Sometimes, television scares me. As a child, it took little more than a killer clown to have me quaking in my boots, but as an adult, the problem has become not only more subtle, but more sinister. Television has become a reflection of society and this particular mirror has me jumping higher out of my skin than every horror film shot in a bathroom ever did. I am of course, talking about the fact that, over the next seven weeks, normal, well-to-do, well-meaning members of society find themselves cancelling all hopes of a social life, opting to sit instead in front of the television watching would-be Insta-stars shag their way to victory. Welcome, ladies and gents, to Love Island.
Last year I ridiculed my flatmate mercilessly for watching it so obsessively (until I too became hooked that is) and this year, I’m harbouring a full-blown obsession. Just like the rest of my Twitter feed, I have deemed Love Island to be the thing of the summer. But whilst it is fascinating, entertaining, amazing really, it is also a fucking disaster full of some fairly obvious, and sizeable problems.
The contestants, the game, the whole premise of the show really: Not one of them has even an ounce of cellulite, the double standards and blatant sexism are abhorrent and at the end of the day the aim of the game is really to be the first to shag on TV, even if it does mean being stripped of your Miss GB title and make the rest of us cry “OH MY GOD, YOUR POOR PARENTS!!!”. The contestants are also encouraged to remain interesting by creating drama where there just isn’t any (I refer to the Amber/Chris/Kem situation which aired last night) and of course the totally unrealistic notion that all women look that made up whilst lounging by a pool.
Any one of those things would allow you to justifiably express concern for the youth of today: what role models are we offering up to our children? People who genuinely took some time to work out if there was more than one moon and a girl who legitimately uses her (not-natural) hair colour as an excuse to be thick. Sorry, but that’s SO 2007.
But this year, there is one big difference. This year, we were given an offering. An offering of light in a very dark space, a role model amongst, well, Instagram models. A pretty normal girl that found herself as a contender. I am of course talking about the Pippa Middleton of Love Island 2017: Camilla Thurlow. Well actually, before I continue I ought to say, she’s isn’t totally normal normal. She works in landmine disposal, she has the most fabulous figure, she is beautiful and smart and seems to have an abundance of self respect.
So she’s not like me normal. Or probably you. But pretty bloody fabulous none-the-less. So what is she doing on Love (not friend) Island, I hear you ask? Is she not just as ‘bad’ as the rest of them for selling her soul to shameless reality TV? Are you sure you’re not just loving her the way that you might love someone interviewed in a prison documentary? A really lovely person but at the end of the day, still a convict?
In truth I don’t know WHAT Camilla is doing on there, but I love it. I actually really need it, we all do. Because Camilla has turned me, and the rest of the world, into proud mother hens. (If proud mother hens got excited watching their babies passionately snog 7 men in a row that is…). She’s got us ‘awwing’ when we would usually be ‘ewwing’. She’s not just the best of a bad bunch, she’s actually just the best.
“In a world full of Ambers, be the Camilla.”
– A tweet that I saw this morning, and fairly sound advice. Sure, we weren’t going to find Gandhi in there, at the end of the day it is is the weirdest thing on television, but we have got SOMETHING at least. A shred of normality, even it has come in the shape of a size 8, DD’d bomb-disposal working humanitarian. We seem to have been offered, dare I say it, a role model.