Love Island 2022: Fans lament lack of body diversity as new cast unveiled

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·4 min read
Tasha Ghouri is Love Island's first deaf contestant. (ITV)
Tasha Ghouri is Love Island's first deaf contestant. (ITV)

The Love Island 2022 line-up has been revealed - and once again the show is courting controversy before it even hits our screens.

Fans took to social media to bemoan the lack of 'body diversity' in the line up as there didn't appear to be a single contestant that represents Britain's size average (a UK 16) in the cast.

While the show revealed it's first ever deaf contestant in 23-year-old model Tasha Ghouri, fans still questioned why there weren't more people of different body shapes and sizes.

One fan tweeted: "Yet again Love Island has just chosen skinny obviously pretty already somewhat established models as their contestants, like something out of a factory #LoveIsland"

Read more: Love Island line-up: Full list of contestants for new series

While another wrote: "Love island claims to be wary of lgbtq+ representation because of “logistical difficulties” but how do they explain the lack of body diversity? can a man not be good-looking if he doesn’t have a perfect muscular build? I know it’s just shit reality tv but a dad-bod would be nice."

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But broadcaster Dominique Samuels disagreed, tweeting: "Nobody wants to see fat people on Love Island. The people screaming for this just want to feel better about themselves instead of going to the gym."

Read more: Miss England hopefuls share make-up free photos to promote natural beauty

Comments on the show's official Instagram page were similar.

'Great to see some body diversity this year… Oh wait nope the same as always’ wrote one Instagram user.

‘Hope it’s not all models,' commented another.

Liam, Gemma and Ikenna will be looking for romance on Love Island 2022. (ITV)
Liam, Gemma and Ikenna will be looking for romance on Love Island 2022. (ITV)

Other contestants include footballer Michael Owen's daughter Gemma, 19, an international dressage rider, Welsh student Liam Llewllyn, 22, and 24-year-old London nanny Amber Beckford.

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But wellness expert Penny Weston says comparing themselves to Love Islanders - who may have had cosmetic help to look the way they do - could give people unrealistic body goals.

"I think it’s safe to say that the Love Island contestants never give a true representation of the range of ages, shapes, sizes and weights that exist in our population," she said. "Historically the contestants tend to be young, slim individuals who have taught, toned, bodies that have been achieved through a mixture of fitness and cosmetic work.

"It would, of course, be beneficial to see more diverse body shapes on the show in order to portray a better representation of the diversity in society. This would be beneficial for so many reasons, especially for younger people watching the show who may put pressure on themselves to achieve unrealistic goals in terms of their body as a result.’

"It’s extremely important when watching shows such as Love Island, which usually involves lots of naked flesh on display, that people don’t compare themselves to the contestants. Whilst some of the contestants may be open about what steps they have taken to get their bodies into the shape they’re in, from exercise and diet to Botox and boob jobs, others won’t be. So by comparing yourself to them you’re likely to get unrealistic body goals which are not always healthy, both physically or mentally. The negative impact this can have on the self-esteem as well as on confidence should not be underestimated."

Watch now: First Love Island contestant announced

This is the eighth season of the cult dating show, hosted by Laura Whitmore. In the past it has made huge stars of its most popular contestants including Molly-May Hague and Tommy Fury, Amber Davies and Kem Cetinay, and Alex Bowen and Olivia Buckland who have all gone on to have careers in the public eye after leaving the villa.

So fans will be watching with interest to see which of this season's cast will go on to capture the imagination of the nation - and potentially a lucrative career once they leave the villa.