I made a comment on Twitter about the lack of body diversity on Love Island, and got savaged with nasty replies.

It's a show that has been surrounded in controversy recently, with calls for it to be axed completely. Following the tragic suicides of 2 former cast members, ITV were asked some serious questions about Love Island and it's aftercare structure for those who had taken part.

In the weeks leading up to the new series of Love Island, another popular ITV show was axed after the suicide of a guest that had appeared. The Jeremy Kyle Show ceased filming immediately after the news of the death broke, and will ultimately never return after it was axed permanently. 

Love Island was still full steam ahead though, with ITV promising that they had increased the aftercare process ahead of the launch. There were also lots of rumours in the press that Love Island bosses would cast contestants with ‘different body shapes’ as producers ‘want more diversity’.

Last night the new line up of contestants for Love Island 2019 was released.

To me, it looked like your typical batch of Love Island contestants, with added Instagram fame and links to famous people. 

I tweeted the below tweet:

This tweet somehow got added to a Twitter moment, which meant it was put on the main page for everyone to see. I was the third tweet down. While the tweet got a lot of likes, it also got a lot of negative attention.

There is some very strong language in the following tweets, please be warned! 




Every single one of these tweets just shows why more body diversity is needed within the media

And these are only a small percentage of full amount of replies I got. Notice how in my original tweet, I never actually mentioned 'plus sized', just a lack of body diversity. 

The majority of the replies were also  from men. 

What is 'Body Diversity'?

Society seems to promote this idea that having a ‘perfect body’ is a guaranteed way to success, admiration and approval from others. Society's opinions of the 'perfect body' is often shaped by the media. 

The irony of this is that the images we see in the media are often photoshopped and heavily edited. I often say that you can't try to look like the girl in the magazines, because the girl in the magazines doesn't even look like the girl in the magazines. 

The idea of body diversity is to show all different shapes and sizes within the media, and not just botox filled, surgically enhanced, unrealistic expectations. The same way that cultural diversity means the existence of a variety of cultural or ethnic groups within a society.

Pushing for body diversity is not just limited to someone's weight

While representing a more fuller figure is a huge part of body diversity, it isn't exclusive to this. Humans come in all different shapes and sizes, and when watching something like Love Island, there is 1 very clear type that has been represented. 

Having someone above a size 12 does not promote unhealthy living

A lot of the comments seem to suggest that having someone who is plus sized would promote being unhealthy and overweight. Here's a revolutionary idea, you can be plus sized and healthy, and you can be plus sized and exist without it promoting an unhealthy lifestyle! 

Never heard anyone say something about someone like James Corden, for promoting an unhealthy lifestyle?

Being 'fat' doesn't automatically mean unattractive, undesirable or ugly.

Most of the replies I got suggested that they don't put 'fat people' in Love Island because it would be awkward when they inevitably get rejected. Here's another revolutionary idea, people who are larger are capable of finding love and sex! Trust me, I even managed to do it myself. 

The very idea that being fat means you are unattractive just feeds into the media stereotype that the perfect body is the key to finding love. There wouldn't be a whole genre of pornography called 'Big Beautiful Women' if the opinion of those who replied to my tweet were the opinions of everyone in the world. 

Someone I have been following for a while on Twitter, who is a model and champion of body diversity is Felicity Heyward. She founded the #SelfLoveBringsBeauty  movement and was a host on Channel 4s Naked Beach. 

She replied to my tweet:

If these are the responses to my simple comment asking where the body diversity was, imagine the amount of criticism and abuse these new contestants are about to face! Good luck to them.

The downsides of social media.