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slut-shaming

Love Island: does the raunchy reality TV show promote slut-shaming?

As much as I enjoy watching Love Island and seeing all the drama unfold, it is important to remember that this show is still problematic.

With two participants losing their lives to mental illnesses this year, it made us question whether or not they receive any aftercare both during and after their time in the villa.

After seeing a tweet calling Lucie a 'surfer sket', I initially passed this off as someone criticising a girl who would more than likely turn him down. But then I realised that this was someone unafraid to voice his misogynistic viewpoints that a show like Love Island enabled him to hide in plain sight.

Like many, I do find Lucie irritating—and it's easy to get carried away in criticising someone in the hysteria that Love Island attracts—but what really made Lucie deserve this slut-shaming title? Nothing. Lucie even said she wouldn't sleep with anyone on the show when it really shouldn't matter if she did or didn't anyway.

Fellow contestant Anton admitted he has a 'wandering eye' and that he has cheated on every single one of his girlfriends. Yet, no one is slut-shaming him or calls him a 'sket', the only criticisms I've seen are about his ego and strangely perfected eyebrows. This is also demonstrated in the show with 26-year-old Amy who has been criticised online for her 11 guy 'body count'. When this is contrasted with the lack of experience that the other contestants have, makes viewers see them as inexperienced and strange. Although these girls know they're on a dating show, no-one needs to comment on their sexual history.

This is not the only issue that the show has with the promotion of slut-shaming. The tweet insulting Lucie has many girls laughing too. It's horrifying how easy it is for other girls to participate in this behaviour and bring other girls down. I can totally see why people dislike Lucie, as she seems to go on and on about surfing and continues to try and make 'bev' happen.

View this post on Instagram

?? (@eleanorneale) #loveisland

A post shared by Love Island Reactions (@loveislandreactions) on

She is definitely playing on the 'cool girl' trope. Also, Lucie is undoubtedly attractive, which makes some girls feel insecure making them more likely to insult her as they feel threatened. Love Island recently put out a statement, stating that they're showing only stereotypically attractive people because that's what everyone wants to see.

The show not only shows a warped interpretation of what women should and should not do with their own bodies and shows unattainable body images.

The contestants are made up of lots of women who have had plastic surgery. One of this year's contestants, Amy Hart, spent £20,000 on surgery before entering the villa. This is fine but it also makes girls think that they need surgery to be attractive. One of the contestants, Curtis, even chose Amy for her looks, over Yewande, who is both stunning and intelligent—and a scientist.

Love Island is teaching girls that the only way they can find love is to be stereotypically 'attractive'.
View this post on Instagram

Some call it chemistry...?? #LoveIsland

A post shared by Love Island (@loveisland) on

I'm not saying that Love Island is awful, but we shouldn't use a reality TV show as an excuse to slut-shame women. Hopefully, in the coming years, the show will start to include more diversity and a lot less sexism.

Featured image by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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