As per last year’s surprise smash-hit of a series, Love Island 2018 seems to have all the perfect ingredients for a cultural phenomenon – sunny Spanish weather, check. Enviable villa, check. Free clothes courtesy of Missguided, check. Witty Scottish voiceover, check. Major drama, check (looking at you, Adam/Eyal!). The one thing it’s missing is inclusivity, and sadly this is, in the increasingly body positive era that is 2018, a pretty vital ingredient to be missing.
All of the contestants are beautiful, thin, clearly spend a lot of time at the gym and quite possibly spend a chunk of money on beauty-related enhancements that us ‘normal’ viewers would rather spend on clothes and food. None of them are ‘plus size’ and they could all be models – as I’m sure a lot of them will become when their time on the island comes to an end – which just seems outdated and, at least to me, a real shame. 2018 has become a year of major social change and increasing inclusivity – from Me Too and Time’s Up to brand after brand – including Missguided – showcasing more ‘real world’ models and giving up airbrushing their websites. So, in the face of this growing wave of change in the fashion and beauty industries, I struggle to understand why ITV haven’t included a more diverse range of body shapes in their contestants – judging from the number of negative comments on Twitter regarding the lack of inclusivity and inability to see your own body shape on Love Island, it seems the audience wouldn’t have complained.
I believe one reason Love Island has been so successful because its the best form of escapism there is – it involves sun, Spain and the prospect of falling in love, a pretty much universal experience and therefore one that helps the audience relate to the cast. But as long as the contestants remain entirely stick thin and impossibly attractive, its relatability will be limited and so will the show’s lifespan. Hopefully, in time ITV will see the public wish for a more diverse cast, and will accommodate this with latecomers to the island – after all, the 85,000 applicants for the show can’t all look the same! Judging from the preview on last night’s episode of the new entrants to the villa though, I don’t hold out much hope…
What are your thoughts on Love Island 2018?