- Love Island -Chloe's Accent On 'Love Island' Is Dividing Fans
There are layers to the relationships and fandoms on Love Island that some American viewers may never understand, mostly due to the insanely complicated politics of geography and accents in the United Kingdom. This season, Chloe Burrows is rubbing fans the wrong way and not because she sauntered into the villa to steal a boy. Nope, the main reason UK viewers don't like Love Island star Chloe is because they cannot stand her Oxford accent.
Thankfully, you don't have to be an Anglophile to truly appreciate why someone might be judge-y about how an Islander pronounces their vowels, because we have the internet.
So here's the deal: Chloe is from Oxford, home of the iconic and prestigious University of Oxford, which is about an hour and a half outside of London, where she lives now. According to my research, even from way, way, way back in the day, people who went to Oxford University assumed a sort of affected, more deliberate way of speaking the English language. So when someone tweets, "not chloe with her fake posh oxford accent," they're calling her out for sounding like Emily Gilmore.
But! There are layers to this, because the British Library says that what is commonly called the Oxford accent is really the "received pronunciation" or the RP accent, which is the most common, universally recognized British accent. It's not regionally specific, which means that anyone can put it on and the only reason to do so would be to make yourself sound a little high class, or at the very least, more educated. As library's website explains, "RP is also regionally non-specific, that is it does not contain any clues about a speaker’s geographic background. But it does reveal a great deal about their social and/or educational background." Emphasis all mine.
So, when someone tweets that Chloe's accent keeps changing, they are also low-key accusing her of faking her Oxford accent to sound smarter and richer or whatever else the accent means to them. But by my understanding, the Oxford or RP accent is by definition an affectation, or at the very least, something one works to put on, so it's not really her fault, per se. Basically, it sounds like anyone who speaks with an accent like Chloe's while trying to steal someone's man generally sucks.
As someone who comes from Philadelphia, I am in absolutely no position to judge anyone's accent or dialect, but if I was (or if I was a British viewer who knew these things off the bat), I would judge Chloe hard for sounding the way that she does.
But don't worry, there are plenty of other reasons to be wary of Chloe!
One of them is that, as my dear friend pointed out to me when I consulted her about about the Islander, Chloe sounds like a phone sex operator, and a bad one at that. There's nothing wrong with phone sex operators, even bad ones, but what my American friend means is that she's trying too hard to sound sultry for the boys (wait until she finds out that Chloe's also trying to sound like she's fancy-schmancy).
If you're the kind of Love Island fan who roots for the ones who play the game hard, then Chloe is likely your girl. But if you have a soft spot for the Shaugna's and Liberty's of Love Island, girls who come in super genuine, eyelashes melting and all, Chloe and her presumably "fake posh accent" is the worst. Can you tell which one I am yet?