12 hopeful singles, thrown into a villa in Spain, hooking up, breaking up and making up. When Sophie Mackintosh was experiencing one of the darkest periods of her life, the reality TV show became her obsession. There was something about it that was deeply validating — and kept her coming back.
Today: Sophie’s reflections on "Love Island." Plus, Lindsey Underwood, a Styles editor at The New York Times, gives us the lowdown on the show (she’s a superfan).
After, Melissa Akie Wiley shares her Tiny Love Story about healing from a childhood trauma — and finding the love and acceptance she had thought was out of reach.
Modern Love listeners, we want to hear from you! We’re conducting a brief survey of the podcast, and we would love your feedback. Visit nytimes.com/modernlovesurvey to share your views.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
When one thinks of ITALY, they can't help but think of the fashion, the culture, the food, the storied history and, of course, the shopping. There is enough
italian lingerie brand, who recently partnered up jennifer lopez that is made with gorgeous fabrics, colorful, silks and delicately is, but the name can be.
Bit, challenging the pronounce intimacy entered inter missy in term mississippi its intimacy me, the art of italian lingerie, good intimacy, mean dot com slashed
well now into the strong
and I love you more than from the new york times- I'm gonna martin this
is modern love.
and today's essay is about the tv show, love island
There are so many reality dating shows out there and love island is like a lot of them. There's a group of single hot people in very little clothing, trying to find a
anyone connection. We came here to find like a genuine connection, genuine connection, genuine connection with someone with a thing
Love island is that when it's on its on every single
I like their powers of breaking up and making up and looking up,
This has got me rather live. Obviously, lips, Tom's air, but Tom had to undergo an topic meet one needs to take his working
it started in the uk, but now there are spin offs in a bunch of different countries. So basically
love island is its own world with die hard fans. The author of today's essay is one of those fans, and I
I'm not. I find love island so intimidating, just the sheer volume of it, but I wanted to under
and the show, because at such an important part of today's s aim. So I looked around me and I found it
love island, obsessed, coworker. I could find hello lindsey.
Would you aren't editor on the styles desk, but I would say
Actually, the pre eminent level
authority at the new york times. Wow I mean
It on my tombstone: that's what we fear that the legacy that I would love to carry on with me. Yes, my first question really is about
volume. Why are there so many episodes in a season
we love island works is that there are a bunch of single people who are put into a villa
in spain- will to Paradise, who are varied intentionally attractive. There might twenty four seven.
And they all need to couple out and buy them.
end of the summer be the last couple standing in this place,
one golden rule to be there at the finish
I never saw about fifty grand you ve got to come
our colleague the ready
here? Those sexy single you're really see
a daily up day on where these couples are standing. So you see the couples develop over time, and so how is he really can tell that these people are falling for someone
to see these people really put it all out there on the line and everyone to take it so seriously. I think it's sort of refreshing for a romantic like me. Don't repeat that, but I think I am secretly a romantic.
I love how lindsey can look past the chisel bodies nasa
challenges and all that mugging for the camera to see jenny
an emotion, the author of today's essay? All
found something real and love island. In fact, the show help sophie mackintosh get through one of the darkest points of her life. Here's her essay read by january lovejoy.
The summer my life turned upside down, I did not miss an episode of love island
It didn't matter how late I got home or how terrible I felt when I was a spy,
really tired or lonely. I fell asleep watching it and when I woke up
I opened my laptop to see what I had missed. It was a way to
ease out of one day and into the next and the spaces. I would have been chatting with my partner Chris that summer his side of the bed was empty
after a week of watching I ordered a personal lives.
Love, island, water bottle and ticket with me on the bus and the subway
I could share knowing looks with other writers when I drank from it are gland.
says were a sort of communion. I read that enquiries into plastic surgery went up after the show started.
I was not immune, I needed distraction, so I spent time on clinics where
sites. Creating new anxieties for myself
I was thinking about my imperfect knows I wasn't thinking about the person I loved being in the hospital.
And then he might die at thirty three percent
Had started in late autumn, but we brush them off, he was suffering a mysterious tiredness, so we ate salads and state in more. He didn't see the doctor. Until spring. We took our health for granted. We thought we were robust, but doktor referred him for a call, an oscar p, which showed something
Nobody seemed to concerned, I looked up polyp, it was reassuring. Polyps can be removed,
takes years for them to turn into cancer. There were more concerning facts to, but you see what you want to see the refer
started, a cd scan and mri more appointments, but I try.
To see anything right up until the moment the news broke, he had bowel cancer.
it all happened within a month of a colonoscopy which is not very long. Half as long and facts
a season of love island in a month filming most of the contestants.
Up and start committed relationships. They move their bodies in bed,
was under the gaze of the night time cameras.
Month is long enough for your life to change a day is enough. Ten minutes Chris, his insides had been
gracefully diverted by an alien to me, part of his small intestine, was outside of his belly.
He said he was an indoor water park where the slides go outside
always talking like this,
This man, I love there were also tubes inside his body.
Pushing in fluids and taking others away- and he was euphoric with opiates twice within five minutes- he grabbed his nurse urgently
to introduce me. This is so free, he'd, say his eyes strange and piercing an oxygen pipe in his nose. I love her. I love you too. I said
on a bus home. I thought about how love ireland would be there for me six hours a week for the next two months. That's how long it would take for christmas early recovery as the house.
The old days continued. I started to invest my energy in buying new furniture and assembling it alone in front of the contestants that I had started to think of them passionately and protectively. They felt like friends, children, even
Their vulnerability made me feel as if I knew them. I wept for them.
with genuine emotion that I was afraid to express any other way, because when I did
I usually ended up lying on the carpet and our hall hyperventilating one night a screw would not fit,
where it stood in a shelving unit.
There is nobody to help me, and it was one I am on the show the bodies of the contestants were live and became clad. Their voices turned down, so I wouldn't wake my neighbours. I broke down and cry
for ten minutes and then I used to shoot a hammer it in. It was
If I was marooned on an island of my own with my
water bottle and.
Small matters of survival that I had to solve in isolation, but if there were
cameras following me all the time my life would have been sad to observe. I was glad that my new friends could not see the tragic person on the other side of the screen. It gave me comfort to see these love stories taking place outside of the dirty context of reality. May you never see the person you love with tubes running out.
body I wished for them these beautiful couples who were all years younger than me, though I considered myself young and too young for what was happening.
May you never know the terror of your future, changing before your eyes, children and homes and plans evaporating? May your futures be symmetrical adoring and spun.
As long as you live.
Envied down their world where the biggest problem was not quite liking, each other enough or being stab in the back by someone they had known for three weeks
and whatever happened. There was a pool to jump into a sum bed to lie on a chance to try again.
And yet I was glad for them too, and for the ability
a revel in love stories with problems so distant from my own. There was no
Ugly, crying in hospital bathrooms,
checking the color of catheter bags or mopping up vomit. No man
potato or custard spoon in the mouths? Only potential.
And the golden days of new love, I remembered those days, but there was a different love and play for me now, a wiser one. I've been unprepared for it and I had assumed that we would not be flung into it for years.
Kids Chris returned home before the end of the season. He hadn't wants any episodes, but I kept him up to date on these strangers. I was so attached to.
we watched it ceremonial, a love story of jack and
annie, the eventual winners had already established itself as one of the great romances of our time.
Chris held my hand as I wept. I explained that the catharsis of crying over
These people have been very beneficial to me.
I remembered being a dizzying two weeks into our relationship, and I understood how quickly the contestants could fall for each other.
I believed love island was real because it had been real for us
those years ago,
a long walk on a winter beach hair.
Our eyes and mouths and feeling a happiness, soap,
powerful. I believed I might die if I didn't see it through.
Love island ended months ago. Some of the couples are still together jacket
any beam through my instagram feed appearing to be as accessible as couples. I actually know
on a recent morning, as I got dressed Chris said, the two blonde ones broke up: ellie and charlie.
I am grateful for the slew restoration of normal see the new skin of it, even with the pain
tenderness still underneath we're
week away from the wounds on his stomach healing alien
me reversed now, by which I mean the slides or back inside the water park. We cook can talk about the future,
freshly aware that what can seem like the destruction of everything is sometimes just the beginning day by day month, by month we face.
Uncertainty, but are no longer marooned. We're in.
possession of a strange and hopeful beauty
after the break. Another story about love and healing.
Think she'll never find love because of how she looks
and then she meet someone who chain,
It's the way she sees yourself. That's next.
When one thinks of ITALY they can't help but think of the fashion, the culture, the food distort history and, of course, the shopping. There is an.
Italian lingerie brand, who recently partnered up jennifer lopez that is made with gorgeous fabrics, colorful, silks and delicately is, but the name can be
but challenging the pronounce intimacy entered inter missy in term mississippi. Its intimacy me, the art of italian lingerie, good into me, singing
calm, slash jail, hey modern love, listeners, its anna. We love
making the show- and we want to hear from you were asking me
a lot, a listener survey at end
Times, dot, com, slash, modern
survey whether you
and to all our episodes- or this is the very first one. Your hearing we want your feedback again
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up next week
we love story. These are short, modern love story from the times
for we get into it. I want to say that this
of our show has descriptions of a dog attack. If
he stopped listening. That's ok!.
Since she was a kid melissa,
Yea wily has wondered if she'd ever find love. She did find it, but it wasn't easy, and even now, she's
It has to explain why she's worth that love, here's melissa?
My name is melissa, ok, yea wiley, and this is my tiny love story back when my daughter was two. She pointed to a picture of an ugly witch in a book and said mama, I am disfigured from a childhood dog attack. I pulled the illustrate
and next to my lopsided scarred cheeks and let my nerve damage smile disguise. May sorrow, yes, I said she's a witch but she's good like
she's growing up in a world that believes the false binary ugliness means evil.
And beauty means good
now my daughter is for she points
halloween, decorations and ass,
are you a which now
My love, I answer your mind
it is a human thank you so
firm sharing your story, melissa. Thank you for having me I'm wondering if.
can tell me a little bit more about what happened during the dog attack. Yes, so the dog attack happened a few days after my fifth birthday. We were visiting
friend that had two dogs. I went in the backyard to play with the dogs and my mom was cooking dinner and the dogs attacks me and they essentially just ripped off my face. It happened really quickly, while my mom
was making dinner and she sort turned around and the entire yard was covered in blood and my face was gone and
I would immediately rushed to the hospital where I was in intensive care for a month
and when I came out, I just you know I didn't recognize myself and I've had over thirty reconstructive surgeries over the course of my life. Can you tell me what it was like for you as a kid after the dog attack? How did other
Kids. How did they treat you? They treated me with curiosity and cruelty. A mixture of the two one of the things I did before I started each grade was stand up in front of the class and explained how the other kids, what had happened to me and ask for their kindness and answer their questions, and what I would say was nothing is wrong with me. I'm a normal person, but I just look different and the kids were allowed to ask questions of me. Then, and often their questions were pretty harsh. Like I don't like the way you look. Are you going
except ah, so I would just try to pursue as them knowing that they were children and they wanted happier near it s done one. I was able to give so I gave the best I could but you're a child to rein in your soothing other children. This thing that was so painful, like you said, for you, yes, and so you know this is just sort of up a common thing. I think the same can be said for a host of disabilities. The bird and often falls on the person whose experience their trauma to soothe
there are people, and that is really exhausting, and I you know I've wished over the course of my life for just a day. You know where there was no comments. There was no stairs where I didn't have to sue the world and basically asked permission to live amongst people,
And ass you got older. Did you response change in any way? I became
really angry and adolescents- and I would have a crash on a boy-
and in one instance I told my friend and she told him and he was really disgusted and that
me made me feel really angry, because I felt that maybe the thing I was
be denied and life was love but
Eventually, you did fine love right,
dead. I'm married to my husband crag. I just never thought they'd get so lucky. I never thought I'd meet. Someone who accepted Me- and you know
Other things that happen early on in our relationship is, I have always weren't make up really. The reason is because, if I don't wear make up it's worse, you know it useless worse the stairs the comment without make up, of course, the scars, our red and their more visible until one of the things I was really afraid of when I first met
and moved in with him was taking off may make up in front of him, and then we moved in together and he bought me a vanity. So I could do. May me
god and he put it in the middle of the living room because we had a small apartment and there was no one else to put it, and I was really touched by his gifts and also really terrified that I'm supposed to
may make up in the living room, which means he's gonna see me without make up and I had been in the bathroom.
and so I remember going to the bathroom and washing off may make up instead of preparing to come out and show myself to him. So I walked out
the living room, and I just immediately covered up my face and started crying, and I
said I am so sorry like I'm. So sorry, I look like this. I'm so sorry and he pulled my hands off my face and wiped away. My tears and
Just that I love you. I love you. I love you like stop apologizing. I love you. I love you for ever, and it was just one of the most beautiful moments of my life to just feel. Like I could say to someone,
and I'm really sorry, and that is always how I felt about disfigurement like. I just want to send this big apology to the world that it's like I'm. So sorry, I bothered everyone and I was finally able to say that to someone and what I got back was I'll love. You forever
Melissa your story is so beautiful. Thank you. So much
How can we meet a dame think he's a match and it was a pleasure
love is produced by julio taro, christina Josiah illicit dead,
and hans bhutto. Fun fact cons is obsessed with love, island absolutely obsessed and he served as our in house consulted on this
so special. Thank you hans
our show, is edited by Sarah Harrison, our executive producer,
Jen planned. This episode was me:
by Sophia landmine, and our show is required.
by bye, matty, yellow demand
lovely music is by Dan Powell original music by sophia lemon willingly
still diane long, pappa, custer and deletion be duped
Digital production by making mature, bonnie nl globally them.
love. Column is edited by Daniel jones mealy
editor of modern life projects.
I'm gonna Martin thinks felicity
Transcript generated on 2023-03-30.