6 things to remember while watching Love Island this year
Watching Love Island this year? We asked a group of young people to share their tips on how you can look after your mental health while watching reality TV.
As Love Island hits our screens for another summer, many of us will be hooked on following the sun-soaked drama for the next eight weeks.
But recent research by the Mental Health Foundation suggests that almost a quarter of young people say that reality TV makes them worry about their body image,
We asked a group of young people to share their tips on how you can look after your mental health whilst watching shows like Love Island. Here are 6 things that Laura, Honor, Michaela and Maya want you to remember:
There is no ‘perfect’ body
It can be easy to compare how we look to the contestants that we see on Love Island or other reality TV shows. But it’s important to remember that there isn’t a single type of beauty – everyone sees it differently. And there simply isn’t a right or wrong way to look. As Laura says:
“Each night on Love Island, we see what society consider the ‘perfect’ body, which can seem unachievable to us viewers watching at home. It’s easy to compare our own bodies to the contestants on Love Island. I want to remind you that nobody has the ‘perfect body’. The contestants we see on Love Island may have desirable bodies, however they could still have their own insecurities.”
Michaela says: “The contestants on the show have been handpicked out of millions, and therefore are a select few with a certain body type. Not everyone looks like that, and if we all did it would be boring! Embrace your body type, regardless of what this show portrays.”
Honor says: "Body confidence doesn’t come from trying to achieve the ‘perfect’ body that the media tell you to have. Body confidence comes from embracing the body you’ve already got.”
The contestants have thoughts, feelings and mental health too
“Whilst watching Love Island, and being mindful of our own mental health, we must also remember that the contestants watching also have thoughts and feelings. If someone on the show does something wrong, don’t immediately take to Twitter or Instagram to talk badly about them. We should treat them just as we would want to be treated, remembering that the contestants are human beings with feelings, and can make mistakes, and can be hurt by what we write online. “
This is a show, not real life
Remember that what you see on the show is 1 hour out of a 24 hour day, and is edited and produced for entertainment. As Michaela says:
“We have to acknowledge that this is a show, and not real life. It is not reality and it is not sustainable. We see this with how few couples remain together in the real world. We have to be aware of this so that we don’t idealise what we see on the show.”
This isn’t the only way to find love
“The show makes it seem easy to find love, but it’s not an accurate representation of how dating and love works in reality. With people spending every day together for 6 weeks, it’s a high-speed version of dating, and is fast and intense. If you’re feeling pressured about finding someone, remember you still have so much time.”
Build your confidence whilst watching
If you find yourself struggling with comparison whilst watching the show, you could try this tip from Laura:
"Every time you have a thought about how good someone else looks on the show, write down one thing that you like about your own body."
Surround yourself with people who empower you
“Remember that you are not an ‘outsider’ if you don’t fit in with what’s shown to you on reality television. If you are struggling with self-esteem, surround yourself with people who make you feel strong and empowered. “
Find Help: Body Image
If you’re struggling with how you look, have a look at our guide on finding help with body image. We have advice on how you can build your self-esteem, and what to do if you’re worried about your body.