The head teacher of a Fylde coast independent school has slammed reality TV shows Love Island and TOWIE for their emphasis on physical beauty and for creating feelings of inadequacy among some young people.
Jeremy Quartermain, headteacher at Fleetwood's Rossall School, said such programmes could cause anxiety among impressionable young people.
He contrasted the shows with the acclaimed series 63 Up, which has followed the fortunes of a mixed group of children since they were just seven years old right up until the present time, presenting a portrait of Britain "growing up".
Love Island, whose latest series is currently being broadcast on ITV2, pitches 12 good looking people, six single men and six women, together to find love in a Majorcan villa, with viewers voting for their favourite couple.
The contestants are mostly unknown participants but during the show they are in the TV spotlight.
However, the show has been defended by one of the contestants from last year's series, 27 year old Kendall Rae Knight , from Newton-with Scales, near Kirkham, who said people were taking a light-hearted show far too seriously.
Mr Quartermain stated in the school's regular online news release: "Such celebrity does not endure.
"It focuses on the transitory and materialistic aspects of life.
"It exalts physical beauty/aesthetic perfection and serves to create a sense of real inadequacy and anxiety in impressionable young minds.
"All of these shows present a distorted version of reality."
Mr Quartermain, a married father of three, added:"By way of contrast, the magisterial sweeping expanse of the Up documentary series is certainly worth watching.
" In the most recent installment, 63 Up, Michael Apted, the series director, invited participants to reflect upon their lives and probed their attitudes towards retirement and potential infirmity.
" The resultant film is profoundly moving and utterly captivating.
"What I would hope the Up series might teach young people is that life passes by with a speed which is unfathomable when you are still a child. Furthermore, it demonstrates that there is great joy to be achieved in simply living a decent life.”
Kendall, a former Miss Blackpool , said she has “no regrets” about appearing on the show.
She said: "People take it far too seriously, it is just a light-hearted summer show about people looking to find love on a sunny island.
"I have only had positive experiences on the show and when I was on it people were nice to me and I wasn't horrible to anyone else.
"It is not promoting anything bad, I had no negative experiences on the show at all - you see far more disturbing things on soap operas these days."
A spokesman for ITV, which makes both Love Island and TOWIE (The Only Way is Essex), said: "We would like to make the point that amongst some of the occupations of those in the Love Island villa this year we have a pharmacist (Anna), a scientist (Yewande), a fireman (Michael) and an aircraft engineer (Callum)."