Disclaimer first: I have actually never watched a full episode of Love Island in my whole life.
Until a few weeks ago I would even have sworn that this kind of show exists UK exclusive, but doing research for this blog post prooved me wrong. There is a German version on RTL 2.
Now how come I want to talk about a show I never watched?
First of all, if you are active on social media, there is no escape. Everyone is constantly commenting on who kissed whom and who betrayed XY behind their back.
And yes, I do know there is a mute button for certain topics. I wasn´t bothered.
I just wasn´t interested.
But with every comment I read, every picture tweeted, I became more involved. Not because I suddenly cared if person A should have kissed person B after holding hands with person C (seriously, do whatever you want with whomever you want, as long as both of you agree).
No, because I imagined, a few years from now, my daughter tweeting about a similar show.
A show that features women pushing their boobs and butt into a camera, trying to get the attention of a man (and vice versa, just with less boobs on the male side), because you obviously need to be coupled to be of value.
If you aren´t, you have to leave the house, so „being picked“ is a goal that you apparently would do almost anything for.
And, no surprises here, for the female part of the couple it is much more about looks and being seductive than it is about being witty and smart. Although I admit that I was surprised to see how much looks counted on the male side, the pressure is definitely increasing there too.
I am well aware, of course, that this is a beauty blog. And that I talk about makeup and skin care and wrinkles and all that vain stuff. That does not mean, however, that I think looks are what we should focus on. And it is for sure not what I want to teach my kids.
I am worried for both of them! Neither do I want my daughter to see that she needs a man to be worthy, nor do I want my son to see that it is to be expected that women compete for his attention.
I don´t want them to see on a TV show what I would never accept in real life: Your value is determined by who you are with and whether or not you are considered attractive.
And, on top of that, women get slut shamed for having sex with different partners while men get aggressive when they are denied sex.
That goes against every message of self love and self respect, against gender equality, against diversity, uniqueness and, in the end, against the powerful feminist message my mother taught me and I teach my kids.
I am not saying that people watching that show are betraying feminist ideas. I don´t worry for my grown-up blogger friends tweeting. They are strong, they are independent, they are admirable.
I worry for those still struggling to find themselves, those looking for guidance in discovering who they are and who they want to become. I worry for my daughter, who will, despite having lots of strong women in her family, be ultimately influenced by media too. I worry for my son who may get the impression that this is how it is supposed to be, that this is how women are meant to be treated.
And my concern doesn´t end with Love Island, it is just what inspired this rant. (Germanys Next Top Model – Flaunt your curves, underage girl, and then stop eating because you are too fat! – completely out of line!)
The list of tv shows I discover is growing day by day, and I wonder how, in days of #metoo and female empowerment, this format still is successful?
Once my children are older, I know they will watch shows I don´t agree with. I only hope that my influence on them is still strong enough then.
How do you feel about this topic? Do you have kids that you worry about too?