
We have an obesity crisis in the UK. In 2015, 58% of all women and 68% of men were classed as overweight or obese.1 Yes, BMI is bullshit and classes my 5’11” rugby playing brother as obese, which he is definitely not, but generally we’re all getting bigger.
1.6 million people are currently undergoing some form of treatment for eating disorders but the charity Anorexia & Bulimia Care (ABC) think the actual number of sufferers could be nearer 4 million people in the UK.
It is also estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week have experienced a common mental health problem including depression and anxiety.2
So, can somebody please tell me why the fuck the majority of the population aged 16 years and up are being consumed by these unrealistic (there have already been lots of confessions over lip fillers and nose jobs), unattainable (unless you have a sugar daddy to pay for it all or you have a part-time job in retail so you can spend the rest of the day in the gym working on those abs) bodies. I’m sure they all prepped for their holiday with a few healthy tanning bed sessions as well FML.
I’m currently working really hard to get fit and healthy, eating nutritious balanced meals and working with a personal trainer to help me get there safely and to maintain that level of fitness for years to come. I’ve also been working on body positivity and loving my body in whatever shape it’s in after 20 years of hating it and treating it badly. But even just glancing at this picture makes me feel shit about how far I have (or haven’t) come. Now, just think if I wasn’t a vaguely sensible, rational 34 year old, but a 16 year old who is a late bloomer, or a 19 year old who still has outbreaks of acne. There is literally nothing here that is meant to make anyone feel good about how they look is there? (can’t post a pic or else ITV will tell me off but I’m sure you’ve seen some photos)
Kindness doesn’t hurt anyone.
And finally…despite having not watched one episode, ever, I know just how badly these people treat one another. Yes, it’s a game, a competition at the end of it, but their behaviour is just downright shitty.
Having been on dating apps for far too long now, there are already enough guys on there who think it’s fair game to start off with a sexual request. There are more and more men ‘not looking for anything serious’ because they think they can play the field and who gives a crap who’s heart they break on the way. Women allow this to happen though or, it’s expected from the guy just because he is hot! It’s like a status symbol, no matter how fleeting the ‘romance’ was, at least he was hot.
What are we teaching our teenage boys here?
As if them relying on PornHub for sex tips because of awful sex education in schools isn’t bad enough, we now have to rely on Love Island to teach our sons how to treat a lady. There is 100% no ‘love’ going on there I can assure you.
No wonder in 2017, there were 422,147 diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) made in England.3 No wonder the UK has the world’s highest number of unmarried teenage pregnancies.4 No wonder around a quarter of all families with dependent children are single parents. No wonder the UK is the most unfaithful country with over 42% of people questioned admitting to infidelity.5
I realise I might sound like an old lady or a prude, of which I am neither. But I am concerned for our country’s wellbeing right now. So please, I beg of you turn it off, especially if you have teenage children who watch it too. It may seem like harmless fun but it’s not. It’s just damaging..
1 Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet England: 2017
3. Sexually transmitted infections and screening for chlamydia in England, 2017 Health Protection Report Volume 12 Number 20 gov.uk
4. The Penguin Atlas of Human Sexual Behaviour
5. The Penguin Atlas of Human Sexual Behaviour