The Psychology of Love Island: Part 1

It’s started. I didn’t even realise that Love Island was approaching, until I opened the Twitter app last night and saw a flood of comments about the people who had joined the villa this year – people sure do love talking about love island contestants, don’t they?

Love Island grew some pretty bad press this past year, after the suicide of two of their contestants. It seems that the aftercare was lacking and although producers have claimed to up their game, It cannot be argued that the show produces a fairly toxic environment for contestants. I mean, you’re thrown into a villa known for people being beyond perfect to be picked apart by millions of people as they watch and openly share their views.

Whether I like it or not, of course I’m going to watch it. Love Island is mine, and pretty much everyone in the UK’s guilty pleasure. Although after ten minutes into the first episode, when girl’s started talking about their boobs like it’s a personality trait, I thought, can I really be arsed with this?

I’m an analytical person and I love studying people and the things they do – does that sound creepy? I’ve studied English and Psychology, I’ve been taught how to read people from the things they say to the way they carry themselves. There’s nothing quite as interesting as watching the Love Island villa unfold, as groups form, villains are decided and everyone in the world has an opinion on each contestant. I thought it would be a good idea to start a blog series whilst Love Island takes place over summer, where I will discuss the psychology behind each episode and my view on each person – no, not how attractive they are but the potential reasoning behind their actions.

I watch reality TV with a different perspective to most. For example, when everyone was quick to attack Adam last year for behaving as the player of the villa, I couldn’t help but try and make sense of why he was like this. I can never really just accept that people are the way they are because they want to be, we’re all unique people and chances are, there is reasoning behind why we act a certain way. All of the contestants are beautiful, and I won’t join in the social media mass-criticism towards the cast of Love Island 2019, so if you’re looking for some petty digs of appearance, you won’t find it here.

Love Island 2019 mental health
Caroline Flack presenting episode one’s coupling

Episode One

So, in episode one the usual happened where we are introduced to the contestants that we’re going to be emotionally invested in and we all make our opinions from the get-go. Did you know that we form an impression on someone within the first 7 seconds of meeting them? It’s all in how they carry themselves, and it is far too easy for people to get the wrong idea of someone this way. We can’t help it though, it is a natural instinct although what makes it so interesting, is that each person has their own perception of someone. We all see people in different ways, as we base our views on others in relation to our past experiences and emotions. For example, if someone looks like or shares a characteristic to your ex, you’ll subconsciously link the two and this will influence your impression of that person. Crazy.

Introduction Videos

One thing that doesn’t really sit right with me in Love Island is the introductory videos. I cringe the entire time. These little production videos last around 1 minute long and serve to introduce each contestant. How can you learn about someone in 1 minute? Regardless of that, we do. We form an opinion in this 1 minute, and it’s crazy.

The reason these videos make me cringe is because of how the girls come across. I don’t think I watched a single introduction video where they didn’t talk about their boobs or bum – you have 1 minute to introduce yourself and this makes it into the top most important details to mention? I know that this is the producers doing, as they prompt the questions. I just find the whole thing seedy. There’s a reason why Love Island is all about how the person looks, because the producers make it that way. No, we don’t want to know about you’re accomplishments, are your boobs real?

The Contestants

We’ve all made our mind up on our contestants already – each opinion will be different, but we all have an idea of what we think of each person based on what we’ve seen and a lot of us have taken to twitter to share our views. I think we have a tendency to see Love Island contestants as though they aren’t real, as if they’re mythical beings, and judge them as such. We’re really hard on them, because we expect perfection. So, you’ll have plenty of 18 year old boys sat in their box room judging these beautiful women very harshly, even though if they walked past them in the street they would be astounded.

I’m not going to judge their looks, they’re all stunning and that’s not important. I’m not going to judge their jobs, that doesn’t mean a thing. I’m gonna share my views on what I think of the people in terms of body language and how they carry themselves.

Yewande, 23, Scientist

Love Island 2019 mental health
Love Island, Yewande

We all view Yewande as respectable and intelligent based around the fact that she is a Scientist, and carries herself as though she is fairly shy and modest. The public tend to like these contestants, similar to Camilla in previous series, as they appear less arrogant and admirable for their job title. Contestants like Yewande and Camilla are almost a shock to the system, being a girl with a high-status job and not in everyone’s face demanding attention or talking about their assets. She pretty much solidified her status when all the girls were dressing themselves up to go to bed and look pretty for their boys, and she puts on an oversized T-shirt. Loved that.

Amber, 21, Newcastle

Love Island 2019 mental health
Love Island, Amber and Callum coupled up in episode one

The youngest contestant, who will be judged as the public as such. Age is a big thing in the villa of Love Island, older females tend to attempt to assert dominance over the younger females – watch, I’m sure it will be brought up in an argument at one point. Amber’s frosty and at sometimes rude communication with her coupled partner really showed her age. She professed herself as a ‘diva’ which seems she is trying to form a title for herself as this, which can reflect her age and her intention to be seen this way. It’s known in the past that characters like attract a lot of social media attention, which may work in her favour or very against it. She’s either really unaware of how she is coming across, or doing so to attract the wrong kind of attention – all press is good press!

Anna, 28, London

Love Island 2019 mental health
Love Island, Anna

Anna is stunning, but she is probably the girl who has brought up her job title and accomplishments the most. It seems that she wants to emphasise that there is more to her than her appearance, which may be to appear different to the usual Love Island contestant. The way she brings her job title up seems as though she is worried about being judged falsely by her looks, as a glamorous exterior is not often associated with a high-status job or intelligence (sad, but true). Anna is aware of this, and seems like she wants to enforce she is not just a pretty face.

Michael, 24, Liverpool

Love Island 2019 mental health
Love Island, Michael

Michael is very similar to Anna in how much he enforces his job – he has a lot of academic accomplishments, which is likely to be overlooked because of his typical Love Island appearance. When he arrived, every girl judged him as though he would bring them trouble and heartbreak – he brought this up in his introductory video as though it bothered him. Michael may be very similar to Anna in that he wants to appear as more than the average Love Island contestant.

Amy, 26, Sussex

Love Island 2019 mental health
Love Island, Amy

Amy is 26 and has confessed multiple times that she has never had a boyfriend, never been in love. She’s an air hostess and probably lives a fairly unsettled life, constantly moving around. I know a lot of people like this, I feel they grow bored easily and fear commitment – whether to a place, or a partner, which may be the reason why she’s never been in a relationship. I definitely relate to Amy, I struggle to live in one place longer than a few months and I’ll be interested to see how she progresses in the villa.

Lucie, 21, Cornwall

Love Island 2019 mental health
Love Island, Lucie

Does anyone else feel like Lucie is from a rich background? There’s lots of perceived stereotypes that come with her surfer title – chilled, laid back, kind of tomboy-like and easy-going. The way she enforces these traits and her surfer status seems as though she wants to fill this role, and appears slightly reserved which may reflect how she will be likely to avoid drama in the villa.

Tommy, 20, Manchester

Tommy seems so young to be thrown into such a crazy environment, so I will be cautious and interested to see how he progresses. He has stated many times in his interviews prior to the Love Island villa that he does not want to be known as Tyson Fury’s younger brother. Although he is following in the footsteps of his famous boxer brother, he seems to be determined to be his own person and reach as high of a status as his brother. I find that boxers usually are determined and headstrong, so I think he will do well in the villa.

Anton, 24, Scotland

Love Island 2019 mental health
Love Island, Anton

There is always an Anton character in the Love Island villa, who often makes a lot of effort to come across a certain way. He has already shared some pretty out-there jokes, and I can’t help but feel like he’s putting up this image which he wants to be portrayed as, but is it really him? I mean, the whole story in his introduction video of being kicked out of his home for sleeping with too many girls, seemed a little odd. Often males who show such a ‘look at me, I’m a player’ image have hidden insecurities and show this through a fear of commitment. I feel like with such a confident exterior, Anton may not handle rejection very well.

Those are the contestants that have gave me an impression based on their body language and personality portrayal. I’d like to point out that I think all contestants are great, and very brave for even entering the show, I would never use my blog to insult or criticise others and these interpretations are entirely my own opinions and common behavioural patterns for certain insecurities or personality traits, i’m not saying they are definitely true.

And remember, they’re all beautiful there is no denying it no matter how threatened you feel. Whether you want to or not, let’s not make memes and attacking tweets based around the contestants looks. Let’s remember how our words can impact others, and yes, they are likely to see them when they leave the villa once they’re shared by thousands of people across social media. Let’s remember the preaching of mental health we did following previous events, although the contestants may appear confident, this may not be the case and words hurt. Just don’t do it.

Love Island 2019 mental health

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