But attitudes might be changing - here's why
Whether you watch Love Island or not, you can't deny that it's a pop culture phenomenon.
The show - which sees couples pair up in an attempt to find "The One" - is filmed in Mallorca and often airs scenes where the contestants are wearing only bikinis or swimming trunks.
No wonder, then, that contestants often feel pressured pre-the-show to look a certain way or change their physical appearance.
A whole host of former Islanders have spoken about how it affected their mental health - last year's winner Millie Court "felt the need to lose several pounds" but said" she "was miserable while doing it."
Doctor Alex George has said that he both restricted his diet and overtrained pre appearing on the show - adding that he looks back now and "wish[es that he] hadn’t done all that."
Following this years show, contestants Paige Thorne and Adam Collard have both opened up about how they felt about millions seeing them on national television in their swimwear.
But it seems that Paige wasn't as affected as previous contestants - marking a positive shifts in attitudes.
While she shared with Cosmopolitan UK that she did hire a personal trainer a few months before she was set to enter the villa, she went on to confess that she while she tried, she didn't stick with it for long, as she simply didn't enjoy it.
"Well, I started off really well," she said when asked if she felt pressured to body prep. "I was like 'right I'll get a PT, I'll get in shape' and I started that about two months beforehand. Then the closer I got to the villa, I gave up all hope. I tried. The thought process was there."
Adam added that he felt more pressure in previous years. "I feel normally, I would probably – definitely – stress about that."
He went on, "I did the first time I went into the villa, but I was kind of okay this time as I bailed on my best friend who was supposed to be doing an Ironman. So I was like four months deep into training and then obviously got the phone call 12 days before [the Ironman] to go back into the villa."
While these are only the opinions of two of the contestants and some may still have felt pressured, it's good to see more individuals feeling more comfortable in their appearance before appearing on the show. Plus, kudos to Paige for not continuing with the PT if she didn't enjoy it - exercise should be about moving your body in a way that makes you feel good and boosts both your physical and mental health.
Here's to not feeling like you need to change your body for anyone, or any show - even if it is aired across the UK. All bodies are unique and should be celebrated, whatever shape or size.
If you resonate with any of the above - BEAT eating disorder helplines are open 365 days a year from 9am – midnight during the week, and 4pm–midnight on weekends and bank holidays on 0808 801 0677.
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Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Senior Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, nine-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She's won a BSME for her sustainability work, regularly hosts panels and presents for events like the Sustainability Awards, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.
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