Love Island 2021 is set to welcome new singletons into the famous villa later this month.
The ITV2 reality series often features plenty of stunning women and muscular men – but should we really feel envious of their bodies?
Here, Entertainment Daily speaks to fitness and nutrition expert, Penny Weston, as she discusses the importance of body positivity and not comparing yourself to others.
Love Island 2021: What did Penny Weston say?
In the past, the series has been criticised for only showing stereotypically ‘perfect’ bodies.
And Penny agrees!
The expert told ED!: “It’s safe to say that the contestants don’t usually give a true representation of the range of ages, shapes, sizes and weights that exist in our population as a whole.
“Historically the contestants tend to be young, slim individuals.”
Furthermore, Penny said: “It would beneficial to see more diverse body shapes in order to portray a better representation.
“This would be beneficial for so many reasons, especially for younger people watching the show…
“…who may put pressure on themselves to achieve unrealistic goals in terms of their body as a result.”
Therefore, Penny has urged viewers not to compare themselves to those on the show.
She went on: “It’s important when watching shows such as Love Island, which usually involves lots of naked flesh on display, that people don’t compare themselves to the contestants.
It would beneficial to see more diverse body shape
“Whilst some of the contestants may be open about what steps they have taken to get their bodies into the shape they’re in, from exercise and diet to Botox and boob jobs, others won’t be.
“So by comparing yourself to them you’re likely to get unrealistic body goals which are not always healthy, both physically or mentally.
“The negative impact this can have on the self-esteem should not be underestimated.”
Love Island 2021: ‘Being healthy and happy are the most important things’
So what advice would Penny give to viewers?
The wellness guru went on: “I would advise people who are feeling down about how they look after lockdown to try and avoid comparing themselves to and their bodies and fitness to other people, albeit people on the television, online or even friends.
“The important thing is to remember that all of our bodies are different and that being healthy and happy are the most important things.”
Meanwhile, Penny has also encouraged the public to start making positive changes – including setting goals and planning workouts.
Read more: Love Island UK: The most explosive moments
She added: “I think it’s always reassuring to remember that no matter how bad we might think we look or how out of fitness we are, we can all make positive changes to our bodies.
“Whether that’s trying to do more exercise or eat a healthier diet. It’s important to remember your overall wellness.
“It may be that you’ll never have legs as long as one of the Love Islanders, or breasts as big, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy.”
Love Island 2021: What have other experts said?
Furthermore, Penny isn’t the only expert to note the importance of looking after our bodies.
Ahead of the series, Alex Parry from Character Strength & Conditioning also opened up to ED!.
He said: “Love Island can be addictive viewing, but as a professional coach I do worry about the standards it sets in viewers minds.
“It’s not realistic to expect to be a tanned, six-pack ab wielding, bikini-body ready fitness model through the year…
Focus on being the healthiest that YOU can be
“…and it does concern me that the show literally only picks people with these very specific body types.”
In addition, Alex, who provides strength and conditioning support to universities, says body positivity starts from within.
He concluded: “Remember that whilst good health is definitely a positive, there’s a much wider range of body shapes, sizes and physiques that can be healthy.
“Focus on being the healthiest that YOU can be, and try not to compare yourself to others.”
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