Ok, where do I start? In the name of research I took it upon myself to painfully endured an episode of Love Island with my thirteen year old son and I was really, really scared. Scared for my kids and the world they’re growing up in.
Perfect people plonked into paradise with the aim of ‘coupling up’ and the best couple wins. The first thing I noticed, was the perfection, perfect bodies, perfect skin, hair, nails, teeth and I was astonished to see how much work went into achieving it each morning. That much hair and make up to sunbath?
Watching these couples getting to know each other was bad enough, I was horrified to see that they sleep in the same bed, part of the ‘getting to know you.’ Then shock, horror, the lights go out and the voyeurism begins to see them all kissing and smooching in bed. The last straw for me, I had to leave the room when my eyes began to bleed.
What is the fascination with this? Why are our kids watching this? Why do they care? I spend quite a bit of time thinking about it because I really wanted to know. I didn’t want to just slag it off as repugnant TV that in my mind should be banned, so I asked each of my sons why they watched it and what they liked about it.
Sean (18) said it was entertaining. He’s not really into it but would watch if it was on and he was in the room. He thinks it funny how obsessed the contestants are with how they look and act. – Ok, I was happy with that response, a fairly responsible outlook.
Ethan (15) absolutely point black refuses to watch it and thinks it ‘a load of shit,’ his words not mine. – I was even happier with this, not so much the words but where he stands on it.
Sammie (13 almost) loves it. I’ve never seen him more enthusiastic about a TV program. He said it was interesting and when I asked why, what was interesting about it, he didn’t know. He just likes watching to see ‘who gets with who’ and that it’s fun – and herein lies the problem, kids who don’t even know why they’re watching it. Just doing it because their mates are talking about it in school
Do the producers of this program feel no responsibility, no thought for the impact this kind of TV is having on a generation of kids? Shame on them because they’re part of the problem, producing these programmes with ratings and money their only concern.
For young girls in particular, the girls on the Island are not role models, these girls who are beautiful and probably very nice, but they’re not who our kids should want to be. The red flag for eating disorders is flying high with their need to achieve physical perfection such as this.
I wouldn’t like to be a kid growing up today, it seems really hard. We’ve created a society of famous people, famous for being famous and a generation of kids who have no privacy and no desire for privacy. Everything is photographed or videoed, exposing them to the world, whether they consent or not.
Walking around Sainsbury’s with my 18 year old son yesterday, I said ‘Sean can you stop taking photographs of yourself.’ His response was, ‘it’s Snapchat mum, you snap and chat, that’s the point,’ and I thought to myself wow, just wow. I can definitely live without Snapchat in my life.
As far as love is concerned, love can’t be orchestrated, forced or manipulated. Lust can, obsession can, dysfunction and co dependency can, but love can’t.
The name of this show should be, ‘Potential for Dysfunctional and Co-Dependent Relationship Island.