Indiyah and Dami speak about the pressures of reality TV as a Black couple
‘I definitely had to think first before I said certain things’
Love Island finalists Indiyah Polack and Dami Hope have reflected on their time on the TV show and the added ‘pressure’ of the expectations of representing ‘Black love’ on the show as well as what it was like navigating as Black people on reality television. Indiyah and Dami explored their romantic connection in the villa and after a series of tests on their relationship they soon became boyfriend and girlfriend.
Featuring on BBC 1Xtra, Indiyah and Dami spoke to Nadia Jae about being a Black couple on TV, specifically on Love Island. Nadia asked: “Was there pressure when it came to representing a Black couple whilst you were on TV? You both have obviously watched Love Island before, and we know the fate of seeing Black people on there. Were you both conscious of that?”
Dami shared he knew there would be added pressure, on Twitter especially. He said: “Let me tell you now, when I got with Indiyah, I knew Twitter and everybody would be tweeting ‘Black love, Black love’. And then Casa Amor happened, and I knew if I did what I need to do for myself, people are going to be crying and complaining like, ‘how could you do this?'”
Indiyah on the other hand said she knew there was pressure for representing Black love, but she didn’t feel it when in the villa. She said: “Yeah I know there’s a pressure for Black love but, obviously I have a type. I love my Black men and I was hoping to find a nice brown skinned chocolate man. But respectfully, if the Black love didn’t happen, what am I supposed to do? So I didn’t feel the pressure, I didn’t feel like ‘oh my god, I need to be with a Black guy, I need to do this Black love.’ I was in there for me, if I found someone, I found love, I found it. It’s nobody else’s business, do you know what I mean? You can’t pressure me to find love.”
Continuing on about other pressure on Love Island for Indiyah and Dami, Nadia Jae asked Indiyah if she felt pressure to not overreact in order to avoid being labelled ‘the angry Black woman’. Indiyah said: “I was definitely put in a position where I could have easily popped off. So obviously it was an annoying thing, but I definitely had to think first before I said certain things because I knew if I reacted in a certain way, angry Black girl, the aggressor, the bully, but me in general, I’m not an angry girl.”
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Featured image credit via Instagram @damihope.