The nation’s favourite reality TV show is back on our screens once again. This series of Love Island is even bigger, with a peak viewership of 3.7 million, a 10% increase from last year’s figures. It’s the show that has gotten young people off Netflix to sit down and watch live television again, and it’s ITV2’s most successful show. But amid all the bikinis, cocktails and drama, a revelation about many of the contestants has begun to influence the British public.

Cosmetic treatments are on the rise amongst young British people, and Love Island is said to be part of the cause. Every day, it seems like another “before” photo of a Love Island contestant showing their pre-cosmetic look surfaces and does the rounds, astonishing everyone with the shocking difference between what they look like now in the villa. Is this obsession with getting the Love Island “look” influencing people to seek out cosmetic treatments?

A Beautiful Woman Getting Anti-Wrinkle Injections

Aesthetic Treatments: A One-Way Ticket to the Villa?

It’s no secret that many of the contestants on the current and previous series of Love Island have had cosmetic procedures done. Everything from rhinoplasty to breast augmentation, lip fillers and anti-wrinkle injections have either been confirmed by the contestants themselves or been speculated by experts after observing the trending “before and after” photos.

Current Love Island star, Maura Higgins, has been one such contestant given the “before and after” treatment as photos began to circulate showing her from her school days, highlighting the incredible transformation. Her lips have been a considerable talking point, with a photo from 2012 showing her to have much thinner lips than she is currently sporting, leading to the claims that she has had lip fillers. However, the star’s mum has fervently denied that her daughter has had any surgery done outside of the lip fillers.

There seems to be an unwritten understanding that, in order to have a chance to appear on the show, cosmetic treatments are a must.

Amy Hart, another contestant from this series, has revealed to have spent £20,000 on breast augmentation and veneers before appearing on the show. Last year, contestant Megan Barton-Hanson was put under the spotlight when her “before” photos surfaced, showing an unbelievable transformation which included having her ears pinned back, breast augmentation and rhinoplasty.

The stats don’t lie; the British public is obsessed with seeing how the Love Island contestants looked before their treatments. According to Google, the search terms for “before and after” relating to Love Island has increased 105%, with a spike at around 9pm (when the show starts). Searches for “Molly-Mae Love Island before surgery” are up 450% and “Maura Love Island pre-surgery” increased by 350%.

The show appears to be influencing people’s decisions to undergo cosmetic surgery, either to achieve the Love Island “look” for themselves or so they have a chance to head to the island themselves. A 22-year-old nursing student from London went under the knife for breast augmentation, in the hopes of looking like her Love Island idols; another young woman spent £15,000 on breast lift, breast reduction and a bum lift all in a bid to make it on this year’s series of Love Island, only to have her application rejected.

Love Island Instagram Post

Cosmetic Surgery ‘the Norm’?

The “Love Island effect” doesn’t just seem to be affecting a small minority of individuals; the average age of women going under the knife has dropped from 42 in 2012 to 37 in 2018, making it the youngest it has ever been. Research from BBC Radio 5 Live discovered that watching just a couple of episodes of Love Island increased the likelihood of 18-34 years olds to consider lip fillers by 11%. A clinic in Manchester reported a 200% increase in demand for this procedure following Megan Barton-Hanson’s entrance into the villa last year.

Some beauty clinics have been capitalising on the show’s success by offering package deals of anti-wrinkle injections and fillers using catchphrases and slogans from the show to entice fans of the show into buying. The exclusive deals expire when the series ends and have been criticised for encouraging young people to opt for the procedures without researching them first. One such clinic even featured Molly-Mae on their social media posts, highlighting what specific work she had done to her face and promising that they could achieve the same look.

Megan Barton-Hanson has revealed that cosmetic surgery is “more common than not” in the world of reality TV. She claims not to have realised just how much she would be scrutinised for the amount of work she’s had done, given the sheer about of people on the likes of TOWIE, Geordie Shire, MIC and the Kardashians who have undergone cosmetic procedures.

Megan Barton Hanson's Instagram

Is This Promotion of Cosmetic Surgery a Good Thing?

Whilst many would be quick to criticise the likes of Love Island unintentionally promoting cosmetic procedures, it can also be thought of in a more positive light. Such a popular show that showcases people who have undergone cosmetic procedures, many of whom are open about the work they’ve had done, could serve to help make those who feel unhappy with their appearance have the confidence to seek cosmetic solutions.

However, it is worth remembering that cosmetic treatments, especially surgeries, are not to be taken lightly. You should always think very carefully before having any procedures, do some research and take time to consider if it’s for you. If you decide it is something you would like to explore further, you can book a consultation with an aesthetic doctor who will be able to offer you guidance on the best course of action.

At our Belfast cosmetic clinic, Guernsey cosmetic clinic and Jersey cosmetic clinic, we always prioritise the health and wellbeing of our patients, so you can relax knowing that you are in safe hands throughout the entirety of any treatments. Contact us today if you would like to discuss any cosmetic procedures, we would be more than happy to advise you.