Let’s be honest, we’re totally obsessed with Love Island and one of our favourite characters from this year’s show was 100% ‘Miss GB,’ Zara Holland.
The self-proclaimed ‘unlucky-in-love’ 20-year-old wore her heart on her sleeve, was never afraid to put herself out there and even managed to eloquently battle off the advances of fellow islander Dan Lukakis.
When Zara’s time on the show was cut short last week due to her Mum being ill we were gutted for her. Especially as, after sleeping with fellow contestant Alex Bowen, she she’d been stripped of her Miss GB title, a move which many people (including the LOOK team) thought was sexist and outdated.
We went to meet Zara to catch up on it all…
How does it feel to have left Love Island?
‘I never wanted to leave in the first place, god, I miss the guys every day, we’re all like a little family. But family is everything to me, I had to come home and be there for my Mum.’
How have people’s reactions been to you?
‘The support has been absolutely amazing from the public, I feel really over-whelmed and humbled and the petition keeps going up every day. It was started by a girl from Newcastle, I don’t even know her, but she started a petition to get me back as Miss Great Britain.
‘Coming out of the villa you are in this little bubble and I was thinking, “What happens if people don’t like me, or they’re not going to support me?”. I didn’t know what to expect but coming back to the amount of support I’ve had is wonderful.’
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You must have had some people be not-so-nice, how have you dealt with the negativity?
‘Regardless of whether I’d done anything right or wrong or if I’d been the perfect islander in the villa I think, on social media, I was always going to get some negative press.
‘It is hard, but you just block them out, because I don’t know them and I have to just concentrate surrounding myself with good people.’
How do you feel about Miss GB’s decision?
‘Gosh, I never ever wanted to lose my Miss Great Britain title and I’m really, really heartbroken.
‘I respect their decision but I thought beauty pageants had changed. 50 years ago my Mum used to do beauty pageants and it was very much about how you looked, there was no charity round, nothing about yourself, there were no interviews or public speaking.
‘And now, they’re promoting that a real woman can enter and how they’ve changed and they’re very modern and they fit into society today. But maybe they haven’t changed after all. I thought they had but every 20-year-old girl makes mistakes, I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life – personally that’s how I feel – if I could turn back the time I would, but I can’t.’
Have you watched any of the show back yet?
‘I haven’t yet, I caught a little bit of Sunday night’s when I found out the title had been taken off me. I cried.
‘I just never wanted this to happen, it meant so much to me and I had worked so, so hard and I wanted to do amazing things with it.’
Did you agree to not have sex on TV?
‘No, they never told me, they never told me. They gave me written permission saying that, “Zara Holland, the current Miss Great Britain, you have our full support to go on Love Island.”
‘There’s nothing in that permission that says, “She cannot have sex on TV.”‘
Given everything that’s happened with Miss GB would you start your own pageant?
‘This is a very good question!
‘Why not? Yeah! It’s not something I have thought about – and it would have to be something I would really think about – but yeah!
‘Like I said pageants, what I thought of them, they make this big thing that they’ve changed, each pageant has it’s own rules but I entered Miss GB because it was more about you and your personality and charity.
‘They’re saying they have moved forward and there is a place for them and before I had my title stripped I would 1000 percent back beauty pageants. They don’t only give girls confidence, they gave me the biggest confidence in the world, they’ve made me believe in myself, but I think stripping my title might give out the wrong message now.
‘I think people want to see a real role model that they can relate to. Like Sophie said, women like to have sex! I should not have done it on national TV, but it’s happened!’
By Olivia Foster