Tasha Ghouri: “I Lost Friends and Family Due To Instant Fame”

Image Source: Hot Diamonds

In 2022, 23-year-old Tasha Ghouri entered the Love Island villa as the first ever deaf contestant. Looking back, two years after leaving the hit dating show, she still can’t believe the journey she’s had. “It’s crazy looking back. I was so young and I was just starting out and learning about relationships – and now I’ve got a dog and a house with Andrew [Le Page, who she met on the show],”she tells PS UK on a Zoom call. Over night, Ghouri became a household name, amassing millions of followers on social media, magazine spreads and brand deals.

But what’s the hardest thing about instant fame? “It was definitely hard adjusting to this new life,” she reveals to PS UK. “It was a challenging shift and you lose people. I lost friends and family due to instant fame because it was a new reality for me,” she admits. Ghouri quickly learnt that she couldn’t replicate the life she was living before appearing on the hit dating show. “Things had to change; I couldn’t go clubbing and get absolutely drunk off my head anymore!”

During her time on Love Island we watched the reality star struggle with confidence and the public’s perception of her. But two years later, she says she’s a very different person. “Tasha today is someone who’s a lot stronger,” she says. “I’ve definitely grown from my experience on Love Island. I always say that Love Island was definitely about self growth, I had a massive personal growth journey in the villa.” Ghouri explains that you have to have a thick skin to survive in this industry: “I feel like Tasha today doesn’t care about what people think and has more confidence in herself. In this industry, you do have to be strong and ignore the negativity. I feel like I’ve got so much better at focusing on the positives and not worrying so much about other people’s opinions.”

“It was a challenging shift and you lose people. I lost friends and family due to instant fame because it was a new reality for me.”

In the villa, Tasha’s style captured the attention of the country and she says her current style inspiration is none other than Hailey Bieber: “She’s got such great street style and red carpet looks – that girl knows how to change it up.” Ghouri believes that jewellery is a great way to elevate any look or make a statement and in a special collaboration with Hot Diamonds, she has created a Hot Diamonds,(£99).”I’ve always worn a necklace with initials. When it came to collaborating with Hot Diamonds, I was instantly drawn to them. I find personalised necklaces so meaningful, my favourite one is my ‘T&A’ initial one because it represents Andrew and I.” Within the collection you can choose from different fonts, words and even have a mix of gold and silver finishing.

Image Source: Hot Diamonds

Speaking of jewellery, could an engagement be on the cards for Tasha and boyfriend Andrew? She tells PS UK: “We definitely still get lot of questions about when we’re going to get engaged. I mean, it’s more up to Andrew than it is to me. We’ve both said when it happens, it happens but we’re not in any rush to get married anytime soon.” But two years after meeting on the show, Ghouri says they are stronger than ever. “We’re definitely in it for the long haul,” she reveals. We’re both very happy. I can’t believe it’s been two years since we met but I couldn’t love him anymore, he’s amazing.”

Even though she’s no longer an Islander, she still watches Love Island and is enjoying it. “Oh, I’m rooting for, Ayo and Mimii,” she says without hesitation. “I love them and I want them to get back together. I feel like they have that connection. I know Ayo’s getting to know Uma, but I feel like deep down he likes Mimii and I think they’re gonna come back together and have that epic love story.”

However, she has some suggestions for future seasons. Ghouri has always been a vocal advocate for normalising disabilities by embracing them as your superpower – something very personal to Tasha, as she was born deaf and is a proud wearer of a cochlear implant. “I would love to see more than one disabled Islander in future,” she says of the show’s current lineup. “I always feel like there’s always that one person that has a disability so it’s ticked off. But why can’t we have two or three islanders with a disability in there? Or a bombshell? I’d also love to see someone with a prosthetic leg and show the beauty of that.”

The reality star explains that the key is in representation so it’s normalised. “It’s important to show that you can find love even though if you’ve got a disability. I think a lot of TV shows just tick a box but actually, that’s not really being inclusive. You have to continue the momentum and keep pushing forward.”

Image Source: Hot Diamonds

Recently, the reality star has been campaigning on daytime TV about normalising deaf accents, and it’s something incredibly important for her to highlight. “To this day, I get comments about my voice and the way I speak on my social media videos,” she reveals. “I think for me, it’s actually about using my platform to educate those people and show actually, the reason why my voice sounds like this is because of my cochlear implant and without it my voice goes more monotone.” In true Tasha style, she chooses to rise above the hate: ” I could be negative back but that’s not the person I am. I’d rather use my platform to be be positive, I choose to kill them with kindness and show the beauty of deaf accents.”

“I feel like Tasha today doesn’t care about what people think and has more confidence in herself. In this industry, you do have to be strong and ignore the negativity.”

And as the general election draws near, Ghouri has thoughts. If she had the power to enforce one policy in Parliament, it would be about media accessibility for the deaf community. “All content should be captioned or have subtitles,” she says. “That’s probably the one law I would love to enforce because there is such a big lack of captions and subtitles on videos yet deafness is the third biggest disability in UK. I feel so disconnected as soon as I see a video with no subtitles and I instantly scroll past it.”

Ghouri has such a mix of passions but what does the future hold – could we see her on Strictly Come Dancing any time soon? “Oh babe, I’m manifesting for any kind of TV show with dancing like Dancing On Ice or Strictly.” But she also has hopes of one day having her own fashion line. She says: “I love fashion and I’d love to one day have my own kind of business and see people wearing clothes that I create. That’s a big aspiration of mine.” Watch this space…

Aaliyah Harry (she/her) is the associate editor at PS UK. She writes extensively across lifestyle, culture and beauty. Aaliyah also has a deep passion for telling stories and giving voice to the voiceless. Previously, she has contributed to Refinery29, Grazia UK and The Voice Newspaper.

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