Interview: Love Island stars at the Cambridge Union

Phoebe Brown, Scarlet Rowe 21 May 2021
Image credit: Creative Commons

On the 19th May, Yewande Biala, Amy Hart and Rosie Williams came to the Cambridge Union to discuss mental health after Love Island. If you didn’t get the chance to watch the panel, then it is available on the Union’s Youtube page.

TCS got the chance to speak to the Love Island stars following the Union event; so we start off by asking the ex Love Islanders what their favourite thing is about their jobs. Rosie answers that “it’s influencing young women for me. I love that 80% of my followers are women, like, I would love for it to be 100% women. I’m all for influencing women in certain ways, especially when it comes to education and being whoever you want to be and everything you can be. So for me it’s definitely that. However, Rosie explains that “I’ve had to get to a place in myself where I am confident enough in my opinions to use my platform for that benefit.”

Amy agrees with Rosie, “it’s being a role model, like people have messaged me saying thank you so much for talking about topics like therapy and egg freezing. So I am learning to be a voice for women who want to talk about fertility in an open way.” Amy uses her online platforms to talk about her unsuccessful, and later- successful- experiences of freezing her eggs. Amy adds that “on a more superficial level, I love being able to treat my family and friends, like when I see a musical I think who would love that musical, and I can actually take them.” Yewande tells us that “before I went on to Love Island, I was working 60 hour weeks. I couldn’t navigate my own life, there was nothing outside of that [work]. Whereas now there are so many opportunities, and along the way I get to do lots of exciting things.” After a pause, Yewande explains that “I can talk about issues that are important to me and that I’m really passionate about” such as racism and microaggressions.

As Yewande, Rosie, and Amy have big Instagram followings and influence, we ask them if there is anything that they would change about social media they could. Amy replies “definitely accountability, you can’t pick up a parcel without taking a driving licence with you but you can make many fake Instagram accounts if you want to troll people.” Rosie agrees that “the bullying element of it is vile. You wouldn’t accept bullying in a school, so why we accept it on a social media account is beyond me.”

We also ask if there is anything they would change about Love Island. Amy responds that “when you go back into the villa from seeing a therapist, you are not allowed to talk about what you discussed.But it’s really important to process it. So I think that you should be allowed to come back in and say that ‘I’m really sorry, but the reason I snapped at you is because of x,y and z.’” Rosie agrees with Amy, and says that this “would be good for the viewers too, to make it cool to talk [about mental health].”

Next, we ask if Rosie, Yewande and Amy have any advice about dating and break-ups. Yewande says that “I literally only realised this last week, but when it comes to me and dating- I already know I’m a terrible dater- as many people have probably seen. And I didn’t realise why until recently.” Yewande explains that “the fear for me has been that I would find someone and in my head feel like this was it, that I was trapped and couldn’t leave the situation. I was always so scared of feeling trapped and not knowing if that person was right for me. I always convinced myself that I could not leave but I could… Say if I matched with someone on a dating app, I thought that we would have to go on a date. But you know what, I can choose not to reply, he can choose not to reply, and I’m learning that that’s absolutely fine.” Yewande concludes on a hopeful and empowering note: “I never understood what people meant when they said ‘enjoy dating’- but you learn so much about yourself- what you like and what you don’t like- so just enjoy it. Go on a couple of dates.”

Like Yewande, Amy also has relatable and helpful content when it comes to dating: “I always love that feeling before you go on a first date because I think this could be what I tell people about when they ask about my [last] first date.” Amy goes on to discuss what she learnt from her time on Celebs Go Dating by looking back at one of her first conversations with Curtis Pritchard in the villa. She reflects that “first thing I said to Curtis in the villa was do you like musicals? He said no and I was like oh ok whatever. And then we got talking later on and I thought oh okay he’s alright, I’ll let him off. But Paul and Anna [the dating show hosts] said it’s not about interests because you have friends with similar interests. Instead, it’s about values, so if you are going to bring your kids up the same and have the same attitudes to life. Like if they say they’re not very into family, but you are, then that’s not going to work. So it’s all about core values.”

Rosie adds that “for me, you should never have to nag someone to love you or be with you. You should never have to change yourself according to what you think they want. You have to love yourself first for who you are, and then allow someone else to love you for that as well. And if you don’t, you should happily walk away from that. You should never have to convince somebody to love you.” On the topic of rejection, Rosie says that “if I used to get rejected- the rejection element would make me think I need to make this person like me again. It was never about that person, but me needing them to like me. But now that I’m older, I realise that I don’t need anyone to love me. Like I’m okay on my own. If you love me, then you have to bring something additional into my life, like you don’t make my life, you have to bring something in addition to it.”