Love Island bosses defend the show’s lack of body diversity

‘We want them to be attracted to one another!’ Love Island bosses defend the show’s lack of body diversity as fans complain this year’s contestants are all slim and toned

  • Richard Cowles defended claims that Love Island cast was lacking body diversity
  • Love Island’s new line up was revealed last week – with no plus sized people 
  • Mr Cowles said show had to ensure contestants fancy each other
  • Comments caused a backlash on Twitter after Mr Cowles’ was seen to be implying that anything other than the size ten is not fanciable

Richard Cowles with the BAFTA awarded to Love Island for best ‘Reality and constructed factual’ TV show

Love Island’s creative director has said the show is as ‘representative as possible’ but that they have to ensure contestants fancy each other- meaning an all slim and toned line up yet again this year.

Richard Cowles defended claims that this year’s Love Island cast was lacking body diversity by suggesting that producers were only giving audiences what they wanted to watch.

Speaking to the Radio Times he said:  ‘First and foremost, it’s an entertainment show and it’s about people wanting to watch who you’ve got on screen falling in love with one another,’ he said.

‘Yes, we want to be as representative as possible but we also want them to be attracted to one another.

‘Also, we’re not saying that everyone that’s in there is how you’re supposed to look. 

Looking for love: Celebrities have slammed Love Island over a ‘lack of body diversity’ after the line-up for the 2019 series of the hit reality show was announced

‘We’re saying here’s a group of people that we want to watch for eight weeks, and we want to watch them fall in love. 

‘That’s not at the front of our mind, but we do want to be as diverse as possible.’  

The comments caused a backlash on Twitter after Mr Cowles’ was seen to be implying that anything other than the size ten and under Love Island type cast is not fanciable or attractive to others.

Carrie Hope Fletcher, West End actress and sister of McFly’s Tom Fletcher, criticised the bosses for implying that ‘fat = unlovable’

Gina Martin, an activist who campaigned to make up-skirting illegal earlier this year tweeted: ”We want them to be attracted to one another therefore we couldn’t possibly go above a size 10′ N E X X T’

While another user called the show ‘out-dated’ for subscribing to ‘beauty standards’

Alaina filled in the blanks with what she took the statement to mean – that no one over size 10 was fanciable

Classical singer Charlotte Jaconelli urged others not to watch the show calling it ‘disgusting’

Plus sized model Felicity Hayward poked fun at the director citing her successful life as evidence that she’s never had a problem finding love while plus sized

ITV executive Angela Jain added to Mr Cowles comments telling the Radio Times: ‘What we’ve tried to do again is have a huge range of personalities, people, hoping there’s someone in there for everyone and a slice of British life.

‘So hopefully lots of different types of people are represented.’

Contestants this year have a wide range of jobs and professions, offering some diversity to the show. 

Twitter users hit back at the assumption saying Mr Cowles may as well have said’only gym ripped contestants will get ratings’

Others questioned the shows ‘plus size’ contestant from last year who they believed to be a small size eight

Cindy Gallop reminded people to look around at the real world where ‘people of every possible body type are attracted to each other and fall in love

Louise Fisher says she would rather pluck every hair from her body than watch the show

Another called for the show to be cancelled while Jenni Hill said the director should have kept his mouth shut

Claire Jenkins says the introduction of more plus sized individuals would make the show more watchable while another questions if the show is entertaining

Earlier this week reality star Lucy Mecklenburgh and villa alumni Alexandra Cane and Malin Andersson took a swipe at the show over a perceived lack of varied body types among the new villa mates.

Ex TOWIE star Lucy, 27, said: ‘Sorry to 2 b negative as so many are super excited about Love Island.

‘Just to be clear I’m not body shaming them for being this size/shape but why not mix it up a bit!! but y are all the girls size 6-8 & all the guys have a six pack?’

Love Island 2018 contestant Alexandra, 27, also took to Twitter to comment on the new line-up, saying: ‘Where the curvy girls at?’

Love Island 2016 contestant Malin Andersson, 26, also admitted to feeling blasé over this year’s line-up, writing: ‘And I thought they would have some diversity. Meh.’ 


Strictly speaking: Curtis is AJ Pritchard’s kid brother

Name: Curtis Pritchard

Age: 23

Occupation: Latin and Ballroom Pro

Location: Shropshire

Claim To Fame: Curtis is a pro dancer on Dancing With The Stars in Ireland, and is the younger brother of Strictly Come Dancing’s AJ Pritchard

Thoughts On Dating: ‘I’ve probably been on less than ten dates, maybe five. I’ve never used a dating app. All of this meeting people on social media and apps is fake,’ he says

Ever Cheated? ‘I have cheated before. I will always be loyal from now on’

Exotic: Anna boasts a Middle-Eastern heritage

Name: Anna Vakili

Age: 28

Occupation: Pharmacist

Location: London

Claim To Fame: ‘I ended up on the Iranian News earlier this year when my sister and I were away in Qatar with two Iranian footballers who have a huge following. Suddenly my followers went up by 20,000 and I started being tagged in fan pages!’ she recalls

Marks Out Of 10? ‘I would rate myself an eight. My best feature is my eyes, I get compliments on my eyes a lot. I wish I had a penny for every time I’ve had a compliment on my eyes’

She blinded me with science: Yewande has been unlucky in love

Name: Yewande Biala

Age: 23

Occupation: Scientist

Location: Dublin, Ireland

Thoughts On Love: Yewande says: ‘I don’t think there is a science to finding love and if there is then I have clearly been reading the wrong books’

Celebrity Crush: Anthony Joshua

In It To Win It? ‘I am a terrible flirt but I’m such a girly girl and I can’t imagine stealing someone’s man in there. I don’t think I’d be that type but never say never,’ she says

Too fast, too fury-ous: Tommy’s a boxer… like his brother

Name: Tommy Fury

Age: 20

Occupation: Boxer

Location: Manchester

Looking For? ‘Blonde hair, blue eyes, good tan, gym girl… Ariana Grande. That girl is fire!’

Claim To Fame: ‘It’s probably my brother, Tyson, but I’m my own man and I’ve said it throughout my whole boxing career. I don’t want to be labelled as his little brother, I’m my own man and I’m doing the best that I can do in life and that’s all I’m setting out to achieve,’ Tommy says

Hot stuff: Fireman Michael wants to be ‘someone’s personal hero’

Name: Michael Griffiths

Age: 27

Occupation: Firefighter

Location: Liverpool

Marks Out Of Ten? ‘I get complimented on my smile a lot. People seem to be obsessed with my lips. I’d rate myself ten out of ten, I would have said nine but I’m a hero so it bumps it up,’ is Michael’s modest answer

Ever Cheated? ‘Once. It was a revenge cheat’

Up and away: Welsh Callum works in aviation

Name: Callum Macleod

Age: 28

Occupation: Aircraft Engineer

Location: South Wales

Disastrous Dating Story: ‘I went to the cinema with a girl and she sat on a piece of chocolate that melted onto her leather trousers,’ Callum recalls. ‘She shot off to the toilet to clean them and didn’t come back for ages. I watched the majority of the film on my own. I later found her fretting in the toilets because she couldn’t get her trousers back on’

Cocky? Amber rates herself 10/10 

Name: Amber Gill

Age: 21

Occupation: Beauty Therapist

Location: Newcastle

Disastrous Dating Story: ‘I was speaking to this guy and he lived in Manchester and I got the train down to see him,’ Amber recounts. ‘I was nervous because he was really good looking and a bit older than me. I had five Cosmopolitans in a can and I drank them on the train. When the train got to Manchester I got up and I was drunk! He was waiting for me at the train station and when I got off I fell through the gap between the train and platform. What an icebreaker though!’

Got talent? Amy has a crush on David Walliams and Simon Cowell 

Name: Amy Hart

Age: 26

Occupation: Cabin Crew

Location: Worthing, Sussex

Celebrity Crushes: Liam Hemsworth, Ashley Banjo, David Walliams and Simon Cowell. ‘You’d never go there obviously but there is something about them,’ Amy says

Claim To Fame: Amy once met Liam Payne and had a photo with him. When she posted it online she was bombarded with hate mail from One Directioners, who thought she was his new squeeze

Food of love: Sherif is a dab-hand in the kitchen

Name: Sherif Lanre

Age: 20

Occupation: Chef and Semi-pro Rugby Player

Location: London

Worst traits: ‘Number one would be that I’m pretty outrageous, that can also translate to the bad side,’ Sherif says. ‘On top of that, I laugh at everything which sometimes gets me into trouble. I can’t really take anything seriously. My actual laugh, my hysterical laugh is pretty ugly’

Fitness first: Anton wants a girl who likes working out 

Name: Anton Danyluk

Age: 24

Occupation: Gym Owner

Location: Airdrie, Scotland

Worst Date: ‘I bought myself a Porsche when I was 21, as you do! I picked a girl up in that and she started taking pictures when she was in the car and sending it to her friends. It shouldn’t matter what I was driving whether that be a Corsa or a Porsche so I finished the date right there’

Clumsy: Jack says he’s a total klutz

Name: Joe Garratt

Age: 22

Occupation: Catering Company Owner

Location: London

Marks Out Of 10? ‘Today, I reckon about an 8.5! In the mornings I’m probably like a low 8. I consistently stay around the 8s to 9s in my opinion. Maybe some days I go past the 9, when it’s a really good day…. a suit day. My best feature is my chat. I’m cheeky and a bit of a charmer. Looks wise, I’d say my best features are my teeth or curly hair’

Name: Lucie Donlan

Age: 21

Occupation: Surfer

Location: Newquay

Famous exes? ‘The last guy I was with was Charlie [Frederick] from last year’s Love Island. We got together a few weeks after he came out of the villa. I’ve spoken to Joey Essex on and off because I love his personality, it’s so funny.  Lookswise I like Jay Alvarrez. He surfs, skydives and he’s got amazing hair. I would marry him!’




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