I'm a psychologist – here's the real reason Love Island's Gemma Owen is acting so rude and why she went after Davide | The Sun

GEMMA Owen has been slammed by Love Island fans for being "spoilt" and "rude".

The 19-year-old daughter of former England striker Michael Owen – the youngest contestant on this year’s Love Island – was a pre-show favourite to win, but has seen her odds plummet.

Gemma took flak on social media for ‘smirking’ when she was selected by hunky Italian Davide Sanclimenti in the recoupling on the ITV2 show on Monday.

Her perceived smugness was seen as a slight to original boyfriend on the reality show – Welsh personal trainer Liam Llewellyn, 22 – and some called for Gemma and Davide, 27, to be voted out.

Previous islanders also piled in, with ex-finalist Chloe Burrows claiming her "attitude stinks" and Shaughna Phillips branding her "rude" in response to Gemma sniping at Luca Bish's surname.

But psychologist Emma Kenny says there's a reason for Gemma's perceived smugness and assertiveness.


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She tells The Sun: “Gemma will be relatively confident because she has been involved in equestrian dressage for years and she has had her own business.

“It is also relevant that she comes from a celebrity family, so she has been brought up with a front facing experience which means she might appear assertive and confident on one level because she knows how to present herself.”

Emma says fans criticising Gemma’s behaviour need to take into account her relative immaturity, adding that her limited life experience is the likely reason she struggles to mask her true emotions.

She explains: “At the age of 19, you might not be as guarded or have the social nuances that you would when you are older.

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“At that age people tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves more because the consequences of the things you say or do aren’t something you’ve had to moderate.

“You don’t tend to have too many responsibilities, you’ve been brought up by your mum and dad, you’ve been comforted and cosseted, which means you are reacting from an authentic place.”

'Refreshing honesty'

Rather than seeing that as a negative, Emma thinks viewers should welcome a display of honesty.

She comments: “Isn’t it better to see the real person rather than someone who is editing themselves to be popular?”

Viewers have been taken aback by how ‘assertive’ Gemma was in her pursuit of Italian stallion Davide.

But this doesn’t surprise Emma; she says: “Gemma wants the thing that looks good, she wants to be with the guy she likes and she is willing to go for it.

"I don’t think we should be doing her down.”

Some fans, however, have questioned the eight year age gap between Gemma and Davide.

Emma admits she worries his considerable advantage in understanding how relationships work could put him in a ‘dominant’ position that is ultimately unhealthy.

She explains: “Gemma was going to primary school at the point Davide had left school and was most probably working.

“No matter how worldly-wise she comes across, there will be an innocence to her, which would put him in a dominant role.

No matter how worldly-wise Gemma comes across, there will be an innocence to her, which would put Davide in a dominant role

“That could be quite challenging when you are a young person and don’t have the wherewithal to navigate a relationship with someone who is older.”

It is a year-and-a-half since Gemma was in a ‘serious relationship’ – and at that point she would have been 17.

That means the ex-footballer’s daughter has a lot to learn and will be forced to educate herself in front of television cameras.

Emma notes: “She is learning and growing in front of our eyes.

“She is a very young adult, so she has the right to make mistakes and say things in the wrong places.

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“I can’t believe she has gone in there, because it would be incredibly scary for someone her age.

“She can’t possibly know how to have long term relationships.”

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