Fans Remind Former Love Islander Paige Thorne She Doesn’t Need To ‘Punish’ Herself When It Comes To Exercise

Former Love Island star Paige Thorne has sparked concern with her latest TikTok video

Paige Thorne at the Plane screening in London in 2023

by Nikki Peach |
Updated on

If we didn't already have enough reasons to stay off social media, Love Island 2022 star Paige Thorne has found herself at the centre of a debate about diet culture because of a TikTok she posted about giving herself a ‘punisher day’.

In the video, the reality star said that after a few days away in Cannes she felt ‘horrific’ because she hadn’t been able to work out and had probably done ‘1,000 steps in the past four days’.

‘I’m about to do a punisher day of two hours’ worth of cardio,’ she announced in her gym gear. ‘Do I want to? No. Am I in the mood? No. Can I be bothered? No.’

The video was met with a mixed reaction from fans and has already received more than a million views. Some were worried about the term ‘punisher day’ with one person commenting, ‘punisher day? Let’s stop that toxic behaviour please! You don’t need to punish yourself for living your life [sic].’ And another wrote, ‘please be careful pushing yourself too much people. You don’t have to punish your body [sic]!!!’

Other TikTok users defended Paige Thorne’s right to exercise however she wants and wrote, ‘why are people so dramatic about a punisher day?’ and ‘are these comments real?? She’s talking about herself, not implementing it onto anyone else.’

As a 26-year-old who found fame on one of the UK’s biggest reality shows, Paige treads a fine line between being an ‘influencer’ and a woman battling with the same unattainable beauty standards as the rest of us. Paige's fitness routine is almost irrelevant at this point and a video that was probably intended to be harmless has started a wider debate about body image and responsibility.

Her fans’ concern understandably comes from a place of not wanting her to be too hard on herself, as well as an awareness that, as a former Love Island contestant with 545k followers on TikTok and 1.3 million followers on Instagram, Paige's posts have more of an impact than most people's do – particularly on young female followers who already have a lot of beauty standards to wade through.

Ultimately, the video highlights the perils of sharing too much about your life online. Regardless of what people in the public eye say or do on social media, they are always met with criticism, especially when it's about a subject people can relate to like health and exercise. And often that criticism comes from people who hold influencers to a higher standard, forgetting that they are also just strangers with feelings.

There is no denying that Paige's language and behaviour has the potential to shape her followers' ideas, but that speaks to a much wider cultural problem that neither Paige or her fans can solve on their own.

It's likely the video struck a nerve with some people because they can relate to the constant struggle to be 'good' and 'healthy' – and Paige is not immune to those feelings either.

More often than not these debates feel like a losing battle. Paige is as much a victim as she is a perpetrator of today's fitness ideals, and sadly social media does nothing to help.

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