LESLEY KEATING: A crisis of confidence spawned by the digital age

I have to admit I've become absolutely hooked on ITV2's Love Island.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 9th July 2017, 9:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:25 am
Love Island's Gabby Allen.               Picture: ITV
Love Island's Gabby Allen. Picture: ITV

For those not in the know, this a reality show which follows a group of single twenty-somethings in a Majorcan villa and their quest for love (or, as the more cynical will say, fame and to win a slice of the £50,000 prize money…).

The way relationships and personalities unfold each day and the intriguing twists from adding new people and scenarios into the mix has been beyond fascinating for a people-watcher like me.

I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but with so much unrest in the world, and doom and gloom plastered over our screens and newspapers every day, it makes a light-hearted change and is the perfect antidote to all life’s gritty reality.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

However, something happened last week that made me feel unexpectedly sad.

One of the contestants, Gabby, a petite and naturally pretty blonde who has made arguably the most real romantic connection in the villa with the lovely Marcel, had a massive crisis of confidence.

She felt she wasn’t as attractive as the other girls in the villa.

She was very tearful about how bad she felt about herself.

She told her boyfriend that once she got out of the villa she’d make several physical changes to herself which included a ‘boob job’.

Gabby is arguably one of the show’s prettiest girls. OK, she’s not a willowy, gazelle-like creature with legs like a baby giraffe, however, she is slim, intelligent and very pretty, with a great figure and an endearing personality.

Furthermore she’s one of the most natural girls too as she isn’t plastered in several layers of trowelled-on make-up, doesn’t have spidery false eyelashes half hanging off like some of the others and has a genuine warmth and vivacity.

But sadly she can’t see that. She’s adamant she’s ‘ugly’, not quite good enough and needs surgery to change herself.

I wish girls would try to develop some greater level of self-esteem and I strongly feel it should be taught in schools.

All this usually starts young and stems from the unrealistic expectations that this digital media age spawns.

How very sad.


At a restaurant recently, we had one of those ‘character’ waiters, a jolly Italian who seemed to have missed his vocation as a stand-up comedian.

Everything we ordered came with a free joke, resulting in every course taking longer than expected to arrive and our drinks were forgotten.

When we queried this, he became the waiter from hell, refuting strongly we’d ordered them. Eventually, he realised his mistake but, unbelievably, carried on arguing, becoming super-animated. The other diners were agog and I thought he was going to cry.

The manager intervened and gave us a discount, but the waiter still hovered, snarling in the background.

Whatever happened to ‘the customer is always right...’?


The other evening, as it still was hot and sunny, we decided to pour a few drinks and fire up the barbecue.

It was so nice having peace and quiet after a busy day at work.

The last of the evening sun seemed too good an opportunity to miss so, as we’re lucky enough to have a really private garden which is not overlooked, we decided to sunbathe too.

All you could hear was the sound of the birds, water in the pond tinkling and ice cubes clinking. Bliss.

Until, suddenly, I heard ‘Hellooooo!’

Mike jumped up, saying several unprintable things.

Unbelievably, there was a huge hot air balloon hovering very low in the sky over the garden, with people waving at us!