Love Island contestant Sharon Gaffka says her parents were against her signing up for the show – and she plans on returning to her day job when the series ends.
The Civil Servant, 25, from Oxford, told MailOnline she doesn’t intend on having sex in the villa after her dad needed some convincing when she first revealed she’s starring in this year’s line-up.
Sharon, who won Miss International UK 2018, claimed unlike former stars of the show, she isn’t bothered by fame and resuming her career is of the utmost importance to her.
‘It was a bit of a shock’: Love Island contestant Sharon Gaffka says her parents were against her signing up for the show – and she plans on returning to her day job when the series ends
She said: ‘I have a younger brother, my parents haven’t really watched the show but my brother and his friends do.
‘We had to sit them down and get them to watch an episode and talk through things. For my mum it was a bit of a shock and it took my dad a bit of coming round and getting used to, but they’re really supportive and excited for me.
‘My intention is to return to my profession after Love Island. For me, focusing on potential fame isn’t something I’ve thought a lot about. I’m just going in to find love and meet the right person hopefully.
‘Sex on the show is not something I’m planning or intending on doing. But again if you meet someone and it feels natural and you really like them and forget the cameras are there, it can happen, it’s a possibility but it’s not something I’m planning on doing.’
‘I’m going in to find love’: The Civil Servant told MailOnline she doesn’t intend on having sex in the villa after her dad needed convincing when she revealed she’s starring in this year’s line-up
Sharon hopes to change the public’s perception of beauty pageant queens, and says she’s had to challenge potential suitors over the years who assume a woman can’t have both brains and good looks, as in her case.
She said: ‘It’s really weird to think that I started 10 years ago when I was 15, really, really young.
‘For me initially I was a very shy and quiet teenager, I wasn’t very out there, I probably blended a lot into the background, so I was looking for something to boost my confidence.
‘I fell in love with it, there are a lot of misconceptions that beauty queens are bitchy and don’t like each other and sabotage each other but it was a room full of girls that felt the same way as me.
‘It’s my mission’: Sharon hopes to change the public’s perception of beauty pageant queens, and says dating has been difficult because men assume a woman can’t have brains and looks
‘Looking back on it now, all of my best friends are from beauty pageants so it’s definitely something I’m happy I did.
‘There’s always, especially with dating, when you meet a guy and they’ve gone through your social media and they find out you’ve done beauty pageants, I’ve always had a lot of debates with them.
‘Why is being attractive and intelligent exclusive? Why can’t I be both things? It’s something that is now my life mission. Everywhere I go I challenge these misconceptions that people have.’
In 2016, contestant Zara Holland was stripped of her Miss Great Britain title after having sex on TV with Alex Bowen.
‘I’ve always had a lot of debates’: Sharon said she’s been forced to challenge the views of potential suitors in the past due to their ‘misconceptions’ of the pageant world
Sharon isn’t worried about following in Zara’s footsteps as she believes the former Islander only faced criticism because she was a reigning queen, while other ex-title holders have been in the villa but didn’t endure the same scrutiny.
She said: ‘I didn’t watch that series so I don’t really know how she left but I am aware of the situation where she lost her title.
‘Given a lot of other beauty queens with titles have walked through the villa I don’t think she necessarily lost her title because she had sex – I think it was just poor timing on her behalf.
‘When you have a title there are a lot of other things that come with that and some of those other contestants probably had sex in the villa as well and didn’t face the same backlash because they didn’t have the title at the time.
‘Having done pageants before will not impact how I behave in the villa, I’m just going in to be myself.’
- Love Island starts at 9pm Monday 28th June on ITV2 and ITV Hub. Episodes are available the following morning on BritBox
‘It was poor timing’: Sharon isn’t worried of following in ex-Miss GB Zara Holland’s footsteps because she believes the Islander was stripped of her title due to being a reigning queen