Clare Balding hits out at portrayal of females on TV's Love Island at launch of Sport England's 'This Girl Can' campaign, featuring 'real women'

Contestants from last year's Love Island reality TV programme (PA Images)
Contestants from last year's Love Island reality TV programme (PA Images)
12:09pm, Tue 21 Jan 2020
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Sports broadcaster Clare Balding has criticised ITV's Love Island for being sexist as it continues to show male contestants exercising and working out while the female house members lounge around in their swimwear.

The 48-year-old was speaking at the launch of Sport England's This Girl Can campaign which features 'real women' getting moving. She joked: "Maybe I should write to the producers." 

In stark contrast to the glamorised, stero-typed images of toned women in bikinis that the show is famous for, Sport England's latest campaign advert shows women of all different shapes and sizes overcoming obstacles to take part in physical activity.

It features women struggling with menstrual cramps and escaping tampon strings as well as taking on activities like weightlifting and rock climbing.

This Girl Can launches for 2020 (SportEngland)

Balding, not surprisingly, found many rallying behind her on Twitter.

One wrote: "Let’s start the sexist drama off... why are the girls the only ones stripping off at the opening titles? All the girls ripped opened their tops to flash their t*** but lads didn’t."

Another labelled Love Island  'a nasty piece of programming', calling it 'something very sexist, that entrenches gender stereotypes'.

Balding's criticisms reflect the public outcry from last summer's series when the show received numerous Ofcom complaints over a challenge that viewers branded 'sexist'.

In 'The Gym Bunnies task' the girls were dressed in fishnet tights, bunny ears, and skimpy corsets while their male counterparts wore gym gear and acted as personal trainers for the girls as they completed a course.

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