De-crowning Miss Great Britain Is To Punish Her Right To Make Sexual Choices

Zara Holland, the current holder of the Miss Great Britain crown, had sex whilst appearing on TV's Love Island. Now, she's been stripped of her crown.

De-crowning Miss Great Britain Is To Punish Her Right To Make Sexual Choices

by Chemmie Squier |
Published on

Zara Holland is a 20-year-old woman who is currently starring in ITV2's reality show,* Love Island*. She also happens to be Miss Great Britain after being crowned in 2015.

In case you're not familiar with it, the basic aim of *Love Island, *which is coming into it's fourth week, is to get coupled up. Just to make things complicated, new people enter the villa on a weekly basis to try and shake things up a bit and if, at the end of the week, you’re left the single one (there's always one extra man or woman) you’re kicked off the show. The end goal is the £50,000 prize money which is up for the couple who make it to the end because they're in love. Or something. I don't quite get it either but it's weirdly addictive.


On Wednesday night’s show Zara was picked by the public to have a date in the ‘Hideaway’ (basically a private cabin) with a boy of her choice. She picked Alex, 24, because, she told viewers, she wanted to get to know him more. After choosing to stay in the Hideaway for the night rather than return to the villa, Zara and Alex had sex.


That's right, guys. Two consenting adults had sex and it happened to be on TV.

The next day Zara seemed to express a certain level of regret – which, just like actually having sex, is her prerogative. She commented that, ‘You know when you're in the moment and it just happens. That's really not like me at all. Why couldn't we have just gone to sleep?’

Now, the organisers of Miss Great Britain have ‘de-crowned’ her, strippping her of her title for the act. They released the following statement on their Twitter:

Some of the key points they raised included, 'We pride ourselves on promoting the positivity of pageants in modern society and this includes the promotion of a strong, positive female role model in our winners’.

The statement then goes on to say ‘We wholly understand that everyone makes mistakes'. This one really gets my goat, grinds my gears, fucks me off – whatever you want to call it. By definition, 'mistake' means 'an act or judgement that is misguided or wrong' because Zara may well have expressed a certain level of regret on the show but whether or not she'd consider it a 'mistake' is her choice, not that of Miss Great Britain**.

They also say that Zara 'simply did not uphold the responsibility expected of the title'. We reached out to Miss GB asking them to clarify what the expected responsibilities are of Miss Great Britain and how these are related to her choice to engage in a sexual act. They replied saying, 'Zara is a lovely girl, we understand that this is out of character for her.' Something which, in itself implies that having sex on telly and being 'lovely' are mutually exclusive. They also say their title holder 'must be an ambassador and this public behaviour does not support the ethos of our brand.'

Miss Great Britain say they aren't 'slut-shaming' Zara. But to us, to slut shame is to make someone (usually a female) feel guilty about their sexual behaviour. Stripping Zara of her title is a punishment; retribution in return for a deviant act.

'We feel it important to explain that we have no problem at all with sex and our contestants/winners being sexually active and exploring their sexuality with another consensual adult.' The statement also says, 'This has never, and will never be a problem, however we simply cannot condone a reigning title holder doing so on TV. To put it into context, for those outside of the pageant industry, if a school teacher took part in the show, that person would have a level of responsibility they would be expected to uphold because of their role, and are certain they would face similar consequences if they took part in similar actions on National television.'

The message being sent here is a dangerous one. It's the implication that there is 'good sex' and 'bad sex'. Just like society creates two types of women: the 'good' (chaste, pure, 'marriage material') and the 'bad' (sexual, independent), sex is also divided. Sex inside marriage? Great, good, excellent! One night stands? Terrible, absolutely not, stop that.

What we’re missing here, as with so many discussions in the media about sex, is the idea of choice. That a woman can choose to explore her sexuality in whichever way she likes, free from societal validation or condemnation. The sentiment being expressed in this instance is that sex is a punishable offence – and in this case, that means the loss of a title.

So let's be really clear here. Let's lay this out. Simply.

Some women have sex. Some women have casual sex. Women make choices based on what they would like to do. Women do not need validation of said sexual acts from outside sources. Women who have sex are not 'sluts', or any other gross word that has similar connotations. Women can do whatever they want to.

Great. I think we're done here.

You might also be interested in:

Slut-Shaming Taylor Swift Just Undoes All Our Hard Work For Sexual Equality

New Research Shows That Women Who Earn More Get Slut Shamed Less

Why Game Of Thrones' Slut-Shaming Of Cersei Had To Happen

Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us