It’s had its fair share of controversies in the past. Now, reality TV show, Love Island has been accused of discriminating against bald contestants.
Famed for an endless bevy of beauties, but Love Island has never had a balding contestant, male or female. And a new poll shows that viewers have started to take notice.
A poll of 1,000 people in the UK found that 39% think Love Island discriminates against men with hair loss. Additionally, 45% think the show discriminates against women with thinning hair.
A further 48% of those surveyed feel that bald or balding people are not included in beauty standards.
In recent years, some headway has been made to include people of all shapes and sizes in advertising campaigns and even on the catwalk. But it is still rare to see a model of either gender who suffers from hair loss.
Damaged self esteem
This perceived discrimination has certainly contributed to the feelings of self-consciousness that people already experience around hair loss. Two-thirds of women who took part in the poll said that hair loss negatively affects their confidence, with 41% of men saying the same.
The survey also found that dating apps and social media have a part to play. Three quarters of respondents said these factors have a direct negative impact on their self esteem. And 57% blamed them for increasing their worry about current or future hair loss.
It is this lack of confidence that has led to the phenomenon known as ‘hatfishing’. People (predominantly men) with thinning hair wear a hat for their profile photo on either social media or dating websites, in an attempt to cover up their hair loss.
Potential matches report feeling ‘deceived’ when they meet the match in person, only to find that the hat was covering a head of thinning hair.
The same survey showed that 21% of those suffering from hair loss had used a hat to hide their thinning hair in online photos.
What is the solution?
The survey suggests that the majority of participants would like people who are bald or experiencing some form of hair loss to be better represented in the media.
Building self esteem does have to come from within as well, however. So if you are experiencing hair loss and are feeling bad about yourself as a result, it is important to seek help.
That might mean having counselling to help work on your self esteem. Or it might mean seeking treatment for the hair loss itself. Whichever route you go down, remember that there should be no shame attached. What is right for one person won’t be right for everyone.
If you would like to speak in confidence about your hair loss experience and discuss all the options available to you, please contact us to book a consultation with one of our hair loss experts.