From the lip reading to dancing, dating & more, Love Island star Tasha Ghouri shares what day-to-day life as a deaf woman is really like – & the things she wishes everyone knew

When Tasha Ghouri first graced our TV screens in the summer of 2022, it was immediately clear she was something special. Not only was she a woman of many talents (professional dancer and model are listed on her CV), but she also happened to be the first deaf contestant to appear on Love Island – a pretty big deal when the show had previously been criticised for its lack of diversity.  

Deaf since birth, Tasha was five when she was fitted with a cochlear implant, a pioneering piece of technology that can help provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. 

For Tasha, the benefits of her cochlear implant (which she refers to as her ‘superpower’) have been life altering, but her ongoing experience of deafness hasn’t been without its difficulties. 

From the importance of being treated equally to finding her confidence, we speak with Tasha about what life is really like as a deaf woman – and the things she wishes everyone knew.

I’m not being weird by staring at your lips!

Tasha on… lip reading

“I rely on lip reading day-to-day – I’ve done it ever since I was little. It’s how I understand people’s voices and their words. If their diction isn’t that strong, then I really have to focus hard on the movement of their mouth."

“When I meet new people, you’ll see me looking at their lips quite a lot and I find myself having to say, ‘Listen, I’m not being weird looking at your lips – it’s how I understand what you’re saying!’”

Deaf and hearing-impaired people can experience concentration fatigue

Tasha on… living with a cochlear implant

“Living with a cochlear implant isn’t as easy as it might initially seem. Day-to-day life can be quite difficult, depending on the type of environment I’m in."

“If I'm working somewhere very loud, the building has an echo, or there are a lot of people in one space, it can be absolutely draining and I get ‘concentration fatigue’. This is common among people who are deaf and wear cochlear implants, and occurs when you're overworking your brain, having had to focus a lot harder on lip reading. I can get migraines and headaches, so I have to be careful not to overdo it too much.” 

While there are challenges, there are many benefits to her cochlear implant. 

“These days, I’m so proud of it. I’ll even match the colours of my outfit to the implant and use it as an accessory. It’s my superpower and I don’t want to hide that from anyone. It’s a unique, amazing piece of technology that’s opened so many doors for me.”

Becoming a confident deaf woman has taken time

Tasha on… confidence

“Growing up, I always tried to hide my cochlear implant. I’d wear my hair down and compare myself in a negative way to other kids. If you’re out there struggling, then I’d like to tell you that confidence takes time – you need to have patience and work on embracing every single part of yourself, even your perceived flaws to find that self-love. Only then, will you flourish and grow."

“That’s not to say that I don’t understand the feelings of someone who might be struggling with their confidence and deafness. I do. My mental health wasn’t great, because I was never happy with myself. Confidence doesn’t come in a day, it’s a slow process. I always stick by the saying, ‘Life is a climb, but the views are great’. And it’s true. The view will always be great if you climb that mountain.”

To be included and made to feel equal means everything

Tasha on… family & friends

“My family has always worked so hard to put me first – they’re the reason I am where I am today." 

“Mum and dad sent me to a public school instead of a deaf school, forcing me into a situation where I had to learn to communicate with those who weren’t hearing-impaired or deaf themselves. Coupled with intense speech therapy, this pushed me out of my comfort zone, ultimately allowing me to be a confident speaker. They ensured I never felt different or like the odd one out. I was always included and made to feel equal, which means everything to me.”

First date? Avoid taking us somewhere dark and noisy

Tasha on… dating

“I’ve obviously got [my boyfriend] Andrew now, but in the past I never really struggled with my confidence and dating. I think this is because I’m an open person. When I would first tell someone I was born deaf, it was important for me to keep it positive. I’d say something upbeat like, ‘I’ve got something really cool to tell you’, and more often than not their energy would match mine.” 

And if you’re going on a date with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing? 

“Rule number one is going somewhere that isn’t dark and noisy. I’ve been on dates before where they’ve taken me to a dark, loud jazz bar and I’ve missed out on so many important things, because I can’t hear or even see to read their lips. I’ve had to nod along and it’s not nice. Remember that you want to make that person feel as comfortable as possible.”

Nothing should be off limits for deaf people – especially not dance

Tasha on… dancing

“I’ve danced since I was little. It’s always been my safe space."

“People tend to think that I can’t be ‘that deaf’ as I can dance in time to the music. But the reality is it’s all about training. I went to dance college and university, so I trained hard, long hours to learn how to be in time with the music – every professional dancer has to learn how to do this by counting to a beat."

“Sometimes I miss my cue, but that’s the same for all dancers, whether they can hear or not. Nothing should be off limits for deaf people – we can do anything when we work hard enough.”

For deaf people, setting aside moments of self-care is so important

Tasha on… make-up

“I love make-up and see it as the ultimate form of self-care when I’m feeling overwhelmed or just need a little bit of me time."

“I love to play around with the application to create a natural, beautiful look. I adore using mascara, warming my complexion with bronzer and enhancing my eyebrows – I feel so naked without my eyebrows! It’s crazy how make-up can make you feel so good and give you that extra bit of confidence.”

Charities are vital for supporting deaf children

Tasha on… charity work

“I’m an ambassador for DeafKidz International, a charity that works in poor countries helping kids who don’t have accessibility to hospitals, let alone cochlear implants or hearing aids. The money the charity raises provides access to doctors and technology that these kids couldn’t get otherwise."

“I also work with the National Deaf Children’s Society. They are UK-based and do great things for deaf kids at schools, so they can benefit from the best learning possible. It’s so important for me to do this charity work – I did it before the villa and I continue to do so now.”

If you’re struggling with being deaf, it’s important that you hang in there

Tasha on… how she’d help someone struggling

“Whether you’re deaf yourself or are part of a family supporting someone with a hearing impairment, I’d say hang in there. I didn’t know if I’d be OK, or if there would be opportunities for me. I had no idea how my life was going to pan out. But having now lived it, I can assure others that it’s going to be okay."

“If you have the motivation and determination to work hard, then everything will work out just fine.”

Tasha’s 3 beauty faves

Want what Tasha’s got? Us too. Shop her beauty faves at

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

• Size: 9ml
• Five shades

“If you opened my make-up bag, you’d notice I have about 15 Fenty Beauty lip glosses in all the colours! They are my absolute favourite,” says Tasha. “I love the shea butter formula, which keeps my lips super soft.”

Fenty Skin Butta Drop Whipped Oil Body Cream

• Size: 200ml

• Vegan
• Refillable

“I’m obsessed with this body butter from Fenty,” says Tasha. “I love the way it feels on my skin and it smells amazing, thanks to the infusion of coconut and mango. It’ll leave you looking luminous!”

Mugler Alien Goddess Refillable Eau de Parfum

• Size: 60ml
• Fragrance family: floral, amber, woody

“Mugler perfumes are some of my favourites. I’ve just discovered this gorgeous one, which smells delicious. I wake up, spray it on and I’m ready to go about my day and feel amazing,” says Tasha.

For more, watch the Boots Taboo Talk podcast on hearing loss. Tasha and Loose Women’s Kaye Adams speak to Vogue Williams about their specific diagnoses, the impact hearing loss and deafness have had on their lives, how they’ve overcome any stigma, and how speaking out about their experiences have helped themselves and the wider hearing loss community.