Psychologist issues mental health warning to Love Island viewers

Love Island 2024 cast
-Credit: (Image: ITV)


A psychologist has given a warning to teenage viewers of Love Island regarding body positivity. The eleventh series of Love Island landed on TV screens last night (Monday, June 3), welcoming a new batch of singles looking for love.

Hosted by presenter Maya Jama, audiences were treated to a number of twists and turns. There was also a surprise bombshell the public certainly wasn’t expecting - reality star Joey Essex.

As the Islanders grace our screens for the next eight weeks, many viewers will be watching as the 'beautiful' contestants try to find 'the one'. Dr Patricia Britto has shared some advice for watchers, noting the rise in the amount of young people searching for body enhancements, as reported by MirrorOnline.

This ranges from botox and fillers, veneers, to extreme avenues such as steroids and BBLs (Brazilian bum lift). Experts have warned of the importance for parents to look out for the signs their child may be feeling insecure. As well as suffering from low self-esteem or even comparing themselves to reality stars and influencers.

Dr Britto told the publication: “Whenever the media promotes a particular type of body image, it can adversely affect anyone, particularly teenagers who are yet to develop their prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for rational thinking," she said.

"Teenagers can watch Love Island should they want to. Still, they need to be supported to understand how to manage their emotional well-being significantly if the show negatively impacts their self-esteem and confidence and they find themselves engaging in the act of comparison."

One key thing the psychologist points out is that when teenagers feel a certain pressure about their body images from things they’ve seen online, adults around them should not engage in body shaming. Dr Britto said it's essential that language and words at home are not harmful, and urged parents to avoid using a "one-size-fits-all approach".

Instead, if they begin to notice teenagers comparing themselves, Dr Britto advised to comfort them and nurture their feelings, as well as engage in activities that can "boost their mental health". Dr Britto added: "Teenagers are likely to benefit if adults notice that body dissatisfaction has been linked to risky behaviours such as unhealthy diet plans that lead to mental health problems.”

She noted a survey conducted by social media app Be.Real found 36 per cent of teenagers agreed they would do 'whatever it takes to look good', while 57 per cent of teenagers considered dieting, and ten per cent even considered cosmetic surgery.

ITV provides mental health support and other resources to contestants during the filming process. As of 2022, this includes giving islanders training on “the impacts of social media and handling potential negativity”.

ITV has been approached for comment.