'Love Island' defends line-up's 'healthy BMIs' over criticism of lack of plus size contestants

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'Love Island' has unveiled its contestant line-up for 2021 but some feel it lacks body diversity.
'Love Island' has unveiled its contestant line-up for 2021 but some feel it lacks body diversity.

Love Island have defended the 2021 line-up against criticism they lack body diversity - stating all the contestants "have a healthy BMI."

The ITV2 dating show - hosted by Laura Whitmore - has previously come under fire for a lack of diversity among contestants - and this years features singles from a range of backgrounds as well as the show's first ever Islander with a disability.

However the announcement of the Love Island 2021 line-up was met with disappointment from some fans on social media, who felt that the contestants lacked "body shape diversity".

Read more: Laura Whitmore hopes new 'Love Island' series 'does Caroline Flack proud'

Benny James tweeted: "Where’s the body diversity at then? Cos they all look the same as they do every year, 6 packs and perfect bodies, We need more sausage rolls and beer belly’s #LoveIsland."

Steve O'Rourke commented: "Shoutout to Love Island whose idea of body diversity is someone with body hair that might be visible with the naked eye if the light catches it just right."

Amy Jo McLellan wrote: "Obviously there are types of diversity we can't visually see but so far, all I've heard is that one contestant was born with a club foot and the fact that that's reported as a 'big deal' means the diversity is seriously lacking... #LoveIsland."

And Shelly Givans tweeted: "Where’s the body diversity at then? Cos they all look the same as they do every year, 6 packs and perfect bodies, We need more bap rolls and beer belly’s #LoveIsland."

A representative for Love Island told the MailOnline: "As a broadcaster, ITV celebrates diversity of every sort across our range of programmes in our schedule and across our channels.

"In terms of casting for Love Island, the only stipulation to applicants is they must be over 18, single and looking for love.

"This year’s Love Islanders come from a diverse range of backgrounds with a mix of personalities and have a healthy BMI."

Laura Whitmore is the host of 'Love Island'. (ITV)
'Love Island' host Laura Whitmore is proud of the 2021 contestant line-up. (ITV)

This year's line-up includes 24-year-old PE teacher Hugo Hammond, who has a club foot and has played cricket for a disabled team.

There has also been criticism of a lack of representation of the LGBTQ+ community among contestants.

Read more: ITV confirms 'Love Island' contestants to receive 'comprehensive psychological support'

ITV’s commissioner Amanda Stavri has previously said including gay contestants poses a problem for the dating gameshow - which sees the winning couple voted for by viewers awarded a cash prize.

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Love Islander Hugo Hammond is the show's first disabled contestant. (ITV)

She said: "In terms of gay Islanders, I think the main challenge is regarding the format of Love Island. There’s a sort of logistical difficulty, because although Islanders don’t have to be 100% straight, the format must sort of give Islanders an equal choice when coupling up.”

Watch: Meet the Love Island 2021 line-up

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