Love Island has been accused of looking like a ‘Hitler youth camp’ – because it features so many blonde women.
Viewers of the ITV2 reality show have flooded social media to express their disgust at the lack of brunettes and ethnic-minority contestants, with one storming: ‘Another blonde???? Does Hitler own shares of Love Island?’
The criticism follows the decision to include eight blonde women in the current series. There have been just one brunette and three non-white female participants.
The row erupted on Tuesday when producers of the matchmaking show, which is set in Majorca, introduced two new blonde-haired, blue-eyed ‘bombshells’ into the villa – Abigail Rawlings, 27, and Georgia Townend, 28.
Another blonde, Andrea-Jane Bunker, 28, had joined the cast the previous week.
The row erupted on Tuesday when producers of the matchmaking show, which is set in Majorca, introduced two new blonde-haired, blue-eyed ‘bombshells’ into the villa – Abigail Rawlings, 27, and Georgia Townend (pictured), 28
Two in three women on show have had fair hair – twice the UK average
Eight of the 12 female contestants who have so far appeared on the current series of Love Island are blonde – double the proportion of women with fair hair in Britain.
While about 35 per cent of women in the UK have either natural or dyed blonde hair, two-thirds of those on the ITV reality show have been blonde.
Indeed, since the series was launched in 2015, 53 of the 99 female contestants – or 53.5 per cent – have had blonde locks.
Brunettes made up 33.3 per cent of the women in the Love Island villas, while 13 were ethnic-minority contestants.
Although the current series has the highest proportion of blondes, the first had seven blondes, three brunettes and only one non-white star.
Season four had a ten blondes out of a total of 19 women – with just one non-white competitor.
In last year’s series, there were six blondes, six brunettes and one ethnic-minority contestant.
But the voting public don’t appear to prefer blondes. In the first six series, three female winners had brunette hair, two were blondes and one was mixed-race.
It is not known what proportion of Britain’s blondes are naturally that colour, but almost two out of five women who decide to dye their hair choose the colour.
The show has featured a further five blondes since its launch on June 28 – estate agent Faye Winter, 26, accountant Chloe Burrows, 25, student Liberty Poole, 21, online shop owner Lucinda Strafford, 21, and admin assistant Millie Court, 24. Presenter Laura Whitmore is also blonde.
The lack of diversity led some furious viewers to attack the show’s blonde dominance.
One fan wrote on Twitter ‘#LoveIsland – keep producing blonde girls like it’s Hitler youth camp’, while another asked: ‘How long do we have to sit through Hitler’s angels? #LoveIsland.’
An enraged viewer also asked ‘Is this Aryan Island or what????’, with another complaining: ‘The Hitler ideals really are thriving in this show. All I bloody hear is blue eyes and blonde hair, what in the Aryan race is going on??? #LoveIsland.’
According to research by Mintel, about three in ten Britons are natural blondes, almost half are natural brunettes and some ten per cent have black hair.
Blonde is, however, the most popular colour for those who dye their hair, with the Mintel study finding 39 per cent opt for blonde locks, 36 per cent choose brown, 17 per cent prefer auburn or red, and eight per cent pick black.
The latest furore is embarrassing for ITV, which has previously found itself embroiled in race rows.
In October 2019, The Mail on Sunday revealed that the channel had featured just one ethnic-minority presenter during an entire day of programming.
Two years ago, former Love Island contestant Samira Mighty – who was the first black woman to star on the series since its launch in 2015 – complained that she had been ‘the token black woman’ on the show and the last to be picked by a male contestant. Critics may argue little has changed. In the current series, the only brunette to date is civil servant Sharon Gaffka, 25, but she was evicted last weekend. Only one black contestant remains – fashion blogger Kaz Kamwi, 26.
Mixed-race model Shannon Singh, 22, lasted just 48 hours in the villa until she was evicted when new arrival Ms Burrows chose to couple with her partner.
Chloe Burrows, Millie Court and Lucinda Strafford discuss the ‘football results’ on Love Island
Travel agent Rachel Finni, 29, who is also mixed-race, was evicted 11 days ago.
Love Island also drew complaints when its first disabled contestant, Hugo Hammond, a 24-year-old PE teacher, who was born with a club foot, was not picked during the Line of Booty challenge.
ITV last night said that it had worked strenuously to ensure diversity among the housemates. A spokesman for the show said: ‘When casting for Love Island, we always strive to reflect the age, experiences and diversity of our audience and this year is no exception, with a cross-section of different personalities and backgrounds in the villa.’