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

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    (Picture: Reese’s)

    Peanut butter fans, rejoice: Reese’s has released a peanut butter filled Easter egg, and it sounds incredible.

    The release follows on from the company’s peanut butter versions of Creme Eggs, which launched last year.

    But this time they’re bigger and better.

    The Easter egg is made using milk chocolate and is stuffed with peanut butter – replicating the peanut butter cup but in egg form.

    According to Reese’s, it’s ‘the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter in an egg shape’, and is a ‘must have for peanut butter lovers’.

    They also add that it’s a ‘tasty treat which is great for sharing’ but we beg to differ – who wants to share an Easter egg?

    The 178g Easter egg is currently available on Amazon for £14.99. Yes, it’s pretty expensive but come on – it’s worth it. It’s all peanut butter filling, no hollow chocolate egg nonsense.

    In other Easter egg news, Waitrose has re-launched its millennial avocado Easter egg.

    The egg was so popular last year that it sold out over and over.

    The egg, which is definitely Instagram-worthy, costs £8 and features a Belgian chocolate shell, white chocolate ‘flesh’ made with green natural colouring and a cocoa-dusted chocolate ‘stone’ in the middle.

    The Easter egg costs £8 – or you can get a packet of three miniature versions for just £4.

    MORE: Attention, people: The Creme Egg McFlurry is making a comeback for Easter

    MORE: Cafe launches decadent milkshake inside an Easter egg


    Reese\'s peanut butter Easter egg is here, and it\'s a lot - Picture: Amazon METROGRAB https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reeses-Peanut-Butter-Filled-Egg/dp/B01AA2HXKWReese\'s peanut butter Easter egg is here, and it\'s a lot - Picture: Amazon METROGRAB https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reeses-Peanut-Butter-Filled-Egg/dp/B01AA2HXKW

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    Greggs vegan sausage roll
    In a former life I may well have been as angry about a Greggs vegan sausage roll as Piers Morgan pretends to be (Photo: Getty/ PA)

    About seven years ago I gave up meat. I was a relatively happy pescatarian for five years. Then, after spending a lot of time with friends who were vegan I went the whole hog (for want of a better phrase).

    I think most people have a nagging doubt about whether it’s right to eat certain things, or things that are produced in a certain way, and it’s up to us how long we ignore that voice.

    I continue to flush wet wipes whilst being opposed to fatbergs, I bemoan companies who fill the ocean with plastic whilst forgetting my reuseable cup for the tenth effing day in an effing row.

    But I could ignore the vegan voice no longer; I read the articles, watched the documentaries, and cemented a new found disgust at the unnecessary harm we inflict on animals.

    Then, after about six months, I started slipping up out of convenience, politeness or necessity. My ethics hadn’t changed, but my habits had. I was gutted.

    When I was done berating myself for the odd blind eye turned to cheese sauce at a friend’s house or realising halfway through a vegetable curry that it probably contained ghee, I realised that even though I had slipped up, I was still making a difference.

    Even if my diet was only 90 per cent vegan, that was something. If everybody on Earth went 90 per cent vegan then the majority of my concerns about animal welfare would be null and void, and so it was that I became, what I like to call ‘broadly vegan’.

    I’m totally vegan at home (aside from some Quorn and if my girlfriend has bought Dairy Milk) and I’m mostly vegan outside the house, unless I’m A) hungover or B) having a curry (sorry prawns!)

    People get quite angry about ethical diets, what constitutes one or not, how strict you are, having one in the first place. But all ethics is, is drawing a line – a personal, subjective line. We all do it.

    You’d eat a steak but not a cat. That’s an ethical line, a personal and subjective decision that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. And you have every right to it.

    How excited I was, therefore, to hear that a team of 37 scientists decided that my diet, which I invented by accident, was mankind’s only hope of survival. YOU’RE WELCOME!

    The Planetary Health Diet devised by the EAT-Lancet Commission reduces meat, fish and dairy in order to feed a growing population, avoid the extinction of more species, preserve water, cut deaths by 11,000,000 people a year and reduce land used by farming. And all I had to do was give in to a prawn madras!

    The diet they outlined would restrict us to one portion of red meat a week (about the size of a burger), two each of chicken and fish, and equivalent to one glass of milk a day of dairy.

    This may seem a little daunting, but the United States alone kills 9billion chickens a year, and around 29million cows. When the world population rises to 10billion people, we may not have a choice.

    I still don’t eat meat, but I worshiped it for many years. In a former life I may well have been as angry about a Greggs vegan sausage roll as Piers Morgan pretends to be.

    But my experience since has given me some insight into how easy it is to reduce meat and dairy intake without the world falling down around your ears.

    I’d assumed all vegan and veggie food was somehow worthy, healthy and a chore. The truth couldn’t be more different.

    The cheaper, more processed meats are the most successfully replicated so chicken nuggets, sausages and burgers are basically identical. The cheaper the meat, the more harm that can be avoided by switching to a meat-free alternative.

    I also had a revelation: most of what I fantasised about my favourite meat dishes weren’t to do with meat at all – it’s the condiments, stupid! Imagine your dream burger. Go on… treat yourself. Now take out the ketchup/mustard/hot sauce/mayo.

    Still appetising? How about without the onions/gherkins/jalapenos?

    All are either vegan or, in the case of mayo, easily replaced.

    Mayo and salad cream are two real success stories, and both are available as inexpensive own brand products in your local supermarket.

    Milk for me was easy to cut out. Not only are we the only species on earth that drinks milk past infanthood, we drink another species’ milk! It’s actually quite disgusting when you dwell on it. Just ask this guy!

    Because I’m great fun, I conducted a test on all non-dairy milk alternatives and came to the following conclusion: the best for coffee was hazelnut, for tea it was cashew or hemp and on its own, sweetened almond (in fact sweetened almond milk ticks all the boxes as an all rounder).

    They keep for AGES – the UHT stuff lasts even longer – and though it’s more expensive than cows’ milk, you won’t be chucking it away when it goes off, and cheap milk is a bad deal for everyone, farmers and cows.

    Eggs went a similar way (another animal’s unfertalised foetus! Super, super odd!). There’s still traces of egg in some of the things I eat (mainly Quorn) but surely it’s not really necessary for Britain to consume 12.5billion eggs a year!

    Then there was cheese. People are insane about cheese. There’s no escaping that cheese tastes great, and it was the only thing I really worried about leaving behind. But I honestly didn’t miss it for the six months I was a hardcore vegan. The secret? Don’t have it in the house.

    For vegetarians it’s easy to replace meat with cheese, if not at all healthy. I use yeast flakes if I want a cheese flavour in sauces or pasta but straight up vegan cheese alternatives are a real mixed bag, from the perverse to the exceptional. Really good ones can be hard to get hold of and pricey.

    This may sound obvious, but this was another revelation to me: so much of our diet is already vegan. No one looks at a loaf of bread and thinks, ‘urgh! Not vegan food!’

    Cornflakes, baked beans, Guinness, Smoky Bacon Hula Hoops, Oreos, Weetabix, Bisto Best Onion Gravy Granules, Skittles, Marmite, Beef and Tomato Pot Noodle… the list goes on and on (and on).

    So much of what’s nice about a fry up or roast – potatoes, parsnips, beans, hash browns, tomatoes, ketchup – is all vegan!

    There are three potential reactions to change our habits for the world: 1. fear 2. anger 3. chilling-out-and-having-a-go.

    There’s also pretending-you’re-angry-about-a-vegan-sausage-roll-because-your-career-is-based-solely-on-you-being-outraged, but that’s more pathetic than actually being angry about a vegan sausage roll.

    It can seem scary, though. When cutting out meat comes to mind, we imagine a perfect bacon sandwich from the picture on a Hovis truck.

    But how much of the meat you actually consume is seriously mouth-watering?

    How much is gristle in mince, undercooked sausages in a hotel buffet, slimy chicken, grey chicken, tough lamb, silvery-bluey-green bacon under a heat lamp or those insane, cheap ham slices that have the most disgusting texture of anything on Earth and weird hard bits in them? I’ve never craved any of that.

    So why not try something, anything, even one thing, for a week? I’ll see you and 10billion others for falafel in 2050.

    If you find this kind of thing as annoying as a Gregg’s vegan sausage roll, don’t worry, I used to, too. It brought me close to that nagging doubt I’d tried to ignore, so I got defensive.

    I’ve now tried the Greggs vegan sausage roll. It’s delicious, and I suspect Piers Morgan secretly thinks so, too.

    MORE: My top proposal tip: Forget Van Morrison and pretend you’re going to sh*t yourself

    MORE: Auntie asks whether she’s in the wrong for feeding vegan nephew meat

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


    What's actually in the vegan Greggs sausage roll?What's actually in the vegan Greggs sausage roll?

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    It’s day one of the races at Cheltenham Festival.

    Some will have their eyes firmly set on the track but for others, it’s all about the fashion.

    Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great for the start of the events and it was a case of hang onto your hats.

    Heavy rain and wind meant many racegoers kept their outfits covered up and an umbrella was the hottest accessory.

    But after seeking shelter, everyone was happy to show off their style.

    Tomorrow is Ladies Day so expect more beautifully put together outfits and extraordinary hats.

    There’s no official dress code at the event so some racegoers have used their imagination.

    According to their website, it’s customary for women to wear hats and usually men wear a suit in the club enclosure and restaurants

    Fancy dress is permitted as long as the outfit is not offensive.

    Let’s take a look at some of the best from day one:

    Cheltenham , United Kingdom - 12 March 2019; Suzanne Ryan, from Oldtown, Co Dublin, prior to racing on Day One of the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park in Cheltenham, England. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
    Suzanne Ryan, from Oldtown, Co Dublin, Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
    **IMAGE OUTSIDE OF SUBSCRIPTION DEAL, FEES APPLY** Mandatory Credit: Photo by Dan Sheridan/INPHO/REX/Shutterstock (10151756r) Danielle McSorley from Dublin 2019 Cheltenham Festival, Prestbury Park, Cheltenham, England - 12 Mar 2019
    Danielle McSorley from Dublin (Picture: Dan Sheridan/INPHO/REX/Shutterstock)

    **IMAGE OUTSIDE OF SUBSCRIPTION DEAL, FEES APPLY** Mandatory Credit: Photo by Dan Sheridan/INPHO/REX/Shutterstock (10151756p) Niamh Spiller from Galway 2019 Cheltenham Festival, Prestbury Park, Cheltenham, England - 12 Mar 2019
    Niamh Spiller from Galway (Picture: Dan Sheridan/INPHO/REX/Shutterstock)

    Day 1 of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival Pictured: Racegoers Ref: SPL5071626 120319 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: 02 4399 8577 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,
    (Picture: Splash News and Pictures)
    Cheltenham , United Kingdom - 12 March 2019; Racegoer Marie Kennedy from Cashel, Co Tipperary, prior to racing on Day One of the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park in Cheltenham, England. (Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
    Marie Kennedy from Cashel, Co Tipperary (Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

    Jennifer Weynne from Leitrim arriving for Champion Day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 12, 2019. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse.
    Caption: Jennifer Weynne from Leitrim (Picture: Nigel French/PA)
    Racegoers in the rain during Champion Day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 12, 2019. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse.
    (Picture: Nigel French/PA)

    MORE: Gin made from leftover grapes launches at Tesco

    MORE: Barber offers free condoms with every haircut but accidentally staples holes through them all


    Cheltenham fashionCheltenham fashion

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    Vegans are seriously angry about Wetherspoon's 'full english' breakfast Credit: Graham Thompson
    Critics say this vegan breakfast is severely lacking (Picture: Graham Thompson)

    A full English breakfast is meant to be the hearty choice.

    Whether you’re nursing a hangover, or simply ravenous when you wake up in the mornings – the full English is usually a safe-bet to fill you up and keep you going until lunch.

    This should be no different if you’re a vegan.

    Which is why vegans have been left absolutely fuming about a picture of a Wetherspoon’s ‘full English’ that looked rather lacking, to say the least.

    The pub chain’s vegan version of a full English launched in October 2018, but vegans are now claiming that they’re getting a raw deal.

    Breakfast options are limited when you’re vegan – no bacon, eggs, or sausages – but with the meteoric rise of veganism in the UK, big companies need to do better when it comes to providing plant-based alternatives.

    Graham Thompson posted a picture of his breakfast on the Vegan UK Facebook page, commenting: ‘Disappointed with the Wetherspoon’s Vegan breakfast this morning. Small… half the plate filled up with a piece of toast.

    ‘Am I being just harsh and greedy?’ he asked. Judging by the online responses, Graham’s criticisms weren’t unreasonable.

    One said; ‘My cat would eat more than that.’

    ‘One mushroom and HALF a tomato?? What are they saving the other half for?? Most places do double this AND you get two slices of toast, jam and hot drink in the side!’ fumed another.

    You would think that without the meat and eggs, the sensible option would be to pile on the vegetables – but seemingly, that’s not how it works.

    Vegans are seriously angry about Wetherspoon's 'full english' breakfast Credit: JDWetherspoon
    The classic full English at Wetherspoon’s has a lot more on the plate (Picture: JD Wetherspoon)

    The breakfast in question featured two slices of toast, two vegan sausages, two hash browns, a single mushroom and half a tomato.

    Sorry – but where are the beans? This staple of any full English breakfast has been inexplicably excluded from the lineup.

    Wetherspoons say that the brand of beans they use for their standard breakfasts isn’t suitable for vegans.

    A spokesperson commented; ‘We use the no added sugar baked beans and have been in conversation with Heinz to make them vegan. Yes, we could do the regular beans but that adds a lot of calories and we serve over 350,000 non-vegan breakfasts each week with the beans.

    ‘[The breakfast] is £3.25 in most pubs. We believe it is a good breakfast for the price, but always happy to listen to feedback.’

    MORE: Cheltenham Festival 2019: The best fashion from day one of the races

    MORE: I’m on a mission to save the planet – by being a terrible vegan

    MORE: Gin made from leftover grapes launches at Tesco


    Vegans are seriously angry about Wetherspoon\'s \'full english\' breakfastVegans are seriously angry about Wetherspoon\'s \'full english\' breakfast

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    (Picture: ASOS)

    When supermarkets started charging 5p for a plastic bag it took a bit of getting used to – so imagine our disbelief when we found out ASOS is charging £15 for one.

    Okay, so it’s not really anything like a Tesco bag, but it’s still plastic and see-through.

    The Hype slogan clear tote shopper bag is said to ‘upgrade your outfit’, though we’re not sure it does anything other than make you look as though you’ve just been to the shop.

    The bag, designed by fashion brand Hype, is unlined and has twin handles and a branded design. It also apparently has an interior compartment – but it’s probably not the best bag to carry important things around in, given everything will be on show.

    ASOS has also kindly added instructions on how to look after the bag – which includes just giving it a wipe with a dry cloth. Easy.

    SHOPPING BAG CHIC ASOS has lost the plot and is selling a see-through plastic bag for ?15 they reckon will ?upgrade your outfit? Picture: ASOS METROGRAB https://www.asos.com/hype/hype-slogan-clear-tote-shopper-bag/prd/11447414?clr=clear&SearchQuery=&cid=18960&gridcolumn=4&gridrow=1&gridsize=4&pge=1&pgesize=72&totalstyles=12
    (Picture: ASOS)

    As mentioned, the clear bag costs £15.

    Yes, £15 for a bag that won’t even hide your valuables.

    In other terrible fashion news, Fashion Nova has been mocked for releasing an incredibly high-cut bodysuit.

    The metallic bodysuit is so high-cut that shoppers said they could ‘feel the wedgie’ just by looking at the photo.

    Fashion Nova shared an image of the product to Instagram, showing it stretching right up to the model’s rib cage.

    SHOPPING BAG CHIC ASOS has lost the plot and is selling a see-through plastic bag for ?15 they reckon will ?upgrade your outfit? Picture: ASOS METROGRAB https://www.asos.com/hype/hype-slogan-clear-tote-shopper-bag/prd/11447414?clr=clear&SearchQuery=&cid=18960&gridcolumn=4&gridrow=1&gridsize=4&pge=1&pgesize=72&totalstyles=12
    (Picture: ASOS)

    And, people have been saying it looks highly uncomfortable.

    One person said: ‘I can feel the wedgie through the phone’.

    Another said: ‘Jane Fonda looking ahh…issa hard pass for me’.

    And another added: ‘Someone else wrote: ‘Yeast infection’.

    Ouch.

    MORE: People are mocking Fashion Nova’s barely-there cropped jacket on Instagram

    MORE: Woman has major fashion fail, ordering clothes made so small they fit her dog better than her


    SHOPPING BAG CHIC ASOS has lost the plot and is selling a see-through plastic bag for ?15 they reckon will ?upgrade your outfit? Picture: ASOS METROGRAB https://www.asos.com/hype/hype-slogan-clear-tote-shopper-bag/prd/11447414?clr=clear&SearchQuery=&cid=18960&gridcolumn=4&gridrow=1&gridsize=4&pge=1&pgesize=72&totalstyles=12SHOPPING BAG CHIC ASOS has lost the plot and is selling a see-through plastic bag for ?15 they reckon will ?upgrade your outfit? Picture: ASOS METROGRAB https://www.asos.com/hype/hype-slogan-clear-tote-shopper-bag/prd/11447414?clr=clear&SearchQuery=&cid=18960&gridcolumn=4&gridrow=1&gridsize=4&pge=1&pgesize=72&totalstyles=12SHOPPING BAG CHIC ASOS has lost the plot and is selling a see-through plastic bag for ?15 they reckon will ?upgrade your outfit? Picture: ASOS METROGRAB https://www.asos.com/hype/hype-slogan-clear-tote-shopper-bag/prd/11447414?clr=clear&SearchQuery=&cid=18960&gridcolumn=4&gridrow=1&gridsize=4&pge=1&pgesize=72&totalstyles=12SHOPPING BAG CHIC ASOS has lost the plot and is selling a see-through plastic bag for ?15 they reckon will ?upgrade your outfit? Picture: ASOS METROGRAB https://www.asos.com/hype/hype-slogan-clear-tote-shopper-bag/prd/11447414?clr=clear&SearchQuery=&cid=18960&gridcolumn=4&gridrow=1&gridsize=4&pge=1&pgesize=72&totalstyles=12SHOPPING BAG CHIC ASOS has lost the plot and is selling a see-through plastic bag for ?15 they reckon will ?upgrade your outfit? Picture: ASOS METROGRAB https://www.asos.com/hype/hype-slogan-clear-tote-shopper-bag/prd/11447414?clr=clear&SearchQuery=&cid=18960&gridcolumn=4&gridrow=1&gridsize=4&pge=1&pgesize=72&totalstyles=12SHOPPING BAG CHIC ASOS has lost the plot and is selling a see-through plastic bag for ?15 they reckon will ?upgrade your outfit? Picture: ASOS METROGRAB https://www.asos.com/hype/hype-slogan-clear-tote-shopper-bag/prd/11447414?clr=clear&SearchQuery=&cid=18960&gridcolumn=4&gridrow=1&gridsize=4&pge=1&pgesize=72&totalstyles=12

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    (Picture: Julie Ferrier Berghaus)

    Would you know what to do if someone had a severe allergic reaction and went into anaphylaxis?

    A lot of us wouldn’t. We wouldn’t even know what anaphylactic shock looks like, and those important signs that a person needs help could be so easily missed.

    One mum shared a photo of her daughter after an allergy test to show parents the reality of a serious reaction.

    Julie Ferrier Berghaus wants to teach parents what anaphylaxis looks like so that they can give their child their EpiPen without delay.

    She took her daughter for a cashew allergy test at the doctor’s office, and documented the entire reaction.

    Julie wrote on Facebook: ‘She went into anaphylaxis during the trial. It looked nothing like I expected it to look. It was nothing like they show on TV. I’ve seen allergic reactions in the hospital to medications as well, anaphylaxis didn’t look like that either.

    ‘I hope I can educate some people on what anaphylaxis could look like, so they don’t wait to give epi.’

    Julie explained that her daughter was fed around one tenth of a cashew for the test. Within five minutes she had itchy ears, then she started to complain of a belly ache.

    METRO GRAB - taken from the Facebook of Julie Ferrier Berghaus with permission Mum wants parents to see what anaphylactic shock looks like https://www.facebook.com/jberghaus/photos?lst=627435407%3A1656913198%3A1552418947 Picture: Julie Ferrier Berghaus
    (Picture: Julie Ferrier Berghaus)

    ‘She then started to itch all over,’ Julie continued. ‘No rash was present at this point. They decided to administer her first epi shot at this point, because she was exhibiting two symptoms, belly pain and itching.

    ‘They also gave her oral Zyrtec. The shot calmed everything for about ten minutes.

    ‘After the ten minutes was up, she really started itching a lot more. Upon inspection, her entire body was quickly breaking out in severe hives before our very eyes.

    ‘She quickly became covered in huge hives. They gave her a shot of prednisolone at this point. She was still playing, and not showing signs of distress.

    ‘Around five minutes later, she started coughing a little bit. We couldn’t hear her breathing hard or wheezing at all.

    Symptoms of anaphylaxis:

    Anaphylaxis usually develops suddenly and gets worse very quickly.

    Anaphylaxis is the result of the immune system – the body’s natural defence system – overreacting to a trigger.

    This is often something you’re allergic to, but isn’t always.

    Symptoms include:

    • feeling lightheaded or faint
    • breathing difficulties – such as fast, shallow breathing
    • wheezing
    • a fast heartbeat
    • clammy skin
    • confusion and anxiety
    • collapsing or losing consciousness
    • There may also be other allergy symptoms, including an itchy, raised rash (hives), feeling or being sick, swelling (angioedema), or stomach pain.

    NHS

    ‘We called the nurse just to double check, and she listened with her stethoscope. She said she was wheezing and tight. When her vitals were taken, her stats were in the low 80’s, her [blood pressure] was low, and her pulse was high.

    ‘Amazingly, she was still just playing, and just annoyed with the itchy hives!

    ‘It all changed moments later. They laid her down quickly, and she then started blacking out. They gave her an albuterol treatment, and another shot of epi. An IV was started with a dose of solu medrol given. She was lethargic and out of it for around ten minutes, before she started coming around again.

    ‘She had to be watched for many hours afterwards, because anaphylaxis can return in a second round, just as severe as the first, so always call 911 for observation!’

    Julie explained in her post that her daughter’s reaction was nothing like she expected, and that the signs could have easily been dismissed.

    That’s why it’s so vital that parents know even the more subtle symptoms of anaphylaxis.

    She wrote: ‘It snuck up on us so unexpectedly and quietly. I expected to see choking, gasping, hear wheezing, and see her grabbing at her chest and neck area. I expected the entire ordeal to be very fast and obvious and dramatic.

    ‘It was actually very silent, and she didn’t show any severe trouble until very late in the game.

    ‘If she hadn’t already been given meds before she blacked out, I don’t want to think of how severe it could’ve been.’

    If you suspect someone has gone into anaphylaxis, it’s crucial to use an adrenaline auto-injector (an EpiPen) if the person has one, then call 999 for an ambulance immediately – even if they start to feel better.

    Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and can be deadly if not treated quickly. It’s vital that everyone knows the signs and knows to call an ambulance immediately.

    MORE: 17-year-old’s allergic reactions leave her looking like she’s been beaten up

    MORE: The inflammatory bowel disease symptoms you definitely shouldn’t ignore

    MORE: Why you should tell your employer you have inflammatory bowel disease


    shock image-0dc3shock image-0dc3

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    (From left) Aniefiok ‘Neef’ Ekpoudom, Derek Oppong, Alex Reads, Robyn Travis, Derek Owusu (Picture: Josima Senior)

    If you’ve grown up anywhere with thriving diaspora communities, you’ve probably heard the word ‘safe’ used as a term of endearment, to say thank you or to say goodbye.

    In his new anthology Safe, On Black British Men Reclaiming Space, writer and poet Derek Owusu refers to the colloquial term but also to the need for a safe space for black British men to talk about their lived experiences.

    The Londoner, who has previously co-hosted the award-winning books podcast Mostly Lit, partners up with fellow podcaster Alex ‘Reads’ Holmes as well as 18 other writers, poets, and journalists, to form an anthology of black British voices that are so massively underrepresented.

    When editor Derek realised there was only one black British male debut novelist in 2016 (Robyn Travis, who has an essay in the book), he knew more voices needed to be heard.

    He put together a powerful collection of essays which feature spoken word artist Sully Breaks, the Guardian’s Joseph Harker, writer Musa Okwonga, novelist Alex Wheatle and a host of other talented men who speak on various matters.

    Some of the topics explore the sexualisation of black men, absent fathers, the power of ethnic names, mental health, sexuality, the ‘blacksistential crisis’, and so much more.

    The idea for the book came to Derek after his friend and journalist Yomi Adegoke suggested there ought to be a male version of Slay in Your Lane (which celebrates the strides black women have made).

    Derek’s story They May Not Mean To But They Do looks at his childhood in foster care which he loved (Picture: Josima Senior)

    Derek tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I didn’t really take it seriously but after a while, I thought this would be good, so I decided to put together 20 voices at the same time.’

    Talking about why he there’s such a massive dearth of black British male voices, he adds: ‘The reason why we don’t see a lot of black British male writers is that a lot of them aren’t aware of access, how to go about getting published.

    ‘There’s also an element of having people speak for black men that it isn’t always possible to speak on it.

    ‘I would say that the black British male has been conflated with the African American male so a lot of people are only reading about those experiences.

    ‘There is a British version of racism that works entirely different from America.’

    Derek’s personal essay recounts his childhood spent in foster care which he, surprisingly, loved.

    He talks about being torn away from his white foster family and suburban life in Suffolk to move to council houses in London and how he, at points, felt repulsed by the idea of visiting his birth mother while living away from her.

    Although he admits it was difficult, he feels that embracing trauma is important when writing about your own life.

    He explains: ‘A lot of people don’t want to read about trauma all the time but trauma is part of the story. You can’t get to the conclusion without dissecting the trauma of your life.

    ‘Writing wasn’t just cathartic, it brought so many things to life. Before I wrote my essay, I worshiped my foster mum. When writing it, other memories came to mind, but it was a good experience as it allowed me to explore things I buried within myself.’

    When it came to putting the rest of the book together, Derek wanted a range of voices.

    He says: ‘I wanted a balance of established writers, up and coming writers, and writers who need a platform – that’s why we had a competition to find a contribution winner.’

    The winner was 19-year-old Kenechukwu Obienu who speaks about the ‘blacksistential crisis’ and the feeling of being black in white spaces.

    ‘I am reclaiming my blackness from society,’ writes Kenechuwuku. ‘Let’s create spaces in society where we can learn and prosper among ourselves, where our blackness is not defined by anyone, Where our blackness can grow and evolve.’

    As well as Derek’s essay and competition winner Kenechukwu, poet Sully Breaks looks at owning blackness through the act of stunting in his essay Why it is Important for Black Men to Floss (Not Their Teeth). Musa Okwonga looks at the black bisexual experience while Courttia Newland discusses #MeToo and being sexually harassed by a white woman.

    ‘People should read these stories because it is a window into the dynamic of black British men,’ adds Derek. ‘A lot of the time we see one-dimensional, caricatures or the African Americanised version of black men.

    ‘But this book is a humanising point, read it so you can find common ground with black British men and feel safe when you sit next to them on a train.’

    Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space is out now.

    MORE: ‘Culture suffocates women’: Muslim women talk faith, sexuality, and marriage in It’s Not About the Burqa

    MORE: Are white women pretending to be light skin black for the attention of men?

    MORE: Liam Neeson, stop trying to justify hate crimes against black men


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    A passer-by called a police officer after mistaking Eric's birthmark for blood. CONNECTICUT, USA: THIS FATHER was reported to the POLICE when a passer-by was concerned after seeing a man with a face covered with BLOOD before finding out he has a port wine stain across his face, while others have asked him if he???s CONTAGIOUS. Technician, Eric Pixley (29) from Connecticut, USA, was born with a port wine stain on his face which he learned to embrace as part of his identity, but it???s the reaction from other people that has caused him to feel different. When Eric was growing up, he couldn???t understand why his birthmark was there on his face and the stares he would get at school made him keep his head down, feeling ashamed of his own face. Eric himself doesn???t see the peculiarity of his birthmark as he points out that other people choose to have tattoos inked onto their bodies, this is just his own natural equivalent. However, the comments make accepting his birthmark more difficult as Eric admits that one of the most hurtful comments he received was whether he was contagious. In 2017, Eric was walking down the road when a police car pulled up alongside him and asked to speak with Eric because someone became concerned and reported a man walking with blood on his face who may need medical attention. When Eric showed the police officer his birthmark, he apologised and left Eric to continue walking. The repeated comments and continued stares have made Eric see how uneducated today???s society can be when it comes to birthmarks. This led Eric to start his Instagram page, @portwineproud to encourage people to stop staring at people???s birthmarks and ask them about them instead. MDWfeatures / Eric Pixley
    (Picture: MDWfeatures / Eric Pixley)

    Eric Pixley, 29, has learned to embrace the port wine stain on his face, but the journey hasn’t been easy.

    The father of one has been reported to the police when a passerby thought his face was covered in blood. He’s often asked if he’s contagious and regularly receives negative comments.

    As a child he couldn’t understand why he had a birthmark on his face and felt ashamed of his looks, keeping his head down at school to avoid being stared at.

    ‘The day I was born, I gained more than a name as I was also born with a birthmark,’ said Eric.

    ‘When I was little, I knew it was there but didn’t understand why. I think it really grabbed my attention when I was about five years old.

    ‘When I was in school, I always kept my head down as if I was ashamed.

    Eric as a child, with his birthmark. CONNECTICUT, USA: THIS FATHER was reported to the POLICE when a passer-by was concerned after seeing a man with a face covered with BLOOD before finding out he has a port wine stain across his face, while others have asked him if he???s CONTAGIOUS. Technician, Eric Pixley (29) from Connecticut, USA, was born with a port wine stain on his face which he learned to embrace as part of his identity, but it???s the reaction from other people that has caused him to feel different. When Eric was growing up, he couldn???t understand why his birthmark was there on his face and the stares he would get at school made him keep his head down, feeling ashamed of his own face. Eric himself doesn???t see the peculiarity of his birthmark as he points out that other people choose to have tattoos inked onto their bodies, this is just his own natural equivalent. However, the comments make accepting his birthmark more difficult as Eric admits that one of the most hurtful comments he received was whether he was contagious. In 2017, Eric was walking down the road when a police car pulled up alongside him and asked to speak with Eric because someone became concerned and reported a man walking with blood on his face who may need medical attention. When Eric showed the police officer his birthmark, he apologised and left Eric to continue walking. The repeated comments and continued stares have made Eric see how uneducated today???s society can be when it comes to birthmarks. This led Eric to start his Instagram page, @portwineproud to encourage people to stop staring at people???s birthmarks and ask them about them instead. MDWfeatures / Eric Pixley
    Eric as a child (Picture: MDWfeatures / Eric Pixley)

    ‘Although I never once tried to cover up my birthmark because it’s a part of me, there was a time when my school headteacher suggested I cover it up because she was more afraid of the bullying than I was.’

    In 2017, Eric was walking when a police car pulled up and asked to speak to him. Someone had seen Eric’s birthmark and thought he was covered in blood.

    When Eric showed the officer his birthmark he apologised and left Eric to continue walking.

    Eric said: ‘People stare at my birthmark all the time – more often than you would think. If I charged for every stare I get, I’d be rich.

    Eric wants to educate society on birthmarks and make people less afraid to confront people openly. CONNECTICUT, USA: THIS FATHER was reported to the POLICE when a passer-by was concerned after seeing a man with a face covered with BLOOD before finding out he has a port wine stain across his face, while others have asked him if he???s CONTAGIOUS. Technician, Eric Pixley (29) from Connecticut, USA, was born with a port wine stain on his face which he learned to embrace as part of his identity, but it???s the reaction from other people that has caused him to feel different. When Eric was growing up, he couldn???t understand why his birthmark was there on his face and the stares he would get at school made him keep his head down, feeling ashamed of his own face. Eric himself doesn???t see the peculiarity of his birthmark as he points out that other people choose to have tattoos inked onto their bodies, this is just his own natural equivalent. However, the comments make accepting his birthmark more difficult as Eric admits that one of the most hurtful comments he received was whether he was contagious. In 2017, Eric was walking down the road when a police car pulled up alongside him and asked to speak with Eric because someone became concerned and reported a man walking with blood on his face who may need medical attention. When Eric showed the police officer his birthmark, he apologised and left Eric to continue walking. The repeated comments and continued stares have made Eric see how uneducated today???s society can be when it comes to birthmarks. This led Eric to start his Instagram page, @portwineproud to encourage people to stop staring at people???s birthmarks and ask them about them instead. MDWfeatures / Eric Pixley
    (Picture: MDWfeatures / Eric Pixley)

    ‘People comment on my birthmark often as well, but I think the worst comment would be when people have asked me ‘is that contagious?’. It’s as if they think I should have a biohazard sign on my forehead.’

    But despite rude comments, Eric has learned to be proud of his facial birthmark, sharing photos of himself on his Instagram, @portwineproud, to encourage people to stop staring.

    ‘I have never resented my birthmark though because it’s a larger part of me than my own beating heart is, and I wouldn’t be me without it,’ he said.

    ‘It makes me feel like today’s society is uneducated and doesn’t necessarily accept difference. The weird thing is that people get tattoos on their bodies all the time. I was just born with one.’

    A passer-by called a police officer after mistaking Eric's birthmark for blood. CONNECTICUT, USA: THIS FATHER was reported to the POLICE when a passer-by was concerned after seeing a man with a face covered with BLOOD before finding out he has a port wine stain across his face, while others have asked him if he???s CONTAGIOUS. Technician, Eric Pixley (29) from Connecticut, USA, was born with a port wine stain on his face which he learned to embrace as part of his identity, but it???s the reaction from other people that has caused him to feel different. When Eric was growing up, he couldn???t understand why his birthmark was there on his face and the stares he would get at school made him keep his head down, feeling ashamed of his own face. Eric himself doesn???t see the peculiarity of his birthmark as he points out that other people choose to have tattoos inked onto their bodies, this is just his own natural equivalent. However, the comments make accepting his birthmark more difficult as Eric admits that one of the most hurtful comments he received was whether he was contagious. In 2017, Eric was walking down the road when a police car pulled up alongside him and asked to speak with Eric because someone became concerned and reported a man walking with blood on his face who may need medical attention. When Eric showed the police officer his birthmark, he apologised and left Eric to continue walking. The repeated comments and continued stares have made Eric see how uneducated today???s society can be when it comes to birthmarks. This led Eric to start his Instagram page, @portwineproud to encourage people to stop staring at people???s birthmarks and ask them about them instead. MDWfeatures / Eric Pixley
    (Picture: MDWfeatures / Eric Pixley)

    Eric, who has a 10-month-old son called Roman with his wife Amanda, says his birthmark was a good talking point when he was dating.

    He’s ready to explain his port wine stain to his son when he begins to asks questions.

    ‘When I met my wife, she embraced it,’ he says. ‘She is a very understanding person and she supports the birthmark community happily.

    ‘Now, after being together for five years, she says that she doesn’t even see it when she looks at me.

    ‘Accepting and loving my birthmark has helped me reach out to a community who have swiftly become like family to me, who, when I was growing up, I didn’t think existed.

    ‘It has also helped to me help others who walk in the same shoes as me and who struggle with their appearance.

    ‘I want to show people that no matter what size, shape or colour we are, we are all the same and we are brave.’

    MORE: Mum shares photo of daughter’s allergic reaction to show parents what anaphylactic shock looks like

    MORE: Black British men talk about sexuality, mental health, culture, and racism in new book Safe


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    Black themed Las Vegas wedding
    (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)

    Newlyweds Claire and Joe didn’t want a traditional white wedding.

    Instead, the pair opted for a rock ‘n’ roll ceremony in Las Vegas, complete with a black theme and skeleton-inspired cake.

    The bride showed off her black outfit, designed by the famous wedding dress creator, Vera Wang, and paired it with a quaffed pink hair do.

    Held at the Little White Chapel, the quick ceremony was followed by an all-night party.

    One of the guests got so carried away having fun, they even broke their leg.

    Claire and Joe getting married in Las Vegas. (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)
    (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)
    Black themed Las Vegas wedding
    (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)
    Black themed Las Vegas wedding
    (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)
    Claire and Joe getting married in Las Vegas. (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)
    (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)
    Black themed Las Vegas wedding
    (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)

    The unconventional wedding also included tattoos – one for the bride and one for the groom – photos in front of the Las Vegas sign, dinner at the Peppermill, and drinks at ReBar, a venue where everything is for sale.

    Celebrations finished up with karaoke at Dinos, a local bar.

    ‘Our wedding was a Las Vegas rock ‘n’ roll grunge dive bar tour!,’ Claire said to Rock n Roll Bride.

    ‘I have always wanted to get married in Vegas and to wear a black Vera Wang dress.

    ‘The vibe of the wedding had the feeling of an elopement, yet we had 40 friends and family there. It wasn’t a very traditional wedding but very true to us.

    ‘We had a party bus that transported everyone from place to place on the day – we even got a group photo at the Las Vegas sign.’

    Black themed Las Vegas wedding
    (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)
    Claire and Joe getting married in Las Vegas. (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)
    (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)
    Black themed Las Vegas wedding
    (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)
    Black themed Las Vegas wedding
    (Picture: @sebastienfougere8; @sticks_and_stones_agency; @jannekestorm)

    Although they took plenty of photos, the couple didn’t hire a videographer, which is their only regret from the big day.

    Claire said: ‘I wish I had a videographer as I want to be able to relive the day.

    ‘I also would have gone straight off on a honeymoon instead of waiting! Our advice to other couples would be to just do what you want, exactly how you want it.

    ‘It’s the best feeling to curate this day so that its all about you. Try not to cave into other people’s demands on your day.’

    Well said, Claire.

    MORE: Bride tells guests to wear their old wedding dresses for the big day

    MORE: Woman shares heartbreaking tale of wedding guests who ate the cheese cake before the bride could slice it

    MORE: Bride and groom fall in love with the bridesmaid and enter a polyamorous relationship


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    Trans Ageing (Illustration: Fox Fisher for Metro.co.uk)
    It wasn’t that long ago that I simply didn’t even see myself having a future, let alone growing old (Picture: Fox Fisher for Metro.co.uk)

    Let’s face it – we’re not getting any younger, and growing old is inevitable.

    But many care homes are at a crisis — and our older generations are getting stuck in hospital beds or in bad conditions, where they aren’t looked after properly.

    For some, there are also added layers that might make their experience and treatment in care even more difficult.

    This certainly is the case for older trans people, as for the first time in the history of the UK we are seeing rising numbers of trans people entering into care.

    This is because trans people in the UK are finally allowed to grow old now as themselves, and are no longer doomed to a life of secrecy, shame and silence — but instead are allowed to thrive.

    The rise in transgender people entering care homes poses a new set of challenges for care providers, as trans people might have very specific needs that need addressing.

    Transphobia is still very much alive in the UK, and there are examples of serious neglect where trans people have not been cared for properly in care homes.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to have a chance to work on a series of films through a project known as My Genderation in cooperation with the Trans Ageing and Care Project, and we recently launched a social media campaign called #GrowingOlderAsMe.

    The campaign highlights the hopes, fears and thoughts that trans people are having about growing older as trans. Through this project, I’ve learned a great deal about some of the challenges facing older trans people.

    Many fear how they will be received by staff or other people living in care homes, and if their needs will be met.

    As Catherine Burton, a 66 year old retired pilot, said:

    ‘[…] transgender people might have needs that are not necessarily obvious to care workers.

    ‘A trans woman that suddenly isn’t capable of looking after her facial hair in a way that she has grown accustomed to, or a trans woman that has to wear a wig, and then has to be seen by care workers without it, who may not perhaps take the greatest care of presenting them to the other people living in the home.’

    Other issues include assumptions that care workers might have about their body parts, specific care that they might need due to having had surgery (or not), and the frightening thought of getting dementia and not remembering that they had physically and socially transitioned.

    This is a real fear for many and is already happening, as Jenny-Anne Bishop, one of the key players in the Trans Ageing and Care Project, said:

    ‘If I as an older trans person had to go into care because I was starting to get Alzheimer’s, would they see my trans status as confusion?

    ‘Or would I get to a point where I suddenly think: Why is my body like this? I am not supposed to be out.’

    As someone who is still quite young, it’s not really something I have thought about in great detail.

    It wasn’t that long ago that I simply didn’t even see myself having a future, let alone growing old.

    Growing old as a man terrified me. It was only after I was able to start living my life as myself and physically transition that I actually saw a life for myself.

    If it hadn’t been for that, I wouldn’t be here.

    It’s easy to be swept away by the relentless transphobia in the media that continues to trivialise and give platform to ill-informed opinions, instead of focusing on actual tangible challenges.

    But after working on this project, it’s become more clear to me than ever that there are some serious issues in relation to older trans people that cannot continue to go ignored.

    And these challenges will not necessarily be solved by creating ‘LGBT-friendly’ specific care homes as some have suggested — not only is it unrealistic to expect such homes to be established widely enough, but also unlikely to be established unless it’s through private care, which would only be accessible to wealthier people.

    This wouldn’t solve the problems we currently have within social care environments.

    The only reliable way to deal with these challenges is to make sure that all care homes and their staff are equipped to deal with the needs of trans people, and that issues of transphobia among staff or members living in the care home are addressed and solved.

    We need to ensure that no one is facing barriers and discrimination because of their gender identity, sexual orientation, their ethnic background, physical ability, their socio-economic status or any other dimensions that make up who they are.

    It’s not a matter of choice to grow old – but it is a matter of choice how we as a society treat people in their old age.

    So let’s make sure that everyone can live the last years of their lives with dignity and assurance that their needs will be met and respected.

    MORE: Being trans doesn’t give you an advantage in sport, but fear of discrimination keeps us from playing

    MORE: Diversity in gaming isn’t about pushing a politically correct agenda. It challenges privilege

    MORE: Things like gender won’t matter if we don’t have a planet


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

    It might sound morbid, but many people have lists of sexy things they’d like to do before they die.

    A sign of a life well-lived is having plenty of orgasms, apparently.

    But what are those sexual acts that people want to tick off while they’re on this earthly realm?

    According to a new survey, anal sex, sex in unusual places, and one-night stands are all pretty popular.

    A survey of 2,000 sexually active American adults by lube brand Pjur found that 64% have a sex bucket list made up of all the things they’d like to try before they die.

    The acts on these lists differ between the genders, but they generally consist of spicing up sex with a change in location, toys, or roleplay.

    Sex in a car was on 30% of people’s lists, sex in a body of water was on 27%, anal sex was on 21%, and using a sex toy came up for 25% of those surveyed.

    The top items on people's sexual bucket lists:

    On women’s sexual bucket lists:

    1. Using a sex toy
    2. Sex in the water
    3. Car sex
    4. Roleplay
    5. Being tied up or tying someone up
    6. Using blindfolds
    7. Using handcuffs
    8. Using flavoured lube
    9. Phone sex
    10. Sexy photoshoot

    On men’s sexual bucket lists:

    1. Car sex
    2. Sex in water
    3. Anal sex
    4. One-night stand
    5. Using a sex toy
    6. Threesome
    7. Phone sex
    8. Using food
    9. Making a sex tape
    10. Roleplay

    The good news is that a lot of the acts on the list are pretty easy to try out – although we wouldn’t recommend all of them (having sex in a body of water isn’t wise. Neither is doing it in a car).

    Dr. Emily Morse, host of SiriusXM’s Sex with Emily and Pjur’s sexual wellness adviser, said: ‘You don’t need to make drastic changes to improve your sexual experiences.

    ‘Creating a sexual bucket list is a great way for couples to share and explore fantasies in the bedroom (or outside the bedroom!),” Morse added.

    ‘Start simple — each write down three things, compare notes and pick something new to try!’

    If you’ve ticked off everything on your list and are now in search of new tricks, it might be worth looking into the most common sexual fantasies of people in the UK.

    Apparently group sex, sex in a public place, and sex with someone in authority (roleplay as a police officer, easy), all appear in the top ten.

    Just remember to communicate with your partner about what you like and what you’re not comfortable with, and don’t feel you have to do something kinky if you’re not into it. Honest chatting is key.

    MORE: Can you smell your way to stronger orgasms?

    MORE: Meet the woman who gets turned on by gushing nosebleeds

    MORE: Men describe what an orgasm actually feels like


    Why does your sex drive increase in the summer?Why does your sex drive increase in the summer?

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    (Picture: Matches)

    The more eco-conscious among us would rather carry 17 items in our hands than spend 5p on a bag and contribute further to plastic waste.

    Most of us have our own bags for life that we keep on forgetting to take with us to the shops. But if we paid £405 for the tote bags, maybe we’d make more of an effort to remember.

    One fashion brand, Matches, is offering environmentally-friendly paper shopping bags for a hefty sum of £405 for those who have the cash to splash and want to save the planet.

    The paper bag is the work of designer Stefan Cookes who has an 18-piece exclusive handbag collection with the London-based brand.

    The tongue-in-cheek creations take inspiration from ordinary grocery bags but have a picture of vintage handbags that were originally sold for £52 more than their paper counterparts.

    Stefan, a graduate of art school Central Saint Martins, has teamed up with fellow designer Jake Burt to bring you the luxury item.

    It might be hundreds of pounds more than the usual tote you go for but the 100% reusable shopping bag does boast eco-friendly qualities, such as being made of biodegradable paper fibers and 100% organic cotton.

    Hey, sustainability doesn’t come cheap.

    ‘Stefan Cooke aims to elevate the mundane through surreal yet feminine pieces such as this white tote,’ reads the Matches website.

    ‘Designed to look like a disposable paper bag, it’s crafted from sustainable biodegradable paper fibre – with cotton lining – and printed with a photograph of a vintage mint green handbag a tongue-in-cheek nod to fashion conventions. Carry it alongside structured tailoring for a city-ready look that taps the spirit of the emerging label.’

    Fans are totally here for the quirky bag designs.

    Followers of the Matches Instagram page said the paper bags were ‘beautiful’ and ‘creative’. One person wrote: ‘Saw these bags at the weekend, they are super cool. Love.’

    So who knows, you might be seeing people carrying what looks like an ordinary Pret bag but is actually a designer eco-friendly bag with a designer price.

    MORE: If you thought paying 5p for a plastic shopping bag was bad, ASOS is selling one for £15

    MORE: Burberry, L’Oreal, Stella McCartney, H&M and Zara vow to cut down plastic waste

    MORE: Booths introduces reusable bags for fruit and veg


    Matches is selling a ?400 paper shopping bag Picture: matchesfashion.com METROGRAB https://www.matchesfashion.com/us/products/Stefan-Cooke-Handbag-print-recycled-paper-tote-bag-1273356Matches is selling a ?400 paper shopping bag Picture: matchesfashion.com METROGRAB https://www.matchesfashion.com/us/products/Stefan-Cooke-Handbag-print-recycled-paper-tote-bag-1273356

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    Welcome to Mixed Up, a series looking at the highs, lows and unique experiences of being mixed-race.

    Mixed Up aims to elevate the under-heard narratives of mixed-race people and take a closer look at the nuanced realities of being part of this rapidly growing ethnic group.

    There are thousands of variations within the mixed diaspora – and, as a relatively new societal group, we are finally old enough to start telling our own stories.

    Alongside the numerous unique pleasures and benefits of being exposed to multiple cultures, being mixed can also come with complexities, conflicts and innate contradictions.

    Elliott Reid is an osteopath with English and Jamaican heritage. He doesn’t believe in the concept of race – he sees it as nothing more than a social construct.

    (Picture by Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Specifically, I descend from the Maroons, the freedom fighters of Jamaica who resided in the eastern mountains of the island,’ explains Elliott.

    ‘My family names are chiseled into the Emancipation War Monument in Sam Sharpe Square in Montego bay; a monument to all those who fought in the greatest fight for freedom in the British Caribbean, as 60,000 Africans fought the English on Christmas Day, 1831.

    ‘I speak less of my British heritage as it has never really been socially acceptable or advantageous for me to claim it.

    ‘In my experience, white is exclusive, whereas black is inclusive.

    ‘I am treated as black by the police, teachers and general members of the public. I have been accepted by black people and distanced by white people.

    ‘I therefore identify as black, rather than mixed-race, as I am treated as black. And I am “taken in” by blacks.’

    Elliott with his dad
    Little Elliott (on the left) with his dad (Picture: Elliott Reid/Metro.co.uk)

    Despite not believing in the science of race, the daily effects of being perceived as ‘other’ in the UK have been inescapable for Elliott.

    But he doesn’t view the racist incidences he has experienced as symptomatic of being mixed, he sees them entirely through the prism of blackness.

    ‘I have only ever struggled or faced difficulties as a black person, not as a mixed-race person,’ Elliott tells us.

    ‘I have had men ask their wives not to sit next to me on a flight for “their protection”, I have been dragged out of parties whilst being called “n*****” and “c***” for no reason.

    ‘I have been jumped. Stop-and-searched.

    ‘When I got my first phone, my number circulated around my class at school. I was sent pictures of monkeys for weeks.

    ‘I have been asked to sell drugs; what basketball team I am part of; what gang I am affiliated to – all by white people.

    ‘As an adult, I have been told I don’t belong here, directly or in a round-about way.’

    With experiences like these, it’s not surprising Elliott has a pessimistic view of this country and its attitudes.

    But, with the achievements of his ancestors clear in his mind, he believes the key to emancipation and progression lies in our hands – just as it did theirs.

    ‘I would like to believe that racism is improving,’ says Elliott.

    ‘But with black people still significantly more likely to be killed in police custody, stop-and-searched, have their academic ability underestimated, be held back professionally; I feel the only way for us to progress is to write our own script and our own future.

    ‘We must focus on deepening our relationships with each other to push new heights of success and help each other to protect the ladders we wish to climb.

    ‘The alternative is to push further into a world that on a subconscious level doesn’t want us. Their power relies on our inferiority.’

    Baby Elliott
    Baby Elliott (Picture: Elliott Reid/Metro.co.uk)

    The very premise of this weekly series doesn’t sit well with Elliott. He is passionately averse to modern concepts of ‘race’ and doesn’t even think it’s possible to be mixed-race as most of us understand it.

    ‘Being mixed-race is a fallacy because race is a fallacy,’ he explains.

    ‘When we mention “race” we are assuming that physical differences – like dark skin, wide nose, straight hair – are due to significant genetic differences. This is actually related to a Victorian hierarchical system, which is also known as eugenics.

    ‘In fact, I think this common concept of “race” is merely our own subjective opinion on how ancient migrational patterns have affected our appearance. Beliefs like – curly hair is to let heat out, straight hair is to keep warmth in, dark skin is to block dangerous radiation, light skin allows the metabolism of vitamin D.

    ‘The reality is that race creates only a superficial change in genetic code.

    ‘And if race does not equal a significant genetic difference, the question is, what does it offer? A social identity and nothing more.’

    The concept of race as a man-made construct is interesting. So how does this theory inform Elliott’s personal understanding of his own identity? For Elliott, it all relates back to his ancestry.

    Elliott with his mum
    Elliott with his mum (Picture: Elliott Reid/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘If race is a fallacy, how do I use it to my best ability to navigate my existence on this planet?’ He asks himself.

    ‘One thing is historically very clear; it has never been to the long-term advantage of mixed-race (black and white), or black individuals to distance themselves from their black ancestry.

    ‘The Haitian revolution was aided by mixed-heritage individuals. Any mixed-race people who didn’t comply were defeated. This revolution created a domino effect, leading to mass emancipation of slavery in the western world.

    ‘Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Bob Marley, Barrack Obama (and, arguably, Huey Newton and Angela Davis) are all mixed, but have all been figureheads of the civil rights movement championing their African heritage.

    ‘Skin tone, as seen in Haiti and other islands in the Caribbean and the Americas, has been used for centuries to divide power amongst black people.’

    What is clear is that Elliott’s heritage and familial history have had an enormous impact on how he understands and moves through the world.

    Even without traditional constructions of race, it is Elliott’s lineage that has given him the tools to face prejudice with strength. He doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his interpretation of history.

    ‘I am descendant of a people who said “no” for 400 years to tyranny, murder, lies and abuse and still had the heart to forgive their slaver and teach them for a further 200 years how to treat people as equals.

    ‘In my opinion, there has been no black progression in 600 years, because we weren’t the ones who needed it. It is the Europeans who have progressed from slavers and tyrants to a lesser version on the same spectrum.

    ‘My heritage teaches me to fight, to learn, to stand proud and stand right against what is wrong.

    ‘My personal idol is Toussaint Louverture who led the Haitian revolution. I think my unique perspective comes from an equal fascination of history and human nature.’

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I would ask my parents multiple times to prove that I wasn’t adopted’

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    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘People try to guess my ethnicity – they always guess wrong’


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    London
    (Picture: Getty)

    It might be gloomy and grey today, but London has scooped the top spot for Instagrammers looking for beautiful scenery.

    Our capital has been tagged on the social media platform over 119.9 million times, according to the holiday website Home To Go.

    Paris, with its many architectural gems such as Notre Dame, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, came in second place and Barcelona, with its white sandy beaches, followed in third. Out of the 15 cities included, other Instagram favourites are Amsterdam, Berlin and Nice.

    Benidorm, the holiday spot Brits love to hate, has even managed to make it on the list at number 13.

    But London still blew competition out of the water, and was mentioned 19.1 million times more than the runner-up.

    It’s understandable, our city is pretty excellent – here’s a look at why.

    View this post on Instagram

    Un weekend all'insegna di una sola cosa "amicizia"❤ .. In merito alla Rubrica "Racconti di Viaggio" del Blog WWW.OTRAVEL.IT .. Il mio amico mi ha voluto mostrare le sue foto del viaggio all'insegna della scoperta dell'Inghilterra .. qui siamo a Carnaby Street, voi ci siete stati? La strada più cool di Londra, un must per tutti i turisti e non solo; tra le strade più glamour di Londra è anche una delle vie più amate tanto dai londinesi quanto dai turisti. Merito di quell'atmosfera che si porta dietro dai tempi della Swinging London. .. Se vi va di pubblicare e scrivere per il Blog, scrivetemi in DM, non vedo l'ora 😍❤📩 _______________________________________________ #otravel #londra #igerslondra #igers #igersengland #igerslondon #london #visitlondon #visitengland #londonstreets #street #londoner #carnabystreet #carnabylondon #londoncityworld #englandtourism #londontourism #travelblogger #blogger #instagrammer #sunset #toplondonphoto

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    The most insta-worthy cities

    1. London (119.9m hashtags)

    2. Paris (100.8m hashtags)

    3. Barcelona (47.4m hashtags)

    4. Rome (44.8m hashtags)

    5. Berlin (36.1m hashtags)

    6. Madrid (31.2m hashtags)

    7. Amsterdam (26.7m hashtags)

    8. Lisbon (17.7m hashtags)

    9. Hamburg (15.3m hashtags)

    10. Valencia (14.1m hashtags)

    11. Odessa (6.3m hashtags)

    12. Malaga (4.5m hashtags)

    13. Benidorm (1.1m hashtags)

    14. Nice (0.4m hashtags)

    15. Bibione (0.2m hashtags)

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    MORE: The world’s most Insta-worthy road trip has been revealed


    Aerial of the London Eye at sunriseAerial of the London Eye at sunrise

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    If you’ve been on the internet lately, you’ve probably come across triangle dancing.

    The movements seem pretty straight forward, jump to the front, to the left, to the side. Then do it with two other people at the same time without bumping into them.

    The viral dance craze has been all over Twitter with many attempting to do the three-people choreography, which started on Tik-Tok.

    So we learned it for your entertainment. And we have the steps for you to nail it too.

    Because, yes, we mastered it, and all in two attempts.

    Grab two other friends, pick up a camera, and you too could look like you’re doing a super fun Satanic dance ritual.

    You’ll want to begin by having a chat about which way you’re going to go so you don’t end up face first into your mate’s boobs or shoulders, depending on their height.

    So you might choose to jump forward, jump back, to the left, then back, to the right then back. Make sure your two other friends are doing the opposite to you so you’re all going in different directions.

    Now, put your arms on each other’s shoulders and begin jumping.

    And then just keep going until you realise you’re not wearing a sports bra and it’s probably not a good idea to let your boobs fly around so much.

    If you all coordinate yourselves and keep chanting the way you’re going (in your head), you should be able to get it in a few attempts.

    The earliest known recording, according to the online dictionary Know Your Meme, was choreographed to the tune of Milkshake by Kelis.

    For the first few weeks, it was known as the Milkshake Challenge.

    But you can pretty much do it to any song, which we probably should’ve done in hindsight, rather than the sound of giggles and our ill-prepared shoes hitting the carpet.

    MORE: We tried the pineapple hack and it didn’t work

    MORE: Milk coke – what it is, what it tastes like, and why everyone’s talking about it

    MORE: Oreo brows are definitely not the next big beauty trend, but we tried them anyway


    Triangle-63c7Triangle-63c7

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    METRO GRAB - taken from The Odd Cat Sanctuary MA Facebook Kitten that won't grow https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheOddCatSanctuary/photos/?ref=page_internal Picture: The Odd Cat Sanctuary MA
    (Picture: The Odd Cat Sanctuary)

    Tennessee the kitten is incredibly small for her age.

    At nearly a year old, she weighs just 2lb, and is the size of a two month old kitten.

    Vets think that she just never grew any bigger from her young kitten size, and reckon she won’t grow any larger for the rest of her life.

    Thankfully, her tiny size won’t hold her back.

    After being rescued from a hoarding situation along with other cats, Tennessee (named after where she was found) has found a loving home.

    Staff at the Young Williams Animal Center in Knoxville were the first to spot that Tennessee was smaller than she should be. They’d rescued a number of cats from the same property, and spotted that just one from the litter was smaller than the others.

    METRO GRAB - taken from The Odd Cat Sanctuary MA Facebook Kitten that won't grow https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheOddCatSanctuary/photos/?ref=page_internal Picture: The Odd Cat Sanctuary MA
    (Picture: The Odd Cat Sanctuary MA)

    They contacted The Odd Cat Sanctuary, who took a look at Tennessee and saw that the cat has a full set of adult teeth. They realised that she was 11 months old, despite looking much younger.

    Clearly she simply hasn’t grown like her siblings, and may not grow any more. But what’s not clear is why her size hasn’t increased.

    Tara Kay, founder of The Odd Cat Sanctuary, told Love Meow: ‘She was born in the hoarder’s house. All the cats rescued are normal sized, and she’s the only unique one.’

    METRO GRAB - taken from The Odd Cat Sanctuary MA Facebook Kitten that won't grow https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheOddCatSanctuary/photos/?ref=page_internal Picture: The Odd Cat Sanctuary MA
    (Picture: The Odd Cat Sanctuary MA)

    Tara thinks Tennessee’s size may have been restricted by the environment in which she grew up.

    The kitten also has hydrocephalus, a condition that causes a buildup of fluid in the brain, but is happy and healthy, having found a permanent home and life-long care at the sanctuary.

    METRO GRAB - taken from The Odd Cat Sanctuary MA Facebook Kitten that won't grow https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheOddCatSanctuary/photos/?ref=page_internal Picture: The Odd Cat Sanctuary MA
    (Picture: The Odd Cat Sanctuary MA)

    ‘When I first met her, she wanted to be picked up and held. She knew she was safe,’ said Tara.

    ‘She just purrs and kneads nonstop. She’s the sweetest little soul.

    ‘She’s tiny but has a fierce spirit.’

    MORE: We learned how to do the triangle dance and here’s how you can do it too

    MORE: Black British men talk about sexuality, mental health, culture, and racism in new book Safe


    Kitten that won't growKitten that won't grow

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    (Picture: Sainsbury’s)

    At the earliest sign of Easter comes a barrage of chocolate eggs.

    But not everyone has a sweet tooth.

    Sainsbury’s has come up with a solution for those who prefer savoury over sweet, especially those who love a good old cheeseboard.

    The supermarket has launched its own cheese Easter egg made entirely from cheddar using milk from Lancashire farms.

    They are calling it the world’s first spreadable ‘Cheester’ egg and you could grab your hands on it for a mere £5.

    But you’ll have to wait until 10 April when it hits the shops. Cheese lovers, put a note in your diary.

    The soft textured egg can be used to spread onto an oatcake and paired with some chutney, both of which are included within the pack.

    Or those with a more no-nonsense approach can simply slice away pieces of the cheese egg and tuck straight in.

    ‘We’re always looking for new and unique products to offer to our customers, especially during gifting periods throughout the year when people are on the lookout for something special to give their loved ones,’ said Emma Garvey, Cheese Buyer for Sainsbury’s.

    ‘The Cheesalicious Easter egg seemed like an obvious and exciting choice to expand our Easter egg offering and cater to cheese aficionados nationwide. The egg is truly delicious and we can’t wait to see the response from our customers.’

    The egg contains 120g of cheddar cheese, one packet of oatcakes, and one sachet of chutney. It will be available to buy from Sainsbury’s stores in the UK from 10 April 2019 and can be purchased online.

    Once it becomes available, go forth and enjoy your cheesy egg.

    MORE: Peanut butter fans, rejoice: A Reese’s peanut butter Easter egg is here

    MORE: Attention, millennials: Waitrose’s avocado Easter egg is back in stores

    thumbnail for post ID 8864525Attention, people: The Creme Egg McFlurry is making a comeback for Easter

    Sainsbury's Cheese Easter Egg-ea54Sainsbury's Cheese Easter Egg-ea54

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    (Picture: Neste/Fanny Haga TBWA)

    Sweden, the country that gave us plogging (running and picking up trash) and is known for its environmentally-friendly approach, has a new development that aims to change how we holiday.

    Introducing ‘Nolla’ (translated as zero), a cabin found on the island of Lidö, just outside the country’s capital of Stockholm, where you can take a vacation while caring for the environment at the same time.

    The cabin is part of a project known as Zero Vacation, created by the renewable energy company Neste, and has been designed to be as sustainable as possible.

    Far away from crowded beaches, guests can enjoy untouched landscape, go for nature walks or jump in the ocean for a swim before returning to their environmentally-friendly home.

    Zero emissions cabin in Sweden
    (Picture: Neste/Fanny Haga TBWA)
    Zero emissions cabin in Sweden
    (Picture: Neste/Fanny Haga TBWA)
    Zero emissions cabin in Sweden
    (Picture: Neste/Fanny Haga TBWA)
    Zero emissions cabin in Sweden
    (Picture: Neste/Fanny Haga TBWA)

    Nolla has no running water, to encourage you to walk to a nearby fresh water source instead – and by doing so, using less of it.

    The energy supply within the cabin is supplied by Mother Nature; solar panels are placed on the roof and renewable diesel is used for cooking and heating.

    The diesel is produced by ‘waste and residue’ and according to Neste, decreases greenhouse gas emissions by 90%.

    If you don’t fancy cooking though, there is a Zero menu (made with sustainable ingredients, of course).

    Zero emissions cabin in Sweden
    (Picture: Neste/Fanny Haga TBWA)
    Zero emissions cabin in Sweden
    (Picture: Neste/Fanny Haga TBWA)
    Zero emissions cabin in Sweden
    (Picture: Neste/Fanny Haga TBWA)

    Neste also plans to make the island completely fossil-free within one year (Sweden as a whole also aims to be completely fossil-free by 2045) as well as look into the best ways to provide ‘waste management, recycling, water management and sustainable lighting’.

    ‘Fossil-free future requires changes in our everyday lives, and in our mindset,’ said Sirpa Tuomi, marketing director at Neste.

    ‘As part of Zero Island project, we wanted to show people they can have a world-class vacation with as little emissions as possible and without flying to the other side of the world.’

    This isn’t the first Nolla cabin – there’s also one in Vallisari, Finland.

    After a holiday that’ll make you feel good in more ways than one?

    Zero Vacation could be it.

    MORE: Viral challenge #TrashTag encourages teens to pick up litter

    MORE: Switching to flat wine bottles could help to reduce carbon emissions

    MORE: Would you drink this beer made from sewage?


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    (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

    A parent has taken to Mumsnet to express their frustration at Girlguiding UK’s trans inclusive policy.

    The parent explains that they are only willing to let their daughter go on overnight trips which have sex segregated sleeping facilities.

    As per Girlguiding UK’s policy, anyone who identifies as female is welcome to take part in activities and trips. If boys or male volunteers are attending a trip, separate sleeping facilities will be provided.

    The parent appears to be distressed at the idea of their daughter sharing a room with a child who identifies as female.

    The post, titled ‘Am I being unreasonable to be sad that my daughter can’t go on brownie sleepover?’, reads: ‘My DD is a Brownie and loves going each week with her friends.

    ‘Her Brown Owl has asked if the girls would like to go on a region organised sleepover where lots of Brownies sleepover at a theme park and then have a fun day on the rides together.

    ‘A bit of back history first. After receiving the Girlguiding email in September (about the inclusion of trans women/girls in the organisation) I wrote to Girlguiding asking if they would still be offering single sex sleeping arrangements (as they are now a single gender organisation) as I didn’t want my DD to be sharing with the opposite sex on residentials.

    ‘They ‘reassured’ me that they would look to accommodate any request that helps a girl feel more comfortable saying that ‘this has included organising separate facilities for anyone who needs them.’

    ‘Fast forward to this sleepover, only 4 months later. I asked Brown Owl if she could guarantee single sex sleeping accommodation for my DD. She contacted Girlguiding who are organising the sleepover. It has taken them nearly 6 weeks to come back to her but the long and short of it is that they can’t guarantee single sex sleeping accommodation.

    ‘They’re going to be sleeping in large marquees with lots of different people from different units.

    ‘I’m really sad for my DD (darling daughter) who now cannot attend this event. She needs to be in single sex sleeping accommodation and this can’t be guaranteed.

    ‘And if anyone asks why I’m posting this now, it is to make other people aware of this situation, especially as sleepovers are being organised for the summer. Girlguiding do not make it explicitly clear that single sex sleeping accommodation is not their default position.

    ‘They do not say on their permission forms that you may be sleeping in the same space as someone of the opposite sex. Leaders are also not allowed to tell you if this is/is not the case.’

    (Picture: Getty)

    Responses to the post were mixed, with one reply reading: ‘I don’t think leaders (of whatever sex) do sleep in with the children do they? Certainly don’t in scouts/cubs/beavers.

    ‘Mine both had mixed sleepovers at that age so it wouldn’t bother me (or them).’

    Another wrote: ‘I understand the concern overall however it definitely feels like you’re using your dd to make a political point.’

    One parent said: ‘You aren’t letting her go. That’s why she can’t go. You seriously think there is any sort of risk in this situation? Really? If so I’d love to know what it is.’

    Another added: ‘They’re brownies though. How old is she, 8? I don’t see the issue with her sharing a marquee with a boy at that age.’

    Other posters shared their support for the concerned parent, writing: ‘I think the way that GIRL guides are willing to throw GIRLS under the bus in the name of wokeness is awful. And massively in denial about why safeguarding is safeguarding. It is going to take some serious incidents of abuse for them to climb down I fear.

    ‘All that said I think it could be possible as a gender critical parent to adopt some cognitive dissonance here and decide, if they really wanted to, that whilst you are opposed to their stance, you feel on the particular facts of a case that your child will be appropriately safeguarded.’

    The original poster then returned to the thread to say: ‘There are many reasons why DD could need single sex accommodation.

    ‘As mentioned, it could be for religion, it could be because she’s been a victim of sexual assault, it could be because she’s a foster daughter who has been told by the LA that she must always be in this accommodation, it could be because she just doesn’t feel comfortable.

    ‘It is one of these reasons but I’m not going into it on a public forum.

    ‘As someone else said, at Beavers they were given the choice and the arrangements were made with consent.

    ‘Girlguiding don’t tell you it is happening. They will not tell me if any non female people will/will not be there. It is very secretive, which is a safeguarding risk. Girlguiding though are not interested so DD will be limited to sleepovers with just her unit who I know well.’

    To clarify, Girlguiding’s official policy states they will not allow any boys to sleep in the same area as their Girl Guides – who are all girls and women.

    Male volunteers will have separate sleeping arrangements to girls, and boys are not allowed to join Girl Guides. It’s not the case that Brownies are expected to share sleeping spaces with boys.

    Should a child require separate sleeping arrangements, Girlguiding will assess this on a case by case basis.

    We contacted Girlguiding UK, who told told Metro.co.uk: ‘The safety, wellbeing and happiness of our members is at the heart of everything we do in Girlguiding.

    ‘Requests for separate accommodation at Girlguiding residential events are dealt with on a case by case basis and an alternative option can be provided where reasonable and practicable to do so.

    ‘Every individual and group is different, so we train and support our volunteers to assess every situation – balancing the needs of all our members, both girls and adults.’

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    Please stop giving unsolicited advice to people with acne
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.u)

    Most of us want to be liked.

    We want our friends to like us, our colleagues to like us, random strangers in the street to like us.

    Being liked is a good thing. And wanting people to like you is an important human attribute – it allows you to form relationships, build a career, find a lover. And it means that you’re not a sociopath.

    But is there a point where a desire to be liked becomes less constructive?

    Not everyone is going to like you. No matter how hard you try. And it’s a sign of real maturity and self-assurance to be OK with this.

    Picture the scene. There’s a woman in your office, or in your wider circle of friends, who clearly doesn’t like you. She avoids conversations with you, ignores dinner invitations, makes snide remarks whenever you speak.

    There’s no tangible reason for this. It is just her subjective opinion. Her relative disdain for you doesn’t affect your life in any significant way.

    And yet, the knowledge that she doesn’t like you leaves you with a nauseating knot that wriggles in the base of your stomach whenever you think about it.

    So why do we care? It would be so much easier if we could just accept it when someone doesn’t like us and move on with our lives.

    It is easier said than done, and it takes work.

    We asked life coach Nadia Rafique for her expert advice on how to handle not being liked. She broke it down in to a series of questions.

    ‘To be liked is one of the six human needs,’ Nadia tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Humans are social animals and that all stems from our ancestry; if we were not liked by the pack then it meant being abandoned and that was pretty much the end of our lives.

    ‘It’s not quite like that now, but our brains still place great importance on being liked and accepted in social situations.

    ‘Although it might not be as life-threatening as it once was, there is still a great advantage to having good, social connections and being likeable.

    ‘But not everyone is going to like us, so how do we deal with that when our brains keep telling us how important it is to be liked?

    ***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** How to date after being with a gaslighter
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    What have you done?

    ‘If you have done something that has resulted in someone not liking you, think about why you care so much? Do you care about the fact that person doesn’t like you, or is this actually about what you did in the situation?

    ‘If you don’t like the way you behaved, this might be the real reason you are feeling crap about the person not liking you, and actually what you are really saying is that you don’t like you for what you did.’

    Does this person actually not like you?

    ‘We can be quick to think a person doesn’t like us if they don’t see things the way we do, or agree with our opinions. But think about what is true in the situation. Have they actually said anything directly to you to show they don’t like you?

    ‘Could an alternative be that they just don’t agree with you? That doesn’t mean they don’t like you. Try to stop your mind from making quick assumptions.’

    Why do you need this person to like you?

    ‘If someone has made it clear they don’t like you, think about why this has made you feel the way it has?

    ‘You aren’t going to die because someone doesn’t like you, so what is it about this person not liking you that is going to affect your life?

    ‘Most of the time, you will find that if someone has made it very clear that they do not like you, then this person wasn’t adding much to your life anyway.’

    Why do you want everyone to like you?

    ‘If you meet someone who has views that go against everything you believe in, behaves in ways you don’t understand and acts in ways you don’t agree with, ask yourself; why do you want them to like you?

    ‘Would you actually enjoy spending time with them if they did like you?

    ‘We can get so caught up with the fact that someone doesn’t like us, but when we sit down and reflect, it can become clear that we don’t even really want them to like us!

    ‘This is also a sure-fire way to identify and address any insecurities you might have about yourself too.’

    Think about who does like you

    ‘It can be frustrating when you have gone out of your way to be nice and someone just plain doesn’t like you.

    ‘If you can’t understand why they might not like you, a great way to deal with this is to go and spend time with the people who do like you!

    ‘Just spending time with people with whom you can be yourself and never be judged, serves as a welcome reminder that you are a nice person and you do have friends that like and even love you.

    ‘Sometimes that is all you need.’

    Unsurprisingly, the way to get over it seems to be all about our inner monologues – looking closer at how we feel about ourselves and analysing the motivations behind our need to be liked.

    If we can find genuine strategies to prevent being disliked from disrupting our sense of self, that would make a huge difference to the stability of our own internal happiness.

    Relationship expert Sarah Louise Ryan thinks that much of the discomfort of being disliked stems from anxiety.

    ‘In a nutshell, we are often fearing rejection or a lack of feeling of belonging in certain circles.

    ‘We are so busy thinking about how we’re coming across to others and over-analysing, that we forget to live in the now and assess if we even like the person in front of us anyway.

    ‘If we focus more on the acceptance that we humans are all different and we don’t have to adore everyone, we can begin to understand and accept that we too won’t be liked by everyone.

    ‘When it comes to the workplace we don’t have to like each and every person, but as long as we bring our best selves to work and are satisfied with what we are bringing to the table, then being liked doesn’t have to come into it.

    ‘We can be professional, civil and be respected by others using only our expertise and quality of work.

    ‘Our thoughts have such a huge impact on how we feel and if we find we are beginning to experience anxiety around something particular, it is best to be compassionate and forgiving to ourselves.

    ‘Having confidence in the fact that you like you will help you let go of the fact that not everyone is going to be your best friend.’

    Ultimately, how we feel about ourselves shouldn’t be dependent on the opinions of others.

    Being genuinely OK with somebody not liking us is a real marker that we are getting closer to the holy grail of total self-assurance and unshakable self-security.

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I have been accepted by black people and distanced by white people’

    MORE: How to fight back against the commodification of International Women’s Day

    MORE: Black British men talk about sexuality, mental health, culture, and racism in new book Safe


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