01926 436303 gp@tfjprivategp.co.uk

As Britain’s favourite reality TV show comes to an end and the post-drama blues surface, a Warwickshire GP is concerned about the messages the show presents on body image.
While millions of people tuned in to watch ITV’s ‘Love Island,’ Dr Jeff Foster, one of the founders at TFJ Private GP Services, believes the show encourages viewers to feel pressure to have the perfect physique.
The idea of the show is for contestants to find love within eight weeks of living with a group of men and women, by attracting viewers to themselves and the person they’ve coupled up with and ultimately win their vote to take home £50,000.
However, some argue the contestants enter the show for stardom, while others believe the contestants genuinely do want to find love.
He said: “As viewers, we sometimes witness emotional abuse, arguing and disloyalty for entertainment purposes. Unfortunately, the show teaches us this behaviour – and having a certain appearance – will help us find love.
“While it’s evident viewers can feel pressured by the show, we must take into consideration the pressure felt by the contestants, who sometimes appeared emotionally unstable on screen.
“Contestants also resorted to changing their appearance both before and during the show. One of this year’s cohort is rumoured to have spent more than £7,000 on cosmetic enhancements.
“Together, this creates a vicious circle which is only exacerbated by social media. We are constantly fed content including unrealistic body images, which glorify the male and female body and promote a certain idea of ‘beauty’ which, consequently, can have a negative effect on how people view themselves.”
Dr Foster wants to encourage people to live well-balanced lives by having a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding pressures from reality TV and social media as well as seeking professional help when necessary.
He added: “If you have any concerns for your mental or physical health, it’s important to speak to someone.
“Even Danny Dyer has been praised for telling contestant Jack Fincham, who won the show with girlfriend (and Danny’s daughter) Dani Dyer, that while all the other men had the perfect physique, they didn’t have a personality, which proves it’s not all about looks.”
ITV targets a young audience and has a duty of care when it comes to body image issues. Although it is quick to respond and agrees it needs to be more sensitive with the subject, it would be better to promote the idea that love is not only about someone’s appearance.
If you have any concerns for your health and well-being, please contact us on 01926 436303 or visit www.tfjprivategp.co.uk.