Love Island: Damaging or Helpful to Modern Beauty Standards?
If you haven’t heard the words, “Loyal”, “Where’s your head at?” or “The Do Bits Society” then where have you been all Summer? These are of course part of the lingo that makes up the Love Island world. Whether you watch the show or not you will have heard of the numerous debates surrounding the ever-popular programme; including body image, beauty standards and intelligence.
If you’re unfamiliar with the premise of the show, singletons are put into a villa for eight weeks in the hope of finding love. Whilst the premise sounds innocent enough, more and more criticism has hit the show and its contestants. Its most recent target has been 24-year-old Megan Barton-Hanson as it was revealed she spent an estimated £25,000-£40,000 on surgery following the release of some old photos.
Megan has been hailed as every man’s dream in the villa with each newcomer placing her in their top three most attractive girls but is this fair to say when she’s had so much plastic surgery done? Is it fair to class her as the ‘most beautiful’ given most of it is fake? Should we even be asking these types of questions? Most people will tell you that there are two sides to this debate, one being that her beauty is fake and should not be praised and the other being she is beautiful regardless and the surgery doesn’t matter.
However, she is not the first person to appear on TV and will certainly not be the last to have had surgery to ‘enhance’ their beauty but are they really enhancing their beauty or are they completely changing the way they look? We live in a society where looks are dictated by celebrities and men and women will do anything to conform to those looks. We cannot tell people what to do with their bodies but we can alter the perception of mainstream beauty.
Whilst Megan had every right to alter her body in whichever way she wanted to, she did it rather drastically and has even admitted to doing so because of insecurities. There is a difference between altering your body and taking care of it to achieve the best results. No one should have to feel as if the only way out is surgery, which is unfortunately what some people may say Love Island is promoting.
As adults, we are less prone to the kinds of pressures young children face and whilst a hefty amount of teenagers do tune into the show every night they are not the only ones. 3.5 million people watched the launch of this year’s show and 52 per cent of those watching were 16-34-year-olds. Being less prone to pressure doesn’t mean we are not prone at all. As much as adults don’t want to admit it today’s media has the ability to not only influence our behaviour but actively change it, more so than ever.
Beauty is not something plucked out of thin air and taught to us through TV and social media, it is a push and pull process. TV only exaggerates existing anxieties if we let it. Stand apart from the crowd and be confident in yourself. Enhance your beauty through natural treatments, take care of your body in the best way you can and maybe you can start to change opinions on what beauty really means for the better.