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..

References

1 Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet England: 2017
2 www.mentalhealth.org.uk
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

2 Comments

  1. Charlie Parker

    July 3, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Could it not be argued that programmes like this are aspirational and to an extent, a small step towards getting people back in the gym, eating better and becoming more sociable. Even if they dont see the gains or losses they so desire, atleast they’re aiming for something and not being told they are fine as they are only to see them drop dead at 50.

    Promoting “body confidence” is all well and good if its not just delusion. Telling someone who is massively overweight that they are beautiful just to make them feel good isnt going to cure their high blood pressure, risk of heart disease, bad knees and whatever else its causing. Its just putting a sticking plaster over the problem.

    You also cant blame STIs on reality tv just because you dont like pretty people doing what pretty people like to do. Aids did pretty well to spread itself around when we had about 3 channels.

    You’re not watching real human behaviour anyway. ITV is well aware that shallow, two faced bitchiness gets people watching so they no doubt tailor it to look thay way.

    And you’re way off with the whole part time job and sugar daddy shtick. Its smacks of bitterness because I know plenty of people from all sorts of life situations who find time and determination to be their best. You dont need a sugar daddy to go for a run at 5am before work. You just need to be able to stop blaming others for how you’ve got where you are.

    1. admin

      July 3, 2018 at 10:31 am

      It could be argued yes, but I would disagree with you on all points…apart from the bit about ITV knowing what they’re touting.

      I presume you haven’t read up on or engaged with the body positivity movement? It’s not about congratulating people on being overweight or obese. It’s about not shaming people who are. There are a wide number of medical reasons people find it difficult to lose weight or easy to gain it whether it be thyroid issues, mobility issues like RA, PCOS or medication from another health issue. The BoPo movement is to ensure that people, whatever size they are (yes slim people get involved too) accept and enjoy their bodies whatever it looks like.

      I’m not bitter at all by the way, I work hard to fit in and pay for my PT and actually you’re right, you may not need a sugar daddy to go for a run at 5am but, if you’ve read any of my blog (which I presume you haven’t), then you’d realise that as a single mum that option isn’t there. I’m also not sure where you think I am? I’m in a great place mentally and working towards being in a great place physically too so if I’ll blame anyone for where I am I will whole heartedly blame myself for getting me in this goddamn wonderful situation! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Ps. It’s not just in your words ‘pretty’ people who have sex btw.

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