Articles on this Page
- 12/11/18--08:36: _These are the top d...
- 12/11/18--08:38: _A family say they’v...
- 12/11/18--16:01: _Some of your boxes ...
- 12/11/18--22:28: _The signs of a hear...
- 12/11/18--22:38: _Coffee could preven...
- 12/11/18--22:39: _H&M is selling a sk...
- 12/11/18--22:41: _Poundland is sellin...
- 12/12/18--00:00: _Mixed Up: ‘There ar...
- 12/12/18--00:24: _Apparently we’ll be...
- 12/12/18--00:59: _When should you put...
- 12/12/18--01:23: _Mum gets Christmas ...
- 12/12/18--01:45: _Why is the world be...
- 12/12/18--02:05: _The butt wreath tre...
- 12/12/18--02:49: _Plus-size woman sen...
- 12/12/18--02:52: _Forget Movember – J...
- 12/12/18--03:50: _Lots of people sear...
- 12/12/18--04:19: _A chart comparing w...
- 12/12/18--04:34: _Please enjoy this p...
- 12/12/18--06:05: _Woman reunited with...
- 12/12/18--06:07: _Whole Foods found t...
- Boxes of chocolates are often individually wrapped in foil, which is marked as recyclable on the box.
- Foil wrappers can be recycled but you need to make a bundle of at least 4cm in diameter for it to actually be identified at the recycling centre.
- The plastic tubs that Celebrations, Roses, Quality Street, Heroes, Morrisons Mega Mix and Chocolate Treats by Sainsbury’s are made of PET 1. This is the same plastic that water and soft drinks bottles are made of. Easily recycled, this is collected by 99% of local authorities.
- For more advice on recycling and what you can and can’t recycle, head over to the Recycle Now website.
- central chest pain which feels like pressure, squeezing or tightness
- pain in your arm (normally left but can be both),, upper back, abdomen, neck or jaw
- feeling or being sick
- going pale
- sweaty or clammy
- shortness of breath
- feeling anxious
- thinking speed
- visual perception
- memory (but significant memory loss may not occur until later on).
- tremor – shaking, which usually begins in the hand or arm and is more likely to occur when the limb is relaxed and resting
- slowness of movement – where physical movements are much slower than normal, which can make everyday tasks difficult and can result in a distinctive slow, shuffling walk with very small steps
- muscle stiffness (rigidity) – stiffness and tension in the muscles, which can make it difficult to move around and make facial expressions, and can result in painful muscle cramps.
- 12/11/18--22:39: H&M is selling a skirt with a hood and the internet isn’t keen
- 12/11/18--22:41: Poundland is selling pre-wrapped Secret Santa gifts
- 12/12/18--00:24: Apparently we’ll be naming our babies after shoes in 2019
- 12/12/18--00:59: When should you put your Christmas tree up?
- 12/12/18--01:45: Why is the world becoming more allergic to food?
- Eating habits
- Early exposure to allergens
- Modern medicines, e.g. antibiotics
- Vitamin D deficiency and other dietary factors
- 12/12/18--02:05: The butt wreath trend is here and we are so thankful
- 12/12/18--03:50: Lots of people searched for Fortnite and Bowsette porn this year
- Stormy Daniels
- 4k (meaning ultra-HD)
- Step mom
- Big ass
- Big tits
- 12/12/18--04:34: Please enjoy this petty tale of festive retail revenge
- 12/12/18--06:05: Woman reunited with wedding ring nine years after flushing it
- 12/12/18--06:07: Whole Foods found to have cancer-linked chemicals in their packaging
Pets are not just animals, they’re part of your family. And so they need names that encapsulate their whimsy and character.
The name needs to fit. Choosing the perfect moniker for your dog is an art – you want a name that’s a dog name, you know?
If you’re looking for some inspiration, dog walking company Rover has just released the list of top doggo girl and boy names in 2018.
We’d strongly advise against villain names though, like Pennywise and Thanos – which are climbing up in ranks for some reason.
Most popular boy dog names
Before we get to the rest of the popular names, you should probably know all the celeb names that are getting a shoutout (you don’t want to end up with two Drakes on the street now, do you?)
The name Cardi has gone up by 1,250%, inspired by none other than rapper Cardi B. Freddie Mercury, though a bit of a mouthful for a wee pup, has also gone up by 67% from last year, probably due to the biopic released this year.
Stephen King’s Pennywise character inspired a 500% increase while the biggest Marvel villain Thanos climbed 215%, which begs the question – why are you naming your sweet sweet pets after menacing predators?
Royal wedding fever also instigated a rise in dogs named Harry (up by 133%) and Meghan (up by 29%).
Rover’s research found that 33% of pet parents named their dog after a character from a TV show, video game, movie or book, and another 12% were inspired by famous or historical figures.
The most popular names overall for the year are quite traditional however, with Max topping the boys’ names and Bella being the number one girl’s name.
Most popular girl dog names
You’ll notice that typical human names remain popular as ever so maybe less is more.
Whatever you do, just don’t end up giving the poor thing a cat name. No dog will answer to Simba, okay?
Young girl holding head of a Beautiful Border Collie dogYoung girl holding head of a Beautiful Border Collie dogfaimabakar1
A family have put up what they believe is Britain’s oldest fake Christmas tree, which has been passed down the generations for nearly a century.
Elizabeth Naylor purchased the 2ft tree from Woolworths in 1920 just two years after World War one – before passing it through her family’s maternal line.
‘William’s tree’ – named after Elizabeth’s son – has survived gale force winds and World War Two bombings to remain standing tall 98 years on.
The family have continued their special tradition of decorating and displaying the artificial spruce – which was bought for just two shillings – in the living room each year.
When Elizabeth, known as Nanan, died in 1981 aged 80, her beloved tree – which became a memorial for William after his premature death in 1940 – was inherited by her daughter, Joyce Ashton.
When she passed away in 2012, Kay Ashton became the third generation to own William’s Tree.
The tree is still decorated with its original 1920s trimmings every single year.
Kay, 64, from Sheffield, South Yorks, said: ‘It is going to be fragile because it’s 98 but it goes up every year, it’s robust enough.
‘I’m extra careful when I take it out, I tend to take it out later than the other decorations.
‘It’s a great piece of history and I’m so glad to have it.
‘To think the tree has stayed the same for almost 100 years but everything around it has changed so much.
‘The things it will have seen.
‘It’s outlived two generations and even the shop it was bought from, so it’s obviously made of strong stuff.
‘I get it out every year and decorate it and it takes pride of place in my living room.
‘It’s a bit battered but it’s definitely a talking point and people are always amazed when I tell them it was bought just two years after the First World War.
‘I usually take it down a few days after Christmas because I don’t like to tempt fate.
‘I would be upset if anything happened to it.
‘It is still going strong and might outlive me.’
Luckily, Kay, a customer service advisor, has two daughters, Amy Wilcox, 46, and Rebecca Goodhand, 40, to keep up the family tradition.
As Rebecca has two daughters, Phoebe, 14 and Tallulah, 12, and Amy has one son, Sonny, five, the tradition is set to continue into its fifth generation.
Kay added: ‘I think my Nanan would be really touched to know the tree is still going strong and being used – and so would William.
‘We’ll definitely have to have a party when it reaches 100. It’s amazing to think it’s lived through so much.
‘I can’t imagine it not being around.
‘My Nanan always had the tree in the kitchen. It was the only tree she ever had.
‘My Nanan took great care with the tree and its decorations, and to this day I’ll only decorate William’s tree with the original decoration she used.
‘There’s an ornament shaped like a dog with a dead bird in its mouth that hangs on the tree. It does sound a bit gory but it was my favourite when I was little.’
Back in 1941, the tree was damaged during the Sheffield Blitz. A bomb landed in the street and blew open the back door and sent an iron mangle flying into the tree.
Kay added: ‘During the Sheffield Blitz in the Christmas of 1941 they’d been warned to leave the house, but instead the whole family went down into the cellar.
‘My Nanan had put a heavy wrought iron mangle against the back door to keep it closed.
‘But when a bomb was dropped across the road, the force blew the back door open, and the mangle went flying across the room and into the tree.
‘When they came back upstairs, the living room was a mess – with the tree lying in the middle of it.
‘The top of it had nearly come off and it’s been bent ever since, but it was fixed with sellotape and wire – some of the original bits of tape are still on the tree and I daren’t take them off.
‘Then in 1962, Sheffield was hit by awful gales, people were even killed when buildings collapsed.
‘I remember being at my nanan’s house, and she asked my mother to close the back door.
‘But before we knew, it, the tree had gone flying across the room and almost into the fire.
‘She cried: “The bloody tree nearly went into the fire” and it made us all laugh.’
A family has put up what they believe is Britain's oldest ChrisA family has put up what they believe is Britain's oldest ChrishattiegladwellmetroA family has put up what they believe is Britain's oldest Christmas tree which is 98-years-oldKay Ashton's grandmother Elizabeth Naylor who originally bought the christmas tree in 1920 from Woolworths. See SWNS story SWLEtree; Family from Sheffield has put up Britain's oldest fake Christmas tree -98 years old.Kay Ashton's grandmother Elizabeth Naylor who originally bought the christmas tree in 1920 from Woolworths. See SWNS story SWLEtree; Family from Sheffield has put up Britain's oldest fake Christmas tree -98 years old.Kay Ashton's grandmother Elizabeth Naylor who originally bought the christmas tree in 1920 from Woolworths. See SWNS story SWLEtree; Family from Sheffield has put up Britain's oldest fake Christmas tree -98 years old.
Tucking into a box of chocolate despite finishing your Christmas dinner just a few hours ago is a tradition.
But have you ever stopped to look at how much of your box of chocolates is actually edible.
It turns out that 40% of the weight of some boxes is made up of packaging – and most of it can’t be recycled.
Which? looked at the top 13 best-selling boxes of chocolates and found that Ferrero Rocher Collection was the worst offender with 42% of the total weight taken up by packaging and only 11 per cent of that packaging being recyclable.
Thorntons Continental Selection came in second with packaging taking up 29.4% of the whole weight, with 87% recyclable components.
Cadbury’s Milk Tray third was made up of 22.6 per cent, 93% of which was recyclable.
The Lindt Lindor Mix contained only 11.5 per cent packaging, with only the individual chocolate wrappers not being recyclable.
Marks & Spencer The Big One Selection has the least packaging at just 8.5 per cent, although you would only be able to recycle 71 per cent of it.
Which? found you could recycle over 80 per cent of the packaging of the majority of popular chocolate boxes. However, there was confusion when asking people what the different recycling symbols meant and how they would actually go about recycling.
Half (48%) wrongly identified the green dot, that is regularly found on packaging, as a sign that the packaging can be recycled. The green dot actually means that the manufacturer pays into a recycling scheme, and the packaging may not be suitable for recycling.
Nikki Stopford, Director of Research and Publishing at Which?, said: ‘For many of us the indulgent look of these festive chocolate boxes is synonymous with the Christmas season.
‘We are more aware than ever of the impact that we’re having on the world around us – so we want our research to help people to make the right choices for them and to understand how to dispose of packaging in the most eco-friendly manner.’
Ferrero Rocher Collection 359g
Weight in packaging – 642g
Packaging weight – 272g
Percentage packaging – 42.4%
Percentage easily recyclable – 11%
Waitrose Christmas Chocolate Favourites 240g
Weight in packaging – 356g
Packaging weight – 108g
Percentage packaging – 30.3%
Percentage easily recyclable – 96.3%
Thorntons Continental Selection 248g
Weight in packaging – 408g
Packaging weight – 120g
Percentage packaging – 29.4%
Percentage easily recyclable – 86.7%
Cadbury Milk Tray 360g
Weight in packaging – 470g
Packaging weight – 106g
Percentage packaging – 22.6%
Percentage easily recyclable – 92.5%
Mars Malteaser Teasers 275g
Weight in packaging – 364g
Packaging weight – 70g
Percentage packaging – 19.2%
Percentage easily recyclable – 88.6%
Chocolate Treats By Sainsbury’s 650g
Weight in packaging – 806g
Packaging weight – 154g
Percentage packaging – 19.1%
Percentage easily recyclable – 88.3%
Mars Celebrations 650g
Weight in packaging – 812g
Packaging weight – 150g
Percentage packaging – 18.5%
Percentage easily recyclable – 90.7%
Cadbury Heroes and Cadbury’s Roses 660g
Weight in packaging – 808g for Heroes and 810g for Roses
Packaging weight – both 144g
Percentage packaging – both 17.8%
Percentage easily recyclable – Roses 90.3% and Heroes 88.9%
Nestle Quality Street 720g
Weight in packaging – 846g
Packaging weight – 130g
Percentage packaging – 15.4%
Percentage easily recyclable – 83.1%
Morrisons Mega Mix 1.05kg
Weight in packaging – 1216g
Packaging weight – 162g
Percentage packaging – 13.3%
Percentage easily recyclable – 81.5%
Lindt Lindor Assorted Mix 384g
Weight in packaging – 384g
Packaging weight – 44g
Percentage packaging – 11.5%
Percentage easily recyclable – 90.9%
Marks & Spencer The Big One Selection 600g
Weight in packaging – 662g
Packaging weight – 56g
Percentage packaging – 8.5%
Percentage easily recyclable – 71.4%
Of course the companies who produced the chocolates have defended their packaging and most say they are trying to reduce the amount of plastic they use.
Ferrero/Thorntons said: ‘The packaging we use is carefully designed to maintain the freshness and quality that is the hallmark of Ferrero products.
‘Ferrero Collection is a delicately created product and the packaging is of fundamental importance to protect our chocolates from damage during transport, in the shops and at home. To maintain the integrity and upmost quality for our consumers we package the product in its distinctive box, appreciated by consumers.
‘The box used for Ferrero Collection can be recycled only when the local infrastructure allows to do so but in the UK this is still not available. We are aware that some consumers like to reuse the boxes in fun and creative ways like those suggested on our website. The durable box, designed specifically for Ferrero Collection, fulfils this important criteria
‘Furthermore, Ferrero Collection is mainly bought as a gift during Christmas, so packaging tends to be more than for products bought on a daily basis.
‘Thorntons Continental packaging has been updated with a new hermetic tray seal, which ensures product freshness and avoids cross flavour tainting from the most intense tastes as Espresso or Sicilian Mousse. We are always reviewing our product range to ensure that we offer our consumers high quality taste experience.’
A spokesperson for Cadbury said: ‘Cadbury makes a committed effort as a brand to make sustainable decisions.
‘Without robust packaging, the shelf life of many products would be far shorter and could create more food waste which is ten times more detrimental to the environment than plastic.
‘We have managed to make substantial progress to minimise the environmental impact of packaging by developing products that are 100% recyclable (depending on your local recycling facilities) while also protecting the product inside and keeping it fresh. All details of recyclability are clearly detailed on pack.’
Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK, added: ‘Our packaging is designed to maintain the freshness of our products and ensure that they reach our consumers in top quality condition.
‘We are continuing to work towards 100% recyclable packaging by 2025 by collaborating with our partners and peers to learn more about the best ways to enable recycling – for example, we’re a core partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative.
‘Beyond recycling, we’re also looking for new ways to further reduce our packaging footprint by working with our material suppliers to create new materials and product formats.’
Lindt & Sprüngli, the company that makes Lindor chocolates, said: ‘We would like to point out once more that the topic of plastic waste is important to us.
‘Packaging is a very essential part of the supply chain at Lindt & Sprüngli. Therefore please be assured that we take the matter of plastic waste extremely seriously and we make sustainability a priority for our packaging. We see it as our permanent duty to consider, and wherever possible also realize, any potential improvement to our packaging.
‘Overall, Lindt & Sprüngli is committed to aiming at using 100% recyclable materials and plastic free packaging wherever possible.
‘This commitment also includes the assessment of the current Lindor packaging, which is characterized by its distinctive wrapping. It services as both protection for the praline from external influences such as undesirable odors, light and temperature but also as an appealing packaging.
‘For some products as for example our Easter Eggs, we already took action and re-designed our packaging-heavy Easter egg products in the UK for 2019. Furthermore, a re-engineering of our Easter packages will remove non-essential plastic components by 2020.’
Nestle commented: ‘How we package our products is fundamental to how we keep them fresh and deliver them safely to the people who will ultimately consume them.
‘With a product like Quality Street we also have the added consideration of tradition. Quality Street is well-known as an assortment of chocolates and toffees that come individually twist-wrapped in a tin, tub or carton.
‘A lot of work has gone into making our Quality Street packaging as sustainable as possible. Our tins, plastic tubs, cardboard cartons and foil can all be recycled while the cellophane wrappers are compostable.
‘As founding signatories to the WRAP Plastics Pact, we are absolutely looking into alternatives for any of our current packaging which is not yet recyclable.
‘Again, it will be vital to make sure that any alternative keeps our products in top condition from manufacture to consumption and we are looking at ways we can do that.
‘Earlier this year we pledged to make all of our packaging either recyclable or re-usable by 2025 and the work we are doing in this space, to research, develop and trial new packaging ideas, is all designed to help us meet that target.’
Waitrose said: ‘All the packaging for this product is widely recyclable apart from the film which is there to protect the chocolates and to prolong shelf life. The black plastic insert tray has recently been replaced by rPET which is more widely recyclable.
‘We have removed all (hard to recycle) black plastic from our own label boxed chocolates range and we’ve recently brought forward our target to make all our own-brand packaging widely recycled, reusable or home compostable from 2025 to 2023.’
Finally, Sainsbury’s said: ‘We’re committed to ensuring our packaging is as recyclable as it can be. Where we can’t offer a recyclable alternative, we’ll look to use as little of it as possible.
‘However, it’s important to remember that the purpose of packaging is to protect products through our supply chain, in our stores and in customers’ homes to ensure they don’t get damaged or contaminated.
‘That said, we’re always looking at ways to improve our packaging and we’re ensuring chocolate is included in our reviews going forward.’
Ferrero collection-314dFerrero collection-314dlauraabernethy6
What are the signs of a heart attack?
Most of us know about the classic symptoms: pain in your left arm and chest.
But did you know that women can experience heart attacks differently to men?
If you’ve been on Twitter this week, you’ve probably seen one woman’s story of how what she thought was muscle strain turned out to be a heart attack.
‘I want to warn women our heart attacks feel different,’ wrote @geewheezie. ‘Last Sunday I had a heart attack. I had a 95% block in my left anterior descending artery. I’m alive because I called 911.
‘I never had chest pain. It wasn’t what you read in pamphlets. I had it off & on for weeks.’
‘The pain ran across my upper back, shoulder blades & equally down both arms. It felt like burning & aching. I actually thought it was muscle strain.
‘It wasn’t until I broke into drenching sweat & started vomiting that I called 911.
‘I thought I strained some muscles. I took Motrin & put a warm pack on my shoulders, I almost died because I didn’t call it chest pain.’
That story has been shared tens of thousands of times, and for good reason. We really do need to be made aware of the signs of heart attack, and how these can differ for women.
Unlike a lot of stuff that gets retweeted thousands of times on Twitter, this word of warning is actually accurate.
Dr Luke Powles, associate clinical director at Bupa UK, tells Metro.co.uk: Although most people, men and women, have the well-known symptom of crushing chest pain, women are more likely to have less typical symptoms of a heart attack, such as abdominal pain or numbness in the hands or feet, as an example.
‘In these cases people may delay seeking help as they don’t realise that they are having a heart attack.’
Dr Powles notes that while men are more likely to suffer from a heart attack than women, heart attacks remain the number one cause of death of women in the UK. So it’s vital that we seek medical advice the moment we feel unwell.
The symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person and it isn’t always obvious that you’re having a heart attack,’ he explains. ‘Early treatment can have a significant impact on recovery so we would always recommend that someone seeks medical advice if they notice that something doesn’t feel right.’
Signs of a heart attack:
Why wearing makeup to the gym is a terrible, terrible ideaWhy wearing makeup to the gym is a terrible, terrible ideaellencscott
If you love coffee then just keep on drinking, you don’t have to change a thing.
Other than significantly improving your mood and turning you into a semi-verbal person every morning, coffee has a number of benefits.
But now scientists are giving coffee-lovers more reason to gulp down the stuff as it may be helpful to prevent Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
Scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey, U.S, found that a compound in coffee may team up with caffeine to fight Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia, a common type of dementia estimated to affect more than 100,000 people in the UK.
These compounds found in coffee – caffeine and the compound EHT – can be used to prevent a build-up of a toxic protein called alpha-synuclein.
Tests on mice which are genetically at risk of both diseases showed that caffeine slowed down the build-up of alpha-synuclein over six months.
Scientists are hopeful that combining caffeine and the compound EHT into a drug can help people at risk of the two incurable conditions.
They gave mice small doses of caffeine or EHT separately as well as together. Each compound alone wasn’t effective but when given together they increased the presence of a catalyst that helps prevent the harmful proteins accumulating in the brain.
This suggests the combination of EHT and caffeine may be able to slow or stop the progression of these diseases.
Current treatments available only address the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease but do not protect against brain degeneration.
According to the NHS, as with other types of dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies typically causes problems with:
These problems may be constant but typically tend to come and go.
There isn’t a cure or specific treatment for dementia with Lewy bodies at the moment, but there are medications that some people may find effective.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease are:
There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms and maintain your quality of life.
Affectionate senior mother and daughter holding hands, drinking coffee and looking at photo albumsAffectionate senior mother and daughter holding hands, drinking coffee and looking at photo albumsfaimabakar1
H&M is selling a skirt with a hood, and it pretty much looks like someones cut up half of a hoodie.
The skirt is grey, looks a lot like a jumper, and is currently selling for £34.99.
Since it started selling online, people have been taking to Twitter to voice their confusion – with some even saying it looks like a dog jumper.
Many have questioned why H&M felt the need to create it.
The product description reads: ‘Short skirt in lightweight organic cotton sweatshirt fabric with a decorative, double-layered drawstring hood at the top. Two-way zip down the front, side pockets and a ribbed hem.’
Judging by the tweets, we don’t think H&M will be selling out of the skirts any time soon.
But hey – each to their own, right?
Metro.co.uk has contacted H&M for comment.
H&M is selling a skirt with a hoodH&M is selling a skirt with a hoodhattiegladwellmetroH&M is selling a skirt with a hood METRO GRAB taken from: https://www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0702862001.html Credit: H&M/Moschino
Poundland is selling pre-wrapped Secret Santa gifts, so if you picked a work colleague you barely know out of the office Secret Santa hat, you can get something super cheap and don’t even need to worry about wrapping paper.
It’ll be as if absolutely no thought has gone into it at all. Lovely.
These pre-wrapped gifts follow on from the launch of Poundland’s range of ‘borderline offensive’ gifts, cards and wrapping paper.
Items include slogans such as ‘When I think about you, I touch my elf’ and ‘Have a crap Christmas’.
The £1 pre-wrapped Christmas range is currently being trialled in London, but may also roll out across stores in the Midlands if people like it enough.
It features gifts such as selfie clips and Back, Sack and Cracker Scratchers, as well as mugs, pug stress mballs and a chubby electro Rudolf.
Yes, you could end up giving someone at work something totally disastrous. But Christmas is about being thankful for whatever you receive – right?
Richard Brewin, senior ‘banta buyer’ at Poundland, said: ‘Turns out the nation are big banta fans so we’re removing the pressure of choosing a Secret Santa gift and replacing it with LOLs.
‘Let’s face it, no one ever knows what to get the colleague you never talk to (sorry Debbie) so why spend the time?
‘Leave the decision to us – whether they adore it or are totally offended, we’re looking forward to giving everyone a laugh or making them choke on their cocktail sausage at this year’s office party – you’re welcome.’
Poundland selling pre-wrapped presentsPoundland selling pre-wrapped presentshattiegladwellmetroPoundland selling pre-wrapped presents Credit: Poundland
Welcome to Mixed Up, a series looking at the highs, lows and unique experiences of being mixed-race.
Mixed-race is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the UK. It means your parents hail from two (or more) different ethnicities, leaving you somewhere in the middle.
In 2001, when the ‘mixed’ categories were first introduced to the national census, mixed-race people made up 1.3% of the population. Fast-forward 10 years, and that figure almost doubles to 2.3%.
It’s a trajectory that’s unlikely to slow down.
Alongside the unique pleasures and benefits of being exposed to multiple cultures, being mixed comes with complexities, conflicts and innate contradictions.
For many, it’s about occupying two identities simultaneously, reconciling the differences and trying to carve out a space to exist between the two.
The mainstream understanding of being mixed-race most often refers to people who are white and black Caribbean, or white and black African. But the voices of the mixed-race diaspora extend far beyond this.
Mixed Up is a series that aims to elevate those voices, look deeper at the nuanced realities of being mixed-race and provide an insight into the inner workings of this rapidly growing ethnic group.
Ariana, founder of Sweat & Sound, is half Persian and half British. The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up half of the population of Iran – they have their own language, Farsi.
Some schools of thinking class Persians as technically Caucasian, but recent census categorisation changes in the US have definied Iranian and Middle-Eastern heritage as different to white.
Ariana identifies as mixed. She says her family is made up of a combination of intensely different cultural traditions.
But because of her appearance, her light skin and European features, she says she’s often assumed to be white by both English and Iranian people.
‘I actually find it really frustrating to be honest,’ Ariana tells Metro.co.uk.
‘I think having a depth of knowledge of different cultures, having that as part of my identity, is a really important thing for me – and I don’t like the idea of that being erased by the assumptions of a stranger.
‘I wear an ancient Zoroastrian symbol on my necklace – which is basically my family’s religion – I’m not religious in any way, but I feel very close to a lot of the traditions and customs of this religion.
‘I feel like people will sometimes just put me in a category that I don’t see myself in. And I find that weird sometimes.
‘I have cousins and friends who are Iranian, or half Iranian – a lot of them are a lot darker than me. And I see it, they get treated very differently to the way I’m treated. By English people, and by Iranian people.’
Ariana says that looking white doesn’t always make life easier for her. Rather, she thinks that it puts her in a box that she doesn’t feel she belongs in – leading to some complex identity contradictions.
‘Aesthetically, I know I basically look white. So sometimes I just feel as though I don’t really fit into anything,’ she explains.
‘I am a lot whiter than most Iranians I know, so they don’t even see me as one of them – they won’t realise that I speak the language, that I know the culture. I feel like I need to prove myself more to them.’
‘If I’m walking around in Iran, I find that people tend to be more judgmental over there. I hear people whispering – “it’s a foreigner, she’s a foreigner”, as I walk past. They say it all the time.
‘I literally have an Iranian passport. So that’s especially annoying. It makes me feel like I don’t really belong anywhere.’
When it comes to family life, culture clashes on a grand scale have been a predominant feature for Ariana.
‘My Dad is Iranian, my Mum is English. It’s two cultures, two incredibly different cultures,’ she tells us.
‘My Persian side, they’re very Iranian. Culturally they are just so different to my English family. There are just certain cultural things in the Middle East, and it isn’t necessarily religion, but there are certain expectations, and certain ways of being and acting. A big one is family values – which is amazing, how important family is in this culture.
‘But there are these tiny cultural nuances that might seem really messed up to someone who was totally English and didn’t get it.
‘There are certain things that an English person would probably think are just completely ridiculous. In Iran we have this thing called Tarof, it’s where someone offers you something – say food after a dinner party – and you’re just not allowed to say no, that would be really rude.
‘What follows is this weird dynamic battle of offering and declining, offering and declining, always three times, until finally accepting the food – and someone would say; “Please, no Tarof”.
‘Westerners are just generally baffled by this process. I’ve known English people to get into a taxi in Iran, the driver will initially decline payment – but that’s just part of this Tarof process, and the passenger is supposed to insist. English people sometimes just say, “thank you so much!”, and leave, when in reality this taxi driver needs to be paid, he was always going to accept the money – he needs to feed his family!
‘In Iran there are all of these weird backwards and forwards exchanges going on, they’re just inherent to the culture, and they’re really important. But if you don’t know what’s going on, it can be really confusing.’
Ariana knows it can be hard to reconcile two differing strands of your identity – particularly when they seem so diametrically opposed on certain issues. It can cause you to feel as though you have to police some of your own behaviour.
‘And there are elements of English culture that Iranian culture would deem totally shameless and disgusting. Even just really little things. In Iran, for example, you would never laugh really, really loudly out on the street, it would just be seen as this vulgar thing.
‘So really the two cultures are just hugely different in so many ways, from the big stuff to the tiny stuff.
‘Food-wise, it’s all rice. We eat rice with everything. Because the meat is cooked for so long and it’s so delicate, in Iran you don’t use knives. Everything’s eaten with a spoon and a fork. So when I was growing up I normally ate with just a spoon and a fork.’
Cutlery choice. It’s such a tiny aspect of behaviour. Most would think it inconsequential. But even this can land you in hot water in the wrong company. For Ariana’s English family, her Persian style of eating was never acceptable.
‘My English family are very, very, very English – quintessentially English. My Mum has horses and went to finishing school,’ she explains.
‘When I was about eight-years-old, I was at my English Great Aunt’s house, I was eating my rice with a spoon – and I got sent out to stand with the dogs. I was mortified – I’ll literally never forget that moment.’
‘My Mum knows Iranian culture really well, she speaks Farsi. But still, to this day, there are things that she will not, and will never, accept. There are certain cultural elements where she will just say, “that’s ridiculous, I’m not doing that,” – because to her, it is so stupid.
‘So it puts me in this position where I’m just trying to gently persuade her to be more malleable on these issues – I’ll be sitting at the table with the family just thinking, “come on Mum, it’s really not that big a deal, just do it.” It’s so stressful sometimes.’
It can lead to tensions, fall-outs and cultural stalemates, where both sides refuse to accept the other’s perspective.
‘There’s four of us. Me and my brother and sisters, we’re often stuck in between – particularly when there are real tensions or arguments between the two sides.
‘I think when people are very much set in their ways, and their cultural opinions, especially older family members who are maybe less adaptable, I think they find it much harder to really understand where other people are coming from.
‘I get it. I grew up in London. And although I’ve very much absorbed a lot of Persian culture, I am still English, because I grew up here. And I think it’s human nature to stick to what you know – I know there are a number of cultures that I just wouldn’t “get”, as I hadn’t experienced them directly.’
For Ariana, being mixed-race is about duality. Occupying two spaces, often simultaneously. Despite the complexities of maintaining this, she sees it as a blessing.
‘Being mixed-race is weird. You have a full identity, but you do have more than one identity. You really do identify as more than one thing, so you become a little bit transient. You actually can fit in to multiple social situations, and deal with loads of different cultural dynamics.
‘If you grow up bilingual – your brain automatically switches between languages at the speed of light – and someone who isn’t bilingual just can’t comprehend how your brain can do that.
‘Culture is the same as language. It’s a different way of thinking and understanding, and when you’re mixed-race you have the power to switch between two, seamlessly.
‘There are so many complexities that come with it. But, ultimately, being mixed-race, for me, is overwhelmingly a good thing.
‘As the world becomes more accessible, and people move around more, the best thing you can teach your children is to understand different cultures, know different languages, and to be more accepting of human difference.’
Ariana has a touchingly Utopian view of the future of the mixed-race population. She thinks that mixing cultures, languages and traditions, holds the key to uniting humanity.
‘I genuinely believe that the world should just start intermixing as fast as possible. I think it can only be a good thing for the human race. I believe in the complete opposite of closing borders.
‘Being mixed is something that my friends and I speak about all the time, and it’s so interesting because it’s actually quite a new thing.
‘100 years ago, you would hardly have any people who were from mixed heritage, and then in another 100 years, everyone’s going to be like – “I don’t even know what my mix is” – people will be so mixed up, it will be basically impossible to even put people in to these limited categories.’
Mixed Up is a weekly series focused on telling the stories of mixed-race people. Next week we speak to Bilal who’s half black Asian mixed Jamaican, half Kenyan of Indian descent.
Mixed Race People - ArianaMixed Race People - Ariananataliemorris88Mixed Race People Pictured: Ariana (Picture: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk)
We’ve looked back at the most popular baby names of 2018, now it’s time to look forward.
What will parents be naming their sprogs in 2019?
According to BabyCentre, expect to see a lot of babies called Van, Chuck, Taylor, and Puma.
That’s right, the baby name website predicts that a major trend next year will be naming children after trainers (or sneakers, if you prefer the American version).
Don’t panic, that doesn’t mean you need to call your little one Nike, Adidas, or Air Max. Look to the names of special editions of shoes for inspiration, like Stan, Smith, and Luna
Other predicted trends include royal monikers and gender neutral names.
Take a look at the name trends BabyCentre reckons will be big next year.
As we mentioned, the interests of sneakerheads and hypebeasts may filter through to parents.
Take a browse through the footwear sections of popular brands for inspiration. A quick scroll through Adidas brought up Gazelle, Sambarose, and Falcon, which could all work as baby names.
Louis rose 17% in popularity in 2018 thanks to Will and Kate’s third child, while Meghan has jumped 49%.
Keep an eye out for what Meghan names her first child, as that’s likely to influence parents around the world.
Meghan and Harry, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Ariana and Pete (gone too soon), Justin and Hailey. Look to celebrity couples for names that will increase in popularity next year.
We love a gender neutral name, so are very happy to see they’re on the rise.
For girls, Max is up 27% this year, Tyler is up 24%, and Ryan is up 17%.
Parents-to-be, it’s time to throw out the rigid lines of girls’ names and boys’ names and just choose whatever you like.
Over in the US, parents will turn to Southern states for inspiration.
Think Tennessee, Memphis, Georgia, Austin, Dallas, and Savannah. Cute, right?
A close up of child bottle feeding with mother.A close up of child bottle feeding with mother.ellencscott
You’ve probably noticed people’s trees up since about Halloween.
Basically, if you’re still wondering when to put your tree up, you’re running a bit late.
This wasn’t always the way, though, and if you go by historical rules you’re exactly on time.
In Victorian times, Christmas trees were always put up on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, however, this tradition has fallen out of favour as most people want to start feeling festive a bit earlier in the season these days.
Others may opt to put their trees up at the beginning of Advent – the fourth Sunday before Christmas.
In 2018 this fell just over a week ago, on 2 December, meaning you’re a bit behind the consensus of tree decorating.
There’s still plenty of time, though, and you’ll find real and artificial trees in the shops until the big day.
A more popular tradition which still lingers is to put your tree up 12 days before Christmas on December 13.
That’s tomorrow, so you better get the lights untangled and the old ornaments dusted off if you want to get involved.
If you opt for a real pine tree, The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) recommend buying from the beginning of December and advise that trees can survive for more than four weeks if looked after well.
If you tend to pick the artificial variety then we say any time is fine, TBH.
Mother and daughter decorating Christmas treeMother and daughter decorating Christmas treejessicacvl
Christmas is an expensive time of year – but one mum has bagged her whole celebration for free by spending a few minutes each night filling out online surveys.
Instead of being left cash-strapped and stressed by the festivities as she has in the past, Carol Day, 34, resolved to be frugal without cutting back, by taking advantage of coupons and scoring freebies.
Now a money-saving whizz, Carol, of Gillingham, Kent, will be treating her supermarket manager husband, Michael, 31, and their daughter, Amelia, two, this year, declaring: ‘I still can’t believe I’ve done it, but I haven’t spent a single penny of my own money.’
Estimating that she has saved around £400 on gifts alone, Carol began honing her bargain bagging skills when she had Amelia and found her maternity pay difficult to stretch.
Now something of an expert, she explained: ‘I started learning more and more about money-saving and ways to do it.
‘I kept thinking about Christmas and how this large, expensive thing comes at the end of every year, often leaving us cash-strapped until January.
‘So, I thought to myself at the beginning of 2018, ‘Why not get organised, and try to get Christmas for free.’’
Carol joined some online baby clubs a few years ago and discovered an entire community of savvy women.
They were dab hands with everything from discount vouchers to cashback apps – where users upload pictures of their receipts to score full or partial refunds on certain items – to cut costs.
‘It started out as the odd freebie here and there. I signed up to a few market research sites, getting products for nothing to try out, and feedback,’ she said. ‘The first thing I got was a £130 baby monitor for free, followed by a £50 high chair.
‘I’d only apply for things I could use, though, that would help me or a loved one.’
Becoming increasingly adept at being thrifty, when 2018 started, fed up of being left skint by the festive season, Carol vowed to be as organised as possible, so she could bag this year’s celebrations for free.
Aware of how much she had splurged in the past on gifts alone – especially as she has so many people, including her parents, in-laws, brother, sister-in-law, husband, daughter, nephews and niece, to buy for – she started preparing back in February.
Throughout the year, she put aside a little here and there, mostly using online surveys to earn either cash deposited to her account via PayPal or high street vouchers, which she then bought presents with.
She continued: ‘This world can be addictive – you’re always looking for more ways to save.
‘One big misconception is that using coupons and scouring the web for freebies is really time-consuming, but it needn’t be.
‘With surveys, you can earn £20 a night just by doing them in front of the telly, and with coupons, all I do is have a scroll in the mornings with a cup of tea before my family wake up, or on my lunch break at work.’
So successful is Carol at scoring freebies – usually through market research – that she has even managed to spoil her loved ones with extra gifts.
‘I make up little hampers throughout the year to give away,’ she said. ‘A lot of the freebies I get are lovely skincare or beauty products.
‘I don’t use a lot of that sort of thing myself, but they make lovely gifts as a surprise for someone special.’
Also swearing by cashback apps, which she often pairs with coupons to score double the discount, Carol now has everything she needs for December 25, including gifts, advent calendars, decorations and a job lot of vouchers set aside to buy food nearer the time.
But for her, savvy shopping is not just restricted to Christmas time.
All year round, by meticulously planning meals and heading to the supermarket at certain times, to take advantage of the reduced yellow-stickered items, her ordinary weekly grocery shop also costs her next to nothing.
‘I love this way of life, and hope to save even more next year,’ she said. ‘If I can’t use something myself, I like to share the luck and pass it on to my family and friends.
‘Christmas can be a really stressful time. I love buying presents for my loved ones, treating and spoiling them as a thank you for all they’ve done for me, but often used to end up leaving myself short of cash.
‘Now, not only have I got everything completely free, but I’ve finished shopping already, meaning I can just relax and enjoy the festive season with my family.’
Savvy mum bags Christmas for free by filling out online surveys in front of the tellySavvy mum bags Christmas for free by filling out online surveys in front of the tellylauraabernethy6A shop of reduced items Carol got for just ??1.10 (PA Real Life/Collect)The biggest haul of freebies Carol got in one week (PA Real Life/Collect)Carol's vouchers from filling out surveys (PA Real Life/Collect)Carol and Amelia (PA Real Life/Collect)
There is no consensus on exact causes, but doctors agree that children today are suffering from more food allergies than ever before.
The rise in recent decades has been particularly noticeable in the West. Between 5 and 8% of children in the UK, and 9% in Australia suffer from a food allergy.
Across Europe, 2% of adults have food allergies
A small number of high profile tragedies involving food allergy deaths in recent years have called attention to this frightening trend.
In September an inquest into the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse found that current practices around allergen labelling are inadequate and dangerous.
The 15 year old from Fulham died in November of 2016 on a flight from Heathrow to Nice.
She collapsed after eating an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette from a branch of Pret a Manger, because the product contained sesame seeds, which were not labelled, and could not be resuscitated after a catastrophic anaphylactic reaction.
The coroner at the inquest, Dr Sean Cummings, remarked: ‘Overall I was left with the impression that Pret had not addressed the fact that monitoring food allergy in a business selling more than 200m items a year was something to be taken very seriously indeed.’
Similarly severe reactions leading to death have made headlines in recent years by creating new legal precedents.
In 2016, Indian restaurant owner Mohammed Zaman, 53, was convicted of manslaughter after 38-year-old Paul Wilson suffered a fatal allergic reaction to peanuts in his takeaway curry.
It’s clear that increased vigilance around food allergies is necessary; although such fatal cases are exceedingly rare, they are also avoidable.
As officials get to grips with best practices for preventing such tragedies, others are asking why such allergies are on the up in the first place.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign spoke with Metro.co.uk over email and told us: ‘The incidence of allergies has increased dramatically in the UK in recent years and is still rising. Recent studies put the rise as approximately three-fold in the last 20 years, giving the UK one of the highest rates of allergic disease in the world.’
The Campaign, which supports people at risk of severe allergic reactions, also reports that there are several major studies being undertaken looking at causes which are yet to produce conclusive advice for concerned parents.
‘Understanding the allergy epidemic is a work in progress, but here are some factors that have been considered influential:
‘Recent studies have looked into early introduction of potential allergens into a child’s early diet.
‘The LEAP study showed the early introduction of peanuts in infants at high risk for allergy was shown to prevent peanut allergy. However, a follow on study showed that “among children at high risk for allergy in whom peanuts had been introduced in the first year of life and continued until 5 years of age, a 12-month period of peanut avoidance was not associated with an increase in the prevalence of peanut allergy. Longer-term effects are not known”.’
With no consistent rationale yet forthcoming from the medical community, a number of different theories have emerged.
One is that children are being hyper-sensitised by limited exposure to bacteria in their infancy and early childhood.
A 2008 study showed that infants in Jewish communities in England, where advice was to avoid peanuts, had ten times the incidence of peanut allergy compared to their equivalents in Israel, where consuming peanut snacks was usual.
This logic also tallies with promising research into desensitisation, where miniscule amounts of the allergen are introduced to increase the ability of the immune system to tolerate them.
Child eating PeanutsChild eating PeanutsmeganbnolanUnrecognizable little boy sits at a table eating peanutsoffice lunch
We all know how important it is to properly decorate your bum for Christmas.
Just as hanging baubles on your tree and making gingerbread are essential festive traditions, ensuring your bottom is sparkling and resplendent is vital.
You could try turning your bum into a glittering bauble, but if you don’t fancy trying to clean glitter off yourself well into the new year, you might want to look to this newly released tutorial.
Internet influencer Davison has shared her guide to creating what she calls a ‘Christmass booty’ or the ‘cheeky wreath’, but what we shall call, simply, the butt wreath.
Essentially it’s a way to make your backside instantly festive, through the traditional Christmas door decoration of a wreath.
It’s simple to do. Just grab a pair of buttless trousers or make your own by cutting a hole around your buttocks area in a pair of leggings or trousers. Do this when you’re not wearing them, please.
Then around the outline of that circle, add decorations. Jingle bells are a strong choice, as are little Santa hats, or you can go more traditional with natural elements.
We’d advise against using anything with thorns or prickles.
Pull on your fancy pants and go about your festive business, shaking your decorated bum with wild abandon.
As with many bum-decorating trends, this one’s not particularly suitable to wear outside when it’s freezing (no one wants frostbite on their buttocks), but it works gloriously for any parties or family get-togethers you’re heading to throughout the festive period.
Weirdly, we haven’t seen the trend hit the mainstream yet, but we’re sure it’s only a matter of time until we see everyone from our boss to our grandma rocking baubles on their bums.
Sierra Mead is a UK size 24 who weighs 20st 10lbs. That makes her a target of regular online harassment and offline bullying.
For years she was called a ‘whale’ and a ‘hippo’ and received death threats from people who said her size meant she ‘deserves to die’.
That’s bound to put a dent in your confidence, but Sierra has chosen not to let haters drag her down.
She’s met someone who loves her just the way she is, and has found confidence, happiness, and self-love in the process.
‘I always thought I was too fat; I felt like I was secretly being judged by people all the time,’ says Sierra. ‘I wore baggy clothes, I always sucked in my stomach and covered myself.
‘I mainly ate only salads, and always tried to prove my worth by my over-exerting myself in physical activities. I felt like a total outcast all the time.
‘Of course, people in school would stare at me and sometimes it seemed like they were laughing too, but no one ever really made comments that I could hear.
‘Three separate times that I can recall, different guys called me whale, hippo, or fat b*tch; but I think they just picked up on my insecurity and weaponised that rather than it actually being about my size.’
It was seeing other women whose bodies looked like hers posting photos on Instagram that inspired Sierra to start accepting her body.
Now she’s a body-positive Instagrammer herself, sharing photos of her body to inspire others.
‘Seeing someone whose body looked like mine or who was even bigger than me, made me realise my own beauty and self-worth,’ she explains.
‘Attractiveness is a spectrum, there is not just one form of beauty, that’s very important for everyone to remember.’
She met Mason, now her boyfriend, on a dating site back in March 2017. He was instantly attracted by Sierra’s photos. They spoke, quickly bonded, and have been ‘completely obsessed with each other’ ever since.
‘He was, and still is, such a smart, sensitive, funny, patient, talented, caring, romantic and kind man,’ says Sierra. ‘I’m sure he would say the same about me because we are so alike.
‘He tells me about how beautiful he thought my pictures were and how genuine my profile was. My body confidence has benefited our relationship; I’m not the type to ‘do it’ in the dark, or bashfully hide behind my top.
‘He’s not restricted from touching any part of my body, we are completely open and one with each other.
‘I’m sure there might be people who stare because he’s thin and I’m the complete polar opposite of that, but they sure aren’t obvious about it.’
Mason is proud to say he loves Sierra’s body.
He says: ‘Se has such nice soft curves that any man would do a double take on.
‘When you’re truly in love, there is a spark that always creates amazing results when you figure out each other’s needs and different turn-ons, it gets crazy.’
Sierra still receives death threats and harsh comments, but her increased confidence and happy relationship has given her the strength to ignore them.
‘People daily, sometimes several people multiple times a day tell me I deserve to die,’ says Sierra. ‘They say they would laugh and celebrate when I ‘inevitably’ succumb to heart failure or diabetes.
‘It’s shocking to me how angry people can get at a fat woman on the internet, and how they think it’s even remotely okay to treat someone like that.
‘I used to argue back with them for hours, but eventually I grew out of it. I don’t have to justify myself to anyone who thinks they have superiority over me because they’re thinner.
‘We’re all still human. My advice: filter comments and the ‘block’ button are your friends.’
To those who take to Instagram to criticise her body, Sierra has this message: ‘I would say, just let people live.
‘Fat people know they’re fat, and we know the possible consequences that come with that; we are told constantly by family, doctors, people on the internet, etc.
‘You aren’t doing someone a service by bullying them, if they want to change, they should do so on their own terms.
‘It’s common sense to be a decent person and not involve yourself in another person’s life; especially if it doesn’t affect you or you don’t even know this person.
‘Specifically, body confidence is not promoting obesity. I hear that one religiously.’
And to anyone out there struggling to love themselves, Sierra says: ‘Body confidence is for everyone regardless of size, colour, age, gender, height, disability, etc.
‘Body image issues affect literally every single person and it can even result in eating disorders. Loving yourself is more important than you will ever know.
‘So, for the people reading this I would say; get dressed up, do your hair, take some pictures, look in the mirror and just focus on what you like about yourself versus what you think needs to be changed.’
Love in Different SizesLove in Different SizesellencscottSierra pictured embracing her curves (4). THIS CURVY WOMAN was bullied by men who would call her a WHALE and send her death threats because of her confidence but has now found love with a man HALF HER SIZE who loves EVERYTHING about her body. Healthcare professional, Sierra Mead (19), from New Mexico, USA, who is 20st 10Ibs and a UK size 24, used to feel insecure about her body for years with her high school peers calling her names like ???whale???, ???hippo??? and ???fat???. For years she would cover her body in shame and over-exert herself during PE lessons at school, but gradually seeing other plus size women on social media flaunting their curves encouraged her to do the same. Despite receiving negative comments and death threats from strangers online telling her she ???deserves to die???, in March 2017, her stunning pictures attracted the attention of her now boyfriend, Mason, who was star-struck by her confidence and curves. Mason, who is 11st 11Ibs and XL and is shirt size XL, says that he???s in love with her and their spark results in their amazing sex life. MDWfeatures / Sierra MeadSierra pictured during high school at the time she was bullied. THIS CURVY WOMAN was bullied by men who would call her a WHALE and send her death threats because of her confidence but has now found love with a man HALF HER SIZE who loves EVERYTHING about her body. Healthcare professional, Sierra Mead (19), from New Mexico, USA, who is 20st 10Ibs and a UK size 24, used to feel insecure about her body for years with her high school peers calling her names like ???whale???, ???hippo??? and ???fat???. For years she would cover her body in shame and over-exert herself during PE lessons at school, but gradually seeing other plus size women on social media flaunting their curves encouraged her to do the same. Despite receiving negative comments and death threats from strangers online telling her she ???deserves to die???, in March 2017, her stunning pictures attracted the attention of her now boyfriend, Mason, who was star-struck by her confidence and curves. Mason, who is 11st 11Ibs and XL and is shirt size XL, says that he???s in love with her and their spark results in their amazing sex life. MDWfeatures / Sierra MeadSierra pictured embracing her curves (8). THIS CURVY WOMAN was bullied by men who would call her a WHALE and send her death threats because of her confidence but has now found love with a man HALF HER SIZE who loves EVERYTHING about her body. Healthcare professional, Sierra Mead (19), from New Mexico, USA, who is 20st 10Ibs and a UK size 24, used to feel insecure about her body for years with her high school peers calling her names like ???whale???, ???hippo??? and ???fat???. For years she would cover her body in shame and over-exert herself during PE lessons at school, but gradually seeing other plus size women on social media flaunting their curves encouraged her to do the same. Despite receiving negative comments and death threats from strangers online telling her she ???deserves to die???, in March 2017, her stunning pictures attracted the attention of her now boyfriend, Mason, who was star-struck by her confidence and curves. Mason, who is 11st 11Ibs and XL and is shirt size XL, says that he???s in love with her and their spark results in their amazing sex life. MDWfeatures / Sierra MeadSierra pictured with her boyfriend, Mason (3). THIS CURVY WOMAN was bullied by men who would call her a WHALE and send her death threats because of her confidence but has now found love with a man HALF HER SIZE who loves EVERYTHING about her body. Healthcare professional, Sierra Mead (19), from New Mexico, USA, who is 20st 10Ibs and a UK size 24, used to feel insecure about her body for years with her high school peers calling her names like ???whale???, ???hippo??? and ???fat???. For years she would cover her body in shame and over-exert herself during PE lessons at school, but gradually seeing other plus size women on social media flaunting their curves encouraged her to do the same. Despite receiving negative comments and death threats from strangers online telling her she ???deserves to die???, in March 2017, her stunning pictures attracted the attention of her now boyfriend, Mason, who was star-struck by her confidence and curves. Mason, who is 11st 11Ibs and XL and is shirt size XL, says that he???s in love with her and their spark results in their amazing sex life. MDWfeatures / Sierra MeadSierra pictured with her boyfriend, Mason (7). THIS CURVY WOMAN was bullied by men who would call her a WHALE and send her death threats because of her confidence but has now found love with a man HALF HER SIZE who loves EVERYTHING about her body. Healthcare professional, Sierra Mead (19), from New Mexico, USA, who is 20st 10Ibs and a UK size 24, used to feel insecure about her body for years with her high school peers calling her names like ???whale???, ???hippo??? and ???fat???. For years she would cover her body in shame and over-exert herself during PE lessons at school, but gradually seeing other plus size women on social media flaunting their curves encouraged her to do the same. Despite receiving negative comments and death threats from strangers online telling her she ???deserves to die???, in March 2017, her stunning pictures attracted the attention of her now boyfriend, Mason, who was star-struck by her confidence and curves. Mason, who is 11st 11Ibs and XL and is shirt size XL, says that he???s in love with her and their spark results in their amazing sex life. MDWfeatures / Sierra MeadSierra pictured with her boyfriend, Mason. THIS CURVY WOMAN was bullied by men who would call her a WHALE and send her death threats because of her confidence but has now found love with a man HALF HER SIZE who loves EVERYTHING about her body. Healthcare professional, Sierra Mead (19), from New Mexico, USA, who is 20st 10Ibs and a UK size 24, used to feel insecure about her body for years with her high school peers calling her names like ???whale???, ???hippo??? and ???fat???. For years she would cover her body in shame and over-exert herself during PE lessons at school, but gradually seeing other plus size women on social media flaunting their curves encouraged her to do the same. Despite receiving negative comments and death threats from strangers online telling her she ???deserves to die???, in March 2017, her stunning pictures attracted the attention of her now boyfriend, Mason, who was star-struck by her confidence and curves. Mason, who is 11st 11Ibs and XL and is shirt size XL, says that he???s in love with her and their spark results in their amazing sex life. MDWfeatures / Sierra MeadSierra pictured embracing her curves (3). THIS CURVY WOMAN was bullied by men who would call her a WHALE and send her death threats because of her confidence but has now found love with a man HALF HER SIZE who loves EVERYTHING about her body. Healthcare professional, Sierra Mead (19), from New Mexico, USA, who is 20st 10Ibs and a UK size 24, used to feel insecure about her body for years with her high school peers calling her names like ???whale???, ???hippo??? and ???fat???. For years she would cover her body in shame and over-exert herself during PE lessons at school, but gradually seeing other plus size women on social media flaunting their curves encouraged her to do the same. Despite receiving negative comments and death threats from strangers online telling her she ???deserves to die???, in March 2017, her stunning pictures attracted the attention of her now boyfriend, Mason, who was star-struck by her confidence and curves. Mason, who is 11st 11Ibs and XL and is shirt size XL, says that he???s in love with her and their spark results in their amazing sex life. MDWfeatures / Sierra MeadSierra pictured embracing her curves (7). THIS CURVY WOMAN was bullied by men who would call her a WHALE and send her death threats because of her confidence but has now found love with a man HALF HER SIZE who loves EVERYTHING about her body. Healthcare professional, Sierra Mead (19), from New Mexico, USA, who is 20st 10Ibs and a UK size 24, used to feel insecure about her body for years with her high school peers calling her names like ???whale???, ???hippo??? and ???fat???. For years she would cover her body in shame and over-exert herself during PE lessons at school, but gradually seeing other plus size women on social media flaunting their curves encouraged her to do the same. Despite receiving negative comments and death threats from strangers online telling her she ???deserves to die???, in March 2017, her stunning pictures attracted the attention of her now boyfriend, Mason, who was star-struck by her confidence and curves. Mason, who is 11st 11Ibs and XL and is shirt size XL, says that he???s in love with her and their spark results in their amazing sex life. MDWfeatures / Sierra MeadSierra pictured embracing her curves (5). THIS CURVY WOMAN was bullied by men who would call her a WHALE and send her death threats because of her confidence but has now found love with a man HALF HER SIZE who loves EVERYTHING about her body. Healthcare professional, Sierra Mead (19), from New Mexico, USA, who is 20st 10Ibs and a UK size 24, used to feel insecure about her body for years with her high school peers calling her names like ???whale???, ???hippo??? and ???fat???. For years she would cover her body in shame and over-exert herself during PE lessons at school, but gradually seeing other plus size women on social media flaunting their curves encouraged her to do the same. Despite receiving negative comments and death threats from strangers online telling her she ???deserves to die???, in March 2017, her stunning pictures attracted the attention of her now boyfriend, Mason, who was star-struck by her confidence and curves. Mason, who is 11st 11Ibs and XL and is shirt size XL, says that he???s in love with her and their spark results in their amazing sex life. MDWfeatures / Sierra Mead
You’ve probably heard of Movember by now but there’s a new hair-filled month – and this time, it’s all about the ladies.
Januhairy is a campaign to encourage women to grow and embrace their body hair – and raise money for charity at the same time.
The campaign, launched by student Laura Jackson, 21, aims to promote body positivity.
Laura was inspired to start Januhairy after growing out her own body hair for a performance.
‘It is difficult to break out of the norms and stereotypes that come with being a woman; I never even perused the thought of growing out my body hair in the past because that would be abnormal,’ the University of Exeter student told Metro.co.uk
‘I didn’t think I even had that choice. I carried on shaving away my body hair until recently.
‘I wrote and performed a one-woman show in May 2018 all about the ideologies of being a woman and grew out my body hair for the first time, as part of the show.
‘There had been some parts that were challenging for me, and others that really opened my eyes to the taboo of body hair on a woman.
‘Some of us don’t like it, some of us do… but we are all still feminine, hygienic and beautiful, no matter how smooth or hairy.
‘After a few weeks of getting used to it, I started to like my natural hair.
‘I also started to like the lack of uncomfortable episodes of shaving.’
After embracing her own hair, Laura realised that she had broken the cycle and become a lot more comfortable with her fuzzy body.
She adds: ‘I wouldn’t have had the confidence to start to grow out my body hair if I didn’t have a strong enough reason to do so.
‘I thought of making Januhairy, to help women feel they are in a safe space to challenge the embedded norms of shaving.
‘It’s an experiment for people taking part and the people viewing the process. And of course, the sponsorship money goes to Body Gossip, charity which combines Arts and Education to empower everybody to be the best version of themselves and rock their own brand of gorgeous.
‘I feel liberated with my body hair and it’s a shame that some people out there don’t understand how normal it is. Hopefully, this will change some opinions.’
The campaign was launched earlier this week in the build up to the first month of the year and has already had a great response.
Laura says: ‘I have only been up for a few days but loads of people are liking and following my pages already.
‘I think it would be great to get this out to as many people as possible so they can join in,’
As well as encouraging women to become more comfortable with their own bodies and their own hair, Januhairy aims to raise funds through sponsorship for Body Gossip.
Laura says: ‘The money raised will help Body Gossip further their education program, aiming to change young minds and their views on their bodies.
‘It is evident that body image has a large impact on all of us, this is especially challenging in school environments.
‘We are taught how to do many things at school, all to benefit our futures, we are moulded into what we believe we should become, rather than accepting ourselves for who we are first, and this starts with our bodies.
‘Nevertheless, it’s not just young minds who need to hear these messages; Women of all ages. Every woman goes through peaks and troughs dealing with their own insecurities.
‘Januhairy. is a chance to challenge yourself; seek discomfort yet discover the comfort in it.
‘Body Gossip is about loving your body for the way it is, which I think is rather fitting for this project.’
Laura JacksonLaura Jacksonlauraabernethy6
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the day Pornhub releases its year in review.
That’s right, pals. We can now find out all the important porn-related things people enjoyed in 2018.
Chief among them: Some very 2018 searches on Pornhub.
The terms that saw the biggest increases in searches this year include Stormy Daniels (makes sense, considering how much she was in the news), Fortnite, and Bowsette (that’s the fan-made gender-bent version of Mario’s Bowser, in case you weren’t in the know).
Pornhub reports that each time a new Fortnite character was released, searches would increase dramatically. Because we can’t help making everything about sex.
When Fortnite’s servers crashed in April, searches for Fortnite porn increased by 60%, as clearly if people can’t play the game they’d at least like to wank to it.
Of course, there will always be some classic searches in the top ten, and this year that includes ‘threesome’, ‘tattoos’, and ‘romantic’. Aw.
Pornhub searches that defined 2018:
Aside from the speedily growing search terms, the top four searches purely by volume remain pretty standard.
In 2017 and 2018 the top four search terms on the site were ‘lesbian’, ‘hentai’, ‘milf’, and ‘step mom’. See? Standard.
The top searches of 2018:
There are some gender difference in terms of search.
Women’s favourite porn category tends to be ‘lesbian’, while men’s is ‘Japanese’. Women are more likely to watch ‘pussy licking’, ‘solo male’, and ‘lesbian’ categories than men, and are twice as likely to watch gangbang and double penetration porn.
As we mentioned, the most searched for porn star was Stormy Daniels, followed by ex-porn star Mia Khalifa and Riley Reid.
Celebs received plenty of searches too, with Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Selena Gomez, and Ariana Grande topping the list.
The most searched actor of the year was Noah Centineo. Watch To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before if you’re not sure why that is.
On May 21st, the day of her wedding, searches for Meghan Markle increased by 2812%.
In terms of where people are searching, as usual the United States wins for the highest daily traffic to Pornhub, followed by the United Kingdom, India, Japan, and Canada.
In the US and UK lesbian is the most viewed porn category, while across Russia hentai is far more popular. Interestingly, Italy really likes milf porn.
As for when people are getting their fap on, the most popular day for people to visit Pornhub is Sunday between 10pm and midnight, while the day people are least likely to head to the site on a Friday night (presumably because we’re out doing things).
Pornhub year in review - what people searched for this yearPornhub year in review - what people searched for this yearellencscott
People love policing women’s behaviour.
Choose to stay home with children, choose to return to work, choose not to have children – you can guarantee someone will have an opinion.
The judgement of stay-at-home mums and working mums is nothing new, and they have pitted against each other for decades. But a chart published recently on Facebook entitled ‘Should mothers have careers?’ has, rightly, sparked fresh outrage.
The flow chart looks at different elements of the lives of working mothers, compared to their stay-at-home counterparts.
The author states that mothers who work will be ‘too tired for intimacy with husband’, will provide their children with ‘fast food or microwaved’ for dinner, and will have to spend their weekends ‘cleaning the house and shopping.’
Concluding that mothers who work don’t feel like good wives or mothers.
Ok. There’s a whole lot of assumptions there.
The picture that’s painted of a stay-at-home mum’s daily routine is also dubiously idyllic.
The chart states that stay-at-home mums ‘rest while her children nap’, cook dinner ‘from scratch’ and are ‘initimate with husband frequently.’
Readers on Facebook were quick to call the chart out for its unrealistic depiction of motherhood.
‘Seriously?? So I guess all us stay at home moms are just good for birthin’ them babies and making sure our men folk are satisfied,’ said Amelia Flynn.
‘As a working Mom this is so blatantly not true. I’m showing my daughter that she can find worth in her education and her career if she chooses including choosing to stay at home,’ wrote Leah Stroh.
Marie-Lys Blanche is a working mum who says the chart is in no way representative of her life. ‘I work full time and cook nutritious dinners from scratch,’ she wrote.
‘My life is absolutely not falling apart and I think I am doing a great job showing my kids that women can have successful careers and are not lesser than men. Your chart is rubbish.’
The post has amassed almost 2,000 comments – the vast majority of which are angry, or utterly disbelieving.
The overwhelming sense is that most mothers are sick of this outdated rhetoric about how to be a good mum. There’s no one right way to raise your children – and mothers are sure as hell willing to come for you if you suggest otherwise.
Chart comparing working mums vs stay at home mums gets slammedChart comparing working mums vs stay at home mums gets slammednataliemorris88Caption: METRO ILLUSTRATIONS (Picture: Virgin Miri/ Metro.co.uk) Social infertility is very real and very shit Is there a word for when you find out there???s a name for something you???ve been feeling or experiencing? Because if there???s not, there should be. You see I recently found out (via this wonderful piece my friend Emily Maddick wrote for Grazia magazine) that there???s a snappy term for the fact that I desperately want children but might not be able to have them because I???m still fucking single. It???s called social infertility. While plain old medical infertility is something you hear about all the time, social infertility is so rarely spoken about I only just came across the phrase a couple of weeks ago and I???m afflicted by it. Like mental illness - which is only now starting to be treated as seriously as physical health issues ??? social infertility is seen as something that???s either made up or totally avoidable if only the person concerned would just pull their socks up and bloody get on with it. But I???d like to make it very clear here and now; I am not being too picky, I am not playing fast and loose with biology because I???m a spoilt brat who thinks she can always get her own way, and I am certainly not prioritising my career and purposely putting procreating on-hold to climb the greasy pole - I simply haven???t met anyone I could possibly, under any reasonable standards, have children with. And believe me, no one???s more disappointed or upset about this fact than me. To give you some background, I???m 35 and have been single for all of my 30s and a decent chunk of my 20s. Yes, I???ve dated. Yes, there have been people I???ve liked and others who have liked me (although, unfortunately, rarely the twain have met). I???m the product of a stable, loving, two-parent family, and have always envisioned creating my own equally traditional family unit with marriage and kids. And yet, despite my long-held hopes, dreams, and many, many dates, it hasn Copyright: Virgin Miri/ Metro.co.ukChart comparing working mums vs stay at home mums gets slammed The Transformed Wife
Working in retail over the Christmas period is hell and anyone who does it deserves our utmost respect.
They put up with festive tunes played on repeat, grumpy shoppers desperate to buy everything at high speed and high volume, and have to continually explain that actually, there aren’t any in the stockroom and there’s really no need for them to go back down and check again.
Surviving that is tough, and it’s eternally tempting to react with pettiness or vengeance.
Most retail workers wouldn’t actually do this, but we can all enjoy the vicarious thrill of reading about one brave shop-worker’s act of revenge.
One ex retail worker shared a photo of a Christmas ornament with the brilliant story behind it.
‘This is my favorite Christmas ornament, but rather than symbolize peace and goodwill, as it should, it symbolizes vengeance and spite,’ wrote Sarah Belanger Demaneuf.
‘I was working at a local retail store after Christmas and all of our ornaments were reduced to 75% off. This little star was .50 cents.
‘A terrible woman (dressed to the nines and driving a high-end Lexus, so pretty well off) came into the store and wanted 4 star ornaments, but wanted to only pay .25 cents a piece.
‘As we weren’t at a yard sale I said no and she started arguing with me, becoming increasingly rude and belligerent.
‘After not bullying me into caving she said “Fine! My friend works at the other store in Huntsville and she told me that all the ornaments will be 90% off tomorrow, so I’ll just come back in the morning. “I can’t guarantee they’ll still be here,” I said.
‘And the jerk said, “There are 12 in the store. No one is going to buy all 12. I’ll get what I want, prepare to feel stupid tomorrow.”
‘So in an anti grinch moment my heart shrank 3 sizes and I bought all 12 star ornaments. I then called the other Huntsville store and bought ALL their ornaments.
‘And just to be extra spiteful I bought all the star ornaments in Decatur and Florence.
‘It was the most vengeful $30 I ever spent.
‘The next morning she was at the store as soon as we had opened. I had the pleasure of telling her that ALL of the star ornaments in North Alabama had been sold to one customer. The look on her face was worth every penny spent.
‘For years I gave the ornaments to friends and family, but I saved just one for myself.
’17 years later, I still smile when I hang it on my tree.’
Sarah’s post has been shared more than 6,000 times and has received thousands of comments from people who wish they could have dealt with annoying customers in the same way.
‘I don’t know you, but that is exactly something I would do to someone like that,’ wrote one commenter. ‘There are just certain people in the world that live to make it miserable for the rest of us.
‘When you get a chance to return the favor, in a non-hurtful but effective way like this, it is a win for all the underdogs!! I would smile every time I saw that ornament too!!’
Story of Christmas revengeStory of Christmas revengeellencscott
New Jersey woman Paula Stanton had surely given up hope of ever seeing her wedding ring again.
Nine years ago while cleaning her bathroom she noticed that the diamond-studded gold ring was no longer on her finger – she had accidentally flushed it.
A few years ago she mentioned the loss in passing to an acquaintance who works for the Public Works Department. Incredibly, the same man, Ted Gogol was doing maintenance work on a manhole last month when he saw a shiny object in the mud.
Just 400 feet from Stanton’s home, there was her ring, after nearly a decade.
Gogol reunited her with the long-lost jewellery and after boiling it in peroxide and lemon juice, it is once again back on her finger.
Lost wedding rings seem to have a strange way of making their way back to their owners.
Lena Paahlsson had removed her ring before baking with her daughters, but couldn’t find it afterwards. After checking everywhere and even tearing up floorboards, she had given up hope.
Sixteen years on, there it was as she pulled up carrots from her farm. The incredulous family eventually figured out that the ring must have fallen in the sink all those years ago and been mixed with potato peels that were composted or fed to animals, since the soil in their garden comes from composted vegetables and sheep dung.
Whole Foods have scrapped their paper-coated packaging after a shocking report revealed that they rank worst out of major food retailers for cancer-linked chemicals.
Watchdog groups Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and Toxic-Free Future conducted a study of five major US supermarket chains to determine if they used chemicals which have been associated with cancer risks.
High levels of fluorine were found in five of the seventeen packaging products tested, four of those being containers for their hot-food buffet and salad bar.
The company prides itself on a pioneering approach to high quality healthy foods. A statement on their ethos on the UK site says that ;no artificial flavours, colours, preservatives or sweeteners’ are in any of their products, and ‘if you want to know what goes into the products you buy, our standards make it easy, because if it doesn’t meet the standards, we won’t sell it.’
Whole Foods containers were known as Bio-Plus Terra II, according to the study. The presence of Fluoride indicates that the packaging was treated with a type of potentially hazardous chemicals, known as PFAS.
Some types of PFAS have been shown to hamper the immune system and promote cancer and have been phased out of production. While newer varieties have yet to be tested, those which have been tested indicated possible problems.
In response to the study, Whole Foods has pulled the packaging in question, but has not yet indicated what they will replace it with long term.
A representative of Whole Foods told Metro.co.uk: ‘We have removed all of the packaging highlighted in the report across all of our stores in the US, UK and Canada.
‘Whole Foods Market introduced compostable containers to reduce our environmental footprint, but given new concerns about the possible presence of PFAS, we have removed all prepared foods and bakery packaging highlighted in the report.’
Acquired by Amazon.com last year, Whole Foods is the largest dedicated organic grocer in the world.
Whole Foods To Buy Wild Oats Markets For $565 MillionWhole Foods To Buy Wild Oats Markets For $565 MillionmeganbnolanSAN FRANCISCO - FEBRUARY 22: The Whole Foods logo adorns a cardboard box at a Whole Foods Market February 22, 2007 in San Francisco, California. Whole Foods Market Inc. announced that it plans to purchase Wild Oats Market Inc. for an estimated $565 million in hopes of competing with larger food chains that have started to introduce organic and prepared foods to their inventories. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 02: Containers of packaged almonds with the Whole Foods Market logo are seen on display at a Whole Foods Market, Thursday, November 2, 2006, in New York. Whole Foods Market Inc., the largest U.S. natural-foods grocer, said fourth-quarter profit climbed, helped by sales of prepared foods and new store openings. (Photo by Stephen Hilger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)