April 15, 2024

Love Island Contestant Olivia Hawkins Referring To Herself As A Cougar Is Problematic

Love Island is back on our screens for the latest winter edition, and we couldn’t be more than excited for the re-emergence of our favourite sayings such as «mugged off», «it is what it is», and «my type on paper».

But amongst all the cringe-inducing early introductions, getting to know one another and making it known what they’re looking for in a partner, there’s one term that has alarmed us the most – cougar. While describing what she’s looking for in the villa, contestant Olivia Hawkins repeatedly uses the word ‘cougar’ to describe herself. And can we just point out that she’s at the ripe old age of. . . 27. Yes, you heard that right.

The term didn’t go amiss with viewers at home, with one person tweeting: «This girl is the same age as me and she just called herself a cougar 😭 i’m ready for death #loveisland. » Another added: «Olivia is 27 & calling herself a cougar? ? Dpmo #LoveIsland,» while a third added: «How can you be under 30 and call yourself a cougar looool #LoveIsland. »

So, why is the word cougar so offensive? Well, first of all, the term cougar was created mainly as a misogynistic and derogatory insult to shame women for going after what they want in a partner. The term is also ageist, as it suggests there is an element of shock, or somehow shame, that women of a certain age can ‘still’ bag an attractive man much younger than themselves.

As well as this, it further perpetuates society’s traditional treatment of older women, somehow suggesting that they don’t deserve the best, should be ignored by those younger than them or aren’t capable of finding a younger partner without somehow having ‘preyed’ on them.

And don’t even get us started on how it diminishes the qualities of a healthy and thriving relationship, which should centre on both individuals sharing the same values, and instead prioritises relationships based on physicality.

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