Articles on this Page
- 12/11/18--00:55: _What to buy the sin...
- 12/11/18--01:36: _What I Rent: Stepha...
- 12/11/18--02:40: _Why do women lie ab...
- 12/11/18--03:30: _The Cocoa Butter Cl...
- 12/11/18--04:04: _Here’s what was wro...
- 12/11/18--04:04: _Woman accuses Faceb...
- 12/11/18--04:19: _Woman’s illustrativ...
- 12/11/18--04:47: _Mum thanks three st...
- 12/11/18--05:27: _As a disabled perso...
- 12/11/18--05:29: _Morrisons launches ...
- 12/11/18--05:39: _ASOS accused of pro...
- 12/11/18--06:09: _9 Christmas party m...
- 12/11/18--06:35: _Bridesmaid is not i...
- 12/11/18--07:01: _Mulled wine, cobble...
- 12/11/18--07:06: _Meet the ‘Triple Cr...
- 12/11/18--07:19: _You could be paid £...
- 12/11/18--08:05: _When is Christmas J...
- 12/11/18--08:11: _This is Marks & Spe...
- 12/11/18--08:13: _Mum-to-be goes on g...
- 12/11/18--08:25: _What to buy the dog...
- 12/11/18--02:40: Why do women lie about their age on dating apps?
- 12/11/18--06:35: Bridesmaid is not impressed with brother’s PDA in wedding photo
- 12/11/18--08:11: This is Marks & Spencer’s must-have party dress
- 12/11/18--08:25: What to buy the dog (or the dog lover) in your life this Christmas
2018 was the year that we’ve finally realised we throw away too much plastic.
At the end of 2017, David Attenborough narrated the episode of Blue Planet 2, which showed the devastation it has caused and we all started to think a bit more carefully about cutting down on the plastic we put in the bin.
Christmas is the perfect time to pick up a present for anyone who has become conscious of the environmental impact of plastic this year, or maybe you just want to give your loved ones some gentle encouragement to try some reusable products instead.
Whatever your intentions, hopefully these products will make your loved ones smile as well as helping the environment.
We’re all guilty of just grabbing a bottle of water when we’re on the go but with lots of coffee shops now offering to refill your bottle, carrying a drinks container around can be cheaper and more environmentally friendly. An expensive, stainless steel bottle is a lovely gift and your loved-one is much less likely to leave it behind on the bus.
Big brands such as Chilly’s and S’well are the leaders but there are other brands out there with slightly different offerings. Stay Sixty offer a bottle with a removable base to make it easier to clean and built-in loop to attach it to your bag.
Meanwhile Waikiki bottles are sleek and trendy and you can even swap the lids and base of the bottle with others to customise them.
Reusable coffee cup
Like water bottles, if you know someone who drinks from a coffee cup every day, a nice reusable cup could be a great gift. Lots of the chains give discounts for using your own cup so it could save them some money too. A Keep Cup, is stylish and practical. It comes in a range of colours, sizes and materials, meaning you can get one to suit your recipient. You can even design your own cup.
For something that keeps their drink warm for as long as possible try a Kleen Kanteen tumbler that keeps hot drinks warm for up to four hours.
If they are the type to forget to lift their cup before they leave the house, try a Stojo collapsible cup that can be folded up and put in your bag.
Straws and cutlery
Straws are one of the easiest things to cut out when we are out and about but there are occasions when we miss them. I prefer sipping my cold drink with a straw so I recently invested in some reusable straws. There are lots of materials to choose from – silicon, glass, metal or bamboo. It’s all down to personal preference.
This stainless steel set comes in a variety of shapes and colours with a pouch and brush to keep them clean for £9.85.
And for anyone who doesn’t want a bag of straws rolling around their bag, this foldable straw in a case that can be added to your keyring, is a great gift.
You can also pick up a set of reusable bamboo cutlery so you don’t have to rely on throw away knives and forks. Bamboo means it is so light, you won’t notice it in your bag. This set in a handy pouch makes a lovely gift.
You can also pick up these slightly heavier cutlery wraps designed by Sienna Miller, Fearne Cotton, Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne for the Sky as part of their Pass on Plastic campaign.
Beeswax wraps and sandwich bags
Sandwich bags and clingfilm are something we can use every day and we don’t even think twice about just throwing them away, but now you can pick up some lovely reusable alternatives – and they look so much prettier too.
Beeswax wraps can be used instead of clingfilm as they are made of squares of material, soaked in wax making them stick in a shape. They can be wiped clean with luke warm water and although they last much longer than clingfilm, they don’t last forever but they do biodegrade when you’re finished with them. This pack of one large, two medium and two small comes in two patterns and costs £30.
Or you can try these packs designed by Sienna Miller, Fearne Cotton, Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss. A pack of three costs £20.
For something to keep sandwiches safe, try these reusable large food bags from Keep Leaf for £6. They come in lovely patterns and would be perfect to open on Christmas day (you have to put those Christmas leftover sandwiches somewhere).
If you’re looking to buy something that can be used to store food in the freezer too, try silicon bags – again, they aren’t the most glamourous but your loved one will appreciate how many times they can use them.
Reusable wipes or make up remover
Do you really need to throw something away every time you want to remove your makeup? If you think your friend or family member might be willing to try something different, there’s plenty of options.
Cheeky Wipes offers kits containing cute makeup removing pads, a container to keep them in and organic virgin coconut oil to soak them in. Once you’ve used them, you can wash them in your washing machine and use them again.
This makeup remover cloth from Amazon also promises to get your makeup off using just water and can be used again and again.
Cleaning products gift set
It might not be the most glamorous of presents but we all need to keep things clean and buying everything from the supermarket can be quite heavy on the plastic. These water-soluable concentrated pods, can be added to water to create your normal cleaning products. Team with a set of spray bottles and they can buy more pods for the same bottles when the first set run out.
With plastic-free shops popping up all over the UK, shopping using reusable containers is becoming more popular. So, the plastic conscious person of you life will undoubtedly appreciate some nice storage jars for pasta, rice or other bulk items they buy at a local store.
These jars from Hobbycraft cost £3 and they come with a blackboard and chalk to help keep track of everything there is.
Shampoo bars or soaps
Toiletries are a Christmas list staple but swap the plastic heavy brands for some shampoo bars or soaps. Lush have a whole range of plastic-free products that you can even get wrapped in a knot-wrap to give your recipient some reusable wrapping.
We’re all getting more used to bringing our own bags to the supermarket since the plastic bag levy was introduced. Try buying something nicer than a supermarket bag for life. This bag folds up into a tiny built-in (pineapple-shaped) pocket so you can always keep it in your handbag or pocket.
Single use plastic conscious gift guideSingle use plastic conscious gift guidelauraabernethy6
Renting in London: It’s… not great!
Rents are high (as we all know), space is limited, and if you do manage to find somewhere decent you have to move fast in case someone rents it before you finish your viewing.
Oh, and once you do land a place within budget, you’ll get laughed at by your Northern friends who are paying half as much for twice the space. Cool.
Those outside of London may question why we bother. Sometimes we agree with them.
But maybe by talking openly about what we’re paying and what we’re getting in return, we might make some steps towards sorting out the renting market – or at least educating people about when they’re getting ripped off.
That’s why each week we take you inside a different person’s rented property for What I Rent.
Today we’re with Stephanie Yeboah, a blogger, body confidence advocate, and freelance journalist who shares a two-bedroom flat in Streatham Hill with her landlord.
Hi Stephanie! How much are you paying for this place?
I pay £650 a month.
Fortunately, my bills are included within my rent so I don’t have to worry about that.
And what do you get for that money?
We live in a two bedroom flat, with a living room and two bathrooms. My flatmate/landlord has her own en suite bathroom, which leaves the main bathroom for me.
How did you find the flat?
I’ve been here for five months. I found it on Twitter of all places!
I was looking to move out of my previous place, and asked my followers on Twitter if they knew of any rooms going in South London.
An acquaintance of mine who is also an influencer pointed me in the direction of her old flat, which I’m now staying in.
What’s it like living with your landlord?
My landlord/flatmate is amazing to live with and we get on so well. We’re both into most of the same things so there have been no issues whatsoever.
What do you like about where you live?
The neighbourhood is incredibly quiet, and the public transport is excellent as Streatham has four stations (Streatham, Streatham Vale, Streatham Hill and Streatham Common) which go all over London.
There are a host of independent coffee shops to work in, as well as some awesome restaurants.
We are 10 minutes away from both Brixton and Clapham by bus, and there’s a real sense of family/community spirit here.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
Definitely. I absolutely love the amount of space in my room (as my previous rooms have always been box rooms) and having a bathroom to myself is amazing.
How have you made the flat feel like home?
Interior accessories! Houseplants, photo frames and little trinkets here and there.
Are there any issues with the flat?
The wifi and mobile connection isn’t the best as we live on a hill, but aside from that, it’s wonderful.
Any plans to move again?
Not anytime soon. I absolutely love where I live, and little things such as having your own bathroom really makes a difference!
I don’t think I’d be able to find that anywhere else.
And what about buying a place?
In this economy?! Not just now!
True. Shall we look at Stephanie’s flat?
What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am. Check back next week to have a nose around another rented property in London.
How to get involved in What I Rent
What I Rent is Metro.co.uk's weekly series that takes you inside the places in London people are renting, to give us all a better sense of what's normal and how much we should be paying.
If you fancy taking part, please email email@example.com.
You'll need to have pictures taken of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your room. Make sure you get permission for your housemates!
You'll also need to be okay with sharing how much you're paying for rent, as that's pretty important.
WHAT I RENTWHAT I RENTellencscottHome of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.Home of Stephanie Yeboah in Streatham, South London, part of the series What I Rent.
‘I had a date with an air hostess whose profile said she was 45. Only when she arrived, she turned out to be 55 and she looked every bit of it.
‘She was very blasé when she told me – she said she liked younger men and didn’t want to put them off straight away.
‘We’d met for lunch, so I wasn’t going to be blunt, and I was too polite to leave, but it made me more cautious about online dating.’
James, who was 44 at the time, was left feeling a little bit burned by his online date lying about her age – and he’s not the only one.
Ben also met a woman whose dating profile billed her as a decade younger than she really was. He tells us: ‘I was 35 at the time and her profile said she was 37, but as soon as she walked in I thought, “she’s not 37!”
‘You can’t just say that though, so I got her a drink and said, “this is my first date with an older woman. But I suppose we’re not that dissimilar – I’m 35 and you said you were 37?” She said, “I’m actually 47.”
‘She didn’t even look embarrassed – that’s the brazenness of middle-age! I said, “well you look good on it!” Then we carried on chatting. I thought it was funny – I’ve had worse dates, and she did look like her pictures, just older.
‘But I felt like I’d been lied to, and I’m not going to go out with someone who’s 10 years older than me.’
The discrepancy between online dating age and IRL age isn’t always so extreme. Simon was 34 when he arranged to meet a woman who he believed was 33.
He says: ‘Meaning it as a compliment, I told her she didn’t look 33 – and that’s when she said she was actually 36. She didn’t tell me why she lied – we glossed over it and carried on chatting, but later I thought how strange it was.
‘There was no reason to lie and it was such a trivial amount of age to lie about. She seemed like a fairly decent person, but the age issue put me off, as I thought what else would she lie about?
‘I’ve always been skeptical about online dating, and since this happened I’ve deleted all the apps.’
Emma, who’s 38, knocks even less off her age, claiming on her dating profile to be 36.
‘I broke up with my boyfriend earlier this year, and when I started dating again, I noticed that the calibre of guys I matched with was very different from when I was online dating five years ago,’ she explains. ‘The matches I got as a 38 year old made me feel like I was scraping of the barrel of society.
‘I got men who couldn’t string a sentence together, who immediately tried to get me sexting.
‘I don’t know if they assume that women of a certain age will be up for anything, or if normal men won’t consider you after a certain age because they think you’re washed up, but it was depressing.’
Looking for a man who’s 34 to 40, Emma found that taking two years off opened up a pool of potential matches that’s ‘far more attractive – in all ways’.
So far, Emma hasn’t told any of her dates the truth. She tells us: ‘I’d rather be honest about my age, but if I do, I’ll never meet anyone – or they’re guys who don’t want kids, or who have kids and don’t want any more.
‘I look far younger than my age, so I don’t feel bad. If I was actually getting to like someone, then I’d tell them if and when it came up, but so far I haven’t seen anyone beyond about five dates.’
Emma isn’t worried about how her dates might react when she tells them the truth.’In real life, two years is inconsequential, so if a guy isn’t ok with it, and doesn’t have any empathy for why I’ve done it, then he’s probably not a great guy. If it were a fairer world for women, I’d probably give more of a f***.’
Anna, who’s 34, knocks five years off her age because she likes younger men. She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘As a woman, if you put that you’re over 30, guys think your biological clock is ticking – they assume you’re desperate!
‘But my priorities are more similar to those of a 25-27 year old. I don’t want a family – I just want to date and have fun.’
Initially, Anna’s tweaked online dating age was an accident. She says: ‘When I joined Facebook I didn’t want to use my real date of birth, so I put a different year. Then when I went on Tinder for the first time, I saw that I came up as five years younger.
‘I liked it and decided to keep it that way because I felt it was a better match for how I am mentally, physically, and also in terms of what I’m after.’
That was six years ago, and since then Anna’s dated about 50 guys, all of whom believed she was five years younger – although she didn’t keep them in the dark for long, usually revealing her real age on the first or second date.
Anna explains: ‘I just want them to meet me in real life. I’m happy to tell them my age when we meet in person because that’s so different to seeing a number on a dating profile and immediately having preconceptions.’
Perhaps because Anna’s photos are up to date, she hasn’t had any negative reactions. ‘When I tell them the truth, they say, “oh well, you don’t look it!”,’ Anna explains. ‘But whether that’s true or not, I don’t know.’
Anna’s ideal man is 27, although she’ll date guys between 22 and 32. ‘After that, they’re too selfish,’ she says, ‘once they’re over 32 I don’t like them.’
After coming out of a relationship with a man who’s seven years her junior, Anna is now back on the dating apps – but she isn’t looking for a new boyfriend.
‘Now it’s just sex,’ she says. ‘I have a harem of men, and I’m looking to maintain that situation. They can come and go, and I’m happy with that, because when they leave, there’s no real heartache.’
Relationship coach Jo Hemmings says she understands why women tweak their ages on dating apps.
‘Before dating apps, it wasn’t socially acceptable to ask a woman her age – it wasn’t a question a woman had to answer,’ Jo tells Metro.co.uk. ‘But on dating apps you have to put your age. It’s right there next to your name, and that catapults it to being the most important thing, alongside your photo.’
But this forced disclosure isn’t a comfortable one, and so, ‘our culture of secrecy surrounding age has spilled over into dating apps. Women are inclined to knock a few years off because men look for women who are younger than themselves. Women are just accommodating supply and demand.’
Besides which, it’s not only women who fib. ‘Since dating apps started, the received wisdom is that men lie about their height and women lie about their age,’ says Jo (and that’s before we even get to the men who also lie about their age)
However, while Jo women understands women knocking two or three years off, especially when they reach 40, she does warn against taking it too far.
‘Once you’re taking off five or ten years, you’re pulling the wool over the other person’s eyes,’ she says, adding, ‘it’s also more complicated and you have to be incredibly guarded. You’ve got to keep checking yourself, or you’ll get caught out.’
Jo dismisses the idea that someone who’s lied about their age has probably lied about other things. ‘I think it’s a stand-alone fib that’s embedded in the culture of dating apps – it’s not indicative of the person being a liar,’ she explains.
And if fibs have been told, what’s the best way to come clean?
‘If you’ve only knocked a couple of years off, there’s no need to bring it up until you’re serious,’ says Jo, who warns, ‘passports are often a giveaway – so bring it up before you’re caught out!’
London-based woman who lies about her age on dating appsLondon-based woman who lies about her age on dating appsellencscottMeet the women who lie about their age on dating appsAnna - London-based woman who lies about her age on dating appsAnna - London-based woman who lies about her age on dating appsAnna - London-based woman who lies about her age on dating apps
The Cocoa Butter Club is all about giving a platform to marginalised voices to allow them to explore their sexuality and sensuality.
By creating a space for artists of colour, the club empowers minorities to feel more loved and accepted while nurturing and celebrating their talents.
The club, which was started in London by singer Sadie Sinner as a small queer space, puts on themed nights such as R&B, Motown, blues and jazz songs, burlesque, spoken word, and features plenty of live music and voguing.
They’ve had a successful year, booking up several venues and even opening up their first sister branch in Sydney, Australia.
‘Performers of colour are underbooked and underrepresented but through no fault of their own,’ Sadie explains to Metro.co.uk. ‘The people who write the screenplays and stage plays didn’t grow up seeing bodies of colour in a positive light.
‘The Cocoa Butter Club aims to normalise bodies of colour within performances. We exist to showcase and celebrate bodies of colour. We exist to give performers of colour a platform to showcase culturally expressive work in a supportive environment.’
‘There are very few spaces and events which centre bodies of colour. Which ensure bodies of colour are given full attention and respect they deserve. The Cocoa Butter Club exists in response to this.’
The reception to the Cocoa Butter Club has been extremely positive – showing the thirst for diverse performances.
The artists associated with the club have performed and sold out shows at iconic venues such as London’s Roundhouse, Underbelly, Winterville, Arcola theatre and the Raze stage at the Southbank centre to name a few.
‘We have discovered a huge POC (people of colour) audience who have been waiting for something like this to come along; a space where they are centered, feel safe and supported, a space where they are represented on stage and can relate to the acts and they can feel recognised.’
The Cocoa Butter Club is a major queer space for POC that has gone strength to strength in the last few months.
‘We were asked to perform at Brighton Pride which was incredible,’ adds Sadie. ‘It really means that people are starting to think more about diversity and the need to be representative of the country we live. We were able to go to Brighton Pride and showcase The Cocoa Butter Club.
‘In the future, we would love to be able to expand The Cocoa Butter Club and work with many more performers of colour.
‘We aim to take over festival stages, special tents and club nights. We are working on a touring production so we can take the important work we are creating and let the world hear our message.’
Visit the website to see upcoming events from the club.
But even her bump couldn’t take the spotlight away from her dark nail polish.
The Duchess of Sussex rocked up on stage to present her Givenchy wedding dress designer, Clare Waight Keller, the British Womenswear Designer of the Year award.
And as she took the microphone and began her speech, her perfectly manicured hand could be seen featuring dark nail varnish.
It was a canny move by Meghan, considering she knew this was not one of those events she could easily hide her nails – after all, she was presenting an award on stage.
And, naturally, it hasn’t gone unnoticed by royal fans, while others want to know just why it is such a big deal?
At all public appearances for the royal family, only natural-looking nails are permitted – meaning no dark polish, no massive fake talons, and no trendy nail art or Christmas sparkly polish.
Unnatural nails and dark polish is considered ‘vulgar’ by the Queen, so it’s a pretty big no-no.
The Queen is known to love Essie’s Ballet Slippers shade, having worn only that shade since 1989.
Back in 1989, the Queen’s hairdresser sent Essie a letter requesting bottles of Ballet Slippers, as the £7.99 polish is the only one she’ll wear.
As a result of this rule, you won’t have seen Kate Middleton rocking any nail colours other than a neutral, sheer pink since she married Prince William – and now you’ll see the same on the hands of Meghan Markle.
While Meghan has broken traditional style rules with her preference for messy buns, it looks like the nail polish rule is one she’ll follow. Meghan has only been pictured wearing light pink polish since the announcement of her engagement back in November 2017.
So on her wedding day, the new royal went for neutral nails again.
Why Meghan decided to go bold and wear a winter colour last night is not clear.
Or perhaps the Queen may have changed her mind on her nails rule and didn’t want to disappoint a pregnant lady?
Meghan revealed she is pregnant in October this year. She and Prince Harry are expecting their first child this coming spring.
The Fashion Awards 2018 In Partnership With Swarovski - ShowThe Fashion Awards 2018 In Partnership With Swarovski - Showamyduncanukmetro
A campaigner has accused Facebook of ‘sexist double standards’ for refusing a boosted advert for her mastectomy network, and, she claims, removing a photo showing mastectomy scarring.
Jay Walker says that the logo of her campaign group meant she was turned down to boost an ad for the page, as it ‘contained nudity’.
The logo uses punctuation to symbolise post-mastecomy breasts, as ‘(-) (*)’. The brackets represent the shape of breasts, the hyphen shows a breast without a nipple, and the asterisk is meant to be a nipple.
Jay says that the logo is the reason adverts for her campaign group have been rejected, claiming that Facebook has sent her generic responses stating they don’t allow ads that ‘depict nudity, even if it isn’t sexual in nature’.
Jay also says that a photo of her chest featuring stitches, bandages, and her nipples, shared to highlight how minimal the scarring following a mastectomy was, was removed by Facebook.
Jay said: ‘Facebook have decided that due to our logo containing ‘nudity’ we are unable to promote the page or the private support group.
‘The issue seems to be all of the logo – two brackets, a hyphen and an asterisk. It was designed to be quite subtle but obviously to represent a scarred breast.
‘I can’t believe anyone would think the logo is sexualised.
‘When I’ve replied asking Facebook to clarify what the problem is with the logo, which part of it, they haven’t come back to me.’
The campaigner set up Mastectomy Network on Facebook in 2016 to give others going through mastectomies advice and support just seven weeks after having an elective double mastectomy.
Jay had a preventative mastectomy after watching her mum battle breast cancer twice.
Jay said: ‘It was a no-brainer, having watched my mum go through breast cancer the first time, have a couple of scares before being diagnosed again in 2001.
‘I knew then I didn’t want to go through what she did before knowing about the gene and went down to surgery like a kid on Christmas Eve, I was so excited to get it done.
‘I had an overwhelming feeling of relief when I woke up.’
Jay set up Mastectomy Network as a public page that offers advice and support to those who’ve had a mastectomy.
After having multiple pictures removed from the site over the last two years, Jay is fed up, and has accused Facebook of ‘sexist double standards’ for allowing a video published by This Morning that showed testicles.
‘So, it’s ok to show and share testicles, but not a female nipple. Or even the slightest suggested of a female nipple* Ok then,’ she wrote on Facebook.
‘FTR [for the record] I totally support This Morning and their awareness video (guys, please check yourself regularly) just appalled at the blatant sexism employed by Facebook’s Community Standards.’
Jay claims that Facebook has deleted post-operative scar pictures both with and without nipples.
‘Every single time I try and boost a post or when I share a link I can’t,’ she said. ‘In the closed, private group there are regular bans where people’s photos are removed using automatic software recognition.
‘The main public page is for sharing information and support group is completely closed and private.
‘It’s a private space for people to be able to discuss upcoming operations and share images afterwards, for example checking if something looks ‘normal’ or whether they need further medical attention or the cosmetic appearance before and after the operation.
‘It’s not sexualised or for titillation. We see Facebook regularly banning women just for sharing their own post-op images with each other and would urge them to reconsider what they deem offensive.
‘By doing this they are furthering this misconception that breasts are sexual.
‘Yes they can be, but that’s not what they are all about. They could do so much to destigmatise this issue but are just strengthening them and endorsing this ridiculous old-fashioned idea that breasts can’t be seen.
‘You see men walk down the street with no tops on with their nipples out no problem, there’s obviously a time and a place, but by deleting this photos and banning women they are helping these double standards.
‘The only dangerous nipple is a cancerous one, and it doesn’t care what gender you are.
‘Facebook allows graphic violence, hangings of women and children, beheading videos, graphic animal cruelty and all they do is cover themselves by putting a cover on it.
‘I’d be more than happy to do that on the group, whether it’s sharing news article or pictures, I think it’s ridiculous not to apply the same standards.
‘They could automatically apply filters and the moderators could check everyone’s posts before allowing them to be published.
‘We’re only targeting women in the UK aged between 25 and 65, so no under 18s.
‘All we want to do is help other women make better informed decisions about their bodies.’
Jay is keen to have a proper conversation with Facebook to find out why posts are deleted and why she can’t boost adverts for Mastectomy Network.
A Facebook spokesperson said: ‘Whilst adult nudity isn’t allowed on Facebook, we do make exceptions including for posts which are clearly intended as medical or educational.
‘This can include images of post-mastectomy scarring. The judgements we make when we apply our policies are incredibly nuanced, and our teams review millions of pieces of content every day. We’re currently investigating the posts and ads shared with us.’
A mastectomy campaigner has accused Facebook of sexism as it repeatedly bans awareness-raising posts about breasts - despite allowing Chris Hughes testicle exam on This Morning to be sharedA mastectomy campaigner has accused Facebook of sexism as it repeatedly bans awareness-raising posts about breasts - despite allowing Chris Hughes testicle exam on This Morning to be sharedellencscottPIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: Jay Walker after mastectomy operation in hospital in September 2016) A mastectomy campaigner has accused Facebook of sexism as it repeatedly bans awareness-raising posts about breasts - despite allowing Chris Hughes??? testicle exam on This Morning to be shared. Jay Walker blasted the site???s ???double standards??? after allowing clips of the Love Island star???s recent examination while vetoing her patient advice group's attempts to boost ads. Unbelievably, Jay claims her campaign group was told their logo 'contained nudity' because it uses punctuation to symbolise post-surgery breasts as (-) (*)ASTECTOMY NETWORK. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: Jay Walker, 39, sharing post-op pic to show minimal scarring picture removed by Facebook) A mastectomy campaigner has accused Facebook of sexism as it repeatedly bans awareness-raising posts about breasts - despite allowing Chris Hughes??? testicle exam on This Morning to be shared. Jay Walker blasted the site???s ???double standards??? after allowing clips of the Love Island star???s recent examination while vetoing her patient advice group's attempts to boost ads. Unbelievably, Jay claims her campaign group was told their logo 'contained nudity' because it uses punctuation to symbolise post-surgery breasts as (-) (*)ASTECTOMY NETWORK. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: Jay Walker) A mastectomy campaigner has accused Facebook of sexism as it repeatedly bans awareness-raising posts about breasts - despite allowing Chris Hughes??? testicle exam on This Morning to be shared. Jay Walker blasted the site???s ???double standards??? after allowing clips of the Love Island star???s recent examination while vetoing her patient advice group's attempts to boost ads. Unbelievably, Jay claims her campaign group was told their logo 'contained nudity' because it uses punctuation to symbolise post-surgery breasts as (-) (*)ASTECTOMY NETWORK. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266Chris Hughes testicle exam on This Morning (Picture: This Morning/Facebook)
Like clockwork I expected my second ever period to gush out at the stroke of midnight. I thought after your first period, every subsequent one came at the exact same time the following month like some sort of biological standing order.
I wish I’d done some more reading on it. That’s exactly what illustrator Natalie Byrne is hoping to do; educate teenage girls about periods so they know what to expect and how to deal with what can be very scary.
The London-based illustrator and author has written a book called Period because she doesn’t want young women to be traumatised by their bodies in the way she was as a preteen.
‘I was 11 years old when I got my first period,’ Natalie tells Metro.co.uk.
‘I was at my aunt’s Christmas party when I noticed some red liquid hitting the white kitchen floor. I remember looking around me and thinking “uh, no one is drinking red wine here”. When another drop of red liquid hit the floor, I realised it was coming from me.
‘I quickly ran to the bathroom and saw an eruption of blood between my legs and dripping down my thighs. I had no idea what was happening. Not one clue.
‘I stayed in the bathroom for hours, crying, wondering how on earth was I going to tell my parents at Christmas time that I was dying.
‘So I decided to keep it quiet. That night when I got home and crawled into bed, my mum came into my bedroom with a towel and a fresh pair of underwear. She had figured it out. I cried as she showered me, and cried harder when she said it would happen every month. I stayed in bed for days afterwards, crying.
‘Womanhood for me felt as if I had been pushed out onto a stage, there were bright lights, and I didn’t even know the script for the play or even know my own role. It was awful.’
Natalie explains how she’d only had one assembly at school, as a 15-year-old, which touched on periods, which she felt was far too late.
After joining period poverty charity Bloody Good Period and attending the FreePeriods protests, Natalie went to visit her local library to see what information was out there and was shocked to find a lack of texts detailing periods.
So she wanted to create a zine with this purpose but was approached by a publisher who suggested she turn it into a book.
‘No one should be traumatised by a natural human body experience,’ adds Natalie. ‘A period is a natural thing our body does, just like having a burp, a wee, or a poo.
‘But a period is still today something we have so much taboo and stigma around. Even after writing this book, I still feel uncomfortable talking about my period and have to fight the internalised shame.
‘Talking about periods is so important, but with the shame and taboo around it, some parents and educators might not know how to tackle it.
‘Periods may seem like one small issue but it’s actually huge and encompasses a lot of topics, from mental health, wellbeing, body positivity, body literacy, inclusivity, the environment, myths and period poverty.
Natalie’s research also led to finding out some sobering truths about how periods affect women’s self esteem and how that translates into adulthood.
‘During my time research, I found that I knew five people in my life that got their period at aged nine, many of these girls say that the school didn’t provide bins for them,’ Natalie tells us.
‘Out of 150 people, 58% felt they were unprepared and 81% had experienced heavy periods. Other statistics that are important to mention is that anorexia is most commonly diagnosed at age 13, and at age 14 one in four are self-harming.
‘I myself struggled with self-harm and an eating disorder and I hated my period. And the more I read these facts, the more I started to really truly believe that all these things were connected.
‘I remembered what it felt like to feel that my body was wrong, from how big my bum was, to my heavy periods.
‘We bleed a total of approximately 10 years! So I really believe that if we can have a healthier happy relationship with our periods, it’s going to have a knock-on effect with every aspect of our lives. From the way we view our body, our confidence, our relationship with ourselves, our relationships with others, and how we navigate the world. That’s why this book is important.’
SEI_43922430-6127SEI_43922430-6127faimabakar1Woman's illustrative book about periods is the one we all needed as teenage girlsWoman's illustrative book about periods is the one we all needed as teenage girlsMETRO GRAB INSTAGRAM Woman's illustrative book about periods is the one we all needed as teenage girls https://www.instagram.com/p/BqfizxQll9j/Woman's illustrative book about periods is the one we all needed as teenage girlsWoman's illustrative book about periods is the one we all needed as teenage girlsWoman's illustrative book about periods is the one we all needed as teenage girls
Getting a flight is hard enough when you are by yourself but imagine trying to look after two kids as you balance your suitcase, passport and liquids bag.
This mum, Becca Kinsey, was flying with her two-year-old and five-year-old and she admits she was on the verge of tears.
But thanks to the help of three strangers, she had a much more straightforward journey, according to a post on Facebook.
And she was so touched by what happened, she’s asking people who have shared the post to follow their lead and donate money to a charity as a random act of kindness.
Becca was flying home from Disney World with her children Wyatt and James.
In the post, Becca, from Texas, U.S., explains: ‘So I thought it was a good idea to fly by myself with a 2 yr old and a 5 year old. We were standing in line in security, on the verge of tears because Wyatt was screaming and James was exhausted.
‘Out of the blue, one mom stops the line for security and says “here, jump in front of me! I know how it is!” Wyatt fell asleep and I was trying to carry everyone’s carry-on when another mom jumps out of her place in line and says “hand me everything, I’ve got it”.
‘When I said thank you to both of them they said “don’t you worry, we’re going to make sure you get on that flight.”
‘The second woman takes evvvverything and helps me get it through security and, on top of all that, she grabs all of it and walks us to the gate to make sure we get on the flight.
‘To top it all off, Wyatt starts to scream at take off before he finally falls back to sleep. After about 45 min, this angel comes to the back and says “you look like you need a break” and holds Wyatt for the rest of the flight AND walks him all the way to baggage claim, hands him to Blake, hugs me and says “merry Christmas!!”’
After the post went viral, with over 127,000 shares and Becca asked everyone who read it to commit to their own act of kindness.
She later added to the post: ‘Pay it forward. We were on our way home from Disney World when 3 amazing women stepped up and helped me out.
‘What if everyone that shared the story went to Kidd’s Kids and made a $5 donation?! Kidd’s Kids take children with life-threatening and life-altering conditions on a 5 day trip to Disney World so they can have a chance to forget at least some of the day to day stressors and get to experience a little magic.’
There are good people out there after all.
Mum thanks woman for act of kindnessMum thanks woman for act of kindnesslauraabernethy6FOR FEATURED ONLY - Awaiting permission. (Picture: Becca Kinsey/Facebook)
‘We will just have to put a nappy on you!’
This is what my mum said to me when we realised my dream of flying to Australia wasn’t going to happen.
Travelling and using public transport when you have a disability can be an absolute nightmare; anything from fighting over a wheelchair space with a push chair on the bus, to being left on a train because no one has come with a ramp to help you off, or in some cases, being left humiliated because the accessible toilet is out of order.
It truly is shocking the amount of horror stories I hear from friends within the disabled community when trying to travel as independently as possible; something most people take for granted on a daily basis.
Nevertheless, out of these horror stories has come some good and I have seen a willingness – though altogether painfully slow and far from perfect – from transport service providers to improve customer care and experience travelling when you have a disability.
With many train lines and even companies such as Uber working with charities like Transport For All to help improve its services and ultimately become more inclusive. We have also seen the introduction of assistant apps such as Passenger Assist, designed to make booking assistance less time-consuming and practical.
There is however one mode of transport that seems to be lacking in providing for the disabled market – and that is air travel.
One of the safest and most efficient form of travel is failing disabled people on an epic scale.
More than half (57%) of passengers with a disability say they find flying and using airports difficult, according to a survey by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Flying really can be a headache from start to finish – from having to take measurements of your wheelchair and arranging assistance before you fly, to not being able to take your own wheelchair onto the aircraft and then have the fear of your chair being damaged or even lost.
Just to clarify, wheelchairs can cost between £3,000 and £11,000 on average.
Then there is the humiliating moment of being left on the plane with the cleaners because your assistance has not been arranged.
I’ve flown hundreds of times, however I’ve always been accompanied by family or friends who can shoulder some of the responsibility and make flying a little less stressful. I only truly found out exactly how inaccessible flying can be when I decided to visit a friend on her gap year in Australia.
Like any person with a disability, I planned my journey down to the minute detail.
To my surprise, Air Qantas seemed to have previsions for those travelling with a disability; the airline even provides onboard wheelchairs and staff who are trained to assist passengers to the toilet.
I was beyond delighted – finally I could travel independently and see the world.
But, my excitement was short-lived.
It all seemed too good to be true, so I decided to contact the airline directly. They assured me that I’d be given an online wheelchair, but the snag was that the toilet was still too narrow and the chair would only go as far as the toilet door.
On the matter of wheelchair use onboard its aircrafts, the Qantas website states: ‘Onboard wheelchairs are available on most Qantas aircraft. These allow passengers to be escorted to and from the aircraft toilets. Qantas’ wide-bodied aircraft and some narrow-bodied aircraft have toilet facilities for customers with disabilities. Where you are not travelling with an escort or carer, cabin crew can assist you to and from the door of the aircraft toilet.’
As someone who cannot walk, this meant my dream of going to Australia went out of the window.
By law you cannot fly on your own if you are deemed as ‘not self-reliant’. So what exactly does ‘self-reliant’ mean in the eyes of the law?
You must travel with a companion if you’re not self-reliant, e.g you need help with feeding, breathing, medication or using the toilet.
For someone who lives independently, travels independently on other modes of transport and can use the toilet by herself, this rule comes as a kick in the teeth.
Surely adding an accessible toilet where the onboard wheelchair could actually fit would solve many problems and allow someone like me to fly on my own?
I seriously contemplated wearing a nappy and I’ve heard from others in similar situations to mine that they just don’t inform the airport that they can’t independently get to the bathroom – and so just cross their legs and hope for the best, I presume.
There are plans to improve air travel for disabled people with the implementation of a new charter for airlines, which will include better staff training and, further down the line, looking at ways to enable passengers to take their own wheelchairs on board.
This is a great milestone, yet I can’t help but feel this isn’t good enough.
Why can aircrafts introduce bars, reclining beds and even ottomans for entertaining and not yet have accessible toilets as standard on board?
Once again, money talks and the ‘purple pound’ doesn’t seem to have any value when it comes to airlines.
It saddens me that I’m limited so enormously when it comes to flying.
I have three beautiful nieces who live in Ireland and the only way I can visit them is by taking a companion, or for my sister to fly into London to pick me up and fly back with me – and do it all again on my return journey.
Surely, with all the amazing and creative technology that already exists, we can create an aircraft fit for everyone’s needs?
Metro IllustrationsMetro IllustrationsallieabgarianFlying with disability Flying airplane travel disability chair access Credit: (Picture: Dave Anderson/ Metro.co.uk)
Traditional Christmas fare might be all about animal produce – turkey, pigs in blankets, and mince pies (which traditionally use hard fat of beef or mutton) – but thankfully now there are more vegan and veggie options.
Morrisons is bucking the meaty trend and offering a vegan alternative to festive favourites, pigs in blankets.
So instead of chomping on carrots and humous at your next Christmas party, you should be able to get in on the act of eating festive food to your heart’s content.
The supermarket’s vegan ‘sausages’ are made from tomato, potato, mushroom, and basil, wrapped in an aubergine blanket.
Sold in packs of 10, Veggies in Blankets are available now in Morrisons stores nationwide and cost £2.50.
They’re currently part of the three for £6 offer on Christmas party food, which also includes the vegan Sweet Potato Stacks and vegan Vegetable Tempura Nests.
‘Pigs in Blankets are arguably the best part of Christmas dinner. We’ve listened to customers who are looking for more plant-based options over the festive period and created a vegan version,’ said Morrison’s party food expert Simon Whittle.
As well as party food, the Morrisons vegan Christmas offering includes products such as The Best Cranberry and Pistachio Nut Roast and a pumpkin and sticky fruit festive stuffing.
If you fancy other Christmassy vegan foods then Asda is also offering a few treats. You can get a dairy-free cheeseboard which includes the traditional mature cheddar alternative, said to be full-bodied and smooth, a garlic and chive mature cheddar alternative, and a Wensleydale and cranberry alternative for those wanting something a little sweeter.
Last year the supermarket was also said to be the first to launch vegan mince pies, which don’t traditionally contain any meat if you were wondering. But it’s the animal fat that makes them non-vegan friendly.
ASOS has been criticised for selling socks with what they called a ‘roadman design’, with words popularised by black working class people.
The black and white socks feature words taken from the vernacular of slang such as ‘don’t look so shook’, ‘jokes’, and ‘mandem’.
The mishap was pointed out by fitness studio founder Kelechi Okafor, who has previously written for Metro.co.uk about race and profiting off it.
Kelechi, who founded Kelechnekoff Fitness Studio in Peckham, south east London said that the designs were ‘disgusting’ and fetishising black communities without any engagement with them.
What is a roadman?
We know we sound like your mum trying to explain slang, but for those of you who don’t know, a roadman is someone, regardless of sex, is a part of youth culture, knows all the slang words, listens to a certain type of music, or wears distinct clothing i.e a puffer jacket with a fluffy hood.
While the word originated to stereotypically describe young men hanging around street corners, wearing tracksuits, or smoking weed, it has taken more of a positive, mainstream meaning, referring to cool young people.
‘The glamourisation of the black working class aesthetic has proven lucrative to many brands,’ Kelechi tells Metro.co.uk.
‘It’s a clear form of fetishisation in that it strips black communities of humanity because all they’re allowed is the confines of stereotypes. Those who don the attire advertised to them as being part of a “roadman” look do so because they’ll never experience that life so it is humorous to them.
‘The socio-economic disadvantages faced by those deemed as “roadmen” still continue while companies monetise that struggle and those terms because it’s what’s considered trendy. It’s dehumanising and it’s racial because it isn’t inflicted on other cultures in the way that it is on the black working class community.’
Kelechi’s thoughts were echoed by many others on social media who said that ASOS didn’t have enough of a diverse boardroom and marketing team to be told that it wasn’t a good idea to create the design as it turns a group of people into a ‘cute’ gimmick.
‘You don’t want to hire more black people but you want all of their things,’ continued Kelechi on Twitter.
‘You’ll use the vernacular in the most horrendous inappropriate way and think you’re cute for it, ASOS. The co-opting of terminology that is then weaponised against us is a trend.’
She highlighted how young black men in tracksuits are labelled roadmen and judged unfairly, subject to more random stops and searches, and looked at unfavourably in court rooms.
ASOS turning their language, aesthetic, and lives into a piece of clothing was a step too far, people felt.
Since the backlash, ASOS has taken down the product.
A spokesperson for ASOS told Metro.co.uk: ‘We are very sorry this product caused offence. We removed it from our site as soon as it was brought to our attention and will work with our team to address the naming issue.’
Asos criticised for selling roadman socksAsos criticised for selling roadman socksfaimabakar1
Christmas party season is officially upon us, meaning it’s time to eat, drink and be very merry (whether you like it or not).
So if you’re going ‘out, out’ and you’re looking for the perfect makeup look, we’ve got your Christmas party make-up sorted.When is Torvill and Dean on ITV and who plays the skating duo?
From bold colour, party-ready longevity, gold eyeshadow and a sprinkle of glitter, here are the makeup must-haves you need this party season.
Morphe The Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette
Christmas party makeup doesn’t necessarily have to be all about glitter.
Enter Morphe’s Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette, that offers 35 subtle colours as well as a few bright hues, in a mix of matte and shimmer finishes.
So whether you’re after a basic, smoky, bold brights, or a shimmery eyeshadow look, it’s the perfect palette for your peepers.
Morphe The Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette, £37, cultbeauty.co.uk
Fleur De Force By Eylure in Fleur Loves Lashes
If a fresh flick of mascara isn’t enough to make your lashes lusciously long and you don’t want to commit to eyelash extensions, a set of false eyelashes are essential.
Fleur De Force By Eylure in Fleur Loves Lashes are the perfect balance between dramatic and subtle and far easier to apply than a full strip of false eyelashes.
NudeStix Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect party lipstick, NudeStix have a lip pencil for every festive look, from nudes to the high-drama reds.
The formulation is opaque, dries completely matte without sucking the life outta your lips and most importantly it stays on for hours.
Better yet, they can be used on the cheeks and come paired with a sharpener.
NudeStix Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil, £20, cultbeauty.co.uk
Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow
If like us you like to dabble in a little Christmas glitter eye makeup, Hourglass have got it covered.
Pressed over the lid their Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow looks exceptional, whether worn alone, or layered on top of subtle or very bright eyeshadows.
If you’re feeling fancy, it’s foolproof.
Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow, £26, cultbeauty.co.uk
Ofra Highlighter in Rodeo Drive
Highlighter is the ultimate finishing touch to your makeup
And Ofra’s highlighter in Rodeo Drive will help you get your gleam on with its blinding finish, illuminating your face from AM to PM.
Ofra Highlighter in Rodeo Drive, £25, beautybay.com
Makeup Revolution Conceal And Define Concealer
If you’re planning on partying all night, every night, concealer is your best friend.
Makeup Revolution Conceal And Define Concealer is small, but mighty and pretty powerful when it comes to coverage.
It can cover almost all imperfections without looking cakey, or feeling heavy on the skin.
Makeup Revolution Conceal And Define Concealer, £4, beautybay.com and superdrug
BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector
For brighter under eyes you can beat BECCA’s Under Eye Brightening Corrector.
Blended beneath, or on top of your concealer the peachy tones magically neutralise purple and dark circles.
And, the corrector comes in two options — one for fairer and another for darker skin tones.
Urban Decay Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
There’s nothing more disappointing than applying gorgeous party makeup, for it only to slide of your face after a tipple or two.
So make sure you seal the deal and lock your makeup down with a spritz of Urban Decay Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.
Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Ibiza
If the idea of contouring your face for an after-work party seems a little daunting, creams give a more natural finish, are easier to apply and blend effortlessly.
Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Ibiza is a great option, that enhances your natural bone structure and adds warmth to your skintone in one fail-safe sweep.
Photo of two girlsPhoto of two girlsemilyknott17Morphe The Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow PaletteFleur De Force By Eylure in Fleur Loves LashesNudeStix Intense Matte Lip + Cheek PencilHourglass Scattered Light Glitter EyeshadowOfra Highlighter in Rodeo Drive)Makeup Revolution Conceal And Define ConcealerBECCA Under Eye Brightening CorrectorUrban Decay Long Lasting Makeup Setting SprayCharlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Ibiza
Not all of us are into PDA (public displays of affection, in case you didn’t know), especially 26-year-old Elena, a writer and social manager from Wiltshire.
Elena recently visited her brother Chris’ wedding to his now-wife, Lucy.
Elena says the wedding was lovely, but there was one picture from the day that has given the internet a giggle.
In it, Elena, who was a bridesmaid, is seen scrunching her face up as the other bridesmaids watch Chris kissing Lucy.
She recently shared the photo on Twitter, writing: ‘I’m 26 years old, and even at a wedding other people’s PDA elicits this response from me…’
Elena tells Metro.co.uk: ‘It had been quite an emotional wedding up to this point with lots of happy tears all round.
‘Chris and Lucy are a very loving and affectionate couple, but they’re not that prone to kissing a lot in public, and I am an awkward turtle who feels the need to be a tiny bit silly at most opportunities, so when the photographer told the bride and groom to kiss I just pulled a daft, spontaneous ‘ew’ face, not realising she’d started taking photos already.
‘I started smiling like a civilised bridesmaid shortly after. When I saw the photo I was mildly embarrassed, but as the bride and groom thought it was a bit funny I wasn’t too mortified about it.
‘with so many photos being taken over the course of the day I wasn’t the only one who’d been captured in the middle of an unflattering facial expression, thankfully!
‘That said, the photographer did a phenomenal job and the vast majority of the photos are absolutely stunning.’
Elena said the wedding was ‘wonderful’, and the first of this generation in her family.
She continued: ‘It was especially exciting and sentimental for everyone.
‘The bride was unbelievably easygoing and calm about everything, which made being her bridesmaid an absolute pleasure, and seeing my little brother get married was always going to be special.
‘It was a beautiful day, with everyone pitching in and helping out – Lucy’s mum did the flowers, my mum helped make cupcakes for the reception, my dad did a reading, Lucy’s sister was the maid of honour, mine and Chris’s other brother was the best man and Lucy’s dad’s speech was cracking too, and I was actually their wedding singer as well.
‘Lucy and Chris put a ton of thought and love into planning the day, and it really was a bit magical.’
On uploading the photo of Elena looking disgusted at her brother’s PDA, she says she did check with the bride and groom before uploading it and writing the tweet.
She said: ‘It was a moment of silliness rather than some kind of protest; I wasn’t trying to be subversive or ruin anything!
‘I think anyone who follows me on Twitter and has seen some of the ridiculous self-deprecating things I’ve posted in the past knows I mean well but don’t take myself especially seriously.
‘I’m incapable of taking selfies without pulling a face (call it insecurity, awkwardness or a childhood spent watching too much Monty Python…) Nobody has been too shocked!’
Christmas in Tallinn is picture-perfect.
From the beautiful old town decked out in Christmas lights to the aromas of authentic Tallinn liquor and mulled wine spreading through the cobbled streets, this little Estonian capital is breathtakingly magical.
Its charm is everywhere, right from the moment we land at the airport.
Voted the Best European Airport 2018, Tallinna Lennujaam should probably win the award for being the cosiest too.
It’s carpeted like you’re in your living room, it’s got actual wooden doors as you pass through customs and is beautifully lit up in fairy lights.
Oh, and it smells too – a wonderfully delicious chocolatey smell.
It’s also freezing cold so glad I decided to bring my Russian hat!
Just 20 minutes later we pull up to the famous Telegraaf Hotel, which is centrally located in the Latin Quarter of Tallinn.
From 1918, Telegraaf House operated as the main hub of communications, acting as a post office right up until 1991, when it was turned into a hotel.
I quickly see how it has kept its historical heritage by fusing the old and new. Stamps are imprinted on to the carpet, suites are named after scientists Alexander Graham Bell and Samuel Morse and old school telephones are housed in each room.
I obviously can’t wait to start exploring so I’m thrilled to hear Tallinn’s famous Christmas market is just around the corner in the town hall square.
The market has got an impressive Christmas tree in the centre measuring over 20ft, a grand stage, Santa’s grotto and rows upon rows of wooden chalets selling everything from candy and waffles to Estonian souvenirs.
According to locals, the square was the first in Europe to publicly display a Christmas tree in 1441. Pretty cool stuff.
Despite this, the square feels completely untouched. There’s no rowdy tourists or stag dos as you’d find in Prague or Berlin. Instead, this sleepy yet charming market has a cosy feel to it, almost as if you’ve stepped back in time and it’s a place only the locals know about.
As one of the oldest capitals in northern Europe, it’s surprising how well the town square and the rest of the old town has been so well-preserved too.
The square has the oldest operating pharmacy in the country, called Raeapteek, which is worth a visit as there’s a hidden back room where you can find an exhibition on medicines from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
Just a short walk away you’ll be able to see the original city wall and towers that still stand among some of the newer buildings.
The best place to see the wall from the outside are from the Patkuli viewing platform on Toompea and Tornide väljak (Towers’ Square), a park area near the train station. Or you can go up Tallinn Teletorn and get a panoramic view of the entire city.
After exploring the old town, we spend our first night dining at a stylish restaurant called Restoran ORE, which offers up cuisine based on a mixture of Scandinavian and Russian influences.
I’d highly recommend the onion and garlic smoked eel with oanito flakes as a main – so delicious. I also try some non-alcoholic Estonian Mull cider which is the perfect accompaniment to my seafood dish.
The next day, we wake up bright and early ready for our first activity of the day – marzipan painting.
Not many people know this but marzipan was created in Estonia and Kalev, the oldest marzipan café in the country, is actually in Tallin.
Staff still use the original moulds dating back to 1860s to create some of the marzipan on offer. We have a little go ourselves but it’s nothing compared to the level of detail and intricacy that the marzipan specialists go into.
After our fun marzipan class, we take a Tallink taxi from the hotel to check out Telliskivi Creative City, which is in Tallinn’s boho Kalamaja district.
I’d probably describe it as being their equivalent to London’s Shoreditch – with its numerous textile design studios and vintage stores. Apparently it’s the place to be at night.
Every Saturday there’s a Russian flea market that takes place in a rundown building on the second floor where you can shop soviet toys and fur hats to your heart’s content.
I’d also suggest stopping by La Muu ice cream shop and trying the weird and wonderful combos they have – like bacon and honey ice cream!
Lunch is at a new vegetarian-based restaurant (because it’s all about vegan eating there, too) called Restoran Ulo.
The manager brings out a selection of incredible dishes to try – the most popular being the sweet potato fries with kimchi and mayonnaise.
We also try the pesto and tofu pasta, duck wraps and raspberry crumble, which are all beautifully presented but reasonably priced.
The afternoon is spent exploring the city on a private walking tour with a lovely Visit Estonia guide, who impresses me with her detailed knowledge of every event in Tallinn’s history.
I quickly spot the many different influences running through the old town.
Sitting high and mighty, the Alexander Nevsky cathedral in Toompea is a clear influence of Estonia’s dominant neighbour. Then there’s the gothic architecture taking influence from the Germans and architecture dating back to the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Amidst all that history, you’ll stumble across modern aspects, such as the many Instagrammable quotes dotted around the city.
Taking a photo next to the ‘Times We Had’ and ‘Breathe Baby’ quotes are obviously a must.
We then make our way to the brand new Balti Jaam (Baltic Railway Station) Market – which is the most modern market of its kind in Estonia.
Lit up in Christmas lights, the market is housed in several giant warehouses that are connected by one big canopy.
Inside, you’ll find an extraordinary range of items under one roof, with everything from farm-fresh produce to tasty street food.
Because of this you’ll find a mixture of locals doing their everyday shopping and tourists exploring the unique selection of antiques and brewery.
The evening is spent checking out the historical Port Noblessner, in Kalamaja, which is the town’s fishing harbour.
Literally meaning ‘fish house’, Kalamaja was dominated by fisherman from the 14th century right up until 1870 when Tallinn became connected to St Petersburg by railroad.
The area is also famous for its architecturally unique Seaplane Hangars which were built in 1916 as a part of the Peter the Great sea fortress.
Two interesting facts I learn – the hangers are the world’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a size and Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in the 1930s.
Next to the hangars is a new restaurant called 180 degrees which offers up incredible sea views during the day.
It’s a gourmet dining experience like no other, with an open kitchen and exclusive tasting menu that is the creation of Michelin-starred chef Matthias Diether, who cooks all the food in front of you.
It is pricey though – the four-course tasting menu is 74€pp (£65) while six courses is 92€pp (£82). We decide to share one and it’s more than enough for the both of us.
Despite being in a food ‘coma’, we decide to check out Tallin’s night scene – our hotel suggests Manna la Roosa and it does not disappoint.
Designed by Soho Fond, it’s a super quirky restaurant/cocktail bar that was once an old wooden pharmacy and is full of quirky paintings and old furniture giving it that cosy living room vibe.
I’d advise booking a table beforehand though because it gets busy. Cocktails start from around 8€ (£7).
The next morning we spend relaxing in Hotel Telegraaf’s chic Elemis Spa – because you can’t have a true Christmas break without some much-needed relaxation.
I have the incredible Elemis Aroma Stone Therapy massage which uses basalt stones with heat.
The massage costs 105€ (£93.50) for a 70-minute treatment and it can be booked directly on the hotel’s spa website.
After enjoying the hotels luxurious pool and full-size Jacuzzi we head for lunch at Resto Sfaar in the trendy Rotermann Quarter.
Interestingly, they offer up a cheese platter as a starter rather than a dessert, which I obviously enjoy before indulging in an extremely tasty dish of sea bass with potatoes.
Afterwards, we head to the Kadriorg area, a mostly residential area, which still has Italian influences from when Peter the Great set up a summer estate after conquering Estonia.
Sitting next to the baroque palace is the stylish Kumu Art Museum, which is currently holding an art exhibition on Estonian artist Conrad Magi.
Here we learn about the fascinating rise of Mr Magi, originally a factory worker who started to paint at the late age of 27 and quickly became known for his use of colour in his works.
Tickets cost 8€ (£7) and you can buy them at the Museum.
We then spend our final night at Pegasus restaurant, a three storey restaurant in a building which used to house writers during the Soviet era.
Amazing freshly baked seeded break is on offer while the roast chicken with cous cous and pumpkin mousse is highly recommended.
If you do anything while you’re in Tallinn for Christmas, come with a very big appetite because the food almost everywhere is incredible.
Where to stay: Hotel Telegraaf
I stayed in the luxurious Alexander Bell Suite at Hotel Telegraaf in Tallinn but standard rooms start from £106 per night, based on two sharing on a room on a bed and breakfast basis.
There’s still a few rooms left before Christmas so if you’d like to book, click here.
How to get to Tallinn
Flights are currently quite steep because of Christmas but you can usually find cheap flights with EasyJet from £61.
When you arrive at the airport, it’s only a 20minute journey into the city and taxis are very readily available.
Alternatively, there is a direct tram from the airport to the city centre which costs 2€ (£1.70) and takes approximately 15-17 minutes.
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Black women don’t have it easy. The potent mix of misogyny and racism means they are marginalised, undermined and discriminated against by large swathes of society.
They constantly have to fight to be heard, and fight to progress.
So what happens when you add disability to that mix?
Olajumoke ‘Jay’ Abdullahi and Kym Oliver call themselves the ‘Triple Cripples’. As black, disabled women, they face three levels of oppression on a daily basis, and they say stories like theirs are rarely told.
The pair have launched a YouTube channel, and are planning a podcast, dedicated to fighting discrimination and elevating the voices of disabled people of colour.
‘We were sick and tired of the lack of representation and unaddressed discrimination that Black and non-Black people of colour living with disabilities, face on a daily basis,’ Jay and Kym tell Metro.co.uk.
‘It was frustrating having all these different stories and diverse narratives being illuminated in the media, yet consistently finding that ours was non-existent. It was as if there was not even a thought towards the possibility of us being here.’
If Black people and other people of colour are hard to find in the mainstream media – finding non-white disabled narratives is like a needle in a haystack. Kym and Jay were exasperated by this persistant erasure – their YouTube channel is the first step in bringing stories about people like themselves in to the limelight.
‘Disabled people are practically non-existent in mainstream media. Now imagine how underrepresented Black and non-Black, women, femmes or non-binary people with disabilities are,’ the pair explain.
‘According to various sources, there are more disabled women than men in the UK. There is also shocking data about people with impairments from Black and Black British ethnic backgrounds having the highest number of “life areas in which participation is restricted”, which includes education and leisure.
‘The data shows that people from white ethnic backgrounds with impairments have the “lowest number of life areas restricted”, of all the ethnic groups. It shows a disparity between how people of colour experience disability, in comparison to their white counterparts.
‘Stats and figures aside, we are both living life as disabled women of colour – specifically disabled Black women. Our lived experiences are valid regardless of the stats.’
Kym and Jay are all too aware of how being marginalised and ignored in society can negatively impact your mental health. That’s why they say their YouTube channel is vital – it reminds people that they’re not facing this struggle alone.
‘We know the ways in which lack of representation affects people’s emotional well-being, as well as their societal outcomes in health, education, employment and relationships.
‘The only way to change the culture of oppression for invisible populations is by giving those populations a chance to represent themselves on major platforms.
‘We want to increasing their visibility and highlight their narratives.
‘We are two incredibly strong-minded, girl-children, from culturally rich backgrounds, we were no strangers to making the world stop or righting the crimes of history. It just made sense for us to join forces, to do our part in changing the UK landscape into a more inclusive, diverse, progressive environment, and less of a racist, sexist, ableist one.’
The word ‘cripple’ is controversial, offensive to many and politically charged. Kym and Jay’s decision to include the word in their brand name was not an accident – they want to reclaim the word and redefine the historically negative connotations.
‘The word “cripple” has been thrown at disabled people as a slur, a sure fire way to remind us that we were “flawed” and were always going to be “less than”. Society sees us as never quite “enough” – no matter what we do, say or achieve.
‘We decided to reclaim ownership of the word and redefine its meaning. If we, two drop-dead-gorgeously-buff, intelligent, hilarious, confident, strong-minded, gregarious, people of colour are so-called “cripples”, then what does it even mean?
‘Seeing us boldly saying “I’m a ‘cripple’, AND?” opens the door right up for those who have been made to feel like they should be hiding in the shadows, because of how words like that have been weaponized against them.
‘We are removing the power of the word and defining our worth for ourselves.’
But let’s be clear, neither Jay nor Kym are OK with the widespread use of the word. It’s important to recognise the boundaries.
‘We know that some may take issue with the word, and not see it the same way we do – and that is absolutely fair! Although we are attempting to highlight and illuminate the narratives of a very specific group of people, we are still not a monolith.
‘All varying opinions on the word, from people living with disabilities, are valid and must be heard.
‘We are not advocating for everyone and their uncle to add “cripples” into their lexicon. It is a word that people with disabilities can use, if they wish. Some words are just not for you. Don’t mess around and get dragged on Twitter.’
Being female, black and disabled has an effect on Kym and Jay’s lives every single day. It isn’t something that they get to switch off or disengage from. What they want people to understand, is how these three elements of their identities work inextricably together.
‘We don’t get to pick and choose which of our identities we are, on any given day. We are all of them, all of the time. They all intersect, affecting each other in constantly shifting degrees, through every situation and at every given moment.
‘Which particular identity gets focused on is dependent on the audience. If you are dealing with people who are inherently racist or anti-black, you being a woman, or disabled, has little impact on how their racism or anti-blackness dictates that they treat you.
‘We would primarily like to alert folks to the fact that we exist. That’s a good place to start. Hi, we’re here!
‘We navigate the world from a unique vantage point – we exist in the space where well known movements like feminism, anti-racism, LGBTQIA+ rights and disability rights converge. Despite this, we are often excluded from the above conversations, and not considered by policy makers. It is hard, but we continue to flourish and thrive.’
The pair have big plans. As well as working on a new podcast and continuing with the YouTube channel, the Triple Cripples have decided to set their sights globally.
‘We want to take Triple Cripple around the world. There are so many people on the planet who have stories that need to be heard and we have so many topics that we’re yet to cover, on the show.
‘We are hoping that by telling the stories of those who remain hidden from view, we will be creating a dynamic, global community of women, femmes and non-binary people of colour with disabilities.
‘By recording this living archive, and documenting the existence of these marginalised voices, we’ll be shifting cultural attitudes within their respective communities. We also want Triple Cripples to be a resource for those outside of the experience to reference.
‘We are going to continue to raise awareness, speak truth, be seen, and be very loud. We are currently scheduled to appear at a few festivals next year and we are working on a creative documentary and photographic exhibition behind the scenes.’
Kym and Jay are always looking for contributors and people with great stories to appear on their show. If that sounds like you then you can reach out to them on Twitter, @TripleCripples.
TRIPLE CRIPPLES press-df1fTRIPLE CRIPPLES press-df1fnataliemorris88
You can now get paid to become a professional honey trapper, to help catch out unfaithful partners.
An online local services marketplace has launched the Professional Honey Trapping service ahead of the Christmas period, when research suggests that cheating is more common.
Professional Honey Trappers can be hired by members of the public to try to seduce partners into emotional or physical cheating at Christmas parties and nights out over the holiday season.
Following research suggesting that a third of people will cheat on their partners this Christmas, with the majority of affairs starting at the work Christmas party, the new service has been launched by Bark.com.
Those interested in the role will be hired to try to get people’s partners to cheat with them.
Research from Bark.com’s onsite relationship counsellors has revealed that there is a 47% increase in requests for cheating-related counselling in the three months following Christmas.
It also revealed that the main reason for partners’ suspicions were texts from unknown numbers, and their partners arriving home at strange times from ‘work’.
Bark.com estimates that the cost of the service will sit at around £60 an hour based on similar services, however as with all Bark.com services prices are set by individual providers.
People who sign up as a Professional Honey Trapper must be comfortable with employing seduction techniques to lure partners into engaging in activity that partners have deemed cheating.
To become a Honey Trapper you’ll need to be over 18, and it’s best to meet with clients before agreeing to terms, payments and boundaries for cheating in advance.
Kai Feller, Bark.com co-founder, said: ‘When talking to our relationship counselors we found that there was a big influx of requests revolving around cheating over the winter months, and it sparked the idea for this service. At Bark.com we love giving people different ways to earn, and this is the latest service we’ve launched to do that.
‘Everyone has a very personal idea of what constitutes cheating, so we wanted to launch a service that could help people catch partners out at every stage – from flirty messages to full-blown infidelity. Christmas can be a stressful time for couples, so we’re hoping this service can help put people’s minds at rest, or help them make a clean break for 2019!’
If you fancy becoming a professional Honey Trapper, you can apply here.
Professional Honey TrapperProfessional Honey TrapperhattiegladwellmetroLove triangle, a girl is hugging a guy and he is holding hands with another girl, they are sitting together on a bench; Shutterstock ID 298534949; Purchase Order: -
Christmas Jumper Day comes around this week so don’t miss the opportunity to look silly at work for a good cause.
The annual event, organised by Save the Children, encourages people across the country to don their daftest Christmas jumper in the name of charity and festive fun.When is Christmas Jumper Day 2018? The best places to get cheap Xmas jumpers
So if you have a ridiculous jumper with Santa, Rudolph, elves or anything else Christmassy on it, then this is the day to don it with pride.
Here is everything you need to know about Christmas Jumper Day this year and how to help raise money for it…
When is Christmas Jumper Day 2018?
Christmas Jumper Day 2018 comes around on Friday 14 December.
Who organises Christmas Jumper Day?
Save the Children have run the money-raising event since it debuted in December 2012.
You can sign up on the Save the Children site to get your free fundraising kit.
They recommend a donation of £2 per person who is involved, or £1 if you are taking part in a school.
Where does the money raised go?
Save The Children is a charity dedicated to helping children (and their parents) around the world.
The money raised will go towards improving the lives of children across the world.
Your donations will help keep children warm, provide them with protection from easily preventable diseases, and help to educate them.
How to donate to Save the Children
If you are organising Christmas Jumper Day at your work, school or uni, or you just want to donate as an individual then it is very straightforward.
All you need to do is head here to send the money into Save the Children.
Don’t forget to post about your activities on social media to spread the word even further, using the hashtag #Christmasjumperday.
Where to get a nice but cheap Christmas jumper
Tesco is a good place to start for cheap Christmas jumpers as they have slashed 25% off prices until 16 December.
However, you will have to go to a store for this, it is not available online.
Primark is also very reliable when it comes to cheap Christmas jumpers with an extensive range at prices from about £8 – again you will have to go to the store.
If you would rather shop online, George at Asda have a few very decent options for under £20 which are available here.
Scottish Shoppers Support National Christmas Jumper DayScottish Shoppers Support National Christmas Jumper Dayphilhaigh26Polar Bear Christmas Jumper
The festive season is not complete without at least one sparkly dress.
The more sequins the better. This is the one time of year where we get to unabashedly dazzle passers-by – and we plan on milking it.
If you’re still looking for the perfect twinkly number, then look no further – Marks & Spencer could have exactly what you need.
This long-sleeved, shimmering, mini-dress is the retailer’s best-selling party piece this year, and it’s really not hard to see why.
The dark colour, high neck and long-sleeves mean it’s entirely wearable and versatile. You can flash a bit of leg without feeling like you’re trying too hard.
Or team it with tights and heeled boots for an effortlessly glam look that also protects you against the elements.
At just £55 it’s the perfect choice for Christmas – wear it to your office party, festive cocktails, and it will definitely work for New Year’s Eve as well.
Oversized sequins provide the essential dazzle-factor, ensuring you look suitably full of festive cheer at any seasonal event this December.
But as it’s their best-seller, you’re going to want to get to an M&S quickly.
If you can’t find your size, you can still shop for it online – but stocks certainly won’t last forever.
This is Marks & Spencers' must-have party dressThis is Marks & Spencers' must-have party dressnataliemorris88This is Marks & Spencers' must-have party dress Credit: M&SThis is Marks & Spencers' must-have party dress Credit: M&S
Baby names are tricky business.
You can find one you absolutely love, only to find out your partner had an ex who shared the same name.
Or – horror of horrors – you tell someone the name and they react with a grimace before carefully arranging their face in a more neutral expression.
How are you supposed to deal with that?
Well, one mum decided to respond to backlash against her baby’s name by posting a glorious rant on Facebook and cancelling her baby shower entirely.
In the Facebook post the mum-to-be says her son’s name will be a ‘revolution’ and that she can’t believe people would be so judgemental about her choice to name her child Squire Sebastian Senator.
‘Y’all have been talking shit about my unborn baby,’ wrote the woman. ‘AN UNBORN CHILD.
‘How can you judge an unborn child?? What is wrong with you??
‘No, I am not crazy. No, I am not mentally unstable. No, I was not drunk when I named my child.
‘His name is Squire Sebastian Senator. That is that.
‘You cannot force me to change his name. This is the name I am meant to give him.’
The woman goes on to explain that Squire Sebastian Senator will be the child’s first name only, and that nicknames will not be permitted.
‘This is how it will be,’ she continued. ‘He will not be allowed to have a nickname, he is to be called by his full and complete first name.
‘I never knew my family could be so judgmental. We come from a long lasting family of both squires and senators. If you look back in our family tree, that survival of this clan is literally rooted in squiredom. We are all related to senators too.
‘This name conveys power. It conveys wealth. It conveys success.’
Fair enough. Anything else to add?
Oh, yes. She kept going.
‘My baby’s name WILL be a revolution,’ wrote the woman. ‘It will push people to question everything.
‘Why name your baby boring and over-used names like Joshua, Brian, Sam, Nick, Mark, Bella, Marina, etc… when you can name it something special.
‘Squire Sebastian Senator will live a powerful, wholesome life.
‘His confidence will not diminish simply because his name is out of the ordinary. Instead, he will be extraordinary.’
That’s quite a bit of pressure to put on a baby, but who are we to judge?
The woman ends on a powerful message to the naysayers: ‘F*** you all. Fake ass family. You won’t get to be a part of my baby’s life and it’s all because you had to judge him.’
The rant was posted on Reddit, where people reacted by, well, making fun of the baby’s name. Sorry, anonymous woman.
‘How to raise resentful kids: for dummies,’ wrote one commenter.
Another questioned what happens if people disregard the rules and use a nickname: ‘What are you gonna do, call the police because people call him Squee?’
But the saddest comment of all comes from the unique sadness of never finding your name on a keyring: ‘This kid is never going to find those tchotchkes with his name on it.’
BRB, we’re crying.
SEI_43900092-d760SEI_43900092-d760ellencscottBest Friends on baby shower party celebrating giving kid stuff as present; Shutterstock ID 369928511; Purchase Order: -METRO GRAB REDDIT Woman Cancels Babyshower Over Name https://www.reddit.com/r/insanepeoplefacebook/comments/a43e0k/woman_cancels_babyshower_over_name/?utm_content=media&utm_medium=post_embed&utm_name=caf534fed9ad416bad0cdc9329592f0a&utm_source=embedly&utm_term=a43e0k
We all love our pets and they deserve a bit of love at Christmas, just like everyone else.
These gifts are perfect to give them a treat – or to give to your friend or relative who has an Insta feed filled with nothing but their pet pooch.
There’s probably nothing they love more than seeing their canine best friend barking in delight.
Gift guide for dog loversGift guide for dog loverslauraabernethy6