Love Island called out for lack of body diversity in 2019 line-up

'Yet again they have only represented one body type'

Sarah Young
Tuesday 28 May 2019 09:50 BST
Love Island to feature plus-size contestant Anna Vakili in latest series after calls for body diversity

Love Island has been criticised for its lack of body diversity after the television programme announced the cast for its fifth season ahead of its return next month.

On Monday night, ITV unveiled the new batch of contestants who will feature on the show from Monday 3 June, which include a pharmacist, an air hostess and a semi-professional rugby player.

However, many fans have been left disappointed by the lack of diversity in the 2019 line-up after it was previously claimed that people of “all shapes and sizes” would be featured in this year’s show.

Calls for a more representative group of men and women in this year’s show were led by former contestants Alexandra Cane and Malin Andersson who both expressed their disappointment over the line-up.

Reacting to the 2019 cast photos, last year’s contestant Cane tweeted: “Where the curvy girls at?” while Love Island 2016 star Andersson, added: “And I thought they would have some diversity. Meh.”

It wasn’t just ex-contestants that were left confused over this year’s cast with their thoughts echoed by viewers across Twitter.

“Can’t see much in the way of body diversity?” one person wrote.

Another added: “Wonderful to see that after Love Island made such a big deal about how this year they were going to be ‘inclusive’ of all body types they have yet again only represented one body type, sorry hun can’t relate!”

A third person commented: “Sorry but can someone tell me where the body diversity is in Love Island this year all of the new cast are skinny as f***.”

Some said they felt so disappointed by the lack of body diversity that they threatened to boycott the show while others called for the series to be cancelled.

“This should probably be the final season,” one person wrote on Twitter.

Last month, it was reported that Love Island was planning to cast stars with “different body shapes” after calls from the public to see “girls and boys with bodies they can relate to”.

The reality TV series has been severely criticised in previous years for failing to cast contestants with a range of body types.

Celebrities and body positive advocates including Montana Brown and Caroline Flack have repeatedly voiced their frustrations on social media about the dearth of diversity.

The backlash comes hours after it was announced that Love Island would be including its first plus-size contestant in this year’s line-up – Anna Vakili, a 28-year-old pharmacist from London.

Vakili, who has a Middle Eastern background, says she is “different to anyone who has been on the show before” and already boasts a significant social media profile, with 54,000 followers on Instagram.

It had also been rumoured that plus-size model Jada Sezer would be among this year’s contestants, but Sezer does not appear in the first line-up announced by the show, which includes five women and seven men.

While ITV2 has not commented specifically on Vakili’s casting, a spokesperson said: “When casting for Love Island, we always strive to reflect the age, experiences and diversity of our audience and this year is no exception with a cross section of different personalities and backgrounds in the villa.”

Love Island returns to ITV2 on Monday 3 June at 9pm.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in