With Caroline Flack announcing that early filming has begun for the new season of Love Island we as a society can begin to look forward to the future, to another season of Love Island, and try tear our eyes away from the wreckage of Love Island 2018. With the recent demise of Jack and Dani's relationship, the winners and last couple from last season, we were forced to confront the grim reality that maybe, relationships forged in the crucible of Stockholm Syndrome and low-level chronic sun-stroke, perhaps just aren't designed to last in the outside world.
As such, we must jettison any negative thoughts from our minds regarding the viability of Love Island as a format for creating legitimate relationships. We must capture these thoughts, bury them deep and then, as if we were the Stalinist custodians of our own minds, purge them from our memories. We must look forward, with unrelenting optimism, toward Love Island 2019. We must believe that it represents an opportunity for us to witness the first fledgling flames of a genuine relationship, that it is possible for true love to blossom between a personal trainer from Sunderland and an eye-brow beautician from Hull under a pulsing Iberian sun in front of dozens of cameras. For if we allow cynicism to pollute our faith in the purity of Love Island, then where does that leave us as a society?
However, for those of you who simply cannot endure the agonising wait until the beginning of the new season of Love Island - due to whatever suite of complex psychological reasons - then we have good news, there is a very similarly premised show airing on Channel 4 as we speak! The third episode of Naked Beach aired last night on Channel 4 and it has been garnering more and more praise with each passing week. While it bears many of the same hallmarks as Love Island - the sequestering of British people in a hot, tropical villa; an abundance of nudity, and an underlying tension as to what will happen to the format in a post-Brexit world, crucially, the heart of the show is very different.
Whereas Love Island positions a group of young, conventionally beautiful people with the intention of getting them to competitively sex one another in a quest for supremacy and the ultimate allure of a lucrative promotional deal with a regional mega-gym, Naked Beach attempts to actively promote body positivity. Each episode sees four different people, each with various body confidence issues, brought to a similarly sun-drenched villa where they are to briefly live with several body positivity coaches. The contestants are only allowed wear coloured body-paint while in the villa and the ultimate goal is that they will shed the need to cover up and, with the support of the other contestants and their body positivity coach, be able to embrace their own bodies.
The reaction to the show has been largely positive, with many people, initially assuming that it would be in danger of coming across as exploitative, surprised by how sincere and heartfelt the show is.
I wished I had confidence like those on #NakedBeach @Channel4 no matter what size I’ve been in my life I have never had the confidence to even wear a bikini. Love what @_NatashaDevon and @DrKeonWest is doing for these people ????
— ???Melody Leigh??? (@icequeenfairie) April 25, 2019
I've just ended up here at random as a first-time viewer. Thought this was going to be some sort of 'fun at expense of others' reality TV, but it's really thoughtful and life-affirming. Well done! More of this kindness and empathy on our screens! Lovely stuff, ty ❤️#NakedBeach
— Sab O'Tiel?????? (@scuffsy) April 25, 2019
Excellent programme by @Channel4 highlighting the insecurities we have. Many people suffer from self-esteem issues, a thinking disorder in which individuals feel that they are not “good enough,” #NakedBeach
— Parveen Ali (@HijabiTographer) April 25, 2019
They all be DAMN proud of themselves. It's hardcore demon-busting to go naked when you have a lifelong history of poor body image. #nakedbeach
— Rachel (@OpenMindMH) April 25, 2019
Or, more simply.
ITS NOT EVEN 8.30 AND IVE SEEN A BALL SACK ? #nakedbeach
— Tish Pennington-Bell (@tish__) April 18, 2019
You can catch up with the first three episodes of the show on 4oD, and the remaining episodes will be broadcast on Channel 4 every Thursday at 8pm.