Asking a Love Islander to describe their ‘type’ will usually always get you the same result, at least historically. ‘Tall, dark and handsome,’ has long-been the phrase favoured by the women, but this year the men have gone even more vapid. It is simply: blonde.
Don’t get me wrong, men liking blonde hair on women is no new revelation, this we know. But there’s something about the blonde supremacy on this year’s Love Island that feels slightly… extreme. ‘Is she blonde?’ Liberty Poole asked frantically following Chloe Burrows arrival to the villa last night. ‘Yeah,’ Faye responded – to which Liberty, with near tears in her eyes, screeched ‘Bright blonde???’.
Liberty knew, with the wisp of one yellow strand of hair, she was now in hot water. Her partner, Jake Cornish, loves ‘blondes’. He hasn’t specified much more than that. Not a preference for certain features (other than little feet and white toes, but we’ve trauma blocked that from our memory) or God forbid, personality. Even when Chloe asked about more about his choice for the first coupling, he simply stated ‘I just went for the only blonde.’ (Faye is also blonde, mind, but as Liberty specified is very important, she’s not ‘bright blonde.’)
Honestly, there’s so much talk of blonde hair in this villa it’s starting to sound like a meeting for genetic engineers. Because what does Jake really mean when he says blonde? If Kaz Kamwi turned round and put on a blonde wig, would his head turn 560 degrees Tommy-Fury-style? If Phil Foden rocked up to the villa, purple shampoo in hand, would he be on his knees, ready to record Phil’s toes? Jake, we’re going to need more clarity here because ‘blonde’ simply isn’t doing it… Donald Trump is fucking blonde.
We weren’t the only ones confused by the obsession. In an episode largely condemned by viewers as incredibly boring, the blonde comments appeared to be the only thing people could focus on… and tweet about.
It may simply be that the episode has little to no drama worth tweeting about, but there is something intriguing about the way Love Island contestants manage to deduce each other’s attractiveness down to a hair colour year after year – as if it’s not something that could change with a box of Loreal’s finest.
Anyone with a bachelors in Love Island history, like I, would also note it’s not even that typical for contestants to be so blonde-blind. Bar Hannah Elizabeth in season one, most seasons of Love Island since 2016 have featured a very small, very ‘fiery’ brunette that seems to capture all of the men’s attention. Kady McDermott, Amber Davies, Maura Higgins, the brunette supremacy was reigning for a while there. Of course we had the literal bombshells that were Megan Barton-Hanson and Molly-Mae Hague, but there didn’t seem to be the same all-consuming focus on their yellow heads, more the fact they were both incredibly beautiful regardless.
What Love Island is doing this season then, is reigniting the blonde versus brunette feud that we thought the rise of Kardashian-inspired beauty had long put to rest. One would think the incredible creativity in hair colouring and wig-wearing displayed by women on social media in recent years would’ve rendered a beauty contest based purely on hair colour irrelevant, but we can always trust Love Island to return is to beauty standards once lost.
You can’t deny that this obsession with blonde hair (and blue eyes, we should add) all feels very… aryan. That’s the crux of this really isn’t it, that the only definer of beauty being blonde hair appears to feed into white supremacist beauty standards. Now, we may be delving deeper into Love Island psyche than is necessary there, but it’s something a lot of viewers have picked up on too.
Perhaps it’s our minds being less-blonde obsessed than men, but there’s no doubt that when Shannon Singh and Kaz are right there the boys falling apart over the brightness of a woman’s hair is just so… weird. Yes, beauty is subjective, but Shannon is a literal model! A model who despite her incredible face structure, curvaceous figure and hair we could only dream of, wasn’t chosen to be the bombshell that turns all the men’s heads?
Honestly, everyone is going to have their type – far be it for us to judge, but when a woman’s worthiness of dating is determined by something so irrelevant, changeable and loaded as having blonde hair, it does say a lot about the landscape of dating we’re in right now. Or it just says a lot about Jake, to be honest.