My Celebrity Life

Indiyah Polack’s refreshing experience from start to finish is a turning point for Black women on Love Island

No drama, no tears, just vibes! (Picture: ITV)

From an OG contestant to a finalist, Indiyah Polack’s joyous Love Island experience has turned the undesirable Black girl narrative on its head.

And it’s been absolutely beautiful to see.

The 23-year-old waitress has become one of the most unproblematic islanders during this year’s season. Not only has she been living her best life during her eight-week stint, but she’s had the power to decide who she wants to be with without feeling like she had no other choice.

And yes, just like the majority of the nation, I was ready to invade the villa with my pitchfork to put Deji, oops I mean Dami Hope in his place after exhibiting energetic and dare I say disappointing behaviour during Casa Amor, but after some brutal exchanges (seriously, I think we’ll all be seeing ‘may the best heartbreaker win’ plastered on affordable merch very soon) and the aftermath of Movie Night madness, Dami and Indiyah’s undeniable chemistry had me seriously cheesin’.

Although many fans were ready to tear Indiyah’s singlet after choosing to forgive Dami, several took the high road and decided to support her no matter what, and clearly, their connection was evident to their co-stars after they were the only couple to be excluded from the compatibility vote.

Regardless of whether they’ll be crowned our 2022 winners, Indiyah and Dami’s love story was undoubtedly the most wholesome thing we’ve witnessed from a Black couple on Love Island.

It’s a truth sadly acknowledged that when it comes to the annual ITV2 dating show, Black people – especially Black women – have been doomed to fail the minute they set foot into the Majorca villa.

And just like that….. I was back on the Damiyah train (Picture: ITV)

I vividly remember my heart breaking for series four contestant Samira Mighty after she tearfully compared herself to Megan Barton-Hanson after questioning why she wasn’t desired by the men in the villa.

In 2018, Samira was picked last before being coupled up with Dr Alex George by default, and the following year Yewande Biala and Michael Griffiths were put together by default.

After Kaz Kamwi became the third UK islander chosen last in the first recoupling, Yewande told presenter Will Njovu on Capital Xtra: ‘I think what a lot of people don’t realise about Love Island is that, I always say it’s a mirror image of the society we live in now, where Black women are never really seen or admired by Black men or any other kind of race.’

Season five contestant Yewande Biala called for more Black producers (Picture: ITV)

‘We’re always pushed to the sideline and it’s obviously highlighted on a show like Love Island where there’s obviously only like 12, 10 contestants and one of them is Black, and it kind of shows the society we live in at the moment.’

While some would argue that the programme is simply just a reality TV show and certain storylines shouldn’t be taken to heart, seeing women that look like you being rejected or dismissed on a show like Love Island will leave you in your feelings, whether you want to admit it or not.

The reinforced concept led to viewers comparing the UK version to Love Island USA, with people applauding the latter for better representation and casting men who wanted to date Black women.

Kaz and Tyler were the first Black couple to reach the final last year (Picture: ITV)

The British show has faced intense backlash over the ‘token Black girl narrative’, which sees women of colour watching the petite blondes get all the attention.

Although this wasn’t the case for 2020 contestants Priscilla Anyabu and Leanne Amaning, I was hoping the undesirable Black girl edit wouldn’t be Indiyah’s portion.

And it wasn’t.

Indiyah has been a loyal friend to all within the villa, served looks and watching her blissfully enjoying the Love Island experience was beyond satisfying to see after three seasons stirred a nauseating sense of deja vu.

Let’s just hope Indiyah’s Love Island story will set a healthy precedent for Black women moving forward.

Love Island concludes tonight at 9pm on ITV2.

Credit: Source

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