‘Love Island’ is responsible for fuelling a plastic surgery epidemic across the UK, a health minister has warned.
Jackie Doyle-Price, the minister for mental health and suicide prevention, said the hit reality television show is encouraging young viewers to go under the knife.
“‘Love Island’ sits atop lots of things which all put across a generally unrealistic picture of body image,” she told The Sun. “But the truth is we all come in different sizes. If people want to change aspects of their appearance that is fine, but they need to understand that all these procedures come with risk.”
Doyle-Price then went on to warn about the dangers of booking more affordable plastic surgery appointments overseas.
“When it comes to fundamental operations such as boob ops, we are seeing more and more people going abroad because it’s cheap,” she continued. “I would say - please don’t do it because we are saying more and more people coming back to this country and the NHS having to put problems right.”
According to Doyle-Price, a study conducted by the Royal London Hospital in 2018 found a six-fold rise in cases needing reverse procedures (due to surgery being carried out abroad) since 2013 - with more than £63,000 spent on repairing botched surgery.
The health minister then went on to call out fellow reality television shows such as ‘The Only Way Is Essex and ‘Absolutely Ascot’ for also pushing unrealistic body ideals on the small screen.
“These co-called reality TV series are still promoting lifestyles which are semi-fantasy,” she warned. “It’s great to have a bit of escapism but no one should feel they have to aspire to be like these people. It’s still entertainment, it’s not real - and it can lead to real harm and cost to the NHS.”
Though it’s not the first time ‘Love Island’ has come under fire for its lack of diversity. Ahead of the 2019 series, creative director of ITV Studios Entertainment, Richard Cowles, gave a controversial statement on the casting process.
“I think we try to be as representative and diverse as possible,” he said. “It has to come back first and foremost - it's an entertainment show and it's about people wanting to watch people we've got on screen and then reacting and falling in love with one another.”
“Yes we want to be as representative as possible but we also we want them to be attracted to one another.”