'They’re quite strict on education': Love Island's Anna Vakili on her Middle Eastern upbringing and how her parents felt about her leaving a pharmaceutical career behind

A future beauty boss.

01 Jun 2019

Love Island 2019's line-up offers arguably the most diverse selection of contestants’ careers in Love Island history with a scientist, pharmacist, engineer, catering company manager and surfer all among the roster.

As passionate feminists here at GLAMOUR HQ, it goes without saying that for us we’re all about championing women. As well as welcoming different young professionals to the show, Love Island undoubtedly offers a unique platform for successful women to further their career afterwards too.

So when GLAMOUR jetted out to the Mallorcan villa to meet this year's cast, we couldn't help but grill them on their decision to leave behind the careers they'd worked so hard for to swan off to the sun. One of this year's contestants, Anna Vakili, 28, from London, left behind a career in pharmacy that she spent 5 years studying for, so is she leaving the career firmly back in the UK?

"The honest answer is that I don’t really want to go back to pharmacy. It was five years of training, so long, but I think I knew throughout the whole time it wasn’t for me. Coming from a Middle Eastern background, they’re quite strict on education and you have to do pharmacy, medicine or dentistry.

"I wouldn’t say my parents were over the moon with me going on the show, ‘woo, we forced her to do pharmacy and now she’s going on reality TV’, but they’re not against it either. They’re like, 'we forced her to do that and if she wants to take her route, we have to let her spread her wings'.

"They just want to make sure I’m doing the right thing. My dad is kind of a little bit excited. He doesn’t want to say it, but he came home with the Daily Star the other day and was like ‘It’s you!' I’m looking after this forever’. You can tell he’s excited, but you can tell he doesn’t really know what Love Island is.

"You won’t believe it, but he wrote me little notes and stuck it in my suitcase. I opened it up and it’s like political stuff saying ‘Anna, you have to mention that women have been oppressed by men’ and I don’t think he understands what it’s about. No, I won’t talk about it because it’s so random."

Anna is also hoping to bring her 'Middle Eastern spice' to the villa, revealing: "I don’t think they’ve ever had a Middle Eastern girl before, so I’ve got that bit of Middle Eastern spice. I’m a bit curvier than some of the girls that have been on before, so I’m repping it for the curvy girls, too. And because I’m a pharmacist, I’m very different… Dr Alex was like a proper doctor, whereas I feel you don’t have to be a medical professional and still be really serious and formal – you can have both worlds. You can be smart and professional, but at the same time have fun. And you can wear what you want, too."

Cheers to women owning their beauty, brains and sexuality.

Follow all the latest Love Island news, meet the rest of the Love Island 2019 cast and check out our behind the scenes look at the villa.