‘Stripping Me Of My Title Sends Out The Wrong Message’
Rate it or hate it, ITV'S Love Island sparked widespread debate when former Miss GB Zara Holland was stripped of her title after sleeping with fellow contestant Alex Bowen
When we meet 20-year-old Zara Holland one rainy morning in central London, one thing is very clear from the off: she really regrets having sex on national television. Like, really regrets it. It was a move that saw her de-crowned of her Miss Great Britain title and slut-shamed by her fellow contestants. A move that she openly calls: ‘The biggest mistake of my life.’
When she was told the news, she broke down in tears and left the island a few days later after learning that her mother Cheryl was ill. But how does she feel now?
‘I never, ever wanted to lose my Miss Great Britain title and I’m really heartbroken,’ she tells Look. ‘I respect their decision but I thought beauty pageants had changed. Fifty years ago my Mum used to do them and it was very much about how you looked... Now they’re promoting that a real woman can enter and how they fit into society today. But maybe they haven’t changed.’ She adds: ‘I thought they had, but every 20-year-old girl makes mistakes.’
It’s clear to see that Zara feels terrible about what happened and it seems wholly unfair that Alex came out of the situation unscathed while she’s been left in anguish having lost the one thing she worked hardest for. There were reports that she’d agreed not to have sex on TV, but she says this wasn’t something that wasn’t discussed. ‘They gave me written permission, saying: “Zara Holland, the current Miss Great Britain, you have our full support to go on Love Island,”’ she says. ‘There’s nothing in that permission that says: “She cannot have sex on TV.”’ Miss GB say their decision was based on the fact that it happened on ‘national TV’ and that Zara was no longer
Zara regrets having sex on national TV
In bed with Alex on Love Island and winning Miss Great Britain