Catherine Scott: Why Love Island is more than just waxed bikini lines

Contestants from Love Island 2018  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)Contestants from Love Island 2018  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Contestants from Love Island 2018 (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
As with Game of Thrones I seem to be one of just a handful of people who has never seen an episode of ITV2’s Love Island.

The hit reality show, which has been drawing audience of up to six million, finished on Monday night.

I now have two teenagers who have got an hour a night of their life back although they don’t see it that way. I refused to watch it on grounds the contestants were nothing but Botoxed bimbos and overdeveloped tattooed oiks. (I know I stereotype somewhat) all trying to have sex with each other in the sun. Big Brother on steroids.

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However like most critics of the show, I have never seen it and so it easy for me to be judgemental. Although I did happen to walk in on my teenagers watching an episode where one contestant was saying: “Barcelona, isn’t that in Italy?’ It could be they were savvy enough to know saying something so stupid would get them more airtime, or it could have been they were just stupid.

Any how apparently I am missing the point. The issues raised in the show between the contestants, in many ways is reflection of what seems to be happening in society.

When some of the female contestants ganged up on another girl they excused it as ‘girlcode’. I know too well the pressure of friendship groups when it comes to girls and it was interesting to hear my two talking about it among themselves after the show about how unacceptable the girls’ behaviour was. Also when a boy has treated a girl meanly they have plenty of opinion about that. So may be its not all bad. My assumption had been that it was just an excuse to have soft porn on mainstream television was doing Love Island a disservice. The fakes were soon routed by my two and it was interesting that they took to the most natural of the contestants. If nothing else it got my two teenagers talking about relationship, friendships or otherwise which can only be a good thing.

The fact that the contestants make a great deal of money once the show has finished - reportedly if they have an Instragam following of more than one million they can attract a fee of £3,000 per post. My brain just doesn’t compute. Since some former contestants took their own lives there is apparently more support for those leaving the show.

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I still don’t like the idea that reality television is making celebrities out of people for doing very little more than bearing their souls (and waxed bikini lines) on television. But now that ITV are talking about upping Love Island to two series a year it looks like it is here to stay.