Hating Love Island Doesn't Make You A Better Person
“Calling someone stupid doesn't make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George's life definitely didn't make me any happier.” – Cady Heron, Mean Girls.
A quote to live by we can all agree. While I’m wringing out this Mean Girls ref, a word to the Regina and Gretchen of Twitter (Piers Morgan and Giles Coren, duh): shut UP!
Total silence would be ideal, but specifically, shut up about Love Island. This goes out to all your lame co-workers, your dead-ass flatmates and your opinionated parents, too. ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all’ is of course a totally insane way to go about reviewing pop culture, I hear you, but lemme make a case for Love Island one sec.
If you’re going to give me a serious take-down of why Love Island is an ‘immoral, sick, vomitous abomination’ (bloody hell take a day off, Giles), you better have watched at least one whole episode. Now find me someone who watched the first episode of Love Island 2018 and didn’t take a small crumb of joy away with them.
Anyone still pretending to be confused about Love Island’s broad appeal is totally ignoring how diverse the enjoyment is. Some of us are sat howling at Eyal sniffing Adams beads. Others are way invested in the actual love (uhm Jack and Dani??), or the voyeurism of this mini-society. The show is straight-up funny, often shocking, and always DRAMATIC. Why are people so scared of admitting they like it?
Humans are simple beans, and we’ve been revelling colloquial drama for literal millennia, from the amphitheatre to Albert Square. It’s as if people are terrified that shamelessly enjoying Love Island draws too many parallels between themselves and the islanders. And that would be a bad thing because…? Oh wait, of course, Britain’s entrenched classism and elistism! Fun!
So much of the hate thrown at the show is undeniably classist, often misogynistic (the women are on the show because they WANT TO BE!), and it's more than a little gross. Attacks on Love Island almost always depressingly rest on its supposed stupidity, specifically that of the ‘cretinous’ cast. In their eyes, the cast are idiots, and therefore not worth their time. These are the same people who think they can’t be mates with anyone less intelligent than them, aka The Absolute Worst.
Sure, Hayley doesn’t know what an earlobe is, but the contestants are all the same as anyone living on your street, capable of being both gorgeously kind and vile dickheads like the rest of us. Their perceived brain power has nothing to do with their humanity, or ability to love and be loyal friends.
It’s in no way a perfect situation; call me up when we have a sexually inclusive Love Island and welcome some body diversity to the villa. In the meantime, it’s a sweet hour in the evening when I get to log off from life and dip into the warm glow of innocent gossip and 10/10 meme potential.
I’m not asking or expecting us all to be Love Island converts, but apathy is a super chill alternative! I’m wildly unenthusiastic about the World Cup, but ya don’t see me writing threads about ‘stupid cretins’ running up and down a pitch. Watch Love Island or don’t, but save your hate for something more important. Next time you feel the need to spew some bile, check yourself, and maybe reel in that knee-jerk distaste for someone working class, with a northern accent, who may not have gone to uni. It ain’t a cute look, babe.