Articles on this Page
- 12/13/18--22:15: _Girl buys crop top ...
- 12/14/18--00:19: _Baby names inspired...
- 12/14/18--02:09: _Samaritans offers ‘...
- 12/14/18--02:20: _Man on internet poi...
- 12/14/18--02:44: _Blogger accused of ...
- 12/14/18--04:18: _People are too scar...
- 12/14/18--04:23: _Prince Louis makes ...
- 12/14/18--04:36: _Fake tan mishap mak...
- 12/14/18--05:23: _We can’t deal with ...
- 12/14/18--06:33: _Mum gushes about he...
- 12/14/18--07:44: _You could be eating...
- 12/14/18--07:58: _Exercising at night...
- 12/14/18--08:31: _How do Buddhists ha...
- 12/14/18--08:53: _Calls to boycott Pr...
- 12/15/18--01:05: _You shouldn’t have ...
- 12/15/18--01:14: _Woman wakes up with...
- 12/15/18--02:16: _Will you help these...
- 12/15/18--03:00: _I kept my mental il...
- 12/15/18--04:23: _Proposing on Christ...
- 12/15/18--05:30: _YouTube must not be...
- 12/14/18--02:09: Samaritans offers ‘listening vouchers’ as Christmas presents
- 12/14/18--04:23: Prince Louis makes a bold fashion statement in a pair of tights
- 12/14/18--07:44: You could be eating vegan sausage rolls at Greggs next year
- 12/14/18--07:58: Exercising at night won’t mess up your sleep
- 12/14/18--08:31: How do Buddhists have sex?
- 12/14/18--08:53: Calls to boycott Prada after accusations of black face imagery
- 12/15/18--02:16: Will you help these rejected dogs find a home in time for Christmas?
- 12/15/18--03:00: I kept my mental illness a secret from my parents for 10 years
- 12/15/18--04:23: Proposing on Christmas is a manipulative act of pure evil
A girl bought a ripped up top which ended up flashing her nipples. Safe to say she didn’t wear it out.
Lucy Anderson-Roberts bought a black crop top from PrettyLittleThing, wanting to pair it with some high waist trousers.
The top had rips in it – but in the photos they sat on the model’s ribcage – whereas when 27-year-old Lucy wore it, her nipples were out for all to see.
Lucy, from Bath, Somerset, said: ‘I saw it in the sale a while ago and thought it would go great with a pair of high waisted trousers I have.
‘Before I’d put it on I noticed that it wasn’t quite right. The gaps weren’t in the right place. I thought there was no way that’s going to fall below my boob.
‘I tried it on anyway and took a photo to send to my boyfriend. We were cracking up about it.
‘I thought it was really funny but it does need to be raised because it’s a bit annoying that I can’t wear the top.
‘I was a bit gutted about that.
‘It’s meant to be a crop top style with that extra detail going along the middle area. It’s a size 12 as well.’
Lucy said she looked online and saw that other customers had had similar issues with other PLT products.
She continued: ‘It made me think when the items are mass produced it’s not to the same standard as the one the model’s wearing.
‘I wasn’t massively annoyed about it. It wouldn’t put me off shopping there but I am planning to send it back.
‘I saw the funny side of it and sent the picture to my friends covering up my nipples with emojis.
‘My friends and boyfriend had a giggle about it.’
A spokeswoman for PrettyLittleThing said: ‘Should Lucy get in contact with our customer service team, which she hasn’t so far, we will process a refund, and it’s not something we’ll be restocking.’
Ripped breastsRipped breastshattiegladwellmetroMERCURY PRESS. 12/12/18. Pictured: Lucy Anderson-Roberts, 27. Lucy Anderson-Roberts had bought the black cropped top from the online fashion site, Pretty Little Thing, hoping it would go nicely with some high waisted trousers. But the 27-year-old got a shock when she tried the ?5 t-shirt on, as the rips in it left her breasts exposed after Lucy thought the rips would fall across her midriff as advertised on the online retailer's website. Lucy, from Bath, Somerset, said: "I saw it in the sale a while ago and thought it would go great with a pair of high waisted trousers I have. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 12/12/18. Pictured: The top Lucy Anderson-Roberts received. Lucy Anderson-Roberts had bought the black cropped top from the online fashion site, Pretty Little Thing, hoping it would go nicely with some high waisted trousers. But the 27-year-old got a shock when she tried the ?5 t-shirt on, as the rips in it left her breasts exposed after Lucy thought the rips would fall across her midriff as advertised on the online retailer's website. Lucy, from Bath, Somerset, said: "I saw it in the sale a while ago and thought it would go great with a pair of high waisted trousers I have. SEE MERCURY COPY
That’s right, parents-to-be and anyone struggling to choose a name for their cat: more baby name trends for 2019 are here.
Now Nameberry has released their predictions for the coolest baby names on the block for 2019.
The baby name expert reckons that we’ll all see more titles inspired by gems, neutral colours, Eastern locations, and the letters ‘F’ and ‘U’.
Here are the trends they say will be big next year.
Keen to diversify their school’s register, parents will look further afield than the classic list of British favourites.
Nameberry reports rising popularity in Maori names, ancient Greek names, Indian names, and Israeli names.
Think Acacius, Aroha, Cyrene, Niabi, and Jedda,
Gender neutral names have been rising in popularity for a while now, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down.
While Quincy, Remi, Ellis, and Sage were big back in 2017, 2019 will see more babies named Finley, Robin, Royal, and Story.
We blame Yeezy.
Rather than going for bright and bold names like Scarlett and Ruby, next year parents will look to a more muted palette.
Ash, Fawn, Grey, Lavender, Lilac, Mauve, Moss, and Olive are all on the list of Nameberry’s predictions.
Take a look at someone’s rock collection for inspo: Amethyst. Emerald, Garnet, Jet, Peridot, Onyx, and Topaz.
The letter ‘F’
Names beginning with F have never been super trendy… until now.
Finn, Felix, and Frost are rising in popularity for boys, while for girls you’ll see more of Faye, Fern, Flora, and Frankie.
The letter ‘U’
Parents won’t try to choose names starting with U, as that’s quite tricky. Instead they’ll look to names that use the U or the ‘oo’ sound in the middle or end.
Nameberry reckons this might be due to Prince Louis.
They recommend names such as Eulalie, Hugo, Juniper, Luna, Louise, and Reuben.
Three letter names
Short and sweet names, such as Hal, Jem, Kit, Liv, Van, Rio, and Koa, will be preferred in 2019.
Apparently animal-inspiration is more likely to be chosen for middle names than first, but we quite like the idea of naming a baby Otter.
Try not to go too exotic – Axolotl would be tricky for anyone to pull off.
Bear, Falcon, Fox, Hawk, Koala, Lynx, and Lion will all work a treat.
Surnames as first names are pretty cool, we have to admit.
Rather than David, parents will name their kids Beckham. Instead of Angelina, Jolie.
We do like Bowie, Lennon, and Monroe as first names.
Pretty baby girl looking awayPretty baby girl looking awayellencscott
Christmas isn’t always a holly jolly time filled with food, booze and family. For some people, it can be an incredibly stressful period filled with loneliness, exacerbated by watching other people gather with their loved ones.
There’s a reason Samaritans had 11,000 calls to its helpline last Christmas Day (and 400,000 calls throughout the month of December).
This year, the charity has launched a new initiative to help people open up about their problems; e-vouchers that are redeemable for a ‘listening session’ with a Samaritan.
The vouchers can be emailed, shared or downloaded (if you’d like to print it). In return, the charity asks for a small donation – you can pick the amount yourself, but it’s suggested that you pay £5, £20 or £50.
A statement on the Samaritans website, said: ‘Samaritans volunteers will be making sure there’s a listening ear day and night again this year for anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed and needs to talk – throughout the festive period, including Christmas Day.
‘The charity is also asking all of us to give the gift of listening ourselves this Christmas, by encouraging friends and family going through a difficult time to open up.
‘They need to know that it’s OK to not be OK, even at this time of year. A pair of novelty socks won’t save a life but listening can make a huge difference.’
Becca* called the Samaritans a few years ago, when she was going through a rough patch in life. She’d lost her job and broken up with her long-term boyfriend in the same month, and felt very lonely. Despite having friends in her life, she didn’t want to talk to them about her feelings for fear of judgement.
So, she turned to the Samaritans.
‘I remember the moment so well. I was sat at home on the floor, crying, and didn’t know what to do. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for many years, but can always pull myself out of the dark place.
‘This time, I was stuck. I just wanted someone to listen while I poured my heart out, but I never wanted to see or speak to that person again, which is why I didn’t speak to my friends. I didn’t want the judgement that I thought would come from opening up.
‘I will be forever grateful for the person on the other side of that phone. I don’t know who you are, but thank you.’
All calls to the helpline are confidential.
If you want someone to talk to yourself and don’t feel ready to share with those in your life (or don’t feel you have anyone to turn to), here’s some helpful advice on what it’s like to chat to a Samaritan.
To preserve Becca’s privacy, we’ve changed her name.
Need support? Contact the Samaritans
now that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springnow that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springallieabgariannow that summer is over, it's harder to harness that spring
Chocolate oranges are clearly the best Christmas confectionery.
If you haven’t already pounded the sweet brown nectar by 9AM on Christmas day then it’s unclear whether you’re even taking part in the festive season.
But one eagle eyed Terry’s fan has pointed out that if you take a birds eye view of the sweet treat, the orange does have quite a familiar look to it.
Yep. It looks like a bum hole. A rusty bullet hole. A dirty balloon knot.
As Gary also points out, if you’re in the market for butt themed chocolate you’re not limited to just looking at a Terry’s from the top, you can actually get chocolates shaped like your own personal brown eye. A romantic gift for the buttlover in your life.
Or, if having your actual anus cast in chocolate is a bit much for you, why not just buy a box of generic edible sphincters? Putting the ‘chocolate’ into ‘chocolate star fish.’
We got in touch with Carambar, who own Terry’s Chocolate Orange to ask them about the resemblance – which included trying to say the words ‘why do your chocolates look like anuses?’ in French on the phone.
Camabar had not been able to answer us at time of publication, but if and when they do shed any light on this exciting development, we’ll let you know.
People are very annoyed about this Starbucks Christmas adPeople are very annoyed about this Starbucks Christmas adPeople are very annoyed about this Starbucks Christmas adPeople are very annoyed about this Starbucks Christmas adrebeccacnreid
A blogger who’s been accused of blackfishing and sent death threats as a result says she has no plans to stop tanning.
If you’ve been on the internet recently, you’ll have spotted chat about blackfishing.
Blackfishing refers to the act of manipulating one’s appearance to look like a different race.
This is a form of cultural appropriation. A blackfisher takes on traits that black women face prejudice for – bigger lips, darker skin, curly hair, curves – and is celebrated as a result. They’ll often be influencers or Instagrammers, receiving financial gain and hundreds of likes because they have attributes that are deemed attractive, but, the argument of accusers goes, are ‘safe’ because they’re not actually black.
Blackfishing is an ignorance of the cultural implications of what a blackfisher thinks are style choices. It’s an ignorance of the privilege one has to be able to look black without the social implications of being a black woman.
Some of the women who have been accused of blackfishing include blogger Emma Hallberg, who denied doing anything to darken her skin, Mika Harris, and Aga Brzostowska, who said she’s ‘not trying to look black’.
Henriette Otervik, also known as @henote, is a 24-year-old Norwegian blogger and influencer whose photos have been flooded with comments accusing her of blackfishing.
She’d spotted questions about her race in the past, but says that there was a sudden bump in comments talking about her race when she debuted braids.
‘When I did my braids it took off,’ Henriette tells Metro.co.uk.
Henriette denies deceiving her followers or trying to look black. She doesn’t see an issue with wearing her hair in braids, and claims that her skin is naturally dark – when asked if she used self tan, Henriette responded: ‘No. I like the tan I get from the sun best’ – despite previously posting that her tan was the result of an hour at a salon.
‘It was never my intention to pretend to be another race,’ Henriette tells us over email. ‘Personally, I think the braids looks amazing and that is the reason I got them.
‘I’m not trying to be another race. I just took some braids because I have always wanted them.
‘I think it is cool and I like to stand out. I did my braids in an afrosalon and all of the people who worked there said it was so nice on me and no one of them got offended.
‘Before I styled my hair this way, I told my followers that I wanted to get African braids. I got a lot of feedback and about 95% of them where positive and the rest of them called me racist and that I should not do it.’
After posting photos of her braids, Henriette says she received cruel comments and death threats. We looked at the comments on her Instagram photos and can’t see any death threats, but there are dedicated blackfishing Instagram accounts commenting on her posts and requests for her to ‘stop trying to be or appear black’.
‘Just because of my braids I have received comments like “slut”, “hoe”, and “trash”,’ says Henriette. ‘Some people have even sent me death threats.
‘I find it funny that people think it is okay to bully you, just because you are doing something they do not like.
‘I guess it is easier to spread hateful comments on the internet since you do not have to face the person. I find it very alarming that people are daily spreading hate across the internet. It is not okay, and it can hurt more than it seems.’
Henriette isn’t a fan of the current conversation around cultural appropriation and blackfishing, commenting that there shouldn’t be ‘lines between races’.
She tells us: ‘We used a long time fighting for the same rights, so why should we go back in time and say that only white people can have straight hair and only black people can have braids?
‘My opinion is that we are all the same and I think that none of the races can claim a thing to be “theirs” and tell [people] that only they can wear it.
‘If we take my country as an example; On our constitution day many people wear bunad, which is Norwegian national clothing.
‘People from other countries, who have other nationalities also use them and I don’t get offended by that, I love it!
‘We are all the same, we are human!’
It’s worth noting that there’s no evidence to suggest that Norwegian people were persecuted for wearing bunad, or that Norwegians in general face prejudice because of their cultural clothing. On days such as the consitution day, bunad is worn to celebrate and honour Norway.
Braids arguably have a different meaning.
Braids have been used by black women for centuries, and represent more than just a hairstyle. Hair was used to represent the tribe a woman belonged to. When women were captured and forced into slavery, their braids were often shaved off in an attempt to strip away the women’s identity.
Braids have been used as an act of resistance. During slavery women would use their braids as a secret messaging system to communicate maps and ways to freedom to others in slavery.
That’s just a small part of the cultural meaning of braids that’s ignored when white women wear the hairstyle to look cute.
Then there’s the privilege of how a white woman with braids is treated versus a black woman.
Black women are discouraged from wearing their hair natural and free, from restrictive beauty standards and ideas of what ‘good’ hair looks like – smooth, blow-dried waves – to company dress codes. Braids are an answer to those restrictions; a way to protect the hair and keep it manageable.
But even when braids are meant to be a ‘safe’ hairstyle, women still face alleged prejudice for having them.
Earlier this year an 11-year-old girl was told her braided hairstyle violated her school’s dress code. Last year a Banana Republic employee was told her braids were too ‘urban’ and ‘unkempt’ for the brand’s image.
It may be true that Henriette has to face negative comments for her hairstyle, but she doesn’t have to overcome the daily hurdles created by racism.
In the past month she’s posted three photos sponsored by watch brand Daniel Wellington. Clearly her braids and dark skin aren’t hindering her ability to work and represent a brand.
Regardless, Henriette has no plans to change up her hair or skin, despite the criticism.
‘I do not feel that I tan too much, even though some people say I do,’ the influencer tells us. ‘I tan easily, and I am lucky to have the opportunity to travel as much as I do.
‘I cannot sit inside my hotel room all day while I am on vacation just because some people thinks I am too tan.
‘No, I’m not [changing how I look]. People will always tell you what to do, and what not to do.
‘I never listen, because all that matters is to be kind and that’s something people never can take away from you.’
Blogger accused of blackfishing won't change anything about her lookBlogger accused of blackfishing won't change anything about her lookellencscott
Members of the Royal Family are expected to face heavy scrutiny.
That’s part and parcel of joining the clan. The media will dissect and analyse your every outfit choice, hand gesture, facial expression.
Royalists in this country are fervent and tenacious – step out of line and they will jump on you. We’ve seen it over the years with Diana and Fergie – unsurprisingly, it is the women who usually take the brunt of the criticism.
But the vitriol directed at Meghan Markle is disproportionate and unsettling.
The mental gymnastics some are performing to find excuses to spew hatred in her direction are astounding.
So what do some people on Twitter really mean when they say they find her ‘repellent’? Is it really because she’s wearing the wrong nail varnish or the wrong shape of dress?
Or is it because they can’t stand the idea of a non-white member of the Royal Family?
You don’t like her because she’s mixed-race. Just say it with your whole chest.
Earlier this week Meghan walked out on stage as a surprise guest at the Fashion Awards. She was wearing a sleek, one-shouldered black dress, matching dark nail varnish, and cradling her neat little baby bump.
The outrage online began almost immediately.
‘She is just constantly showing off and this is really disgusting and repelling,’ Tweeted one furious viewer.
‘Cupping the bump? WHO DOES THIS? #MeghanMarkle who the hell does she think she is Madonna and child? Something VERY creepy going on in this woman’s head,’ raged another.
They didn’t like her cradling her bump. They didn’t like the outfit. They didn’t like the nail varnish.
Criticism and scrutiny are, as I said, part of the royal package – but the volume and sheer levels of anger inspired by Meghan smacks of something else.
When some people on Twitter jumped to the Duchess’ defense by posting pictures of Kate and even the Queen wearing one-shoulder dresses, another critic wrote, ‘[but] Kate and Queen are elegant!!’
It doesn’t take much work to unpack that logic. Kate is seen as ‘elegant’, where Meghan, in a similar outfit, is ‘disgusting’.
The barely-veiled racism is one thing, but it is the insidiousness that really gets to me.
No one will say what they really mean – instead, they find any and every excuse to tear Meghan down, but stealthily creep around any overt references to race.
By attacking her outfits, make-up, hair and behaviour, rather than the colour of her skin, her critics give themselves a snuggly cloak of deniability.
I don’t hate her because she’s half black, they will tell themselves. No, it’s the nail varnish. It’s definitely the nail varnish. Vile.
This sneaky, subtle, under-the-radar racism is typically British – and really difficult to fight.
If you call it out, it’s all too easy to be accused of ‘playing the race card’ or having a ‘chip on your shoulder’. This is the kind of rhetoric that Meghan’s critics want. It’s a paralysing argument which derails the conversation entirely and shuts down your claims.
These kinds of views, by keyboard warriors, furiously typing in their dingy bedrooms, red-faced with a vein throbbing at their temple, are overtly hostile.
But even ‘experts’ with less extreme, but still dubiously critical, views of Meghan are being given mainstream platforms. It is the use of coded language by reputable sources that I find particularly damaging.
The standards for Meghan are immeasurably higher than they would ever be for Kate. Her ethnicity means that she has to prove herself 10 times over.
It’s unlikely that she will ever be enough or do enough to please the masses. And that’s because the thing about Meghan that many take issue with, is something that is impossible for her to change.
Maybe there’s an element of unconsciousness about it. Maybe some of these people themselves don’t even realise what’s at the heart of their inexplicable hatred of Meghan.
But to those people I would say that it’s time for a serious session of introspection.
In big 2018 it’s not really good enough to just unthinkingly accept your inherent biases – there is something you can do about it.
Rigorously dissecting your own opinions and making a conscious effort to notice and unlearn unconscious behaviour, is something we should all be doing. Why do we think the way we do? What’s at the root of our opinions?
If Meghan’s nail varnish or dress choice makes your blood boil, take a moment to understand that thought and what could be behind it.
People won't admit what REALLY makes them uncomfortable about Meghan MarklePeople won't admit what REALLY makes them uncomfortable about Meghan Marklenataliemorris88
If Prince Louis was going to find himself in the middle of a discussion aged just seven months, you’d probably assume it was going to be about inherited wealth, rather than his wardrobe.
But his apparel on the family Christmas card has – almost certainly unintentionally – made a statement on a controversial issue. Why? Because Prince Louis is wearing tights.
Tights on boy babies is a hot topic on parenting forums. It seems that to many parents, tights should be reserved exclusively for girls.
One anonymous mum on Mumsnet wrote: ‘I have lots of years experience of wrapping up warm for football and I always wear tights under my jeans, which makes a world of difference. I was thinking of getting plain black girls tights for the boys to wear.
‘DH says they’ll be scarred for life if I make them wear girls’ underwear, I say no-one will know, the boys don’t even have to know they’re meant for girls and it will be much cheaper than buying them boys thermals.’
Another wrote: ‘It was a chilly day on Sunday, and I had a pair of DD’s old tights in the drawer so put them on DS to keep his legs and feet warm as he crawls around the whole house now. A friend came around and saw him, and told me I’d scar him for life for making him wear girls clothes.’
‘I know my MIL put my DH in tights (obviously when he was a wee tot!) and that’s partly why I won’t do that with DS,’ one mother comments.
However, parenting expert Lorna Parkes, who has four children, explains that in reality, tights are great for babies of any gender.
She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Putting male babies in tights is absolutely fine! They’re far easier to move around in than lots of baby boys’ trousers and comfy on the skin. I put my boy in tights and leggings until he was about 3 years old. The biggest difficulty was always finding ones in the shops that didn’t look overtly girly – that is hard!
Prince Louis is wearing a pair of Navy blue tights, so not overtly girly. Much of the Windsor childrens’ wardrobe comes from Amaia Kids, who sell a wide variety of tights in all sorts of colours, for £12.
Why is Prince Louis wearing bloomers?
Much has been made in previous years about Prince George’s tendency to wear shorts, even in the winter.
Traditionally royal children (and grand children in general) don’t wear long trousers until they’re around eight. Many boys Prep schools will have a change of uniform around year four where boys will move from shorts and knee socks to long trousers.
Prince George is wearing full length trousers in the Christmas card photograph for the first (official) time. What a rebel.
Royal Christmas cardsRoyal Christmas cardsrebeccacnreidThis photograph must not be used after 31st December 2019, without prior permission from Kensington Palace. NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE (including any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non-editorial use including, for example, calendars, books and supplements). This photograph is provided to you strictly on condition that you will make no charge for the supply, release or publication of it and that these conditions and restrictions will apply (and that you will pass these on) to any organisation to whom you supply it. All other requests for use should be directed to the Press Office at Kensington Palace in writing. The photograph must include all of the individuals when published. This photograph taken in the Autumn by Matt Porteous, shows The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their three children, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George (right) at Anmer Hall in Norfolk. This photograph features on their Royal Highnesses??? Christmas card this year. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday December 14, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Cards. Photo credit should read: Matt Porteous
Fake tan has so much potential to go gloriously wrong.
But no orange hands or green streaks compare with the brilliance of this mishap.
Kaylou Lovatt’s particular fake tan fail made her boyfriend, Jay Frost, think she had been visited by a horny ghost.
What had actually happened was that Jay’s hand had left a penis-shaped imprint on Kaylou’s skin.
Jay worried that a ghost had popped his penis on his girlfriend’s leg when he noticed the phallic outline on her skin didn’t match his member.
‘For a short amount of time, I was puzzled as I thought “is that my penis?”,’ said Jay, ‘but then the more I looked at it the more the sizes didn’t match up.
‘Then I thought it must have been a ghost’s penis because this stuff can happen.
‘I looked down to check my penis – that wasn’t orange. Then my girlfriend spotted it on my arm, which she thought was hilarious.’
Kaylou said: ‘It was quite a size – bigger than a hamster I suppose.
‘It looks like a penis. Where he’s put his hand it’s the bottom of his hand and up his arm. I had to keep trying to fake tan over it.
‘I was a little bit confused at first. I was thinking it was an outline from an actual penis – I was thinking I don’t think I’ve had one near me.
‘I saw his arm and the big tan mark on his arm and realised that made sense… I was initially confused when I woke up.
‘Jay found it funny. At first he thought it was a ghost. He thought it was a ghost penis on my leg.
‘He was really relieved when he realised what happened, even though he had tan on his arm.’
Unfortunately for Kaylou, the ghostly penis wasn’t easy to get rid of. It stayed put on her leg for four days.
The poor girl had to cover up with tights to hide it.
The incident won’t put her off tanning.
‘I’ve never had it go wrong before like this,’ said Kaylou. ‘What I do is I have a shower, tan, let it dry and go to bed.
‘But obviously his hand has been there all night because we were spooning so it has come off. He won’t do that again.
‘I’m more like “can you keep your hands away from me this time” whenever I tan now.
‘I was really surprised the hand made that outline. It was the bottom of the palm and up his arm.
‘It will probably never happen again. He won’t get it in that position again. You’d never imagine it would happen, and you couldn’t do it that good again either.
‘I was exfoliating it which normally you wouldn’t if you wanted your tan to stay. However after the initial “that’s funny”, it needed to go.’
This isn’t the only time Jay has ended up tanned thanks to Kaylou.
She once turned his left foot bright orange when he innocently wore a sock she had used as a tanning mitt.
Jay said: ‘This isn’t our first tan disaster so I’m used to it now.’
Penis tanPenis tanellencscottPIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: THE PENIS OUTLINE IN KAYLOU LOVATT'S FAKE TAN ON HER LEG) An electrician thought a kinky GHOST had left the outline of a PENIS on his girlfriend's leg overnight - only to realise it was the shape of his own arm left in her fake tan. Jay Frost, 29, feared the bizarre silhouette imprinted on his girlfriend Kaylou Lovatt's leg was from a spirit since the phallic shape didn't match up to his own. But the couple were relieved when they eventually realised that it had been caused by Jay's hand on Kaylou's leg as they cuddled through the night leaving the shape in her tan. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: JAY FROST'S ORANGE FOOT FROM WEARING A SOCK WHICH KAYLOU LOVATT HAD USED TO TAN) An electrician thought a kinky GHOST had left the outline of a PENIS on his girlfriend's leg overnight - only to realise it was the shape of his own arm left in her fake tan. Jay Frost, 29, feared the bizarre silhouette imprinted on his girlfriend Kaylou Lovatt's leg was from a spirit since the phallic shape didn't match up to his own. But the couple were relieved when they eventually realised that it had been caused by Jay's hand on Kaylou's leg as they cuddled through the night leaving the shape in her tan. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266
Dating woes – there are plenty of them.
One of the biggest struggles with modern dating is navigating through your potential partners on a myriad of dating apps and websites. Once you’ve picked your poison of choice – sorry, platform – you’re off with the hope that you’ll find love (or sex).
You’re swiping, you’re matching, and then…nothing.
The matches pile up, and yet most of us aren’t messaging each other. Despite being given proof that we clearly fancy someone who fancies us back.
There’s a reason for this madness – new research by Oxford University’s Oxford Internet Institute and eharmony has revealed that the average Brit only has the capacity to effectively communicate with seven people per week.
The study looked at a decade’s worth of data and analysed 150,000 dating profiles. The results showed that not only can we only handle chatting to seven people at a time, but there’s also a limit on how many new people we can approach on a weekly basis – 12 is the lucky number.
And the fitter you are, the more complacent you are.
Apparently, the 25% most attractive people were 16% less likely to initiate a conversation, and 33% less likely to respond, compared to those considered less attractive.
‘Though it may be expected that people who online date would possess a “more is more” approach in their search for a partner, the opposite is true,’ said Professor of Computational Social Science, Taha Yasseri.
‘In the study, singles were actually fairly restrictive in the number of people that they communicated with at any one time. This may indicate that they are more invested in their search for a truly compatible partner.’
Does it though? Earlier this year, we reported that nearly one in 10 singles admitted the excessive choice on dating sites was causing them to experience the opposite feeling of ‘commitmentphobia’.
The option to explore whether the grass is greener elsewhere was shown to be an issue for 25% of single Brits (this too was part of an eharmony study).
Is it less about the desire to find a compatible partner, and more about the effort of maintaining conversations with people?
Juan, 35, who is now in a relationship, was dating online for a few months but found the process tiring.
‘It sounds awful, but I had so many matches and it was impossible to talk to all of them, so I just kept going and didn’t actually speak to most of them,’ he said.
‘Even when I did, a lot of the conversations fizzled out.’
Juan is now back together with his ex-girlfriend, who he met the old school way (IRL), when they ended up in a house share together.
‘How much I message depends on how I’m feeling,’ said Beth*, 21, who uses dating apps Bumble and Tinder.
‘Sometimes I message them all at once and sometimes when I get sick of online dating in general, then I’ll ignore them. But I keep swiping, out of boredom or just to see who’s around. It’s fuelled by my curiosity and nosiness.
‘Depending on how how interested I am in someone it can get tiring to keep up the conversation, but I’m reasonably good at it. Then again, I have accidentally left people on read and just didn’t pick it up again.’
Maria*, 31, has been single for just over a year and regularly uses dating apps like Tinder and Hinge. She tells Metro.co.uk that she usually takes the initiative to message someone as soon they match, but it depends on how attractive she finds the gentleman’s profile.
‘Once we have matched, I normally message them,’ said Maria.
‘Sometimes I don’t and wait, it depends on how much I like their profile. I’d say seven is a high number. Initially, when I first joined, no more than maybe five people, and in the last few months, I probably haven’t talked to more than three men at the same time.’
Whatever the figure, clearly online dating is a dangerous minefield to navigate.
If you too are struggling to keep up the chat with your lucky seven, you could always try speed dating.
People can only handle seven conversations on dating sites at oncePeople can only handle seven conversations on dating sites at onceallieabgarianMeet the women who lie about their age on dating apps
We love a good love story.
Even more so when it’s about an effortlessly cool mum who gets her son a girlfriend thanks to her excellent wingwoman (or wingmom, if you will) skills.
We’re not the only ones; the internet is obsessing over the story of Charisma Valdez and Codey Gonzales, a couple who met in one of the most unusual ways.
Codey’s mum, Patricia, ran into Charisma and her friends at a supermarket in San Antonio.
After realising that the girls go to the same school as her son, started her superb ‘wing-momming’ – not only hinting at his single status, but also showing photos.
She was so convincing that Charisma decided to share the encounter on Twitter.
And people are loving it – the post has racked up over 4,736 retweets so far, along with 62, 815 likes.
Oh, but wait, it gets better.
The very next day, 20-year-old Codey created a Twitter account and responded.
Just like that, the pair organised their first date.
And, of course, treated the internet to their first official couple photo.
It clearly must’ve gone well, because there’s already a second date in the works.
In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Codey confirmed that things are ‘going great’ with his new love interest.
‘We are finishing finals and have been going on dates! We are planning on going out this weekend.’
Patricia is probably feeling very smug right now – and rightly so.
She was even praised by Heb, the supermarket where she met Charisma.
If you’ve ever been embarrassed by a parent gushing about you, this is proof you should just let them get on with it.
We can’t wait to see what happens next.
Mum sets up son at grocery storeMum sets up son at grocery storeallieabgarianTwitter@charisma14_
Ahead of Veganuary next month, your favourite meat-filled puff pastry is getting a revamp.
This just in – Greggs will be selling vegan sausage rolls in 2019. A contradiction in terms, perhaps, but fabulous news for vegans across the UK nonetheless.
The rumours of a meat-free roll have been circulating for quite a few years, but thanks to PETA, we have some fresh intel.
An email leak, featuring a message sent from a Greggs representative, allegedly said: ‘We’re really excited about the launch of the Vegan Sausage Roll as we know you and our customers will be too.’
Earlier in the year, PETA started a petition, which attracted 20,000 signatures, urging the bakery chain to offer a vegan alternative to the popular food.
Greggs is yet to officially confirm the news, but introduced a vegan dish in May – the Mexican Bean Wrap – so it feels only natural that the British staple should follow.
Safe to say, some people are pretty excited about the potential of a vegan roll.
Others, less so.
But there’s a Grinch at every party.
Is this an early Christmas presents for vegans in the country?
We’ve contacted Greggs to find out.
With long commutes, early morning meetings and working through your lunch break, it can be damn-near impossible fitting fitness into your daily schedule.
Sometimes the only free time you have in your day is right before bed. But surely getting sweaty and pumping your body with endorphins and adrenaline will keep you awake half the night?
Apparently this isn’t the case.
New research has found that exercising at night won’t have any negative impact on the quality of your sleep. Which is great news for sporty night-owls.
The study, conducted by scientists at ETH Zurich, found that exercising in the four hours before going to bed won’t stop you falling asleep.
Up until now it had been widely believed, even by sleep researchers, that late-night fitness would impair sleep quality.
But the new findings analysed 23 different studies, and found that participants actually spent more time in a state of deep sleep when they had exercised before bed.
This means that nighttime fitness actually has a slightly positive effect on sleep quality.
So does this mean we should schedule all our HIIT classes for 11pm from now on? Not exactly.
Scientists were keen to stress that there is an exception to the rule.
The experts found that vigorous training, one hour before bed, was the one condition that did lead to poorer sleep quality.
‘As a rule of thumb, vigorous training is defined as training in which a person is unable to talk,’ explains lead scientist Christina Spengler.
‘Moderate training is physical activity of an intensity high enough that a person would no longer be able to sing, but they could speak.’
So if you want to sleep like a baby, vigorous training in the evening is OK – as long as it’s done more than an hour before you go to bed.
Otherwise stick to something more gentle like yoga or swimming.
now that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springnow that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springnataliemorris88sleep wellfitness
It’s Friday afternoon, which means we’re asking questions about how people of different faiths have sex.
Each week we ask the same questions about each religion in an attempt to better understand how your faith can shape your sex life.
This series is based on the official teachings of the religion, not what individuals might choose to do.
Can you have sex before marriage?
Yes, as long as you’re committed to each other. Sex should be part of a loving relationship, which is considered to be best represented by marriage.
Buddhists follow The Five Precepts when considering how to live. The third Precept says that Buddhists must not engage in any sexual misconduct.
This includes adultery which is hurtful to another person, and promiscuity, which is seen as satisfying an urge.
What is sex like within marriage?
Buddhists have to avoid sexual misconduct, which includes quite a lot of activities (see below).
Oral sex or anal sex?
Doesn’t look like it. Speaking in 1997 the Dalai Lama said: ‘Even with your own wife, using one’s mouth or the other hole is sexual misconduct.’
Can you use contraception?
Yes, as long as you have what is known as the ‘Right Intention.’
Buddhists aim to avoid suffering, and as unplanned pregnancy or STIs can create suffering, contraception is acceptable.
Like many other religions, Buddhism does not condone abortion unless there is danger to the mother or the baby will suffer. Speaking in 1993 the Dalai Lama said: ‘Of course, abortion, from a Buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing and is negative, generally speaking. But it depends on the circumstances.
‘If the unborn child will be retarded [sic] or if the birth will create serious problems for the parent, these are cases where there can be an exception. I think abortion should be approved or disapproved according to each circumstance.’
A mixed bag. The Dalai Llama says not, saying: ‘they want me to condone homosexuality. But I am a Buddhist and, for a Buddhist, a relationship between two men is wrong. Some sexual conduct in marriage is also wrong.’
However, there is nothing in original Buddhist teachings to suggest that homosexuality is incompatible with Buddism, and Buddist monks are celibate so it’s moot for them anyway.
The Dalai Lama also made it clear that while he did not feel homosexuality was compatible with Buddism, he also did not commend it, saying: ‘If individual has no faith, that is a different matter. If two men really love each other and are not religious, then that is OK by me.
Again, the Dalai Lama says no, saying: ‘Using one’s hand, that is sexual misconduct.’
How sex positive are Buddists?
Buddhist monks are expected to be celibate, but it’s possible to be Buddhist and not to be celibate. The rules about what constitutes sexual misconduct are more stringent in Buddhism than in some other faiths, but unlike other major world religions, Buddhism recognizes cohabitation as a legitimate relationship choice where sex is permissible.
Catholics have sex?
'The Bible doesn’t make it clear whether men and women can indulge in anal sex, though it does take a dim view of sodomy between men.' Read more
Orthodox Jews have sex?
'If you’re properly Orthodox and doing things by the book then you’re not supposed to touch before you get married.' Read more
Muslims have sex?
'Emphasis is placed on the importance of foreplay. Muslims are forbidden to act like animals, and sex without foreplay is considered to be acting like an animal.' Read more
How do buddhists have sexHow do buddhists have sexrebeccacnreid
Staff attorney Chinyere Ezie has taken to Facebook to urge others to boycott Prada, who she claims are guilty of using black face imagery.
Chinyere wrote on Faceboook:
‘I don’t make a lot of public posts, but right now I’m shaking with anger.
‘Today after returning to NYC after a very emotional visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture including an exhibit on blackface, I walked past Prada’s Soho storefront only to be confronted with the very same racist and denigrating #blackface imagery.
‘I entered the store with a coworker, only to be assaulted with more and more bewildering examples of their Sambo like imagery.
‘When I asked a Prada employee whether they knew they had plastered blackface imagery throughout their store, in a moment of surprising candor I was told that *a black employee had previously complained about blackface at Prada, but he didn’t work there anymore.*
‘History cannot continue to repeat itself. Black America deserves better. And we demand better.
‘Until then please repost and retweet @Prada using the hashtags#StopBlackface #BoycottPrada #EndRacismNow’
The exhibition that Chinyere refers to is Blackface: The Birth of An American Stereotype, which explores the phenomenon of blackface and representations of black people in American culture.
Metro.co.uk contacted Prada who told us: ‘Prada Group abhors racist imagery. The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre. They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface.
‘We abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery. We will withdraw all of the characters in question from display and circulation’.
chi-66fdchi-66fdrebeccacnreidPrada blackface WE HAVE PERMISSION TO USE METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.facebook.com/chinyereezie?__tn__=%2Cd*F*F-R&eid=ARBnAMHxsnr1XOmy7-SK68YK-daDFUWFAqXZBg7h_gaanUcDynf_G9P-xiYLDTAdWSCnqOVYtb0vl99w&tn-str=*F Credit: Chinyere Ezie
Mark* has known since he was a teenager that becoming a father would not be straightforward.
At 16, he was diagnosed with leukaemia and treatment for this left him infertile.
Luckily though, he was able to store sperm before he began his cancer treatment – giving him the hope of fatherhood in the future.
However, despite his clinical need, Mark is being denied access to NHS fertility treatment because the body that plans and controls health care services where he lives – West Sussex – sets its own arbitrary criteria for who can and can’t access it.
According to West Sussex, Mark is not entitled to medical help because his partner has two children from a previous relationship.
Mark’s situation is far from unusual. According to Fertility Network’s 2018 Fertility Fairness report, severe cuts to fertility services in the UK mean that 59% of people who need IVF will have to pay for their medical treatment.
Where you live, your personal circumstances, medical situation and age are all factors determining whether you will be facing a financially-crippling bill for private IVF (a round of treatment costs between £6,000 to £10,000 plus).
The national recommendation from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is for women under 40 to have three full IVF cycles, and women aged between 40-42 to have one full IVF cycle, because this has been determined to be the most clinically-effective and cost-effective treatment for infertility.
However, NICE’s guidance is not mandatory and, outside of Scotland, NHS fertility services are rationed unfairly by postcode, rather than medical need.
England is by far the worst place in the UK to live in terms of access to NHS fertility treatment.
NHS fertility services are rationed unfairly by postcode, rather than medical need.
Only three of England’s 195 NHS bodies for planning health care services offer the IVF Gold Standard: three full IVF cycles for clinically eligible women under the age of 40, plus one full IVF cycle for women aged between 40-42, and provision for if either you or your husband has a child from a previous relationship.
The remaining bodies all ration access by reducing or removing the number of IVF cycles they offer, or by introducing a variety of additional access criteria, none of which are in the national fertility guidelines.
Depending on where you live in England, a couple can be denied access to NHS IVF because: the woman is over 35 (10 per cent of planning bodies), the man’s body mass index is >30 (27 per cent), the man is too old (14 per cent), either of you has a child from a previous relationship (91 per cent), or a woman’s anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) level is deemed unacceptable (25 per cent).
If you do fulfil all of their additional arbitrary access criteria, then it’s a postcode lottery regarding the number of rounds of treatment you will be offered: seven areas in England don’t offer any NHS IVF at all (they are all in the south); two-thirds offer only one full or partial cycle; just 13 per cent offer three full cycles, and a further one in ten are consulting on cutting or removing NHS fertility services.
Wales provides two full IVF cycles for clinically eligible women under the age of 40, plus one full IVF cycle for women aged between 40-42, and allows access to treatment if either you or your husband has a child from a previous relationship.
Northern Ireland provides just one partial IVF cycle for women under 40 and allows access to treatment if either you or your husband has a child from a previous relationship.
Living in Scotland gives you the best chance of accessing NHS fertility treatment: everywhere in Scotland offers the IVF Gold Standard.
You shouldn’t have to move to Scotland to have the best chance of having a baby through IVF. This postcode lottery is ridiculous and so maddening that you could scream – that’s why we’ve launched a #Scream4IVF campaign to end this unjust situation.
Along with countless other couples and individuals, Mark and his partner are being forced to go privately. Facing infertility is hard enough, join your voice to the campaign and scream with us.
*name has been changed
#Scream4IVF if you think that should be the case across the UK Scream4IVF.org. For free and impartial help and support with fertility issues, or to make a donation to enable us to continue our work, visit fertilitynetworkuk.org
An important reminder: If you’re interested in trying cupping, go to a professional.
Don’t try to save money by doing a DIY version, as this woman did.
Jama Dermatology reports the case of a woman in her 60s who attempted cupping at home with a hand-held pump.
She had injured her shoulder and hoped that cupping would relieve the pain.
Unfortunately she fell asleep while doing the treatment on herself, and woke up having left the pump sucking on her skin for half an hour.
A collection of painful pus-filled blisters formed in a circle under the area the cup had been applied.
The vacuum was so strong it split the woman’s skin, causing the blisters.
She had to be treated by doctors, who drained the blisters and applied a sterile dressing.
The case shows the importance of only having cupping performed by a professional, and never leaving cups on your skin unattended.
Typically cups are moved around and only left on the skin for a few minutes during treatment, so while they’ll leave marks they shouldn’t damage the skin.
‘This case illustrates the need for supervision while performing cupping with a mechanical device,’ said Dr Maria Wei, who treated the woman. ‘If properly monitored, it shouldn’t be a problem.’
What is cupping?
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of treatment that involves special cups being placed on the skin to create suction.
Sometimes heat is used, as well as massage oils.
The cups will typically remain on the skin for just a few minutes, and may be moved around. The cups can be made of glass, bamboo, or silicone.
It’s thought that cupping can ‘remove toxins’ from the body, but this isn’t proven.
It’s often used to treat injury and relieve pain.
Cupping therapy can also be used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and acne, migraines, and fertility issues.
There’s no scientific research to back up any benefits.
Don't try cupping at homeDon't try cupping at homeellencscottMETRO GRAB - taken from the JAMA Dermatology website no permission Don't try cupping at home https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/2717577 Credit: JAMA Dermatology
Adopting a dog isn’t a decision to be taken lightly.
But if you are certain you could give a dog a loving home, don’t set your heart on a purebred puppy.
There are so many dogs who are just as cute as any pup you’d find online. They’ve been let down, rejected, and all they need is someone to come along and show them kindness.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has launched an appeal to find forever homes for some of the dogs who’ve been at the centre the longest.
The average stay for a dog at the shelter is 38 days, but many pooches are turned down by potential owners because of their age or breed.
Could you give them a home in time for Christmas?
Five-year-old greyhound Dean has been at Battersea for 104 days
Dean is an ex-racer who loves the company of people. He’s a sensitive soul and can be a bit worried by other dogs, so needs a family who’ll help build his confidence.
Prince is a six-year-old mongrel who hasn’t been able to find a home in 69 days. Can you help him?
Prince can find the world a bit scary sometimes, despite being big and strong.
His owners will need to be experienced, strong enough to handle him on a lead, and patient.
He loves fluffy toys.
Rosie has lived at Battersea for 20 days
At just one year and six months old, Rosie is still a puppy at heart.
She’s smart, enthusiastic, and loves learning new things.
Owners will need to be willing to put in time for training, as Rosie still has a lot to learn.
Lucas the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has been at Battersea for 90 days
Lucas loves being fussed over and is super sweet.
His breed puts people off – will you give him a chance?
Two-year-old mongrel Bear hasn’t found a home in 30 days
Bear loves going on runs, so if you’re an active type he’s the dog for you.
He’s super smart and loves to learn, but struggles with being left on his own, so he’s best for someone who can stick around.
Eight-year-old Shar Pei Magic Mike has lived at Battersea for 133 days
Magic Mike is a grumpy old man. That’s what makes him so loveable.
He looks grouchy and will have a grumble if he doesn’t want to do something.
But he loves cuddles, belly rubs, and sitting with his favourite people.
He’s been at the home for far too long and we can’t believe he hasn’t been snatched up yet. Could you be the loving family he deserves?
Mistletoe has lived at Battersea for 69 days
Mistletoe – also known as Misty – is a loveable lurcher. She enjoys running around, playing tug, and hanging out with squeaky toys.
She needs a confidence boost and a home where she can be pretty active.
If you’d be interested in adopting any of these dogs, contact Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
Battersea Dogs Home's Long Stay DogsBattersea Dogs Home's Long Stay DogsellencscottLONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Lucas, a six year-old, Staffordshire Bull Terrier is pictured in a kennel at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where it has lived for 90 days on December 13, 2018 in London, England. The animal shelter, which was founded in London in 1860, is currently seeking homes for some of its longest standing residents. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Dean, a five year-old greyhound, is pictured in a kennel at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where it has lived for 104 days, on December 13, 2018 in London, England. The animal shelter, which was founded in London in 1860, is currently seeking homes for some of its longest standing residents. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Prince, a six year-old mongrel, is pictured in a kennel at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where it has lived for 69 days, on December 13, 2018 in London, England. The animal shelter, which was founded in London in 1860, is currently seeking homes for some of its longest standing residents. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Rosie, a one year-old mongrel, is pictured in a kennel at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where it has lived for 20 days on December 13, 2018 in London, England. The animal shelter, which was founded in London in 1860, is currently seeking homes for some of its longest standing residents. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Lucas, a six year-old, Staffordshire Bull Terrier is pictured in a kennel at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where it has lived for 90 days on December 13, 2018 in London, England. The animal shelter, which was founded in London in 1860, is currently seeking homes for some of its longest standing residents. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Bear, a two year-old mongrel, is pictured in a kennel at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where it has lived for 30 days, on December 13, 2018 in London, England. The animal shelter, which was founded in London in 1860, is currently seeking homes for some of its longest standing residents. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Magic Mike, an eight year-old Shar-Pei, is pictured in a kennel at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where it has lived for 133 days, on December 13, 2018 in London, England. The animal shelter, which was founded in London in 1860, is currently seeking homes for some of its longest standing residents. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Mistletoe, a two year-old Lurcher, is pictured outside the kennels at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where it has lived for 69 days, on December 13, 2018 in London, England. The animal shelter, which was founded in London in 1860, is currently seeking homes for some of its longest standing residents. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Ten years ago, I was ‘officially’ diagnosed with depression. I was 24 years old, an exhausted new teacher working in a challenging inner city school.
As I left the doctors surgery, the one thought I couldn’t shift was what my mum would think if she ever found out. It was then that I promised myself that she never would.
Until a year ago, the only souls who knew about my mental illness were my younger sister, my boyfriend and my cat Sparkle.
My Chinese mother shares a lot of parenting traits with the Tiger Mum, an Asian parenting concept made famous by Chinese-American Law professor Amy Chua in her best-selling memoir, Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother.
Chua’s book argues that her strict methods of parenting (her children were not allowed to get lower than an A grade in school, or have sleepovers or watch TV) were crucial in raising successful children. Discipline, fierce resilience and a hard shell are ingrained from a young age.
A lot of these traits are an inherent part of Asian culture. Asking for help is a last resort, instead we are encouraged to work things out and persevere.
Growing up, the concept of nurturing was defined differently to how my western friends experienced it. Instead, it involved discipline of the mind through reading, learning an instrument and extra homework.
Asking for help is a last resort, instead we are encouraged to work things out and persevere.
Even though my mum was always the first person I turned to when I was physically ill – she was a trained nurse – this was different. This wasn’t a chest infection or food poisoning.
According to the GP, I was suffering with a mental illness caused by stress. Symptoms included bursting into tears for much of the day, spending most of the night staring into the dark, and self-harming when an inexplicable explosion of despair boiled up inside.
My parents grew up in very different environments in developing countries: Baghdad and a small village in Malaysia.
So, understandably, they had difficulty coming to terms with the idea of depression and anxiety in 21st century England, where all our material needs are met, we don’t live in the shadow of war and have bright futures ahead of us.
Last year, I was unable to make it home for Christmas Day due to a distressing suicidal episode and a hospitalisation 200 miles away. I remember worrying so much about how to explain where I was to my mum.
Unable to face the initial conversation myself, my sister told my parents that I’d been suffering with bad mental health, and I told them the rest as I recovered. It was a gradual drip feed of bits of information, over weeks.
It was terrifying, and a huge turning point for me, finally being able to take off the mask and open up about what had been happening to me. It was also a relief.
Despite not being able to fully understand my illness, underneath it all my mum and dad were just two parents staring with concern at their daughter who was in pain and needed their help.
Even now, I don’t have regular heart to hearts with my mum about my illness. But I do answer with honesty when she asks how I am.
I don’t hide the side effects of my medication, or the fact that I see a psychotherapist weekly. She’s made the effort to learn how mental illness and physical illness are not dissimilar, can strike anyone at any time and has no bearing on whether you’re weak or strong.
I hope, by sharing how much I’ve been able to move forward this year just by being honest with my family, it will encourage others to do the same.
After all, how can we expect our loved ones to understand our mental health issues if we’re not honest about how we’re feeling?
According to all the press releases currently clogging my inbox, Christmas is the most popular time of the year to propose.
The Annual Wedding Survey found that 43% of proposals happen between 24 December and 1 January. Bridebook predicts that the most popular day for proposals in 2018 will be Christmas Day, followed by Christmas Eve.
That means that right at this very moment, there are people on earth planning to propose to their partners over the Christmas period.
Let me take this moment to say to these people: No. Don’t do it.
Christmas proposals are awful. They are a crime against all, a hideously selfish act, and a means of ruining Christmas entirely.
We’re talking serious consequences that will carry down through the generations, all because you decided to pop the question surrounded by tinsel.
Christmas proposals are terrible for you, your partner, their family, and everyone else on the planet.
We’ll start with your partner.
Christmas is typically a day spent with family, often in a festive hotbed of tension and overwhelm. Your partner is trapped in their nan’s house up north with nothing to do but play board games with their tipsy uncle. They’ve had to deal with the simmering irritation of spending prolonged time with your parents.
And then you propose.
You propose in front of their family, who are all so excited by the romance that your partner knows they can’t say no.
There’s so much pressure. They have to say yes or they’ll ruin Christmas. They can’t have a chat about the status of your relationship with their family already celebrating their little poppet finally getting married.
A Christmas proposal is manipulative as f***. It’s like a public proposal, where someone is pressured to say yes so they don’t disappoint an audience, but with the pressure turned up and baubles on top.
If you’re doing it on Christmas Day, your partner probably isn’t in the right frame of mind for a proposal, either.
They’re wearing an itchy festive jumper. They ate too many roast potatoes for lunch and now they just want a nap. They’re wearing the ridiculous socks someone got them as a present and are definitely not ready for photos of the magical moment.
Or they’re loving life as Christmas super-fans. Congrats, you’ve just ripped away their joy and muddied up Christmas with the emotions of a proposal.
You know how people hate having their birthdays on Christmas, because they don’t get two separate and distinct chances to celebrate? You’ve just inflicted that misery on the person you supposedly love. Well done.
You’ve also spoiled the fun for everyone else in attendance.
You’ve instantly made Christmas all about one person, which is mean, and if your partner has siblings they’ll now have to endure questioning from their relatives about when they’ll find someone. At Christmas. Thanks.
You’ve also rendered all the presents they carefully chose completely forgettable.
Oh cool, a nice bath set. Can’t really compete with an engagement ring though, can it.
Sweet, you got me some pyjamas! I’ll definitely be able to muster up the same level of excitement I just displayed for a proposal.
You might as well chuck out all the gifts and burned down the tree, for you have ruined Christmas for your partner and their family by making a special time all about you and a big diamond.
Those are the immediate consequences of proposing on Christmas.
The far-reaching impact is more insidious.
Christmas is already a horrible time to be single thanks to smug couples sharing selfies from Winter Wonderland and all the romantic films and TV shows perpetuating the concept of cuffing season with shots of couples drinking hot chocolate and holding hands while ice-skating.
It’s also a horrible time to look at social media, where posts of people’s perfect trees, giant spreads, and expensive gifts make your celebrations feel like trash.
Throwing an engagement photo up on the ‘Gram is an attack. You are a monster.
Then there’s the expectation you create.
When you propose on Christmas, you add weight to the (terrible) idea that proposals should happen in a festive setting.
Thus, you are responsible for every couple caught in an argument on Boxing Day because there was no sparkly ring under the tree.
You are the puppetmaster behind every shiver of disappointment a woman feels run through their body when they open a tiny jewellery box on 25 December and find not a ring, but earrings. It’s always earrings.
You are the cause of all presents not feeling quite enough. Of Christmas failing to meet absurd expectations. Of breakups sparked by someone pondering whether their partner will propose at Christmas and realising it’s not what they want.
I understand that in the moment, as you buy the ring and plan out the surprise of getting down on one knee after the cake and brandy, that you think you are doing something good.
But you must know that you are not.
You are doing something evil. You are not just wrecking your partner’s Christmas, not just your family’s, but everyone who has a tiny degree of connection to you or them. Your proposal creates a ripple effect that will shatter Christmas into pieces around the world.
Is it worth it?
Are you content with destroying Christmas just because you can’t be bothered to create a special moment instead of jumping on one that already exists?
Do the right thing. Don’t propose on Christmas.*
*Or Valentine’s Day, or their birthday. Thanks.
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Last week, Forbes.com released an article revealing the 10 highest paid YouTube Stars of 2018.
At number one was seven year old Ryan, who earned an extraordinary $22 million this year reviewing toys.
While I was stunned that a seven year old earned more in one year than the average person will earn in their lifetime, I was particularly shocked that not one woman appeared on the list.
Many took to Twitter to voice their disappointment, including Lucy Moon, a vlogger/ blogger who tweeted the article with a sad face emoji and the comment: ‘No women’.
Her disapproval, however, was met with some resistance as a number of people responded with, ‘work harder’.
While I would love to use up my entire word count explaining why that response is both reductive and ridiculous, I would be digressing.
As I went further and further down the list I kept asking myself a more specific question: where are the black women?
For many years black people, particularly black women, have been the trendsetters in popular culture and yet have been consistently erased, silenced or denied their just dues.
For example, why do I not see one black woman on this list?
Or, why is it that only two women of colour are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, with only one of them being a black woman?
Or why is it that black female doctors earn £9,612 a year less than their white counterparts in the UK?
Despite the significant contribution black women have made across numerous industries, from corporate to creative, we have often been denied access to the highest levels or reduced to negative stereotypes such as the ‘angry black woman’ or the uneducated ‘ghetto baby mum’.
Mainstream media and cinema have undeniably played a big role in amplifying these narratives and profited from them for too long.
We are exposed to the multi-dimensional and multi-talented nature of black women, proving that we are, and can be, successful.
However, as many of us are now exchanging traditional forms of media for personal content on platforms like YouTube, a shift in narrative has been able to take place.
YouTube has given people like me the space to share my unique experiences. As a result, we are exposed to the multi-dimensional and multi-talented nature of black women, proving that we are, and can be, successful.
Over the years black women have made it very clear that we are not a homogenous mass but in fact boundless, and will continue to forge and form our own narratives. Thus, I thought it only right to create another list: The top 10 black women killing it on YouTube in 2018.
This list is not to diminish the work of the individuals featured on the original but to simply say, ‘black women on YouTube, we see you and we appreciate you.’
And if any of your particular favourites are missing, please don’t burn me at the stake.
Starting us off is Shirley B. Eniang. She is one of the OGs of YouTube (that’s ‘original gangster’) and she’s definitely the stylish and sophisticated big sister I never had.
Next is Peak Mill. Peak never fails to deliver – her high-quality content and ability to hide things like a new house and baby then return to our screens as though nothing happened still amazes me. Can we call her the Beyonce of YouTube? I think we can.
Aysha Abdul is sweet and makes me feel incredibly calm when I watch her – perfect for a Sunday night.
Patricia Bright, the Brit Pop Princess, is another YouTube OG who has gone on to ad campaigns and magazine covers. Indeed, Patricia Bright is showing us how it’s done.
Chanel Ambrose, I adore; she’s beautiful, funny and has a beautiful family to match – and then there’s Jackie Aina: the queen of reviews and ultimate clap backs on social media … Jackie is everything and then some.
LaToya Forever is a mum and wife and was my go-to when I was stressed at university.
Sophiology is a queen for her style, her elegance and her class and I know she’ll keep going from strength to strength.
And from wig mishaps to fake proposals, Lydia Dinga has been through it all – and I feel like I’ve been through it with her.
Finally, at the top of my list is Nella Rose. Full disclosure: I know her personally and Nella is phenomenal.
She took YouTube by storm with unique conversational content. She’s hilarious and has a heart of pure gold … I am here for all your wins sis!
I don’t think I’m killing it just yet but I am my biggest fan. I pride myself in being in my own lane creating content that motivates, encourages and empowers my viewers.
All in all, what I do know is that we cannot give YouTube the space to become another place where black women are left on the sidelines or denied their well-deserved applause.
Not on our watch!
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