I’m a latecomer to Love Island. After being oblivious to the show for years, I only started watching two seasons ago. After the last series, I swore I’d find something better to do with my time, but after lockdown upon lockdown, I – like many of us – needed a bit of harmless escapism via the Villa.
But recent developments have me wondering how “harmless” it really is. A common refrain heard in this season is “I don’t have a [physical] type, it’s more about personality.” But watching Kaz and Rachel, the only two black women contestants so far, display all the qualities that the men of the villa claim they are into – confidence, fun, sass, “banging personalities” and “hearts of gold” – but end up friendzoned or ultimately rejected is driving me up the wall.
None of this is surprising, none of this is a shock, but something about this season of Love Island’s polite but firm rejection (“Obviously, she’s a gorgeous girl but…”) is working its way into my psyche deeper than before. So much so, that my feelings of mad frustration extend to Sharon and AJ – two mixed race women of White British and East Asian descent who both experienced their own litany of rejection before being dumped from the villa.