‘Love Island’ is a popular British television show documenting the romantic journey of 12 single people, competing for a £50,000 prize. Presented by Caroline Flack, the second series started at the beginning of June on ITV2, running for almost two months.

The TV show has gained a huge following this summer, but its links to beauty could serve to further a harmful association between Millennials’ confidence and their appearance. According to Mintel’s Marketing to Older and Younger Millennials UK 2017 report, 37% of British Millennials say they would describe other Millennials as appearance-focused, and the pressure to maintain appearance can be overwhelming.

With little else to do, contestants on Love Island are able to spend their days working out, topping up their tans, and enhancing their appearance. With over 500,000 followers on Love Island’s Twitter account, the popularity of the show has resulted in audiences wanting to emulate these toned and tanned twenty-somethings. At a time when women are likely to experiment with beauty, retailers and brands can capitalise on this strong influence, promoting products that help achieve Love Island beach looks. Nonetheless, with much busier schedules than the contestants on the island, it is unsurprising that four in 10 adults actually spend less than 5 minutes a day maintaining or enhancing their body, as highlighted in Mintel’s Men’s and Women’s Beauty and Grooming Routines UK 2017 report. Brands could therefore cater to consumers with products that can provide shortcuts and help them save time.

However, not all aspects of Love Islander beauty come as naturally as they appear to. It has been revealed that nails and hair are done professionally on the island, and a number of contestants are rumoured to have had surgery such as breast implants and lip fillers. These on-screen ‘tweaks’ could perpetuate an unachievable standard of beauty among young adults. Instead of aligning confidence with appearance, the influence of the Love Island cast could be used to promote confidence in other areas now that the show is over. For instance, contestant Chris Hughes was praised in the media for speaking out about mental health issues, a concern that less than six in 10 Millennials are confident in seeking help about.

Alex is a Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel with a keen interest in consumer behaviour. Prior to Mintel, she worked as a personal care research executive, before spending 3 years in revenue management in the food & drink sector.

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