Love Island’s Anton Danyluk Proves Just How Toxic ‘Lad Banter’ Is For Relationships

In a world full of Antons, get yourself an Ovie.

Anton and Belle

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Put a bunch of young, beautiful and (often) gym-obsessed men into a competition where they must convince a woman to fall in love with them and what do you get? Lad culture on (literal) steroids. ITV2’s most popular show might be called Love Island, but on more than one occasion this season it’s been worthy of renaming to Lad Island as year after year we’re subject to the same toxic traits.

Most recently, and unsurprisingly, it was all down to Anton Danyluk – you know, the one who bragged about his ‘wandering eye’ before going onto a TV show where the aim is to find love. After disrespecting Belle Hassan twice on last night’s episode, we were treated to the most satisfying takedown of a wannabe ultimate ‘lad’ ever when she explained that his need to impress his friends was ‘tedious’ and only resulted in her being ‘mugged off’.

If there was ever a perfect case study for a ‘laddy lad’, it’s Anton. The way he bragged about pulling women and cheating on them, spent more time trying to impress the male islanders in the villa than any women there and celebrated his winning of the ‘Lad Points’ challenge by kissing his biceps (yes, really), he really is the epitome of a ‘lad’.

And so of course, it’s been detrimental to his relationships with women because, shock, while lad culture might revolve around pulling women and proving you’re worth as the alpha male, when it comes to finding long-lasting healthy relationships it’s completely toxic. Especially when you’re no longer a teenager and attempting to be the ultimate lad becomes not just embarrassing, but as Belle stated, tired.

At the age of 24, you would hope he had outgrown this incessant need to impress his friends. And yet, he consistently attempts to make them laugh with ‘lad humour’. Asking random women for their numbers, kissing other contestants when he really didn’t need to –there wasn’t even pressure from his friends to – and shouting about how he’s ‘done’ with Belle after she ‘embarrassed’ him by calling him out on it, he’s living more for his friends approval than any woman in there.

It just goes to show the lengths men will go to impress their friends. They’ll lie to their partners, cheat on them and share private details of their relationships all to jump up in their friendship hierarchy, and – crucially - under the guise of ‘banter’. When actually, if you’re disrespecting or undermining the person you’re with, it’s really not funny at all.


Belle confronted Anton about his behaviour last night

Belle confronted Anton about his behaviour last night1 of 1

Belle confronted Anton about his behaviour last night

The ‘lad banter’ argument is possibly the most infuriating of all lad culture. Not only does it make the person you’re dating feel like a joke, but it perpetuates this need for women to put up with it because if they don’t, they ‘can’t take it'. We saw it with Belle and Anton initially, when after finding out that Anton had given another woman his phone number – which he never planned to tell her – Belle brushed it off as a joke, saying ‘all [men] have banter and play up in front of the lads, and I just think it depends on your sense of humour.’ And let's face it, given the sheer number of times Anton repeated the word ‘banter’ when explaining the situation to Belle, he clearly knew this would make it hard for her to object too hard to his behaviour, lest she lose her ‘cool girl’ status and become the dreaded banter-less shrew that takes everything too seriously.

Of course, it’s then no surprise that she blew up so dramatically at his choice to kiss Anna during the snog, marry, pie challenge – because again he’d made the ‘laddy’ choice and embarrassed her in the process. It was yet another reminder that men like Anton will go to new heights to bump themselves up in the lad hierarchy at the expense of their relationships.

And in real life, they don’t face the repercussions Anton so hilariously had to last night. Their ‘lad banter’ is hidden in locker rooms, over pints at the pub and in WhatsApp groups - which is why it's so important that we see men holding each other accountable for this sort of behaviour. But last night, of all the male contestants, it was only Ovie who stepped up to tell Anton that there was a fine line between ‘being the class clown’ and doing things that your partner would not want.

So, PSA for all those who haven’t gone off men entirely at this point – in a world full of Anton’s, get yourself an Ovie.

Read more: all of the (weird and wild) Love Island rules...


Love Island Rules - Grazia

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You can’t masturbate

When Sherif was first booted out the villa, rumours swirled that it was because he'd been caught masturbating in the shower. The Sun reported that he would 'spend hours' in there - however, they also said he wasn't necessarily masturbating. 'When producers told Islanders they have to get ready to film a challenge, Sherif was deliberately spending ages in the shower. He said he couldn't be bothered,' the source said. All we know is 2 months without masturbating is a long time to go...

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You have to shower at certain times

When writing for Grazia, Zara McDermott revealed that she was most shocked to see Islanders is the 2019 series showering in the morning. 'We could only use the shower each evening,' she said of last season. Spending all day in the sun without a morning shower? No wonder Amber was worried about smelling when she Michael went to kiss her in the last season.

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You can’t talk about your relationship on Saturdays

In a shock revelation on This Morning, 2017 Love Island winner Kem Cetinay revealed the real reason the show doesn't air on Saturdays. 'They give you one day off. You get one day off per week,' he said, 'What happens is, it gives them a day to clean the villa, and you take your mics off, and normally we go to the beach.'But that wasn't the only startling revelation, he also admitted that producers watch Islanders like a hawk because they're not actually allowed to discuss their relationships. Essentially, anything they have to talk about their home lives outside the villa, lest they be scolded for breaking the all important rules.

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You can only have two glasses of wine or beer on a ‘big night’

They get dressed up, put on a full-face of makeup, film awkward dance sequences, and all for two little glasses of wine or beer. According to 2016 Islander Liana Isadora Van-Riel, 'you're allowed one or two drinks a night, either wine or beer, no spirits.'And while contestants will opt for two drinks on a 'big night', most nights they just have a cup of tea. Wild.

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You can’t be naked ever, even in the bathroom

Since the villa is technically a public space, there can be no nudity whatsoever as it would be considered public indecency. That means even in the bathroom, islanders can never be completely naked in front of each other.

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You can’t read a book or magazine

We knew about the no phone rule, which makes sense given they don't want Islanders reading about themselves online or hearing updates from the outside world, but no books or magazines?! No wonder their conversations become boring to watch, with 2017 contestant Montana admitting the villa is really dull day to day.

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You have to eat at certain times

According to Montana, contestants can make their own breakfast but lunch and dinner is always catered. In fact, food is brought through a secret door. 'In the larder there's another door that goes out the back that they lock,' she said, 'That's how they deliver food.'It's long been a question why we never see the Islanders eating, but Montana stated that's when producers come in and charge the contestants microphones, insisting 'everyone wants that good because it's so yum.'

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You can’t take your mic off ever

One of the most serious rules in the villa, contestants aren't allowed to take their mic's off apart from on Saturday's, their off day. If you're caught doing it more than once, you'll be axed from the villa immediately, according to The Mirror.

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You're not allowed to know the time

You essentially have to become a full Girl Guide in the villa if you want to know the time, telling it through the sun. Because, Islanders aren't allowed to know themselves and all of their phones are set to different times. 'You never know what the time is,' 2017 contestant Montana told The Independent, 'They'll wake you up by putting the lights on or a voiceover will say "Islanders, it's time to get up".'

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You can’t smoke in the villa, even in the garden

Love Island stopped showing scenes where contestants were smoking after complaints they were all partaking in the habit too much. Now, Islanders aren't allowed to smoke on the premises at all, even in the garden.

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You can't have unprotected sex

Plus, they have to declare before going on the show if they have any sexually transmitted infections. With rumours Kem and Amber got in trouble last year for having unprotected sex, this rule seems to be even more integral now. Discussions around sex on Love Island have snowballed massively as the seasons become more and more popular each year. While early seasons saw Islanders getting busy almost every night, in the same room with scenes often aired every episode, sex has become much more taboo - when it comes to airing it at least. In 2018, producers decided to stop airing sex scenes, as well as the Islanders smoking. Given the slut-shaming many female contestants receive upon doing the completely natural act it's unsurprising.

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You have to go for scheduled chats

And they must be juicy. According to Montana, when she and fellow 2017 contestant Camilla were talking about hymns they like, producers intercepted and told them to spice it up ('That's not interesting', they said). In fact, producers will also intervene to ensure certain people talk, but the conversation itself is not necessarily staged. 'They might be like, "Camilla, pull Montana aside and ask how she's feeling about Alex"', Montana admitted.

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You’re not allowed to get waxes

It's long been wondered how the contestants keep up with their beauty routines in the villa, with not a bumpy bikini line or stubbly chest in sight. Do contestants have waxers brought in to the villa? Absolutely not, according to Montana. While the women in her season requested wax strips to do it themselves, they 'all had bruising' and so resorted to shaving, with Montana insists 'most people' do.

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You absolutely cannot have drunken sex

A huge villa no-no, drunken sex is completely off the cards for Love Island contestants. Given that they're allowed two wines or beers on big nights and most of them sip on tea all night, we're not sure that's a huge risk, to be honest.

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No inappropriate language or behaviour

One of the actually non-weird rules, contestants are completely prohibited from 'innapropriate language or behaviour'. While it's quite a broad, and subjective, phrase, the rulebook applies it to racial slurs, homophobia and aggressive language. Plus, sexual harassment and physical violence is included in this rule.Other than Sherif, the only villa removal we've seen because of rule-breaking was when Malia Arkian punched Kady McDermott back in season two, so it's clearly a big one.

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No discriminating against staff

Another non-weird rule, contestants aren't allowed to be rude or discriminatory to staff or else they will be booted off.

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They need to keep the complete rule book at all times

All of these rules must not only be obeyed at all times, but contestants must also keep the rule book in their possession too - just in case they forget about the whole no masturbating thing.

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