Love Island and the 3 Peak Fuckboys
We truly are living in times of peak TV. With more and more TV shows on the air, stories of under-represented persons are finally getting the chance to come to the forefront. Big Little Lies told the story of how abuse can permeate within someone's psyche long after the abuser is gone. Orange Is The New Black & The Handmaid’s Tale continue to show the effects of institutional and political abuse. That being said, there’s been one show that’s truly highlighted the difficulties of being a woman in 2019.
I am, of course, talking about Love Island.
For those of you who have been unburdened by a 9pm curfew for the past eight weeks, Love Island is a British TV show where hot 20 somethings are cordoned off into a fancy villa in Majorca and encouraged to couple up. Over eight weeks, couples are made to face public votes, producer shenanigans and what seems like an endless supply of hot young Instagram models.
On Monday night, Greg and Amber were crowned the winners of Love Island 2019, beating favourites Molly-Mae & Tommy and winning 50 thousand pounds. The contestants will, of course, go on to do various BooHoo & Pretty Little Thing modelling campaigns, sponsored Instagram content and maybe even a few ITV2 reality shows.
Basically, Love Island is pure trash and I’m fully obsessed.
This season, Love Island set out to answer one very simple question: why are men such trash?
Yeah, yeah, #NotAllMen. Gregg, Tommy and Ovie were utter gentlemen throughout, and Chris was an absolute babe. I wish nothing but happiness for Gregg and Amber, and I look forward to King Ovie being my new boyfriend. But for every seemingly sweet man were about five snakes. The season started off rough with Joe joining in with the creepy-Joe club and being overly possessive and controlling towards Lucie, a girl who he’s known for like five days. Things got worse when Tom decided to get all #LadsBanter and question whether or not sexually confident Maura was “all mouth,” or not when they were given the opportunity to sleep in a private room. (Oh yeah, all the couples share a room, sometimes they have sex. It’s weird. It’s a whole thing). On national TV Tom essentially called Maura either a slut or a tease, and in a beautiful showdown she was not having it. Oh at all. And how could we forget Danny. Danny coupled up with national treasure Yewande, promised that his head wouldn't be turned, then swiftly dropped her for a white blonde model.
Throughout the show, there have been three men who have fuckboy’d their way through. They’ve been rude, inconsiderate and “chaldish”. While we’re all basking in the glow of Gregg and Amber, let’s have a look back at the top three fuckboys of Love Island.
Jordan and Anna fairly swiftly coupled up and, despite a blip in Casa Amor, things were going strong. (Oh yeah, Casa Amor separates the boys and girls, and brings in a whole new batch of hotties for them to “crack on” with behind their current partners back. It’s a whole thing). Anna coupled up with Ovie for a few days before ditching him and getting back with Jordan; despite the two of them routinely failing to get the public vote, the two of them were strong. Jordan even asked Anna to be “his chick,” as he took her on a tour of the villa where they shared romantic moments. Surely, this was the start of a beautiful relationship.
Yeah, it lasted two days.
Literally two days after becoming official, Jordan decided to “crack on” with new girl India much to everyone’s surprise. There were so many things wrong with this I barely even know where to start. The timing couldn’t have been worse; don’t ask someone to be your girlfriend and then literally two days later start cracking on with a new girl! He handled it terribly too; instead of talking to Anna first, he decided to get advice from terrible human being Curtis (more on him later), and go straight to India. Earlier that day, he alluded that he wasn’t entirely happy with Anna, but his reasons couldn’t have been more immature. After the couple landed in the bottom three, Anna was understandably upset; instead of wearing bodycons she had a hoodie day and was a little bit more morose than normal. After being emotionally supportive for about half an hour, Jordan appeared to get fed up of dealing with shit like emotions and started to lament the days when things were more fun (those days being like, yesterday). During their bust up when Anna, backed by a billowing caftan and the support of every other woman in the villa, Jordan was near constantly gaslighting her; claiming that he and India were merely talking and refusing to tell her the truth about what exactly they were talking about, then blaming her emotional state on the whole thing.
“Maybe if you weren’t so negative all the time this wouldn’t have happened. It’s fucking boring.”
Y I I I I I I I I I I I k e s.
This is why women are so hesitant to open up about their mental health to men; as soon as you display an ounce of emotion, he’ll realise you’re not always the cool, fun, hot sexy girl and ditch you for someone else.
I get it. It’s a reality TV show and people are portrayed in various lights by the producers. I’m sure Curtis is a lovely guy but OH GOD what a bellend.
Early on, Curtis coupled up with Amy and things appeared to be going swimmingly; they were officially “half boyfriend and girlfriend” (whatever that means), and things appeared to be going fine. He acted like the perfect boyfriend and they were early favourites to win the whole thing. Curtis presented himself as the group dad, always there to give out advice and offer a shoulder to lean on. All in all, he seemed like an honest trustworthy dependable sort of guy.
Oh no wait he was terrible.
During Casa Amor, Curtis’s “head got turned,” by Jourdan. After some general self-aggrandising about how hard his life is, he suddenly realised that things were missing between him and Amy, and decided to pursue Jourdan (who gave a swift and solid rejection. Congratulations. You played yourself). Upon return, he confessed to Amy and decided to pin the blame on her, claiming that it was her lack of trust in the relationship and low self-esteem which caused his eyes to wander. Of course. It was her fault. Obviously. “You don’t ever back yourself,” he told her, surely improving her self-esteem tenfold.
He then essentially admitted that the entire relationship was a scam; that he never wanted to go dancing with her, he never wanted to marry or have children with her, and that he never really saw a future with her. All this after weeks of the Barbie and Ken routine. Admittedly, Amy did have her annoying moments, but this was her first-ever relationship, and she had to deal with the tragedy of heartbreak on national TV. In front of an audience of millions, a stonefaced Curtis told Amy that he didn’t want to cuddle her in the morning because he wanted to make coffee for everyone. Amy was so crestfallen by the whole situation that she ended up quitting the show and getting the full post-breakup haircut glow up.
The general opinion was that Curtis was straight-up lying about his entire relationship with Amy just to please her and the ITV2 audience. His people-pleasing attributes were shown later when he refused to make a choice between two other women (somehow this guy got two other gorgeous women interested in him) until one of them literally sat him down and forced him to decide. Furthermore, as the self-proclaimed spiritual advisor of the villa, Curtis’s advice column wasn’t exactly E. Jean Carrol calibre; when Jordan asked his advice about the Anna-India situation, Curtis suggested that he go directly to India without discussing things with Anna first, and then had the gall to call him brave for attempting to cheat on his girlfriend. Yeah, that’s exactly what Sara Bareilles was singing about.
On their first date, Amber told Michael that he looks like the kind of guy that would ruin a girl's life. What followed was weeks of emotional torture and gaslighting.
Much like all the aforementioned couples, things were going great between Amber and Michael; they too were early favourites to win the whole thing, and Michael showed a level of emotional maturity not yet seen on the show. When a fellow islander was getting flack from the girls from a particularly unceremonious dumping, Michael took him aside to talk about how he could have handled the whole situation better.
What followed must have been some invasion of the bodysnatchers shit because good god.
After a stranger on Twitter suggested that Michael was whipped by Amber, things took a turn. Casa Amor swiftly followed, and Michael appeared to show no remorse about coupling up with the shiny new Joanna (despite prior assurances that this wouldn’t happen). Upon Amber’s return, instead of doing the decent thing and taking her aside to calmly and compassionately discuss the whole situation, he gave a whole speech about how terrible it was being in a relationship with Amber, and how he’d had to constantly hold his tongue and act like a different person.
Thus begun weeks of emotional torture and gaslighting by Michael. He was rude to Amber and belittled her emotions, claiming that her tears were just a method of “winning” the breakup. He put full responsibility on her, claiming that she disrespected him, wasn’t interested in him, and made him “not open up”. When they were discussing the whole ordeal, he accused her of raising her voice, when she did no such thing, and constantly snapped at her. After she confessed that she still had feelings for him, the next day he ordered her to “sit down,” as though she was a dog who kept jumping on the table. Even though other islanders were admonishing him for his shocking behaviour, he refused to apologise, and called everyone else “chaldish”.
The swift 180 that Michael took opened up a national conversation about gaslighting. Countless women were reminded of terrible exes who belittled them and minimised their emotions. The nation was shook when Michael confessed that he still had feelings for her; this after Joanna was dumped from the island, and hot new Irish guy Gregg and Amber were clearly hitting it off. “Don’t go back to him!” the nation cried! We were all reminded of times when a guy had fucked us up only for us to crawl right back, we wanted Amber to be better. She deserved better.
And better she got.
In one of the tensest recouplings of the show, Amber chose Gregg. She chose the man who treated her with dignity and respect and casually won 25k in the process. At age 21, Amber proved to be the baddest bitch of them all.
As the men of Love Island have showed their asses and highlighted toxic behaviour, the women showed strength and maturity. Strong female friendships were formed, and the women almost always had each others backs. When Curtis told Maura that Jordan was about to "be brave" and cheat on his girlfriend, she ignored his requests to let it happen and immediately told Anna. When Anna went to confront Jordan, there was an army of girls ready behind her to back her up. When Michael and Amber were fighting, the women were team Amber and practically ready to punch Michael in the face. This season of Love Island was filled with women taking no shit and being all the better for it.
Maybe the real Love Island was the friends she made along the way.