And not Uber Eats. Hahahahha get it x
Another series of Love Island has come to an end, the most deserving winners EVER Amber and Greg have gone off with their £50k, and each season, there’s always a specific relationship that will define the series and be your long lasting memory of that series. It could be an actual relationship between one of the couples – Dani and Jack anyone? – or it could be a bromance – Chris and Kem? Jack, Josh and Wes? – but whoever they are, they would’ve provided the best scenes, the best banter and the best emotional bits of that series. This year, for me, that relationship is the friendship that the girls have had.
The women this year, especially those who have stuck around long enough to leave a lasting impact, have set such an example for us all. They’ve stood up for themselves and for each other, they refuse to take shit from a boy and won’t have anyone else take shit either. They know their worth, they pick each other up and remind each other of their worth when one of them seems to be forgetting it (usually at the hands of a boy who isn’t worth it) and they’ve shown us what girl power is really all about.
Girl power is one of those phrases that gets thrown around so much that it seems cringe. We almost don’t know what the meaning is anymore because a woman can breathe and someone will say girl power. It’s a bit like Brexit means Brexit where we’re left asking what the hell does it actually mean? It’s printed on t shirts for people of all ages, used in marketing campaigns for almost any product aimed at women, and it’s recited by singers on stage, public figures giving a speech, and groups of primary school girls at sleepovers. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the phrase used in those cliche ways because any way we can hear some celebration of women is a good thing, but sometimes in all of that we can forget what girl power actually is.
Girl power is Amber knowing she deserves better and choosing Greg even when she still had feelings for Michael. Girl power is Maura choosing her friendship with Anna over her relationship with Curtis, to go and tell her that Jordan’s head had been turned. Girl power is Amy having the mental strength to walk away from a difficult situation that she knew would’ve only hurt her, so she could heal properly and let Maura and Curtis do their thing. Girl power is Molly-Mae and Maura becoming the best of friends despite their introduction to each other in the vila being in the context of Maura trying to crack on with Molly’s guy. Girl power is every single girl in the villa coming up to Jordan to give him hell and back Anna up when he pulled India aside because he decided he liked her after making Anna his girlfriend.
What the Love Island gals of 2019 have done by sticking together and rallying as a group to support one another is empowering enough alone, but it’s even more important when they’re doing it within a show that is constructed to pit the women against each other and put them in direct competition with one another, not only to win the show but even just to find a guy to couple up with. With the format of Love Island and its inclusion of heterosexual couples, the women can’t survive in the show unless they couple up with a guy and vice versa. When it comes down to it, the girls have to rely on the boys for survival, and the boys have to rely on the girls. That’s why it’s so powerful to see the women of the villa disregarding it, and prioritising themselves and each other over their longevity in a reality TV show where the longer you stay will pretty much always equal how successful you’ll be afterwards.
I know there have been moments a lot earlier on where the girls appeared to be excluding Lucie / Lucie appeared to be ditching the girls, where you could’ve argued that Arabella, Lucie and Maura, and Amber, Anna and Yewande seemed to be branching off into their own cliques, but my memories of the real power of this group of women banding together as a solid girl gang are from about Casa Amor onwards, especially when they really did need to be there for Amber and Amy.
And it’s not just the friendship and solidarity that the girls have shown together, it’s what the girls have taught us individually too. I could’ve done a whole blog post on Amber alone and I wanted to, but there was no point to separate these two posts out one after another when it could all go on here. Maura has shown the nation that women can and should be allowed to talk openly about sex and their own sexual pleasure without it making them ‘easy’ or a ‘slut’ or any other grim word that is usually used to degrade a woman. My bestie who blogs at Tia’s Paige did a whole blog post about how beneficial it’s been to see Maura openly talk about sex on national TV so I’m not gonna go too into it because you’re better off reading Tia’s one anyway. Amy made us all relive our first heartbreak (yeah Amy babe I rly didn’t need that but thanks x) but with probably more dignity than we all would’ve wished we had. She fell in love for the first time and, just as quickly, experienced heartbreak for the first time and showed us about the importance of preserving your mental health in such an emotionally difficult time. She used therapy to deal with it and come to the decision that it was best for both her and Curtis if she left the villa. She left with her head held high, having said everything she wanted to say. I found the scenes of her telling Curtis and then everyone else about her decision to leave so powerful and such a good advertisement for getting help when you’re struggling.
And Amber. Queen Amber. Our rightful winner. This sounds sad af but I needed to see someone like Amber on TV. Amber holds herself the way we should all hold ourselves, she holds herself the way I try to until a boy I’m actually interested in does something wrong or has a go at me, and then I blame myself and change myself to keep myself in line for them instead of speaking up too much because it makes them not like me. Boys like that need to be binned and never gone back to, but I’m sure plenty of us would admit that had we been in Amber’s situation at the recoupling a week or two ago, we probably would’ve gone back to Michael instead of going for Greg. I know I’ve been guilty of being that girl who tells everyone not to take shit from a guy, never blame themselves, not to go back there, know their own worth, but ashamedly never actually follows it myself when I come down to it. But I can honestly say that after watching Amber, I don’t think I’ll ever be that girl again. There’s nothing to feel bad about if you are that girl, you just eventually will finally get over that hurdle and truly realise your worth eventually. It’s easy to say these things when you’re not in it and your feelings aren’t involved but there will always come a time where you can start practicing what you preach even with your emotions caught up. Not to sound like Michael here but I’m really done with biting my tongue to protect the ego of whichever boy I’m talking to at any given time, knowing that if I challenge or hurt his ego he’s going to drop me. No thank you, if the ego gets challenged and they can handle it, that’s a boy worth my time. If it gets challenged and they have a tantrum, boy bye.
Amber had her walls up, allowed them to be broken down by Michael and then got hurt, showing why us gals usually have these walls up in the first place. And instead of building them straight back up even tougher, she gave Greg a chance and, more importantly, gave herself a chance to open up to someone again, be happy, and be treated properly. Too many guys switch their mentality to taking us on as a challenge when we’ve got our walls up, and to them the end goal becomes proving that they can break those walls down rather than it being to actually get the girl that they like, and Amber has experienced both ends of the spectrum with her guard. Michael was the one who got annoyed that her guard didn’t come down to his liking, it wasn’t quick enough and it hurt his ego that she wouldn’t let it down for him. Greg was the one who knew she had it, allowed her to take as long as she needed to figure things out in her head and let that guard down, and in the mean time proved to her why he wouldn’t take advantage of her doing that and opening up to him.
There’s so much I’ve taken from Amber. She was the one telling the other girls that they were bad bitches and queens, and that she’d happily remind them of it whenever they needed her to. She was the one who was confident in herself and wrote on her heart chalkboard that she had no bad features. She was the one supporting the other girls whether it was setting them up with someone a la Yewande and Danny, or backing them when they had been betrayed a la Anna and Jordan. Way back when, she was even the one who asked Maura why she wouldn’t speak to Molly first before trying to go for Tommy. Of all of the women having each other’s backs this year, Amber was just that bit more, the definition of loyalty.
Idk about you, but the gals have absolutely made this season for me. And Ovie. And Greg deserves credit too. The women and the two only non trash men x