If you read my previous post, you know I talked about how I am obsessed with Love Island (if you have not read it, you should! Then come back to this post.) I always felt like you could not be a feminist, and support these types of shows, but I am learning you can, and I LOVE it!
When talking with my professor, again, about why I love Love Island, we started to talk about how powerful it is. It is important to note that the Love Island I am talking about is the one that is aired in the UK, not the US one (because that one is nowhere near as good)
For the average viewer, you probably are not thinking about the contestants race or nationality, but that is something to recognize. The winner, Amber Gill, is racially mixed. In the United States this rarely happens.
Black women or racially mixed women rarely win on American reality Television. On The Bachelor, over half of all black contestants are removed from the show two weeks after the first show.
In the States when a TV cast has women and men that are of a marginalized racial group, it feels as almost if they are including them to check off the box of diversity. It feels like they are casted because they want to appear as if they are diverse.
The majority of people who are producing and creating mainstream TV are white.
When watching TV it is mainly white people, people of marginalized groups do not have someone to relate to. There is no diversity.
Because our media geared towards a white audience, it makes people think that being white is the normal. This makes people of marginalized groups think that they do not belong.
We NEED more TV shows that include people of color, people with diverse sexualities, people of different social classes. Rather than including them to check off a box, or having one type of representation.
We should not have to create shows like Blackish or Mixedish for people of color to find characters to relate to. It should be more normalized to have characters of different races, and we should not have to make an entire series to embody their races.
When watching various televisions shows, white people see a large number of different types of characters they can relate to. Versus people of color, who only see one type of representation. Shows like Love Island normalize people of color, and it allows more viewers with celebrities to connect to.
For Love Island to be as big as it is in America, and have such a racially and ethnically diverse cast is impactful. When I was watching the show I never really considered the diverse cast, and I feel like this is how most viewers watch the show.
But when you take a step back it is very impactful. When we are watching American TV, most of the people on it are your stereotypical white men and women. But Love Island offers something so new and different.
By making Love Island so accessible for Americans, it shows viewers that a racially diverse cast is normal. It is important for shows like this to be accessible for Americans.
In the UK viewers, see this racially diverse cast as normal, however, this is not normal on American TV. By having this broadcasted in the United States it is beginning the process of normalizing a diverse cast.
Shows like UK’s Love Island encourages diversity, and it normalizes it. American’s watching this show view a racially diverse cast as normal, and there needs to be more shows like this!
So you CAN be a feminist and watch Love Island because they are normalizing intersectionality and encouraging it. Everyone should support Love Island because they are changing the way we view television and helping us be more accepting because of it!
Featured Image via RadioTimes