It seems to be a recurring theme on Love Island this year. A woman walks into the villa, all 5ft 10 of glorious beauty and charm, strolls confidently towards a group of drooling men and subsequently picks her favourites to get to know. They go on a date, where the men consistently tell the pinnacle of beauty that sits opposite them ‘you’re very confident, aren’t you?’
It first occurred with Amber, when her no-holds-barred-actually-holding-men-accountable attitude intimidated more than one of the male islanders. She was cast aside as ‘difficult’, by both the men in the villa and the public, until firefighter Michael swooped in with his scouse charm and proved she isn’t full of herself, she just loves herself enough to have standards. Then, the confidence conundrum was most patronisingly cast upon Anna, whom was mistakenly labelled ‘plus-size’ when she first entered the villa (because she wasn’t stick thin).
More than one conversation with various male Islanders has led to their questioning of Anna’s confidence, most recently when her current flame Jordan picked up on it last night. ‘You come across confident’, he said. ‘Good,' she responded to which he asked, ‘do you think I could handle you?’
Once again, confidence became associated with being difficult, as if it’s an obstacle to be jumped over in the game of keeping a woman. And more troubling, with Anna in particular, is the assumption that she wouldn’t be confident, which Islanders like Anton have fallen into the trap of believing – purely because he doesn’t deem her as physically attractive as the other Islanders. You know, because men’s perception of you ultimately decides your character as a woman, duh.
The biggest shock for the boys came with BDE Queen Maura, whom entered the villa with an energy that many online yearned for. Taken aback by how forward she was, her first choice Tommy – who was initially bewitched by her sexual sanguine - eventually chose Molly-Mae, whom despite showing early confidence had taken more of a back seat in the fight for his affection.
Last night, Maura’s most recent interest, Tom, again brought up how confident she was, doubling down on the sexist assumptions by questioning her on why she was so open about sex. ‘Why wouldn’t I be?’ she asked, ‘everyone does it. Women enjoy it just as much as men, so I don’t know why anyone gets so shocked when I talk about it.’
The straw that broke the camel’s back, at least for us, came when Arabella Chi entered the villa last night. Once again, the male Islanders were surprised by how confident she was. ‘First impressions, she’s got a lot of confidence about her,’ Danny said to camera after their first conversation, clearly astounded by her ability not to fluster in the face of so many 21-year-old personal trainers.
You canu2019t masturbate
With rumours swirling that Sherif was booted from the villa for masturbating in the shower, The Sun reported that he would 'spend hours' in there - however, he wasn't necessarily masturbating himself. '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. Avoiding challenges or participating in some healthy self-care? All we know is 2 months without masturbating is a long time to go...
Surprising isn’t it, that a literal model who conforms to every beauty standard, has maintained a successful career and whose personality has been deemed entertaining enough for a slot on a prime-time TV programme, would be confident?
Apparently, all women, even those who have played an Amazonian Goddess opposite Jason Mamoa in two DC films, should be fragile, insecure little flowers filled with humility and excited at the sheer opportunity of getting to know a 21-year old influencer who can only speak in clichés.
Listen, it’s not the biggest problem we’ve seen in Love Island, it’s not even the biggest issue with regards to sexism – that conversation about women keeping a low number of sexual partners was glazed over this year, wasn’t it? – but nonetheless it speaks volumes for just how deferential women are expected to be regardless of their outperformance of men in all areas of life. These women are beautiful, successful, charming and intelligent, yet the men are surprised when they don’t faint at their every glance? Now that is baffling.