‘This is so disheartening’: Fans slam Love Island for casting the same body shapes ‘year after year’ and question the absence of ‘plus size’ contestants
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Love Island has been accused of casting the same body shapes ‘year after year’, with many fans of the show questioning the absence of ‘plus size’ contestants.
While some have hailed the 11 unveiled contestants for this series ‘the most diverse’ lineup to date, others were ‘disheartened’ at the lack of inclusivity in terms of body shape.
One aggrieved viewer tweeted: ‘So when will there be plus size people? Or can only perfect bodies appear on the show?’
‘This is so disheartening’: Fans have slammed Love Island for casting the same body shapes ‘year after year’ and questioned the absence of ‘plus size’ contestants (Paige Thorne pictured)
A second Twitter user expressed how it would be ‘nice to see people who look like you on telly: ‘I’m not being funny but can we have some gals who are maybe a size 16/18/20 on love island and some guys who aren’t massive spice boys pls,’ she added.
‘Love Island isn’t about finding love anymore. It’s about getting the airtime, more followers and a brand deal. Where are the mid sized / plus size members of the villa?’ a frustrated fan wrote.
‘They should really put some fat people on Love Island. Get some body positivity and diversity please,’ another demanded.
Talking point: While some have hailed the 11 unveiled contestants for this series ‘the most diverse’ lineup to date, others were ‘disheartened’ at the lack of inclusivity in terms of body shape (Davide Sanclimenti)
‘It isn’t about finding love anymore’: Several fans took to Twitter to air their grievances
Last year, bosses defended the same claims of a lack of diversity, saying the Islanders have ‘healthy BMIs’.
Representatives for the reality show told MailOnline at the time: ‘As a broadcaster, ITV celebrates diversity of every sort across our range of programmes in our schedule and across our channels.
‘In terms of casting for Love Island, the only stipulation to applicants is they must be over 18, single and looking for love.
Slammed: Last year, bosses defended the same claims of a lack of diversity, saying the Islanders have ‘healthy BMIs’ (2021 contestant Faye Winter pictured)
‘This year’s Love Islanders come from a diverse range of backgrounds with a mix of personalities and have a healthy BMI.’
The first 11 Islanders heading to the Love Island villa were unveiled on Monday.
And despite the backlash over body positivity, the new cast have mostly won praise, as the inclusion of the show’s first ever deaf contestant alongside Islanders from ethnic minorities are hailed by fans as representing ‘the most diverse’ lineup seen on the ITV2 dating show.
As the first crop of contestants were revealed on Love Island’s social media accounts on Monday, fans also applauded the use of unfiltered and unedited photos of the new lineup.
Praise: However, as the first crop of contestants were revealed on Love Island’s social media accounts on Monday, fans applauded the use of unfiltered and unedited photos of the new lineup
A year ago the Love Island line-up came under fire from ‘disappointed’ fans as they complained about the lack of different ethnic backgrounds, body types and members of the LGBT community represented on the show.
This year there was praise from some fans who declared ‘I see they paid some attention.’
‘3 black contestants in the opening line up – Love Island are hearing us now please treat them right and give them a good year,’ tweeted another on Monday.
Applause: A year ago the Love Island line-up came under fire from ‘disappointed’ fans as they complained about the lack of different ethnic backgrounds. This year there was praise from some fans who declared ‘I see they paid some attention’
‘The Love Island cast looks very diverse this year the producers clearly don’t want issues,’ reasoned another, while another agreed, tweeting: ‘Love Island made sure they ain’t getting no repeat of last year, getting over 25K complaints & making it more inclusive and diverse THIS TIME around.’
Others though pointed out that alongside a more diverse lineup, casting needed to ensure that they picked Islanders with ‘diverse dating histories.’
‘Love island uk needs to pick at least SOME men who have diverse dating histories so our black queens dont get mugged off on INTERNATIONAL tv every day,’ explained one fan.
Excited: ‘3 black contestants in the opening line up – Love Island are hearing us now please treat them right and give them a good year,’ tweeted one fan on Monday – pictured Ikenna Ekwonna
New direction: ‘The Love Island cast looks very diverse this year the producers clearly don’t want issues,’ reasoned another, while another agreed, tweeting: ‘Love Island made sure they ain’t getting no repeat of last year’
Breaking ground: This year’s lineup includes the show’s first deaf contestant – model Tasha Ghouri
Other praise was reserved for the official photos of the new contestants, which appear to be largely unedited.
‘Can we talk about how these photos are unedited, I’m so glad they’ve kept in the skin texture, body hair etc, beautiful girl and this needs to be normalised,’ tweeted one fan.
‘I think they look authentic, Not edited,’ was another response in reply to a fan who mused that the photographer had ‘done the contestants dirty’ with the promo pics.
Others insisted the photographs didn’t capture ‘the best angles’ of the stars, with one pointing out: ‘These Love Island promo pics ain’t it. I went on each contestant’s Instagram and saw completely different people’
‘Tbh the love island photographer has been doing them dirty for YEARS. They always look so much better than those promo pics lmfao,’ another added.
Unedited: As the first crop of contestants were revealed on Love Island’s social media accounts on Monday, fans also applauded the use of unfiltered and unedited photos of the new lineup – Pictured Indiyah Polack
Beautiful: ‘Can we talk about how these photos are unedited, I’m so glad they’ve kept in the skin texture, body hair etc, beautiful girl and this needs to be normalised,’ tweeted one fan
This year’s Love Island contestants will be given inclusivity training, round the clock access to mental health experts and bespoke guidance on how to cope with instant fame as part of an extensive care package implemented ahead of its latest series.
Ahead of this series, contestants will be offered video training and guidance covering appropriate inclusive language around disability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, as well as general behaviours and microaggressions.
The inclusion training, which Islanders are offered prior to entering the Villa, consists of conversations chaired by BCOMS (Black Collective of Media in Sport) founder Leon Mann MBE.
Spot the difference? Others insisted the photographs didn’t capture ‘the best angles’ of the stars, with one pointing out: ‘These Love Island promo pics ain’t it. I went on each contestant’s Instagram and saw completely different people’ – pictured Indiyah on Instagram
LOVE ISLAND 2022: DUTY OF CARE
- Comprehensive psychological support
- Training for all Islanders on the impacts of social media and handling potential negativity
- Training for all Islanders on financial management
- Detailed conversations with Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show
- A proactive aftercare package which extends support to all Islanders following their participation on the show
- Guidance and advice on taking on management after the show
Information courtesy of ITV
It also included DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) consultant Hayley Bennett, disability specialist Shani Dhanda and broadcaster Sean Fletcher.
The discussions have been devised to tackle topics including inclusive language, behaviour, creating safe spaces and being a good ally.
While ITV2 have worked hard on their inclusivity for the 2022 series, former Islander Sharon Gaffka has insisted in a new interview that the show has not done enough to represent body diversity.
Speaking on TalkTV’s The News Desk, Sharon, who appeared on season seven of the show, said: ‘We stereotypically see men with six packs, women being very, very petite. There are still midsize and plus size people out there who are looking for love and would make great contestants on the show so I feel like they’re still being overlooked.’
Speaking out: While ITV2 have worked hard on their inclusivity for the 2022 series, former Islander Sharon Gaffka has insisted in a new interview that the show has not done enough to represent body diversity
Speaking to The News Desk’s Tom Newton Dunn, Sharon also criticised the show’s absence of Asian contestants, saying:
‘Diversity comes in lots of different boxes. It’s not just ethnicity and what I do think it’s great that you know, close to 50% of the cast will be diverse or from a different background I still think we’re not seeing any Asians in the original line-up.’
‘And again, there is a little bit of more diversity than other previous series in terms of body size. But again, I’d still think that the producers could have done a little bit more in terms of body diversity. ‘
Sharon, who was a civil servant before entering the Love Island villa last year, also commended this year’s show having contestants from different career paths and not just social media influencers saying:
‘I feel like I went into the wrong series a little bit. You know, it’s no secret that my love life gets impacted by my career. So, I think one of the criticisms that people have watched the show, they say that everybody is a wannabe influencer or is an influencer. I think it’s great to have a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds.’
The News Desk, TalkTV, 7pm Monday – Friday (Sky 526, Virgin Media 627, Freeview 237, and Freesat 217) and live and on demand on the TalkTV app and at Talk.TV
Love Island starts at 9pm Monday 6th June on ITV2 and ITV Hub. Episodes are available the following morning on BritBox
LOVE ISLAND 2022: MEET THE CONTESTANTS
Name: Paige Thorne
Who is their type on paper? ‘In Swansea there is just no-one I can find.
I haven’t got to swipe. So, hopefully they can just come to me now!
‘I came out of a relationship and I was just so done with guys. Then I was like, ‘Ok, I’m bored now’
Name: Indiyah Polack
Occupation: Hotel waitress
Who is their type on paper? ‘It’s quite hard to date without being influenced by social media and stuff like that.
Love Island is a great place to get to know someone one-on-one.
I don’t think I have ever been out with two guys who are quite the same.’
Name: Tasha Ghouri
Occupation: Model and dancer
Who is their type on paper? ‘My dating life has been a shambles.
This is an opportunity for me to find ‘the one’ and have a great summer at the same time.
I’m definitely ready for a relationship. I’m 23 now so I’m ready to get to know someone and travel with them.’
Name: Gemma Owen
Occupation: International Dressage Rider and Business Owner
Who is their type on paper? ‘I am open to finding love, I’m wanting to have a really fun summer.
I would say I’m fun, flirty and fiery. I think I’m good at giving advice, I’m a good person to talk to, I’m very honest.
If I want the same guy, I’d do it but in a nice respectful way.
Andrew Le Page
Name: Andrew Le Page
Occupation: Real Estate Agent
Who is their type on paper? ‘When I’m with someone I’m very loyal.
I’m a good boyfriend as when I’m with someone I’m all for them.
I’m actually single for once, so I thought why not?
This is the best time to give it a go.’
Name: Luca Bish
Who is their type on paper? ‘I prefer to meet girls out and about. I think when you go looking for it, it’s not as easy though, it’s like you’re too desperate for it.
If I think you’re the one or I like you, I’ll take you out on a date but other than that, if we talk and I don’t like where it’s going – then I won’t be throwing out dates.
Name: Dami Hope
Occupation: Senior Microbiologist
Who is their type on paper? ‘I will be talking to different girls, it might not go well with some.
When I’m actually in a relationship, I think it’s a star sign thing.
I’m an Aries but I’m very passionate – I always used to put that person first. I’m really good at being in a team’.
Name: Liam Llewellyn
Location: Newport, South Wales
Occupation: Masters Student
Who is their type on paper? ’22 is a really nice age to meet someone, you’ve got your years ahead of you so you have time to grow together.
Love Island is a great opportunity to meet someone, you’re in with a load of different types so you can get to grips with what you really like.’
Name: Davide Sanclimenti
Location: Rome (lives in Manchester)
Occupation: Business owner
Who is their type on paper? ‘A lot of English girls actually love me.
They love to be around me and I love to be around them. I want to find my soulmate.
Find my person so I can actually build something in the future, grow with them, be a family. ‘
Name: Ikenna Ekwonna
Occupation: Pharmaceutical Sales
Who is their type on paper? ‘I’ve only been in one past relationship but now I think I’m at the age where I could find someone.
Hopefully, I’m going to bring spontaneity and excitement.
I’m not really shy to speak to people I don’t really care too much about what people think.’
Name: Amber Beckford
Who is their type on paper? ‘I don’t like guys that show off.
I don’t like flashy guys – just have a personality and make me laugh.
There was this one guy and he was trying to purposefully show off his car keys and we were literally in the middle of a restaurant!’
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