Should Zara have been stripped of her title?
Love Island: hands up who’s watching? It’s the reality TV show you don’t even need to be ashamed about watching every single night of the week (except Saturday, obvs), and Thursday night’s episode had everyone talking.
In case you missed it [spoiler alert], Zara riled up Miss Great Britain by having sex with Alex on national TV, leading them to strip her of her title ‘with deep regret’, as they could no longer ‘promote Zara as a positive role model’. You can read their full statement below.
Were Miss GB right to take away Zara’s title after one night of (televised) passion? Team InStyle debates the for and against…
For: Isabella Silvers, Digital Assistant
First of all, let’s just take a second to remember that we’re all here because somebody had sex (or maybe had a little scientific intervention). Sex is natural, necessary and actually quite fun - so why has Zara Holland been stripped of her Miss GB title because of it?
I do not agree that having sex means you can’t be promoted as a positive role model. In fact, as most of my Twitter feed concur, having consensual sex is a pretty great thing to promote to many females – and males – who feel pressured into having sex when they’re not comfortable or not ready. Wouldn’t it have been amazing for Zara to use her platform to speak out about sexuality, and show girls and women that wanting, enjoying and taking control of their own sexuality is an empowering thing to do?
Instead, Miss GB have shamed Zara for doing something natural. He wasn’t her boyfriend? So what. She didn’t know him very long? Who cares? She didn’t even fancy him that much? Again, why does that matter? Any feminist would agree that having consensual sex is a woman’s right, with who, when and how often being (on the whole, obviously things need to be legal, etc) totally irrelevant.
While Miss GB have clarified that it’s not the sex, but the national TV side of things that didn’t ‘meet the responsibility expected of the title’, I’m still not convinced they’re in the right. Twitter is awash with people claiming that any person who has sex on TV should be fired by their company, but all this talk leaves me asking, ‘why’?! Does someone who works in a bank deserve to be fired because they had sex under a duvet and other people could tune into their night-vision antics? How about a chef? A journalist?
As someone like Rihanna too well knows, being in the public eye does not automatically make you a role model. Admittedly, Zara did kind of sign up the whole role model thing by competing in a pageant, but the fact remains that sex isn’t a ‘bad’ thing to do. Miss GB have missed a major opportunity to drag their competition into the 21st century. Even Caroline Flack agrees with me...
Feel even more sorry for Zara now she's been de-crowned. She's a very sweet girl . What even is 'miss GB' ? Are we living in the dark ages ?— caroline flack (@carolineflack1) June 16, 2016
Against: George Driver, Beauty Writer
Let's get things straight, no, there's nothing wrong with being a consenting adult and having sex with another consenting adult. But yes, when you're Miss GB (as I think she mentioned a few times) and you claim to be admired by many young girls and constantly receive letters and emails from said girls for advice, you can assume that you're a role model, whether by choice or not (in this case probably by choice because, I don't know if you know, she's Miss GB) which means having sex on national tv generally is something to be avoided.
If Zoella went on a reality tv show and openly banged Alfie for the entire of England to view at their pleasure she would be taken down by indignant mums and dads who's darling kids subscribe to her channel for good clean makeup based fun. You'd say she was being an irresponsible role model for her millions of young fans. But reality check, Zoella is 26, not 16. The difference being she keeps her private life, private. So why is it fine for Miss GB?
A self proclaimed source of advice and inspiration for young girls, it's just entering a slightly dodgy grey area where of course you're an adult that has sex, but should you be displaying that on national tv instead of at home in your private life? Probs not. And if, as Miss Great Britain claims Zara 'broke the terms of her contract' then soz Miss GB, but business is business.
For more people who had fake sex for the silver screen, check out InStyle’s edit of the best, worst and most WTF sex scenes ever.