Charlotte Palmer works at a plus size clothing brand in Nottingham and believes the 'ideal Instagram body' is 'not maintainable'

As a 21 year old plus size woman, I feel that shows like love island make women like myself feel inadequate- can you only be worthy of love if you’re skinny?

With the average woman in the UK being a size 16, the closest thing Love Island has had to a ‘plus size’ contestant is Anna Vakili- is size 10 really going to be considered plus size in 2023?

Although infused with entertainment, two dimensional bickering and raunchy scenes that are somewhat enjoyable to watch, whenever I sit down to watch Love Island, I can’t help but feel this wave of body dysmorphia.

When you’re fleshy and pale, looking at tanned, toned and ‘perfect’ bodies for an hour an evening shatters your confidence.

“The supermodel size 0 look on the show is unrealistic and not maintainable”

Charlotte Palmer, 33

I understand that larger women are not considered ‘conventionally attractive’ and having them on the show probably would enhance insecurity of rejection- these toned tatted men want a ‘pocket rocket’ by their side, not a ‘stallion’.

The ‘dad bod’, which never hurt anyone by the way, is an unseen body type on the show, which could conjure declining self esteem levels in men that watch the show as well as women.

I’m not saying Love Island has to promote obesity, but it would be nice seeing a woman with a dress size higher than a 10, and a man without rock hard abs.

Some people could say it is inevitable portraying body types this way on the show, why would the producers want sweaty cellulite ambassadors plodding about a villa in their one piece?

Sounds toxic, eh?

But that’s the harsh reality of generation and stereotype; ’embodying the Instagram aesthetic’ is an unrealistic body standard for women.

Charlotte Palmer who works at Nottingham’s ‘Yours’, a plus sized clothing shop, thinks the plus size community are disinclined to be included in the Love Island line up because the producers want ‘higher ratings’.

She said: “They don’t choose bigger people because to their standards, the skinnier people are better looking. I think a lot of them are filtered and botoxed up to an inch of their lives.

“The supermodel size 0 look on the show is unrealistic and not maintainable, my husband and I would like to see some real life, normal people on the show.

“I think it would be a lot more watchable and increase people’s self esteem.”

These ‘utopian’ bodies are the recency of trend, you go on Instagram every day and see the models, the influencers, the ‘baddies’- I think Love Island is trying to depict the ‘realest’ version of what should be a utopian physique for all.

As mind-boggling as it seems, Love Island, which can become monotonous to watch,  is actually about building a connection and finding love, not competing over who has the best body.

Watching the show focuses the mind to aesthetics and the materialism culture of life, not the things that actually matter, which to me, is who the person is inside.

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