Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Love Island - harmless or hurtful?

We all know I love a bit of trashy TV, I fully admit to indulging in a lot of programs that many people probably find unbearable.

To me watching a bit of ‘reality’ TV, something easy to view without engaging your brain all that much (if at all) is the perfect chance to switch off and unwind.

It worked for me when I was at work full time and stressed after dealing with clients and staff and it still works for me now as a full time Mum of 3. 

So as you can imagine this week seeing the return of Love Island has cheered me right up! 

I do however feel like this time around there are a few hot topics that are worth discussing aside from it being a prime example of trash. 

On viewing this year I’ve felt - moreso than last year even - my age is showing. I struggle to find any of the male contestants that attractive so far (could that be because they could be a younger brother to me and I wouldn’t want my kids on such a show?) 

For me it’s the ideal escapism, let’s be honest in my late 30s and a Mum I’m not ever going to be a candidate on the island of lurrve - my body doesn’t fit the mould, neither does my age or lifestyle! I can lose myself in watching these toned tanned young flirts.

However, given the pressures of social media now to look a certain way and the sort of criticism you can face with trolling and the like these sort of programs have come under attack. Particularly with Love Island since there have 
now been 2 suicides with previous contestants. 

Most recently the Jeremy Kyle show has been cancelled given one of its participants committed suicide. So why has that not been the case for Love Island? Why is it felt there’s a direct correlation with Jeremy Kyle’s interviewing techniques and a suicide, but no link between the two Love Island contestants’ deaths and that show?

In my opinion I’m not a fan of the Jeremy Kyle show but I’m not that confident the show or the presenter can fully truly be blamed for the man’s suicide. When it comes to Love Island, I have to agree, but something admittedly does feel like it’d be more likely to be a factor.

Why? Because it’s all based on looks and popularity.

That brings me on to the next topic of discussion this year - why are the men and women on it all so perfect and it has been argued not truly representative of society in 2019? 

But should they be? 

Again I find it hard to comment as for me, I know I’m not at that stage in my life right now that I’d even try compare myself to the 20-somethings featuring on screen. Like I said I like to watch the show as escapism and a break from my real life so I don’t necessarily need or want to see a more diverse representative line up. 

Let’s be honest the show is about flirting and sex overall. As the series increase it tends to be more about celeb wannabes trying to get more followers, likes and advertising campaigns/TV opportunities. 

And really, has it ever truly been about finding Love? 

I don’t care though, I find it fun to watch! There I admit it.

Yes that’s shallow and the show is shallow, but it serves a purpose. 

In a world where there is so much hatred, fighting, violence, worry, messy politics and more negativity is there any harm in some programs being aired that are just a load of trash and easy watching? 

For me no. However, for vulnerable easily-influenced young men and women out there (particularly when mental health issues are so prevalent right now) perhaps it is time to dig a little deeper and consider how ‘harmless’ these programs truly are.

Admittedly I certainly wouldn’t want any of my kids going on such a show when they’re older!