Future Journalist Awards: Winner (Technology)

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Love Island Characters Delivering A Show For Love or Fame?

The Island of Love (if you don’t already know) is a place of paradise for hot singles desperate to find their perfect match… Or maybe it’s to come out with a ‘Pretty Little Thing’ fashion deal in order to gain more fame, as a previous Love island contestant Molly Mae managed to achieve after coming second on the show last year.

Whatever your opinion towards the dating show may be, we can all agree that the show is very bias and stereotypical when it comes to the Islanders’ appearances, which is the main topic area that I would like to focus on in this article.

The entertainment provided for most of us at nine-o-clock every night on ITV has been criticised countless times by the media as being ‘too fake’. This could be due to the contestants’ introduction clips of themselves being completely different to how we actually view them in the villa. The winner of Love Island last year, Amber Gill, has recently admitted that she lied on her Introduction clip in order to make herself and her personality seem more unique and outward for an audience.

It is no surprise that some people want to make themselves look better for the cameras as they are being judged by everyone at home, so they need to make a good impression on the audience watching their every move and action. However, this can have a counter effect, as the audience may be confused when they are exposed to how the Islanders act, which compares to their forward interviews about themselves.

Don’t get me wrong, it is very enjoyable and entertaining to watch these people assume that they ‘have it all’ but then enter the villa and their expectations are completely different. Yet, it may not just be the actual show and the setting of a holiday romance that is fake itself, as there have been several claims that the Islander’s themselves are also fake by having fake personalities and pretending to be someone that they are simply not, just to be able to either stay in the villa or get a partner. An example of this on this year’s Love Island is the islander Mike Boateng. Numerous viewers have said that they have felt ‘uncomfortable’ watching his actions in the Villa after the person that he was coupled up with (Leanne Amaning) decided that they were no longer in a ‘couple’, so he attempted to ‘pull girls for a chat’ immediately in order to secure his place on the show.

As a result, the question that comes to mind when addressing this topic is – are people faking love only to win? It would appear, unsurprisingly, that many contestants only apply on the show to win the £50,000 at the end of the dating competition. Take Amber Gill and Greg O’Shea, for example, from last year – after winning the show, they split up in just five weeks! The winners from the 2018 series, Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham, also broke up and Kem Centinay and Amber Davies from 2017’s edition are sadly not together either.

So, if we all know that the couples probably won’t last on the ‘outside’ even though it is hopeful that they will – why do we still watch it? For me, it is a subject area to talk about with peers at school and makes me feel more confident when sharing my opinion with somebody else who also watches the show.

Even though the show receives occasional negative feedback due to its lack of ‘drama’, it is still one of the biggest topic conversations.
The influence that the cast has on their audience is compelling, yet the controversy of the stereotypical body types is clearly shown on our screens. The Love Island crew receives hundreds of hopeful applicants for their show, so they are very particular when choosing the right ones. Therefore, contestants are chosen not only because they are all single and wanting love, but they all-look-exactly-the-same.

The debate circling around the idea of Love Island’s ‘lack of body diversity’ as Cosmopolitan stated, with the Islanders that they choose for the show has resurfaced and is talked about more often on shows such as ‘After Sun’, which follows on from Love Island on ITV and is similar to a chat show on the Islanders in the villa and the show itself.

The topic of ‘body image’ is perceived as being very important to viewers who watch the show and the media; however, Love Island has been criticised in the past for not identifying that body diversity is absolutely fundamental to include on the show.

Winner of the Future Journalist Awards 2020 Technology category, Mia Donathy.

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