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Metro.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Metro

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    Clare with her dog Turbo, who helped her through the difficult time (Picture: Clare Hutton)

    This January, millions of people will be taking part in Dry January, which aims to change the nation’s relationship with alcohol. Alcohol harm – at an individual, family, community and societal level – is not inevitable. I only wish I had realised this before I developed irreversible liver failure.

    It all started in my mid-30s. I was a single mum working full-time as a primary school teacher. Before this, I would limit my drinking to when I was out socially but juggling kids at home and work, led me to become a fully-fledged member of the ‘wine o’clock club’.

    After a hectic and tiring day, when my kids were in bed, I did what is seen as totally normally these days: pour myself a glass of wine or two to unwind and relax. It was my treat, something to look forward to, which would make me feel more relaxed. It was my way of coping with life’s stresses.

    My drinking didn’t become a problem overnight; it just crept up on me. Over time my two to three glasses grew to a whole box of wine followed by a bottle of vodka.

    The damaging effects of my ‘habit’ started off with a bit of tiredness and lack of energy. My initial response was to pour myself another drink to make myself feel better, which was only making things worse.

    Looking back, I can’t believe how quickly my liver failure came on. Liver disease has no symptoms in the early stages – within a week my life had changed.

    I ended up in A&E, taken straight through to the resuscitation area, which is reserved for the most seriously ill patients.  Here, I was told the terrifying news that I had the most advanced liver disease and only had a few days to live.

    Thankfully, the consultant was wrong, but to recover from the brink of death was no mean feat and chronic liver disease has disabled me. I am on medication for life and suffer from chronic fatigue.

    A CTT scan revealed shrinkage in my brain due to alcohol destroying brain cells and my memory will never recover.  I feel I’m constantly sitting on the fence and live life from day to day – I know I could get worse again at any moment.

    I only wish I had known the damage that drinking was doing to me. I know I’m extremely lucky to be alive. I also learning that my life will never be the same again but it is so hard to accept.

    I nearly lost everything – my career, my home, my family. I ended up divorced and my children now have to live with their dad.

    Having been through alcohol dependency has changed me completely. I value and appreciate myself more, you know …recognise my self-worth.

    When I was drinking, I was very selfish, bitter, angry and extremely lost. In my experience, digging deep and accepting my problem was my first major hurdle. I needed to accept that I was totally dependent on alcohol.

    Unfortunately, I did not accept it until I was laying on a hospital bed looking at the sign ‘Liver Unit’ then BAM it hit me. It was then I saw the end of my life. Fear, adrenaline, pure fright was what I felt… then the switch flicked in my head.

    I didn’t know it but that was the beginning of a new chapter of my life.

    There is no answer at the bottom of a bottle, there’s no clear thinking after a box of wine… but I thought I knew better. I saw alcohol as my friend.

    I nearly lost everything – my career, my home, my family. I ended up divorced and my children now have to live with their dad.

    Every day at 3.15PM, I’m aware that the door does not open and my boys don’t come bursting through ready to tell me about their day. It honestly breaks my heart.

    I’m one of five siblings and an auntie to 13 nephews and nieces. I am not in contact with them, including my motherMy father tries to call me without my mother knowing about once a year to say hi, but it’s difficult for him.

    Addiction doesn’t just effect you, it effects your whole family, circle of friends and associates.

    After I had accepted what I was, I had no hesitation in talking about it, after all, I had very nearly come to the end of my life. Of the friends who I’d not lost, I talked through everything that I could remember and they listened with total shock in their eyes.

    I’m seeing life in so many colours now and I love it. I will have ongoing treatment for the rest of my life; endoscopies, blood tests every six months, vitamin D injections twice yearly and medication. Because I have cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, my risk of developing liver cancer is high so I have regular checks.

    Wow, as I’m writing this, it is getting me emotional. If this was somebody else’s story, I would be thinking ‘Dear Lord, what has this woman been through’.

    Please do not let the next story be yours.  I’d urge everyone who thinks that their drinking may have become a dangerous habit to to take part in Dry January.

    Stopping for a month can help you realise the harm that alcohol is doing to you and put you on track for a healthier lifestyle.  Don’t be like me and wait until you have serious problems.

    The British Liver Trust, which is the UK’s leading liver health charity, is an official Dry January partner.  To find out more visit: https://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/support-us/dry-january/

    MORE: I'm 32 and an alcoholic, and accepting that has made me happier than I've ever been

    MORE: My Label and Me: I’m not an alcoholic, I used to have a drink problem

    MORE: I want boys to learn the benefits of therapy to save their mental health as men


    Clare Hutton with dog-66b4Clare Hutton with dog-66b4jessrubyaustinClare Hutton with dog-66b4Clare Hutton with dog-66b4jessrubyaustin

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    (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

    Sandra Oh killed it at the Golden Globes with not one, not two but three amazing looks.

    She walked the red carpet in a white dress with ruched beaded detailing before presenting the awards in a red blazer-style dress.

    And before she collected her award for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series, she changed again into a beautiful white coloum gown with flowing gold sleeves.

    For each look, she restyled her hair going from short Hollywood glamour curls to longer curls, tied back and finally a messy bun.

    Sandra absolutely knows how to work an awards ceremony.

    Her stylist Elizabeth Salzman told the Hollywood Reporter: ‘I think the talent is so big with Sandra and [co-host] Andy [Samberg]. It doesn’t need to be about a costume. It needs to be about them.

    ‘She needs to feel comfortable. She has a lot to do. The only thing I don’t want her to think about is her clothing.’

    She added that she used exclusively female designers as she wanted to make her feel ‘confident and empowered and beautiful’.

    Let’s take a look at her three beautiful gowns:

    The Donatella Versace draped white dress for the red carpet

    Sandra Oh arrives at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
    (Picture: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
    Sandra Oh, left, holds Jodie Comer's hand as they arrive at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
    (Picture: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
    English actress Jodie Comer (R) and Host and Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama "for Killing Eve" nominee Sandra Oh arrive for the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
    (Picture: VALERIE MACON / AFP)

    The Donatella Versace red blazer dress

    76th Golden Globe Awards ??? Show ??? Beverly Hills, California, U.S., January 6, 2019 - Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg host. Paul Drinkwater/NBC Universal/Handout via REUTERS For editorial use only. Additional clearance required for commercial or promotional use, contact your local office for assistance. Any commercial or promotional use of NBCUniversal content requires NBCUniversal's prior written consent. No book publishing without prior approval. No sales. No archives.
    (Picture: Reuters)

    Stella McCartney dress for collecting her award

    This image released by NBC shows Sandra Oh accepting the award for best actress in a drama series for her role in "Killing Eve" during the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP)
    (Picture: Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP)
    Host and Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama "for Killing Eve" winner Sandra Oh poses with the trophy during the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP)MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
    (Picture: Mark RALSTON / AFP)

    MORE: All the winners from Golden Globes 2019

    MORE: Who are the Golden Globe Awards presenters?


    Sandra Oh arrives at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)Sandra Oh arrives at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)lauraabernethy6Sandra Oh arrives at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)Sandra Oh, left, holds Jodie Comer's hand as they arrive at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)English actress Jodie Comer (R) and Host and Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama Sandra Oh arrives at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)Sandra Oh arrives at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)lauraabernethy6Sandra Oh arrives at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)Sandra Oh, left, holds Jodie Comer's hand as they arrive at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)English actress Jodie Comer (R) and Host and Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama "for Killing Eve" nominee Sandra Oh arrive for the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images76th Golden Globe Awards ??? Show ??? Beverly Hills, California, U.S., January 6, 2019 - Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg host. Paul Drinkwater/NBC Universal/Handout via REUTERS For editorial use only. Additional clearance required for commercial or promotional use, contact your local office for assistance. Any commercial or promotional use of NBCUniversal content requires NBCUniversal's prior written consent. No book publishing without prior approval. No sales. No archives.This image released by NBC shows Sandra Oh accepting the award for best actress in a drama series for her role in "Killing Eve" during the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP)Host and Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama "for Killing Eve" winner Sandra Oh poses with the trophy during the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP)MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

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    (Picture: Lucy P/Twitter)

    How do you stand out on a dating profile? You list all your good, nay great, qualities of course.

    That’s what one Tinder user did and hey it worked, he got a whole load of attention.

    School teacher Rich didn’t hold back and proudly boasted about his accomplishments which included Virtuoso level guitar skills (better than Ed Sheeran, apparently), a fully paid off house – in a nice area – and a ‘vast knowledge of many topics’.

    After covering all the bases, Rich, 31, might’ve thought the connections would be pouring in but sadly for the confident University of Leeds graduate, most people laughed at his list.

    Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)
    (Picture: Lucy P/Twitter)
    Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)
    ‘Fine girls and guitars for life’ (Picture: Lucy P/Twitter)

    Rich’s extensive bio read: ‘I’m 6ft tall and live alone in a house that I own in good area, fully paid off.

    ‘I’ve performed hundreds of 90 minute solo covers gigs all over for £120-200 + free beers and new fans. Have a 12-track CD of my own songs to sell.

    ‘Virtuoso guitarist: Got my Grade 8 aged 17 and FAR above now (Sheeran is around 4-5). Trained singer. 15 videos on Instagram!

    Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)
    Rich’s ‘fully paid off house in a nice area) (Picture: Lucy P/Twitter)

    ‘Humour, cooking/restaurants, mountain biking, travel, Netflix, other’s gigs, walks, nice bars/pubs, vast knowledge of many topics. Museums.’

    Rich also posted a series of pictures of himself, some of him playing better music than award-winning Ed Sheeran. The ambitious teacher also listed Wannabees by Milan Polak as his anthem.

    The bio was shared on Twitter by a user who wrote: ‘This is by far one of my favourite Tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he’s never single for long (don’t miss out’) or that he’s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)’.

    Users described it as the gift that keeps giving, saying Rich’s bio read like a Gumtree and Spare Room advert as well as a gig flyer and job application.

    Others lamented that Lucy hadn’t swiped right on him which could’ve led to a psychological study of his behaviour.

    We’re not sure where Rich got all that confidence from but good for him, maybe we should all be a bit more Rich.

    MORE: People are not impressed that this guy wants to name his baby after his ex

    MORE: Woman’s maid of honour speech completely plagiarised by bride’s friend who went first

    MORE: When your girl gang is no more, how do you make new friends as an adult?


    Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)faimabakar1Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)faimabakar1Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)Tinder bio this is by far one of my favourite tinder profiles ever. Not sure what I love more, the fact he?s never single for long (don?t miss out!) or that he?s fully paid off his house (in a good area!)

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    woman on laptop
    Some social media platforms can be more valuable than others (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    Over Christmas, back at my family home, I indulged in a favourite pastime – rereading my teenage diaries.

    These diaries are ridiculous, even by teenage girl standards. They’re filled with lines like ‘my school skirt is at the dry cleaner’s and I feel so alone’, and ‘If [redacted] loses her virginity before me I’m going to kill myself.’

    Mixed in with those totally normal, if slightly dramatic, lines, are sentences that I can hardly believe I wrote, most of which I’m too ashamed to repeat.

    ‘[Redacted] got fingered at the weekend, she is such a f**king slut’ reads one page. ‘[Redacted] is dating a black guy – I’m so jealous’ says another.

    My teenage diaries read like a problematic catalogue of spoiled, judgmental, small-minded slut shaming – evidence that some of us saw Mean Girls as an instruction manual rather than a warning. But, luckily for me, those comments exist on pages in books, under a bed in Sussex, rather than on the internet.

    I will forever be grateful that Bebo, the social networking site of choice when I was in my early teens, is gone, and that the only real evidence of my twattery lives on the page, not on the screen.

    My Bebo featured jokes about sex work, slut shaming and more fat-shaming comments than you could shake a stick at. Which is nothing compared to my friends who covered theirs with racist quotes from Borat or jokes about Madeleine McCann.

    Why? Because we were pushing the boundaries. Working out what it was to be an adult. Deliberately trying to shock and upset other people to get a reaction. Because, to repeat my earlier point, we were twats. Lucky twats, for whom the slate has been wiped clean.

    When I read last week that 19 year-old Brittany Colley had made the papers for crying when PrettyLittleThing.com sent her the wrong New Year’s Eve dress, I – like many people – wanted to stop the world and get off.

    An otherwise seemingly healthy and prosperous young woman was in the national press, sobbing over having to wear an old dress to a party.

    (Picture: Ella BYworth for Metro.co.uk)

    What a twat.

    But then I realised that the main purpose of being 19 is to be a twat. It’s the twilight of your twatdom. You’re still working out who you are, what you want, and yes, you’re still occasionally throwing a massive paddy over things which technically don’t matter even a little bit at all. It’s part of growing up, a sticky ugly process that all of us had to go through.

    Once upon a time when you reached adulthood and finished being a twat you could wipe the slate clean. Your parents and siblings might remember it and torture you with it, but for the most part, it’s gone.

    Not so in 2018.

    We’re rapidly losing our rights to be a total tit online when we’re young.

    Even a gloriously innocent video of a dancing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was dragged out of the depths of the internet in an attempt to shame and embarrass her (though let’s face it, it just made her seem even cooler).

    I’ve spent hours of my life going through my old tweets, deleting anything which no longer represents my values. And in some ways, I resent having to do that.

    Deleting problematic old tweets feels like trying to pretend that I was a different, better, person when I was younger. But the thing is, I wasn’t. I was the kind of girl who got drunk and then argued with taxi drivers.

    My old tweets about celebrities gaining weight or liking a homeless man’s hat might be grim, but they were the truth of who I was at that time.

    And then, like most people, I grew up, developed a sense of perspective, became a bit more woke and – crucially – became a lot more aware that there are some things that you just don’t say publicly.

    The idea that a badly thought through Facebook status or a badly worded tweet can come back and haunt you ten years later just seems so grossly unfair.

    If you didn’t ever say something stupid as a teenager, then that’s something to be very proud of. But it’s not the case for the vast majority of us. Most of us have made a questionable joke or an un-PC comment. The only difference is, if you grew up before social media then you probably said it to a mate’s face, rather than putting it online.

    There are a lot of great things about growing up in the internet age – not least having Wikipedia when you’re trying to write an essay.

    But let’s face it, it comes at a pretty heavy cost.

    MORE: Ignore the social media influencer telling you to detox and weigh up your mental health instead

    MORE: I never realised how dangerous being a member of the ‘wine o’clock’ club could be

    MORE: M&S new vegan range is not suitable for anyone with an allergy to egg or dairy


    It's okay if your end of year achievement list doesn't look like everyone else'sIt's okay if your end of year achievement list doesn't look like everyone else'srebeccacnreidwoman on laptopIt's okay if your end of year achievement list doesn't look like everyone else'sIt's okay if your end of year achievement list doesn't look like everyone else'srebeccacnreidwoman on laptop

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    (Picture: Muscle food)

    We’ve heard of wonky veg but now odd-shaped meat is on sale too.

    In a bid to reduce the amount of bigger or slightly mishapen breasts that go to waste or are turned into processed meat, online retailer MuscleFood.com are selling a 2.5kg bag of wonky chicken breasts.

    The bag contains around 12 servings of chicken.

    The same weight of chicken breasts would cost £13.50 from Asda.

    (Picture: Muscle food)

    The company hand cuts breasts for top restaurants and the ones that are slightly imperfect or do not meet weight requirements are being sold online for the reduced price.

    The breasts are all from cage free hens with no added water or salt and they are 100% fresh.

    Some might be slightly smaller than you are used to while some might be much bigger as they range from 100g to 350g but they will all be perfect cut up in stir fries, curries or salads.

    MORE: Tinder user who’s ‘never single for long’ boasts about his house, brains, and music skills

    MORE: These are all Sandra Oh’s incredible outfits at the Golden Globes


    32181-mf-wonky-chicken32181-mf-wonky-chickenlauraabernethy632181-mf-wonky-chicken32181-mf-wonky-chickenlauraabernethy6

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Sadly for a lot of gay, bisexual and queer people, coming out to their parents is a big deal – they never know how their mums and dads may react.

    For parents who suspect that their child might be gay, it can also be hard to know what to say to make them feel comfortable enough to talk about their sexuality.

    One dad who has a feeling his son may soon come out enlisted the advice of two gay men, one of whom was a singer from X Factor duo Jack and Joel.

    Jack Remmington revealed all about the encounter on Twitter and people are loving the advice he gave, even his icon Mariah Carey.

    In a series of tweets, Jack explained how a man in his 40s came over to talk to him and his best friend while they were gambling in Vegas.

    Asking whether the pair were a gay couple, the dad then went on to say that his 13-year-old son might also be gay and how he should navigate that as a dad.

    Jack wrote: ‘He lit up when talking about his son, and I nearly started crying at how much he clearly loved him. The guy wanted to know how to make his son feel most comfortable about himself whilst not being too overt and glaringly obvious in forcing a conversation about his sexuality.

    ‘He just wants the world to be totally equal for his son.’

    Jack and his friend Marco shared some of their own anecdotes and advice with the dad, who was from rural Arkansas where being gay is more of a taboo.

    Jack continued: ‘When I was about 12, my very obviously straight brother and I were watching a soap with my dad and there was a gay kiss on screen. I vividly remember my dad saying if either of us ever thought we were gay that we would still be just as loved by our mum and dad.

    ‘Knowing that nothing would change stuck with me hugely and I remember that convo as if it was yesterday – it was *clearly* said for my benefit but was comfortable enough that it wasn’t a direct exchange and I appreciate my dad so much for this.

    ‘We also mentioned (to the man) to not accidentally police things so as to shame him – for instance, often out of a sense of protection and love parents can frown on a child’s behaviour or outfit because they’re worried for their safety when on a night out etc.

    ‘We stressed that if this was their feeling it’s important to vocalise this exactly, rather than leaving the child ruminating over the parent’s intentions and second guessing why they said what they said.’

    The sweet interaction led to many other parents and people from the LGBT community sharing their stories with Jack which he said warmed his heart.

    The dad also left him feeling hopeful for people who don’t normally come across a lot of gay people to be more accepting.

    ‘I literally still have shivers thinking about that wonderful man. The difference he’ll make to not just his son’s life but to so many others by having and open mind and a loving heart is unbelievable. There’s hope!’

    MORE: Lesbian couple with 37-year age gap say it doesn’t affect their relationship

    MORE: My Label and Me: I wear my bisexuality as a badge of honour

    MORE: Having a child with Down’s syndrome isn’t easy, but it is extraordinary


    Portrait of father and son, outdoors, huggingPortrait of father and son, outdoors, huggingfaimabakar1Portrait of father and son, outdoors, huggingPortrait of father and son, outdoors, huggingfaimabakar1

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    (Picture: Getty)

    A new study has suggested that a daily dose of chocolate could lower blood pressure more reliably than prescription medication, as cocoa is rich in chemicals called flavanols.

    This chemical could be used in the fight against dangerously high blood pressure, which now affects one in four adults and seven out of 10 people over 65.

    But to get the heart benefit you have to eat a lot of chocolate and the amount of sugar will undo the health boost.

    So instead people should consider taking a cocoa flavonol supplement.

    Study leader Lecturer in Nutrition Dr Ana Rodriguez Mateo of King’s College London said: ‘People can decrease their blood pressure by having a daily intake of flavanols.’

    The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, involved a month-long comparison of blood pressure readings in 45 healthy German men aged 18 to 35.

    The men were divided into three groups, which took high or low doses of cocoa flavanols or a dummy pill.

    Schokotruffel, Studio
    (Picture: Getty)

    It found those taking high doses of the monomeric flavanol (−)-epicatechi, which makes up a fifth of cocoa flavonols, saw blood pressure drop but not those taking the more abundant procyanidins.

    Dr Rodriguez Mateo added: ‘Those taking the high dose of cocoa flavonols had an average six-point drop in blood pressure.

    ‘We have done a number of studies and the evidence is stronger for people who already have high blood pressure, but we need more clinical data to be sure.

    ‘We haven’t got trials studying people over many years but we would assume that short term results would be the same over a number of years.’

    However, she warned the results were not a licence for chocoholics to go mad.

    She said: ‘You would have to eat huge quantities of chocolate to get this level of flavanols, and even if you tried you would be cancelling out any benefit by eating vast amounts of extra fat and sugar at the same time.’

    Flavanols are an important class of food bioactives that can improve vascular function even in healthy subjects.

    Dr Rodriguez Mateo said: ‘Our data indicates that the vascular effects after cocoa flavanols intake can be predominantly ascribed to the bioactivity of (−)-epicatechin and that procyanidins do not contribute directly to cocoa flavanols intake–mediated acute and longer-term vascular effects in healthy humans.

    Hausgemachte Nuss-Nougat-Creme
    (Picture: Getty)

    ‘In view of potential future dietary recommendations for flavanol intake in the context of cardiovascular health maintenance and disease prevention, these findings are of great relevance. ‘

    Dr Miriam Ferrer, spokeswoman for Cambridge Nutraceuticals, which produces a popular cocoa flavanol supplement said: ‘We have been working in this area for many years.

    ‘The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has acknowledged that our product, Blood Flow+, helps maintain the elasticity of blood vessels.

    ‘This improves blood flow and reduces blood pressure.’

    She continued: ‘This new study supports EFSA’s conclusions about cocoa flavonols.

    ‘It also confirms the findings of other leading research institutes around the world.’

    Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine Kennedy Cruickshank at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals in London, said: ‘The study of the properties of flavanols is an emerging field of considerable interest.

    ‘They do seem to have a detectable effect on blood pressure and it’s time this research passed to the medical world so it can be tested properly in patients.’

    High blood pressure causes heart attacks, stroke, and a heightened risk of dementia.

    This can be reduced with exercise and good diet.

    Medications to treat it are now among the most commonly prescribed drugs, but they can be ineffective and other approaches are urgently needed.

    Meanwhile, updated blood pressure guidelines for British doctors struggling with this life-threatening epidemic are due to be published in the New Year.

    Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury and expressed as the maximum pressure blood is pumped from the heart, compared with the minimum pressure between heartbeats.

    Anything below 120/80 is considered healthy

    There are suggestions that treatment should start at an earlier stage.

    A five year British study of more than 8,600 civil servants, published in June, showed that people aged over 45 with raised heart output blood pressure of 130mm – currently below the 140/90 blood pressure treatment threshold – had a 38 per cent higher risk of developing dementia compared to those with a healthy 120/80 or below.

    Experts from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) blood pressure working group are deliberating over what blood pressure level should be considered dangerous, and the risks and benefits of putting people on permanent blood pressure treatment.

    A NICE spokesman said their draft guidance is due out in February and will take into account evidence that has become available since the original guideline was published in 2011.

    MORE: 13 mental health resolutions you should set yourself for 2019

    MORE: Veganuary folks, Ben & Jerry’s has a new ice cream flavour for you to try


    HEARTY CHOCOLATE - A daily dose of chocolate could lower blood pressure more reliably than prescription drugHEARTY CHOCOLATE - A daily dose of chocolate could lower blood pressure more reliably than prescription drughattiegladwellmetroSchokotruffel, StudioHausgemachte Nuss-Nougat-CremeHEARTY CHOCOLATE - A daily dose of chocolate could lower blood pressure more reliably than prescription drugHEARTY CHOCOLATE - A daily dose of chocolate could lower blood pressure more reliably than prescription drughattiegladwellmetroSchokotruffel, StudioHausgemachte Nuss-Nougat-Creme

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    Can I please get illos of two people sleeping on separate sides of the bed back to back? and any other ideas you have for sexless relationships @ellabyworth Metro illustrations Ella Byworth
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Today is D Day, the day when the highest number of people file for divorce.

    Factors leading up to this rather bleak day seem to be getting Christmas over and done with, financial pressures, extended family time over the Christmas break and the sheer bleakness of January.

    But how does getting divorced actually work? And if you’re thinking about doing it, how do you go about it?

    Well, the bad news is that the British system of getting divorced is extremely complicated. So if you want to use your head as little as possible, you’ll need to get a solicitor to do it for you (though you’ll still have to fill out your own paperwork).

    If you’re trying to do it on the cheap, much of the process can be done by yourself, online. But it’s still pretty complex.

    First things first, in order to get divorced you need to have been legally married for at least a year, and you’ve got to have grounds.

    ‘Many people in the UK are still under the impression that you can get a divorce if you simply fall out of love or drift apart from your partner’ says Fiona Snowdon from law firm Simpson Millar, ‘but this is not the case, you must justify to a Judge the reasons for the divorce.  So although you might decide that you want to get married, it is not solely your decision when you want to get divorced – the state will have its say.’

    Grounds for divorce

    • Adultery

    Adultery is only considered grounds for divorce if your partner slept with someone of the opposite gender. Also, you have to have left your partner within six months of finding out about the infidelity.

    • Unreasonable behaviour

    Examples of unreasonable behaviour include physical violence, verbal abuse, such as insults or threats, drunkenness or drug-taking, refusing to pay for housekeeping.

    • Desertion

    Desertion is grounds for divorce if your partner has left you without your agreement, without a good reason, to end your relationship, for more than 2 years in the past 2.5 years.

    You can still claim desertion if you’ve lived together for no more than six months out of the last two and a half years.

    • Separation for two years

    You can claim separation as grounds for divorce if you’ve been living apart for two years, as long as your spouse agrees in writing.

    • Separation for five years

    You can claim separation as grounds for divorce without your partner’s written consent if you’ve lived apart for five years or longer.

    Fiona Snowdon points out that needing grounds for divorce (other than ‘we don’t want to be married anymore’ can come as a surprise, and often an upsetting one.

    ‘That’s going to be disheartening news for many people considering a separation when they realise they will have to air their dirty laundry on the divorce petition.  This may come after what has undoubtedly been a stressful festive period.’

    However, Fiona stresses that you must not lie about your circumstances in an attempt to make your divorce quicker, saying: ‘As tempting as it might be to lie on your application, it’s important to consider that lying during divorce proceedings could land you in a lot of hot water with the Judge or at the very least mean your application is rejected.’

    Once you’ve filled in your form (known as a D8) with your grounds, you’ll need to pay a £550 fee.

    If the form is accepted (currently 1 in 10 is rejected because of an error on the form) you’ll get a case number, and your spouse will be notified (in case they don’t already know.)

    Your husband or wife must respond to the D8 within eight days.

    Once your D8 goes through you can apply for a degree nisi, which is a document which says the court sees no reason why you cannot divorce. If your spouse does not agree to the divorce, you can still apply for a nisi but you’ll have to go to a court hearing.

    Your nisi can also be rejected if the court does not feel that your grounds have been suitably proved.

    After the decree nisi is granted you’re nearly there. You have to wait 43 days (six weeks and one day) before you can apply for your decree absolute. During the 43 days your spouse can contest the divorce.

    When the time is up, the partner who filed for divorce can file for decree absolute. If the partner who filed for divorce does not do so within three months, the other partner is then able to apply.

    When the decree absolute is granted both partners are officially divorced and are free to remarry if they please.

    The average cost of a divorce in the UK is £14,561, despite the fact that the fee itself is only £550.

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    sexless relationshipssexless relationshipsrebeccacnreidCan I please get illos of two people sleeping on separate sides of the bed back to back? and any other ideas you have for sexless relationships @ellabyworth Metro illustrations Ella Byworthsexless relationshipssexless relationshipsrebeccacnreidCan I please get illos of two people sleeping on separate sides of the bed back to back? and any other ideas you have for sexless relationships @ellabyworth Metro illustrations Ella Byworth

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    (Picture: Morphe)

    If you’re not aware, Morphe is the brand rivaling some of the top makeup lines.

    It’s loved by celebs and beauty bloggers at the moment.

    NikkiTutorials, Jeffree Star, Jaclyn Hill, and Manny MUA are just some of the vloggers who have given it rave reviews.

    And now there’s a new product for makeup lovers to get their teeth into; Morphe Fluidity – a foundation which comes in a whopping 60 shades.

    January might not be the best time to treat yo’ self but Morphe’s mere £16 price tag might convince you otherwise.

    Morphe's 61 foundation range picture: Morphe metrograb
    (Picture: Morphe)

    It’s not just the foundation the company is launching either- it is also unveiling 31 concealer hues, 15 sheer matte powders, and two primers.

    The brand said: ‘Fluidity Foundation comes in 60 tone-empowering shades that span five levels with twelve shades in each: one- light, two-medium, three- tan, four- rich, and five- deep.’

    The new line will be welcome news to those who constantly struggle to find a colour that matches their skin (without having to mix two or have to wait forever to restock one particular brand).

    Long gone are the days of trying to match your skin colour to a computer screen and wondering if you’re more honey or caramel as Morphe foundations are distinguished by undertone and come with a description.

    Those with oily skin might also be interested as the foundation comes in a soft matte formula.

    Morphe's 61 foundation range picture: Morphe metrograb
    (Picture: Morphe)

    Morphe has been lauded for combining affordability with quality, with its new line attesting to it.

    Its 31-range concealer will be a treat for those trying to cover up dark circles.

    It costs only £9 and offers to last 16 hours.

    The £12 primers also come in two different formats; the Equalizer and the Revitalizer, respectively for normal to oily skin and normal to dry skin.

    And you’ll need help applying all this gorgeous makeup so naturally, the line comes with its signature brushes; The Fluidity Brush and Sponge trio.

    The range will launch on 17 January on the Morphe UK website and beauty counters the same day.

    MORE: The M&S January sale arrives with all the classic styles you need in 2019

    MORE: Intimate photos capture what people’s bodies look like at 100

    MORE: Going vegan could improve sleep: Here are eight ingredients to help you snooze


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    (Picture: Papa John’s)

    It’s a truth universally know that you either love or hate Marmite. But how do you feel about cheese?

    Unless you’re lactose tolerant, there really is no reason to not like the stuff. With that in mind, Papa John’s has decided to combine the two, bringing together cheese scrolls with the most ambivalent condiment, Marmite.

    Folks in Australia have been enjoying cheese scrolls all these years using Vegemite swirls. Now Papa John’s has brought the snack to the UK but replaced the Australian spread with Marmite.

    (Picture: Papa John’s)

    The combo snack has been well-received Down Under and will soon be available across the UK with its own twist.

    The part pizza and part pastry hybrid – with Marmite swirled on top of Papa John’s dough base – will be covered with cheese, rolled up and baked.

    ‘We’re excited to be the first to launch this delicious dish on our menu in the UK and given its popularity in Australia, we’re confident UK customers are going to love them too,’ said Liz Williams, managing director for Papa John’s.

    To celebrate the arrival of the Marmite and cheese scrolls, Papa John’s will be sharing a month-long offer that includes a large pizza, Marmite and cheese scrolls and one other side plus a bottle of Pepsi all for £18.99.

    The scrolls will be available nationwide from 2 January to 3 February 2019. You can order online and directly via your local Papa John’s restaurant.

    If you’re not keen on Marmite which is made from yeast extract, a by-product of beer brewing, then you might want to get into it soon.

    Previous research reported by Metro.co.uk revealed that Marmite could not only reduce the risk of miscarriage and birth defects for pregnant women, it could also relieve stress and anxiety.

    The study, from the University of Victoria, Australia, found that spreads fortified with vitamin B12, such as Marmite, were found to be more effective in reducing stress and anxiety.

    So maybe it’s time to give it a go? On top of some cheese scrolls, at least.

    MORE: Adding Vegemite to your smoothie is a thing now

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    MORE: The biggest food trends of 2018


    papa_johns_marmite scrolls_03[3][8]-4f65papa_johns_marmite scrolls_03[3][8]-4f65faimabakar1papa_johns_marmite scrolls_03[3][8]-4f65papa_johns_marmite scrolls_03[3][8]-4f65faimabakar1

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    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    A 23-year-old teaching assistant has proudly posed in her underwear to show off her stoma bag, to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers.

    At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day.

    After seven years of suffering with flare ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss, Bethany was over the moon when she was told she could have surgery for a stoma bag to relieve her symptoms and give her back a normal life.

    Since having the stoma bag back in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing gorgeous snaps of her showing off her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire other sufferers to embrace and love their bodies.

    Bethany, from Sheffield, said: ‘I started taking and sharing photos of my journey originally for my family and friends.

    ‘My parents didn’t want me to get a stoma. They thought it would open up loads more problems like body confidence issues.

    ‘They didn’t want to see their little girl go through that.

    ‘So I set up an account to post pictures to show them that I’m okay and I’m proud of what I’ve been through.

    MERCURY PRESS. Pictured: Bethany Gallagher, 23, was diagnosed with Crohns disease at the age of 15. A stunning teaching assistant has proudly posed for underwear and bikini photos with her stoma bag on show to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers. At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher, now 23, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day. After seven years of suffering flare-ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss Bethany cried with joy when doctors told her she could have an ostomy bag fitted. Since getting the bag fitted in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing stunning snaps of her baring her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire others to embrace and love their bodies no matter what.SEE MERCURY COPY
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    ‘I remember thinking one day ‘why should I not be proud of my body just because I have been through this?’.

    ‘The bag saved my life at the end of the day, besides I can’t hide it.

    ‘It trumps on its own, it really has got a mind of its own.

    ‘So if there’s no point trying to hide it then I might as well get it out.

    ‘And now what started as a reassurance for my family has become a massive awareness-raising thing.

    ‘I get so many people messaging me saying my photos inspired them and they’ve walked down a beach in their bikinis for the first time, I love it.

    ‘It hasn’t just helped other people, it has helped me too.

    ‘It might sound silly but you get so used to the bag that you don’t feel it so when you look in the mirror it can be a bit of a shock like ‘ooh I’ve got a bag of poo stuck to me’.

    ‘But seeing the photos has helped so much, it’s made me realise that even with my bag and my scars my body really isn’t that different to other people’s bodies.

    MERCURY PRESS. Pictured: Bethany Gallagher, 23, poses in underwear showing off her stoma bag to inspire body confidence in other Crohns sufferers. A stunning teaching assistant has proudly posed for underwear and bikini photos with her stoma bag on show to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers. At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher, now 23, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day. After seven years of suffering flare-ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss Bethany cried with joy when doctors told her she could have an ostomy bag fitted. Since getting the bag fitted in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing stunning snaps of her baring her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire others to embrace and love their bodies no matter what.SEE MERCURY COPY
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    ‘I want to help everyone else with a stoma realise that. Here’s to being sassy with a stoma.’

    Bethany, who lives with her boyfriend of 10 years Mike Saul, also 23, started suffering stomach problems at the age of 14, experiencing acid reflux and diarrhoea.

    Doctors prescribed antacids but the teens symptoms kept getting worse with Bethany rushing to the toilet 20 times a day, vomiting ‘luminous green’ fluid and experiencing extreme stomach pains.

    After being rushed to hospital by her mum, Bethany was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease – the start of a series of long hospital stays every time she suffered a flare-up.

    Each flare-up saw 5’3” Bethany’s weight plummet as she struggled to keep food down and suffered diarrhoea 45 times a day – and by 22 she hit her lowest weight of just 5st 6lbs.

    Despite taking steroids and trying various medications, Bethany’s Crohn’s disease refused to let up so doctors recommended surgery to fit a stoma bag last year in the hope it would one day be reversed.

    While she was overjoyed with her bag Bethany then developed diversion colitis, an inflammation of the colon, which saw her suffer bleeding from her rectum up to 50 times a day.

    The only option was for Bethany to have a second surgery to completely remove her large intestine and her colon in March this year, making her ostomy pouch a permanent fixture.

    MERCURY PRESS. Pictured: Bethany Gallagher, 23, proving you can be sassy and have a stoma bag. A stunning teaching assistant has proudly posed for underwear and bikini photos with her stoma bag on show to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers. At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher, now 23, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day. After seven years of suffering flare-ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss Bethany cried with joy when doctors told her she could have an ostomy bag fitted. Since getting the bag fitted in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing stunning snaps of her baring her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire others to embrace and love their bodies no matter what.SEE MERCURY COPY
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    Her debilitating condition has seen Bethany torn away from holidays, spend birthdays in hospital and suffer embarrassing accidents while out with friends – but her devoted partner Mike has supported her throughout.

    Bethany said: ‘Spending so long in hospital as a teenager was awful. When I was first admitted I was terrified, it was really hard.

    ‘But I was so poorly and so out of it most the time on pain killers, I remember just wanting answers and for someone to be able to help me.

    ‘At first I was put on a drug called infliximab and a liquid diet but I couldn’t keep the drinks down and I just kept getting worse.

    ‘Then I had to have IV steroids and I would come out of hospital still on steroids but I think they just masked my symptoms instead of curing them.

    ‘At 16 they discovered my bowel had perforated and it was leaking to my other organs which is why I was vomiting luminous green stuff.

    ‘I had emergency surgery to remove three feet of small intestine, my appendix and seal my bowel.

    ‘I was terrified, it was my first major surgery but afterwards I got so much better for about five years.

    ‘Then in my twenties the pain and the diarrhoea started coming back. I tried to hide it but I was going to the toilet 45 times a day and this time I was bleeding too.

    MERCURY PRESS. Pictured: Bethany Gallagher, 23, after having her first stoma bag fitted. A stunning teaching assistant has proudly posed for underwear and bikini photos with her stoma bag on show to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers. At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher, now 23, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day. After seven years of suffering flare-ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss Bethany cried with joy when doctors told her she could have an ostomy bag fitted. Since getting the bag fitted in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing stunning snaps of her baring her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire others to embrace and love their bodies no matter what.SEE MERCURY COPY
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    ‘Eventually I had to be admitted back into the hospital for more scans and more steroids but I kept getting worse and I was losing so much weight.

    ‘I tried to go away to a festival with my friends but I started having accidents and it wasn’t always pooing myself, sometimes it was blood. It was horrible.

    ‘When they told me they could do the surgery I cried happy tears. I was so pleased that they could do something because I thought it was never going to end.

    ‘I don’t think I could have got through it all without my family and my boyfriend. Mike has been so supportive.

    ‘He’s there with me every time I have to stay in the hospital. One time he had to wheel me to the bath and wash me and then my bag came off so the bath was filled with faeces but it doesn’t faze him at all.

    ‘It’s nice to know that even if you have all of this going on, you can find someone who will love you and help you.’

    Bethany was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at just 18 months old.

    The incurable autoimmune disease means Bethany’s immune system attacks the tissue in her joints causing them to swell – and was the start of a string of other conditions.

    In her teens Bethany’s immune system also started attacking her gut leading to a diagnosis of Crohn’s, and in May this year it started attacking her skin tissue causing psoriasis.

    After years of long hospital stays, fighting off deadly infections, being pumped with steroids, and enduring liquid diets Bethany is now on ustikinumab injections which should fight all three of her conditions.

    But if the new medication doesn’t completely settle her symptoms, Bethany will need to have ‘Barbie bum’ surgery to remove her rectum and close her anus completely.

    As the surgery can lead to fertility complications, Bethany and Mike are planning to try for a baby as soon as possible.

    Bethany said: ‘They’re hoping ustikinumab will be my miracle drug but if it isn’t then I will need the ‘Barbie bum’ surgery.

    ‘But your rectum is connected to the same bit as your uterus and if they remove it your uterus floats around and can get damaged so it could affect my fertility.

    ‘Mike and I have always wanted a family. It is a worry because I think he’s only young and this does affect him too.

    ‘He has to rub my back and run down to get sick bags and he’s been covered in all sorts. And now it could affect our chances of having a baby.

    ‘But we have both agreed that as soon as I have a period of good health we’ll start trying and the doctors and consultants have all said they’ll support us as much as we need.’

    MORE: Morphe’s 60-shade Fluidity foundation is only £16

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    Teaching assistant proudly poses for underwear shots with her stoma bag to inspire body confidenceTeaching assistant proudly poses for underwear shots with her stoma bag to inspire body confidencehattiegladwellmetroMERCURY PRESS. Pictured: Bethany Gallagher, 23, was diagnosed with Crohns disease at the age of 15. A stunning teaching assistant has proudly posed for underwear and bikini photos with her stoma bag on show to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers. At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher, now 23, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day. After seven years of suffering flare-ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss Bethany cried with joy when doctors told her she could have an ostomy bag fitted. Since getting the bag fitted in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing stunning snaps of her baring her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire others to embrace and love their bodies no matter what.SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. Pictured: Bethany Gallagher, 23, poses in underwear showing off her stoma bag to inspire body confidence in other Crohns sufferers. A stunning teaching assistant has proudly posed for underwear and bikini photos with her stoma bag on show to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers. At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher, now 23, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day. After seven years of suffering flare-ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss Bethany cried with joy when doctors told her she could have an ostomy bag fitted. Since getting the bag fitted in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing stunning snaps of her baring her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire others to embrace and love their bodies no matter what.SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. Pictured: Bethany Gallagher, 23, proving you can be sassy and have a stoma bag. A stunning teaching assistant has proudly posed for underwear and bikini photos with her stoma bag on show to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers. At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher, now 23, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day. After seven years of suffering flare-ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss Bethany cried with joy when doctors told her she could have an ostomy bag fitted. Since getting the bag fitted in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing stunning snaps of her baring her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire others to embrace and love their bodies no matter what.SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. Pictured: Bethany Gallagher, 23, after having her first stoma bag fitted. A stunning teaching assistant has proudly posed for underwear and bikini photos with her stoma bag on show to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers. At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher, now 23, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day. After seven years of suffering flare-ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss Bethany cried with joy when doctors told her she could have an ostomy bag fitted. Since getting the bag fitted in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing stunning snaps of her baring her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire others to embrace and love their bodies no matter what.SEE MERCURY COPYTeaching assistant proudly poses for underwear shots with her stoma bag to inspire body confidenceTeaching assistant proudly poses for underwear shots with her stoma bag to inspire body confidencehattiegladwellmetroMERCURY PRESS. Pictured: Bethany Gallagher, 23, was diagnosed with Crohns disease at the age of 15. A stunning teaching assistant has proudly posed for underwear and bikini photos with her stoma bag on show to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers. At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher, now 23, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day. After seven years of suffering flare-ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss Bethany cried with joy when doctors told her she could have an ostomy bag fitted. Since getting the bag fitted in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing stunning snaps of her baring her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire others to embrace and love their bodies no matter what.SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. Pictured: Bethany Gallagher, 23, poses in underwear showing off her stoma bag to inspire body confidence in other Crohns sufferers. A stunning teaching assistant has proudly posed for underwear and bikini photos with her stoma bag on show to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers. At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher, now 23, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day. After seven years of suffering flare-ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss Bethany cried with joy when doctors told her she could have an ostomy bag fitted. Since getting the bag fitted in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing stunning snaps of her baring her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire others to embrace and love their bodies no matter what.SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. Pictured: Bethany Gallagher, 23, proving you can be sassy and have a stoma bag. A stunning teaching assistant has proudly posed for underwear and bikini photos with her stoma bag on show to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers. At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher, now 23, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day. After seven years of suffering flare-ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss Bethany cried with joy when doctors told her she could have an ostomy bag fitted. Since getting the bag fitted in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing stunning snaps of her baring her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire others to embrace and love their bodies no matter what.SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. Pictured: Bethany Gallagher, 23, after having her first stoma bag fitted. A stunning teaching assistant has proudly posed for underwear and bikini photos with her stoma bag on show to inspire body confidence in other bowel disease sufferers. At the age of 15 Bethany Gallagher, now 23, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which left her in crippling pain and going to the toilet up to 45 times a day. After seven years of suffering flare-ups that caused diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and extreme weight loss Bethany cried with joy when doctors told her she could have an ostomy bag fitted. Since getting the bag fitted in April 2017, Bethany has been sharing stunning snaps of her baring her bag in underwear and bikinis to inspire others to embrace and love their bodies no matter what.SEE MERCURY COPY

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    It is beyond any doubt that the NHS has been stretched to breaking point over the last 18 months (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    Over 136 pages, the NHS has set out its Long Term Plan for how it will seek to improve care for all of us over the next decade.

    It is interesting to note that one of the areas receiving little attention is urgent care, also known as Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC).

    It is beyond any doubt that the NHS has been stretched to breaking point over the last 18 months by the ‘eternal winter’ of demand on urgent and emergency care.

    November 2018 saw A&E departments across the county record their worst performances on record: only 87.6 per cent of patients were seen within the recommended four hours and A&E departments were forced to turn away ambulances.

    Those on the front line who deliver the care know this crisis has been brought about by several factors: the slow year on year reduction in the beds available to care for acutely unwell people in hospitals. The ever increased need for care from an aging population with complex multiple conditions. A workforce that has not grown to match this demand, both in hospital and the community.

    We also have an insufficient social care system alongside ever increasing expectation of what the NHS can, or more pertinently what it can afford, to deliver.

    Whilst no one can doubt the reasoning behind the majority of the NHS Long Term Plan, it will not significantly ease the burden on the front door teams in our health care system for many years.

    Tackling areas such as preventing heart and lung disease will eventually help but this will be over the lifetime of this plan and far beyond.

    This will include the ambulance crews facing multiple calls on them and being delayed trying to handover to crowed Emergency Departments (EDs), the teams of doctors and nurses in the EDs and our Acute Medical and Surgical Units facing overstretched resources and the ‘exit block’ through the rest of the hospitals causing discomfort and risk to patients when they are at their frailest and most frightened.

    With this plan, NHS bosses claim that 500,000 lives will be saved. Indeed, there are many millions of people with chronic illnesses – cancer, renal failure, heart problems to name a few – that will need long-term care. Tackling areas such as preventing heart and lung disease will eventually help but this will be over the lifetime of this plan and far beyond.

    It will not help us through this winter, or the next.

    Moreover, there are still areas of the plan are unclear and we may not be able to fully understand all the implications until we see the NHS Clinical Standards Review and Workforce plans.

    These will be crucial to how we deliver care in our front-line services over the next years, including the ability to provide the SDEC outlined above and meet whatever the new targets will be for those with life-threatening illnesses including heart attacks and sepsis.

    If we do not free up beds and have adequate numbers of appropriately skilled staff, the delays will still occur.

    Unfortunately, experience tells us that people who do not have responsibility for urgent care often fail to deliver their promises, and use urgent care as their default backstop. Looking back at previous long term plans, how much has truly been delivered in terms of mental health and community care? The lack of both is impacting on acute services.

    In order to implement SDEC in the timeframe the NHS Long Term plan lays out, there are major resource implications that will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds if it is to make a meaningful difference to anyone accessing urgent care and continuing on through more NHS services.

    There needs to be a large expansion in appropriately skilled medical and nursing staff numbers in order to deliver the care we as a population require. The Government also needs to make financial commitments to support those areas that are crucial to urgent care: we would like to see more focus on complex diagnostics as well as community support.

    Make no mistake, this is not the financially ‘easy’ option. So, alongside this plan we must see transparency and change in the way urgent care provision is funded across the country.

    We need firm ideas of how more staff will be recruited and paid.

    And while we need to look ahead to the future, we have an urgent need, right here and right now. Where’s the plan for that?

    MORE: NHS plan to save 500,000 lives over next 10 years

    MORE: Midwife at ‘desperately understaffed’ hospital facing sack over dyed hair

    MORE: True scale of post-Brexit NHS staff misery laid bare


    Accident And Emergency Figures Show Worst Performance In 10 YearsAccident And Emergency Figures Show Worst Performance In 10 Yearsrmve86Accident And Emergency Figures Show Worst Performance In 10 YearsAccident And Emergency Figures Show Worst Performance In 10 Yearsrmve86

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    (Picture: Twitter)

    Nothing surprises us about Tinder anymore.

    The cheesy chat up lines, the cringey profiles and the awkward conversations – but we think we’ve just come across the most awkward Tinder conversation of all.

    Brad Galloway recently started a conversation with a girl on Tinder, and asked what she was up to that night.

    Man?s Tinder chat goes viral after his crush reveals she?s in hospital having a BABY picture: no credit Metrograb Twitter collect ref: https://twitter.com/BradGalloway1
    (Picture: Twitter)

    The girl replied to tell Brad she was in hospital.

    Concerned, he asked why… and he didn’t receive the answer he was expecting:

    Man?s Tinder chat goes viral after his crush reveals she?s in hospital having a BABY picture: no credit Metrograb Twitter collect ref: https://twitter.com/BradGalloway1
    (Picture: Twitter)

    Yes, she literally replied to say she was in hospital having her baby, and then proceeded to say she wished she was out that night instead.

    We’re not sure what’s more impressive – the fact she was up for a night out when she was close to giving birth, or that she was still looking for a date hours before becoming a mother.

    Brad shared the conversation to Twitter, where it received over 20,000 retweets and 127,000 likes, but it seems it has since been deleted.

    People have been responding in hysterics:

    All jokes aside, we truly hope the girl’s baby arrived safe and well – we reckon it’ll be a while until she gets to go on a night out again.

    MORE: You can now get wonky chicken breasts for a much cheaper price

    MORE: Tinder user who’s ‘never single for long’ boasts about his house, brains, and music skills


    Tinder babyTinder babyhattiegladwellmetroMan?s Tinder chat goes viral after his crush reveals she?s in hospital having a BABY picture: no credit Metrograb Twitter collect ref: https://twitter.com/BradGalloway1Man?s Tinder chat goes viral after his crush reveals she?s in hospital having a BABY picture: no credit Metrograb Twitter collect ref: https://twitter.com/BradGalloway1Tinder babyTinder babyhattiegladwellmetroMan?s Tinder chat goes viral after his crush reveals she?s in hospital having a BABY picture: no credit Metrograb Twitter collect ref: https://twitter.com/BradGalloway1Man?s Tinder chat goes viral after his crush reveals she?s in hospital having a BABY picture: no credit Metrograb Twitter collect ref: https://twitter.com/BradGalloway1

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    people tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the mood
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Look, we’re all very happy for Nicki Minaj, who is, according to Twitter, having sex four times a night.

    But let’s get real here. Is that actually something that people want? And even if they do want it, is it possible? Is it bad for you?

    All hugely important questions. First things first.

    Do women generally want sex four time a night?

    Personally, no.

    In a straw poll of the office, no.

    On a more scientific basis, according to the Kinsey Institute, the average person aged between 18 and 29 has sex 112 times a year, which works out at 2.1 times a week. So that’s almost half of one night in the Minaj household.

    According to a study of 500 women by fertility app Kindara, 60.8% of women desire sex three to five times a week. So chances are statistically, four times a night might be a bit much.

    Can a man have sex four times a night?

    That depends what you count as sex.

    If we’re talking about penis in vagina, ejaculation sex then it depends on how old the person you’re having sex with is. Studies show that the average refractory period (technical term for how long it takes before you can orgasm again) is 15 minutes for an 18 year old, and 20 hours for a 70 year old.

    The average for all men across the board is half an hour. So yes, in theory a man can have sex four time in one night, though you would expect there to be less semen after the initial ejaculation.

    Can a woman have sex four time a night?

    In theory, yes, there is no reason that you could not have sex four times in a night.

    The caveat to that is that you might end up sore, or with micro tears.

    If you’re going to try to have sex four times in one night you need to use a high quality lubricant. Also condoms, while brilliant for contraception, can make sex less comfortable. So if you’re having sex four times a night with one person, you might want to think about both getting an STI test and then using a different form of contraception.

    No amount of sex, however, will make your vagina ‘loose.’

    Should I be having sex four times a night?

    You should be having sex as much as suits you and your partner.

    Is Nicki Minaj actually having sex 3-4 times a night?

    Obviously we don’t know. Maybe? Good for her if she is, but we think that sounds really very tiring.

    MORE: Woman poses in her underwear to show off her stoma bag and body confidence

    MORE: A daily dose of chocolate could lower your blood pressure, study says

     


    We'll never reach sexual equality if we don't stop obsessing over numbersWe'll never reach sexual equality if we don't stop obsessing over numbersrebeccacnreidpeople tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the moodWe'll never reach sexual equality if we don't stop obsessing over numbersWe'll never reach sexual equality if we don't stop obsessing over numbersrebeccacnreidpeople tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the mood

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    (Picture: United Shop)

    Plane food is never the best meal of your holiday.

    It’s lukewarm, stodgy and rarely appetiseing.

    But there’s something strangely comforting about it – usually you know you’re off on an adventure or you’re basking in the one you just had.

    So you might want to recreating that at home.

    Well now you can.

    United Airlines has created a cookbook filled with recipes from dishes you eat on board.

    Photo Taken In Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
    (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)

    It’s described as a ‘collection of mouthwatering recipes inspired by the United Polaris onboard dining experience’.

    The description adds: ‘With over 40 recipes from United’s Executive Chefs and chefs from The Trotter Project, you’re sure to fall in love with the ingredients, techniques and flavors of these culinary creation.’

    The book costs $29.99 (£23.50) on the United website.

    MORE: Nicki Minaj might be doing it, but is it really a good idea to have sex four times a night?

    MORE: Guy’s Tinder chat goes viral after match says she’s in hospital having a baby


    There's a cookbook so you can make plane food at homeThere's a cookbook so you can make plane food at homelauraabernethy6Photo Taken In Frankfurt Am Main, GermanyThere's a cookbook so you can make plane food at homeThere's a cookbook so you can make plane food at homelauraabernethy6Photo Taken In Frankfurt Am Main, Germany

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    Fashion Nova accused of ?Photoshopping? a model?s crotch in shot of skimpy lace bodysuit Credit: Beginning Boutique
    (Picture: Beginning Boutique)

    A fashion company has been bombarded with sarcastic comments after they posted a photo of a model wearing their super high-cut bikini bottoms.

    Beginning Boutique shared a photo of a model wearing the Heron red and white bikini bottoms, with the model looking perfectly posed to keep her modesty.

    But other women have been unable to relate to the photo, saying that there is absolutely no way they’d be able to hide their own modesty in such skimpy bottoms.

    Fashion Nova accused of ?Photoshopping? a model?s crotch in shot of skimpy lace bodysuit METRO GRAB FROM https://www.facebook.com/BeginningBoutique/photos/a.270254122636/10156291680827637/?type=3&theater Credit: Beginning Boutique
    (Picture: Beginning Boutique)

    Hilarious comments include: ‘Usually soap and water works just fine. We don’t need to floss our flaps’, and ‘What happens if you have a fat vagina? Do you have extensions? Just asking for a friend’.

    Another said: ‘Has she got her flaps duct taped to her back? Bet if she farts she’ll slap someone to death.’

    Someone else joked: ‘Couldn’t even hide a papercut under that.’

    One man added: ‘Any regular lady who hasn’t had her vulva surgically removed rocking this would actually look like a cat with its tongue hanging out, or like someone tried to do bondage with a bacon sandwich.’

    So yes, it’s safe to say people aren’t the biggest fans of these bikini bottoms.

    Instagram Photo

    This model’s crotch isn’t the only thing to go viral – as Fashion Nova has been called out for allegedly photoshopping a model’s crotch wearing a Lace Lace Baby Pant Set.

    The outfit costs £35.73 and features a long sleeved lacy bodysuit and matching flared trousers. It was debuted on Instagram, and has received over 68,000 likes.

    But many people are questioning the need to photoshop the crotch so much.

    One person said: ‘Whoever photoshopped this photo, fire them’.

    Another said: ‘My pussy could never’.

    MORE: Lesbian couple with 37-year age gap say it doesn’t affect their relationship

    MORE: Your partner has no place commenting on your body – value isn’t measured in weight


    Fashion Nova accused of ?Photoshopping? a model?s crotch in shot of skimpy lace bodysuitFashion Nova accused of ?Photoshopping? a model?s crotch in shot of skimpy lace bodysuithattiegladwellmetroFashion Nova accused of ?Photoshopping? a model?s crotch in shot of skimpy lace bodysuit Credit: Beginning BoutiqueFashion Nova accused of ?Photoshopping? a model?s crotch in shot of skimpy lace bodysuit METRO GRAB FROM https://www.facebook.com/BeginningBoutique/photos/a.270254122636/10156291680827637/?type=3&theater Credit: Beginning BoutiqueFashion Nova accused of ?Photoshopping? a model?s crotch in shot of skimpy lace bodysuitFashion Nova accused of ?Photoshopping? a model?s crotch in shot of skimpy lace bodysuithattiegladwellmetroFashion Nova accused of ?Photoshopping? a model?s crotch in shot of skimpy lace bodysuit Credit: Beginning BoutiqueFashion Nova accused of ?Photoshopping? a model?s crotch in shot of skimpy lace bodysuit METRO GRAB FROM https://www.facebook.com/BeginningBoutique/photos/a.270254122636/10156291680827637/?type=3&theater Credit: Beginning Boutique

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    (Picture: Isaac Small)

    Last month we reported on the launch of Januhairy, a campaign to encourage women to grow out their body hair in the month of January.

    The idea is that women grow their body hair (either all of it or some of it, it’s up to them), share pictures online and raise money for Body Gossip, a charity encouraging body positivity and confidence in young people.

    But last weekend, it was picked up by other outlets as women started to share pictures of their slightly prickly legs across social media.

    And some men reacted by saying they would dump their girlfriends and that it made them women look ugly, while some other men and some women said it was repulsive.

    It’s funny how men are applauded for growing their facial hair during November but women are shamed for embracing the hair that their bodies grow.

    Why are women expected to conform to this ideal of hair free legs, armpits and vaginas when men can be covered in hair from top to bottom?

    I’m not saying we need to give up hair removal altogether – I know some women love shaving and the feeling afterwards – but we need to respect the choice to get a little bit hairy if we want or need to without being shamed.

    If you are a man who is seriously saying you would love your partner less because of 30-days worth of hair, you need to wake up.

    Are you worried that by growing her body hair, your partner will somehow become more ‘manly’ and threaten your idea of masculinity? Because it won’t – she’s still a woman, she’s still beautiful and you still love her. She is a little fluffier.

    I can’t imagine you have any idea of how awful hair removal is – it’s time consuming, painful and expensive no matter what you do.

    Instagram Photo

    If shaving or waxing is causing your partner pain, discomfort or just annoying her, why should she have to do something she hates to please someone else?

    Every girl has a few scars left over from catching a bit of skin the shower or from a painful ingrown hair.

    I have pretty sensitive skin and there have been times in my life where I have let my body hair get a little longer because I can’t bear the rash that sometimes covers my legs (and please don’t recommend moisturisers. I’m a 26-year-old woman who has been shaving her legs since she was 13. I’ve tried things).

    Our bodies grow hair – it’s natural. It’s ok to have hair and do what you want with it in the same way you can do what you want with the hair on your head.

    Women start removing their hair as self-conscious teenagers, trying to work our way through puberty and being the girl with hair poking over the top of our school socks is less than ideal.

    And once you start, you never really question it. It’s just something you do.

    Sure, we all complain about having to shave our legs, moan about the blood that seemed to flood the shower when you had a tiny cut or gag at the smell of hair removal cream but we just put up with it.

    It’s empowering to say, you know what, I am only doing this because society expects me to and actually it’s something I hate doing. Maybe I could just leave it for a while.

    And just because you give it up for a month, doesn’t mean you’re never going to shave again – sure grow it for a bit and if you’re wearing a dress where you want smooth legs, you can do it. Both options are fine.

    It’s about being able to embrace being being hairy if you want to give your skin a break or you just don’t have time.

    Instagram Photo

    Dr Sweta Rai of the British Association of Dermatologists said: ‘If you shave with a razor and use shaving foam, it shouldn’t cause many problems but shaving can cause you to get folliculitis, which causes inflammation around the hair follicles and cause irritation to the skin.

    ‘Traumatic methods of hair removal, such as epilation or waxing, can cause ingrown hairs. It causes trauma to the hair follicle, which can lead to infection.’

    She adds : ‘Reducing shaving and giving the skin a break would reduce the inflammation but anyone doing this should be aware that when they exercising or sweating more, extra hair can trap moisture as well.’

    Although this is true, growing your body hair is not ‘unhygienic’ as some men suggested on Twitter. I’m pretty sure most of men have never shaved your armpits in your life but they manage to get through life without stinking of sweat and BO.

    Growing your body hair doesn’t mean you stop washing yourself (if anything, you have so much more time to have a nice long shower now) but you just need to be sure to make sure you have a wash after working out.

    Push Doctor medical officer, Dr Tom Micklewright added there might be some evidence that shaving your pubic region can cause other problems.

    He said: ‘There is some research suggesting an association between pubic ‘grooming’ and higher rates of sexually transmitted infections but it’s impossible to say whether one directly increases the risk of the other.’

    For some people, removing it is good – for others it might not be. There are problems with both aspects but also ways to deal with them.

    Laura Jackson (Picture: Laura Jackson/Metro.co.uk)

    For Januhairy organiser Laura Jackson, she says these comments show why they she thinks we need the campaign.

    She told Metro.co.uk: ‘These negative comments are actually brilliant to see, as it reminds us why we are doing this campaign and who we are trying to prove this point to.

    ‘They don’t just come from men; lots of women are commenting with very similar outlooks. Hopefully, this campaign will educate them if they opened their eyes a little.

    ‘There are also a lot of comments of how I can be encouraging women to grow out all of their body hairy when I have ‘perfectly plucked’ eyebrows.

    ‘This campaign is about choice. Women can shave wherever, whenever.

    ‘There are a few women who are involved that are only growing out certain parts of their body hair as they don’t feel comfortable growing it all out.

    ‘There are others that are growing out everything including the eyebrows. We are still challenging ourselves and one another, no matter how much hair there is.

    ‘There are also so many positive comments and so many people who are really interested in signing up and it makes me so happy.

    ‘I really hope that the negative comments aren’t scaring women away who want to join in. This is why we are in a community to work together, support one another, and find comfort in the discomfort. Let’s have the courage to not let the opposed opinions bother us.’

    Januhairy doesn’t necessarily have to be this huge statement or mean that you are never going to shave again.

    It is an excuse to spur you on to give it a try if you want to and there will be a group of women supporting you and encouraging you.

    We don’t see many women showing off their body hair (in fact most adverts for shaving products don’t even show body hair) and a campaign like this puts those images out there.

    It might not be something every woman wants to do and that’s fine too – you can be an empowered, beautiful woman and feminist if you still want the feeling of rubbing your smooth legs over clean sheets.

    But shave your body hair for you – if it’s making you miserable, costing you money you can’t afford or causing you pain, you don’t have to do it.

    MORE: Everything you might not know about getting divorced

    MORE: The internet is robbing teenagers of their right to be a dick without consequences


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    A Moschino store in Italy (Picture: Getty)

    A former employee of designer brand Moschino is now reportedly suing the company over accusations that a supervisor had a code name for black shoppers.

    Shamael Lataillade has said her supervisor at the Italian luxury clothing company refers to black clients as Serenas to identify which ones will spend in the shop and which ones won’t, according to TMZ.

    Black shoppers who don’t look visibly rich (i.e not wearing diamonds or designer items) were labelled Serena and watched closely, said Shamael.

    (Picture: Getty)

    She revealed that the supervisor at the West Hollywood store told employees to keep an eye on black shoppers, following them, and in one instance write down their license number.

    In addition, they were also instructed to tell Afro-Caribbean customers that items were out of stock.

    She also recalled that one time the supervisor called the police to report a suspicious black man who later turned out to be a high profile rapper, whose name Shamael has chosen to omit.

    As a black, Haitian-American woman, Shamael also detailed how the employees would discriminate against her.

    The supervisor was said to have mocked her for practicing voodoo and later dismissed Shamael for complaining about the Serena code, according to the suit.

    It is unconfirmed but the code ‘Serena’ is thought to be in reference to Serena Williams.

    Shamael is now reportedly suing Moschino for unspecified damages.

    We have reached out to comment from Moschino and will update the article if they respond.

    They told TMZ that the company ‘complies with applicable equal employment laws and values and respects all customers and clients regardless of their race or background.’

    We have also contacted Shamael for comment.

    MORE: Food brand creates ‘green hummus’ using edamamae, not chickpeas and people accuse it of ‘gentrification’

    MORE: I spent 2018 complimenting women and it was beautiful

    MORE: The internet is robbing teenagers of their right to be a dick without consequences


    Woman taking photo of clothing with smartphoneWoman taking photo of clothing with smartphonefaimabakar1Woman taking photo of clothing with smartphoneWoman taking photo of clothing with smartphonefaimabakar1

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    (Picture: Eric Fougere/Corbis via Getty Images)

    Sorry, ladies over the age of 50, it looks like you won’t be able to date this absolute catch.

    Dreamy French author Yann Moix, who is 50 years old, has caused outrage after stating that it’s ‘not possible’ to love a women over 50.

    He’d rather date women at least 10 years younger than him, and only those who are Asian – particularly those who are Korean, Chinese, and Japanese.

    ‘I prefer younger women’s bodies, that’s all,’ Yann told Marie-Claire’s French edition. . ‘The body of a 25-year-old woman is extraordinary. The body of a woman of 50 is not extraordinary at all.’

    The Guardian reports that Yann went on to say he was ‘incapable’ of loving a woman over 50, commenting: ‘That’s not possible… too, too old.’

    He added that women in their 50s are ‘invisible’ to him. Charming.

    Naturally the women of the world are absolutely devastated that they won’t get to date this sensitive soul.

    The backlash on social media has been swift and glorious.

    Journalist Colombe Schneck, aged 52, shared a photo of her bum on Instagram to show Yann Moix what he’s missing.

    Others are sharing photos of undeniably gorgeous women such as Julianne Moore, 58, Halle Berry, 52, and Lucy Liu, 50.

    Of course, there has been some bashing of Yann’s appearance across the internet, too, with queries about his ‘wrinkly balls’ and ‘stale baguette’.

    Of course, this could all be a very smart way for an author to get publicity, but ageism is so rife that, sadly, we have to believe he’s being genuine.

    And so we must offer some reminders to Yann and other men like him:

    Women do not have an expiration date. They can be absolutely gorgeous at any age.

    Exclusively dating women who are significantly younger than you makes you look a bit strange, as though you want to be the wisest and most powerful in a relationship. That’s not a healthy dynamic.

    Love isn’t just about bodies, regardless of age. To dismiss someone purely based on a few wrinkles means missing out on brilliant women with more life experience and wisdom.

    Luckily, all of these women are too good for you anyway.

    MORE: The internet is robbing teenagers of their right to be a dick without consequences

    MORE: Who gets to keep the dog in a divorce?


    Yann Moix Portrait SessionYann Moix Portrait SessionellencscottYann Moix Portrait SessionYann Moix Portrait Sessionellencscott

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    Moomins will be big news again in 2019 thanks to a TV series starring the voices of Taron Egerton, Rosamund Pike, Kate Winslet, Warwick Davis and Richard Ayoade.

    Animated series Moominvalley, set to air in spring, will introduce Tove Jansson to a new generation, although grown up fans like me will be watching too.

    For a refresher course in Moomintroll, Snorkmaiden, Moominmamma and Moominpappa, I headed to the Moomin Museum in Tampere, Finland.

    It’s a lovely place, attracting readers of all ages from across the globe – the Japanese are particular fans.

    Moomins have had a place in my heart since childhood – I even named my hamster Little My – and it was fascinating revisiting the characters and books as an adult.

    The Moomintroll statue outside the museum (Picture: Laura Vanzo / Visit Tampere)

    During my museum tour, I discovered that their creator, writer, illustrator and artist Tove Jansson (pronounced Two-vay Yon-son), was groundbreaking in her personal life as well as in her creative capacities.

    Although she was briefly engaged to a man in her youth, in 1956, she met a female graphic designer called Tuulikki Pietila – the woman who became her life partner, creative collaborator and muse.

    In Finland, homosexuality was a crime until 1971, and considered a sickness until 1981.

    The couple lived and travelled together, defying convention even in their later years, when Jansson brought Pietila to the President’s annual Independence Day reception in 1992, making her the first person to officially attend with a gay partner.

    Also fascinating is the way Jansson’s loved ones inspired her characters – Tuulikki Pietila becomes Too-Ticky in the Moomin books, for example, and her parents, who she was close to, inspired Moominmamma and Moominpappa.

    The Moominhouse (Picture: Visit Tampere)

    Her books were translated into 250 languages and inspired TV series (including a British version I watched in the 80s and a Japanese one, which may in part explain her popularity there).

    Jansson also answered letters from fans herself by hand – no mean feat considering the fact she received about 2,000 a year – writing them personalised answers all her life.

    Of course you don’t need to be interested in any of this to appreciate the museum – just a love of the Moomins themselves.

    You can’t miss the pale blue building – it’s got Moomintroll on it – and highlights include the intricate models of scenes from the books created by Pietila, seeing the evolution of Jansson’s illustrations and the cute Moomintroll statue outside.

    The museum charts the evolution of the Moomin characters (Picture: Visit Tampere)

    A model of the characters’ home, The Moominhouse, built by Jansson, Pietila and Pentti Eistola in the late 1970s, draws crowds, while I was a big fan of the Moomin-themed menu in the museum cafe, which included courses inspired by the books – salmon soup, pork with spruce tip sauce and quark pancakes with jam and cream.

    And for every Moomin fan, it’s somewhere not to be missed.

    Other fun stuff to see and do while you're in Tampere:

    Visit Tampere Cathedral

    Tampere Cathedral
    Tampere Cathedral is well worth a visit (Picture: Getty)

    Opened in 1907, the artwork inside this still raises eyebrows. Hugo Simberg’s fresco features 12 naked boys, symbolising the apostles.

    You can also see a version of his best-known piece, The Wounded Angel, as well as The Garden Of Death.

    The art in the chancel is also striking – Magnus Enckell’s Resurrection – with more nudity, although, funnily enough, the ladies are completely covered.

    It’s free entry, open from 11am-3pm in winter.

    Live the sauna life

    One highlight of my trip was completing the circuit at Kaupinoja Sauna – jumping in a freezing cold lake, sweating in the sauna, then jumping in the lake again.

    A guide from Adventure Apes showed me round and lent me a sauna hat (the hotter you get the better).

    Their Guided Sauna And Swimming Tour, which lasts two and a half hours and includes transport, costs from £43.

    Take in the views

    Instagram Photo

    Pyynikki Observation Tower And Cafe is a must for its forest views at the top and delicious cardamom donuts below.

    It costs £2 to go up and is open from 9am to 8pm.

    Dine in style

    Serious Moomin stans can eat at Tiiliholvi, the Tampere restaurant in which Jansson once celebrated.

    Owner Saara Sinivuori described her as ‘independent and attractive to all people.’

    The cellar restaurant serves fine foods including Finnish delicacies such as pea soup, perch and pork belly.

    Where to stay in Tampere and how to get there:

    (Picture: Laura Vanzo)

    I stayed at Lapland Hotels Tampere, about 10 minutes’ walk from the train station and a few minutes from the Moomin Museum.

    The rooms are compact but comfortable and the buffet breakfast had a huge range of options, from a familiar cooked breakfast to Finnish porridge and berries.

    The foyer, which is also the lounge and dining area, was dark and hip, with antlers aplenty.

    Rooms cost from £100 per night.

    I flew from London Heathrow to Helsinki with Finnair – flights take about three hours and cost from £91.

    To then get to Tampere I travelled by train via Tikkurila with VR trains.

    Tickets cost from about £9. The journey was straight forward and included my first trip on a double decker train.

    Tickets to The Moomin Museum cost about £11, and the Moomin Menu lunch costs £35.

    It’s open from 9am to 7pm, Tuesdays to Fridays, and from 11am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. There are free guided tours in English every 3pm on weekends.

    Where to stay in London before you fly:

    (Picture: De Vere Selsdon Estate)

    I stayed at De Vere Selsdon Estate in Croydon the night before, which dates back to 861AD and sits in 200 acres of parkland.

    Its grand aesthetic makes it a popular wedding venue, and it’s also a hit with dog-lovers – mutts are given luxury dog beds, bowls and treats while their owners dine in the 1042 restaurant.

    The hotel’s recent refurbishment meant everything was shiny and new in my room, but it still had a cosy atmosphere.

    Best of all were the staff, who were extremely welcoming and accommodating.

    A night at De Vere Selsdon Estate costs from £72.09 when you join De Vere’s free membership scheme, Applause, which offers members 10% off stays, late check out and £5 off food and drink across their properties.

    The quickest way to Heathrow is by car, which takes about 45 minutes.

    (Top image: Laura Vanzo / Visit Tampere)

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    MORE: Winter in Morocco: It’s time you tried a crash course in kitesurfing on the windy beaches of Essouaria


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