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Yewande talks life after Love Island

OPENING UP: Yewande Biala (Photo credit: Instagram)

LOVE ISLAND contestant Yewande Biala has opened up about her experience on ITV2’s Love Island, amid conversations on the lack of diversity in the hit series.

During her time on the show, the 23-year-old scientist from Dublin often struggled in the coupling-up process. After being dumped by Danny Williams, forcing her to leave the show, many viewers suggested there was a race problem in the villa, something Biala has now admitted to, saying she - alongside mixed-race contestant Amber Gill and Persian Londoner Anna Vakili - “struggled” more than their white co-stars.

In an interview with 1Xtra Talks, Biala explained: “We [Yewande, Amber and Anna] didn’t find anyone who liked us. It was always someone coming in and saying ‘my type is blonde and petite’. We’d just look at each other and say ‘they’re obviously not here for us’.”

Following her departure from the show, Biala was reluctant to read any news stories about herself out of fear of being portrayed negatively because of her race.

“I tried not to read any articles about myself because I didn’t want to get upset,” she said. “I think they were trying to label me as the angry black woman, which was kind of insane.

“Not once in the villa did I ever raise my voice or feel like I acted in that way, even considering the circumstances I was in.”

In another interview, the Irish beauty delved deeper into her experience as a dark skinned woman and the difficulties she faced with the media.

“When I got into this I realised being black is hard, but being black and in the media is harder. You have to stand out and you have to do more and it can get quite frustrating.”

“You feel like you’re not doing enough, but just keep pushing to keep doing what you’re doing and someone will see how amazing you are.”

She also discussed her thoughts on fellow contestant Sherif Lanre, admitting she didn’t think they’d get along.

“When Sherif walked in, I said this to him, I don’t think we’re going to get on, I don’t think he’s going to like me as a friend. I didn’t step forward at all because I thought he isn’t even going to like me.”

When questioned by presenter Reece Parkinson as to why that is, Biala replied: “With black men it's like they usually like light skinned women and Amber was by my side so I was like what’s the point in stepping forward and he did end up picking Amber to couple up with and when he coupled up again he picked Anna so I was like ‘Well we’re not going to get on’”.

“I don’t think it's a villa thing, it’s a society issue. It’s heightened in the villa because it’s only a couple of people.

Many people took to social media to praise Biala for her honesty and vulnerability.

One social media user wrote: “Yes Yewande! Every BW's journey to womanhood has involved to some degree a battle with oneself to do with this issue of colourism and preference.”

Another said: “Black is beautiful Some black men need to own there women with pride and power and stop hating.”

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