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

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    People on how stoma bags affected their love lives Credit: Chloe Meade/Paige Crowther
    (Picture: Chloe Meade/Paige Crowther)

    Stoma bags are bags attached to your stomach, covering a stoma – the end of either the small or large bowel – to collect faeces or urine.

    Stoma bags can be needed as a result of birth deformities, bowel disease, bowel cancer or as a result of an accident.

    Having a stoma bag doesn’t stop you from living a normal life. It is just a different way of going to the toilet.

    Unfortunately there’s still a stigma around them – especially as people still get embarrassed about talking about toilet habits.

    But having a stoma bag doesn’t have to limit your personal life, including relationships.

    Metro.co.uk spoke to a number of women with stoma bags to find out whether or not their bags have affected their love lives.

    Chloe Meade, 25, has had a stoma bag for six month, after being diagnosed with complex Crohn’s disease. Her love life hasn’t changed since having a bag – she says if anything, it has got better.

    Chloe is in a relationship with a man who also has Crohn’s disease, so she has a partner who completely understands what she’s going through. They met in the hospital while waiting for their appointments.

    Chloe said: ‘The only awkward moments I’ve had with my partner is the bag leaks in bed in the night.’

    (Picture: Chloe Meade)

    Due to having wounds from her surgery, she hasn’t been able to have sex – but she feels nothing would change for her.

    She’s happy and confident, and her partner doesn’t care about it at all.

    ‘It’s just another part of me,’ she said.

    Chloe added: ‘There’s definitely a stigma around stomas and dating, I think if I hadn’t had my partner when having my stoma I would have found dating really hard as it can be difficult to find someone who isn’t shallow and who will be accepting of the bag.’

    30-year-old Sahara Fleetwood-Beresford has had a stoma bag for three months, though it is her third one as she’s had various surgeries for her ulcerative colitis.

    She tells us: ‘I try not to let having a stoma affect anything important, like relationships. I have lost people, but I see that as good thing – separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.’

    Sahara is in a relationship now, but has also dated while having a stoma in the past.

    She explained: ‘I always laid my cards on the table upfront, before even going on a date, so I didn’t waste my time going on on one with someone it would bother.

    ‘If someone didn’t want to date me because of it, it didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I felt it helped weed out the people that were that shallow, who I had no interest in dating anyway.’

    (Picture: Sahara Fleetwood-Beresford)

    While dating for Sahara has been mostly positive – there has been one negative experience, stemming from a guy ignoring her the second she mentioned the bag. This was during incredibly early stages where they hadn’t met in person yet, so it didn’t knock Sahara’s confidence.

    In regards to her sex life, Sahara said: ‘Initially the bag felt really prominent so I was very aware of it and a little anxious, but I think that was actually due to the weight-loss more than the actual bag.

    ‘Now I’ve put the weight back on, I have no issue at all .’

    23-year-old Paige Melissa Crowther also has Crohn’s disease. She has an ileostomy.

    She says it was hard to adjust to the bag, but her life improved so much.

    She says her inflammatory bowel disease has affected her relationships in the past. Her ex-boyfriend left her on the day of her diagnosis in 2014 due to the chance of her needing a stoma bag – saying he ‘wouldn’t find her attractive anymore’.

    She was single up until last summer, but then met and started a relationship with a new woman.

    (Picture: Paige Melissa Crowther)

    Unfortunately, that ended in November – but she says she’s happily single.

    Paige said: ‘Dating is hard, you never know whether to be up front about it or tell them later on.

    ‘I was seeing somebody and told him after a few dates and he just started to drift away, all because of my stoma.

    ‘I am so conscious about sex with my bag, I always feel like it’s in the way and an inconvenience.

    ‘There is so much stigma because of the whole taboo on the subject.

    ‘I would like any future dates to know that it’s not a big deal, it’s part of me and if they can’t love my bag because it’s a part of me then I don’t want to date them! I am open about my bag and I want to show everyone that it might not look ‘normal’ but it’s my normal.’

    Jade Gerrard, 22, has had a stoma bag for four years, due to ulcerative colitis.

    ‘I’ve still had the same amount of attention and had two partners while having my bag who haven’t cared at all!’, she said.

    Jade says having a stoma bag has made dating easier for her – as she always tells them on the first date.

    She continued: ‘The only awkward moment has been when my bag leaked during an intimate moment, but we laughed it off and it hasn’t affected us at all. We actually still laugh about it now.

    ‘I’m very open about my stoma on social media and that’s where most of my relationships start. My current relationship actually started as a one night stand – so he couldn’t miss my bag and he didn’t mind at all!

    (Picture: Jade Gerrard)

    ‘I don’t feel any different although sometimes I can be a little anxious about it or have low self esteem but my partner always makes me feel so much better about it.

    ‘Steven is a godsend and looks after me whenever I’m having a bad time with pain and blockages, we’ve been together two years and we have a beautiful little boy called Teddy.

    ‘Steven was amazing all throughout my pregnancy and even changed my bag when I couldn’t see past my bump.’

    She added: ‘All my dates have been told about my bag and I’ll always be open about it. It saved my life and gave me my baby!’

    Finally, we spoke to Louise Rutherford, who is 34 and has had a stoma bag for nearly nine years due to Crohn’s disease.

    She’s had one partner since her surgery, and has been with him for nearly eight years.

    At first, she didn’t think she was ‘good enough’ for her partner, especially as he was the first person she’d been with since her surgery.

    But her partner doesn’t care about her stoma at all.

    She said: ‘He says it’s a part of me and he didn’t know any different. He’s a great support. I think the only thing that bothers him is when I’m in hospital.

    ‘I think there is a stigma but there shouldn’t be. Just because we don’t poo the normal way doesn’t mean we’re any different.’

    MORE: I used to worry what others thought of my stoma but now I share it with the world

    MORE: Experts say women need to orgasm during sex when they’re trying to conceive


    sei_49202792-1f71sei_49202792-1f71hattiegladwellmetroPeople on how stoma bags affected their love lives Credit: Chloe Meade/Paige Crowthersei_49202792-1f71sei_49202792-1f71hattiegladwellmetroPeople on how stoma bags affected their love lives Credit: Chloe Meade/Paige Crowther

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

    It’s well-known that men are less likely to open up about their mental health issues, but many lack the space to do so.

    In an effort to encourage talking, the Book Club in Shoreditch has launched self-care Sundays – a men-only event that will focus on mental health combined with fun activities to take the edge of the serious discussions about ‘new ways for men to be’.

    The initiative will run every Sunday for two months, with the first one taking place tomorrow.

    Life coach Ben Bidwell and TV presenter Matt Johnson, known from their the mental health podcast The Naked Professors, will hold a discussion around depression and dysfunction, as well as covering why the new values for men should be ‘love, compassion and empathy’.

    Tickets start from just £6 to join the talk with Bidwell and Johnson, but if you shell out an extra £8 you’ll also be treated to brunch, the chance for a grooming session to shape up that beard or get a quick haircut, as well as a goodie bag and free beer from Freedom Brewery.

    Profits will go to the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), the charity devoted to the fight against male suicide, which is currently the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.

    Need to talk or just want to listen? Focus on self-care on Sundays.

    Need support?

    For more information on CALM and how you can get involved in the fight against male suicide, visit their website.

    If you’re struggling with mental health problems and need help or support, you can call the Samaritans helpline on 116 123 to talk to someone or email jo@samaritans.org. If you’re in immediate danger to yourself or know someone who is, call 999.

    MORE: How to look after your mental health when you’re always on the internet

    MORE: 20 men reveal the one thing they wish others knew about men’s mental health

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


    ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: of course skin conditions affect our mental health, but what’s being done about it (Amara Howe)ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: of course skin conditions affect our mental health, but what’s being done about it (Amara Howe)allieabgarianILLUSTRATION REQUEST: of course skin conditions affect our mental health, but what’s being done about it (Amara Howe)ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: of course skin conditions affect our mental health, but what’s being done about it (Amara Howe)allieabgarian

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    (Picture: Ariana Grande 7 Rings Music Video)

    It wasn’t that long ago that Ariana Grande’s ponytail was the talk of the town.

    But forget her famed pony (thank u, next), it’s now her seriously glossy and pump lips in her music video for 7 Rings that has grabbed our attention.

    And it seems British beauty brand ICONIC London are behind the glossip.

    ICONIC London are becoming a firm favourite of Grande’s, as she has now opted for their glow and dew-inducing products for a second time in her new 7 Rings music video.

    That’s right, Celebrity Makeup artist, Rokael Lizama, who has the pleasure of enhancing the natural beauty of A-listers such as Grande, Beyoncé, the Kardashians, and Mariah Carey, has revealed Grande’s shimmering pout is all down to ICONIC’s new Lip Plumping Glosses.

    Instagram Photo

    The lip glosses, available in six shades, claim to ‘enhance your lips’ natural collagen production’ and ‘create the illusion of increased volume in the lips’ thanks to plumping biomimetic peptides.

    Better yet, the gloss boasts a non-sticky formula and is packed with good ingredients, including aloe vera and green coffee oil, to keep your lips lusciously soft and moisturised.

    And yes, if you’re wondering if they’re vegan and cruelty free, you’ll be happy to hear that they are – more reason to buy a tube, or six.

     ICONIC's new Lip Plumping Glosses
    (Picture: ICONIC London)

    While they’re not yet available to buy *sobs*, you can join the wait list along with thousands of other makeup addicts to be alerted when the sought-after glosses hit the online shopping shelves on the 1st February.

    Pucker up. It seems lip gloss is having a comeback.

    ICONIC LONDON new Lip Plumping Glosses (£19) available 1st February at iconiclondoninc.com.

    MORE: Famous women are openly talking about their body dysmorphia, but no one is listening

    MORE: Gay model opens up about self esteem issues and struggling to do topless shoots


    ariana-grande-7-rings-video-ht-jc-190118_hpmain_31x13_992-2d8dariana-grande-7-rings-video-ht-jc-190118_hpmain_31x13_992-2d8demilyknott17 ICONIC's new Lip Plumping Glossesariana-grande-7-rings-video-ht-jc-190118_hpmain_31x13_992-2d8dariana-grande-7-rings-video-ht-jc-190118_hpmain_31x13_992-2d8demilyknott17 ICONIC's new Lip Plumping Glosses

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    Don't laugh at millennials for paying to learn basic life skills
    (Picture: Ella Byworth/Metro.co.uk)

    Every other month you’ll spot a headline about millennials not knowing how to do basic things.

    Millennials don’t know how to change a lightbulb! Millennials are taking classes to sew on buttons! Millennials aren’t using fabric conditioner!

    There’s a reason these stories keep coming round: It’s fun to laugh at people you think you’re better or smarter than, and millennials are an easy punching bag.

    But really, it’s unfair to ridicule millennials for not knowing basic life skills, and to make fun of them for trying to learn.

    Is it really reasonable to expect people to know things simply because they’re adults? Is the expectation that the second you pass your A-levels, certain knowledge magically lodges itself in your brain, allowing you to understand taxes and how long to bake a potato for?

    There are important things we’re not taught in school.

    I can explain Pythagora’s Theorum and write an essay about Hamlet, but there were no classes in my school to explain budgeting, unclogging a toilet, or how to turn the heating on (those clicky wheels are confusing to other people, right?).

    Times have changed from the education our grandparents received to now. Home economics classes have been ditched in favour of skills designed to prepare us for careers – hooray, women can aspire to work now instead of just making doilies – and there’s an expectation that our parents will fill the gaps.

    But our parents were busy working. Our culture shifted to prioritise being productive and value long hours and weekends at work, snatching away the time parents might have taken to show us how to hang out laundry.

    So school didn’t teach us basic life skills, and for a lot of us millennials, our parents didn’t either. How, exactly, were we supposed to learn these things, then?

    Mostly through figuring it out ourselves. But the thing about learning as you go is that you don’t learn a skill until you need to use it.

    Why failure is good for you Metro Illustrations (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)
    (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

    I figured out how to sew on a button when it fell off my coat and I knew my mum wouldn’t have time to fix it. I have pasta down to perfection because when my parents were working late, pasta was an easy thing to cook for me and my brother.

    There are certain things you’ll go through your young life never needing to know about, leaving you a clueless adult when the time comes around to budget, figure out a tax assessment form, and read through job contracts.

    That’s when you’ll have to ask for help – and it’s unfair to ridicule people for doing just that.

    It’s easy to shit on millennials, but the truth is that our lack of knowledge isn’t down to being stupid or lazy – it’s a direct result of the cultural changes that happened in our youth.

    There’s the shift in work culture and gender expectations I mentioned earlier, but also the dawn of the internet, which made digital skills have a greater importance than domestic ones. Most of us had IT lessons, advised that we’d need to get the hang of computers in order to get a job once we left school. Not so common were lessons to prepare us for all the life admin that we’d come up against outside of our working days.

    A bonus to that, though, is that the internet can fill in some of those gaps. We can quickly Google how to boil an egg or the difference between a hex screwdriver and a Phillips. We’ll get made fun of for that, too, but again: where else were we supposed to get that knowledge?

    We need to get rid of the shame of admitting we don’t know something, and start celebrating a generation that’s putting in effort to figure things out.

    There’s a lingering sense that saying ‘actually, I don’t have a clue’ will expose us as idiots or failures – and that’s a really unhealthy idea.

    The reality is that none of us know everything, and the skills we do have have been learned. We aren’t born with knowledge and it’s a privilege to have been taught every possible thing that you need to get through adulthood.

    Surely it’s far better to ask how to do something – whether that’s through Googling, taking a class, or just asking someone who knows better – than to fumble through and do it wrong.

    What holds us back from asking is embarrassment and shame; the idea that we’re failing because we didn’t figure out a certain thing back when we were kids. That’s deeply unfair pressure, and when we joke about millennials not knowing how to peel a vegetable or write a cheque, we pile on that shame, sending a clear message that anyone who doesn’t know everything is laughable.

    We shouldn’t be criticising millennials for admitting they don’t know how to do things. We should be thanking them for giving us all permission to admit we don’t know what we’re doing either.

    As cringe-worthy as ‘adulting’ may be, we’re all just trying to figure out how to have happy, healthy lives and get sh*t done. We’re all going to have to try things and fail, and we’re all going to come up against stuff we don’t know.

    There should be no shame in admitting we’re struggling, and there should be pride in making the effort to figure things out.

    Yes, even if it’s as basic as a millennial asking how to poach an egg. Wouldn’t you rather they found out now, instead of being served a hard yolk when it’s their turn to make brunch?

    No, millennials don’t know how to do basic things. But neither do the rest of us.

    MORE: Half of young people don't have any savings

    MORE: The way we viciously rip apart how people spend their money is proof we need to talk about finances

    MORE: I went to Fyre Festival and documented everything


    sei_49288374-0c77sei_49288374-0c77ellencscottDon't laugh at millennials for paying to learn basic life skillsWhy failure is good for you Metro Illustrations (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)sei_49288374-0c77sei_49288374-0c77ellencscottDon't laugh at millennials for paying to learn basic life skillsWhy failure is good for you Metro Illustrations (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

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    Instagram Photo

    There is no excuse for not knowing how your clothes were made and who made them.

    And that is why I was so disappointed, but not surprised, to read the about the Spice Girls and Comic Relief’s t-shirt collaboration, which according to the Guardian, was made in a factory in Bangladesh where women were earning the equivalent of 35p an hour and experienced verbal abuse.

    In a climate where most people have heard of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse that killed over 1,000 people, about clothes being made by Chinese prisoners and notes sewn into jeans telling buyers that workers hadn’t been paid, it is unbelievable that this is still happening.

    Both Comic Relief and the Spice Girls carried out ethical sourcing checks on the manufacturer Represent; the online retailer commissioned by the Spice Girls to make the t-shirts, but it had subsequently changed manufacturer without their knowledge.

    According to the Guardian, Represent reportedly said it took ‘full responsibility’ and would refund customers on request.

    The band said Represent should donate profits to ‘campaigns with the intention to end such injustices.’ The company behind the factory that made the t-shirts, Interstoff Apparels, reportedly said that the findings would be investigated but were ‘simply not true.’

    Speaking to the Guardian, a spokesman for the Spice Girls said they were ‘deeply shocked and appalled’ and would personally fund an investigation into the factory’s working conditions. Comic Relief also said the charity was ‘shocked and concerned.’

    If this is going to change any time soon, the public must hold big companies like Represent to account.

    And with 66 per cent of global millennials saying they were willing to spend more on sustainable brands why are we not willing to press high street shops harder to deliver on transparency?

    My experience is that if you present a good argument, brands will listen.

    Instagram Photo

    A few years ago, I was working with a charity knee-deep in planning a global campaign to raise money through T-shirt sales.

    On a routine call, one of our team asked this children’s charity, almost as an afterthought, if they had checked the ethical credentials of who would be producing the shirts.

    The organisation was surprised – why would they need to do this? We explained the potential risk of sourcing T-shirts, meant to benefit children, being sourced from factories where, for example, child labour was rampant.

    In the end, they went with a supplier who participated in a leading labour accreditation scheme and solid transparency, and there was no exposé in the Guardian.

    So much change needs to occur but it’s not just the high street who need to address this. Take the luxury sector, which consistently lags behind in transparency ratings.

    Dior for example, maker of feminist tees bearing slogans like ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ have not responded to the fact that they scored not one point on Fashion Revolution’s 2018 Transparency Index.

    How are we supposed to trust fashion houses and high street retailers when we cannot be certain the conditions in which our clothes were made?

    Somehow it feels painfully ironic when the final product is meant to promote feminism or support a charitable or social justice cause; particularly when the overwhelming percentage of low-paid garment workers are women.

    Supply chains are complex, we are told again and again. However, if we demand transparency for everything we buy, companies will be forced to give it to us.

    Transparency is at a tipping point. If everyone – consumers, charities, companies, governments – starts pushing all companies to tell us about who makes our clothes, they will take notice.

    Once we make it more than an afterthought for everyone, we’ll be well on our way to knowing that the people who make our beloved feminist tees are being treated fairly.

    You can find out more about Not My Style here

    MORE: Victoria Beckham praises her ‘soulmate’ husband David as couple approach 20th wedding anniversary

    MORE: Famous women are openly talking about body dysmorphia, but no one is listening

    MORE: Women have needlessly bled for 60 years to please one man in Rome. No wonder we've lost trust in contraception


    spice girls-1edfspice girls-1edfcharleyross92spice girls-1edfspice girls-1edfcharleyross92

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    (Picture: Chinatown Market X)

    Maybe it’s because it’s dull and grey outside, and we miss sightings of greenery.

    Maybe it’s because green is the colour of energy and life.

    Whatever the reason, people are in love with this latest footwear fashion: grass-covered Crocs.

    That’s right, just as you thought Crocs was going to stop making Crocs to focus on building furniture (which we can only assume will be just as stylish as the brand’s footwear), there it is; a freshly mowed lawn, on the tip of your toes, and the front of your foot.

    Why? Nobody knows, but the new development is the result of a collaboration with New York label Chinatown Market, and you can get a pair for just £45.

    Grass covered Crocs sell out picture: chinatown market METROGRAB https://thechinatownmarket.com/collections/all/products/chinatown-market-x-crocs?variant=21453706166377
    (Picture: Chinatown Market)
    Grass covered Crocs sell out picture: chinatown market METROGRAB https://thechinatownmarket.com/collections/all/products/chinatown-market-x-crocs?variant=21453706166377
    (Picture: Chinatown Market)

    Except, you can’t – because the monstrosities (sorry, shoes) have already sold out. The nation has spoken and astroturf is the biggest trend in fashion in 2019.

    Did we mention the sole is grass-covered, too? So not only can wearers enjoy the sight of grass, but also the feeling of it underneath their feet.

    And Crocs claims the shoes will also ‘shed water and debris’ as you walk.

    There’s no news on when the hottest heels of the season will be restocked, but if you’re desperate for a pair, keep an eye out on the Chinatown Market website.

    Or just wait until summer, grab some grass from from the park and glue it on top of your shoes.

    MORE: H&M launches gender-neutral collection with fellow Swedish label Eytys

    MORE: Fashion Nova is using the most liked egg on Instagram to promote new jeans

    MORE: Girl’s size four PrettyLittleThing flares were so long they didn’t even fit 6’2″ boyfriend


    Grass covered Crocs sell out picture: chinatown market METROGRAB https://thechinatownmarket.com/collections/all/products/chinatown-market-x-crocs?variant=21453706166377Grass covered Crocs sell out picture: chinatown market METROGRAB https://thechinatownmarket.com/collections/all/products/chinatown-market-x-crocs?variant=21453706166377allieabgarianGrass covered Crocs sell out picture: chinatown market METROGRAB https://thechinatownmarket.com/collections/all/products/chinatown-market-x-crocs?variant=21453706166377Grass covered Crocs sell out picture: chinatown market METROGRAB https://thechinatownmarket.com/collections/all/products/chinatown-market-x-crocs?variant=21453706166377Grass covered Crocs sell out picture: chinatown market METROGRAB https://thechinatownmarket.com/collections/all/products/chinatown-market-x-crocs?variant=21453706166377Grass covered Crocs sell out picture: chinatown market METROGRAB https://thechinatownmarket.com/collections/all/products/chinatown-market-x-crocs?variant=21453706166377allieabgarianGrass covered Crocs sell out picture: chinatown market METROGRAB https://thechinatownmarket.com/collections/all/products/chinatown-market-x-crocs?variant=21453706166377Grass covered Crocs sell out picture: chinatown market METROGRAB https://thechinatownmarket.com/collections/all/products/chinatown-market-x-crocs?variant=21453706166377

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    Woman responds to being fat-shamed
    (Picture: Facebook/Katie Kiacz)

    Thin privilege is real.

    If you are fortunate enough to be able to find clothes that fit in a high-street shop, walk around in public without receiving comments on your body, or talk to a doctor without your problems being dismissed as weight-related, you are privileged.

    Not everyone gets to enjoy that privilege.

    Take Katie Kiacz, for example. She was taking a flight from Orlando to Detroit when a man decided to shame her for her appearance, referring to her as a ‘2 ton woman’ and asking for another seat.

    Many of us would cringe in our seats and stay silent. Katie had a different response: She wrote a powerful letter on Facebook to the man on her flight, explaining why she’s ‘sick of this shit’. That letter ended up being shared thousands of times.

    ‘Dear Man on flight DL1723 (11.35am) from Orlando to Detroit on Tuesday,’ wrote Katie. ‘You referred to me as a “2 ton woman”.

    ‘You told your friend soon as I boarded and you saw me that it was “not good”. When I confronted you saying “I am not two tons but I did just have a baby”, you sighed and got up to use the bathroom then quietly asked the flight attendant for a different seat.

    ‘I’m glad there were not any. I bet you didn’t tell her why you wanted to sit elsewhere, that you said something so heartless and were confronted.

    ‘You did not apologize. You did not even acknowledge my existence throughout the remainder of the flight.

    ‘That’s fine. I do not need your validation.

    ‘So why am I posting? To call you out.

    ‘Because I do not exist to please you. Because I will take up as much space as I want. Because even when confronted you did not think you were in the wrong, that you did not need to apologize.

    ‘I’m glad you had to sit next to me the entire two hour flight, I’m only sorry I couldn’t take up more space.

    ‘As a woman, I am sick of this shit. Would he have said that had I been a man? Or had my daughter and husband with me? I don’t know.

    ‘But women deal with these attitudes and behavior more than men, that I do know. And I. Am. Over. It.

    ‘Oh, and this post is public. I hope a woman in his life sees this, and is able to explain to him why his behavior was inappropriate. Not that I think it’ll make a difference.’

    We don’t know if the man has seen Katie’s post, or if he’ll regret how he acted on the flight. But here’s hoping Katie’s letter will change the minds of other people who are quick to judge.

    No one deserves to be shamed for their body.

    MORE: It’s not cool to pad shame women who don’t use tampons or cups

    MORE: Man who had his fingertips amputated gets new nails tattooed on

    MORE: ‘I’m not being ignored because of my privilege’: Jameela Jamil insists she’s not stealing body positivity movement


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    PORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Dana is proud of her hair. THIS MUM???s embarrassment about her excess hair resulted in her shaving at just EIGHT-YEARS-OLD and caused her gynaecologist???s JAW TO DROP before she was diagnosed with hirsutism but she is finally embracing the condition with the support of her boyfriend who thinks she is beautiful. Mum-of-three and former hair stylist, Dana (32) also known as Lady Sasquatch from Portland, Oregon, USA, grew up in Florida where it was warm, which meant she was always in shorts but children noticed that she had dark hair on her legs and poked fun out of her. At just eight-years-old, she started shaving her legs and at 12 plucked her eyebrows for the first time and began bleaching her upper lip. As the years went by, Dana waxed and would epilate the hairs that were too short to be removed through waxing. Dana, who also suffers with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, was left feeling exhausted having to keep up with stripping hair from her toes, feet, legs, bikini area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers which left her skin feeling prickly and irritated thanks to the regrowth. When she was 27-years old, Dana tried laser hair removal but found it a painful experience which didn???t give her the promised results. It wasn???t until her now boyfriend, Steve, saw how draining hair removal and covering herself up by wearing long shorts was for her and suggested that she ditched the razors that Dana started to accept her excess hair although she thought he was joking at first and would no longer find her attractive if she stopped. With Steve reassuring her she is beautiful regardless of body hair, Dana has been embracing the skin she???s in for two-years now and hopes to show other females that there is nothing wrong with their natural selves and body hair is not gross. Two years ago, Dana was diagnosed with hirsutism after her male gynaecologist???s ???jaw dropped??? when he saw her natural hair and after checking her tummy, n
    Dana has hirsutism, which causes thick hair to grow all over her body (Picture: MDWfeatures / HippieGoddess.com)

    Dana, 32, is known as Lady Sasquatch thanks to the thick, dark hair that grows all over her body.

    After years of shaving, she’s now embracing her body just the way it is.

    At eight years old Dana began shaving her legs, and plucked her eyebrows at 12.

    Over the years she was exhausted by the hours spend shaving, waxing, and epilating the hair on her feet, legs, pubic area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands, and fingers, and left constantly itchy and irritated as the hairs kept growing back.

    When she was 27 she tried laser hair removal, but it didn’t work.

    ‘When I was eight, I first started to shave, I was already getting picked on because I was raised in a warmer climate, and was always in shorts, so the other kids would always comment on how much dark hair was on my legs,’ said Dana.

    ‘When I was 12, I started to pluck my eyebrows and bleach my moustache. As I grew older, I would get waxing done and then use an epilator for the hairs that weren’t removed with the wax.

    ‘I even tried laser hair removal but it had poor results and was very painful.

    PORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Dana is proud of her hair. THIS MUM???s embarrassment about her excess hair resulted in her shaving at just EIGHT-YEARS-OLD and caused her gynaecologist???s JAW TO DROP before she was diagnosed with hirsutism but she is finally embracing the condition with the support of her boyfriend who thinks she is beautiful. Mum-of-three and former hair stylist, Dana (32) also known as Lady Sasquatch from Portland, Oregon, USA, grew up in Florida where it was warm, which meant she was always in shorts but children noticed that she had dark hair on her legs and poked fun out of her. At just eight-years-old, she started shaving her legs and at 12 plucked her eyebrows for the first time and began bleaching her upper lip. As the years went by, Dana waxed and would epilate the hairs that were too short to be removed through waxing. Dana, who also suffers with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, was left feeling exhausted having to keep up with stripping hair from her toes, feet, legs, bikini area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers which left her skin feeling prickly and irritated thanks to the regrowth. When she was 27-years old, Dana tried laser hair removal but found it a painful experience which didn???t give her the promised results. It wasn???t until her now boyfriend, Steve, saw how draining hair removal and covering herself up by wearing long shorts was for her and suggested that she ditched the razors that Dana started to accept her excess hair although she thought he was joking at first and would no longer find her attractive if she stopped. With Steve reassuring her she is beautiful regardless of body hair, Dana has been embracing the skin she???s in for two-years now and hopes to show other females that there is nothing wrong with their natural selves and body hair is not gross. Two years ago, Dana was diagnosed with hirsutism after her male gynaecologist???s ???jaw dropped??? when he saw her natural hair and after checking her tummy, n
    She began shaving at eight years old (Picture: MDWfeatures / HippieGoddess.com)

    ‘It was like having a constant nagging chore. Even after I shaved, I would still feel prickly, my skin was never smooth. With having chronic pain and fatigue, it just used up so much of my limited energy.’

    It wasn’t until she visited the gynaecologist, and his ‘jaw dropped’ upon seeing the hair on her stomach and pubic area that she was diagnosed with hirsutism, a condition that causes excess hair growth.

    ‘I went in for my yearly check-up, and it was the first time I had been since I stopped shaving,’ remembers Dana. ‘My male doctor lifted the sheet and his jaw dropped. I don’t think he had ever seen a woman with so much natural hair.

    ‘He immediately checked my stomach and my face and neck and then ordered for more tests to be done to check my hormones.

    PORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Dana found her previous hair removal routine exhausting. THIS MUM???s embarrassment about her excess hair resulted in her shaving at just EIGHT-YEARS-OLD and caused her gynaecologist???s JAW TO DROP before she was diagnosed with hirsutism but she is finally embracing the condition with the support of her boyfriend who thinks she is beautiful. Mum-of-three and former hair stylist, Dana (32) also known as Lady Sasquatch from Portland, Oregon, USA, grew up in Florida where it was warm, which meant she was always in shorts but children noticed that she had dark hair on her legs and poked fun out of her. At just eight-years-old, she started shaving her legs and at 12 plucked her eyebrows for the first time and began bleaching her upper lip. As the years went by, Dana waxed and would epilate the hairs that were too short to be removed through waxing. Dana, who also suffers with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, was left feeling exhausted having to keep up with stripping hair from her toes, feet, legs, bikini area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers which left her skin feeling prickly and irritated thanks to the regrowth. When she was 27-years old, Dana tried laser hair removal but found it a painful experience which didn???t give her the promised results. It wasn???t until her now boyfriend, Steve, saw how draining hair removal and covering herself up by wearing long shorts was for her and suggested that she ditched the razors that Dana started to accept her excess hair although she thought he was joking at first and would no longer find her attractive if she stopped. With Steve reassuring her she is beautiful regardless of body hair, Dana has been embracing the skin she???s in for two-years now and hopes to show other females that there is nothing wrong with their natural selves and body hair is not gross. Two years ago, Dana was diagnosed with hirsutism after her male gynaecologist???s ???jaw dropped??? when he saw her natural hair
    But now she’s accepting her body hair (Picture: MDWfeatures / @hirsuteskinsuit)

    ‘Then I checked my online medical records after my appointment and under all my diagnoses was hirsutism. I was relieved to know that there was a name for all my hair, and then it helped me to normalise it with some research.’

    Two years ago, her boyfriend Steve asked why she bothered spending so much time removing her hair and covering up. He encouraged her to ditch the razors and embrace her body hair – which she did, and she hasn’t looked back.

    For the last two years Dana has learned to love her excess hair, knowing that her boyfriend still finds her attractive no matter how furry her legs are.

    She now shares her life on Instagram to encourage other people to embrace their bodies just the way they are.

    ‘It was really scary at first because I knew my family and strangers would judge me,’ says Dana. ‘Once I got over my insecurities and was more comfortable in my skin, it definitely was liberating.

    ‘I also felt like I was being a good example for my kids, to help them learn to love and accept their bodies too.

    ‘Baby steps have been key to me accepting my body hair. I was so nervous on the fourth of July in 2017, it was my first time in shorts outside in public.

    ‘I just took deep breaths and tried to remember that my hair may be shocking for some but only because they’ve never seen a woman with natural hair.

    PORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Dana with her partner Steve. THIS MUM???s embarrassment about her excess hair resulted in her shaving at just EIGHT-YEARS-OLD and caused her gynaecologist???s JAW TO DROP before she was diagnosed with hirsutism but she is finally embracing the condition with the support of her boyfriend who thinks she is beautiful. Mum-of-three and former hair stylist, Dana (32) also known as Lady Sasquatch from Portland, Oregon, USA, grew up in Florida where it was warm, which meant she was always in shorts but children noticed that she had dark hair on her legs and poked fun out of her. At just eight-years-old, she started shaving her legs and at 12 plucked her eyebrows for the first time and began bleaching her upper lip. As the years went by, Dana waxed and would epilate the hairs that were too short to be removed through waxing. Dana, who also suffers with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, was left feeling exhausted having to keep up with stripping hair from her toes, feet, legs, bikini area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers which left her skin feeling prickly and irritated thanks to the regrowth. When she was 27-years old, Dana tried laser hair removal but found it a painful experience which didn???t give her the promised results. It wasn???t until her now boyfriend, Steve, saw how draining hair removal and covering herself up by wearing long shorts was for her and suggested that she ditched the razors that Dana started to accept her excess hair although she thought he was joking at first and would no longer find her attractive if she stopped. With Steve reassuring her she is beautiful regardless of body hair, Dana has been embracing the skin she???s in for two-years now and hopes to show other females that there is nothing wrong with their natural selves and body hair is not gross. Two years ago, Dana was diagnosed with hirsutism after her male gynaecologist???s ???jaw dropped??? when he saw her natural hair and after checking her tummy,
    (Picture: MDWfeatures / @hirsuteskinsuit)

    ‘I used to be a hair stylist and I was paid to remove hair, so I understand that there are people who do not like it, I used to think the same way.

    ‘One time when I went for a hike, I heard a man say, “look her legs have more hair then mine” and really, it just made me laugh so hard.

    ‘It’s really funny to me now that people are shocked by my hair because it seems so natural and normal to me.

    ‘Most people don’t even say anything at all. If I feel them looking, I might bring it up or make a joke about being a sasquatch.

    ‘I woke up one day and just felt an urge to share my story. I am mentally at a place now where I understand not everyone will appreciate what I’m doing but if I can inspire just one person to accept their hair then I will be filled with so much joy.

    ‘I have struggled for so long, and I think if I knew earlier on that it was ok to stop shaving then it would have helped a lot.

    ‘I feel more beautiful, brave and courageous than I ever have in my life. I am grateful that I have feet that can hold me up and legs that can help me walk and arms that I can give hugs with and I don’t mind if they’re hairy.’

    To anyone feeling insecure about their body hair, Dana says: ‘I think if we were raised with more natural women in the media and advertisements then we would be able to accept ourselves more. So hopefully seeing my story will help inspire others.

    ‘I have so much more peace of mind and love for myself now that I have accepted my hirsutism, and I would love for that to catch on.

    ‘If you feel like you have to remove your hair but you don’t want to, just stop. Let go of the fear of not conforming and fill yourself up with love and gratitude.

    ‘This is your life to live and no one else’s, you should be as comfortable as you want, and spend your time and energy as best suited for you. Self-care is different than just pedicures and shopping, it’s also listening to your body and respecting what it wants and doesn’t.

    ‘Guys have a lot of hair and they are not gross, neither are you, we are all beautiful.’

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    Hairy-licious MumHairy-licious MumellencscottPORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Dana is proud of her hair. THIS MUM???s embarrassment about her excess hair resulted in her shaving at just EIGHT-YEARS-OLD and caused her gynaecologist???s JAW TO DROP before she was diagnosed with hirsutism but she is finally embracing the condition with the support of her boyfriend who thinks she is beautiful. Mum-of-three and former hair stylist, Dana (32) also known as Lady Sasquatch from Portland, Oregon, USA, grew up in Florida where it was warm, which meant she was always in shorts but children noticed that she had dark hair on her legs and poked fun out of her. At just eight-years-old, she started shaving her legs and at 12 plucked her eyebrows for the first time and began bleaching her upper lip. As the years went by, Dana waxed and would epilate the hairs that were too short to be removed through waxing. Dana, who also suffers with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, was left feeling exhausted having to keep up with stripping hair from her toes, feet, legs, bikini area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers which left her skin feeling prickly and irritated thanks to the regrowth. When she was 27-years old, Dana tried laser hair removal but found it a painful experience which didn???t give her the promised results. It wasn???t until her now boyfriend, Steve, saw how draining hair removal and covering herself up by wearing long shorts was for her and suggested that she ditched the razors that Dana started to accept her excess hair although she thought he was joking at first and would no longer find her attractive if she stopped. With Steve reassuring her she is beautiful regardless of body hair, Dana has been embracing the skin she???s in for two-years now and hopes to show other females that there is nothing wrong with their natural selves and body hair is not gross. Two years ago, Dana was diagnosed with hirsutism after her male gynaecologist???s ???jaw dropped??? when he saw her natural hair and after checking her tummy, nPORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Dana is proud of her hair. THIS MUM???s embarrassment about her excess hair resulted in her shaving at just EIGHT-YEARS-OLD and caused her gynaecologist???s JAW TO DROP before she was diagnosed with hirsutism but she is finally embracing the condition with the support of her boyfriend who thinks she is beautiful. Mum-of-three and former hair stylist, Dana (32) also known as Lady Sasquatch from Portland, Oregon, USA, grew up in Florida where it was warm, which meant she was always in shorts but children noticed that she had dark hair on her legs and poked fun out of her. At just eight-years-old, she started shaving her legs and at 12 plucked her eyebrows for the first time and began bleaching her upper lip. As the years went by, Dana waxed and would epilate the hairs that were too short to be removed through waxing. Dana, who also suffers with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, was left feeling exhausted having to keep up with stripping hair from her toes, feet, legs, bikini area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers which left her skin feeling prickly and irritated thanks to the regrowth. When she was 27-years old, Dana tried laser hair removal but found it a painful experience which didn???t give her the promised results. It wasn???t until her now boyfriend, Steve, saw how draining hair removal and covering herself up by wearing long shorts was for her and suggested that she ditched the razors that Dana started to accept her excess hair although she thought he was joking at first and would no longer find her attractive if she stopped. With Steve reassuring her she is beautiful regardless of body hair, Dana has been embracing the skin she???s in for two-years now and hopes to show other females that there is nothing wrong with their natural selves and body hair is not gross. Two years ago, Dana was diagnosed with hirsutism after her male gynaecologist???s ???jaw dropped??? when he saw her natural hair and after checking her tummy, nPORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Dana found her previous hair removal routine exhausting. THIS MUM???s embarrassment about her excess hair resulted in her shaving at just EIGHT-YEARS-OLD and caused her gynaecologist???s JAW TO DROP before she was diagnosed with hirsutism but she is finally embracing the condition with the support of her boyfriend who thinks she is beautiful. Mum-of-three and former hair stylist, Dana (32) also known as Lady Sasquatch from Portland, Oregon, USA, grew up in Florida where it was warm, which meant she was always in shorts but children noticed that she had dark hair on her legs and poked fun out of her. At just eight-years-old, she started shaving her legs and at 12 plucked her eyebrows for the first time and began bleaching her upper lip. As the years went by, Dana waxed and would epilate the hairs that were too short to be removed through waxing. Dana, who also suffers with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, was left feeling exhausted having to keep up with stripping hair from her toes, feet, legs, bikini area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers which left her skin feeling prickly and irritated thanks to the regrowth. When she was 27-years old, Dana tried laser hair removal but found it a painful experience which didn???t give her the promised results. It wasn???t until her now boyfriend, Steve, saw how draining hair removal and covering herself up by wearing long shorts was for her and suggested that she ditched the razors that Dana started to accept her excess hair although she thought he was joking at first and would no longer find her attractive if she stopped. With Steve reassuring her she is beautiful regardless of body hair, Dana has been embracing the skin she???s in for two-years now and hopes to show other females that there is nothing wrong with their natural selves and body hair is not gross. Two years ago, Dana was diagnosed with hirsutism after her male gynaecologist???s ???jaw dropped??? when he saw her natural hairPORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Dana with her partner Steve. THIS MUM???s embarrassment about her excess hair resulted in her shaving at just EIGHT-YEARS-OLD and caused her gynaecologist???s JAW TO DROP before she was diagnosed with hirsutism but she is finally embracing the condition with the support of her boyfriend who thinks she is beautiful. Mum-of-three and former hair stylist, Dana (32) also known as Lady Sasquatch from Portland, Oregon, USA, grew up in Florida where it was warm, which meant she was always in shorts but children noticed that she had dark hair on her legs and poked fun out of her. At just eight-years-old, she started shaving her legs and at 12 plucked her eyebrows for the first time and began bleaching her upper lip. As the years went by, Dana waxed and would epilate the hairs that were too short to be removed through waxing. Dana, who also suffers with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, was left feeling exhausted having to keep up with stripping hair from her toes, feet, legs, bikini area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers which left her skin feeling prickly and irritated thanks to the regrowth. When she was 27-years old, Dana tried laser hair removal but found it a painful experience which didn???t give her the promised results. It wasn???t until her now boyfriend, Steve, saw how draining hair removal and covering herself up by wearing long shorts was for her and suggested that she ditched the razors that Dana started to accept her excess hair although she thought he was joking at first and would no longer find her attractive if she stopped. With Steve reassuring her she is beautiful regardless of body hair, Dana has been embracing the skin she???s in for two-years now and hopes to show other females that there is nothing wrong with their natural selves and body hair is not gross. Two years ago, Dana was diagnosed with hirsutism after her male gynaecologist???s ???jaw dropped??? when he saw her natural hair and after checking her tummy,Hairy-licious MumHairy-licious MumellencscottPORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Dana is proud of her hair. THIS MUM???s embarrassment about her excess hair resulted in her shaving at just EIGHT-YEARS-OLD and caused her gynaecologist???s JAW TO DROP before she was diagnosed with hirsutism but she is finally embracing the condition with the support of her boyfriend who thinks she is beautiful. Mum-of-three and former hair stylist, Dana (32) also known as Lady Sasquatch from Portland, Oregon, USA, grew up in Florida where it was warm, which meant she was always in shorts but children noticed that she had dark hair on her legs and poked fun out of her. At just eight-years-old, she started shaving her legs and at 12 plucked her eyebrows for the first time and began bleaching her upper lip. As the years went by, Dana waxed and would epilate the hairs that were too short to be removed through waxing. Dana, who also suffers with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, was left feeling exhausted having to keep up with stripping hair from her toes, feet, legs, bikini area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers which left her skin feeling prickly and irritated thanks to the regrowth. When she was 27-years old, Dana tried laser hair removal but found it a painful experience which didn???t give her the promised results. It wasn???t until her now boyfriend, Steve, saw how draining hair removal and covering herself up by wearing long shorts was for her and suggested that she ditched the razors that Dana started to accept her excess hair although she thought he was joking at first and would no longer find her attractive if she stopped. With Steve reassuring her she is beautiful regardless of body hair, Dana has been embracing the skin she???s in for two-years now and hopes to show other females that there is nothing wrong with their natural selves and body hair is not gross. Two years ago, Dana was diagnosed with hirsutism after her male gynaecologist???s ???jaw dropped??? when he saw her natural hair and after checking her tummy, nPORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Dana is proud of her hair. THIS MUM???s embarrassment about her excess hair resulted in her shaving at just EIGHT-YEARS-OLD and caused her gynaecologist???s JAW TO DROP before she was diagnosed with hirsutism but she is finally embracing the condition with the support of her boyfriend who thinks she is beautiful. Mum-of-three and former hair stylist, Dana (32) also known as Lady Sasquatch from Portland, Oregon, USA, grew up in Florida where it was warm, which meant she was always in shorts but children noticed that she had dark hair on her legs and poked fun out of her. At just eight-years-old, she started shaving her legs and at 12 plucked her eyebrows for the first time and began bleaching her upper lip. As the years went by, Dana waxed and would epilate the hairs that were too short to be removed through waxing. Dana, who also suffers with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, was left feeling exhausted having to keep up with stripping hair from her toes, feet, legs, bikini area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers which left her skin feeling prickly and irritated thanks to the regrowth. When she was 27-years old, Dana tried laser hair removal but found it a painful experience which didn???t give her the promised results. It wasn???t until her now boyfriend, Steve, saw how draining hair removal and covering herself up by wearing long shorts was for her and suggested that she ditched the razors that Dana started to accept her excess hair although she thought he was joking at first and would no longer find her attractive if she stopped. With Steve reassuring her she is beautiful regardless of body hair, Dana has been embracing the skin she???s in for two-years now and hopes to show other females that there is nothing wrong with their natural selves and body hair is not gross. Two years ago, Dana was diagnosed with hirsutism after her male gynaecologist???s ???jaw dropped??? when he saw her natural hair and after checking her tummy, nPORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Dana found her previous hair removal routine exhausting. THIS MUM???s embarrassment about her excess hair resulted in her shaving at just EIGHT-YEARS-OLD and caused her gynaecologist???s JAW TO DROP before she was diagnosed with hirsutism but she is finally embracing the condition with the support of her boyfriend who thinks she is beautiful. Mum-of-three and former hair stylist, Dana (32) also known as Lady Sasquatch from Portland, Oregon, USA, grew up in Florida where it was warm, which meant she was always in shorts but children noticed that she had dark hair on her legs and poked fun out of her. At just eight-years-old, she started shaving her legs and at 12 plucked her eyebrows for the first time and began bleaching her upper lip. As the years went by, Dana waxed and would epilate the hairs that were too short to be removed through waxing. Dana, who also suffers with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, was left feeling exhausted having to keep up with stripping hair from her toes, feet, legs, bikini area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers which left her skin feeling prickly and irritated thanks to the regrowth. When she was 27-years old, Dana tried laser hair removal but found it a painful experience which didn???t give her the promised results. It wasn???t until her now boyfriend, Steve, saw how draining hair removal and covering herself up by wearing long shorts was for her and suggested that she ditched the razors that Dana started to accept her excess hair although she thought he was joking at first and would no longer find her attractive if she stopped. With Steve reassuring her she is beautiful regardless of body hair, Dana has been embracing the skin she???s in for two-years now and hopes to show other females that there is nothing wrong with their natural selves and body hair is not gross. Two years ago, Dana was diagnosed with hirsutism after her male gynaecologist???s ???jaw dropped??? when he saw her natural hairPORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Dana with her partner Steve. THIS MUM???s embarrassment about her excess hair resulted in her shaving at just EIGHT-YEARS-OLD and caused her gynaecologist???s JAW TO DROP before she was diagnosed with hirsutism but she is finally embracing the condition with the support of her boyfriend who thinks she is beautiful. Mum-of-three and former hair stylist, Dana (32) also known as Lady Sasquatch from Portland, Oregon, USA, grew up in Florida where it was warm, which meant she was always in shorts but children noticed that she had dark hair on her legs and poked fun out of her. At just eight-years-old, she started shaving her legs and at 12 plucked her eyebrows for the first time and began bleaching her upper lip. As the years went by, Dana waxed and would epilate the hairs that were too short to be removed through waxing. Dana, who also suffers with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, was left feeling exhausted having to keep up with stripping hair from her toes, feet, legs, bikini area, stomach, armpits, arms, hands and fingers which left her skin feeling prickly and irritated thanks to the regrowth. When she was 27-years old, Dana tried laser hair removal but found it a painful experience which didn???t give her the promised results. It wasn???t until her now boyfriend, Steve, saw how draining hair removal and covering herself up by wearing long shorts was for her and suggested that she ditched the razors that Dana started to accept her excess hair although she thought he was joking at first and would no longer find her attractive if she stopped. With Steve reassuring her she is beautiful regardless of body hair, Dana has been embracing the skin she???s in for two-years now and hopes to show other females that there is nothing wrong with their natural selves and body hair is not gross. Two years ago, Dana was diagnosed with hirsutism after her male gynaecologist???s ???jaw dropped??? when he saw her natural hair and after checking her tummy,

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    Have you ever been moaned at for putting ketchup on your plate?

    Those who add it to roast dinners, we’re looking at you.

    But now you can justify adding the sauce to your dinner – because it comes in caviar form.

    Heinz has released teeny pearls of tomato ketchup – which of course don’t contain fish eggs – as a Valentine’s Day offer.

    Heinz Came Out With Ketchup Caviar Just In Time For Valentine?s Day HEINZ
    (Picture: Heinz)

    The brand took to its Twitter to announce the new release, which has been launched as part of a competition, where 150 jars of the tomato ketchup caviar are being given away.

    The competition will end on 28 January, with the winners selected on 29 January.

    Heinz wrote: ‘America’s favorite ketchup presents America’s favorite caviar. Reply with #HeinzKetchupCaviar and #Sweeps for the chance to get your hands on one of 150 jars this Valen-HEINZ day. No purchase necessary. Rules linked in bio.’

    So far, people have been getting pretty excited over the caviar, with the tweet having received nearly 9,000 likes and plenty of comments:

    Tomato ketchup caviar wasn’t a thing we thought we needed in our lives… until now.

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    mille crepe cake recipe
    (Picture: Mille)

    Pancake Day is fast approaching (Tuesday 5 March, if you were wondering), and you’re bound to see a bunch of alternative crepe and pancake recipes over the next few weeks.

    But really, why wait for a special day to eat stacks of crepes? They’re delightful year round.

    Mille Patisserie is a bakery in Paddington that specialises in the classic French cake, Gâteau Mille crêpes (that translates to thousand crepe cake), year round, dishing out crepes whenever people fancy ’em.

    You can go straight to them if you fancy a crepe cake, but if you fancy a challenge you can try making one yourself. Don’t panic – you don’t actually need to make a thousand crepes.

    Mille has shared their recipe for a matcha mille crepe cake, making a stacked cake that tastes as pleasing as it looks.

    matcha mille crepe cake
    (Picture Mille)

    Here’s how to make it.

    What you'll need to make a matcha mille crepe cake:

    Tools:

    • Whisk
    • 3 mixing bowls
    • Crêpe pan (any frying pan will work a treat)
    • Sieve
    • Saucepan
    • 8 inch cake ring.
    • Ladle
    • Scale
    • Turn table (you can get one from Amazon)
    • Hand Mixer

    Ingredients:

    For the crepes:

    • 6 eggs
    • 560g of Milk
    • 80g of Sugar
    • 85g of Plain Flour
    • 50g of Butter
    • 5g of Matcha powder

    For the matcha creme:

    • 500g of whipping cream
    • 60g of sugar
    • 15g of matcha powder

    (Picture: Mille)

    How to make:

    1. Whisk eggs with sugar for 30 seconds, then pour in milk, whisking until the mixture is smooth

    2. Add in sieved flour and matcha powder and mix

    3. Slowly add in the melted butter, sieving into the bowl to avoid lumps

    4. Chill the mixture for at least one hour in the fridge

    5. Place your crepe pan on the stove for medium heat for one minute, then use a ladle to pour enough batter into the pan to spread evenly and very thinly. You’ll need to make between 25 and 30 crepes, so bear that in mind when portioning each one

    6. Once the crepe turns slightly brown, peel it off the pan and put on a plate away from heat

    7. Continue steps five and six to make at least 25 crepes

    8. Use an eight inch cake ring to cut your crepes so they are all the same size

    9. While the crepes cool, make the matcha creme: simply whisk whipping cream, sugar, and matcha powder until the mixture is thick and stiff

    10. Assembly time! Place a crepe on your turntable and place on scoop of matcha creme on top. Use a pallet knife to spread it around, then place a second crepe on top

    11. Repeat these steps until you have one last pancake, which you can leave without creme to be topped with chocolate

    12. To make the topping, melt 20g of white chocolate, then add 2g of matcha powder. Pipe this on top of your cake, dust with a final sprinkle of matcha powder, and you’re done!

    MORE: 11 fun brands that are vegan

    MORE: Mum wants to raise £50,000 so her son can eat a cupcake for the first time


    img_9345-76c4img_9345-76c4ellencscottmille crepe cake recipematcha mille crepe cakeimg_9345-76c4img_9345-76c4ellencscottmille crepe cake recipematcha mille crepe cake

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    Just Eat launch ‘bottomless brunch’ … with free top-ups getty
    (Picture: Getty)

    Just Eat is now offering a ‘bottomless brunch’ delivered straight to your door – and it comes with free top-ups.

    You can now order a takeaway spread of buttermilk chicken burgers, wings in BBQ or buffalo sauce and freshly cut halloumi fries, with sauces and drinks.

    And, you can claim portions of seconds by using the hashtag #TOPUP.

    The bottomless brunch delivery has been launched by Just Eat, who have partnered with London fried chicken joint Drum & Flats to celebrate Just Eat’s partnership with Boxpark Wembley.

    The offer is available exclusively on the Just Eat app and costs £48 for four people, offering those nearing the end of Dry January a choice of non-alcoholic cocktails.

    The menu goes live for pre-order today, 26 January, from 9am to 11am, with deliveries starting from 11.30am.

    Customers will receive four mains – including vegetarian options – four side dishes and four sauces and two ‘mocktails’ per person.

    You can then order more free food by texting #TOPUP along with your original order number via a Drums & Flats hotline.

    MORE: Woman writes powerful letter to man who body-shamed her on a plane

    MORE: Rejoice, for there are now grass-covered Crocs in the world (and they’re already sold out)


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    (Picture: SWNS)

    A dad-to-be has created an adrenaline-fuelled bucket list after he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease at 24.

    Jon Adams began experiencing symptoms of the terminal illness two years ago, when he started to struggle with finger movements.

    He has now been given the devastating news that his body will continue to deteriorate and that he cannot be cured.

    Jon is expecting a baby with his partner Holly, in June, and says he wants to start ticking off things from his list before then, and before his condition stops him from being able to get everything done.

    He is currently set to go to London to watch a UFC match, then in February Jon will go to Thailand, where he wants to try skydiving.

    Collect of Jon Adams,24, with his Mum Alison Fowler.See SWNS story SWPLmotor.A dad-to-be has created an adrenaline-fuelled bucket list after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease - aged just 24.Adventurous Jon Adams began experiencing symptoms of the terminal illness two years ago when he started to struggle with finger movements.But he has now been given the devastating news that his body will continue to deteriorate and he can't be cured.Jon is expecting a baby with his partner, Holly, in June and says he wants to tick things off his list before then and before his condition stops him being able to.
    Jon and his mum (Picture: Adams Family /SWNS.COM)

    Jon began experiencing symptoms of Motor Neurone Disease when he was 22.

    He said: ‘It all started when I began to realise that my grip was a bit loose and I was starting to struggle with finger movements.

    ‘I went to the doctors and they didn’t really know what to say at first because nothing seemed to be adding up.

    ‘It was then put down to repetitive strain and I took some time off of work but over the last two years it started to get worse.

    ‘I was then referred to a neurologist where I had to undergo nerve conductive studies.

    ‘The problem with MND is that you can’t test for it so doctors had to rule everything else out.

    Collect of Jon Adams,24, with his siblings Kerry Osborn, Matthew Adams and Abbie Price.See SWNS story SWPLmotor.A dad-to-be has created an adrenaline-fuelled bucket list after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease - aged just 24.Adventurous Jon Adams began experiencing symptoms of the terminal illness two years ago when he started to struggle with finger movements.But he has now been given the devastating news that his body will continue to deteriorate and he can't be cured.Jon is expecting a baby with his partner, Holly, in June and says he wants to tick things off his list before then and before his condition stops him being able to.
    Jon with his siblings (Picture: Adams Family /SWNS.COM)

    ‘It usually affects people between 40-60 so at first they were baffled.’

    Jon’s sister, Abbie, has set up a Just Giving page to ensure her brother is able to complete the bucket list whilst he’s still fit enough to do so.

    The family plan to donate the other half of the funds to MND Association Plymouth.

    Jon continued: ‘At the moment I’m the most positive person.

    ‘Everyone’s sympathising and at the moment aside from my grip problems I don’t feel unwell so it is very hard to accept that I have this progressing terminal illness.

    ‘I am currently still able to work so right now my mind is strong and I’m taking each day as it comes.

    ‘The plain fact of it all is that my body will deteriorate, but at the moment my focus is on the brilliant support I have around me and the baby on the way.

    Collect of Jon Adams, 24, with girlfreind Holly Williams.See SWNS story SWPLmotor.A dad-to-be has created an adrenaline-fuelled bucket list after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease - aged just 24.Adventurous Jon Adams began experiencing symptoms of the terminal illness two years ago when he started to struggle with finger movements.But he has now been given the devastating news that his body will continue to deteriorate and he can't be cured.Jon is expecting a baby with his partner, Holly, in June and says he wants to tick things off his list before then and before his condition stops him being able to.
    Jon with his girlfriend Holly (Picture: Adams Family /SWNS.COM)

    ‘I’ve got a few things written down that I would like to do, but it is hard, because we’ve all got a mental list of things we want to do before we die, but when you’re in my position you really have to do it whilst you still can.

    ‘A lot of things I would like to do is see certain people perform live and go to a lot of events. I want to watch the UFC in London so I’m looking to get tickets for that.

    ‘I am also planning to go to Thailand in February and hope to do as much travelling as I can before the baby comes.

    ‘I’m quite an outdoorsy person anyway and a bit of an adrenaline junkie so I would love to do a skydive or something.’

    Motor neurone disease (MND) is an uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves. It causes weakness that gets worse over time.

    It’s caused by a problem with cells in the brain and nerves called motor neurones. These cells gradually stop working over time. It’s not known why this happens.

    Jon’s girlfriend Holly Williams added: ‘Hearing the news has been heartbreaking but Jon has been so strong towards it all he has helped me to be strong too.

    ‘You’ve got to be so that you don’t bring them down.’

    MORE: Dad and ‘bonus dad’ share cute picture with their daughter to show how blended families can work

    MORE: Do you know these secret mum phrases?


    Jon AdamsJon AdamshattiegladwellmetroCollect of Jon Adams,24, with his Mum Alison Fowler.See SWNS story SWPLmotor.A dad-to-be has created an adrenaline-fuelled bucket list after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease - aged just 24.Adventurous Jon Adams began experiencing symptoms of the terminal illness two years ago when he started to struggle with finger movements.But he has now been given the devastating news that his body will continue to deteriorate and he can't be cured.Jon is expecting a baby with his partner, Holly, in June and says he wants to tick things off his list before then and before his condition stops him being able to.Collect of Jon Adams,24, with his siblings Kerry Osborn, Matthew Adams and Abbie Price.See SWNS story SWPLmotor.A dad-to-be has created an adrenaline-fuelled bucket list after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease - aged just 24.Adventurous Jon Adams began experiencing symptoms of the terminal illness two years ago when he started to struggle with finger movements.But he has now been given the devastating news that his body will continue to deteriorate and he can't be cured.Jon is expecting a baby with his partner, Holly, in June and says he wants to tick things off his list before then and before his condition stops him being able to.Collect of Jon Adams, 24, with girlfreind Holly Williams.See SWNS story SWPLmotor.A dad-to-be has created an adrenaline-fuelled bucket list after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease - aged just 24.Adventurous Jon Adams began experiencing symptoms of the terminal illness two years ago when he started to struggle with finger movements.But he has now been given the devastating news that his body will continue to deteriorate and he can't be cured.Jon is expecting a baby with his partner, Holly, in June and says he wants to tick things off his list before then and before his condition stops him being able to.Jon AdamsJon AdamshattiegladwellmetroCollect of Jon Adams,24, with his Mum Alison Fowler.See SWNS story SWPLmotor.A dad-to-be has created an adrenaline-fuelled bucket list after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease - aged just 24.Adventurous Jon Adams began experiencing symptoms of the terminal illness two years ago when he started to struggle with finger movements.But he has now been given the devastating news that his body will continue to deteriorate and he can't be cured.Jon is expecting a baby with his partner, Holly, in June and says he wants to tick things off his list before then and before his condition stops him being able to.Collect of Jon Adams,24, with his siblings Kerry Osborn, Matthew Adams and Abbie Price.See SWNS story SWPLmotor.A dad-to-be has created an adrenaline-fuelled bucket list after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease - aged just 24.Adventurous Jon Adams began experiencing symptoms of the terminal illness two years ago when he started to struggle with finger movements.But he has now been given the devastating news that his body will continue to deteriorate and he can't be cured.Jon is expecting a baby with his partner, Holly, in June and says he wants to tick things off his list before then and before his condition stops him being able to.Collect of Jon Adams, 24, with girlfreind Holly Williams.See SWNS story SWPLmotor.A dad-to-be has created an adrenaline-fuelled bucket list after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease - aged just 24.Adventurous Jon Adams began experiencing symptoms of the terminal illness two years ago when he started to struggle with finger movements.But he has now been given the devastating news that his body will continue to deteriorate and he can't be cured.Jon is expecting a baby with his partner, Holly, in June and says he wants to tick things off his list before then and before his condition stops him being able to.

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

    As of late, with my 30th birthday looming on the horizon, I’ve been struck by a new phenomenon that can only be described as ‘The Fear’.

    Not to be confused with the fear mentioned in the cult TV show Friends (where Rachel quits her job as a waitress, hoping it’ll give her the fear needed to land a dream role in the fashion industry); no, this is an all-consuming terror that haunts my dating life.

    Because once the clock strikes 12 on my final 20-something birthday, I’ll join the ranks of women who are constantly facing the prejudice that once we’re 30, we’re no longer desirable on the dating market.

    It’s based on the (insane) societal belief that ‘surely we should have found a man to hook our teeth into by now’, as the man-eaters that we supposedly are, and if we haven’t, there is something wrong with us and we’re bound to end up alone in a flat with x amount of cats.

    Firstly, it would be dogs and secondly, who doesn’t want to come home to a dozen pets to cuddle up with? But more importantly, why are we still being diminished into tired clichés?

    This isn’t just a rant; research shows that while men hit peak desirability at 50, for women it’s downhill from age 18.

    Over in China, things are so dire they’re even offering women over 30 ‘dating leave’. And while I respect this is a different culture than the one I’m used to, the prospect of getting time off just for being single seems to me as just another way to shame us into finding someone, anyone, so long as we get married asap.

    ‘I feel like I am judged, but it might be more that I just feel embarrassed and ashamed because I haven’t managed to find the person I’m meant to spend my life with,’ Rosie*, 32, tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘I don’t think people “judge” me but if a lot of women were being honest, they probably look at me and think: “Thank God I’m not in your shoes”.

    ‘Also, if you have casual sex, you get people telling you that “you’ll never find someone special if you’re f***ing around” or “no guy wants a woman who is f***ing loads of men”.

    ‘So, what are we supposed to do, just stay chaste until one comes along?’

    Rosie isn’t alone in feeling this way – I know plenty of women, both under and over 30, who share similar stories.

    Harriet*, 26, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I’m nearly 27, and people often assume that I’m actively looking for the one, rather than single by choice. Some assume that there’s something wrong with me.

    ‘But I see so many of my friends in relationships that make them miserable, or settling for average and unsatisfying, and as I’m happy without a partner it doesn’t make sense to me to opt for less than that.

    ‘Half of marriages end in divorce, so it makes the most logical sense to take your time and marry later, if at all. Also, by 30? Yeah right. I’ve barely got myself sorted, how could I possibly be settling down that soon – 40 seems more sensible.’

    If you’re curious on what percentage of marriage material you are, you can even check it for yourself with a ‘marriage calculator’.

    KATE LEAVER: LEAN ON ME
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    I gave it a go, and as expected, using the same answers but simply changing my gender to male ensured I had an extra 3% chance of getting hitched after 30, compared to being a woman.

    Granted this isn’t a particularly reliable test, but you get my point.

    Staying single isn’t just about not having found the right person, but many women are choosing not to focus on relationships in their 20s because they’re busy studying, developing their careers or simply don’t want to be in a relationship at that point in their lives.

    And as Harriet points out – why settle for less?

    I myself have been single for the past four years – not counting brief flings that lasted a few weeks or months – and am perfectly happy with my current situation.

    That’s not to say I wouldn’t want a romantic partner in my life, but I’d rather it was the right person and it just so happens we’ve not met yet.

    Interestingly, a man I was recently on a date with was baffled by the fact I’d been single for so long; he couldn’t comprehend why (and this was not some form of compliment to how amazing I am, and that I should have been snapped up, already).

    There is one particularly valid concern for some women – the biological clock. Whether we like it or not, our bodies were designed to procreate at a younger age and our fertility rate drops as we get older.

    Genevieve Zawada, who has a masters degree in matchmaking and over two decades of experience in the field of love, often sees this in her clients.

    ‘I think it’s more biological clock pressure and a lot more women are freezing their eggs,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Women obviously don’t have the same luxury as men do when it comes to age and having children. In my opinion it’s the biggest pressure that women face, and have done since time began.

    ‘But, we are seeing more and more women in their mid-40s coming to dating agencies to find serious and committed partners. The biggest problem women are facing is that men are taking longer to settle down and leaving it for later in life and women are focusing on careers, and thinking it will be easy to find love.

    ‘We are also seeing an increase in men aged between 45 to 50 wanting to settle down and start a family once they’ve secured their careers, and have the financial means to support a family moving forward.’

    The argument resonates with Rosie, who tells us that age is a double-edged sword because younger men want sex, while older men want a younger woman.

    ‘Part of me does feel pressure, mainly because of the baby thing, and also because I have the sense that the older you get as a woman, the less desirable you become,’ she said.

    ‘Older men want 20-somethings on their arm, younger guys want to f*** you, but don’t want to settle down. And everyone else has settled down around you, so less people are free at the weekends, and you want someone to spend time with more than anything.’

    It’s surprising that with the improvements made on issues of gender equality, especially by the millennial generation, this fixation on an expiration date for women to find love still exists.

    So I’m here to settle this argument once and for all; there is no perfect age to find ‘the One’. In fact, you don’t even need to believe that there is one perfect person for you.

    There’s a very good reason there’s now a dating app for people over 50; in 2012, statistics showed that 42% of marriages end in divorce (the figure has since fallen somewhat), and in 2016, it was revealed the median age people get divorced at is 45.

    But whether married couples stay together or not, is irrelevant to the issue of ageism in dating.

    Why not celebrate women and men in every stage of life, instead?

    In the meantime, my fellow singleton, whether man or woman, know that you’re not the only one struggling with these issues –  and there’s nothing wrong with choosing to be alone.

    There’s also nothing wrong with hoping that the right person will come along. But while you wait, practice self-love and remember the age-old saying: age is nothing but a number.

    Neither gender should be reduced into the equivalent of a yoghurt pack, casually thrown away once there’s mould showing on the top.

    MORE: Experts predict 2019’s biggest dating trends

    MORE: I scissored my best friend and it ruined our relationship

    MORE: What is a double blowjob and is there a female version of it?


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    (Picture: M&S)

    Pancake Day may be a couple of months away yet (it’s 5 March, for those who haven’t stuck it in their calendars) but Marks & Spencer has already released its pancake sauces, including a lemon, gin and tonic flavour to spice things up beyond the standard lemon and sugar.

    The sauce, which costs just £2, is described as being both ‘tart and tangy with a punch’, emulating the ‘classic flavours’ of a G&T.

    Yum.

    It features the juniper-based spirit as well as Indian tonic water, so there is actual alcohol in it – but it’s only 0.5% ABV.

    So don’t expect to be getting tipsy off of your pancakes. That is, unless you add extra gin, of course.

    (Picture: M&S)

    The condiment is currently sold out online, but still available in stores.

    Alongside the G&T-based sauce, the posh supermarket is also releasing a Scottish Heather Honey sauce with Single Malt Whiskey, for those who fancy something stronger than gin.

    It infuses honey with the smokey peat of a single malt, and costs £5 a bottle.

    MORE: Just Eat is now offering a bottomless brunch delivery with free top-ups

    MORE: Ketchup caviar is now a thing – so you can finally put tomato sauce on fancy foods

    MORE: How to make a matcha mille crepe cake


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    (Picture: Getty)

    Veganuary is almost over, but there are still plenty more plant-based benefits to discover about this lifestyle.

    Not only can going vegan improve your sleep and help you do your part for the environment, but the latest in veganism research has revealed that it could also be of a big benefit to your heart.

    Although the new information, published in the journal Nutrients, relates directly to athletes, it could still be relevant to those who are taking on fitness challenges such as triathlons or marathons.

    The research, titled Plant-Based Diets for Cardiovascular Safety and Performance in Endurance Sports, explores the relationship between a plant-based diet and whether this can reduce the risk for atherosclerosis and myocardial damage.

    In other words, it could be good for your heart, and you could also reduce your body fat.

    Within the journal, the authors wrote: ‘The effect of plant-based diets on cardiovascular risk factors, particularly plasma lipid concentrations, body weight, and blood pressure, and, as part of a healthful lifestyle, reversing existing atherosclerotic lesions, may provide a substantial measure of cardiovascular protection.

    ‘In addition, plant-based diets may offer performance advantages. They have consistently been shown to reduce body fat, leading to a leaner body composition.

    ‘Because plants are typically high in carbohydrate, they foster effective glycogen storage. By reducing blood viscosity and improving arterial flexibility and endothelial function, they may be expected to improve vascular flow and tissue oxygenation.’

    Basically, if you’re out to beat the competition, switching to a plant-based diet might be the boost you need.

    But don’t forget, it’s always best to check with a medical professional or qualified nutritionist before embarking on a new dietary regime.

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

    MORE: Papa John’s is launching a vegan pizza due to popular demand

    MORE: What is the low FODmap diet and is it good for you?


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    The nineties….. the Spice Girls, Sunny Delight and the birth of reality TV.

    It seems the decade is having a revival, with the Spice Girls back on tour, and Shipwrecked back on our TV screens (no news on Sunny D as yet).

    The original reality TV show saw a group of not unattractive twenty somethings stranded on a palm-fringed, white-sand island in the South Pacific. I for one can’t wait for the return of Shipwrecked. So much so that I took a little trip to the Cook Islands where it is filmed.

    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – Aitutaki, The Cook Islands)

    That’s right, if you missed out on applying to be on the show, don’t fear, because the stunning islands are easily accessible, and you can create your own shipwrecked experience.

    The Cook Islands are made up of 15 islands, spread over a huge area in the middle of the South Pacific. It’s a long flight from the UK, but they say good things come to those who wait, and that is certainly true of the Cook Islands.

    You will fly into Rarotonga, the most populated island, often referred to as ‘Raro’. There is plenty to do here, lots of hotels, great beaches, as well as bars and restaurants. Although it may seem quiet at first, this is considered the big city to the other islands.

    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – Rarotonga)

    We spent a night on Rarotonga before taking our 45-minute flight to Aitutaki.

    Aitutaki is the second most visited island in the Cook Islands and it’s not hard to see why. It’s home to the most incredible lagoon, appropriately named the Blue Lagoon. It covers a space of 74 square kilometres and is filled with around 15 islets. Three of these make up the filming locations for Shipwrecked.

    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – Flying over Aitutaki)

    The main island of Aitutaki has beautiful beaches and some gorgeous resorts. It’s a very relaxed island, the locals are friendly and it is understandably popular with honeymooners. With a few exceptions, all of the Aitutaki’s accommodation is here and it’s a great base for a stay in paradise.

    On our second day in Aitutaki, we were up early to head out into the lagoon. We climbed aboard our vessel – Vaka Tiki-a-Tonga – it looked pretty sturdy, more like a floating house than a boat, so I was reassured the trip wouldn’t end with my own shipwreck.

    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – Vaka Tiki-a-Tonga)

    In fact the beach we departed from was so beautiful, I could have stayed there all day. But we were off to see the shipwrecked islands, (plus many others) and hopefully snorkel with some Cook Islands marine life.

    We set sail into the lagoon. It really is one of the most beautiful places; Water so blue it doesn’t seem real.

    The Vaka Cruise visits a number of motu (sand islets) in the lagoon. First stop was Akaiami Island. This island has a pretty exciting history, as it was once home to an airport for the TEAL flying boat service (Tasman Empire Airlines Ltd), which operated between 1951 and 1960. This glamorous seaplane took the rich and famous on the ‘coral route’ stopping in Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti and Aitutaki.

    The remains of the old passenger wharf are still visible and it’s an incredibly beautiful island. I can only imagine how fabulous it would have been to land on the island via seaplane.

    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – Akaiami Island)

    Shipwrecked is filmed on three motu, with the contestants living on two of these, known in the show as Shark Island and Tiger Island. Their real names are Moturakau and Ripota respectively.

    It’s usually possible to stop on Moturakau during a lagoon cruise, however during my visit, filming was still taking place, so I could only watch from afar.

    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – Shark Island and Tiger Island in the background)

    Next it was time for a bit of snorkelling with some Giant Trevally. These fish really are appropriately named. They are enormous!

    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – Giant Trevally)

    Our final destination was One Foot Island, where despite having hardly any inhabitants, you can find a post office, post a postcard, and get your passport stamped with a big foot.

    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – One Foot Island)

    Living on a desert island isn’t all cocktails and bikinis – you also need to know how to survive using the tools provided by mother nature.

    Our captain was only too happy to demonstrate the many uses of the coconut tree and its fruit. Not only can you eat the meat and drink the coconut water, the leaves can be used for making roofs and for cooking, and the trunk can be used to make houses, boats and furniture!

    A Vaka Cruise costs £68 ($125 NZ) per person.

    A great way to learn about the natural fruits and fauna in the Cook Islands is by taking a Storytellers Eco Cycle Tour back on Rarotonga. These tours take you into the interior of the island, where you can try different foods and meet the local wildlife.

    Something I’d never encountered before (and I’m not sure I want to eat again) is a fruit called Noni. It has a pretty strong taste and smell and is thought to have medicinal properties. A fermented version of the fruit is sold as a supplement for anti ageing.

    Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours start from £40 ($75 NZ) per person.

    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – Storytellers Eco Cycle Tour – Noni)
    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – Aitutaki)

    Other things to do in the Cook Islands:

    To see some impressive Polynesian dancing and learn about a famous Cook Islands’ legend, watch the Te Vara Nui Culture Show. Tickets cost £60 ($109 NZ) per adult.

    Get an adrenalin rush on a Raro Buggy Tour – driving through the mud tracks in a derelict hotel. A Raro Buggy Tour costs £95 ($175 NZ) for two people.

    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – Raro Buggy Tour)

    Where to stay:

    On Aitutaki, stay at the stunning waterfront Tamanu Beach, with bungalows right on the sand. A double room starts from £260 per night.

    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – A room with a view at Tamanu Beach)

    On Rarotonga, stay at Pacific Resort Rarotonga, located on one of the islands most beautiful beaches – Muri Lagoon. A standard double studio room starts from £255 ($470 NZ).

    (Picture – Hayley Lewis – A Lovely Planet – Muri Lagoon)

    How to get there:

    Air New Zealand flies from London Heathrow to Rarotonga – the largest of the Cook Islands – via Los Angeles. Fares start from £1,313 return. Flights from Rarotonga to Aitutaki start at £69 ($129 NZ) one way with Air Rarotonga.

    Hayley Lewis is a travel writer, blogger and producer. For more on South Pacific island hopping head to alovelyplanet.com or follow Hayley on Instagram, YouTubeTwitter or Facebook.

    MORE: If you can’t afford a trip to Tahiti, make Sardinia your next holiday

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    (Picture: Karen Yeomans/Triyoga)

    No, we didn’t say gin and tonic. Disappointing we know, but this could make you feel good too.

    Gyrotonic is the gentle, strength and flexibilty-based workout loved by Liv Tyler and Andy Murray. It’s been big in America for years and now it’s finally having its moment here in the UK.

    But what on earth is it? What are the benefits? And should you give it a try?

    We had a go at a beginners class at Triyoga and spoke to a seasoned instructor to find out everything you need to know.

    The closest comparable form of exercise to gyrotonic is Pilates. Specifically reformer Pilates, where you complete the movments on a sliding, weighted contraption.

    Gyrotonic also uses a machine, known fondly as the Pulley Tower – and while it may resemble a medieval torture device, it’s actually really not scary at all.

    (Picture: Karen Yeomans/Triyoga)

    The class is focused on careful, conscious movement of the body – linking movement, breath and the mind. Everything you do is tied together with your breathing and forces you to focus on your form down to the tiniest shifts of your spine.

    In that sense, it’s an incredibly gentle class – for beginners anyway – you’re not going to be jumping around or getting out of breath. But don’t let that fool you into thinking you’re not working hard.

    You’re essentially being re-trained to use your body in a more efficient and natural manner.

    Popular elements have been taken from yoga postures, dance, gymnastics, swimming and martial arts to create an entirely unique hybrid workout. The moves are performed on the Pulley Tower, working to increase the natural flexibility of the spine, whilst simultaneously strengthening and stretching the muscles.

    What distinguishes it from Pilates is the use of different planes of movement. Its movements are less linear and three dimensional, with a greater emphasis on spiralling and twisting motions.

    The whole point is to challenge the body’s perceived limitations, and instructors do this by incorporating circular and spiralling movements, so the patterns become multi-directional and three dimensional.

    The exercises are performed in a continuous flow from movement to movement, with changes in tempo, breath and repetition to create variation.

    Some of it felt strange at first.

    The concept of ‘spiralling’ your spine upwards and around as you twist your body was hard to grasp at first. But when you crack it, the feeling of space you can unlock between your vertebrae can feel really glorious. Particularly if you spend the majority of your week sat at a desk.

    Former dancer and Gyrotonic instructor Stephanie Nightingale, thinks it’s a workout that can benefit everyone – no matter your fitness level.

    ‘It’s a practice that cultivates awareness through movement,’ Stephanie tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘And when you are more aware of what your body is doing while it’s moving, then you’re going to feel better in your bodies.

    ‘That awareness also leads to the ability to change patterns that might be causing as pain or discomfort – or maybe you’re not excelling as much in a sport that you play.

    ‘What I hope to give people who come to my class is a deeper connection, a deeper understanding of how their bodies move, so they can feel more in control of their bodies.’

    The modern demands of professional life often lead to hugely sedentary lifestyles and, as a result, thousands of us suffer from chronic back pain.

    Stephanie says Gyrotonic can be a good starting point when it comes to tackling chronic pain and spinal issues.

    ‘It gets people moving in the way that our bodies were designed to move. We are designed to move in multiple planes of direction. It can help you break habitual patterns – which can be the cause, or the source or a lot of chronic pain that people have.

    ‘This work helps people to develop an awareness of when they’re working in a dysfunctional movement pattern. It shifts your perspective and brings your attention back to your body.’

    Getting in to Gyrontonic won’t be cheap. Classes at Triyoga are £70 for an hour one-on-one session. But they do offer intro classes for £50, and the more classes you buy in bulk, the more money you save.

    But if you’re looking for a new, gentle class that will really focus your mind on your movement patterns, whether that’s for chronic pain or for relaxation, Gyrotonic could be a good thing to try.

    MORE: Primal movement can help you get fitter than ever

    MORE: Is paying for a PT worth the money?

    MORE: How to keep exercising even when the cold snap hits


    triyoga Pilatestriyoga Pilatesnataliemorris88triyoga Pilatestriyoga Pilatesnataliemorris88

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    Apparently, there are more astronauts than perfumers in the world. That’s not to say it’s more impressive to be a perfumer, just that the road to becoming one is perhaps a little less well known and publicised than being launched into space.

    One thing they have in common is that both professions involve being transported to a different place – one just uses a rocket, while the other uses an elixir of smells.

    For as long as I can remember, I was aware of smells and perfume. One of my earliest memories is watching my mother get ready for an evening out, while I draped myself in her dresses and put my tiny feet into her high heels and stumbled across her bedroom.

    I remember the scent that filled the air – my mother wore the iconic Youth Dew fragrance by Estee Lauder, which still transports me back to those happy days.

    Perfume can teleport you back to a place in time in an instant, even if in your distant memory. I always find this incredible, and believe the perfume industry could do more to help people connect with themselves through fragrance.

    Odd Jobs - Perfumer Credit: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk
    (Photo: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk)

    I began my perfumery training with a company in Holland which is now part of Givaudan (one of the top perfumery companies), after studying Chemistry at Oxford University. Becoming a classically-trained perfumer involves a basic training which takes at least three years.

    In this time I learned to recognise over 2,000 ingredients – committing them to memory and being ‘blind tested’ every day. It takes up to five years to become a moderately competent perfumer, and up to 10 to become a capable perfumer.

    Forty years on from when I first started my training, I am still learning. Being a perfumer is a wonderful and creative job, but for every ounce of creativity required, you need 10 ounces of determination, commitment and patience. This is the advice that I give to my son, who I am currently training as a perfumer.

    I have never considered perfumery as my ‘job’. If you ask my friends and family, they will tell you it’s an extension of me. I never switch off because I am constantly imagining how I can translate an experience, a taste, or a visual into a smell.

    Odd Jobs - Perfumer Credit: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk
    (Photo: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk)

    Last week I was at the theatre and all I could think of was how I could capture the invigorating moments that actors and actresses must have on stage and behind the scenes; the sweat, the camaraderie and the thrill. These things inspire me, and I make notes of these experiences to later tell as perfume stories.

    My days are never the same. I create fragrances for other brands as well as for my own niche perfume collection. In the morning I’m excited to test the fragrances that I created yesterday. Perfumes take on a life of their own when ingredients are combined, so giving them time to breathe is important.

    Then I’ll write out a few more formulas – at the moment I am absorbed by trying to capture the moment of optimism that you feel in the morning; translating emotion into fragrance is a challenge I relish.

    Odd Jobs - Perfumer Credit: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk
    (Photo: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk)

    In the afternoon, together with my daughter, I may have a call with a new client who is looking to launch a new range of scented candles. Later, I head into London for a talk on the latest fragrance trends for the year, so I am surrounded by other people who love fragrance which I get a real buzz from!

    I launched my own brand in 2010, to re-connect people with their imaginations, and my perfumes are now sold in Fortnum & Mason and several other independent stores.

    We are proud to be a small independent, family-run business. It can sometimes feel like David vs. Goliath in the fragrance industry so I am always honoured when someone chooses a perfume of mine.

    When I get a message from someone saying they have worn one of my perfumes to get married, or were stopped in the street to be asked what they were wearing, I feel elated… these things make my day!

    I am still learning to this day and am more in love with my ‘job’ than ever before. At the moment, I am the only trained British perfumer with my own brand of perfumes. I hope that in future there will be more perfumers, especially in Britain.

    People sometimes ask me, if I wasn’t a perfumer, what would I be? It’s hard to imagine my life without scent… I feel like it is what I was born to do.

    You can find out more about Ruth and her perfumes here

    How to get involved with My odd job:

    My odd job is a new weekly series from Metro.co.uk, published every Sunday.

    If you have an unusual job and want to get involved, email aimee.meade@metro.co.uk.

    MORE: My Odd Job: I’m the world’s only doll’s house interior designer

    MORE: My Odd Job: It’s hard being a Mr. T lookalike when you’re allergic to nuts

    MORE: My odd job: I’ll be retired before I taste some of the whisky I make


    Odd Jobs - PerfumerOdd Jobs - PerfumerjessrubyaustinOdd Jobs - Perfumer Credit: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.ukOdd Jobs - Perfumer Credit: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.ukOdd Jobs - Perfumer Credit: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.ukOdd Jobs - PerfumerOdd Jobs - PerfumerjessrubyaustinOdd Jobs - Perfumer Credit: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.ukOdd Jobs - Perfumer Credit: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.ukOdd Jobs - Perfumer Credit: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk

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    Giving to charity feels virtuous but if we’re doomed to repeat, it’s nothing more than a temporary fix (Credit: AFP, KonMari Media, Inc)

    It’s hard to deny the Marie Kondo phenomenon. Her belief that you get rid of anything that does not bring you joy – obviously after taking time to thank it first – has been credited for changing people’s lives.

    However it is not tackling the actual problem – that we’re programmed to buy, buy and keep on buying.

    The launch of her eponymous Netflix show on the 1 January has led to a surge in charity shop donations and, while this seems like great news, it only highlights our reliance on material goods and how much we have bought into consumerism.

    In the past week many charities have announced an increase in donations, some folded in Kondo’s well-known style. In one shop, they received 30 large bags a day, which is double what they usually get.

    I used to assume that by taking my unwanted to charity shops I was doing my bit. The feeling of relief after a good clear out and a trip to Oxfam is something I’m very familiar with.

    Once or twice a year, I would look around my flat, wonder why – and how – I had accumulated so much stuff, fill the hallway up with bin bags and lug it all to my local branch.

    And then, slowly but surely, I’d fill up all that lovely new space with yet more stuff. Then would come the next clear out and on and on it would go until I took a step back and realised how unhealthy and stressful the system was.

    If something good happens, we buy ourselves something as a reward and if something bad happens, we buy ourselves something as a pick-me-up.

    After years of accumulating and purging, I finally pushed pause on the cycle and decided to address my behaviour. I tried to unpick why I kept buying and buying and the only reason I could come up with was that it was what I thought you were supposed to do.

    And so I stopped.

    I questioned every single impulse to buy, drastically reduced my consumption and embraced the Japanese concept of ‘Ma’; the space between things.

    I decided to value the empty spaces in my home as visual pauses rather than viewing them as somewhere I had to fill with stuff I didn’t need.

    I’m firmly in the pro-Marie Kondo camp. I think her methodology has the potential to help us live calmer, more fulfilled lives.

    But it’s important that we look beyond the fun and relief of chucking out and address the root cause of our clutter-based woes: consumerism.

    If something good happens, we buy ourselves something as a reward and if something bad happens, we buy ourselves something as a pick-me-up.

    We’re taught that shopping is the answer to every emotion and life event. But once our homes are filled with all those treats and material boosts, we’re overwhelmed by the stress that comes hand in hand with being surrounded by so much stuff.

    Not to mention the horror at the thought of how much we might just have spent on it all.

    Giving to charity feels virtuous but if we’re doomed to repeat, it’s nothing more than a temporary fix. And, not only does the ‘clear out’ mentality fail to get to the heart of the issue, it also makes our unwanted stuff someone else’s problem.

    On the face of it, charity shops filled to the rafters with donations sounds wonderful, but as much as 90 per cent of donations are exported overseas.

    While these exports do provide a living for some traders, a living dependent on variable quality clothing is a big risk, and the huge influx of second-hand garments is also known to decimate local textile industries; the low prices undercutting local tailors and manufacturer, putting them out of work.

    Marie Kondo-ing your life is undoubtedly a positive action but in order to avoid making our cast-offs someone else’s burden and refrain from falling back on our consumerist inclinations, we need to remember the real lesson here: buy less stuff.

    MORE: Why clutter has the power to break up your relationship

    MORE: Psychologist reveals why Marie Kondo tidying ‘can make you feel worse’

    MORE: When does having a lot of clutter become hoarding?


    Psychologist reveals why Marie Kondo tidying can actually make you feel worsePsychologist reveals why Marie Kondo tidying can actually make you feel worsejessrubyaustinPsychologist reveals why Marie Kondo tidying can actually make you feel worsePsychologist reveals why Marie Kondo tidying can actually make you feel worsejessrubyaustin

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    (Picture: Fashion Nova)

    Fashion Nova has released some bizarre cage-themed trousers and we’re not quite sure what to think.

    The high rise trousers come with a caged bottom and an adjustable waistband.

    They’re essentially just look like someone has folded up a pair of black trousers, cut squares in them and hoped for the best.

    No, but seriously, we are wondering who came up with the design – because they don’t look very comfortable, and they certainly weren’t made for January weather.

    The caged trousers, which come with a ‘cropped fit’ and ‘layering pieces’ are currently selling for $49.99.

    Fashion Nova is selling bizarre ?cage? trousers and shoppers are baffled
    (Picture: Fashion Nova)

    This isn’t the first time Fashion Nova has sold some questionable clothing.

    Last September, the online fashion retailer launched some sheer trousers for people with ‘nothing to hide’.

    The trousers are completely see-through, and look as though someone looked at their nan’s netted curtains and thought ‘yeah, I can make a nice pair of trousers out of that’.

    Fashion Nova has also been confusing people with their advertising.

    They recently recreated Instagram’s most-liked egg to promote a new pair of jeans.

    Fashion Nova is selling bizarre ?cage? trousers and shoppers are baffled
    (Picture: Fashion Nova)

    Fashion Nova took to their Instagram page to share a photo of an egg wearing some high waist jeans.

    They wrote: ‘If You Wanna Get Laid, Fashion Nova Jeans Make Your Booty Look Eggs-tra Fat.

    ‘Let’s Scramble the World Record And Make This The Most Liked Picture On Instagram.’

    So far, the image has received over 293,000 likes since being posted three days ago – so it’s safe to say it’s got a long way to go if it expects to beat the new world record – which now stands at over 51 million likes.

    MORE: Please stop pretending women need to find the love of their lives before they turn 30

    MORE: T-shirts like the Spice Girls’ will always be made unless we hold retailers to account


    sei_49300337-f0ecsei_49300337-f0echattiegladwellmetroFashion Nova is selling bizarre ?cage? trousers and shoppers are baffledFashion Nova is selling bizarre ?cage? trousers and shoppers are baffledsei_49300337-f0ecsei_49300337-f0echattiegladwellmetroFashion Nova is selling bizarre ?cage? trousers and shoppers are baffledFashion Nova is selling bizarre ?cage? trousers and shoppers are baffled

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