Love Island battle of the Ellas

Dear Love Island, pitting two women against each other is regressive and boring

Ella is right to try and resist the catfight narrative

It’s a familiar plot line: two women fighting over a man. So, when Love Island presented us with “Battle of the Ellas” by shimmying Tyrique’s ex Ella Barnes into the villa – much to the abject infuriation of OG Ella Thomas – it was fairly obvious we were meant to lap it up like the Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston drama of 2005.

But the thing is, Ella Thomas isn’t playing ball— and she shouldn’t have to, either. “Why is my name even in your mouth when you’re talking about yourself? We don’t need to talk about battles, there’s never going to be a battle,” she firmly tells Ella Barnes. “I would never go head to head with a girl over a man. It’s not me.”

Continually on reality shows, women are pitted against each other to fight and cry and compete to get a man while he grins in the corner (case and point, Tyrique) thrilled to be centre of attention with more than one woman after him. Never, ever, in the firing line of anger – just a little innocent prize boy ready to be adored.

Battle of the Ellas Love Island

With “Battle of the Ellas” Love Island producers are attempting to shore horn a cat fight narrative into the series where there wasn’t one and it feels so forced and regressive. Because, despite what gender stereotypes have long informed us— women’s relationships aren’t characterised by rivalry, envy or so-called ‘bitchiness’.

And the thing is, we have actually moved on from 2005. Women no longer allow scarcity mindset (“oh no there’s only one eligible man in the room!”) manipulate them into attacking girls who should be their allies, not their enemies. Ella Thomas is smart enough to know it’s Tyrique who should be getting an ultimatum and have his actions questioned— not Ella Barnes, who has (obviously) been placed there to ruffle feathers and play the game.

Battle of the Ellas Love Island

After Tyrique, laughing, told Ella Thomas he’d kissed Ella Barnes in a club only eight weeks before entering the Love Island villa, and informed her the “Battle of the Ellas” term had been coined, the only emotion OG Ella let escape was a long blink. “She’s just saying that to get in your head,” she responded. “She can try. But there’s no battle of no Ellas.” Let’s hope the rest of the world gets the message. Competing over men is done.

Love Island 2023 is on ITV2 and ITVX. For all the latest Love Island news and gossip and for the best memes and quizzes, like The Holy Church of Love Island on Facebook. 

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