Since welcoming its first batch of hopefuls to the sun-drenched shores of Mallorca in 2015, ITV's Love Island has grown into a phenomenon, spawning countless beauty link-ups, trends and even boosting the UK economy as consumers seek to emulate the contestants' glamorous looks.
Amid all the hype, however, the reality show has also frequently come under fire from mental health associations for fuelling consumers' self-doubt with its narrow and unrealistic beauty standards, with one in ten people in the UK blaming Love Island for their insecurities about their appearance, while a greater number of women have also considered plastic surgery after watching the show, according to a survey by Cosmetify.
Now, however, The Body Shop is attempting to change the conversation with a new ad campaign celebrating self-love, providing a more positive counterpoint to the alluring yet unrealistic portraits of love and beauty painted by the picture-perfect Islanders.
The Natura-owned brand's Self Love Street campaign depicts three housemates, Fran, Olivia and Leila, and their struggles with self-image through romantic rejection, the need for external validation and body image.
The ads, which will air during Love Island, show the three women overcoming their insecurities by expressing their self-love in alternative ways, including painting a self-portrait, playing music for themselves and lighting a candle for a moment of self-care before indulging in some physical self-love.
Commenting on the campaign, Rhiannon Scarlett, UK Marketing Director of The Body Shop, said: “Unrealistic and unhealthy aspirations which take you out of your true self can be detrimental to your wellbeing and self-esteem.
“Reality TV shows and social media can trigger destructive and negative feelings affecting our mood, wellbeing, and our self-esteem at a time when we need healthy boundaries more than ever.
“So, this summer, we’re encouraging viewers to rise up with self-love and to step into our Self Love Street.”
The latest TV spot is part of the brand's ongoing global Self Love initiative, which launched in March in an effort to help consumers, particularly women and those in the LGBTQ+ community, develop a positive relationship with themselves by providing support and tools to gain self-acceptance and self-love in the face of social pressures, fronted by The Good Place actress and activist Jameela Jamil.
“Our Self Love Uprising has been working hard to help people find an authentic relationship with themselves and understanding that this is their strength and a superpower,” added Scarlett.
The Self Love Street campaign will air during Love Island on ITV2 and on catch-up TV from Monday, while the characters' individual stories will also be explored in greater depth on The Body Shop's digital and social media channels, in an effort to infuse the digital Love Island conversation with uplifting messages of self-love and self-care.