The popular ITV show has come under fire for showing ads for cosmetic surgery and a weight-loss supplement – and research shows just how toxic they can be to young women
Watch an episode of Love Island and you will likely a) be gripped, b) look into flights to Mallorca and c) feel more tempted than before to get plastic surgery. On c), at least, so say the results of a poll that has found that female viewers aged between 18 and 34 are 11% more likely to consider getting lip fillers after watching the show. These viewers are 40% more likely to feel self-conscious about their body and appearance after watching and 30% have considered going on a diet to lose weight. It makes sense, then, that cosmetic surgery companies such as MYA and the diet supplement Skinny Sprinkles, which has been likened to a “gastric band in a glass”, have aired ads during Love Island breaks on ITV Hub.
The findings have led the feminist group Level Up, which commissioned the research, to start a campaign calling on ITV to drop the ads. “It really started as a personal thing,” says Level Up’s executive director Carys Afoko, who is a massive Love Island fan (“I’m sure some people think feminists shouldn’t watch Love Island. I’m not one of those people”). “You’re watching lots of very skinny women with perfect bodies and boobs.” Then come the ads. It is a potent mix.