Love Island Needs More Land Whales – Sheesh, It’s Entertainment Folks

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Of course we knew that this would happen as it follows the same basic playbook every time. First the demand is that those who are different be regarded as fully human with all the same rights and expectations of courtesy as everyone else. Entirely right and correct that this should be so too. From signs saying “No Dogs, No Irish” through to the absence of a colour bar and the lifting of penal restrictions upon the love that dare not speak its name. Contrary to belief we do become more civilised over time.

The next stage though, that’s where the reaction sets in. The insistence that having moved to tolerance it is incumbent upon us all to move to praise of, admiration for, the specific under discussion. If you don’t support you local Pride march then you are a homophobe – rather than someone just not very interested. Which brings us to the subject of land whales and popular entertainment shows:

‘It’s entertainment’: Love Island attempts to justify lack of body diversity

Body diversity here means more people who look like they’d eat other contestants for breakfast. No, up out of the gutter there, not before – that’s part of what they are looking for – during or after. But actually chow down upon as breakfast.

Love Island’s creative director, Richard Cowles, has sought to justify the lack of body diversity on the hit reality TV programme, explaining that contestants need “to be attracted to one another” for the show to work. The programme, which has become one of ITV’s most high-profile shows, returns to screens next month amid growing scrutiny on the impact that reality television has on those that take part. Critics such as actor Jameela Jamil have called on the show to feature more plus-size participants to reflect the wider population, rather than simply selecting skinny individuals to lounge around the pool in a Spanish villa.

Yes, it’s entirely true that most of the population don’t have those body shapes displayed. Which is, of course, part of the allure of the show. Here are the beautiful – if terminally dim – people partying. This is just how humans work. It explains the size of models in Vogue – it’s not read by men, not aimed at men, not produced by men, it’s women who are interested in those waifs.

The body positive movement, plus-size all that. Sure, peeps, rights, courtesy, all that. But there’s a reason that Bond’s love interest in Daniel Craig’s next outing isn’t going to be 300 lbs. That’s not the form of escapism that we look for in entertainment. All of which is explained in Worstall’s Law of Acting – if they’re ugly they can.

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