Paige opens up about body image pressure on Love Island

  • Marie Claire gets the nod from its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission on some of the items you choose to purchase.

  • But attitudes may be changing – here’s why

    Regardless of whether you are watching Love Island or not, you can’t deny it’s a pop culture phenomenon.

    The show – where couples pair up in an attempt to find ‘The One’ – is filmed in Mallorca and often airs scenes where the contestants wear nothing but bikinis or swimming trunks.

    It is therefore no wonder that contestants often feel pressured before the show to look a certain way or change their physical appearance.

    A host of ex-Islanders have spoken about how it affected their mental health – last year’s winner Millie Court “felt the need to lose several kilos” but said she was “unhappy when she did it.”

    Doctor Alex George has said he both restricted his diet and over-exercised before appearing on the show – adding that he looks back now and “wishes[es that he] hadn’t done all that.”

    After this year’s show, contestants Paige Thorne and Adam Collard have both opened up about how they felt about millions watching them on national television in their swimwear.

    But it seems Paige wasn’t as affected as previous contestants – marking a positive change in attitude.

    While she shared Cosmopolitan Britain that she hired a personal trainer a few months before entering the villa, she went on to admit that while she tried, she didn’t stick with it for long because she just didn’t like it.

    “Well, I started really well,” she said when asked if she felt pressured to prepare. “I thought ‘I’ll get a PT, I’ll get in shape’ and I started it about two months before. Then I gave up all hope the closer I got to the villa. I tried. The thought process was there.”

    Adam added that he felt more pressure in previous years. “I feel normal, I would probably — definitely — stress about it.”

    He continued: “I did it the first time I went into the villa, but I was pretty okay this time saving my best friend who was going to do an Ironman. So I was like four months deep into training and then obviously got the phone call 12 days before [the Ironman] to go back into the villa.”

    While these are just the opinions of two of the contestants and some may still have felt pressured, it’s good to see more individuals feeling more comfortable in their appearance before appearing on the show. Plus, kudos to Paige for not continuing PT if she didn’t like it – exercise should be about moving your body in a way that makes you feel good and strengthens both your physical and mental health.

    This is so you don’t feel like you need to change your body for anyone, or any show – even if it’s broadcast across the UK. All bodies are unique and should be celebrated, regardless of shape or size.

    If you resonate with any of the above – BEAT guidelines for eating disorders are open 365 days a year from 9am to midnight during the week and 4pm to midnight on weekends and public holidays on 0808 801 0677.

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