Let’s go back to that aforementioned clip of Ekin-Su and Charlie in their post-recoupling conversation. “We haven’t even progressed to a kiss yet,” he told Ekin. Did she kiss him? No. Did she want it? Absolutely not. Instead, she lured him under a semblance of flirtation, asked him if he’d be willing to wait five years to kiss her (no surprises, he wouldn’t), then whipped her ( actually rather impressive) impression of Voldemort to really assure her he wasn’t what she was looking for. Somehow bizarre and ego-damaging for Charlie, but oh-so relatable for every girl who’s ever had to deflect a vain and persistent man’s attempted grip.
A wrapped TikTok viewer Perfectly why she’s so awesome: “The reason men don’t like women like Ekin-Su is because they can’t stand the sight of their own reflection.” It’s this desire to make men play their own game that makes her so popular with female fans like me.
Ekin-Su’s tactics further proved his disinterest in taking himself too seriously. While countless contestants seem only interested in growing their Instagram accounts and carving out a spot in the next round of ice dancing, Ekin-Su had no fascination with being likeable. (Just take a look at his chaotic and endearing post-release Instagram Stories for proof.) Admirable, facing cameras tasked with capturing content for the most-watched dating show of a generation.
She presented herself as a multi-faceted woman who could act like a man and pick herself up like one. She made women feel comfortable being themselves. She had an innate ability to form fierce female friendships and was never cruel to the people in her life pursuing what she wanted. Take note, Luca Bisch. Don’t let her statement that she was “not here to make seasonal girlfriends — I’m here to meet the love of my life” fool you. She was a girl of girls, regularly flagged by her fellow islanders as everyone’s biggest fan. “You are a bomb. A bomb. Shell,” she told Danica Taylor amid a crisis of self-confidence. “She’s amazing. Believe in yourself. You are fire.
Admittedly, Ekin-Su is not perfect. We may not be able to accept all the decisions she made, like how she repeatedly lied to Davide about this meeting with George Tasker, which resulted in what was perhaps one of the most iconic lines of the island of love the story. But it was this messy, relatable, upset thirst for life and love that made Ekin-Su the the island of love girl we all rooted for. And half of the love story we really enjoyed watching. We should all be a little more Ekin-Su, baby.