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

older | 1 | .... | 1549 | 1550 | (Page 1551) | 1552 | 1553 | .... | 1850 | newer

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    That.... really does look like a Ford Mustang
    That…. really does look like a Ford Mustang

    The latest addition to Lego’s line of classic cars is the iconic 1967 Ford Mustang, with an amazing recreation of the American muscle car.

    It’s been obvious for a long while now that it’s not just kids that adults buy Lego for, sometimes it’s for themselves as well.

    Many of the most expensive sets are clearly aimed at parents more than their children and none more so than the latest Creator Expert set, which recreates the 1967 Ford Mustang fastback in full brick-based glory.

    The set follows in the wake of the James Bond Aston Martin DB5, as well as the likes of the Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Beetle, and is possibly the most realistic one yet.

    It's fully customisable too
    It’s fully customisable too

    As with all the Lego Expert sets the model has been designed in conjunction with the original manufacturer, with Ford overseeing the look of the model and making sure it’s as realistic as it can be.

    In a first for the series the set has working steering and a range of optional extras, as well as opening doors, trunk, and hood – where you can see the brick-built 390 V8 engine.

    The rear axel can also be lifted up if you want your car to look just that little bit more intimidating.

    Who cares what the kids think of it
    Who cares what the kids think of it

    But you can also customise it further with an optional supercharger, rear ducktail spoiler, beefier exhaust pipes, front chin spoiler, and a turbo boost-powering nitrous oxide tank (that, obviously, doesn’t contain any nitrous oxide).

    The model is made up of 1,471 pieces and measure over 3” (10cm) high, 13” (34cm) long, and 5” (14cm) wide. The suggested age range is 16+ and the price is a surprisingly reasonable – considering how much some Lego sets cost – £119.99.

    The set (number 10265) is available from 1 March, but you can only get it from official Lego stores and online shop.

    Assembly required
    Assembly required

    That.... really does look like a Ford MustangThat.... really does look like a Ford Mustangdavidjenkins2012That.... really does look like a Ford MustangIt's fully customisable tooWho cares what the kids think of itAssembly requiredThat.... really does look like a Ford MustangThat.... really does look like a Ford Mustangdavidjenkins2012That.... really does look like a Ford MustangIt's fully customisable tooWho cares what the kids think of itAssembly required

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    Biscoff products you can buy in the UK
    (Picture: Biscoff, Metro.co.uk)

    Lotus Biscoff products have swept the nation, with various products now on the market.

    It all started as a humble speculoos biscuit, with hints of caramel and cinnamon. A favourite of hairdressers due to their individual wrappers, they soon hit the mainstream.

    Much like what happened with Nutella, Biscoff became a foodie favourite, and all manner of recipes and videos features the Lotus name.

    If you’re a fiend for that spicy sweet treat, here are all the ways you can get your fix here in the UK.

    Biscuits

    Here in Britain, you can get the standard Lotus Biscoff biscuits in multipacks from most supermarkets.

    There’s also a chocolate version for those with a real sweet tooth, and mini biscuits which are great to make  you feel like you’re a big biscuit-loving giant.

    Amazon stocks big bags of Lotus crumbs too, which may seem strange, but could save you bashing your kitchen counter if you want to make a Biscoff cheesecake.

    Speculoos rolls

    They’re certainly not cheap, but you can buy these from the Belgian brand’s website.

    It’s essentially a Biscoff cookie ball coated in chocolate, and will set you back $6.95 (£5.35) a bag.

    Spread

    Biscoff spread appears to look like peanut butter, but is sweeter and more caramelised.

    You can get it in smooth and crunch varieties, and it’s absolutely delicious on pancakes, waffles, or a scoop of ice cream.

    Ice cream

    If you’d prefer to have the Biscoff in your ice cream rather than on it, their coveted ice cream sticks are now available in the UK.

    You can get them in selected Waitrose stores for £3.89 per pack of three, and they feature caramel ice cream covered in chocolate and Biscoff pieces.

    Doughnuts

    Krispy Kreme and Biscoff have teamed up to bring you a special doughnut collaboration.

    The doughnut is covered with Lotus biscuit spread icing, filled with Lotus infused kreme, and topped with biscuit crumb and white chocolate shavings.

    MORE: Restaurant in Melbourne now has a self-serve prosecco fountain

    MORE: Vegan sausage rolls boost Greggs’ sales by 14%


    All the amazing yummy ways you can buy Biscoff now (not the seo headline)All the amazing yummy ways you can buy Biscoff now (not the seo headline)jessicacvlBiscoff products you can buy in the UKAll the amazing yummy ways you can buy Biscoff now (not the seo headline)All the amazing yummy ways you can buy Biscoff now (not the seo headline)jessicacvlBiscoff products you can buy in the UK

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    (Picture: Shutterstock)

    You’ve worked out how many towels you need and started washing them regularly.

    Next up on our mission to sort out your bathroom and make you feel like a proper adult: What are you supposed to do with your toilet brush?

    You know you need a toilet brush, of course. It’s essential for getting rid of any skidmarks in your loo and giving it a proper scrub.

    But once you’ve used it to clean your toilet, do you then need to clean the brush? Is there any point if it’s going to go straight back in the toilet again?

    You could faff around trying to wash it in the sink, but then you risk getting all kinds of nasty stuff on your sink.

    Or you can ignore it, but know that there’s a little bucket of bacteria sitting in your bathroom each time you have a shower. Bleugh.

    The answer is simple: Yes, you do need to clean your toilet brush, but you can do it without contaminating other surfaces.

    How do you clean a toilet brush?

    Ralitsa Prodanova, a domestic cleaning expert with Fantastic Services, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘The best method is to get a bucket and some boiling water, then add a couple of caps of bleach.

    ‘Make sure you open a window to avoid any eye irritation and wear rubber gloves to protect your skin while working with bleach.

    ‘Then simply put the brush in the water and leave to soak for an hour.

    ‘Once that is done, and the brush is drying, get the holder and give it a good going over with some disinfectant spray. Rinse off with hot water and dry with some paper towel.’

    Easy, right?

    Ralitsa notes that it’s not just the brush itself that needs cleaning, but the holder, too. Give this the same bleach treatment as you give the brush.

    How often should you clean a toilet brush?

    Do your toilet brush bleach soak at least once a week to keep it fresh.

    ‘Toilet brushes are a vital part of any functioning bathroom, but they are obviously capable of harbouring germs that can then spread to other items such as towels and bath mats,’ explains Ralitsa.

    ‘This procedure should be carried out at least once a week to make sure your bathroom and toilet are as hygienic as possible.’

    She also notes that if you stack your toilet paper on the handle of the toilet brush, that’s a habit to break straight away.

    She tells us: ‘While the rolls themselves are not the cleanest thing in your house by their very nature, lining them up with the brush handle through the middle is a sure-fire way of getting more germs onto the paper.’

    MORE: How to clean your makeup brushes and what to use

    MORE: Mum says her trick to clean her toddler’s teeth without a tantrum works every time

    MORE: What I Rent: Ellie, £800 a month for a studio flat in Wood Green


    How are you supposed to clean a toilet brushHow are you supposed to clean a toilet brushellencscottHow are you supposed to clean a toilet brushHow are you supposed to clean a toilet brushellencscott

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    (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

    Every other week there’s a handy skincare ‘hack’ plugged by influencers on the ‘Gram.

    They’re tempting to try because they play on our biggest beauty obsessions, whether it’s whitening our teeth, plumping our lips, or ridding ourselves of blackheads.

    That last one is particularly popular.

    We’ve seen bloggers recommending cling film and petroleum jelly to ‘melt’ blackheads and the huge craze for peel-off face masks.

    One hack that’s come to our attention involves using floss to scrape those pesky blackheads away.

    The trick has been around for a while, but will pop back up on Instagram every other month.

    The video you’ve likely seen is by beauty influencer Sukhi Mann, who way back in 2017 shared a video of herself running floss over her skin.

    In the video, Sukhi cleanses her skin, opens her pores with a warm cloth, then runs a floss pick against her nose, all in an effort to remove her blackheads. She then finishes off her skin with a splash of mouthwash as toner.

    View this post on Instagram

    🔪DIY trick using disposable floss picks and mouthwash. This trick helps to extract whiteheads and blackheads. This hack definitely works❗️If you try it, tag me 🤗 ♥️ ___________ ◾️All you need is a hot towel, floss pick, and toner. ___________ 1️⃣Take a towel and place it in hot water. Take the towel out and make sure it isn’t too hot. Also, make sure that the area is clean and place the towel on the problem area so that the heat will open up the pores. Do this for about 5 mins or so. 2️⃣Take the disposable floss pick and drag it in a scraping motion. This option is cheaper and less likely to scar you than using a metal extractor. Be sure to not over do it. 3️⃣When finished, rinse the area with a mild cleanser. 4️⃣Follow up with a toner (you can use rose water, mouthwash, or your regular toner.) ❗️If you have really sensitive skin don't use mouthwash or do a patch test first. 5️⃣Be sure to moisturize your nose after applying the toner. ———– Tag your bestie ♥️ 👻SNAPCHAT: A_LLURE7 _____________ @hudabeauty @monakattan @alyakattan #hudabeauty #hairmakeupdiary #facemask #skincare #makeuptutorial #fashionarttut #laurag_143 #sukhimann_ #instadaily #instalike #instamood #instafashion #chico #fashion #instamakeup #indianvlogger #indianblogger #desibeautyblog #hudabeauty #allmordernmakeup #melformakeup #hypnaughtymakeup #inssta_makeup #makeupfanatic1 #brian_champagne #makeuptutorial #shimycatsmua #fakeupfix #associationofbeauty #hairmakeupdiary #liveglam #laurag_143 #brian_champagne

    A post shared by Sukhi Mann (@sukhimann_) on

    Naturally, the video is highly convincing. The idea that you could get rid of blackheads that quickly and easily would make most of us run to the dental care section of Boots in minutes.

    But experts say this technique won’t actually do the trick.

    Facialist and skin expert Vaishaly tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Using to tooth floss is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard and seen being used to remove blackheads.

    ‘You might push a tiny bit of excess oil out but that’s it. Gliding this product along the skin with such pressure not only can damage your skin and make it sensitive, but you could also aggravate existing blackheads.’

    Skincare expert Andy Millward agrees: ‘This won’t work for true blackheads. All she’s removing is oils/sebum and it will come back. In the process she’s irritating the surface skin by scraping it with floss.’

    Right then. So not only will the trick not actually remove blackheads, but it could actually make your skin worse. Fantastic.

    When you scrape the skin, you aggressively remove the skin’s natural oils. The skin will then overcompensate, producing excess oil, which can then clog the pores and contribute to pimples.

    So what can you actually do to remove blackheads? The trick is breaking down the dirt clogging up the pores.

    ‘The best way to remove is by using a mud mask regularly,’ says Vaishaly. ‘This will start to unclog the pores, dry up the oil and acts as an anti-inflammatory.’

    Vaishaly also recommends use of a blackhead remover, a small metal tool with a hole in the middle, but clarifies that this really should only be done by a professional. Messing around with these tools could result in injury and further irritation, but used correctly this can gently ease out a blackhead’s contents.

    Andy's recommendations for safely getting rid of blackheads:

    First, determine if you actually have blackheads, or if you’re looking at sebaceous filaments. A blackhead is a blockage you can feel within the skin, while sebaceous filaments are freeflowing, but visible due to the pore being enlarged.

    ‘Prevention is always better than a cure,’ says Andy. ‘So avoiding skin care and makeup that contains comedogenic ingredients is first thing.

    ‘Then using non-drying cleansers, gentle exfoliants and lightweight hydrating products etc to avoid blackheads from forming.

    ‘Some facialists or skin care professionals may offer extractions and will use steam or a softening solution prior to extraction to aid with their removal. Personally I prefer to use lipid-soluble hydroxy acids like Salicylic acid or Mandelic acid, either in the form of a mild peel or home care products that can help to dissolve and dislodge blackheads as well as reducing the appearance of sebaceous filaments.

    ‘Ingredients like Vitamin A (retinol or retinaldehyde), Saw Palmetto and DHEA also work by regulating sebum production so again, reducing the appearance of sebaceous filaments.

    ‘But remember, you can’t, and shouldn’t try to, stop them completely.

    ‘It’s important to have a realistic expectation and not try to obtain a completely ‘pore-less’ look, which only really exists in magazines and Instagram filters.’

    MORE: Michelle Keegan reveals her favourite skincare and beauty products

    MORE: Do collagen supplements work, and is there a vegan version?

    MORE: Primark’s beautiful dark-skinned baby model sees himself in store for the first time


    Don't use floss to get rid of blackheads, pleaseDon't use floss to get rid of blackheads, pleaseellencscottDon't use floss to get rid of blackheads, pleaseDon't use floss to get rid of blackheads, pleaseellencscott

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    (Picture: Biscoff)

    This is not a drill, we repeat, THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Biscoff ice cream is finally available to buy in the UK.

    We know, it’s absolutely incredible news.

    The caramel biscuit ice cream is now available to buy in Waitrose stores across the UK – and it comes on sticks, meaning you can eat it on the go.

    The new ice creams were announced on social media last Friday, alongside a video.

    It was captioned: ‘The distinctive, crunchy, moreish, caramelised taste of Lotus. Now available in ice cream. Available in selected Waitrose stores.’

    Biscoff Ice Creams Finally Available In The UK (I know you?ve already done this, but it?s trending massively, so maybe a where to buy or smth?) Picture: Biscoff
    (Picture: Biscoff)

    The company also tweeted the day before, as a teaser: ‘Not feeling the v-day vibes? Don’t worry, because #LotusBiscoff have got something sure to melt your heart… keep your eyes peeled.’

    But for such a long-awaited ice cream, maybe something on a stick isn’t enough for you. Which is why we’re so thankful for Biscoff’s recipe for 1 1/2 litres of the ice cream.

    All you need is 14 oz. of concentrated milk, 1/4 jar of Lotus Biscoff Cookie Butter, 8-10 chopped Lotus Biscoff biscuits and 17 oz. heavy cream.

    To make it, beat condensed milk with Lotus Biscoff Cookie Butter in a mixing bowl, then add in the biscuits.

    Whip the heavy cream, and fold it into the sweetened milk mixture until you get a smooth texture.

    Then, put it in a container and stick it in the freezer for four hours – or for better result, over night – and voila, the perfect Lotus Biscoff ice cream.

    But you don’t have to stop there – you could go all out and create the ultimate Lotus Biscoff Sundae.

    We suggest placing three scoops of your homemade ice cream into a Sundae jar, and topping it with caramel sauce.

    Then, crumble some Lotus Biscoff ice cream on top, and garnish with a Lotus Biscoff biscuit instead of the typical wafer.

    It’s a creation made in heaven.

    MORE: Can blueberries actually help lower your blood pressure?

    MORE: Every Lotus Biscoff product you can buy in the UK, from ice cream to spread


    Biscoff Ice Creams Finally Available In The UK (I know you?ve already done this, but it?s trending massively, so maybe a where to buy or smth?)Biscoff Ice Creams Finally Available In The UK (I know you?ve already done this, but it?s trending massively, so maybe a where to buy or smth?)hattiegladwellmetroBiscoff Ice Creams Finally Available In The UK (I know you?ve already done this, but it?s trending massively, so maybe a where to buy or smth?) Picture: BiscoffBiscoff Ice Creams Finally Available In The UK (I know you?ve already done this, but it?s trending massively, so maybe a where to buy or smth?)Biscoff Ice Creams Finally Available In The UK (I know you?ve already done this, but it?s trending massively, so maybe a where to buy or smth?)hattiegladwellmetroBiscoff Ice Creams Finally Available In The UK (I know you?ve already done this, but it?s trending massively, so maybe a where to buy or smth?) Picture: Biscoff

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

    Sex is a wonderful thing. The feeling, the emotion, the passion, the intimacy.

    Sure, lots of us have had awkward experiences, but we’ve also had amazing ones.

    An incredible sexual experience doesn’t just mean intercourse. It means sexual intimacy in general – from kissing, to touching, to foreplay, to full-blown sex.

    We all have our own ideas as to what makes an amazing sexual experience, and we spoke to 14 people who were happy to tell us theirs.

    Here’s what they said.

    This guy’s best sexual experience was going down on a woman

    ‘My best sexual experience was licking out a woman for the first time. It felt great because I’d never felt or tasted anything like it and I was pleasing her in a completely different way.

    ‘It was nice to give oral instead of receiving it for once.

    ‘The feel of the vagina and the different things I could do was amazing. Favourite part is tongue f***ing.’

    Consent is sexy!

    ‘Best sexual experience: when my boyfriend asked ‘are you sure?’ before our first time. I realised in that moment that no one had ever actually asked me that before. Consent is sexy.’

    Best sex ever? A random hookup

    ‘I’ve only had sex once and it was a fairly random hookup abroad. I actually got more pleasure just from kissing an making out as opposed to the actual intercourse which we later had – that was still good but just the making out was amazing!

    ‘It’s the only time I’ve ever even been physically intimate with someone and I guess throughout my life before then I’d imagined a lot about what “sex” would be like, but had never really thought about kissing.

    ‘It just felt more intimate.

    ‘My mind was completely focused on that and nothing else, the world may as well have just come to a standstill. It was completely exhilarating.

    ‘So far I’ve never been able to experience that feeling again.’

    **ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Reasons why I don’t like receiving oral sex (Almara Abgarian)
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘She blindfolded me and tied my arms back’

    ‘My partner hated me having my eyes open, so blindfolded me and tied my arms back so I had no idea where she was going next.

    ‘She teased me all over before taking the driving seat and every touch, kiss and sensation was magnified so much because of the loss of one of my senses. This was over ten years ago and I’ve never forgotten it.’

    ‘My best experience was with a best friend’

    ‘Best experience was with a best friend of mine. It came after a breakup and I hadn’t been with anyone for over a year. It was incredible and we just connected. Nobody has come close since.’

    ‘Sex is now being rebuilt in my mind as a positive and emotionally fulfilling thing’

    ‘After two frightening experiences during sex including rape, I was struggling with the concept of penetration. My current partner and I took things very slow (I didn’t explain until after we started having penetrative sex why I was ‘funny’ about it) and he couldn’t have been more supportive.

    ‘Sex is now being rebuilt in my mind as a positive and emotionally fulfilling thing.’

    This guy gave his girlfriend an orgasm without even touching her…

    ‘My best experience was the first time I gave my girlfriend a leg shaking orgasm, by kissing her.

    ‘She literally went weak at the knees and had to sit down. It was the first time I had done this for somebody and I felt quite proud of myself, especially since I’d always assumed I’d be a bit rubbish at that sort of thing.

    ‘I’m happy to say that it wasn’t the last…’

    Why does your sex drive increase in the summer?
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘We watched the sunrise’

    ‘It was definitely the night my now wife and I literally just held each other all night after a wedding we attended, staying in a very rural guest house, never closed the curtains and watched the sunrise.’

    Dogging is apparently very erotic…

    ‘Dogging. It was very, very erotic watching others touching my then partner.

    ‘I got so turned on I actually had my first bi experience.’

    ‘A four day fling in San Francisco’

    ‘A four day fling in San Francisco. Initially I felt overwhelmed as he paid attention to every inch of me and I’d grown up with guys who are not as passionate or complimentary, but once I’d let go I felt so beautiful during sex with him.’

    Doing it in the rain sounds like a romantic movie

    ‘I’ve only been with one person but doing it in the rain was probably my best experience. The most sensual and romantic experience I’ve had.’

    ‘I had sex with a ghost’

    ‘I did believe I had sex with a ghost at one point. It was the most intense orgasm I ever had.’

    metro illustrations
    Women explain why they’re not into it (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    This sounds amazing

    ‘A thunderstorm breaking out in the middle of us having sex, and this huge crash of thunder whilst I climaxed and then one of those really long flashes of lightning as I finished – it was ethereal and otherworldly and the best most intense thing ever!’

    Sex with no orgasm

    ‘I have orgasmed multiple times during sex, but my best sexual experience was actually a time when I didn’t climax.

    ‘It was so intimate, there was a lot of kissing and we were touching each other non-stop. We were doing it at the same time and were both listening to what each other’s bodies wanted, which made me feel totally connected to him.

    ‘After a lot of foreplay – which I think always makes sex better – we had very passionate sex. Funnily enough it was only missionary, and a lot of people would say that was boring, but with that position there’s this sense of closeness that you don’t get with other ones, and it’s the position that feels the nicest for me.’

    MORE: 25 people tell us what annoys them most in porn

    MORE: Men tell us what a good blowjob feels like


    sexsexhattiegladwellmetro**ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Reasons why I don’t like receiving oral sex (Almara Abgarian)Why does your sex drive increase in the summer?metro illustrationssexsexhattiegladwellmetro**ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Reasons why I don’t like receiving oral sex (Almara Abgarian)Why does your sex drive increase in the summer?metro illustrations

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    Young Latina woman in summer clothes in park
    (Picture: Getty)

    No matter how old a man gets he will always be attracted to very young women, according to scientific data.

    Women, on the other hand, will always be attracted to men of a similar age to them. So, as they get older, women will generally start to be in to to older men.

    Unfortunately for women, it looks like these older men will likely still be pining after women half their age.

    A Twitter user, @miaxmon, spotted the figures, sourced from the book Dataclysm, and shared the graphs, adding; ‘if you want to see something really f*cked up, have a look at this.’

    The graphs show a worrying sliding scale where men of 20 and men of 49 both cite women aged 20 as what they find the most attractive.

    Conversely, a 20-year-old woman will be most attracted to a 23-year-old-man, but a 50-year-old woman will lust after a 46-year-old man.

    Men are always attracted to women in their early 20s - even as they age CREDIT: Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One?s Looking / Christian Rudder
    (Picture: Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One?s Looking/Christian Rudder)
    Men are always attracted to women in their early 20s - even as they age CREDIT: Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One?s Looking / Christian Rudder
    (Picture: Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One?s Looking/Christian Rudder)

    So clearly, this isn’t great news for women.

    And it is scientific evidence to prove the anecdotal theory that men always prefer to chase younger women.

    But despite this disappointingly predictable revelation, it’s actually not all bad news.

    The same study found that the age range of women men say they are most interested in tends to fall within their own age range.

    So it is not all about looks.

    The findings show that despite older men finding much younger women extremely attractive, they were highly unlikely to actually message any of them on an online dating site.

    Men will most often message women actually closer to their own age.

    The figures suggest that there is a clear distinction between physical, sexual desire, and the connection men crave from actually interacting with a woman who has a similar level of maturity.

    In response to @miaxmon’s tweet, some say it’s jut biology and that it is completely normal for men to fancy younger women, but others were unsettled by the stark difference between the two graphs.

    The book that first published the graphs, Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One’s Looking, was published in 2014 and is an irreverent investigation of human behavior.

    MORE: How do you a clean a toilet brush and how often should you be doing it?

    MORE: 14 people share their most amazing sexual experiences

    MORE: People are obsessed with this man’s ridiculously poetic morning routine


    Young Latina woman in summer clothes in parkYoung Latina woman in summer clothes in parknataliemorris88Young Latina woman in summer clothes in parkMen are always attracted to women in their early 20s - even as they age CREDIT: Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One?s Looking / Christian RudderMen are always attracted to women in their early 20s - even as they age CREDIT: Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One?s Looking / Christian RudderYoung Latina woman in summer clothes in parkYoung Latina woman in summer clothes in parknataliemorris88Young Latina woman in summer clothes in parkMen are always attracted to women in their early 20s - even as they age CREDIT: Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One?s Looking / Christian RudderMen are always attracted to women in their early 20s - even as they age CREDIT: Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One?s Looking / Christian Rudder

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    You can try the famous avocado burger at The Avocado Show pop-up at Bluebird Chelsea in March
    You can try the famous avocado burger at The Avocado Show pop-up at Bluebird Chelsea in March

    In the most 2019 food news of all time, we can report that an avocado pop-up restaurant is coming to London.

    The Avocado Show – dubbed the world’s first all-avocado concept restaurant – is coming to the Bluebird Chelsea on London’s King’s Road from 11 – 24 March.

    This temple to the avo started out in Amsterdam before gaining global notoriety, partly thanks to its now infamous Avocado Burger.

    The burger – a wagyu beef patty with bacon, salad and melted cheese, wedged between two halves of an avocado – made headlines when it first appeared, not only because it seemed to fuse two of the world’s most beloved foodstuffs in a beautiful little package, but because no one really knew quite how you’d get your mouth around it.

    Vegan poke bowl at The Avocado Show
    Vegan poke bowl at The Avocado Show

    After all, when even slicing an avocado to put on your salad often results in a pile of mush, can we really trust the integrity of a burger made from the green stuff?

    These guys made a video to prove how tricky it is – most of them ended up turning it on its side and attacking it through the middle.

    We are yet to be convinced it won’t end up in our laps after the first bite – which is why you will find us at Bluebird on 11 March to find out.

    Avocado poached eggs, The Avocado Show
    Avocado poached eggs, aka the Benny Boy, 312 (Picture: The Avocado Show)

    If the thought of struggling with the burger in public is too much to bear, there are a host of other avocado based dishes that are quite unbelievably intricate and stunning – and a lot easier to eat.

    You can find many of them on The Avocado Show’s Instagram feed ahead of your visit.

    Importantly, amid growing concern from global environmental organisations over the impact of avocado farming – some cafes have even started banning the avocado –  the restaurant, which classes its cuisine as Pretty Healthy Food, is made using sustainable and ethically sourced avocados.

    They source the fruits from various spots around the world, visiting the growers beforehand to ensure the farms meet their standards, taking into account the common avocado farming aggressors: water usage, farm staff, deforestation and even cartels.

    It’s a step in the right direction at a time when our avocado consumption has never been higher yet our obsession is impacting directly on the regions where the avocado is grown.

    While the exotic avocado will never be produced locally on our chilly shores with zero air miles, at the very least, The Avocado Show is determined that with the avocados it serves up, it doing its best to avoid adding to the problem.

    So while you may not be able to eat your avocado burger mess-free, you can at least enjoy it relatively guilt-free.

    ON THE MENU: 

    – The Salamango – half an avocado with sushi rice, salmon, edamame, wake and mango inside sprinkled with sesame seeds, 313.75
    – The Avo Garden – half avocados filled with hummus, cress and edible flowers and cumin, smoked paprika and chilli sprinkled around the outside. Served with a toasted bagel, £12
    – The Bun Burger – a wagyu burger patty, bacon, red onion, tomato and rocket inside an avocado bun, £13.75
    – The Truffle Treasure – mashed avocado on toast with cajun chicken, truffle mayo, cheese and radish on top, £9.60
    – The Benny Boy – bacon and poached eggs atop half avocados drizzled with homemade hollandaise served with toasted English Muffin, £12

    The Avocado Show pop up is at Bluebird Chelsea, 350 King’s Road, London, SW3 5UU, 11 – 24 March. Visit Bluebird-restaurant to book. 

     

    NEW OPENINGS IN LONDON THIS WEEK

    LIO LONDON

    Lio London kicked off its six-week pop-up residency at The London Cabaret Club last night.

    A brilliantly fun, high energy, sexy cabaret show that is not just raunchy dancing – you can expect beautiful vocal performances, including one of our favourite Greatest Showman tracks, a boxing-themed dance-off (that amused boxer David Haye as he filmed it from his launch night ringside seat) and plenty of join-in moments where the audience spontaneously rise from their seat to join in the infections routines.

    The food is excellent – sensational oysters fresh from Ireland, the Lio signature dish – a caviar doughnut – citrussy sea bream ceviche with a ginger kick and a tender beef fillet. It’s no mean feat to serve 270 people at once with food of that calibre – but Lio pulled it off remarkably.

    Cocktails are also excellent  – we had perfectly made classic margaritas and an old fashioned, £17 each. Perrier Jouet by the bottle is £140.

    Lio London (Picture: Bar Fox)
    Lio London opened last night to a very enthusiastic crowd (Picture: Bar Fox)

    The run sold out immediately, but tickets are still available for the club nights. Find out more at liolondon.co.uk

     

    GOT YOUR OWN INSIDER TIPS?

    Why not give us your own suggestions and reviews, or just say hi.

    Hit us up at hello@barfox.co.uk. Include pics, details and your twitter/facebook/insta page and we’ll give you a link up.


    Avocado poke bowl and avocado burger by The Avocado Show pop-up at Bluebird cafeAvocado poke bowl and avocado burger by The Avocado Show pop-up at Bluebird cafeakismet-2fcb28243f975bb512a587b829a23dfdYou can try the famous avocado burger at The Avocado Show pop-up at Bluebird Chelsea in March Vegan poke bowl at The Avocado ShowAvocado poached eggs, The Avocado ShowLio London (Picture: Bar Fox)Avocado poke bowl and avocado burger by The Avocado Show pop-up at Bluebird cafeAvocado poke bowl and avocado burger by The Avocado Show pop-up at Bluebird cafeakismet-2fcb28243f975bb512a587b829a23dfdYou can try the famous avocado burger at The Avocado Show pop-up at Bluebird Chelsea in March Vegan poke bowl at The Avocado ShowAvocado poached eggs, The Avocado ShowLio London (Picture: Bar Fox)

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    (Picture: Asda)

    Love traditional biscuits? Well, you’ll be super happy to know that one of your favourites now comes in giant cake form.

    Asda has released a cake version of the classic Custard Cream biscuit – and this is extremely exciting news.

    The cake serves 16 people and is decorated to look just like the biscuit.

    It’s made using spongecake and the same vanilla buttercream filling that has filled Custard Cream biscuits since they were first released in 1908.

    Asda’s product description reads: ‘This cake takes the biscuit… our spectacular sweet sponge, sandwiched with vanilla flavour buttercream and topped in soft icing – perfect with a cuppa!’

    You can buy a giant Custard Cream cake for ?8 Picture: ASDA METROGRAB https://groceries.asda.com/product/party-cakes/asda-custard-cream-celebration-cake/910002378361
    (Picture: Asda)

    One person on the Asda website was a fan of the cake – but sadly not of the price, as the cake costs £7.

    They wrote: ‘Lovely cake. Tastes just like a custard cream. So much fun and tastes amazing. Loads of buttercream and super top icing layer on top of that. Very sweet but that’s how we like it.

    ‘Will buy again if on offer but not worth £7 for the size. Should be £4 or £5 hence four stars not five.’

    Another person said: ‘Excellent value for money very similar taste to a custard cream this was the perfect cake for a small birthday gathering we had for my moms birthday, my son loved it. Would highly recommend.’

    Someone else said: ‘A moist cake with a good amount of butter icing in the middle. It’s a fun cake as I’m sure most people knows someone who loves Custard Creams. I would recommend this cake.’

    Sadly, the cake is currently out of stock on the Asda website – but you can still find it in stores.

    But due to the excitement, we’d recommend rushing there ASAP to get your hands on one.

    MORE: Every Lotus Biscoff product you can buy in the UK, from ice cream to spread

    MORE: Can blueberries actually help lower your blood pressure?


    You can buy a giant Custard Cream cake for ?8 Picture: ASDA METROGRAB https://groceries.asda.com/product/party-cakes/asda-custard-cream-celebration-cake/910002378361You can buy a giant Custard Cream cake for ?8 Picture: ASDA METROGRAB https://groceries.asda.com/product/party-cakes/asda-custard-cream-celebration-cake/910002378361hattiegladwellmetroYou can buy a giant Custard Cream cake for ?8 Picture: ASDA METROGRAB https://groceries.asda.com/product/party-cakes/asda-custard-cream-celebration-cake/910002378361You can buy a giant Custard Cream cake for ?8 Picture: ASDA METROGRAB https://groceries.asda.com/product/party-cakes/asda-custard-cream-celebration-cake/910002378361You can buy a giant Custard Cream cake for ?8 Picture: ASDA METROGRAB https://groceries.asda.com/product/party-cakes/asda-custard-cream-celebration-cake/910002378361hattiegladwellmetroYou can buy a giant Custard Cream cake for ?8 Picture: ASDA METROGRAB https://groceries.asda.com/product/party-cakes/asda-custard-cream-celebration-cake/910002378361

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    (Picture: Urban Decay)

    Urban Decay has announced that a Game of Thrones makeup collection will be launching in April, to celebrate the premiere of the final season of the show.

    The beauty brand took to Instagram and Twitter to share an image of a model wearing a teal and metallic colbalt eyeshadow look with ‘For the Throne’ written across the photo.

    Though they haven’t announced an actual launch date for the collection, the first episode of season eight of Game of Thrones will air on 14 April, 2019 – so here’s to hoping it’s around that time.

    Urban Decay’s collection follows on from Storybook Cosmetics’ 2017 announcement that they were working on securing a license for their own Game of Thrones-inspired collection – which was never released.

    However, they have teased a dragon-themed collection, though there’s no confirmation as to whether it’s Game of Thrones themed or not.

    There is no news as to what Urban Decay will actually be launching in terms of products, but judging by the model’s eye we’re expecting some metallic palettes – and we’re hoping there’s some metallic liquid lipsticks to join them.

    MORE: Beauty bloggers are using floss to ‘get rid of blackheads’ but it’s not a good idea

    MORE: Woman with cystic acne embraces natural beauty to inspire others to accept their skin


    Game of Thrones Urban DecayGame of Thrones Urban DecayhattiegladwellmetroGame of Thrones Urban DecayGame of Thrones Urban Decayhattiegladwellmetro

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    illustration of woman
    I was 37 years old and it was the first time I had found the right word to describe my identity (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    On 26 August, 2011, I wrote in my diary:

    ‘Looked up “asexual” online, and it turns out that is the accepted term (along with other things like “hetero-romantic” that I thought I’d invented). Not only that, but people have come out and there is an established online community, with symbols and everything.’

    I was 37 years old and it was the first time I had found the right word to describe my identity.

    I came of age in the early 1990s, before the internet. If I wanted to chat to a friend, I had to use a phone in the hallway, risking the chance of their parent answering (or my parent overhearing). If I wanted a poster of my favourite film, I had to take the train to Leeds, only to be told my taste in movies was too obscure. It was not a good time to be shy, different or questioning of your identity.

    And believe me, I had plenty of questions. Was I really in love with the person I intensely adored, when the idea of doing anything romantic together put me right off? Weren’t chastity and unrequited love more romantic (in the Keats and Shelley sense)? Why did I find it so hard to distinguish between romantic and brotherly love?

    It didn’t help that, due to religious convictions, I never even tried sex until my wedding night. In 2005, I wrote:

    ‘How are you supposed to not need or desire sex when you are celibate and then suddenly be the opposite when you are married, like flicking on a switch? Has everyone else in the world been wanting it all the time, even when a virgin, so actually nobody was in it with me? It was just me, Legolas and the Virgin Mary.’

    (Illustration: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)
    For years I struggled to distinguish between romantic and brotherly love (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    According to AVEN (The Asexual Visibility and Education Network) around one per cent of the population identifies as asexual. It defines an asexual person as: ‘A person who does not experience sexual attraction.’

    But there is considerable diversity among this small population. People may still identify as lesbian, bi, straight or gay. They may or may not experience romantic attraction (desire for romantic involvement) aesthetic attraction (appreciation for another’s appearance) or sensual attraction (desire to hug, cuddle or kiss). Some are single, some are in relationships and some have children.

    Hardly surprising, then, that it’s difficult to find a person ‘just like me,’ even in today’s interconnected world and the help of social media.

    For me, soul-searching my way through the 1990s and 2000s, I found my kindred spirits in literature, and especially in the old myths and fairy tales.

    Daphne, who turns into a tree to escape the amorous advances of the god Apollo; Pygmalion, who would rather love a statue; the maiden in Grimm’s Fairy Tales, inviolate in her glass coffin.

    Our ancient ancestors, it seems, were much more honest and open about the possibility of asexuality than the mass media of the 21st century.

    And then I discovered I was not alone. Not only were there other asexuals in the world, but they were talking openly about asexuality, wearing pride rings and going on marches.

    The 2011 version of me wrote: ‘Not sure how I feel about that. Kind of thrilled and scared at the same time…’

    I still feel a bit that way. At time of writing, I have still never met another asexual person in real life. But I have come out gradually to friends and family. I wear a black ring, and I have used my writing to explore my identity.

    Eight years after that initial discovery, I am crowdfunding to publish a book of asexual fairy tales, retelling those same stories that spoke to me. I hope they will speak to other people searching for confirmation that they are not alone.

    My 2011 diary entry ends with these words: ‘I feel OK now, and like there could be a whole journey of discovery ahead of me.’

    I was right.

    MORE: Emmerdale’s Liv is asexual and her story will help people like me understand ourselves

    MORE: I only found out about HPV risks when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer

    MORE: This Valentine’s Day, reach out to your trans friends and remind them they’re worthy of love


    feeling alonefeeling alonesirenabergmanukillustration of woman(Illustration: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)feeling alonefeeling alonesirenabergmanukillustration of woman(Illustration: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

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    Our Instagram tour of the UK continues as we visit your home cities.

    On our @Metro.co.uk feed we are travelling from pillar to post, to bring you stunning shots of metropolitan skylines and historic castles and landmarks.

    Our #MetroRoadTrip heads to Europe next, so keep using our hashtag to have your images featured.

    Coventry

    When old meets news in Coventry, captured by @mycoventry2021.

    Hull

    We’re still blown away by this shot, a sign of home for many people returning to Hull – taken by @vickyplumtreephotos.

    Plymouth

    We miss summer and sunshine by the sea, a throwback from @jerry_fryer here.

    Durham

    The magical Durham Cathedral, captured by @dr.j.radcliffe.

    Bournemouth

    We love this shot of Bournemouth’s beach huts, said to be some of the most expensive in the country! Thanks for this shoot @noorphotography.

    Canterbury

    This looks straight out of the Harry Potter books, thanks for this shot @angibleantravels.

    Swansea

    Such an incredible view captured by @nathgriffo.

    Salford

    Have you been to Salford recently? It is one of the biggest urban regeneration projects in the UK, as taken by @matthewtdalrymple.

    Gloucester

    We never get sick of stunning shots of cathedral interiors so we are grateful for this shot by @martin_bertieboy.

    Blackpool

    View this post on Instagram

    We are in the last week of our #MetroRoadTrip this week and where better to start rounding things off than at Blackpool! 😍 Inspired by the incredible Eiffel Tower in Paris, Blackpool Tower was opened in 1894 and soon became one of Blackpool's most visited attractions. 🗼 Inside the impressive tower, sits the Blackpool Tower ballroom. Fun fact! The impressive chandelier that sits above the ballroom takes an entire week to clean! 💡 When the world-famous ballroom first opened it had some pretty strict rules. No dancing was allowed on Sunday's, instead religious music would be played to observe the Christian holy day. Men were also not allowed to dance alone, or with each other, they could only dance 'with a lady'! 💃🏻🕺👯 Not only does this impressive site include a ballroom, it is also home to a real life circus! The Tower Circus opened to the public on 14th May 1894 and hasn't missed a season since. Entrance when it first opened cost just sixpence, which is about £2 in modern money. 🎫🎪💷 Picture by @starman_1969 😍

    A post shared by Metro UK (@metro.co.uk) on

    No this isn’t the Eiffel Tower but The Blackpool Tower was inspired by it, captured by @starman_1969.

    Cheltenham

    A hidden treasure at Cheltenham Ladies College taken by @placeswithed.

    Exeter

    Did you know there are hidden tunnels under Exeter? This shot was taken by @jmcookphotography.

    Southend-on-sea

    One final trip to the seaside for this road trip and we are in Southend with this stunning shot from @tomhumble_just.

    You can follow us at @Metro.co.uk, where we regularly post the best pictures from London using #MetroLDN and across the country with #MetroRoadTrip.

    MORE: Queer communities of colour photographed for a new set of playing cards

    MORE: Lean On Me: I’m on maternity leave and lonely. How do I make mum friends?


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    (Picture: Deadline News)

    Everybody knows that while heels look pretty, they are a nightmare to wear on a night out. Unless you’re an absolute pro at it.

    Yes they complete your outfit, but an hour into dancing in the club and you can’t feel your toes.

    Then you find yourself stumbling over on the hunt for a taxi.

    And don’t even get me started on the bruises you wake up with the next morning.

    One 20-year-old recently woke up with more than a bruise. She managed to get her heel caught in a drain, and took the entire grate home because she ‘didn’t have the strength’ to deal with it.

    A WOMAN has shared hilarious pictures showing how she lost both of her stiletto heels at the same moment. The Twitter user, known as @tiatoldyouso, jumped out of a taxi and both high heels wedged in a drain grate. The 20-year-old from London discovered both heels were wedged tight so she removed the grate and took it indoors for her mum to sort out. Tia uploaded the pictures to Twitter with the caption: ?I think it?s fair to say I should never drink again.?
    (Picture: Deadline News)

    Tia-Rae, from London, tweeted to tell her followers how she had jumped out of a taxi after a night out and got both heels wedged into a drain grate.

    She uploaded a photo of her shoes stuck in the drain to Twitter, with the caption: ‘I think it’s fair to say I should never drink again.’

    The post received more than 26,000 likes, and plenty of people tagged their friends because they found it so relatable.

    Tia went on to explain how it had happened.

    She wrote: ‘So basically I jumped out of the cab to walk inside my house and then I felt like one of my feet were stuck but didn’t know what on, so I stood straight like the t**t I am.

    A WOMAN has shared hilarious pictures showing how she lost both of her stiletto heels at the same moment. The Twitter user, known as @tiatoldyouso, jumped out of a taxi and both high heels wedged in a drain grate. The 20-year-old from London discovered both heels were wedged tight so she removed the grate and took it indoors for her mum to sort out. Tia uploaded the pictures to Twitter with the caption: ?I think it?s fair to say I should never drink again.?
    (Picture: Deadline News)

    ‘The next thing I know both feet are stuck, so I move one foot then the whole thing just comes off.

    ‘But I couldn’t leave my shoes outside and I really was in stitches so I couldn’t even find the strength to deal with it at this time so I had to just bring it inside for my mum to deal with.’

    Later on she shared another picture of the shoes, saying: ‘Nah, I dunno if I’m mad drunk or this is actually real but I’m crying.’

    Since the tweets were posted, people on Twitter have found them hilarious, and have been commenting to say how much they can empathise with Tia-Rae’s situation.

    A WOMAN has shared hilarious pictures showing how she lost both of her stiletto heels at the same moment.The Twitter user, known as @tiatoldyouso, jumped out of a taxi and both high heels wedged in a drain grate.The 20-year-old from London discovered both heels were wedged tight so she removed the grate and took it indoors for her mum to sort out.Tia uploaded the pictures to Twitter with the caption: ?I think it?s fair to say I should never drink again.?
    (Picture: Deadline News)

    One person wrote: ‘I have PTSD thinking about all of the gorgeous heels I ruined when I was drunk,’ while another joked: ‘Surprised we haven’t pulled this stunt.’

    While another said: ‘Girl I know your pain never getting drunk again.’

    One decided to tag her friend, saying: ‘I’m waiting for the day you do something like this & honestly it will make my life complete.’

    Honestly, if there was ever a reason to stick to trainers on a night out, Tia-Rae has shown us.

    We’re just praying for her shoes – and her feet the next morning.

    MORE: 25 people tell us what annoys them most in porn

    MORE: People aren’t impressed with ASOS’s ‘bin bag’ dress


    Woman gets shoes stuck in drain, takes drain homeWoman gets shoes stuck in drain, takes drain homehattiegladwellmetroA WOMAN has shared hilarious pictures showing how she lost both of her stiletto heels at the same moment. The Twitter user, known as @tiatoldyouso, jumped out of a taxi and both high heels wedged in a drain grate. The 20-year-old from London discovered both heels were wedged tight so she removed the grate and took it indoors for her mum to sort out. Tia uploaded the pictures to Twitter with the caption: ?I think it?s fair to say I should never drink again.?A WOMAN has shared hilarious pictures showing how she lost both of her stiletto heels at the same moment. The Twitter user, known as @tiatoldyouso, jumped out of a taxi and both high heels wedged in a drain grate. The 20-year-old from London discovered both heels were wedged tight so she removed the grate and took it indoors for her mum to sort out. Tia uploaded the pictures to Twitter with the caption: ?I think it?s fair to say I should never drink again.?A WOMAN has shared hilarious pictures showing how she lost both of her stiletto heels at the same moment.The Twitter user, known as @tiatoldyouso, jumped out of a taxi and both high heels wedged in a drain grate.The 20-year-old from London discovered both heels were wedged tight so she removed the grate and took it indoors for her mum to sort out.Tia uploaded the pictures to Twitter with the caption: ?I think it?s fair to say I should never drink again.?Woman gets shoes stuck in drain, takes drain homeWoman gets shoes stuck in drain, takes drain homehattiegladwellmetroA WOMAN has shared hilarious pictures showing how she lost both of her stiletto heels at the same moment. The Twitter user, known as @tiatoldyouso, jumped out of a taxi and both high heels wedged in a drain grate. The 20-year-old from London discovered both heels were wedged tight so she removed the grate and took it indoors for her mum to sort out. Tia uploaded the pictures to Twitter with the caption: ?I think it?s fair to say I should never drink again.?A WOMAN has shared hilarious pictures showing how she lost both of her stiletto heels at the same moment. The Twitter user, known as @tiatoldyouso, jumped out of a taxi and both high heels wedged in a drain grate. The 20-year-old from London discovered both heels were wedged tight so she removed the grate and took it indoors for her mum to sort out. Tia uploaded the pictures to Twitter with the caption: ?I think it?s fair to say I should never drink again.?A WOMAN has shared hilarious pictures showing how she lost both of her stiletto heels at the same moment.The Twitter user, known as @tiatoldyouso, jumped out of a taxi and both high heels wedged in a drain grate.The 20-year-old from London discovered both heels were wedged tight so she removed the grate and took it indoors for her mum to sort out.Tia uploaded the pictures to Twitter with the caption: ?I think it?s fair to say I should never drink again.?

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    Women of all ages, sizes, races and abilities can be strong, fit and unbelievably inspirational. But we never get to see them.

    Adverts, social media and TV shows teach us again and again that women have to look a certain way in order to be fit.

    The only women who get to be strong, healthy and love their bodies are size 6 Instagram models, clad head-to-toe in lycra with intimidating abs and an inexplicable thigh gap.

    This is presented to us as the ideal female form, and anything that doesn’t fit that prescriptive mould is wrong, even shameful.

    A huge study by Sport England found that 75% of women say fear of judgement puts them off being active. And 40% of women over the age of 16 aren’t meeting the recommended levels of weekly fitness.

    So it’s more important than ever for women to reclaim the narrative and celebrate their inner strength. Regardless of what they look like.

    This series aims to redefine what it means to be a strong woman. We will meet some of the incredible ladies who are challenging accepted norms every single day.

    Matilda Egere-Cooper launched her own fitness community, Fly Girl Collective, but she says there isn’t nearly enough BAME representation in the world of running.

    Matilda with the Fly Girls Collective
    Matilda and her Fly Girls (Picture: Ollie Trenchard/Metro.co.uk)

    Tell us about your relationship with fitness

    I was one of those kids who kind of looked forward to P.E lessons, but my relationship with fitness really developed when I was at university, and a few stones heavier.

    I tried going to the gym but I quickly realised that on a meagre income I had to find a cheaper way to keep fit. Running seemed like a no-brainer because all I needed was a pair of trainers and the willpower to get outside – plus I had loved sprinting at school.

    I ended up doing the odd 10k with friends over the years, but in 2011 another friend introduced me to the running community Run Dem Crew, and it became the place where I discovered my love for long distance running and community.

    I haven’t looked back since and I now lead my own community Fly Girl Collective, which I created to inspire BAME women to pursue a fitness lifestyle.

    Everyone is on their own journey, which is why everyone’s relationship with fitness will naturally be different.

    How about your relationship with your body?

    I think my biggest obstacle has been learning to accept my body shape. I have an athletic build, a bum and quads for days which, growing up, was either presented in a sexualized context – in hip hop music videos – or wasn’t considered feminine enough.

    And when you don’t see women like yourself in wellness and fitness magazines and adverts, it sends the message that you’re an anomaly, which then pressures you to follow the status quo.

    But after countless diets and ridiculous exercise regimes, I’ve learned to love my shape; it’s a reflection of my Nigerian heritage and judging by what I see on Instagram, it is very much en vogue. 

    As a black woman in long distance running, we appear to be something of a rare breed – unless you’re running at an elite level (and even then, there’s only a handful of us).

    I can’t say why that is exactly – it could be culture or the appeal of shorter distances – because we’re definitely out here sprinting. But from a wider perspective, people will naturally gravitate to spaces where they are represented and they can be their true selves.

    I was blessed to find running through a community like Run Dem Crew as they’re far from the stereotypical run club, which can often lack diversity at all levels.

    Fundamentally, my strength comes through my faith – I’m a Christian – and that’s the fuel I use to stand up for the things I believe in, like representation, inclusivity and female empowerment. But over the years I’ve also managed to achieve things through fitness that I never thought I’d be capable of, like running more than 15 half marathon, two marathons, an ultramarathon, taking part in Tough Mudder and completing the RideLondon 100 mile bike ride.

    And as the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger!

    Women from the Fly Girl Collective sit on some steps
    (Picture: Ollie Trenchard/Metro.co.uk)

    How do we change the perception of strong women?

    I think when women like me are presented in the media, it’s often based on sterotypical tropes, like the ‘sassy’ black woman, or the ‘angry’ black woman, or the ‘exotic’ black woman who’s actually racially ambiguous.

    ‘Strong’ is often portrayed as intimidating. But I really want this to change because it’s fake news! Healthiness and happiness go hand in hand. I would love to see more black girl joy out here that isn’t defined by looking like a model, being a certain dress size, or mean mugging at the camera.

    There are so many negative connotations of the word strong – which is odd, considering that no one ever really aspires to be weak.

    But only a strong woman can wake up every morning knowing she will face a barrage of sexism and microaggressions by virtue of just being alive – but still choose to brush her hair, put on her lippie and get on with her day.

    So I think there are a lot of misconceptions around the word, but it is important to re-frame it whenever we can. Part of my name – Matilda – is a derivative of the Germanic word, ‘maht’, which means strength. So personally, I love the word.

    The thing about fitness and strength is that it gives me energy and focus – and it has done so much for my self-esteem and mental health. That is the message I’m trying to share through Fly Girl Collective.  

    I’m also three years shy of my 40th birthday, and I am determined to become the best me I can be before then. Because who doesn’t want to be fly in their forties?

    Strong Women is a new weekly series published every Saturday at 10am. If you’d like to get involved, get in touch at strongwomen@metro.co.uk.

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘I am a survivor of things that are known to break other people’

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘People say I am fearless. But that is rubbish. I am human’

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


    Strong Women: MatildaStrong Women: Matildanataliemorris88Matilda with the Fly Girls CollectiveWomen from the Fly Girl Collective sit on some stepsStrong Women: MatildaStrong Women: Matildanataliemorris88Matilda with the Fly Girls CollectiveWomen from the Fly Girl Collective sit on some steps

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    How is the 10 year challenge affecting your mental health
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    At the ripe old age of 21 years, eight months and 20 days, I was told I have dyslexia.

    I was in the final year of my four-year journalism degree at the University of Sheffield, just nine months away from graduating.

    I had spent the better part of two decades in the British education system and no one had ever suggested that I may have a specific learning difficulty.

    According to the NHS, one in every 10 people has some degree of dyslexia. It is a learning difficulty, completely separate from ability, which affects individual elements of the way a person learns and understands information.

    Dyslexia is often diagnosed in early childhood, when children begin to learn how to make sounds and interpret language.

    Everyone I knew who was diagnosed with dyslexia at school was in the bottom set for every subject and repeatedly told they were ‘just not academic’. That was exactly why I refused to get tested. I did not want to be limited in what I could do.

    The moment that finally pushed me out of my delusional bubble that dyslexia was something I could ignore and eventually grow out of was when a colleague commented on how poor my memory is.

    I was presenting in a video and kept on forgetting my lines seconds after reading or being told them. The strangest thing about it is that I had written the script myself, so I should have been better at remembering it.

    I have come to realise that I was dyslexic before the dyslexia was diagnosed. This was quite a comforting thought because it reminded me that I have got here despite the ‘disability’ – so why stop now?

    Finally being told I was dyslexic came as a relief. I battled with imposter syndrome a lot growing up, convincing myself that I did not deserve to be where I was because I’m not actually as smart as people think.

    The diagnosis gave me a justifiable reason as to why I struggled with words and spelling. And the reason did not disqualify my intelligence.

    Being smart had always been a defining aspect of my personality. The first thing my parents would say when they introduced me to someone was: ‘This is our daughter Paula. She’s so bright, top of her class. Yes, we are so proud of her.’ Friends and classmates always asked me for help with school work, expecting me to do well.

    When my university disability advisor confirmed that I was likely to have a specific learning disability, thoughts of abandoning a profession in journalism and media bombarded my mind. What if I was reporting live on TV or radio and could not remember a word or struggled to read the live cues on air? How embarrassing would that be!

    Some time has now passed and I am so much more at peace. I have come to realise that I was dyslexic before the dyslexia was diagnosed. This was quite a comforting thought because it reminded me that I have got here despite the ‘disability’ – so why stop now?

    I always say that dyslexics should never call it ‘my dyslexia’, because we are so much more than the condition. Like many other dyslexic people, I am creative, entrepreneurial, and always think outside of the box, often coming up with solutions and answers other people would never think of.

    To digest and retain information, dyslexics need to interact with information and knowledge in more ways than just reading. We need to use our senses: see it, hear it, feel it. I recommend online audio readers; websites where you can upload large documents and it reads it back to you, so you can read and hear the words at the same time.

    I no longer want to be a reporter (in the old fashioned, typical sense of the word) but not because I don’t think I could do it. Learning about dyslexia, what it is and the many creative people who have it, has pushed me to aspire to create media content for people who learn like me. People who need to experience the information in more ways than just reading.

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

    MORE: Lean On Me: How do I make meaningful friendships?

    MORE: Mocking my Scouse accent isn’t funny, it just makes you a snob


    How is the 10 year challenge affecting your mental healthHow is the 10 year challenge affecting your mental healthsirenabergmanukHow is the 10 year challenge affecting your mental healthHow is the 10 year challenge affecting your mental healthHow is the 10 year challenge affecting your mental healthsirenabergmanukHow is the 10 year challenge affecting your mental health

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    A trans woman is showing off topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and no plastic surgery
    (Picture: Kennedy News)

    A transgender woman is showing off topless photos to celebrate her boobs, which have grown thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women – and no plastic surgery at all.

    Customer services assistant Imogen Loxley, 27, credits three years on hormone replacement therapy for her curves.

    Imogen was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016, a condition where a person’s gender identity doesn’t match their biological sex.

    After a ‘degrading’ and scary experience living as a man, Imogen now thanks oestrogen patches for transforming her body, giving her D-cup breasts and larger hips.

    She’s now using the third anniversary of her first treatment to show that it’s not just older women that HRT gives a new lease of life.

    Imogen, from Sydney, Australia, said: ‘My life was exhausting as Lucas. Being him was a degrading chore.

    ‘Now I’m doing so well on HRT – everything has changed. I’m the biggest girly girl in my family.

    PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: IMOGEN LOXLEY, 27, HAS POSTED RACY PICTURES TO CELEBRATE HER FEMININE CURVES) A trans woman is showing off racy topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and NO plastic surgery. Customer services assistant Imogen Loxley, 27, was born Lucas Brenton but credits three years on hormone replacement therapy for her now ample curves. The brunette beauty was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016, a condition where a person's gender identity doesn't match their biological sex. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266
    (Picture: Kennedy News)

    ‘I used to avoid cameras like they were the plague and I didn’t even allow my ex partners to shower with me or see me naked.

    ‘No outfit, makeup or compliments from my friends would ever be enough to make me feel comfortable and confident in my own skin.

    ‘Getting my photo taken would make me so anxious and angry because I knew that I would not be seeing the person that I was on the inside when they were posted.

    ‘Before the hormones, I was painfully insecure and self conscious to the point I would always be covered from head to toe – even in the middle of summer.

    ‘I despised my male body before transition. Now I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life. Having curves is beautiful.

    ‘For the first time in my life I’m focusing fully on myself. It’s amazing how everything changes.’

    Imogen was living in a prominent LGBTQ+ area of Sydney in her early twenties and did drag for a while. But as she was surrounded by other drag queens removing their dresses and makeup each night, Imogen realised it was more than makeup for her.

    She said: ‘For about eight years before I finally came out and started transitioning I wasn’t in a good head-space.

    PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: IMOGEN LOXLEY, 27, FROM SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, WHO IS CELEBRATING THREE YEARS ON HRT) A trans woman is showing off racy topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and NO plastic surgery. Customer services assistant Imogen Loxley, 27, was born Lucas Brenton but credits three years on hormone replacement therapy for her now ample curves. The brunette beauty was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016, a condition where a person's gender identity doesn't match their biological sex. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266
    (Picture: Kennedy News)

    ‘I was confused. I knew I’d always had the mind and soul of a woman, but those years were very confusing for me.

    ‘When I was 21, I lived in the heart of the city on the gay strip and joined my partner at the time doing drag.

    ‘I always knew it meant something more to me than him and the other performers.

    ‘The only time I felt completely and authentically happy back then was when I was in drag.

    ‘It helped me to escape, release and gave me clarity over my gender identity.

    ‘At that point, I presented myself outwardly as male – but drag gave me the power to really start embracing myself.

    ‘Even though I presented as male, I still had a full face of makeup except lipstick.

    ‘I just wore enough to make me feel confident.’

    Shortly after quitting drag, Imogen began considering medically transitioning into a woman.

    Imogen said: ‘Back when I realised I was a woman, I didn’t even know being trans was possible. I wasn’t aware of anyone that was trans.

    ‘I initially came out to my friends then when they were okay with it, it gave me the confidence to come out to my family. My home has always been a safe space for me.

    PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: IMOGEN LOXLEY, 27, BEFORE HER TRANSITION, WHEN SHE WENT BY THE NAME LUCAS BRENTON) A trans woman is showing off racy topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and NO plastic surgery. Customer services assistant Imogen Loxley, 27, was born Lucas Brenton but credits three years on hormone replacement therapy for her now ample curves. The brunette beauty was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016, a condition where a person's gender identity doesn't match their biological sex. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266
    Imogen before her transition (Picture: Kennedy News)

    ‘I’d been surrounded by queer people for a large majority of my life and a lot of my friends were gay. They were very open-minded and accepting.’

    In time, and with the support of her loved ones, Imogen went to see a psychiatrist who diagnosed her as gender dysphoric – meaning her gender identity was the opposite to her biological sex.

    A month later, in January 2016, Imogen started using oestrogen patches to help develop the characteristics of a female.

    After struggling her whole life to feel comfortable in her body, she finally accepted her true identity and bought hair extensions and a manicure.

    Imogen said: ‘The psychiatrist I saw seven years later said the majority of people that went to see him were in there for a couple of hours. I was in there for 15 minutes and he said ‘I don’t need to ask anymore questions’.

    ‘I was very honest about my feelings and mental and emotional state.

    ‘A lot of trans people are scared to say the wrong thing to the psychiatrist. I was just very truthful.

    ‘I went back to the endocrinologist and she prescribed to me oestrogen patches and testosterone blockers.

    ‘When I’d had the blood tests, they’d revealed my oestrogen levels were already naturally quite high. I was confident that I was doing exactly the right thing because of that.

    ‘I was finally living on cloud nine.

    ‘When I started the hormones in January 2016, I went and had my nails done, bought hair extensions – basically went wild. Everything was going so well.’

    As Imogen’s body began to absorb the oestrogen, she noticed her skin becoming softer and her body hair becoming thinner – although she still needed to shave nearly every day.

    Eventually she paid for full-body laser hair removal and has been saving for three years to afford gender reassignment and facial feminisation surgery.

    Imogen said: ‘It took about three months to start seeing and feeling the physical and emotional changes.

    ‘It was overwhelming but felt very right.

    ‘I’d always been a woman inside, but I started to feel like a woman externally too.

    ‘My skin began to soften, my face and body hair became thinner.

    ‘In the first year I still had to shave my face and body almost every day which made me feel insecure and uncomfortable, but I eventually got laser hair removal.

    ‘I taught myself how to do makeup and my sisters always want me to teach them how to contour and do their eyebrows.

    ‘I’ve been working very hard now to save for gender reassignment surgery and I’m still saving after three years.

    ‘It is incredibly expensive in Australia, but I continue to work as hard as I can.

    ‘My breasts are from HRT and I’ve had facial Botox and a bit of filler to add to what the hormones have already changed.

    ‘I gained quite a bit of weight but the fat distributes to the hips, thighs and bum, creating a more feminine shape. It completely blows my mind.

    ‘My sisters say my boobs are bigger than theirs now.

    ‘My family have been incredibly supportive and open-minded like I said and constantly compliment and reassure me.

    ‘Sometimes I might be in a bit of a mood and then they will go out of their way to compliment my physical changes.’

    MORE: Beauty bloggers are using floss to ‘get rid of blackheads’ but it’s not a good idea

    MORE: Woman with cystic acne embraces natural beauty to inspire others to accept their skin


    A trans woman is showing off topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and no plastic surgeryA trans woman is showing off topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and no plastic surgeryhattiegladwellmetroA trans woman is showing off topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and no plastic surgeryPIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: IMOGEN LOXLEY, 27, HAS POSTED RACY PICTURES TO CELEBRATE HER FEMININE CURVES) A trans woman is showing off racy topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and NO plastic surgery. Customer services assistant Imogen Loxley, 27, was born Lucas Brenton but credits three years on hormone replacement therapy for her now ample curves. The brunette beauty was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016, a condition where a person's gender identity doesn't match their biological sex. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: IMOGEN LOXLEY, 27, FROM SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, WHO IS CELEBRATING THREE YEARS ON HRT) A trans woman is showing off racy topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and NO plastic surgery. Customer services assistant Imogen Loxley, 27, was born Lucas Brenton but credits three years on hormone replacement therapy for her now ample curves. The brunette beauty was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016, a condition where a person's gender identity doesn't match their biological sex. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: IMOGEN LOXLEY, 27, BEFORE HER TRANSITION, WHEN SHE WENT BY THE NAME LUCAS BRENTON) A trans woman is showing off racy topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and NO plastic surgery. Customer services assistant Imogen Loxley, 27, was born Lucas Brenton but credits three years on hormone replacement therapy for her now ample curves. The brunette beauty was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016, a condition where a person's gender identity doesn't match their biological sex. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266A trans woman is showing off topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and no plastic surgeryA trans woman is showing off topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and no plastic surgeryhattiegladwellmetroA trans woman is showing off topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and no plastic surgeryPIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: IMOGEN LOXLEY, 27, HAS POSTED RACY PICTURES TO CELEBRATE HER FEMININE CURVES) A trans woman is showing off racy topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and NO plastic surgery. Customer services assistant Imogen Loxley, 27, was born Lucas Brenton but credits three years on hormone replacement therapy for her now ample curves. The brunette beauty was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016, a condition where a person's gender identity doesn't match their biological sex. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: IMOGEN LOXLEY, 27, FROM SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, WHO IS CELEBRATING THREE YEARS ON HRT) A trans woman is showing off racy topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and NO plastic surgery. Customer services assistant Imogen Loxley, 27, was born Lucas Brenton but credits three years on hormone replacement therapy for her now ample curves. The brunette beauty was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016, a condition where a person's gender identity doesn't match their biological sex. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: IMOGEN LOXLEY, 27, BEFORE HER TRANSITION, WHEN SHE WENT BY THE NAME LUCAS BRENTON) A trans woman is showing off racy topless photos to celebrate her incredible womanly assets thanks to the same drug given to menopausal women - and NO plastic surgery. Customer services assistant Imogen Loxley, 27, was born Lucas Brenton but credits three years on hormone replacement therapy for her now ample curves. The brunette beauty was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016, a condition where a person's gender identity doesn't match their biological sex. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266

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    (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

    I am not allowed to look at my boyfriend’s Notes on his phone, and it makes me mad.

    What secrets lurk within?

    What is he hiding among a detailed meal plan and a pre-written rant for an argument he’s planning to have?

    In a society of over-sharers, our Notes app is the most private, intimate window into who someone really is.

    Notes have surpassed the diary entries of the 90s and early noughties, which were kept under easily broken lock and key.

    Years back we would hide under the covers with a torch and a fluffy pink pen and write about the drama of our day, ranging from burn book entries (before Mean Girls was even a thing) to apologies for not writing for the last few weeks and tales of eating porridge and plans to eat slices of apples with peanut butter as a snack.

    The pressure to write something fascinating and worth the privacy was too much. We looked back over old diary entries and cringed. Slowly we stopped writing in those pages headed with ‘my secret diary, DO NOT READ’ and hiding under the covers felt silly.

    Social media arrived and we got a fresh outlet for our tumultuous feelings.

    Cyber flashing - What to do if you're a victim and how to report it Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    We could put moody song lyrics in our MSN status, do a passive aggressive quiz on MySpace, or post an enigmatic ‘it’s the people you love the most who have the power to hurt you the most…’ or ‘bad day xxx’.

    Then came the age of influencers, and the idea that your social media should not be a diary but a carefully curated version of yourself. Your tweets must be witty, your Instagram must maintain an aesthetic. You could post emotional tweets on your alt account, but even those needed to be moody enough to be #relatable.

    So where could we go to share our immediate musings and our innermost thoughts? The Notes app, of course.

    The Notes app offers an immediacy our old diaries never could, a place to type out anything the moment it occurs to us.

    The lack of an audience and the pressure to meet an expectation of diary-worthy drama means that in Notes, we can be far more honest. We can use it for any purpose, without the fear and secret hope that someone will read it.

    And so, if you look in someone’s Notes app, you will find text ranging from the deeply mundane (shopping lists, to-do lists for the day, dates in need of adding to the calendar) to the shamefully personal.

    I assumed my Notes would be pretty dull – I hardly ever use them.

    But a quick browse found multiple scrolls of Kanye quotes, book ideas, shreds of quotes from interviews and reminders to myself that make little sense and sound more intriguing as a result – ‘it’s the molasses’, ‘come on then, hold my hand’, ‘pig bath’, ‘beer with owl’.

    Going deeper I find notes with ‘I love you’, clearly typed out then shown to my partner IRL.

    I find a typed out apology to my ex for ‘being sh*t’, likely drafted there then pasted to Whatsapp.

    There are ideas for articles, lists of what a friend’s boyfriend did on a night out (typed drunk so I wouldn’t forget the next day), plans for travel, details of money spent and budgets not stuck to.

    A look at these could tell you quite a bit about me, and I’m not even a prolific Notes user.

    A glimpse into my Notes (Picture: Ellen Scott/Metro.co.uk)

    The entries in a Notes app are deeply intimate, written not for likes or shares or to create a pleasing version of ourselves, but for our eyes only and the people we choose to share them with*.

    (*Notes so often seem to be used to type out messages to friends and then show them the screen. Have you noticed that?)

    My deskmate tells me her Notes app has results from a Scrabble match, a list of people she’s slept with, lyrics to Google later, and a message that says ‘old man is staring’.

    Another friend lists: ‘Holiday itinerary, my favourite baby names, a list of everyone I’ve shagged, one that just says heaven’s gate cult, films I want to watch, book recommendations, train-written poems, a letter I wrote to my ex asking why he cheated on me, chapters for my never-gonna-happen book, my wifi code.’

    The Notes app might be the last truly private place we have left.

    As with any secret, the privacy only makes the contents of my partner’s Notes app more enticing, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is one corner of his existence that I shouldn’t barge my way into.

    We need Notes as a place we can blurt without the threat of our musings and food diaries ever being seen. They’re the last digital space left that’s just for us, and that’s kind of magical.

    MORE: Let’s fall back in love with email – there’s no better form of passive aggressive work communication

    MORE: Why you have so many tabs open

    MORE: There’s power in being lovey-dovey


    Notes app is a true window into the soulNotes app is a true window into the soulellencscottCyber flashing - What to do if you're a victim and how to report it Ella Byworth for Metro.co.ukNotes app is a true window into the soulNotes app is a true window into the soulellencscottCyber flashing - What to do if you're a victim and how to report it Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk

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    Riley Baxter is only four years old and he has already landed modelling jobs for Mothercare and the Jools Oliver Little Bird range.

    He also has Down’s Syndrome.

    Riley’s parents Stuart and Kirsty were worried that Riley’s Down’s Syndrome would hold him back and make him the victim of bullies.

    Instead they’ve been amazed by everything he’s achieved so far.

    His huge smile has earned him the nickname ‘Smiley Riley’ and brought joy to everyone he meets.

    After it was suggested the four-year-old should model, he joined Zebedee Management and learned how to nail photoshoots.

    Dad Stuart said: ‘After we were told he had Down Syndrome I cried, not for the case that I would love him any less but just knowing how cruel the world can be.

    ‘That was the first thing that went through my mind but obviously my perceptions were wrong, and wow how wrong I was.

    Smiley Riley is incredibly photogenic and has already featured in shoots for Mother Care and also Little Bird by Jools Oliver
    (Picture: KIRSTY BAXTERS / CATERS NEWS)

    ‘There was the fear of the unknown and why this had happened to us, but if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have been upset at all.

    ‘Riley is getting so much out of life and whenever he accomplishes something it seems that little bit extra special knowing how much harder he had to work for it.

    ‘We have called him ‘Smiley Riley’ from a young age, because he makes people really happy and seeing his smile gives people a pick-me-up on a bad day.

    ‘Now he’s modelling with Zebedee, he loves the camera, you say pose and he will make this little pout followed by sticking his tongue out.

    ‘In the photoshoots they want the children to act natural and naturally he’s a very happy little boy, so it’s brilliant.

    PICS BY KIRSTY BAXTERS / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Smiley Riley is incredibly photogenic and has already featured in shoots for Mother Care and also Little Bird by Jools Oliver) - A rainbow baby born with Down Syndrome been dubbed SmileyRiley has been melting hearts as a model. RileyBaxter, four, from Rochester, Kent, has already been the face of a Mothercare advert, the Jools Oliver Little Bird range and more. His parents Stuart and Kirsty, 40 and 42, initially feared how their son would be treated by the world after being diagnosed, worrying that people would see his disabilities rather than his abilities. But since joining support groups, they have been amazed by not only littleRileys progress, but societys too with everyone adoring their son. - SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: KIRSTY BAXTERS / CATERS NEWS)

    ‘He enjoys everything he does and does it all with a smile, whenever people see him, they don’t see his disability just him smiling.’

    After losing their first daughter, Skye, 19 weeks into the pregnancy in 2013, parents Stuart and Kirsty worried over Riley the moment he was conceived.

    ‘Every time I went for a scan, I couldn’t look at the monitor and had to wait for Stuart to tell me it was all ok,’ said Kirsty.

    Shortly after he was born, Riley was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome when nurses noticed he was floppier than other babies and had the tell-tale crease in his hand.

    He initially struggled to feed, needing a nose tube to give him nutrients every four hours.

    PICS BY KIRSTY BAXTERS / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Parents Kirsty and Stuart say their son has a better life than most children his age doing modelling, horse riding, acting, and more - everyone loves him) - A rainbow baby born with Down Syndrome been dubbed SmileyRiley has been melting hearts as a model. RileyBaxter, four, from Rochester, Kent, has already been the face of a Mothercare advert, the Jools Oliver Little Bird range and more. His parents Stuart and Kirsty, 40 and 42, initially feared how their son would be treated by the world after being diagnosed, worrying that people would see his disabilities rather than his abilities. But since joining support groups, they have been amazed by not only littleRileys progress, but societys too with everyone adoring their son. - SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: KIRSTY BAXTERS / CATERS NEWS)

    After leaving hospital Riley’s parents joined support groups and learned Makaton sign language, as when Riley grew older he remained mostly non-verbal.

    Stuart explained: ‘We wanted to understand what he needed if he would be non-verbal for a longer time and to be able help him when he cried.

    ‘Now he has such a repertoire of signs it’s unbelievable, it’s to the point where other children are learning it from him.’

    Riley is now able to speak two-word sentences, including ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’, and is able to recite the alphabet and count from one to ten on his own.

    He struggled to learn how to walk due to muscle weakness, and needed a walker until the age of three.

    ‘With his walking he has to work twice as hard as anyone else to do what they are doing,’ said Stuart.

    PICS BY KIRSTY BAXTERS / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Parents Kirsty and Stuart say their son has a better life than most children his age doing modelling, horse riding, acting, and more - everyone loves him) - A rainbow baby born with Down Syndrome been dubbed SmileyRiley has been melting hearts as a model. RileyBaxter, four, from Rochester, Kent, has already been the face of a Mothercare advert, the Jools Oliver Little Bird range and more. His parents Stuart and Kirsty, 40 and 42, initially feared how their son would be treated by the world after being diagnosed, worrying that people would see his disabilities rather than his abilities. But since joining support groups, they have been amazed by not only littleRileys progress, but societys too with everyone adoring their son. - SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: KIRSTY BAXTERS / CATERS NEWS)

    ‘When he walks a mile it’s like walking two for anyone else, but his determination to keep going is the one thing we constantly see.’

    But despite his struggles, Riley stays smiling – and his parents are blown away by his accomplishments.

    ‘He goes to a mainstream school, and they all love him there, whenever he goes to parties, he is always the centre of attention,’ said Stuart.

    ‘At one party we turned up a bit late, there were 20 children sitting around a lady dressed as a fairy.

    ‘I heard them say Riley’s name and then they all came running towards him.

    ‘Their love for him is amazing.

    ‘He can do everything anyone else can, it just takes him a little longer and we have enjoyed that more.

    ‘He has needed us more, so if anything, it’s meant we could give him extra love.

    ‘We were so delighted to have him, our little boy to love and bring up.’

    MORE: Millennials love plants because we have nothing else

    MORE: Disabled woman says reborn dolls have changed her into a devoted ‘mummy’


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    Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mulletfest winner Michelle Gearin, takes her prize at the second annual Mullet festival in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDS
    Mulletfest winner Michelle Gearin takes her prize (Picture: Jack Antcliff/Caters News)

    The mullet will never die. The hair style is simply too powerful.

    Having business at the front, party at the back, may not be the most popular trend in current fashion, but there are those whose allegiance to the mullet remains strong. And we applaud them.

    This weekend in Australia, hundreds of mullet enthusiasts flocked to the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri, Australia, to compete in the second annual Mulletfest.

    As the name suggests, Mulletfest is a celebration of the mullet. It was created by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year, attracting more than 150 entrants.

    It’s also a contest in which men and women can fight to be given the highly honoured titles of best everyday mullet, extreme mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet, vintage mullet, and junior mullet.

    Competition is fierce, but at the end of the contest people can come together over their uniting love: a hair do that’s cut short in the front and left long and flowing in the back.

    Rosco McGrath and Zac Ralph ready for competition. (0411117545All the colour of Mulletfest 2019 at the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri. Picture by Peter Lorimer.
    Rosco McGrath and Zac Ralph ready for competition. (Picture by Peter Lorimer)
    Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDS
    (Picture: Jack Antcliff/Caters News)
    All the colour of Mulletfest 2019 at the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri. Picture by Peter Lorimer.
    Jorts are a must (Picture: Jack Antcliff/Caters News)
    Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDS
    (Picture: Jack Antcliff/Caters News)
    Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDS
    (Picture: Jack Antcliff/Caters News)
    Participants Zoe and Jaxson Smith are seen during Mulletfest, a special event designed to celebrate the hairstyle that?s all about business at the front, party at the back, Chelmsford Hotel, Kurri Kurri, Saturday, February 23, 2019. (AAP Image/Perry Duffin) NO ARCHIVING
    Zoe and Jaxson Smith ready to compete in the junior mullet round (Picture: Perry Duffin/AAP)
    Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDS
    (Picture: Jack Antcliff/Caters News)
    All the colour of Mulletfest 2019 at the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri. Picture by Peter Lorimer.
    (Picture: Peter Lorimer)
    Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDS
    (Picture: Jack Antcliff/Caters News)
    Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDS
    (Picture: Jack Antcliff/Caters News)
    Extreme mullets. All the colour of Mulletfest 2019 at the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri. Picture by Peter Lorimer.
    A woman compete in the extreme mullets category (Picture: Peter Lorimer)
    Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDS
    (Picture: Jack Antcliff/Caters News)
    Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDS
    (Picture: Jack Antcliff/Caters News)
    Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDS
    (Picture: Jack Antcliff/Caters News)
    Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mulletfest winner Michelle Gearin, takes her prize at the second annual Mullet festival in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDS
    Mulletfest winner Michelle Gearin (Picture: Jack Antcliff/Caters News)

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    MulletFestMulletFestellencscottPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mulletfest winner Michelle Gearin, takes her prize at the second annual Mullet festival in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSRosco McGrath and Zac Ralph ready for competition. (0411117545All the colour of Mulletfest 2019 at the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri. Picture by Peter Lorimer.Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSAll the colour of Mulletfest 2019 at the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri. Picture by Peter Lorimer.Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSParticipants Zoe and Jaxson Smith are seen during Mulletfest, a special event designed to celebrate the hairstyle that?s all about business at the front, party at the back, Chelmsford Hotel, Kurri Kurri, Saturday, February 23, 2019. (AAP Image/Perry Duffin) NO ARCHIVINGPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSAll the colour of Mulletfest 2019 at the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri. Picture by Peter Lorimer.Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSExtreme mullets. All the colour of Mulletfest 2019 at the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri. Picture by Peter Lorimer.Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mulletfest winner Michelle Gearin, takes her prize at the second annual Mullet festival in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSMulletFestMulletFestellencscottPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mulletfest winner Michelle Gearin, takes her prize at the second annual Mullet festival in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSRosco McGrath and Zac Ralph ready for competition. (0411117545All the colour of Mulletfest 2019 at the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri. Picture by Peter Lorimer.Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSAll the colour of Mulletfest 2019 at the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri. Picture by Peter Lorimer.Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSParticipants Zoe and Jaxson Smith are seen during Mulletfest, a special event designed to celebrate the hairstyle that?s all about business at the front, party at the back, Chelmsford Hotel, Kurri Kurri, Saturday, February 23, 2019. (AAP Image/Perry Duffin) NO ARCHIVINGPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSAll the colour of Mulletfest 2019 at the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri. Picture by Peter Lorimer.Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSExtreme mullets. All the colour of Mulletfest 2019 at the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri. Picture by Peter Lorimer.Pic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mullet mania at the second annual Mulletfest in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDSPic by Jack Antcliff/Caters News - (Pictured: Mulletfest winner Michelle Gearin, takes her prize at the second annual Mullet festival in Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia. Pic taken 23/02/2019) - An Aussie town was transformed as competitors turned out for the second annual Mulletfest - celebrating the most iconic of eighties hairdos. Coiffed individuals from across Australia gathered in the Chelmsford Hotel in the rural town of Kurri Kurri to celebrate the infamous business at the front, party at the back hairstyle. Men and women competed in five categories - the everyday mullet, grubby mullet, ranga mullet , ladies mullet and junior mullet in the hope of being crowned a winner in the style stakes. The festival was launched by hairdresser Laura Johnson last year attracting more than 150 entrants. ENDS

    0 0

    My son plays with dolls because toys shouldn't be gendered
    I went on eBay and bought him some second-hand dolls (Picture: Mmuffin for Metro.co.uk)

    My son was 17 months old when he learnt the word ‘car’. Later that week, as I pushed his buggy down our street, he insisted on pointing out every vehicle we passed.

    Amused, I stopped and took a quick video of him and sent it to my family Whatsapp.

    He already had a couple of toy cars but by Christmas he had more than doubled his fleet. ‘He really loves cars, doesn’t he?’ commented one friend. ‘Probably because you keep buying them for him,’ I said.

    I was kidding at the time but I’ve started to consider it more seriously. ‘Car’ is not, after all, his only word.

    He only has to spot a buggy on the other side of the street to start shouting ‘Baby! Baby!’ – yet no one’s thought to buy him a baby doll. By focusing on some interests and not others, aren’t we affirming ideas about what little boys ‘should’ be into?

    So I took it upon myself to even up the balance a bit: I went on eBay and bought him some second-hand dolls.

    Of course, no one in my family would ever claim that boys shouldn’t play with dolls. ‘I had a dolly when I was little,’ my husband says proudly when I tell him what I’ve done. But it’s interesting that ‘car’ is interpreted as a personality trait while ‘baby’ is merely a word he knows.

    I believe this is down to internalised gender biases. Few of us would think of ourselves as sexist. Nevertheless, we are not immune to the subtle messages we receive from our environment.

    It’s interesting that ‘car’ is interpreted as a personality trait while ‘baby’ is merely a word he knows.

    Research by the Let Toys Be Toys campaign found that while most catalogues and online stores no longer explicitly label toys as being for girls or boys, they are still twice as likely to show girls playing with kitchens and other ‘domestic’ toys and four times as likely to show boys playing with cars.

    When it comes to dolls, just 10 out of the 128 pictures they reviewed of children playing with dolls were boys.

    It was no surprise to me that car, bus, and train were among his first words. But these things interest him not because of some innate male obsession with machines but because he sees them every single day.

    He also sees us care for him, get him dressed, take him out for walks in the buggy, tell him stories and put him down for naps so nothing could be more natural than to imitate the activities we do with him everyday with his dolls.

    Plus, different toys allow for different kinds of play. A toy garage allows him to open and close doors, to roll cars up and down a ramp. Playing with dolls helps develop social skills, to learn about body parts, and to process feelings and experiences.

    To deny a child these opportunities is more than a shame, it is potentially dangerous. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 45 yet men are significantly less likely than women to seek access to psychological therapies.

    I’m not suggesting that a couple of second-hand dolls can solve the crisis of male mental health but by fostering an environment where boys can explore their nurturing instincts, by normalising caregiving and encouraging them to articulate emotions, we are at least providing a foundation on which they can build.

    As for my little boy, he’s delighted with the ‘babies’. On their first day in their new home, he put them all to bed in an empty box. Just this morning, he dragged me into the living room to point out their ears to me.

    And maybe they won’t end up being his favourite toys, that’s fine. Maybe he’ll always prefer Duplo and cars and books – all things I too avidly played with as a child – but I at least want to give him the chance to find out.

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    Mmuffin-ee21Mmuffin-ee21rmve86My son plays with dolls because toys shouldn't be genderedMmuffin-ee21Mmuffin-ee21rmve86My son plays with dolls because toys shouldn't be gendered

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