Dr Alex George, one of Love Island's series four contestants, has taken some time to share an important reminder with fans of the show: to be kind online whilst watching the new series. Dr George shared a holiday snap on his Instagram with a powerful caption that read "Love Island is back on tv tonight and I know so many are excited to have the show back on our screens 📺 Don't panic this photo isn't a sign that I am going back on the island . . . I just wanted to post a gentle reminder to be kind online. Particularly when it comes to body image and appearance. I am proud of how I look in the photo above. I am happy and healthy. Let's celebrate ALL body shapes and sizes."
The caption continued, reminding viewers that it's "always worth remembering that although the contestants can't read your tweets or comments while they are on the island, their loved ones certainly can. Importantly, so can your friends and family who might relate to that person on your screen. Enjoy the series and escapism that it brings and look to build people up and please be kind 💙" Clothing brand Missguided also shared a tweet that said "if you are tuning into #LoveIsland tonight, please take a second to think before you hit 'post'. If you wouldn't say it to a friend, don't say it to a stranger."
George's post is one of a few similar ones shared this week, after the 2020 series of Love Island was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 2020 also saw the death of former Love Island presenter Caroline Flack, which happened as a result of negative social media comments and bullying from the British press. The series has come under fire a number of times for a lack of consideration about the mental health of its contestants, specifically after contestant Mike Thalassitis also died by suicide in 2019, after Sophie Gradon and her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong died the year before. Whilst these messages are only a small step, hopefully they help to bring a greater shift in the conversation surrounding reality TV contestants and their mental health.