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

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    Do you really have to wake up at 4am to be successful? Metro Illustrations Picture: Ella Byworth for metro.co.uk
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for metro.co.uk)

    The way our brains work throughout the day depends on whether we’re late risers or morning larks – and not just in terms of our tiredness levels.

    A new study looks at the brain function of night owls and larks throughout a traditional working day, and suggests that our current working hours may be holding late risers back.

    Researchers found that night owls had lower attention spans, slower reaction times, and increased sleepiness between 8am and 8pm than early risers.

    38 people who were either categorised as night owls or morning larks underwent MRI scans while carrying out a series of tasks.

    As you’d probably expect, morning larks were least sleepy and had the fastest reaction time in the early morning tests, and performed far better than night owls at this time.

    Night owls, meanwhile, were least sleepy and had their fastest reaction time for the 8pm test.

    What’s interesting, though, is that the night owls didn’t do significantly better at tasks than larks at 8pm. Also, the brain activity related to better performance and lower sleepiness was much higher in morning people at all times throughout the day.

    That suggests that night owls may be at an advantage throughout the working day. The researchers reckon this is because night owls are pushed out of their natural routine throughout their lives by traditional starting times of school and work days.

    As a result, it might be wise to consider changing the working times of people who are naturally suited to being night owls, if only to make the most of their productivity.

    The lead researcher, Dr Elise Facer-Childs, of the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Human Brain Health, said: ‘A typical day might last from 9am to 5pm, but for a night owl this could result in diminished performance during the morning, lower brain connectivity in regions linked to consciousness, and increased daytime sleepiness.

    ‘If, as a society, we could be more flexible about how we manage time, we could go a long way towards maximising productivity and minimising health risks.’

    MORE: Do you really need to wake up at 4am to be successful?

    MORE: Why our scheduling obsession may be bad news for our kids

    MORE: My Label and Me: I’m not tired and lazy, I have ME


    Do you really have to wake up at 4am to be successful?Do you really have to wake up at 4am to be successful?ellencscottDo you really have to wake up at 4am to be successful? Metro Illustrations Picture: Ella Byworth for metro.co.ukDo you really have to wake up at 4am to be successful?Do you really have to wake up at 4am to be successful?ellencscottDo you really have to wake up at 4am to be successful? Metro Illustrations Picture: Ella Byworth for metro.co.uk

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    Jordan Beckwith with leg amputated. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005
    (Picture: Jordan Beckwith / SWNS)

    Jordan Beckwith, 27, was just 13 years old when she shattered her ankle in 2005.

    The horse she was riding tripped and Jordan was thrown from the saddle, landing on her neck.

    She said: ‘The bottom chunk of the bone had broken. An inch of it had snapped off and was shoved up into my leg.

    ‘It was a very, very odd injury.

    ‘The doctor called to another doctor and they said they had never seen something like it before.’

    That injury lead to many, many surgeries.

    The first happened three days after the injury (there was a delay as her ankle was just too swollen to be operated on). Two months later, an X-ray revealed that the surgery had been unsuccessful, so the ankle was broken again and the surgery was redone.

    A year later Jordan underwent an ankle fusion where the bones of her ankle were connected with a steel plate and six screws.

    ‘It never felt right,’ said Jordan. ‘All through high school, I was in pain.

    Jordan Beckwith with her husband Brian. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005
    Jordan Beckwith with her husband Brian (Picture: Jordan Beckwith / SWNS)

    ‘For the last 14 years, I’ve always been on some kind of pain medication. I have been active but I’m always limping.

    ‘About 18 months ago, I got to the point that it never got better. There were only bad days.

    ‘I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t do my job, I couldn’t even take my dogs for a two-minute walk.

    ‘I couldn’t do jiu jitsu. I was icing my ankle every night.

    ‘I didn’t want to live like that anymore.’

    Jordan visited a surgeon in Denver, Colorado, who gave her to options: a risky ankle replacement or an amputation.

    Fed up of a life of surgery after surgery, Jordan chose amputation.

    Jordan Beckwith recovering from surgery. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005
    Jordan recovering from surgery. (Picture: Jordan Beckwith / SWNS)

    ‘I initially scheduled the replacement because my family was adamant that we try everything else first because losing a limb is such a big deal,’ she said.

    ‘But the more I thought about it, amputation struck me as inevitable. I didn’t want endless surgery.

    ‘I had to take all the emotion out of the decision.

    ‘This would give me the highest quality of life.

    ‘It would help me walk and maybe run, I could participate in sports again.

    ‘I had many conversations with my family and eventually they understood and supported me.’

    On 11 October 2018, Jordan’s leg was amputated just below the knee. But before she went through the surgery, Jordan decorated her foot with a breakup letter, giving all the pain and surgeries one last farewell.

    Jordan Beckwith leg before surgery. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005
    (Picutre: Jordan Beckwith / SWNS)
    Jordan Beckwith leg before surgery. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ???break up??? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ???It???s not me, it???s you. I???m sure we???ve had some good times together, but it???s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.??? She signed off the note: ???Your blood supplier???. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005
    (Picture: Jordan Beckwith / SWNS)

    She wrote: ‘It’s not me, it’s you. I’m sure we’ve had some good times together, but it’s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.’

    She signed off the note: ‘Your blood supplier.’

    The experience was scary, but Jordan is so glad she made the decision to say goodbye to her foot.

    ‘I looked up every YouTube video and every article I could about being a below-the-knee amputee,’ she said.

    ‘I walked into surgery with two legs and I knew I wasn’t going to come out with two legs.

    ‘It was terrifying.

    ‘But the first thing I thought was: I am really glad I made this decision.’

    She’s learning to adapt to life without her right foot, trying out her new prosthetic leg and using crutches. She’s sharing her experiences on Youtube, on her Footless Jo channel, which has helped her process the loss.

    Jordan Beckwith learning to walk with her prosthetic leg. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005
    (Picture: Jordan Beckwith / SWNS)

    She said: ‘Grown up adults who should know better stare at me for 20 seconds and then whisper to their friends.

    ‘I feel like saying: ‘Guys, come on, if you have a question, ask me, or at least be a little less conspicuous.’

    ‘It is hurtful and it is really weird to be a spectacle everywhere you go.

    ‘It is a really big loss and I am living through the grief of it.

    ‘There have been rough moments like when I wonder whether my husband is still attracted to me.

    ‘My YouTube channel has really helped me process everything.

    ‘Sharing what I’m going through, gives me strength and makes me feel like I’m helping others.’

    Jordan is now looking forward to the day she can go for a run – something she hasn’t been able to do since her injury.

    ‘I have not been able to run at all since I was 13 years old,’ she said.

    ‘I have wanted to run for ever and I’ve been super jealous of people who could.

    ‘I’ve already looked into getting a running leg.

    ‘I think a marathon would be super cool. Even just going for a jog down the road would be wonderful.’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘My lungs are broken but people don’t think I am disabled’

    MORE: Amputee without legs joins circus to perform the most impressive stunts

    MORE: Woman throws a goodbye party for her boobs before having a double mastectomy


    Woman writes breakup letter to her footWoman writes breakup letter to her footellencscottJordan Beckwith with leg amputated. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005Jordan Beckwith with her husband Brian. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005Jordan Beckwith recovering from surgery. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005Jordan Beckwith leg before surgery. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005Jordan Beckwith leg before surgery. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ???break up??? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ???It???s not me, it???s you. I???m sure we???ve had some good times together, but it???s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.??? She signed off the note: ???Your blood supplier???. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005Jordan Beckwith learning to walk with her prosthetic leg. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005Woman writes breakup letter to her footWoman writes breakup letter to her footellencscottJordan Beckwith with leg amputated. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005Jordan Beckwith with her husband Brian. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005Jordan Beckwith recovering from surgery. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005Jordan Beckwith leg before surgery. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005Jordan Beckwith leg before surgery. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ???break up??? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ???It???s not me, it???s you. I???m sure we???ve had some good times together, but it???s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.??? She signed off the note: ???Your blood supplier???. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005Jordan Beckwith learning to walk with her prosthetic leg. See SWNS story SWNYbreak; A woman, 27, who CHOSE to have her foot amputated after a childhood horse riding accident left her in constant pain wrote a ?break up? note to her limb. Jordan Beckwith made the heart wrenching decision to become an amputee after growing tired of non-stop surgeries and relying on pain medication. Before the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the realtor, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, scribbled a note on her leg to say goodbye to her right foot. Alongside jottings from friends, she wrote: ?It?s not me, it?s you. I?m sure we?ve had some good times together, but it?s time we parted ways. I wish you all the best.? She signed off the note: ?Your blood supplier?. Jordan, married to Brian, 35, a financial advisor, was just 13 when she was thrown from an over excited horse and shattered her ankle in 2005

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    Picture: Willis ISD Teacher gets haircut after little girl gets made fun of for hers
    (Picture: Willis ISD)

    Teachers are heroes.

    When Shannon Grimm noticed that one of her students was being teased for her short hairstyle, she found the perfect way to make her feel better: chopping off her own hair so they could match.

    Five-year-old Prisilla had her hair cut short after a severe case of headlice.

    She was embarrassed of her new cropped hair, wearing a hat to school and refusing to take it off. Then other students started to call Prisilla a boy because of her short hair, prompting tears and difficulty focusing in class.

    Shannon tried giving classroom discussions about how girls can have short hair and boys can have long hair, but the message didn’t sink in – Prisilla still missed her long hair.

    Then, over winter break, Shannon came up with an idea.

    She decided to cut off her waist-length hair to show Prisilla that short hair can look brilliant.

    Picture: Willis ISD Teacher gets haircut after little girl gets made fun of for hers
    (Picture: Willis ISD)

    ‘I’ve never had short hair, and I stressed about it for two weeks before making a decision,’ Shannon told Yahoo.

    Shannon arrived in class after winter break to show off her new hair. She even made herself and Prisilla matching bows so they could style their hair the same way.

    Prisilla now loves her short ‘do, and Shannon has promised to keep her hair short until Prisilla’s grows out.

    What a sweet way to help a little girl get her confidence back.

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I’ve been called a liar because I look so much whiter than my brother’

    MORE: Woman writes breakup letter to her foot before having it amputated

    MORE: Soap dispensers in public toilets could be hiding deadly bacteria inside


    Teacher gets haircut after little girl gets made fun of for hersTeacher gets haircut after little girl gets made fun of for hersellencscottPicture: Willis ISD Teacher gets haircut after little girl gets made fun of for hersPicture: Willis ISD Teacher gets haircut after little girl gets made fun of for hersTeacher gets haircut after little girl gets made fun of for hersTeacher gets haircut after little girl gets made fun of for hersellencscottPicture: Willis ISD Teacher gets haircut after little girl gets made fun of for hersPicture: Willis ISD Teacher gets haircut after little girl gets made fun of for hers

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Not to stress you out, but if you’re feeling anxious, tetchy, and down in the dumps, your cat might be feeling rubbish too.

    New research from Nottingham Trent University suggests that cats pick up on our levels of anxiety and replicate them, meaning that stressed out owners will have stressed out cats.

    Researchers looked at the personality, behaviour, and health of 3,331 cats in the UK – as well as their owners’ wellbeing.

    They found that owners with high levels of neuroses were more likely to have cats who developed stress-related sickness and behavioural problems, such as aggression.

    Cats belonging to stressed owners were also more likely to be overweight and have ongoing medical problems.

    People who weren’t so anxious were more likely to have cats of a healthy weight and with normal behaviour. Owners who were rated as open, extroverted, and sociable had cats who were, well, open, extroverted, and sociable.

    This may indicate that cats not only pick up on our emotional wellbeing, but mirror it right back.

    (Picture: Getty)

    Study author Lauren Finka told PsyPost: ‘Our personalities may be an important factor in relation to how we interact with and manage our cats, and this can have important consequences for their wellbeing.

    ‘Cats may not always find living as our pets easy, and it’s important that we are aware of how our behaviour may be impacting upon them, in both positive and negative ways.’

    Another recent study backs up that idea.

    Researchers at the University of Liverpool gave 126 cat owners questionnaires designed to measure five personality traits: friendliness, spontaneity, dominance, neuroticism, and extroversion.

    Those questionnaires analysed both the cats’ personalities and the humans’.

    It turned out that owners who were more narcissistic were more likely to have cats who were greedy, aggressive bullies.

    Now, it’s worth noting that both of these studies involved self-reported information.

    It could be that an anxious person is more likely to see their cat’s behaviour as stressed out. Or perhaps a narcissistic person is more likely to choose an aggressive cat, rather than their personality turning a cat into a bully.

    But if you do notice your cat seems a bit miserable, it might be worth looking inwards. Are you doing okay? Are you teaching your cat positive emotional behaviours?

    MORE: Feeling irritated, stressed, and finding it hard to get stuff done? You might have cognitive fatigue

    MORE: Student has her very own fox and hound – who are the best of friends

    MORE: UK’s unluckiest dog has spent five years looking for a home


    A teenager girl holding her catA teenager girl holding her catellencscottA teenager girl holding her catA teenager girl holding her catellencscott

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

    Yesterday millions of women across the world had sex that they were ‘dreading’, because it was Valentine’s Day.

    The day that is supposed to be a celebration of love can, for many women, mean pressure to put on uncomfortable underwear and have sex with their partner even if they’re not in the mood.

    Researchers for Vagisil spoke to 2,000 women between the ages of 40 and 61 found that 10% of them were worried about having to have Valentine’s Day sex. Assuming their sample was representative, that means three million women in the UK were dreading V-Day sex.

    One of the major causes of painful or uncomfortable sex is vaginal dryness, something which over half of women over the age of 40 experience in their lifetime.

    The study then asked women how vaginal dryness effects their sex life. 52% said they felt like they’d let their partner down, and 33% felt their partners were frustrated with them.

    25% of women said that they had made up an excuse to avoid sex, and 24% said that they had sex anyway, ‘suffering in silence’ and just hoping it would get better.

    It should go without saying, but no-one should ever feel obliged to have sex. Whether you’re married, dating or friends with benefits, you don’t owe anyone access to your body. Especially if a condition such as vaginal dryness makes is uncomfortable.

    If you are struggling with uncomfortable or painful sex then there are steps that you can take to alleviate the discomfort. In the first instance, bringing lube into the bedroom is a quick and easy step. If you’re using a condom then you should avoid silicon based lubricants which can cause condoms to break.

    We like liquid silk, but Durex is also good and easy to find in most branches of Superdrug or Boots.

    Extended foreplay with lots of lubricant can also help you to relax and enjoy sex. In fact if sex is uncomfortable then you can replace penetrative sex with foreplay and bring each other to orgasm without actually having sex.

    If sex continues to be painful, you should visit your GP. Painful sex can be a result or dryness or stress, but it can also suggest underlying gynecological issues and so it’s better to be on the safe side.

    MORE: Taking the contraceptive pill can affect the ability to read emotion, study says

    MORE: Getting Freaky: How would doctors actually remove a light bulb from your rectum or vagina?


    people tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the moodpeople tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the moodrebeccacnreidpeople tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the moodpeople tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the moodpeople tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the moodrebeccacnreidpeople tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the mood

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    Why sex ed needs to focus on sexual pleasure
    (Picture: Erin Aniker for Metro.co.uk)

    Fears that giving out condoms to students will make them more promiscuous are unfounded, suggests a major review by the UN Population Fund.

    Making condoms available to pupils at school could reduce rates of sexually transmitted infections, however.

    The review found that giving out condoms in secondary schools doesn’t make teenagers have sex earlier or have more sex. It does reduce STI rates, but it doesn’t reduce teenage pregnancy, suggesting that perhaps other forms of contraception should be more readily available, too.

    The Guardian reports the research found that once condoms are available in schools, students do actually use them, which improves general sexual health among the age group.

    A common refrain from celibacy education advocates is that by giving students condoms, adults are encouraging them to have sex earlier. This study suggests the opposite, finding that in some cases, students with access to condoms at school reported having fewer sexual partners.

    Plus, the sex they did have was more likely to be safe – which can only be a good thing.

    Researchers hope that their findings will encourage more schools to have condoms readily available, particularly in areas where rates of HIV and teenage pregnancies are high.

    But they’re quick to state that making a change isn’t as simple as putting a bucket of condoms outside the nurse’s office.

    It’s important to couple the provision of condoms with proper sex education that covers all areas of contraception, pregnancy, and STIs.

    Related: Why you shouldn’t keep a condom in your wallet or pocket

    Wallets and pockets are awful places for condoms to be stored thanks to friction and high temperature.

    ‘Heat, moisture, friction and light can affect the quality of condoms and make them less effective,’ Karin O’Sullivan, clinical lead at sexual health charity FPA, tells Metro.co.uk.

    Pockets and wallets, nestled close to your body and its heat, tend to be warm. They also jostle around when you walk, adding friction to the mix.

    This makes condoms weaker and more likely to tear.

    MORE: What to do if you get a condom stuck inside you

    MORE: After being diagnosed with no sperm, I started a group for men to talk about fertility

    MORE: Women share their stories of getting the morning after pill in an effort to remove the stigma


    Why sex ed needs to focus on sexual pleasureWhy sex ed needs to focus on sexual pleasureellencscottWhy sex ed needs to focus on sexual pleasureWhy sex ed needs to focus on sexual pleasureellencscott

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    Pic by Caters News - (Pictured: Callum and Abbie Braley with Abbies bridesmaids and Pumba ) - This porky photobomber known as Pumba the micro pig has stolen the limelight at his owners big day. Taking on the role of chief entertainer at the nuptials, the one-year-old pig, who lives with owners Callum and Abbie Braley in The Leigh, Gloucester, was caught in every photo. From grazing in the background of the grooms shot with his best man, to hogging the limelight in the brides arms, Pumba was centre of attention. Professional rugby player Callum, 24, and personal assistant Abbie, 29, were determined to invite their prized pet along to their wedding in June last year. But it wasnt until they looked back at their wedding pictures earlier this month that they realised Pumba had photobombed all of their wedding shots. SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Caters News Agency)

    Meet Pumba – micro-pig, friend, and limelight thief.

    Pumba belongs to professional rugby player Callum, 24, and personal assistant Abbie, 29.

    They decided to kindly invite their pet pig to the wedding and have him appear in some of their photos from the big day.

    But Pumba decided that wasn’t enough. He photobombed every candid wedding photo he could manage.

    The couple only found out that their pig was a master at photobombing when they looked at the pictures and spied him in every one.

    ‘We couldn’t not invite Pumba to our wedding day, he’s part of the family,’ said Abbie.  ‘Pumba spent the day running around, grazing and making friends with the children.

    ‘We’re used to him but everyone else is shocked or fascinated.

    ‘But people can also be wary, yet he’s so friendly and wags his tail.

    ‘We had the wedding in a field, all outdoors in summer so it was perfect for him.

    Pic by Caters News - (Pictured: Callum and Abbie Braley with Pumba the pig) - This porky photobomber known as Pumba the micro pig has stolen the limelight at his owners big day. Taking on the role of chief entertainer at the nuptials, the one-year-old pig, who lives with owners Callum and Abbie Braley in The Leigh, Gloucester, was caught in every photo. From grazing in the background of the grooms shot with his best man, to hogging the limelight in the brides arms, Pumba was centre of attention. Professional rugby player Callum, 24, and personal assistant Abbie, 29, were determined to invite their prized pet along to their wedding in June last year. But it wasnt until they looked back at their wedding pictures earlier this month that they realised Pumba had photobombed all of their wedding shots. SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Caters News Agency)

    ‘The dogs were there too, and my three horses, but Pumba definitely became the star of the show – it wasn’t the intention for him to be in so many photos.

    ‘It’s hilarious looking back on them as he’s photobombed them all.’

    Abbie and Callum adopted Pumba after spotting a micro pig breeder online. The pig has the potential to grow to eight stone by the age of five, and will live outside as he grows larger.

    For now, he’s house-trained and loves to spend time indoors with his owners and their two dalmatians, Brody and Beau.

    Pic by Caters News - (Pictured: Callum and Abbie Braley ) - This porky photobomber known as Pumba the micro pig has stolen the limelight at his owners big day. Taking on the role of chief entertainer at the nuptials, the one-year-old pig, who lives with owners Callum and Abbie Braley in The Leigh, Gloucester, was caught in every photo. From grazing in the background of the grooms shot with his best man, to hogging the limelight in the brides arms, Pumba was centre of attention. Professional rugby player Callum, 24, and personal assistant Abbie, 29, were determined to invite their prized pet along to their wedding in June last year. But it wasnt until they looked back at their wedding pictures earlier this month that they realised Pumba had photobombed all of their wedding shots. SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Caters News Agency)

    ‘Pumba is so sassy – the sass is unreal,’ says Abbie.

    ‘Food is everything to him, and he always wants to be with us, coming on walks.

    ‘He hates being on his own, he’s just like a dog only much smarter.

    ‘He loves the dogs – he gets in their bed and sits on them, he thinks he’s one of them.

    ‘He’s a year old now and could grow a little more – but I never thought I’d love a pig this much.’

    MORE: Mum can’t decide whether it’s acceptable to wear a white dress to a wedding

    MORE: Your anxiety levels could be stressing out your cat

    MORE: Micro pigs abandoned by owners ‘who don’t realise they will grow’


    MICRO PIG AT WEDDINGMICRO PIG AT WEDDINGellencscottPic by Caters News - (Pictured: Callum and Abbie Braley with Abbies bridesmaids and Pumba ) - This porky photobomber known as Pumba the micro pig has stolen the limelight at his owners big day. Taking on the role of chief entertainer at the nuptials, the one-year-old pig, who lives with owners Callum and Abbie Braley in The Leigh, Gloucester, was caught in every photo. From grazing in the background of the grooms shot with his best man, to hogging the limelight in the brides arms, Pumba was centre of attention. Professional rugby player Callum, 24, and personal assistant Abbie, 29, were determined to invite their prized pet along to their wedding in June last year. But it wasnt until they looked back at their wedding pictures earlier this month that they realised Pumba had photobombed all of their wedding shots. SEE CATERS COPYPic by Caters News - (Pictured: Callum and Abbie Braley with Pumba the pig) - This porky photobomber known as Pumba the micro pig has stolen the limelight at his owners big day. Taking on the role of chief entertainer at the nuptials, the one-year-old pig, who lives with owners Callum and Abbie Braley in The Leigh, Gloucester, was caught in every photo. From grazing in the background of the grooms shot with his best man, to hogging the limelight in the brides arms, Pumba was centre of attention. Professional rugby player Callum, 24, and personal assistant Abbie, 29, were determined to invite their prized pet along to their wedding in June last year. But it wasnt until they looked back at their wedding pictures earlier this month that they realised Pumba had photobombed all of their wedding shots. SEE CATERS COPYPic by Caters News - (Pictured: Callum and Abbie Braley ) - This porky photobomber known as Pumba the micro pig has stolen the limelight at his owners big day. Taking on the role of chief entertainer at the nuptials, the one-year-old pig, who lives with owners Callum and Abbie Braley in The Leigh, Gloucester, was caught in every photo. From grazing in the background of the grooms shot with his best man, to hogging the limelight in the brides arms, Pumba was centre of attention. Professional rugby player Callum, 24, and personal assistant Abbie, 29, were determined to invite their prized pet along to their wedding in June last year. But it wasnt until they looked back at their wedding pictures earlier this month that they realised Pumba had photobombed all of their wedding shots. SEE CATERS COPYMICRO PIG AT WEDDINGMICRO PIG AT WEDDINGellencscottPic by Caters News - (Pictured: Callum and Abbie Braley with Abbies bridesmaids and Pumba ) - This porky photobomber known as Pumba the micro pig has stolen the limelight at his owners big day. Taking on the role of chief entertainer at the nuptials, the one-year-old pig, who lives with owners Callum and Abbie Braley in The Leigh, Gloucester, was caught in every photo. From grazing in the background of the grooms shot with his best man, to hogging the limelight in the brides arms, Pumba was centre of attention. Professional rugby player Callum, 24, and personal assistant Abbie, 29, were determined to invite their prized pet along to their wedding in June last year. But it wasnt until they looked back at their wedding pictures earlier this month that they realised Pumba had photobombed all of their wedding shots. SEE CATERS COPYPic by Caters News - (Pictured: Callum and Abbie Braley with Pumba the pig) - This porky photobomber known as Pumba the micro pig has stolen the limelight at his owners big day. Taking on the role of chief entertainer at the nuptials, the one-year-old pig, who lives with owners Callum and Abbie Braley in The Leigh, Gloucester, was caught in every photo. From grazing in the background of the grooms shot with his best man, to hogging the limelight in the brides arms, Pumba was centre of attention. Professional rugby player Callum, 24, and personal assistant Abbie, 29, were determined to invite their prized pet along to their wedding in June last year. But it wasnt until they looked back at their wedding pictures earlier this month that they realised Pumba had photobombed all of their wedding shots. SEE CATERS COPYPic by Caters News - (Pictured: Callum and Abbie Braley ) - This porky photobomber known as Pumba the micro pig has stolen the limelight at his owners big day. Taking on the role of chief entertainer at the nuptials, the one-year-old pig, who lives with owners Callum and Abbie Braley in The Leigh, Gloucester, was caught in every photo. From grazing in the background of the grooms shot with his best man, to hogging the limelight in the brides arms, Pumba was centre of attention. Professional rugby player Callum, 24, and personal assistant Abbie, 29, were determined to invite their prized pet along to their wedding in June last year. But it wasnt until they looked back at their wedding pictures earlier this month that they realised Pumba had photobombed all of their wedding shots. SEE CATERS COPY

    0 0

    IN THE STYLE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN WITH DANI DYER AS THE BRAND PLEDGES TO STOP RETOUCHING ALL IMAGERY Fashion e-tailer In The Style has today announced its pledge to stop retouching all website imagery and any original content created for its social media, starting with an inclusive #ITSjustgotreal campaign, featuring nine women, including Love Island winner Dani Dyer. In a bid to celebrate women???s natural beauty and with awareness of the impact that social media can have on its audience, In The Style has pledged that from tomorrow, 14th February 2019, every new piece of content created and uploaded by In The Style, including its celebrity and influencer collaborations, will receive no airbrushing. In The Style CEO and Founder, Adam Frisby, says: ???As a social first fashion brand we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that editing our images has on our audience. This is something that most if not all retailers and marketeers do to sell products in ???the best possible way???. However, we believe it???s our social responsibility to tackle the subconscious reinforcement to women that they have to look like the impossibly airbrushed girls they see on websites. This is one trend that is out of style at ITS and we believe it???s time to get REAL - we are all beautiful and we should celebrate that. ???From today, and going forward, all pictures that are uploaded to our website and all original content created for our social media and marketing channels will show our models and ambassadors as the beautiful, unedited girls they are. Of course we will still use all the usual girl tricks - make-up and hairspray - to create our vibe, but we will not be smoothing out any lines, wrinkles, lumps or bumps to sell you something that just is not real. ???Those stretch marks, moles, love handles, scars or cellulite should be celebrated in all their glory and that???s exactly what we???re going to do.??? The #ITSjustgotreal campaign, fronted by Dani Dyer
    (Picture: In The Style)

    Another win for accurate representation of human bodies: In The Style has vowed to stop retouching all photos on their site.

    Yes, that means you might actually spy models with cellulite, stretch marks, or even rolls of flesh where you’d expect rolls of flesh to usually be.

    In The Style announced their ruling with a new campaign called #ITSjustgotreal, fronted by nine In The Style ambassadors including Love Island winner Dani Dyer, burn survivor Naomi Oni, and plus-size model Netsai Tinaresse Dandajena.

    From today onwards, every new image created and uploaded by In The Style will be free of airbrushing of any kind, including any collaborations with celebrities and influencers.

    The move makes sense considering the overwhelmingly positive reactions to other brands who’ve ditched the Photoshop. People praised the visible stretch marks on one of Missguided’s models, and MAC’s decision to include facial hair in a lipstick promotion shot was widely applauded.

    In The Style CEO and founder Adam Frisby says: ‘As a social first fashion brand we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that editing our images has on our audience.

    IN THE STYLE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN WITH DANI DYER AS THE BRAND PLEDGES TO STOP RETOUCHING ALL IMAGERY Fashion e-tailer In The Style has today announced its pledge to stop retouching all website imagery and any original content created for its social media, starting with an inclusive #ITSjustgotreal campaign, featuring nine women, including Love Island winner Dani Dyer. In a bid to celebrate women???s natural beauty and with awareness of the impact that social media can have on its audience, In The Style has pledged that from tomorrow, 14th February 2019, every new piece of content created and uploaded by In The Style, including its celebrity and influencer collaborations, will receive no airbrushing. In The Style CEO and Founder, Adam Frisby, says: ???As a social first fashion brand we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that editing our images has on our audience. This is something that most if not all retailers and marketeers do to sell products in ???the best possible way???. However, we believe it???s our social responsibility to tackle the subconscious reinforcement to women that they have to look like the impossibly airbrushed girls they see on websites. This is one trend that is out of style at ITS and we believe it???s time to get REAL - we are all beautiful and we should celebrate that. ???From today, and going forward, all pictures that are uploaded to our website and all original content created for our social media and marketing channels will show our models and ambassadors as the beautiful, unedited girls they are. Of course we will still use all the usual girl tricks - make-up and hairspray - to create our vibe, but we will not be smoothing out any lines, wrinkles, lumps or bumps to sell you something that just is not real. ???Those stretch marks, moles, love handles, scars or cellulite should be celebrated in all their glory and that???s exactly what we???re going to do.??? The #ITSjustgotreal campaign, fronted by Dani Dyer
    (Picture: In The Style)

    ‘This is something that most if not all retailers and marketeers do to sell products in “the best possible way”.

    ‘However, we believe it’s our social responsibility to tackle the subconscious reinforcement to women that they have to look like the impossibly airbrushed girls they see on websites.

    ‘This is one trend that is out of style at ITS and we believe it’s time to get REAL – we are all beautiful and we should celebrate that.

    ‘From today, and going forward, all pictures that are uploaded to our website and all original content created for our social media and marketing channels will show our models and ambassadors as the beautiful, unedited girls they are.

    ‘Of course we will still use all the usual girl tricks – makeup and hairspray – to create our vibe, but we will not be smoothing out any lines, wrinkles, lumps or bumps to sell you something that just is not real.

    IN THE STYLE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN WITH DANI DYER AS THE BRAND PLEDGES TO STOP RETOUCHING ALL IMAGERY Fashion e-tailer In The Style has today announced its pledge to stop retouching all website imagery and any original content created for its social media, starting with an inclusive #ITSjustgotreal campaign, featuring nine women, including Love Island winner Dani Dyer. In a bid to celebrate women???s natural beauty and with awareness of the impact that social media can have on its audience, In The Style has pledged that from tomorrow, 14th February 2019, every new piece of content created and uploaded by In The Style, including its celebrity and influencer collaborations, will receive no airbrushing. In The Style CEO and Founder, Adam Frisby, says: ???As a social first fashion brand we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that editing our images has on our audience. This is something that most if not all retailers and marketeers do to sell products in ???the best possible way???. However, we believe it???s our social responsibility to tackle the subconscious reinforcement to women that they have to look like the impossibly airbrushed girls they see on websites. This is one trend that is out of style at ITS and we believe it???s time to get REAL - we are all beautiful and we should celebrate that. ???From today, and going forward, all pictures that are uploaded to our website and all original content created for our social media and marketing channels will show our models and ambassadors as the beautiful, unedited girls they are. Of course we will still use all the usual girl tricks - make-up and hairspray - to create our vibe, but we will not be smoothing out any lines, wrinkles, lumps or bumps to sell you something that just is not real. ???Those stretch marks, moles, love handles, scars or cellulite should be celebrated in all their glory and that???s exactly what we???re going to do.??? The #ITSjustgotreal campaign, fronted by Dani Dyer
    (Picture: In The Style)

    ‘Those stretch marks, moles, love handles, scars or cellulite should be celebrated in all their glory and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.’

    Dani Dyer said she was excited to take part in the brand’s campaign.

    ‘I wanted to be a part of this campaign as it is a really natural fit and echoes everything I stand for,’ said Dani. ‘If we can start to make imagery that is as realistic as possible, so women don’t feel like they have to strive to meet these ‘perfect’ standards, then we’ve done a really good job.

    ‘I feel really passionately about the #ITSjustgotreal campaign. Untouched imagery is a such a good move in my opinion and I hope it’s one that helps everybody embrace their individuality and become more comfortable in their own skin.

    ‘Social media and online shopping can have an impact on anyone’s self-esteem. I have a little sister and lots of young followers who I’m always looking out for and would love for them to be brought up in a world that’s real.

    ‘Nobody is perfect, and to be honest being perfect would be pretty boring. I’m proud to lend my support to this positive step forward.’

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    SEI_52258299-1b2cSEI_52258299-1b2cellencscottIN THE STYLE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN WITH DANI DYER AS THE BRAND PLEDGES TO STOP RETOUCHING ALL IMAGERY Fashion e-tailer In The Style has today announced its pledge to stop retouching all website imagery and any original content created for its social media, starting with an inclusive #ITSjustgotreal campaign, featuring nine women, including Love Island winner Dani Dyer. In a bid to celebrate women???s natural beauty and with awareness of the impact that social media can have on its audience, In The Style has pledged that from tomorrow, 14th February 2019, every new piece of content created and uploaded by In The Style, including its celebrity and influencer collaborations, will receive no airbrushing. In The Style CEO and Founder, Adam Frisby, says: ???As a social first fashion brand we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that editing our images has on our audience. This is something that most if not all retailers and marketeers do to sell products in ???the best possible way???. However, we believe it???s our social responsibility to tackle the subconscious reinforcement to women that they have to look like the impossibly airbrushed girls they see on websites. This is one trend that is out of style at ITS and we believe it???s time to get REAL - we are all beautiful and we should celebrate that. ???From today, and going forward, all pictures that are uploaded to our website and all original content created for our social media and marketing channels will show our models and ambassadors as the beautiful, unedited girls they are. Of course we will still use all the usual girl tricks - make-up and hairspray - to create our vibe, but we will not be smoothing out any lines, wrinkles, lumps or bumps to sell you something that just is not real. ???Those stretch marks, moles, love handles, scars or cellulite should be celebrated in all their glory and that???s exactly what we???re going to do.??? The #ITSjustgotreal campaign, fronted by Dani DyerIN THE STYLE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN WITH DANI DYER AS THE BRAND PLEDGES TO STOP RETOUCHING ALL IMAGERY Fashion e-tailer In The Style has today announced its pledge to stop retouching all website imagery and any original content created for its social media, starting with an inclusive #ITSjustgotreal campaign, featuring nine women, including Love Island winner Dani Dyer. In a bid to celebrate women???s natural beauty and with awareness of the impact that social media can have on its audience, In The Style has pledged that from tomorrow, 14th February 2019, every new piece of content created and uploaded by In The Style, including its celebrity and influencer collaborations, will receive no airbrushing. In The Style CEO and Founder, Adam Frisby, says: ???As a social first fashion brand we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that editing our images has on our audience. This is something that most if not all retailers and marketeers do to sell products in ???the best possible way???. However, we believe it???s our social responsibility to tackle the subconscious reinforcement to women that they have to look like the impossibly airbrushed girls they see on websites. This is one trend that is out of style at ITS and we believe it???s time to get REAL - we are all beautiful and we should celebrate that. ???From today, and going forward, all pictures that are uploaded to our website and all original content created for our social media and marketing channels will show our models and ambassadors as the beautiful, unedited girls they are. Of course we will still use all the usual girl tricks - make-up and hairspray - to create our vibe, but we will not be smoothing out any lines, wrinkles, lumps or bumps to sell you something that just is not real. ???Those stretch marks, moles, love handles, scars or cellulite should be celebrated in all their glory and that???s exactly what we???re going to do.??? The #ITSjustgotreal campaign, fronted by Dani DyerIN THE STYLE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN WITH DANI DYER AS THE BRAND PLEDGES TO STOP RETOUCHING ALL IMAGERY Fashion e-tailer In The Style has today announced its pledge to stop retouching all website imagery and any original content created for its social media, starting with an inclusive #ITSjustgotreal campaign, featuring nine women, including Love Island winner Dani Dyer. In a bid to celebrate women???s natural beauty and with awareness of the impact that social media can have on its audience, In The Style has pledged that from tomorrow, 14th February 2019, every new piece of content created and uploaded by In The Style, including its celebrity and influencer collaborations, will receive no airbrushing. In The Style CEO and Founder, Adam Frisby, says: ???As a social first fashion brand we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that editing our images has on our audience. This is something that most if not all retailers and marketeers do to sell products in ???the best possible way???. However, we believe it???s our social responsibility to tackle the subconscious reinforcement to women that they have to look like the impossibly airbrushed girls they see on websites. This is one trend that is out of style at ITS and we believe it???s time to get REAL - we are all beautiful and we should celebrate that. ???From today, and going forward, all pictures that are uploaded to our website and all original content created for our social media and marketing channels will show our models and ambassadors as the beautiful, unedited girls they are. Of course we will still use all the usual girl tricks - make-up and hairspray - to create our vibe, but we will not be smoothing out any lines, wrinkles, lumps or bumps to sell you something that just is not real. ???Those stretch marks, moles, love handles, scars or cellulite should be celebrated in all their glory and that???s exactly what we???re going to do.??? The #ITSjustgotreal campaign, fronted by Dani DyerSEI_52258299-1b2cSEI_52258299-1b2cellencscottIN THE STYLE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN WITH DANI DYER AS THE BRAND PLEDGES TO STOP RETOUCHING ALL IMAGERY Fashion e-tailer In The Style has today announced its pledge to stop retouching all website imagery and any original content created for its social media, starting with an inclusive #ITSjustgotreal campaign, featuring nine women, including Love Island winner Dani Dyer. In a bid to celebrate women???s natural beauty and with awareness of the impact that social media can have on its audience, In The Style has pledged that from tomorrow, 14th February 2019, every new piece of content created and uploaded by In The Style, including its celebrity and influencer collaborations, will receive no airbrushing. In The Style CEO and Founder, Adam Frisby, says: ???As a social first fashion brand we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that editing our images has on our audience. This is something that most if not all retailers and marketeers do to sell products in ???the best possible way???. However, we believe it???s our social responsibility to tackle the subconscious reinforcement to women that they have to look like the impossibly airbrushed girls they see on websites. This is one trend that is out of style at ITS and we believe it???s time to get REAL - we are all beautiful and we should celebrate that. ???From today, and going forward, all pictures that are uploaded to our website and all original content created for our social media and marketing channels will show our models and ambassadors as the beautiful, unedited girls they are. Of course we will still use all the usual girl tricks - make-up and hairspray - to create our vibe, but we will not be smoothing out any lines, wrinkles, lumps or bumps to sell you something that just is not real. ???Those stretch marks, moles, love handles, scars or cellulite should be celebrated in all their glory and that???s exactly what we???re going to do.??? The #ITSjustgotreal campaign, fronted by Dani DyerIN THE STYLE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN WITH DANI DYER AS THE BRAND PLEDGES TO STOP RETOUCHING ALL IMAGERY Fashion e-tailer In The Style has today announced its pledge to stop retouching all website imagery and any original content created for its social media, starting with an inclusive #ITSjustgotreal campaign, featuring nine women, including Love Island winner Dani Dyer. In a bid to celebrate women???s natural beauty and with awareness of the impact that social media can have on its audience, In The Style has pledged that from tomorrow, 14th February 2019, every new piece of content created and uploaded by In The Style, including its celebrity and influencer collaborations, will receive no airbrushing. In The Style CEO and Founder, Adam Frisby, says: ???As a social first fashion brand we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that editing our images has on our audience. This is something that most if not all retailers and marketeers do to sell products in ???the best possible way???. However, we believe it???s our social responsibility to tackle the subconscious reinforcement to women that they have to look like the impossibly airbrushed girls they see on websites. This is one trend that is out of style at ITS and we believe it???s time to get REAL - we are all beautiful and we should celebrate that. ???From today, and going forward, all pictures that are uploaded to our website and all original content created for our social media and marketing channels will show our models and ambassadors as the beautiful, unedited girls they are. Of course we will still use all the usual girl tricks - make-up and hairspray - to create our vibe, but we will not be smoothing out any lines, wrinkles, lumps or bumps to sell you something that just is not real. ???Those stretch marks, moles, love handles, scars or cellulite should be celebrated in all their glory and that???s exactly what we???re going to do.??? The #ITSjustgotreal campaign, fronted by Dani DyerIN THE STYLE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN WITH DANI DYER AS THE BRAND PLEDGES TO STOP RETOUCHING ALL IMAGERY Fashion e-tailer In The Style has today announced its pledge to stop retouching all website imagery and any original content created for its social media, starting with an inclusive #ITSjustgotreal campaign, featuring nine women, including Love Island winner Dani Dyer. In a bid to celebrate women???s natural beauty and with awareness of the impact that social media can have on its audience, In The Style has pledged that from tomorrow, 14th February 2019, every new piece of content created and uploaded by In The Style, including its celebrity and influencer collaborations, will receive no airbrushing. In The Style CEO and Founder, Adam Frisby, says: ???As a social first fashion brand we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that editing our images has on our audience. This is something that most if not all retailers and marketeers do to sell products in ???the best possible way???. However, we believe it???s our social responsibility to tackle the subconscious reinforcement to women that they have to look like the impossibly airbrushed girls they see on websites. This is one trend that is out of style at ITS and we believe it???s time to get REAL - we are all beautiful and we should celebrate that. ???From today, and going forward, all pictures that are uploaded to our website and all original content created for our social media and marketing channels will show our models and ambassadors as the beautiful, unedited girls they are. Of course we will still use all the usual girl tricks - make-up and hairspray - to create our vibe, but we will not be smoothing out any lines, wrinkles, lumps or bumps to sell you something that just is not real. ???Those stretch marks, moles, love handles, scars or cellulite should be celebrated in all their glory and that???s exactly what we???re going to do.??? The #ITSjustgotreal campaign, fronted by Dani Dyer

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    A teenager with a rare genetic disorder which causes facial deformity is appealing for people to help him find ‘the one’.

    18-year-old Ashley Carter has Treacher Collins syndrome and was born with no ears, a receding jaw and no cheekbones.

    He has worked as an anti-bullying campaigner after being verbally and physically attacked as a child and has appeared on numerous TV shows to educate others.

    But now he says he’s ready to look for love, and wants to find ‘the one’.

    The support worker from Taunton, Somerset, said he’s tired of feeling ‘held back’ by his syndrome and is asking for anyone who would like to date him to get in touch.

    Collect of Ashley Carter, 18, who has Treacher Collins syndrome and was born without any ears, a receding jaw and no cheekbones, is appealing for people to help him find ?the one? on Valentine?s Day. .See SWNS story SWOC..A teenager with a rare genetic disorder which causes facial deformity is appealing for people to help him find "the one" this Valentine's Day.Ashley Carter, 18, has Treacher Collins syndrome and was born without any ears, a receding jaw and no cheekbones. He has worked as an anti-bullying campaigner after being verbally and physically attacked as a child and has appeared on numerous TV shows to educate others.But he has told how he's now "looking for love" - and is ready to find "the one".
    (Picture: Ashley Carter/SWNS.COM)

    He’s even posted a video online asking for anyone who is looking for love, or knows someone who is, to message him.

    Ashley said: ‘I’m looking for love.

    ‘I’ve been seeing lots of people that have found the perfect partner for them.

    ‘I just feel like I’m ready to settle down now myself.

    ‘I just want to find that one special person that I can settle down with and have a life with, get married and have children.

    ‘I feel like my condition is holding me back.

    Collect of Ashley immediately after his birth in hospital. Ashley Carter, 18, who has Treacher Collins syndrome and was born without any ears, a receding jaw and no cheekbones, is appealing for people to help him find ?the one? on Valentine?s Day. .See SWNS story SWOC..A teenager with a rare genetic disorder which causes facial deformity is appealing for people to help him find "the one" this Valentine's Day.Ashley Carter, 18, has Treacher Collins syndrome and was born without any ears, a receding jaw and no cheekbones. He has worked as an anti-bullying campaigner after being verbally and physically attacked as a child and has appeared on numerous TV shows to educate others.But he has told how he's now "looking for love" - and is ready to find "the one".
    (Picture: Ashley Carter/SWNS.COM)

    ‘I don’t know why I feel like that. I would like to go up to people and get to know them but maybe it’s because of my confidence that I don’t do it.

    ‘I just want to build a relationship with a girl and get to know her.

    ‘When I go into town I see some really pretty girls and I smile at them and they smile back. I enjoy that but I don’t really know them.

    ‘All my friends are in relationships. I don’t feel jealous, but I just feel like I wish that was me too.

    ‘I just want to find the one for me because I see many other people and friends who have found the one for them,

    ‘I think it’s time for me to find my one.’

    Ashley said he has been in relationships before, but they didn’t work out.

    He’s tried online dating and while he got chatting to a few women, it never went any further.

    Collect of Ashley Carter, 18, who has Treacher Collins syndrome and was born without any ears, a receding jaw and no cheekbones, is appealing for people to help him find ?the one? on Valentine?s Day. .See SWNS story SWOC..A teenager with a rare genetic disorder which causes facial deformity is appealing for people to help him find "the one" this Valentine's Day.Ashley Carter, 18, has Treacher Collins syndrome and was born without any ears, a receding jaw and no cheekbones. He has worked as an anti-bullying campaigner after being verbally and physically attacked as a child and has appeared on numerous TV shows to educate others.But he has told how he's now "looking for love" - and is ready to find "the one".
    (Picture: Ashley Carter/SWNS.COM)

    He said his ideal partner would be a woman his age, who lives near him and is outgoing and family orientated.

    He said: ‘My ideal person, she would like going for trips out to town, going out for meals and be family orientated.

    ‘I love being with my family, so I would like her to get to know them, and also to get to know her family too.

    ‘I’d like someone who likes going on holidays and travelling and likes doing different things like maybe going to shows and who likes music.

    ‘I’d like to find that one person who I can wake up in the morning and think ‘I’m going to this place with her today’.’

    He said looks aren’t important to him, but he does prefer ‘slim’ women. He added: ‘I don’t want people to think that’s rude though. It’s more important that they are friendly.’

    Ashley said he’s become more confident recently thanks to securing a new job as a support worker with Mencap in December, and passing his driving test last month.

    Last year he said he was ‘insulted’ after being contacted by Channel 4 show, The Undateables.

    In his online video plea for love he said: ‘I’m keen to find love.

    ‘I’m looking for a nice young lady to settle down with and be like everyone else.

    ‘I want to look for that one special person.

    ‘I feel like my condition is holding me back and I don’t want that to happen, so if you know anyone or you would like to help me by supporting me then let me know by sending me a little message.’

    MORE: Yesterday millions of women had sex they didn’t want, because it was Valentine’s Day

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    (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

    If you use condoms as contraception it’s easy to get complacent.

    It can be tempting to put the condom on at the last minute so that you can enjoy unprotected sex before the main event.

    But while you might do this for years and get away with it, it’s not a foolproof method and it still carries risk.

    What is precum?

    Precum is a liquid emitted from the penis during arousal. It is clear, colorless and comes from the urethra. It is similar to semen, but the presence of sperm in the fluid is much lower. It can however still contain thousands of sperm.

    Can I get pregnant from it?

    The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that it’s not very likely, but it’s certainly not impossible.

    The amount of sperm in precum might be lower, but it’s not zero. And as we all know, the only way to be 100% certain of not getting pregnant is to avoid any sperm entering your vagina

    You’d be unlucky to get pregnant by accident from precum, but you wouldn’t be a complete miracle.

    Can I catch an STI from precum?

    Yes. Any STI which is passed through semen can also be passed on from precum. Plus there are plenty of STIs which aren’t transmitted through the semen itself, so if you and your sexual partner haven’t been tested then you should use a condom.

    In conclusion, unless you’re using another form of birth control and you’ve been tested for STI’s, you should use a condom from the beginning of sex to the end. Unless you’re trying to get pregnant in which case have at it.

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    How to handle confrontation like an adult
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Scared of having that ‘little chat’? Aren’t we all.

    You’re sitting at work when – *ping* – an email drops into your inbox. It’s Sandra from HR asking for a ‘quick chat’. Sounds ominous. You’re sure she’s never liked you and now she’s found some reason to make you really suffer.

    Your entire body runs hot. Confrontation is not your strong suit. Actually, if you’re honest, you hate it.

    Cate Mackenzie, qualified psychosexual therapist and couples counsellor, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘It’s not what we’re doing, it’s how we’re doing it.

    ‘People get caught in a ‘cortisol dump’. When someone is stressed, their body releases hormones; cortisol, adrenaline and testosterone, which hinder their ability to think straight.’

    If you want to handle confrontation without getting worked up into a stress-induced frenzy, there are some simple steps you can take.

    Take a moment to slow down

    The minute a confrontation rears its head, you probably react like this: You panic, think of the worst case scenario and then ‘bite the bullet’ by launching into an argument.

    ‘Slow down. It’s helpful to think appreciative thoughts or do something that helps you feel better like dancing, meditation, or relaxation,’ explains Mackenzie. ‘You’re more likely to have a better conversation when you’re in your body, not your head.’

    Sadly, it may not always be possible to dance or meditate – if you’re at work, for instance – but give yourself a second to just chill. Take some deep breaths; in and out.

    Figure out what you want

    Now you’re feeling calmer, consider how you want this to go down. For example, if you’re about to come head-to-head with nit-picky Sandra, you may want her to get off your back.

    ‘Create an intention before you go toward a communication,’ explains Mackenzie. ‘It can be helpful to envision what you would really like and imagine this happening and working. This sets your mind into a positive place.’

    To avoid becoming defensive or angry, focus on the end result. Having a preferred outcome in mind means you’ll make better choices and articulate yourself well.

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

    Check the time is right

    If your confronter has come to you, you can be pretty darn sure that the timing is right for them. Your move.

    However, if you’ve got a burning issue to raise, you need to be certain the other person has the time to hear you out. Before you go bulldozing in, ask the most important question of all.

    ‘Ask if it’s a good time to talk,’ says Mackenzie. ‘Take a second to check that the person has time to talk and that they are in the right headspace.’

    Never attack the other person

    Now, for the golden rule of any confrontation. ‘Avoid attacking the other person. When you attack someone, they go into a defensive mode,’ says Mackenzie.

    ‘It’s very normal – just look at any culture; any society. We have to go to people with the big discussion in a very calm way or we will engage their defence.’

    If you want to handle confrontation like an adult, you’re going to need to act like an adult. That means ignoring your gut instinct to start a slanging match and approaching the issue in a calmer, more conscientious manner.

    Use the ‘appreciation sandwich’

    Luckily, there’s a method you can use here. The Temperature Reading, created by author and therapist Virginia Satir, is a five-step method that helps people communicate well. While it’s a tad hefty for a novice confronter, Mackenzie offers a snappier version.

    ‘I use an adaptation of this in my client work as a three-stage method called an appreciation sandwich,’ says Mackenzie.

    ‘You start with an appreciation; letting the person know you appreciate their time or attention.’ Think of this part as giving someone a piece of chocolate right before you tell them some bad news. It sweetens the medicine.

    ‘Move onto the puzzle; querying what happened without accusing them.’ For instance, you might innocently question why Sandra continuously sends you emails rather than simply speaking to you in person.

    ‘And you finish with a request; asking them to do something or suggesting a solution you can work on together.’ So, you might suggest having a monthly meeting with Sandra, which will conveniently mean she doesn’t have to bother you 24/7. Nicely done.

    Of course, in a perfect world, we could all just get along and never have a problem with one another. It would sunshine, rainbows, and all that jazz.

    But, as we all know, this is not a perfect world. So since you’re going to have to deal with it anyhow, you should at least be prepared. Give the steps here a whirl, go forth, and confront.

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    How to handle confrontation like an adultHow to handle confrontation like an adultellencscottHow to handle confrontation like an adultHow to handle confrontation like an adultHow to handle confrontation like an adultellencscottHow to handle confrontation like an adult

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    Fay holding a sign reading 'Fay, Writer, Daydreamer'
    Fay tends not to tell people that she had cancer as a teenager (Photo: Youth Cancer Europe)

    I am more than a cancer survivor, but since being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at 15, people can’t see past my medical history.

    Before cancer, people treated me like a normal teenager. My mum had had cancer only a few years before, which had been hard, but I had a good group of friends that I made through dance and music groups.

    But when I got my diagnosis all that changed. I was no longer just Fay, I was ‘the girl who has cancer.’

    Even my cousin, who was a similar age, told me that she was repeatedly asked whether she was ‘the one whose cousin has cancer.’ I didn’t know it was happening at the time but it just shows how much cancer impacts more than just one person.

    I understand that people mean well when they try and protect children with cancer, but being told I couldn’t do things because of my diagnosis made me feel less than.

    I was determined to sit my GCSEs, even when a year out was suggested; although it was meant with good intentions, I always felt like the standards had changed.

    Like I couldn’t want better grades or to make the most out of myself because I had cancer.

    My voice felt very small, especially around adults who thought they knew what was best for me, without actually consulting me.

    Fifteen-year-olds today are given so much independence, yet when illness strikes they are reduced back to being babies, barred from making their own decisions.

    It for this reason that I have joined Youth Cancer Europe’s #removelabels campaign. People are more than their medical history.

    I am lucky in that I never backed down in what I wanted, and although they had reservations at first, my family wanted me to push for more.

    I wouldn’t have got my A levels or be at university now if I had accepted the label of ‘girl with cancer’ and what other people thought I should be doing.

    It took leaving my school to do my A Levels in a different city for me to feel free of people’s expectations of me.

    And I am so glad I did. Who knew being put in a box for years would actually stifle your ability to find out who you truly are?

    My passions are volunteering and writing, and one day I hope to be an author or screen writer. And it is these things that I choose to lead with when I meet new people, especially now that I am in university.

    My time at school taught me that it’s better to be quiet, and nowadays I stay relatively silent about my childhood cancer.

    On the one occasion I told my university friends about it, after I missed lectures for a hospital appointment, they all sat silently. They had no idea what to say and I found myself reassuring them that it was fine! I hated that it made them see me in a different way.

    As an adult, people seem to either have a lot of questions when they find out and then tell me how ‘inspiring’ I am, or they don’t think I can do things because of it (just like when I was younger.)

    One relative even told me I shouldn’t quit my full time job to go to university because I was lucky to have found someone to hire me in the first place.

    Luckily I have enough strength to laugh off these remarks (like the time someone told me to watch a film because a character in it had cancer) but I worry for the people that don’t.

    I hope in the next few years we see more understanding and support for those whose lives have been changed by cancer, but don’t want to be defined by it.

    Cancer survivors may have gone through something awful but they still have skills, dreams and ambitions, they just need others to stop pigeonholing them.

    Other people’s attitudes do impact you when you hear it a lot. It took me a long time to find the inner strength and determination I needed to follow my heart.

    Youth Cancer Europe helps to shape European policy, collaborate in and promote research, fight for better access to care, better treatments, better conditions and to help fix the disparities that exist across Europe for young people fighting cancer, while fighting to put an end to the discrimination suffered by patients and survivors at both an institutional and societal level. 

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    Fay-4ca3Fay-4ca3jessrubyaustinFay holding a sign reading 'Fay, Writer, Daydreamer'Fay-4ca3Fay-4ca3jessrubyaustinFay holding a sign reading 'Fay, Writer, Daydreamer'

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    (Picture: Dave Anderson/Metro.co.uk)

    Today in ‘everything you touch is filthy’ news, it’s highly likely there are poo particles on your toothbrush.

    If you store your toothbrush in the bathroom, the head is coming into contact with your faeces.

    This is because each time you flush the toilet, poo particles are flung into the air. If your toothbrush is exposed – say, it’s sitting in a cup on your sink – those poo particles can land directly on the bristles of your toothbrush… which you then use to scrub your teeth, tongue, and mouth. Lovely.

    As well as being pretty gross, the human waste particles sitting on your toothbrush could pose health concerns.

    Ralitsa Prodanova, a hygiene expert with Fantastic Services, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘These bio-aerosols can be extremely harmful – and the airborne water droplets are often contaminated with viruses and bacteria.

    ‘Previous scientific studies have shown how E. coli, Clostridium difficile and norovirus can all be transmitted in this way.

    ‘And if you keep your toothbrush near your toilet, these potentially deadly bugs can land on the bristles – before you put them straight into your mouth, twice a day.

    ‘Toothbrushes themselves are the perfect breeding ground for germs.

    ‘Bacteria love moist areas where they can grow and multiply, and toothbrushes are usually damp.

    ‘And what’s more, research has show that harmful particles can linger in the air for at least 30 minutes after each flush – and that they can disperse as far away as three metres from the toilet itself.’

    These bacteria could lead to severe gastrointestinal illness, as well as having a negative impact on our oral health.

    The more powerful your flush, the further that bacteria can spread. Flushing the toilet with the lid open won’t help either. The same goes for keeping your toothbrush out in the open and constantly damp.

    Toothpaste won’t magically get rid of the bacteria that can build up.

    Dr Imogen Bexfield of White Swan Aesthetics says: ‘It’s also important to keep in mind that toothpaste itself doesn’t rid of bacteria on the brush – this is something that many people seem to believe but isn’t the case.

    ‘Always rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after every brush with hot water, and never share your toothbrush with anyone else.’

    (Picture: Getty)

    Dr Raha Sepehrara, principal dentist at The Dental Suite, says that toothbrush storage is a key step in protecting your dental hygiene.

    ‘Toothbrushes can be contaminated and both our oral and overall health can be affected,’ Raha tells us. ‘The best way to store toothbrushes is upright in a cup or holder in the open to allow drying (sealed containers and a wet brush can result in bacterial growth).’

    So just covering up your bristles might not do the trick.

    Instead, it’s best to reduce the proximity between your toothbrush and the toilet, and make sure to keep your bathroom surfaces clean.

    If you’re lucky enough to have a massive bathroom with plenty of storage, pick whichever spot is far away from the loo. If not, it might be time to move your toothbrush to a shelf in your bedroom.

    Raha advises: ‘Keep your toothbrush away from toilet due to aerosol effect when flushing and also away from sinks where people can wash dirty hands and splash and introduce bacteria onto the toothbrush.’

    Oh, and don’t let your toothbrush get cosy with your housemates’.

    Says Raha: ‘Make sure it is not in contact with other people’s toothbrushes to avoid contamination. Bacteria responsible for gum disease can be transmitted from one toothbrush to another.’

    So, the lessons here. Yes, your toothbrush probably has poo on it, and as well as this being horrifyingly disgusting, it could also put you at risk of health issues.

    That doesn’t mean you should panic and stop brushing your teeth (please, please keep brushing your teeth).

    Instead, store your toothbrush away from the loo, let it dry after each use, and if you really want to get fancy, invest in a UV sanitiser you can use on your toothbrush head.

    Dentist Dr Richard Marques says that toothbrushes should be kept at least three feet away from the toilet.

    You should be regularly replacing your toothbrush or toothbrush head already, but let the threat of poo particles give you that extra nudge to do so. Replace your toothbrush head every three months or when the bristles look ragged.

    Close your toilet lid when you flush and give your bathroom surfaces regular wipe downs too. Easy.

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    toothpaste 4.2toothpaste 4.2ellencscotttoothpaste 4.2toothpaste 4.2ellencscott

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    **Illustration request** Cervical health: This is what to expect if you're having a Lletz procedure (Rosy Edwards)
    Getting tested for STIs should be a routine part of adulting (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    There is a sexual health epidemic that has plagued society for decades: shame. The stigma surrounding sex is the greatest obstacle we face in providing the right healthcare and treatment to those who require it.

    While there has been a decease in the number of STI diagnoses over the last few years, research suggests this is down to fewer tests being carried out, and not because fewer STIs are being transmitted.

    It should take no more courage to walk into a sexual health clinic than a post office. Getting tested should be a routine part of adulting, although I understand why some people feel intimidated. Some of the medical names for the conditions sound like terrifying sci-fi villains, and it doesn’t help when the press whip up a frenzy over ‘super gonorrhoea’ as if it were about to wipe out entire civilisations.

    For some, fear can be big factor in delaying or avoiding a trip to the clinic. But fear can be tackled by education on the facts and reality of sexual health conditions.

    Stigma remains due to lack of awareness and education at every level.

    STIs are treatable and manageable, but only with prompt medical attention, so the sooner you get something looked at, the better.

    Let’s start by talking about herpes simplex virus (HSV) – herpes to most of us. Society’s attitude towards HSV is complex: it’s arguably the least ‘serious’ member of the STI family, yet it’s shrouded in stigma and ignorance which can leave people feeling embarrassed when they get their diagnosis.

    To bust some myths: there is no cure for herpes, which does cause fear, but it doesn’t mean you have symptoms for life. Outbreaks can last a few days and reoccur less frequently as time goes on, and some people may only have one outbreak in their life.

    Herpes isn’t life-threatening and most of us carry the cold sore-causing virus – the World Health Organization reports that two-thirds of the world’s population under 50 has it, and most of us carry it without symptoms, so it’s impossible to know who, how or when it has been passed on.

    But if viruses like this are so common, why do they still hold so much stigma?

    Human papilloma virus (HPV) is another equally misunderstood condition. There are over 100 different strains of the virus, 14 of which can lead to cervical cancer if left untreated. But the fear of judgement on their promiscuity, as well as embarrassment, is leading to women avoiding their smear tests.

    We must take responsibility to educate and inform ourselves on our attitudes towards sexual health.

    When it comes to HIV, ground-breaking research and development in medication, including treatments for the partners of those affected, means that a positive result is no longer terminal.

    But stigma remains due to lack of awareness and education at every level.

    A friend told me of the time he told his girlfriend he had herpes. She flew off the handle, accused him of cheating (he hadn’t) and sent messages to his friends and family to tell them just how dirty he was.

    He was so psychologically damaged by her reaction he joined a dating site ‘Meeting People With Herpes’, believing that he was now to be defined by his diagnosis.

    In 2011, a man was sentenced to 14 months in jail for ‘passing on’ the herpes virus to his partner. I spoke to people in the sexual health industry about it at the time and they were astonished. Giving someone a jail sentence for grievous bodily harm, despite herpes being something his partner may have already had, is astounding. In my opinion, it is the judge who should face jail time for the psychological damage caused to the defendant.

    As a society, we need to better understand the facts and reality of sexual health conditions, rather than pushing those who feel vulnerable about their diagnosis into a corner.

    We are, all of us, the result of sex. Each human on the planet was sexually transmitted. The shame and guilt surrounding sex is all a construct, not something that’s based on evidence.

    No one chooses to have an STI, but they are a fact of life. It is through education, not fear, that we will help prevent their transmission and cease the psychological damage they cause.

    Only through understanding can we break down these barriers and go on to lead healthy, happy sex lives free from shame and judgement. Sexual health education in schools is a vital start but for those of us for whom school is a distant memory, we must take responsibility to educate and inform ourselves on our attitudes towards sexual health.

    Honesty is important in order to build trust in relationships, but we need to break the stigma first in order to make it easier for people to have these conversations.

    The only STI we should be ashamed of is socially transmitted ignorance.

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    **Illustration request** Cervical health: This is what to expect if you're having a Lletz procedure (Rosy Edwards)**Illustration request** Cervical health: This is what to expect if you're having a Lletz procedure (Rosy Edwards)rmve86**Illustration request** Cervical health: This is what to expect if you're having a Lletz procedure (Rosy Edwards)**Illustration request** Cervical health: This is what to expect if you're having a Lletz procedure (Rosy Edwards)**Illustration request** Cervical health: This is what to expect if you're having a Lletz procedure (Rosy Edwards)rmve86**Illustration request** Cervical health: This is what to expect if you're having a Lletz procedure (Rosy Edwards)

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    PIC FROM CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED Tuppee) - Animal lovers have set up a retirement home for ageing SLOTHS to spend their golden years enjoying an even slower pace of life. Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, has decided to start homing older two-toed sloths which have retired from other zoos. Instead of taking on young breeding pairs, the special facility aims to give silver sloths a place to relax and help conservation efforts by freeing up zoo enclosures for younger breeding pairs. And the farm already has two elderly residents an adorable male and female pair called Tupee, 24, and Lightcap, 34, who is currently the fifth oldest sloth in any European zoo. SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Caters News)

    Animal lovers have set up a retirement home for ageing sloths to spend the rest of their days.

    Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, homes older two-toed sloths which have retired from other zoos.

    The special facility aims to give ‘silver sloths’ a place to relax – and help conservation efforts by freeing up zoo enclosures for younger breeding pairs.

    The farm already has two elderly residents – an adorable male and female pair called Tupee, 24, and Lightcap, 34, who is currently the fifth oldest sloth in any European zoo.

    Senior zoo supervisor Rosie Grissin, 30, said: ‘This is something no one else is doing.

    ‘The question of where elderly animals go is not something people tend to think about – everyone loves seeing baby animals in zoos, but no one has thought about the older animals before.

    PIC FROM CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED Lightcap (front) and Tuppee (rear) ) - Animal lovers have set up a retirement home for ageing SLOTHS to spend their golden years enjoying an even slower pace of life. Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, has decided to start homing older two-toed sloths which have retired from other zoos. Instead of taking on young breeding pairs, the special facility aims to give silver sloths a place to relax and help conservation efforts by freeing up zoo enclosures for younger breeding pairs. And the farm already has two elderly residents an adorable male and female pair called Tupee, 24, and Lightcap, 34, who is currently the fifth oldest sloth in any European zoo. SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Caters News)

    ‘Luckily for sloths, it’s not like they’re pace of life is changing too much as they get older – it has always been pretty slow.

    ‘It’s just about keeping a close eye on them, as just like elderly people, smaller things can affect them more.

    ‘This is the time for them to kick back, and for us to really look after them and give them a bit more TLC in a smaller setting.

    ‘They have so many adorable qualities which really remind us of an old married couple.

    ‘At the start Tupee and Lightcap were a bit weary of each other, but they do get along pretty well.

    ‘They’re both really special and funny.

    ‘Lightcap is a bit of a diva and when she arrived she picked the nicest spot to lie in their enclosure.

    ‘Tupee is lovely and is slightly in awe of her – at first he just stared at her when she stole his spot, but now they cuddle up together.’

    Tupee and Lightcap moved to the farm after spending 30 years living at other zoos across the UK.

    Now, they spend their days sleeping and eating in a specially-adapted enclosure.

    Picture: Google Maps/ Folly Farms Sloth care home
    (Picture: Google Maps/ Folly Farms)

    As they grow older, staff will reduce the height of branches so they don’t have as far to climb down and supplement their diet with cod liver oil.

    Usually two-toed sloths have a lifespan of 20 years in the wild but have been known to live to up to 50 in captivity, although they stop breeding in their 20s.

    Zoo staff said it was not initially a conscious decision to home older sloths but they soon realised the positive effect it could have on the future of the species.

    And while there are no immediate plans to expand the retirement home, they haven’t ruled it out.

    Rosie added: ‘The zoo was also fully aware of what we would be achieving for conservation efforts by taking on older animals, which was another bonus, as it meant freeing up space for younger breeding pairs.

    ‘As Tupee and Lightcap age, we will adapt their enclosure by making the floor deeper for them so it’s easier for them to climb down.

    ‘We will also have to boil down their vegetables, so they’re easier for them to eat.

    ‘We want to make their lives as comfortable as possible, so they can live out their golden years with us.’

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    SLOTH RETIREMENT HOMESLOTH RETIREMENT HOMEhattiegladwellmetroPIC FROM CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED Tuppee) - Animal lovers have set up a retirement home for ageing SLOTHS to spend their golden years enjoying an even slower pace of life. Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, has decided to start homing older two-toed sloths which have retired from other zoos. Instead of taking on young breeding pairs, the special facility aims to give silver sloths a place to relax and help conservation efforts by freeing up zoo enclosures for younger breeding pairs. And the farm already has two elderly residents an adorable male and female pair called Tupee, 24, and Lightcap, 34, who is currently the fifth oldest sloth in any European zoo. SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED Lightcap (front) and Tuppee (rear) ) - Animal lovers have set up a retirement home for ageing SLOTHS to spend their golden years enjoying an even slower pace of life. Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, has decided to start homing older two-toed sloths which have retired from other zoos. Instead of taking on young breeding pairs, the special facility aims to give silver sloths a place to relax and help conservation efforts by freeing up zoo enclosures for younger breeding pairs. And the farm already has two elderly residents an adorable male and female pair called Tupee, 24, and Lightcap, 34, who is currently the fifth oldest sloth in any European zoo. SEE CATERS COPYPicture: Google Maps/ Folly Farms Sloth care homeSLOTH RETIREMENT HOMESLOTH RETIREMENT HOMEhattiegladwellmetroPIC FROM CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED Tuppee) - Animal lovers have set up a retirement home for ageing SLOTHS to spend their golden years enjoying an even slower pace of life. Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, has decided to start homing older two-toed sloths which have retired from other zoos. Instead of taking on young breeding pairs, the special facility aims to give silver sloths a place to relax and help conservation efforts by freeing up zoo enclosures for younger breeding pairs. And the farm already has two elderly residents an adorable male and female pair called Tupee, 24, and Lightcap, 34, who is currently the fifth oldest sloth in any European zoo. SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED Lightcap (front) and Tuppee (rear) ) - Animal lovers have set up a retirement home for ageing SLOTHS to spend their golden years enjoying an even slower pace of life. Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, has decided to start homing older two-toed sloths which have retired from other zoos. Instead of taking on young breeding pairs, the special facility aims to give silver sloths a place to relax and help conservation efforts by freeing up zoo enclosures for younger breeding pairs. And the farm already has two elderly residents an adorable male and female pair called Tupee, 24, and Lightcap, 34, who is currently the fifth oldest sloth in any European zoo. SEE CATERS COPYPicture: Google Maps/ Folly Farms Sloth care home

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    A prosecutor spent five months planning an elaborate fake trial to propose to his attorney girlfriend.

    Brandon Dinetz and Jen Lettman, both 28, met while working together as attorneys in 2016 and their professional relationship quickly turned into a romantic one.

    When Brandon, from Palm Beach, Florida, decided to propose, he knew he had to catch Jen by surprise – and so he spent five months planning an imaginary DUI trial in the Palm Beach County Courthouse and told Jen it was important that she saw his opening statement.

    Brandon even roped in a judge, a defence attorney, a fictional defendant and 17 of Jen’s family and friends to act as the fake jury.

    Jen began to cry when Brandon addressed the room with a specially tailored statement of his love for her.

    Jen said: ‘He and I had always talked about getting married and we knew we were going to be together but I didn’t think we would get married any time soon.

    Brandon Dinetz,28, proposes to Jen Lettman, 28,. Brandon constructed an elaborate fake legal trial at the Palm Beach County Courthouse to propose to his fellow legal eagle girlfriend Jen.See SWNS story SWNYlaw.A crafty prosecutor orchestrated an elaborate fake trial to pop the question to his attorney girlfriend. Brandon Dinetz, and Jen Lettman, both 28, met while working together as attorneys in 2016 and their professional relationship quickly blossomed into romance.When Brandon, of Palm Beach, Florida, decided to propose he knew he would have to work hard to catch his astute girlfriend by surprise.He then spent five months planning an imaginary DUI trial in the Palm Beach County Courthouse and told Jen it was important that she saw his opening statement.
    (Picture: Brandon Dinetz /SWNS.COM)

    ‘When we worked together we would regularly watch each other’s opening statements and critique each other, so it wasn’t unusual for me to be in the courtroom with him.

    ‘I didn’t know the facts about the DUI trial he made up, and I didn’t really ask.

    ‘I wasn’t really paying attention until I recognised that one of the jurors looked like Brandon’s dad, which I thought was funny.

    ‘Then I saw my dad and I was so confused. When I saw my sister I knew what was happening and I started crying.

    ‘Of course I said ‘Yes’.

    ‘I ugly-cried throughout the whole thing. I don’t remember a lot, but luckily it was caught on camera.’

    Brandon added: ‘The judge came out and as usual she asked if the state and the defence were ready to proceed and we said ‘Yes we are’.

    Brandon Dinetz, and Jen Lettman, both 28,. Brandon constructed an elaborate fake legal trial at the Palm Beach County Courthouse to propose to his fellow legal eagle girlfriend Jen.See SWNS story SWNYlaw.A crafty prosecutor orchestrated an elaborate fake trial to pop the question to his attorney girlfriend. Brandon Dinetz, and Jen Lettman, both 28, met while working together as attorneys in 2016 and their professional relationship quickly blossomed into romance.When Brandon, of Palm Beach, Florida, decided to propose he knew he would have to work hard to catch his astute girlfriend by surprise.He then spent five months planning an imaginary DUI trial in the Palm Beach County Courthouse and told Jen it was important that she saw his opening statement.
    (Picture: Brandon Dinetz /SWNS.COM)

    ‘Then she said, ‘Bring in the Jury’. All of our friends and family started to come in and I think when Jen saw her sister and my dad she immediately knew.

    ‘My back was to her but I could hear her start to cry.

    ‘When she said yes there was a huge cheer from the jury.

    ‘The judge said, ‘Mr Dinetz you have been sentenced to life’. Everyone laughed.’

    Brandon said a huge concern was whether Jen would be too busy at work and cancel her appearance at the carefully planned trial.

    Brandon said: ‘I was worried that Jen would be delayed or have to cancel.

    ‘That was the only thing that made me nervous.

    Brandon Dinetz, and Jen Lettman, both 28, after the dramatioc proposal. Brandon constructed an elaborate fake legal trial at the Palm Beach County Courthouse to propose to his fellow legal eagle girlfriend Jen.See SWNS story SWNYlaw.A crafty prosecutor orchestrated an elaborate fake trial to pop the question to his attorney girlfriend. Brandon Dinetz, and Jen Lettman, both 28, met while working together as attorneys in 2016 and their professional relationship quickly blossomed into romance.When Brandon, of Palm Beach, Florida, decided to propose he knew he would have to work hard to catch his astute girlfriend by surprise.He then spent five months planning an imaginary DUI trial in the Palm Beach County Courthouse and told Jen it was important that she saw his opening statement.
    (Picture: Brandon Dinetz /SWNS.COM)

    ‘I wasn’t nervous about her answer, or the speech.’

    Jen said: ‘I’ve recently started a new job so I’m still learning the ropes and I had a ton of work to do.

    ‘But I knew it was important to Brandon.

    ‘When I give someone my word that I’ll be somewhere I stick to it, so I knew I had to go.’

    Brandon proposed to Jen with a personally designed ring, embedded with a diamond from her grandmother’s engagement ring.

    Jen said she said was caught completely off guard.

    ‘It was the biggest surprise ever’, she continued.

    Brandon Dinetz, and Jen Lettman, both 28,. Brandon constructed an elaborate fake legal trial at the Palm Beach County Courthouse to propose to his fellow legal eagle girlfriend Jen.See SWNS story SWNYlaw.A crafty prosecutor orchestrated an elaborate fake trial to pop the question to his attorney girlfriend. Brandon Dinetz, and Jen Lettman, both 28, met while working together as attorneys in 2016 and their professional relationship quickly blossomed into romance.When Brandon, of Palm Beach, Florida, decided to propose he knew he would have to work hard to catch his astute girlfriend by surprise.He then spent five months planning an imaginary DUI trial in the Palm Beach County Courthouse and told Jen it was important that she saw his opening statement.
    (Picture: Brandon Dinetz /SWNS.COM)

    ‘It’s in his nature to make a grand gesture but this time he went above and beyond. He’s such a caring and thoughtful person.

    ‘It was incredible.

    ‘With Brandon I am laughing every single day. He cares so much about other people and when you have someone who cares for you so deeply it’s very special.

    ‘We’re just enjoying our engagement for now. We haven’t talked about whether it will be a little court house wedding or a big party. It sounds really cheesy but we’re just happy to be together.’

    Brandon added: ‘Jen’s the warmest, most loving, and beautiful person inside and out.

    ‘The proposal was exactly as I hoped it would be.’

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    (Picture: Getty Images)

    Clothing brand Monki is usually known for their quirky clothing and reasonable prices.

    But today they have upset fans of the brand with a post joking about the expression ‘triggered’.

    Triggered or trigger warning is an expression used to prevent readers from stumbling upon things which may bring on episodes of PTSD. They’re commonly used before articles, videos, images or stories which deal with emotionally difficult issues such as rape, sexual violence, abortion, eating disorders or war zones.

    Monki used the expression in a lighter way, writing: ‘Triggered much? We are.’

    Eve Moriarty shared the post on Twitter, explaining why she was upset by this usage of the word, saying that it’s a ‘legitmate mental health terminology’ and that using it as a joke adds to existing stigma.

    Others stepped in to point that that offensive or not, the use of the word ‘triggered’ in this context doesn’t actually make sense, with one woman writing: ‘Awful, and it doesn’t even make the slightest bit of sense.’

    Ruth Mortimer wrote: Totally agree with you @eve_moriarty. I’m sure @monkiworld don’t appreciate the true meaning of the term but hopefully your tweet can point it out to them. There are lots of much more sensitive and happy ways to get excited about jeans.

    Metro.co.uk reached out to Monki to ask if they had any comment. They hadn’t got back to us by the time we published, but if they dowe’ll let you know.

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    Monki brand logo seen in Carnaby Street in London, UKMonki brand logo seen in Carnaby Street in London, UKrebeccacnreidMonki brand logo seen in Carnaby Street in London, UKMonki brand logo seen in Carnaby Street in London, UKrebeccacnreid

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    (Picture: Caters News)

    A terminally ill woman says transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fight her illness.

    25-year-old Tiffany Senter, from Shasta County, California, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just seven days old – and was not expected to make it past two weeks old.

    However, after years of being hospitalised and her condition progressing, at just 17 she was given her first double lung transplant.

    When her new lungs failed four years later, Tiffany had to have her final double lung transplant in 2017 – but has been told that if this set of lungs are also rejected by her body, there will be nothing else that can be done.

    Now, she finds solace in transforming herself into Marilyn Monroe and says her idol has helped her to accept her illness, much like Marilyn accepted her ‘flaws’.

    Tiffany said: ‘I was bedridden whilst waiting for my second lung transplant, so started to practice different make-up looks to give me something to do.

    ‘When searching tutorials online, I started to realise how much I loved old-fashioned, pin-up looks, which naturally led me to Marilyn Monroe.

    PICS BY TIFFANY SENTER / CATERS NEWS. (PICTURED : Tiffany Senter when she transforms into Marilyn Monroe - which she believes gives her a reason to fight her terminal illness.) A stunning terminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fight. Tiffany Senter, 25, from Shasta County, California, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just seven days old - and was not believed to make it past two weeks old.However, after years of being hospitalised and her condition progressing, at just 17-years-old she was given her first double lung transplant. But when her new lungs failed four years later, Tiffany had to have her final double lung transplant in 2017 - but has been told that if this set of lungs are also rejected by her body, there will be nothing else that can be done. - SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: TIFFANY SENTER / CATERS NEWS)

    ‘As time went on, looking at quotes of hers and realising how much she accepted her own flaws and wasn’t the conventional beautiful woman that you’d see on magazine covers today, I started relating to her – because my disability has left me with flaws too.

    ‘Now I use Marilyn Monroe as my everyday inspiration, and transforming into her and having her ethos is giving me reason to fight – despite knowing my illness is now terminal.’

    After being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just a week old, doctors didn’t believe she would survive to more than a couple of weeks.

    Her parents were told they couldn’t even take her home, because it was likely she was going to die.

    But after getting through the first few months of life, she started to get stronger, to the point where she got to ten years old before she needed to be back in hospital, going for three weeks at a time, once a year, to receive antibiotics and physical therapy for her lungs.

    PICS BY TIFFANY SENTER / CATERS NEWS. (PICTURED : Tiffanys first set of donor lungs that her body rejected after four years.) A stunning terminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fight. Tiffany Senter, 25, from Shasta County, California, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just seven days old - and was not believed to make it past two weeks old.However, after years of being hospitalised and her condition progressing, at just 17-years-old she was given her first double lung transplant. But when her new lungs failed four years later, Tiffany had to have her final double lung transplant in 2017 - but has been told that if this set of lungs are also rejected by her body, there will be nothing else that can be done. - SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: TIFFANY SENTER / CATERS NEWS)

    She said: ‘As the years went on I had to start going to an independent school, as the germs from the other children were too dangerous for me, and by the age of 14, I was going to hospital three times a year.

    ‘Over time my lungs were starting to deteriorate, so I was listed for a double lung transplant at 16, and when I was 17 I received my first new pair of lungs.’

    But after just four years of having her replacement lungs, her body started to reject them, and by the age of 23, Tiffany was having her second, and final lung transplant.

    She explained: ‘After having my second lung transplant, I was told that this was the last one I would be able to have and that there isn’t much that they would be able to do if this one fails.

    ‘And this transplant has already started to fail. I am currently sat on 60 percent lung function and I take 70 pills a day to try and keep my lungs healthy.

    ‘However, I know that at some point there won’t be any other options and that I will die – but I’m trying to stay positive.

    ‘I have been told that I wouldn’t reach my teenage years, and no one thought I would ever make it to 25, so I know I can fight against this prediction too!’

    PICS BY TIFFANY SENTER / CATERS NEWS. (PICTURED : Tiffany in hospital on November 21 2011, one day after her first double lung transplant) A stunning terminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fight. Tiffany Senter, 25, from Shasta County, California, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just seven days old - and was not believed to make it past two weeks old.However, after years of being hospitalised and her condition progressing, at just 17-years-old she was given her first double lung transplant. But when her new lungs failed four years later, Tiffany had to have her final double lung transplant in 2017 - but has been told that if this set of lungs are also rejected by her body, there will be nothing else that can be done. - SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: TIFFANY SENTER / CATERS NEWS)

    Alongside continually raising awareness for cystic fibrosis, Tiffany admits that transforming into her inspiration, Marilyn Monroe, has helped her to continue her fight.

    She said: ‘I know I am dying, but when I look in the mirror and my make-up and hair is done like Marilyn Monroe’s, it makes me feel so much better.

    ‘Transforming into her is something that started as a hobby, but over time I have become really passionate about how I look when I do so and about learning more about her as a person.

    ‘She’s a real woman and she had flaws, but always embraced them. For years I have been covered in scars and have many other flaws, and Marilyn makes me feel like I can accept them.

    ‘People often tell me how much I look like her too, which gives me great confidence, and overall has made me realise I can still be beautiful with my flaws.’

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    Terminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fightTerminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fighthattiegladwellmetroPICS BY TIFFANY SENTER / CATERS NEWS. (PICTURED : Tiffany Senter when she transforms into Marilyn Monroe - which she believes gives her a reason to fight her terminal illness.) A stunning terminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fight. Tiffany Senter, 25, from Shasta County, California, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just seven days old - and was not believed to make it past two weeks old.However, after years of being hospitalised and her condition progressing, at just 17-years-old she was given her first double lung transplant. But when her new lungs failed four years later, Tiffany had to have her final double lung transplant in 2017 - but has been told that if this set of lungs are also rejected by her body, there will be nothing else that can be done. - SEE CATERS COPYPICS BY TIFFANY SENTER / CATERS NEWS. (PICTURED : Tiffanys first set of donor lungs that her body rejected after four years.) A stunning terminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fight. Tiffany Senter, 25, from Shasta County, California, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just seven days old - and was not believed to make it past two weeks old.However, after years of being hospitalised and her condition progressing, at just 17-years-old she was given her first double lung transplant. But when her new lungs failed four years later, Tiffany had to have her final double lung transplant in 2017 - but has been told that if this set of lungs are also rejected by her body, there will be nothing else that can be done. - SEE CATERS COPYPICS BY TIFFANY SENTER / CATERS NEWS. (PICTURED : Tiffany in hospital on November 21 2011, one day after her first double lung transplant) A stunning terminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fight. Tiffany Senter, 25, from Shasta County, California, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just seven days old - and was not believed to make it past two weeks old.However, after years of being hospitalised and her condition progressing, at just 17-years-old she was given her first double lung transplant. But when her new lungs failed four years later, Tiffany had to have her final double lung transplant in 2017 - but has been told that if this set of lungs are also rejected by her body, there will be nothing else that can be done. - SEE CATERS COPYTerminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fightTerminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fighthattiegladwellmetroPICS BY TIFFANY SENTER / CATERS NEWS. (PICTURED : Tiffany Senter when she transforms into Marilyn Monroe - which she believes gives her a reason to fight her terminal illness.) A stunning terminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fight. Tiffany Senter, 25, from Shasta County, California, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just seven days old - and was not believed to make it past two weeks old.However, after years of being hospitalised and her condition progressing, at just 17-years-old she was given her first double lung transplant. But when her new lungs failed four years later, Tiffany had to have her final double lung transplant in 2017 - but has been told that if this set of lungs are also rejected by her body, there will be nothing else that can be done. - SEE CATERS COPYPICS BY TIFFANY SENTER / CATERS NEWS. (PICTURED : Tiffanys first set of donor lungs that her body rejected after four years.) A stunning terminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fight. Tiffany Senter, 25, from Shasta County, California, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just seven days old - and was not believed to make it past two weeks old.However, after years of being hospitalised and her condition progressing, at just 17-years-old she was given her first double lung transplant. But when her new lungs failed four years later, Tiffany had to have her final double lung transplant in 2017 - but has been told that if this set of lungs are also rejected by her body, there will be nothing else that can be done. - SEE CATERS COPYPICS BY TIFFANY SENTER / CATERS NEWS. (PICTURED : Tiffany in hospital on November 21 2011, one day after her first double lung transplant) A stunning terminally ill woman says that transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fight. Tiffany Senter, 25, from Shasta County, California, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just seven days old - and was not believed to make it past two weeks old.However, after years of being hospitalised and her condition progressing, at just 17-years-old she was given her first double lung transplant. But when her new lungs failed four years later, Tiffany had to have her final double lung transplant in 2017 - but has been told that if this set of lungs are also rejected by her body, there will be nothing else that can be done. - SEE CATERS COPY

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    (Picture: Kennedy News)

    A mum-of-two says she owes her life to her ‘perfect husband’ after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine’s Day – after joking it was ‘cheaper than giving her roses’.

    53-year-old Karen Smith was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in 2011. Just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis.

    Earlier on in her battle, Karen’s husband of 17 years, Darren (yes, their names rhyme. Isn’t that sweet?), had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise – volunteering as her donor.

    On Valentine’s Day 2017, Karen and Darren went into The Royal London Hospital for the transplant surgery that would ultimately change their lives forever.

    And now Karen has vowed to live life to the full this Valentine’s Day as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to her husband for the ‘most precious gift in the world’.

    PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: KAREN SMITH, 53, ON DIALYSIS BEFORE TRANSPLANT SURGERY) A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's Day - after joking it was 'cheaper than giving her roses'. Sufferer Karen Smith, 53, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011 and just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis. Earlier on in her battle, Karen's husband of 17 years, Darren, had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise - volunteering as her donor. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266
    (Picture: Kennedy News)

    Karen, from Sutton, South London, said: ‘I soon found Darren was the perfect husband and the perfect donor.

    ‘He’s an amazing man for wanting to save my life.

    ‘Because the operation was on Valentine’s Day, he always jokes it was cheaper than giving me roses.

    ‘He was the perfect match – in both ways. He’s incredible – a very special person.

    ‘We didn’t really discuss Darren being the donor but one day he just turned around and said ‘of course you know I’d donate my kidney’.

    ‘It went from there, really. The transplant changed our life overnight.

    ‘By the next day I felt 100%. It was amazing.’

    Karen’s mum Pauline passed away in 2012 after battling CKD, so when Darren learnt of his wife’s diagnosis a year earlier, he had seen the devastating effects of the disease.

    Shortly after his mother-in-law passed away, Karen’s own health started to rapidly deteriorate.

    PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: KAREN SMITH, 53, FROM SUTTON, SOUTH LONDON, AFTER COMING ROUND FROM SURGERY) A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's Day - after joking it was 'cheaper than giving her roses'. Sufferer Karen Smith, 53, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011 and just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis. Earlier on in her battle, Karen's husband of 17 years, Darren, had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise - volunteering as her donor. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266
    (Picture: Kennedy News)

    Karen said: ‘To start off with my mum had chronic kidney disease so when I met my husband he’d never known her to be well.

    ‘He saw where the journey ends. She had the complications that go with kidney problems and she ended up on dialysis and died on it.

    ‘We’d been married around six years when I was diagnosed.

    ‘I gradually got sicker and sicker. I was diagnosed at stage 3B and within six years I was at stage five and had to have dialysis myself.

    ‘I was tired all the time, even when we went out for a walk I couldn’t keep up and would be out of breath easily.

    ‘The grandkids were quite tiring and when you’re ill it does affect your relationship.

    ‘I had to change my diet and had a low potassium and phosphate diet, so I’d be up all night itching.

    ‘I got more and more tired as it approached the transplant. It took me a long time to do housework and things.’

    PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: DARREN SMITH, 53, JUST AFTER DONATING KIDNEY TO KAREN) A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's Day - after joking it was 'cheaper than giving her roses'. Sufferer Karen Smith, 53, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011 and just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis. Earlier on in her battle, Karen's husband of 17 years, Darren, had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise - volunteering as her donor. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266
    (Picture: Kennedy News)

    Darren had put himself forward to help Karen and the couple underwent almost a year of tests to check if he would be a viable donor.

    There was still a risk the kidney wouldn’t be right for Karen.

    Luckily, the operation was a success and Karen claims she felt ‘100% better overnight’.

    Karen said: ‘He’d already put himself forward to be a donor and I was on dialysis for six months, then it just so happens the operation was on Valentine’s Day.

    ‘For Darren, if anything had gone wrong at the time, then the donation wouldn’t have gone ahead.

    ‘They could also have opened me up and found they couldn’t operate.

    ‘They did give him several options if it wasn’t suitable – did he want to donate to someone else, donate to research or throw it away, because you can’t put it back in.

    ‘He has one kidney now and because he plays hockey, he has to wear a protector belt for his remaining one.

    ‘He hasn’t had any negative side effects though and he’s healthy otherwise.

    PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: KAREN SMITH, 53, ON DIALYSIS BEFORE TRANSPLANT SURGERY) A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's Day - after joking it was 'cheaper than giving her roses'. Sufferer Karen Smith, 53, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011 and just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis. Earlier on in her battle, Karen's husband of 17 years, Darren, had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise - volunteering as her donor. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266
    (Picture: Kennedy News)

    ‘Even yesterday he had an unrelated operation but he’s still taking me away for the night and for dinner tonight.’

    After her incredible recovery, Karen competed in the British Transplant Games in 2018 and won a silver medal for a mini marathon race.

    Darren now claims he’s the one trying to keep up with Karen and that it’s not just his wife who has her life back.

    Darren said: ‘Karen is not the only one who has her life back. She is my life and I love her so much.

    ‘For me donating the kidney was a no brainer.

    ‘I put myself forward, simply because I love her to bits, to go and have the first blood match to rule me in or out for Karen’s donation.

    ‘I have seen how this disease slowly takes away life, from both people in a relationship.

    ‘If you don’t give it a go you will never find out what is possible.

    ‘There is always risk involved with complex procedures like this during and post operation, but the team at Southend-on-Sea and The Royal London made sure I was fully fit to take on the operation.

    ‘I was very surprised how little pain I had post op – the first day I was up and moving but felt weak.

    ‘I may have looked like someone had ripped out my left kidney but this improved over the next two days.

    ‘I feel no different with one kidney now and I am getting myself fit so I can keep up with Karen.

    ‘She’s pretty fast now and won a silver medal in the British Transplant Games.

    ‘All is going well and I wouldn’t change a thing.’

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    MORE: Millions of women had sex they didn’t want, because it was Valentine’s Day


    A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's DayA mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's DayhattiegladwellmetroPIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: KAREN SMITH, 53, ON DIALYSIS BEFORE TRANSPLANT SURGERY) A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's Day - after joking it was 'cheaper than giving her roses'. Sufferer Karen Smith, 53, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011 and just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis. Earlier on in her battle, Karen's husband of 17 years, Darren, had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise - volunteering as her donor. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: KAREN SMITH, 53, FROM SUTTON, SOUTH LONDON, AFTER COMING ROUND FROM SURGERY) A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's Day - after joking it was 'cheaper than giving her roses'. Sufferer Karen Smith, 53, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011 and just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis. Earlier on in her battle, Karen's husband of 17 years, Darren, had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise - volunteering as her donor. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: DARREN SMITH, 53, JUST AFTER DONATING KIDNEY TO KAREN) A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's Day - after joking it was 'cheaper than giving her roses'. Sufferer Karen Smith, 53, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011 and just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis. Earlier on in her battle, Karen's husband of 17 years, Darren, had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise - volunteering as her donor. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: KAREN SMITH, 53, ON DIALYSIS BEFORE TRANSPLANT SURGERY) A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's Day - after joking it was 'cheaper than giving her roses'. Sufferer Karen Smith, 53, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011 and just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis. Earlier on in her battle, Karen's husband of 17 years, Darren, had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise - volunteering as her donor. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's DayA mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's DayhattiegladwellmetroPIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: KAREN SMITH, 53, ON DIALYSIS BEFORE TRANSPLANT SURGERY) A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's Day - after joking it was 'cheaper than giving her roses'. Sufferer Karen Smith, 53, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011 and just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis. Earlier on in her battle, Karen's husband of 17 years, Darren, had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise - volunteering as her donor. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: KAREN SMITH, 53, FROM SUTTON, SOUTH LONDON, AFTER COMING ROUND FROM SURGERY) A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's Day - after joking it was 'cheaper than giving her roses'. Sufferer Karen Smith, 53, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011 and just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis. Earlier on in her battle, Karen's husband of 17 years, Darren, had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise - volunteering as her donor. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: DARREN SMITH, 53, JUST AFTER DONATING KIDNEY TO KAREN) A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's Day - after joking it was 'cheaper than giving her roses'. Sufferer Karen Smith, 53, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011 and just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis. Earlier on in her battle, Karen's husband of 17 years, Darren, had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise - volunteering as her donor. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: KAREN SMITH, 53, ON DIALYSIS BEFORE TRANSPLANT SURGERY) A mum-of-two owes her life to her 'perfect husband' after he donated his kidney to her on Valentine's Day - after joking it was 'cheaper than giving her roses'. Sufferer Karen Smith, 53, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011 and just six years later she was at the most serious stage and needed dialysis. Earlier on in her battle, Karen's husband of 17 years, Darren, had told her he would give her a kidney if it came to it and kept his promise - volunteering as her donor. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266

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    Illustration of a man with his head between his hands being comforted by a doctor
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    This Children of Alcoholics Week has got me thinking about my own children and about what I put them through when I had an active addiction to alcohol.

    My name isn’t Jonny, and I’m an alcoholic. I want to write this anonymously to respect my children’s privacy, but I also want to share my story because unfortunately, even having three incredible children didn’t stop me from drinking.

    Alcohol was my life, my love, my everything for 31 long years.

    As my addiction grew stronger, I chose to leave my wife and children because quite simply, they were in the way of my drinking. It pains me to say that now, but that was what I thought was the truth at that time in my life. That’s how seismic addiction can be.

    People often ask me if my children drink alcohol, even with the knowledge of my addiction, and the answer is yes. They’re all now adults enjoying alcohol in moderation. I trust them completely and thankfully, we now have a really strong bond.

    Part of my recovery was to make amends to those I wronged, and I’m forever grateful that they were able to forgive me, because alcohol came before them, and if I hadn’t finally sought help, I believe it still would.

    I started drinking at the age of 18 (as lots of 18 year olds do) and of course, thought nothing of it. Alcohol was part of everyday life; social situations, family gatherings – it seemed to come hand in hand with almost every element of my life. But that was completely normal and I didn’t think anything of it.

    But then I met Anna (again, not her real name). We married when I was 23 and she fell pregnant with our first child when I turned 24. I thought she was my first love but it turned out she wasn’t – alcohol was. And as they say, nothing is more powerful than your first love.

    I put my wife and children through hell for nearly 20 years, and carried on drinking for 11 years after I left them.

    I started to work in hospitality and by nature of the job, I worked unsociable shifts and was out of the house most evenings. A drinking culture was embedded into the restaurant and bar I worked in; most staff, including me, would drink during their shifts in preparation for going out after work.

    At this time in my life, my alcohol consumption didn’t get in the way of me being a father. If anything, I thought it was helping me to be a good dad. Although I worked long hours, I was still present at home. I still helped Anna with bringing up our first child, even with a drink inside me.

    A few years later, Anna fell pregnant again and she made it quite clear to me that I would need to step-up even more, because having two babies was twice as hard, and she wasn’t wrong.

    It was hard, but on reflection, it was only hard because my second child wasn’t my priority – by now, my addiction had taken a firm grip.

    As the years went by, my drinking increased and I was drunk on a daily basis, and not just out of choice, but because the physical side effects of not having a drink in me were horrific.

    I missed social obligations with my children, I started to disappear for days on end (and even now I can’t remember where to), I’d break every empty promise I made to Anna to take the children out but I didn’t care.

    I cheated on her, argued with her in front of the children, spent nights in prison cells, but I never woke up thinking ‘what have I done?’ Instead, my first and continuous thought was ‘when can I get a drink?’

    I put my wife and children through hell for nearly 20 years, and carried on drinking for 11 years after I left them. But thankfully, I finally reached rock bottom and realised I needed help. I needed to get sober, not because of my kids or Anna, but for me.

    I put the last of my money together and paid for private rehabilitation. I admitted into a facility and it changed my life. Being sober is sobering.

    As for my kids, I’m sure at the back of their minds they are wary of alcoholism; they will carry the memories of their drunk dad forever, but fortunately, they all seem to be behaving ‘normally’ with alcohol. Two have been to university and the youngest is there now.

    We talk about addiction quite regularly, and I think it’s best to be open and honest with them. I’d never tell my kids not to drink alcohol, but I know the warning signs all too well, and now that I’m sober, I can finally be their dad.

    For more information and support with alcohol addiction for you or a loved one, visit www.ukat.co.uk/alcohol

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

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    MORE: Woman’s remarkable before and after pictures as she battles heroin addiction


    What it's really like to be admitted to a psychiatric hospitalWhat it's really like to be admitted to a psychiatric hospitalrmve86Illustration of a man with his head between his hands being comforted by a doctorWhat it's really like to be admitted to a psychiatric hospitalWhat it's really like to be admitted to a psychiatric hospitalrmve86Illustration of a man with his head between his hands being comforted by a doctor

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