Miss Great Britain’s de-throning of Love Island’s Zara is beyond hypocritical

If they're so ashamed of Holland's actions, why did Miss Great Britain promote her stint on Love Island?

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“Miss GB STRIPPED of her title” the headlines announced this morning as the news broke that Love Island contestant Zara Holland has been de-crowned for having sex on television.

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The 20-year-old was the focus of ITV2’s amorous reality series after sleeping with I’m A Celeb winner Vicky Pattison’s ex, Alex Bowen, on his first night in the villa.

“We wholly understand that everyone makes mistakes, but Zara, as an ambassador for Miss Great Britain, simply did not uphold the responsibility expected of the title”, the organisation wrote, adding that they had “no choice under the circumstances”.

This morning, after finding themselves under heavy fire from viewers – who told RadioTimes.com they think Miss GB got it wrong – and Love Island host Caroline Flack, the Miss GB team rushed to clarify their position.

Miss Great Britian’s argument was that Holland wasn’t de-crowned because she had sex, it was because she’d done it on TV. And they were backed up by tweeters who explained that anyone who had sex on TV would be sacked by their boss because they represent an organisation.

That’s a very logical and rational argument that nobody would have any issue with were it not for the fact that Miss Great Britain KNEW what Love Island – a show that encourages ‘well fit’ lads and lasses to lock lips and various other body parts throughout the course of a summer in Majorca – was all about and actually PROMOTED the fact that Holland was appearing on it.

They had a whole summer’s worth of episodes from last year to watch for reference if they weren’t sure.

Miss GB urged their followers to support Holland via Twitter before the show aired and continued to do so right up until the moment the tide of public opinion seemed to turn.

At that point they released a lengthy statement just as Love Island’s Thursday night episode aired.

“We pride ourselves on promoting the positivity of pageants in modern society and this includes the promotion of a strong, positive female role model in our winners.

“The feedback we have received from pageant insiders and members of the general public is such that we cannot promote Zara as a positive role model moving forward”, it read.

“We wholly understand that everyone makes mistakes, but Zara, as an ambassador for Miss Great Britain, simply did not uphold the responsibility expected of the title.”

What is Miss GB’s definition of a “strong female role model” then? A young lady who is told it’s fine to flash your flesh in bikinis and hint that someone might well have sex with you, as long as they don’t actually have sex with you?

A girl who’s told it’s absolutely fine to fly the flag for a pageant on a show they know the ins and outs (pun totally intended) of, only to be ditched by the organisation the minute she actually does the one thing the show basically encourages every single contestant to do?

Should Miss Great Britain be a young woman who’s told it’s completely ok to allow the outside world to figuratively enjoy your body, so long as you don’t think that body is yours to do with as you wish? Or a young woman who’s now supposedly defined by Miss GB’s definition of a “mistake”.

I’d never have sex on TV, it’s most definitely not my style, but who am I to define it as a “mistake’? For some, it’s anything but. It’s completely and utterly natural.

It’s also a real shame that Holland was not pulled aside and informed by producers before the organisation announced her de-crowning online. Show insiders confirmed that, as of last night, a decision about how to inform Zara had yet to be made. 

And in that vacuum the jokes people had previously made about Holland dropping the “Miss GB” title into conversation turned decidedly nasty.

It’s disappointing to see Miss Great Britain turn their backs on a young woman for doing the one thing the show they were happy to see her on (and promote her participation in) transparently and actively encouraged.

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She’s been thrown to the internet wolves and the hypocrisy of the whole thing would be laughable if it wasn’t so infuriating.