Love Island star Amy Hart reveals full twisted extent of online abuse

Trolled from head to toe: Love Island star Amy Hart bravely reveals the full twisted extent of how vicious people online can be about women in the public eye – and the shattering psychological toll it’s taken

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Before she was a contestant on Love Island, when she was a ‘normal girl living in a normal world with normal people’, Amy Hart used to be complimented on her legs. 

She would have said, she admits apologetically, they were her best feature.

‘Back then, everyone would always say, ‘oh I wish I had legs like that’ because they are quite long. 

‘Now, if I post on Instagram with my legs out, I’ll get people saying, ‘your legs are DISGUSTING’, ‘vile’, ‘worst legs EVER’.

‘Once, one woman said such awful things about me, I put her name into Facebook and found her. Her page said ‘proud to be an NHS nurse’. People are horrible. Even people you wouldn’t expect to be horrible.’

It’s not just her legs. Ask Amy about any part of her body and she can immediately tell you that someone, somewhere, has found it ugly, and felt the need to point that out to her — and to the wider world. 

Even though, as a social media influencer, she is as savvy as they come in this sphere (all of her accounts have filters that automatically block messages if they include the words ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’), the abuse is relentless.

Depressingly, she’s not an outlier when it comes to these attacks. Strangers abusing women on social media for their looks now seems like a national hobby. 

Even those who think they might be making ‘helpful’ comments are contributing to the abuse.

Love Island star Amy Hart (pictured) has revealed the shocking number of abusive comments she receives from strangers online

This week, the shocking amount of trolling that women are subjected to was highlighted when actress Nicola Coughlan, star of Derry Girls and Bridgerton, made a heartfelt appeal for it to stop. 

‘If you have an opinion about my body, please, please, don’t share it with me,’ she asked, explaining that on a daily basis she is inundated with messages about her appearance. 

‘I am just one real-life human being and it’s really hard to take the weight of thousands of opinions on how you look being sent directly to you every day.’

Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse also spoke about coping with abuse from strangers: ‘To get tweeted or receive a message in my inbox being racially abusive, or fat-shaming me, is horrible. But it’s written by a person who can’t even face themselves in the mirror.’

To illustrate just what women have to put up with daily on social media — unrelenting cruelty where no body part is too insignificent for criticism — Amy has agreed to take me on a head-to-toe tour through some of the comments she has received.

From being told she looks like ‘a witch’ and is a ‘waste of organs’ to having ‘weird arms’ and ‘needs a nose job’, it’s utterly depressing.

Not just because so many people —all complete strangers to her — feel they have the right to judge a woman’s body in the first place, but because it’s hard to know what they might find to criticise about Amy.

Take her legs. They are long. They are lovely. What’s supposed to be wrong with them? She sighs. Where to start? 

Just some of the nasty comments received by Amy about her appearance from strangers online

‘People say they are an odd colour if I haven’t got fake tan on them, because I don’t use fake tan on them much.

‘But if I do have tan on they might called be an odd colour, too,’ she says. ‘Some people say they are an odd shape, that there isn’t enough definition at the knee.

‘Others that they are too fat, too short, that they are a funny shape. I have been told I have cankles.’

Then there are her feet. Surely her feet are… just feet, aren’t they?

‘Oh god,’ she says. ‘No. A lot of people have a problem with my feet. My toes are all the one length, you see. People say ‘HOW CAN YOU WEAR SANDALS?’ But I like sandals.’

Amy adds: ‘The funny thing is, when I was starting out in the public eye, I knew I’d be criticised, but I reasoned that no one was ever going to say anything worse about my body than I had said myself, as I looked in the mirror. But I was wrong.

‘People say things you have never considered and I don’t think it’s right. You might say, ‘if you put yourself out there, you deserve whatever comments you get’, but I’ve been through all the contracts I’ve ever signed, from Love Island onwards, and nowhere has it said ‘you must let strangers abuse you’.’ 

Amy met Nicola Coughlan when she appeared on Love Island’s Aftersun segment immediately after leaving the show in 2019 when the Irish actress was a guest. 

‘She was actually the first celebrity I met, and she was lovely,’ Amy recalls.

She’s glad Nicola has spoken out on exactly the same issue she highlighted to a Commons select committee last year, appealing for steps to be taken to hold the big social media giants to account for the culture she feels they help create.

It’s difficult to quantify what effect this toxic trend is having on society, but even an hour in Amy’s company makes alarm bells ring. 

She is no slouch. She is articulate and funny, and quick to joke about how her previous job — as an air stewardess — prepared her for a life of just smiling through regardless.

‘As cabin crew, you are used to making everything appear fine, outwardly. The passengers can never know you are worried about crashing,’ she says.

What cost that smile though? If we are talking literally, her latest one, tweaked last year after she was told on social media that her ‘teeth weren’t good enough to be a celebrity’ came in at £35,000.

This was her second set of veneers. The first, done pre-Love Island, had been widely praised, but that was in the old days, in the real world.

‘It’s interesting the difference. When I got my first veneers people would say ‘they are lovely. Where can I get them?’ but with this set people piled in online. Even well meaning people. One dentist said he’d love to do my teeth. I thought ‘Eh? I’ve just had them done’.’

What was wrong with her teeth? Off she goes, documenting that they were too big, too bright, too this, too that. 

‘The thing is, because of the shape of my teeth I can’t do much else, unless they break my jaw, which I don’t really want,’ she explains.

‘And anyway, it would cost £150,000 to get the ones some dentists have advised.’ 

Amy says this as if it’s the most normal thing in the world — to consider getting your jaw broken in order to meet someone else’s expectation about how your teeth should look.

She tells me that when she entered the Love Island villa she trained for it, like an athlete might do for the Olympics. 

She can recall every sparse meal, because she ate the same thing every day for a week, then switched to a different menu for another week, then back again.

She was 26 then, a petite size 8. ‘And still someone posted that I was the ugliest Love Island contestant there had ever been. I was still called fat.’

Now 29, her body issues are particularly complex because she has been going through fertility treatment to freeze her eggs. 

Amy (pictured) was told by cruel trolls that her ‘teeth weren’t good enough to be a celebrity’

She did this last year when she discovered that her fertility was declining faster than she would like. 

She is adamant she wants to have children (and now hopefully with her boyfriend Sam, although since they have only been together for nine months, it is early days).

The daily injections to stimulate egg production have made her tummy a little bloated though. ‘People have said ‘are you pregnant’? Even well-meaning people do that. Sometimes you say ‘no, it’s just chips and wine’, but it’s hard.’

It’s a poignant illustration of the fact that these body commenters know so little about what is going on behind the scenes — or in the heads — of those they feel it is their right to pass judgment on. Part of Amy is happy to embrace her (slightly) larger body, but again there is a mental tussle.

‘I messaged my nutritionist about it, sending her pictures of myself from my Love Island days and now, and the difference was horrendous.

‘I said, ‘you have got to sort me out’ but she said I had to accept that I was 29, not 26 and that my body was going to change and my metabolism was going to be different because I had been on so many fad diets.

‘She said it was up to me, but I had to think about how far I wanted to go, to get that body back.’

Amy also signed up with a ‘ridiculously expensive’ fitness coach four months ago. ‘Our views didn’t really align. He said I had to go hardcore for 12 weeks, but I have a 30th birthday party coming up.

‘I want to go out with my friends. I don’t want to be morbid but we have lost a few people recently and it’s important to have fun with your friends. It’s like a battle — do I want to look like I looked then enough, because apparently you can have the body or you can have a life, but you can’t have both.’

Where will all this end? Perhaps the most concerning thing Amy says is that she has noticed that the most savage abuse she gets tends to come on TikTok, the favourite social media platform of teenagers.

She says they are growing up thinking that abusing strangers online is normal, that they have the right to share their hurtful opinions with people they know almost nothing about — and never once stop to think: ‘How would I feel if someone said this to me?’

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