If we’ve learned anything from the last few years, it’s that representation matters.
Big issues like the representation of different skin tones, body sizes and disabilities are fought for on the reg by various strong-ass women and require real change in the minds of the powers that be.
However, calling the media out on a lack of inclusion is only one way to change things. Love Island in particular have been receiving flack for their lack of inclusion on the show, predominantly with body sizing.
Applauding small changes is another. Once these powers realise that we WANT to see ourselves and our peers represented, things will change.
Even this year, campaigns like Dove'sstunning #ShowUs effort have been proving to the media industry that the public want to see every type of person in advertisements and on our screens.
From all gender binaries, sexual orientations, ethnicities, abilities and sizes to vitiligo to scarring; Why should only one type of person be represented on screen when perfection is a myth?
When flawlessness and perfection no longer sell, when ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t appeal to the masses; that’s when media organisations, beauty companies and the entertainment industry begin to change their tune.
On the topic of applauding small steps, the last two episodes of Love Island have sparked praise in one particular area: skin.
Every single human being has experienced bad skin at one point in their lives. Some of us suffered through teenage acne and have the scars to prove it. Many have had to deal with life-altering skin related issues from complex conditions to unfortunate accidents. Skin is at the centre of beauty campaigns and we are bombarded with an image of what perfectly clear skin ‘should’ look like, err single day.
The cute and bubbly new contestant on the ITV reality show, Francesca Allen, has received some appreciative feedback for choosing to allow her skin to breathe free. She has visible spots and we are SO ready for them. This was also true for Lucie when she took her makeup off each night and revealed 'normal' skin. Maura is over there representing all pale Irish beauties whose faces don't match their necks after a night out.
There should never be a strict definition of what constitutes 'normal' skin. 'Normal' to us is what we're shown the most, which is perfection.
However, in reality there are millions of skin disorders and types in the world that don't get shown on screens globally. Our skin is a vital organ, and it's unique to each person.
One Love Island viewer tweeted she was; "nearly crying at the fact Francesca has acne scarring". Another got emotional stating it was "refreshing" for someone who struggles with their skin every day "to see an amazingly beautiful girl like Francesca show off her bare face and acne to the world without shame". These are real people, lets remember. Real people who are thankful to see something familiar on the small screen.
Though each islander is stunningly beautiful in their own ways, imperfections show their humanity. Just because they're on a screen doesn't mean they aren't just like us. That the kids watching them – and yes there are kids as young as 12 waiting up for the series each night- can see that skin imperfections can be gorgeous and above all, normal.
Considering Francesca's skin is still by advertising and media standards damn near perfect, it says a lot that the response to even a few minor scars has been incredibly positive and emotional.
Love Island's newest star Francesca Allen is finding herself in hot water after an old tweet resurfaced referencing Caroline Flack's former relationship with Harry Styles.
The show host was once called "a dirty paedophile" by the store owner when she was just 16-years-old, so we can't be judging her too harshly. Presumably she never thought she'd meet the host as well.
The tweet from 2012 was written by Francesca's friend Paige Banks, who took to the social media site to share the message;
"Highlight of the day seeing Caroline Flack and calling her a dirty pedo with Francesca Allen hahaha."
Representatives of Francesca shared a statement to the media, which reads; "This was a historic tweet that has not come from Francesca directly.
"Francesca can’t reply as she is in the villa but she would be mortified if she was judged based on the actions of a 16-year-old friend. She has a lot of respect for Caroline and is looking forward to meeting her."
Many of us remember when Caroline and Harry Styles were first pictured together as a couple in 2011, with eyebrows raised due to their 14-year age gap.
Back in 2015, Caroline revealed the massive level of abuse she received once their relationship went public;
"It began to go wrong when Harry was pictured coming out of my house one morning," Caroline wrote in her autobiography Storm In A C Cup. "And once that was out, it was open season. After that anyone could say anything. In the street people started shouting at me “paedophile” and “pervert”."
The former couple dated for a few months throughout 2011 and 2012, after a 17-year-old Harry's "captivating smile" won 32-year-old Caroline over.
"I already knew he had a crush on me, he’d made it pretty obvious," the Love Island presenter said. "It was flattering and I found it amusing. He was a kind of cheeky man/boy with a captivating smile who got what he wanted."
Francesca is seemingly unaware of the furore surrounding the ancient tweet, considering she only entered the villa three days ago. She's already caused a stir and Maura sees her as Public Enemy Number One after she chose Curtis Pritchard in the recoupling.
Shouldn't everyone dismiss the old tweet as teenage nonsense? Imagine if the things we wrote on Bebo when we were 16 were published, yeesh. We'd be finished.
Essex beauty Fran has got her eyes set on Anton, which could spell bad news for Belle. Chris is taken with Longford lass Maura Higgins, who is now single but has feelings for Curtis. The DRAH-MA continues…
Francesca Allen is a store manager who knows a fair amount of the TOWIE cast from her shop- Georgia Kousoulou, Chloe Ross, Chloe Lewis.
"My sister’s boyfriend is Sam Faiers’ boyfriend’s brother, so we know each other. Jack Fowler was my personal trainer for a while, he’s really nice."
She reckons that her sense of humour perfectly matches Anton's, so watch out Belle;
"I do think it’s mainly Anton – I’ve liked him from the beginning. He seems like a really nice person. He seems like my kind of humour. He doesn’t take himself too seriously. He is good looking. I think we complement each other well."
She "didn't buy Amy and Curtis from the beginning" but is attracted to the ballroom dancer; "I love his snake hips."
She doesn't hold back about his relationship with Amy; "They were a bit awkward. It was a funny relationship. I wasn’t surprised when they broke up."
Chris Taylor is a business development manager from Leicester, who's set his sights on hilarious Irish girl Maura.
“Maura, she is very interesting. She’s an absolute fireball and I’ve got that same side to me as well. She has loads of banter and seems very easy to get on with. It will be interesting to see if we clash or not.”
His claim to fame is rather weak, but we'll take it; "My dad was engaged to Denise Welch when he was 19. They’re still good family friends. I’ve met her a few times, she’s lovely."
Chris is as confident as the rest of the boys in the villa, and is comfortably with his masculinity. He even admits to loving "girly things" like watching chick flicks;
"I am the full package I’d say. I’m not a bad looking guy. I would give myself a solid 7.2 out of 10. I can cook, I enjoy a bit of cleaning. I don’t really like football, and I don’t mind doing more girly things – I love a chick flick.
"In terms of being in a relationship with a girl, I’m the perfect islander to go in."
Damn son, we give you our blessing to go for Maura. Hit her with your best shot.