Love Island star Shaughna Phillips said when he appeared on the show, “no one cared what I was trying to say”.
The 28-year-old influencer starred in Series 6 of the winter version of the hit ITV2 show, which saw contestants stay at a South African villa for up to six weeks.
Phillips became a fan favorite after being dumped by fellow islander Callum Jones, 25, when he decided to start a couple with Molly Smith at rival villa Casa Amor.
During the ensuing re-coupling scene, Phillips uttered the two words — “congrats, hun” — that made her an internet sensation, with the phrase instantly trending on Twitter.
For Phillips, however, the hardest part of becoming a reality TV star was being asked regular questions about her looks.
Phillips, who originally worked as a democratic services officer for Lambeth Council in south London, said she has always “focused on being the smartest person in the room”.
“When I walked into an office or a meeting, nobody cared how I looked because it was what you wanted to say,” she told the PA news agency.
“I was always trying to be the smartest person in the room and suddenly nobody cared what I wanted to say – nobody cared about my opinion.
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“It was about what I was wearing, or whether I did my makeup today, or whether I had new filler.
“I do not like it. And that’s one of the reasons I’m doing what I’m doing now, because it doesn’t really matter what you look like.”
Phillips has been vocal about her body awareness journey, which culminated in the launch of her sports, fitness and nutrition app, Be You With Shaughna.
She has also publicly documented her battle with lipedema, an abnormal accumulation of fat in the legs or arms, and her surgery to remove the fat in September 2020.
“I always say that my body is the least important part of me,” she said.
“It’s not my statement ‘I hate my body,’ it just means there’s so much more to me than just how I look.
“As a young woman, the pressure you’re under is … men just don’t have that.
“I’ve never looked at a man with his shirt open and said, ‘Oh my god, he’s a little overweight.’ We don’t do this for men, so why would we do this to ourselves?”
Phillips, who now has more than 1.5 million Instagram followers, described herself as the “worst influencer” and said she tries not to read negative comments online.
“I’m probably the worst influencer because when I go to events my phone stays in my pocket,” she said.
“If I couldn’t be on social media, I wouldn’t be (because) I’d rather experience it than be stuck on my phone.
“When I (of Love Island) came out I wasn’t looking for stories about myself, although it was very tempting because for myself I knew it wasn’t going to serve any purpose.
“There will always be people who don’t like you and that’s okay. I’m not for everyone.”
Phillips said she was concerned about the impact of social media on young people.
“Thank god I never got bullied, but when it did, it stopped at school, you went home, and then it stopped,” she said.
“And that’s just not the case anymore.
“Children go home and they’re still being tormented and tortured, and that’s just so alien to us.”
The reality TV star added that she believes schools should teach young people about confidence and how to “love yourself”.
“You learn the periodic table in school and algebra,” Phillips said.
“But you’re not taught to love yourself, you’re not taught that the most important relationship in your life is you.
“I think that’s a British thing that we’re afraid to say we think we’re great, but why can’t we think that?”
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/love-islands-shaughna-phillips-overnight-no-one-cared-what-i-wanted-to-say-41606779.html Love Island’s Shaughna Phillips: ‘Overnight no one cared what I wanted to say’