Love Island star embraces deaf accent after facing ableism on social media

Love Island star Tasha Ghouri has said she has “embraced” her deaf accent on social media after facing “a lot of” ableist trolling while appearing on the dating show.

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine on Thursday, Ghouri, who was born deaf, talked about the importance of using her platform to normalise deaf accents.

The 25-year-old shared a TikTok video of her morning routine without her cochlear implant, and she received thousands of comments thanking her for her honesty.

Ghouri said: “It was nerve-racking (pressing send). It was definitely a vulnerable part of myself but I thought, ‘You know what? I’m just going to go for it’.

Natasha Ghouri
Ghouri received thousands of comments thanking her for representing the deaf community (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

“I am speaking for the whole deaf community as well, not just for myself. It was definitely scary but I am so glad I did it because the response was incredible.

“It really was amazing. You only live once right so, I thought I might as well embrace myself properly.

“Honestly every single comment has been, ‘Thank you for representing the deaf community’ and ‘It’s amazing that you’ve shared this part’.”

She discussed the ableism she received online about her deaf accent while appearing on Love Island.

“When I was on the show, I actually had a lot of ableism (online) about my voice and not many people understood why I spoke the way I did,” she explained.

“That was probably the main trolling I got from it. TikToks were made about my voice, taking the mick out of it.

“That’s why when I came out I was still kind of accepting coming to terms with that and this is why I felt that this was the right time to explain why my voice may sound different.”

Ghouri added she was not comfortable sharing about her life as a deaf person while on the show.

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Tasha Ghouri and Andrew Le Page met on Love Island season 8 (Ian West/PA)

She said: “I think timing-wise, I could have done it when I came out of the show but I wasn’t ready to. I wasn’t ready to share that part of me just yet.”

Ghouri emphasised how supportive her partner, Andrew Le Page, has been.

The two met on season 8 of Love Island and made it to the final, placing joint fourth.

“His support has been incredible. He really loves me for me and that helps me to be my vulnerable self,” she said.

“He said, ‘It’s OK to be who you are and not everyone is going to love you and that’s OK but as long as you’re doing what you love’.”