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With Love Island returning to our screens, we are once again seeing renewed discussion surrounding the impact the show has on body image along with questions raised about the lack of diversity amongst contestants.

It is without a doubt that shows like Love Island are aspirational, with participants placed under huge amounts of pressure to conform to a very specific definition of beauty.

With past contestants reportedly spending thousands of pounds on surgical procedures and tweakmenets before entering the villa, it is clear that those taking part also feel they need to look a certain way in order to fit in.

With this in mind, Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors wanted to explore the extent to which the reality show impacts body image and self esteem and what those watching can do to protect their own mental health.

The immediate impact

As part of our research, we tracked Google Search Trends data which highlighted a clear pattern between the timing of Love Island episodes and a spike in searches for cosmetic procedures.

In the show’s first week back, our data found that searches for cosmetic procedures peaked in the hours immediately following episodes of the show being aired. Cosmetic procedures, including lip filler, botox, boob jobs and liposuction all saw an increased number of searches between the hours of 10pm and 4am.

It is interesting to see the immediate impact the show is having on people’s interest in cosmetic surgery and this strongly suggests that the show taps into personal insecurities, from the minute it comes on our screen.

Not only do Google searches show the impact Love Island is having on people’s perceptions towards cosmetic procedures, but it’s also apparent across social media the influence the show is having.

Normalisation of surgical procedures

As can be seen on social media, people can be quick to trivialise cosmetic surgery and tweakments. The way in which major procedures, such as breast augmentations are discussed can lead to people not fully understanding the risks and in turn not doing enough research.

While it is great that people feel confident and comfortable discussing their insecurities and empowered enough to take action, it is important to remember that many cosmetic procedures are classed as major surgery and should be treated as such.

In Love Island, contestants speak openly about the work they have had done. While this is great to normalise complete autonomy over a person’s body, the show often fails to show the reasons people have for choosing to undergo these procedures and the psychological impact they have had.

There are many reasons why a person might decide to undergo surgical procedures and tweakments, many of which extend beyond just physical appearance. Without truly touching on these issues, shows like Love Island play a part in normalising the idea that cosmetic treatments can provide a quick fix for deeper-rooted self-esteem issues.

Interest in facial filler

From our research, we were interested to see a spike in interest in facial filler since Love Island first returned to our screens. With related terms ‘Sharon Love Island lips’ and

‘Faye Love Island lips’ receiving increased searches.

This increased interest in facial filler is unsurprising, with many of the women in the villa talking openly about non-invasive procedures that they have had ahead of entering the show.

Despite the popularity of the facial filler - most notably plumped lips - it remains that people continue to be relatively unaware of the risks associated with not selecting an experienced and qualified practitioner for these seemingly minor procedures.

In reality, the impact of badly administered facial filler can be catastrophic. With research from Save Face suggesting that 83 percent of cosmetic treatments are carried out by practitioners with no medical experience - it is clear that more needs to be done to educate the public about some of the dangers and risks associated with non-invasive procedures.

What’s next?

With the public’s interest in Love Island showing no signs of letting up, anybody who feels that the show is having a negative impact on their self-esteem and body image should take the decision to do their best to avoid watching.

It is worth remembering that those taking part in the show will have taken radical steps to ensure they’re looking their best before entering the villa due to the societal pressures associated with the show. However, surgery isn’t always the best way to quickly fix something you’re unhappy with and is a decision that should not be taken lightly, and certainly shouldn’t be made due to the pressures of other people.

Previous contestant Olivia Attwood has recently spoken out about how young people should avoid getting these procedures due to trends as these are only temporary but the effects of cosmetic procedures aren’t. Again, this reinforces the importance of any decisions involving making changes to your appearance.

For anybody seriously concerned about the impact the show is having on themselves or those around them, there is a wealth of information and resources available online to help combat negative body image.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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