Articles on this Page
- 03/21/19--09:02: _Do you need penis c...
- 03/21/19--10:06: _Tesco is selling a ...
- 03/21/19--10:50: _Student with autism...
- 03/21/19--10:54: _Woman says she’s mu...
- 03/21/19--23:17: _Nostalgia alert: Yo...
- 03/21/19--23:24: _Teen draws nude mal...
- 03/22/19--00:30: _Take a look at the ...
- 03/22/19--00:31: _Meet the man who ge...
- 03/22/19--01:05: _Strange white spot ...
- 03/22/19--01:09: _The ‘Jade Goody’ ef...
- 03/22/19--02:42: _Underwater restaura...
- 03/22/19--02:43: _Should you be weari...
- 03/22/19--02:49: _Woman orders dress ...
- 03/22/19--03:04: _The ‘pics or it did...
- 03/22/19--03:07: _‘I was a completely...
- 03/22/19--03:31: _Photos of New York’...
- 03/22/19--04:02: _Upgrade your finger...
- 03/22/19--04:42: _Marmite Peanut Butt...
- 03/22/19--05:01: _As a black gay man,...
- 03/22/19--05:24: _People who are into...
- 03/21/19--09:02: Do you need penis cleaner?
- 03/21/19--10:06: Tesco is selling a £30 wedding cake made entirely of cheese
- 03/22/19--00:31: Meet the man who gets turned on by women peeing on him
- 03/22/19--02:42: Underwater restaurant is ready for visitors and it looks incredible
- 03/22/19--02:43: Should you be wearing pollution proof skin care?
- 03/22/19--02:49: Woman orders dress from Boohoo and ends up looking like Friar Tuck
- Ensure tools are clean
- Cleanse your skin
- Use a clay mask to help draw out dirt and impurities. This will bring the blemish in question closer to the surface of the skin, so you won’t have to squeeze too hard.
- Using the looped extraction tool, gentle press down around the clogged pore to remove
- If the blackhead, or blemish doesn’t budge, do not continue prodding and poking, as this could aggravate it and possibly scar the skin
- We recommend using a product that’s formulated with retinol to help loosen and clear clogged pores and prevent blackheads
- 03/22/19--04:42: Marmite Peanut Butter is launching in the UK and we are unsure
- 03/22/19--05:24: People who are into BSDM have better sex lives
There are plenty of products available for genital health and some of those products focus on the sensory elements – the way the genitals look and smell.
Just to hammer home the message though, the vagina does not need cleaning. The penis does not need a deodorant.
And yet, Amazon is selling Boners Penis Spray to leave your bits with a ‘clean and fresh feeling’. Whatever happened to a good old shower?
The product was spotted by shopper Dean Murray who noticed it on a supermarket shelf and wrote on Twitter: ‘Oh my god, what is wrong with just a bit of soap and water with a squirt of lemon juice?’
And he’s right, about the water bit at least.
The penis, like the vagina, doesn’t need to be washed by a perfumed soap or body wash to keep it smelling nice and clean.
If you wash every day and don’t use anything with harsh chemicals in it, you’re good to go.
And if you’re still unsure, we spoke to an expert at sexual health charity the Family Planning Association (FPA) who said the same thing.
‘Specific soaps for your penis aren’t necessary unless prescribed by a doctor,’ said Karin O’Sullivan, from the FPA.
‘As a very sensitive area of the body, it could cause irritation, especially if it includes harsh chemicals or perfumes. Washing every day, including underneath the foreskin, with unperfumed soap and warm water should be enough to keep your penis clean.
Smegma builds up if the penis is left unwashed for too long. Smegma is a natural lubricant that keeps the penis moist, it’s found on the head of the penis and under the foreskin.
If you have concerns about any unusual discharge in terms of colour, consistency and smell, or have any other irritation, it could be worth getting an STI test.
Equally, the vagina doesn’t need a special spray either. It is self-cleaning. But you should wash the labia (the outer part of the vagina).
‘Vaginas have a wonderful ability to keep themselves clean and healthy,’ said the FPA. ‘They are full of healthy bacteria and generally keep unhealthy bacteria under control unless anything happens to upset the natural balance.
‘Using soaps (even the non-perfumed kind), douches, sprays or deodorants may upset your natural, slightly acidic balance which can destroy healthy bacteria and result in infections such as bacterial vaginosis or thrush.
‘Stick to water, don’t wash inside and your vagina will do the rest.’
And whether you have a penis or a vagina, please don’t squirt lemon juice anywhere near it.
Standard wedding cake flavours include vanilla, chocolate, or fruit. But what about a cake made of cheese for your nuptials?
Tesco’s new offering to the market gives the chance for you to have exactly that, and for a fraction of the price of a usual cake.
It’s a five-tier ‘cake’ that features five different wheels of cheese on top of each other. Those cheeses are Coastal Cheddar, Red Leicester, Blue Stilton, Wensleydale with sweetened dried cranberries and sweetened dried blueberries, and a nice hearty St Endellion Brie. Certainly something for every fromage fan out there.
Although it’s not exactly vegan-friendly, it’s a perfect option for those getting married who don’t want to go for a sweet option.
Plus, at £30 and with a weight of 2.9 kilos, it’s also a very purse-friendly option.
To give it a wow factor, some figs, grapes, and assorted chutneys can be arranged around the stack, as well as some edible flowers to make everything a bit more wedding-y.
You need to order the cake six days in advance, making a quickie elopement pretty difficult. However, the next best thing on the high street is quite a bit more expensive, so them’s the breaks.
If you do want to go for something a bit more fancy, Waitrose have a 5.5 kilo cheese wedding cake.
Their starter cheese wedding cake has three tiers, comprising of Hafod Welsh Organic Cheddar, Cropwell Bishop Stilton, and Cornish Yarg. It’s more expensive at £114, but it does serve 85 people.
In typical Waitrose wording, they say it ‘pairs wonderfully with dry cider or a crisp floral Reisling’. It should also pair nicely with the cheesy dance moves your family will be pulling out at the reception.
Tesco cheese wedding cake
Teen movies made us all want to be Prom King or Queen but in reality, it didn’t happen for most of us.
One student in America though had all his dreams come true when his classmates launched a campaign to make it happen.
Edgar, a student at Liberty High School in Nevada, U.S., has autism.
He wanted to be Prom King but there is a bit of a process before the vote on the night.
Teachers and coaches nominate students for prom court, with the most nominations gaining a spot.
Although Edgar received some nominations, he didn’t win a space on the court, where Prom King and Queen are voted from.
One of his classmates Shaun Mabanta knew how much it would mean to him so he stepped aside and asked if Edgar could replace him.
Once the teachers agreed, Shaun launched a campaign to get Edgar elected.
Special education leader and student council advisor at the school, Ashlee Vaness explains: ‘When we obliged with his request he began to promote Edgar for king. The student body got behind the campaign and social media was inundated with promotional material to vote Edgar king.’
On the night, the votes were counted and Edgar won by a landslide.
Ashlee added: ‘It was an honor to crown Edgar as Prom King and watch the student body light up. When he won, we all won.
‘Every student who votes for him felt a part of that win. Every person that was there felt the magic. Our student body started chanting his name, they took their phones out and light up the room with their flashlight “lighters” showing their support to our king.
‘He teared up. He told me he was so happy. The first thing he said to me was “my mom. I think she’s going to like this. I’m king!”’
The emotional moment the announcement was made was caught on camera, showing Edgar take to the floor to receive his crown while his delighted classmates chanted his name.
He then danced with the Prom Queen, while Ed Sheeran’s Perfect played in the background and his fellow students gathered round.
Ashlee added: ‘THIS is what life is all about. Being loved for being exactly who you are. I’ve never been so proud of my student body.’
After sending the video to Edgar’s mum Nancy Medina, she posted: ‘He won prom king by a landslide… I can’t stop crying. So proud of him. Liberty High School is the best.’
She later added: ‘There’s no words to describe all the emotions I had when I watched this video. THANK YOU SO MUCH Liberty High School students and teachers.’
Go Edgar. A very worthy king.
Student with autism crowned prom king
A woman says she is much happier and more confident after becoming disabled.
29-year-old Monica Thomas was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease when she was two years old after inheriting the genetic condition.
CMT causes muscle weakness, highly arched or very flat feet and an awkwardness walking, and gets progressively worse.
The condition meant that by 19 she was confined to a wheelchair full-time after years of using leg braces and failed physical therapy – but she now views her chair as her ticket to freedom.
The blogger, from Indiana, USA, explained: ‘While some people may see wheelchairs as a kind of prison, to me my wheelchair is my freedom – I’m so much more mobile now.
‘I’m not as scared of going to new places and I don’t have to spend time anxiously mapping out routes or worrying about having a place to sit down – I literally always have a place to sit!
‘I ended up becoming a happier person, more sure of myself, more confident. I’ve gained a real love for my body – genetic mutations and all!’
Although Monica’s condition has since plateaued, she initially deteriorated at a much faster rate than her family members.
She continued: ‘I was only five when I got my first pair of leg braces – three years after my diagnosis. By comparison, my dad was diagnosed at five but didn’t need mobility aid until he turned 50.
‘While my condition seemed normal growing up with family members that had CMT, it became clear that my disease was progressing more quickly than theirs by the time I started kindergarten.’
As Monica got older, she started to notice the difference between herself and the other children at school.
She said school was hard for her as she stood out as someone who was ‘different’ to the rest of the kids – which made her sad a lot, and angry.
She said: ‘I mostly just felt that terrible feeling of unfairness that we all seem to feel as kids – but instead of seething over not getting the toy I wanted, I just wanted to be able to run around.’
But she quickly had to adjust to her ever-changing abilities.
Monica said: ‘Just when you’ve started to accept part of your body failing, CMT isn’t far behind, ready to take another one.
‘I’ve gone from walking with leg braces to needing a walker to being a full-time wheelchair user in the span of a decade.
‘It takes time and energy to accept each of those things, because each time there’s a change it feels like an upheaval of your life.’
Interestingly, instead of the wheelchair being a burden, embracing it has been the best thing Monica could have done, and she was even wheeled down the aisle by her parents when she married her husband Alec in 2015.
She decided to start sharing her journey publicly and educate others on what it’s like to be disabled – and why she doesn’t need pity.
‘When I first joined Instagram, I just posted selfies or pictures of my dog – but never pictures where my chair was visible,’ she explained.
‘At some point, I started following accounts of other disabled women and it was like the gates had opened to the world where I belonged.
‘Because of the lack of representation of disabled people in the media, I had never really seen women who looked like me, living lives that were full and adventurous and sexy.
‘Seeing the stories and photos those women were sharing helped boost my confidence so much that I wanted to share mine too.
‘Each disabled person’s story is completely different because we are different people – that should be obvious, but because we’re always portrayed as tragic or inspirational, people have a misguided, limited view of disabled people.
‘That’s what I want to work to change through the stories I write about my life.’
Monica is now ‘reclaiming the disabled narrative’ on her blog. You can read it here.
Remember Heinz Beanz pizzas?
Maybe you loved them, maybe you hated them, but all we know is we sure are ready for some nostalgia – as they’re making a comeback.
To celebrate Heinz’s 150th birthday, the company is partnering exclusively with Deliveroo from 29 March to offer customers the chance to order a Heinz Beanz Pizza.
Since being discontinued back in 2003, thousands of Brits have begged Heinz to bring the pizzas back – with a petition launched back in 2017 calling for the ‘childhood favourite’ to be brought back.
Working with a network of restaurants across the UK, Deliveroo has gastronomically upgraded the original Margherita and Sausage pizzas and created versions for vegans to enjoy.
Only 150 limited-edition Heinz Beanz Pizzas will be available per restaurant, in London, Glasgow, Newcastle, Belfast, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.
The pizzas start at £7.50 in ode to the 75p tin of Heinz Beanz.
They will be available at Joe Public, Pizza Punks and Proove.
Joe Groves at Deliveroo said, ‘The Heinz Beanz Pizza was an absolute 90s cult classic, so we’re sprinkling a touch of magic and bringing it back into customers’ homes for 2019. There’s only 150 being made for each restaurant, so get it while it’s hot!’
Fabio Megid Pinto at Heinz added: ‘We couldn’t be happier to be relaunching the iconic Heinz Beanz Pizza with Deliveroo for our 150th birthday! We know there are some true fans of our 90s frozen pizzas out there and – after a 16 year wait – hope they’re as happy today as we are to hear this absolute classic is available again, even for a limited time.’
Heinz beanz pizza is back
Libby Phillps is a British teen who always hated studying art in school.
Even now, as the 18-year-old from Worcestershire is doing her A Levels, she still does not enjoy the study of art.
But she draws in her own time as a passion. All her animations have a similar theme; the subjects, male or female, are naked, ‘fat, disabled, and different’.
She tells Metro.co.uk how she struggles with her own body image but drawing curvy people made her embrace the body positive movement.
The full-time student wants to question the current beauty standards with her drawings, as we often see thin, hairless people in very good shape.
Libby focuses her work on women’s bodies and female love, adding details including saggy breasts, stretchmarks, hairy legs and pubes.
‘I’m always absently doodling on scraps of paper,’ Libby tells Metro.co.uk.
‘I draw everything myself, and I’m inspired by people in general. All I have to do is look outside and I have so many different muses; every human is different, everybody sports different “flaws”, and so I always have something to draw.
‘I started drawing body positive stuff two years ago. I remember picking up my pencil and daring myself to draw something “wrong”.
‘So I conjured up the worst thing I could think of: a fat, ugly, naked body. Except it wasn’t ugly. I loved the drawing.
‘The fact that I could love a drawing of a body like that yet I had so much loathing for my own, real one made me question the impossible beauty standards society sets for women and men.
‘The more I drew, the more I realised that all bodies are beautiful. Drawing fat, disabled, different bodies was a revelation because they are ever changing and so diverse, and therefore never boring.’
Libby says she grew tired of drawing the same thin, big-breasted figures that she considered to be exclusively beautiful.
Seeing the positive reaction from people who felt represented motivated her to keep going.
With her creations, she hopes to encourage people to question their perception of beauty, inspire inclusivity and diversity, and show that representation matters.
‘I hope that people receive my art with a smile and the feeling that they too are worthy of being made into art and getting the same representation that conventionally beautiful bodies get.
‘I want to make people feel good about themselves – as they deserve to!’
Take a look at some of Libby’s work below, and give her a follow on Instagram for more.
Whatever your skill, there’s likely to be an arena in which you can show it off.
Great at rock, paper, scissors? There are tournaments for that, and they’re intense.
Always had an inkling you’d be brilliant at pushing a wheel of cheese down a hill? Yep, there’s a contest for that, too.
And if you’re an expert slapper, it turns out there’s a way for you to challenge that talent, too.
Over in Russia (where else?) this week, the first Male Slapping Championships took place at the Siberian Power Show in Krasnoyarsk.
The challenge is simple: Two people stand across a table, look each other in the eyes, and deliver slaps to the face.
В Красноярске провели чемпионат по мужским пощечинам. Некоторые лупили соперников так, что те не могли удержаться на ногах. Победителем стал Василий Камоцкий, за тяжелую руку он получил 30 тысяч рублей. Щеку ему лучше не подставлять… pic.twitter.com/xdBNJCKrKf
— НТВ (@ntvru) March 19, 2019
The slapping continues until one contestant gives up or is disqualified.
Results from the inaugural competition were, as you’d expect, pretty fascinating.
You can see the pure power of the slaps in photos, but the videos of men reeling from a hefty slap to the face are not to be missed.
The winner was Vasiliy Kamotskiy, a bearded giant who was awarded 30,000 rubles (around £356) in prize money. We are convinced that if we were ever to be slapped by Vasiliy, we would fall down and never get up again – mostly out of the deep embarrassment of being defeated at slapping.
As cool as this contest may look, we feel it is important to remind you not to try out your slapping skills at home.
These people appear to be professionals who have honed their technique for many hours.
You are likely not a professional, and will end up hurting yourself and whichever poor, naive friend agreed to help you try out the fun.
Be kind to each other, and if you’re in need of some fierce competition we’d recommend something free of violence but just as exhilarating, such as Monopoly or a game of fives.
Male Slapping Championships
This is Kinky Characters – a series that explores unusual fetishes and the people who like them.
Previously, we’ve spoken to John about his love of being carried by women with big watches, had a chat with Bonnie about nosebleeds and asked Ben to tell us why he likes putting metal rods into his penis.
This week, we’re venturing into watersports – which, in fetish circles, includes sexual play with urine.
The kink is less unusual than you might think; in 2017, watersports (or urolagnia) came in at ninth place of sexual fetishes in Channel 4’s nationwide Great British Sex survey.
Most people will likely associate this fetish with golden showers, but there are other categories too – such as ‘pussing’ (watching someone pee in public) and omorashi, a subculture of watersports where you hold your pee in or wet yourself on purpose.
Humiliation can be part of the scenario, but it’s by no means a requirement.
On FetLife, one of the world’s biggest fetish communities, you can find a group for watersports that has 25,455 members where people share tips and tricks on how to get started, as well as advice on how to store urine and ‘minimize the mess’.
Some forums also offer health and safety measures. For instance, the person peeing should drink plenty of water beforehand and sterilise any equipment that might be used during. If it’s your first time, it’s recommended you do it in the shower.
There’s plenty to watch, too. One popular porn site presents 2,000 results, while another has just shy of 900 videos – and that’s just for the phrase watersports.
Stephen*, 53, has enjoyed urine play for decades.
It’s not his only unusual kink; the father-of-three has also been a swinger for 30 years and dreams of one day going down on a woman while she’s smoking.
We ask him what he loves about watersports, how it works and if he’s ever drunk anyone’s pee.
Tell us about your fetish
I like watersports because it’s liberating – you free yourself from all your inhibitions.
I was in my 20s the first time I tried it. Having heard about it and seen others doing it, I decided to give it a go with my then girlfriend.
We went into the bathroom, and I laid down in the bath in a couple of inches of hot water. She stripped off and knelt above me, with her vagina over my chest and started urinating.
Then she worked her way down over my penis.
Afterwards, I remember feeling so happy and as if I had achieved something.
It was amazing.
What do you love most about watersports?
I love everything about watersports – rolling around in it, splashing the pee over my body and playing with it.
I prefer to be peed on, rather than peeing on someone (though I will do both).
Usually, I’ll do it in the bath as the mess is confined, easier to clean up and there’s less risk of any accidents happening.
My favourite part is when the hot pee drizzles down my erect penis or onto a vagina.
When the woman has finished, I’ll clean her by licking any remnants of pee directly from her genitals.
We don’t always have sex after, it depends how horny the person is that you’re with. Sometimes, we will but it won’t last long, because the watersports will have already excited me so much.
What are your other kinks?
I’ve been a swinger for decades, my ex and I used to love swapping partners and going to sex parties.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to try some of my other, stranger kinks yet.
I’m really keen on smoke and want to go down on a woman while she smokes a cigarette. I also really get off on women dressed in nothing but thigh-high boots, watching me as I masturbate.
The thought of it drives me crazy, but it’s hard to find women who will fulfill these fantasies, so I usually put out ads to find them.
I have 22 adverts running at the moment.
Once, I paid a female friend to shave me and give me a wank.
Is there a watersports fantasy that you haven’t done yet that you’d like to do?
My dream scenario would be two women peeing on me at the same time, one doing so across my chest and the other one over my penis.
Once I’m covered in their urine, I want one to have sex with me while the other sits on my face.
Have you ever drunk anyone’s pee?
Yes, I have tasted pee.
The taste depends on what the person has drunk or eaten. It’s a nice, sweet flavour – occasionally like pineapple or chocolate.
A lot of people wonder about hygiene issues, but personally, I think we worry too much.
Relax, let go and enjoy yourself.
Tell us about one of your favourite watersports sessions
My partner and I did watersports outside in a dogging area during summer. We had an audience watching us, it was brilliant.
I love being watched as I’m an exhibitionist – I’ve done professional and amateur porn back in the day.
Watersports just gives me such a happy feeling, it’s a great passion of mine. Honestly, most of my experiences have been positive, apart from one.
I was having sex with a squirter who leant back and accidentally peed in my eyes. It was sore for days.
How do your partners feel about your kinks?
Most of them aren’t shocked in the slightest when I mention it, but not all of them are into it.
Overall, I find people are usually pretty judgemental about watersports, because they feel it’s ‘wrong’.
Some call me weird, but most are respectful.
Do you think that people are judgmental of unusual fetishes?
There are a lot of online forums for this fetish, which is where I talk to like-minded people and sometimes meet partners to piss play with, too.
As a society, we’re more open about fetishes now but we’ve still got a long way to go before they’re accepted.
This isn’t the 16th century; people are more adventurous and those who don’t like unusual fetishes need to realise that.
We are more open-minded and more experimental about some fetishes though. As an example, when my ex and I first started swinging 30 years ago, it was more of an underground scene.
These days, it’s not so taboo.
Please be careful if you’re engaging in urine play and talk to a medical professional if you develop any physical issues afterwards, such as if you get urine in your eye.
Do you have an unusual fetish?
Want to tell us about your sexual preferences or odd kinks?
Drop an email to email@example.com to be considered for upcoming episodes of Kinky Characters.
Kinky characters 4: Watersports
Emily Smith, 23, was puzzled when she spotted a white spot on her son’s eye in a close-up photograph.
She searched online for what the strange grey area could be, then booked an appointment with a doctor the next day, which led to then 11-month-old Jaxson’s diagnosis of a rare form of cancer.
‘The flash on my camera automatically came on as Jaxson was in the dark,’ said Emily.
‘He looked so cute but when I looked back at the picture, I noticed the strange clouding behind one of his pupils.
‘It was after this that I googled it and looked back at previous photos where we also noticed the white reflex.
‘We booked a doctors appointment the following day, upon telling the doctor our concerns she performed a red reflex test on Jaxson, and the results confirmed that there was a glow which meant there was something behind his eye.
‘She stated that in the 16 years she has been a GP she had never seen anything like it.’
After tests from eye specialists, Jaxson was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer.
Had his mum not spotted the white dot in the photograph, Jaxson’s illness may not have been discovered and treated in time.
Following the GP’s concerns, Jaxson was given an emergency referral to St Richards Eye Clinic in Chichester.
Emily said: ‘Both myself, and my partner, Owen Scrivens, 23, were extremely anxious and worried about Jaxson.
‘An ophthalmologist looked into Jaxson’s eye with a special scope and immediately asked a senior clinician for their advice.
‘They told us that Jaxson could have cancer and that we would be again immediately referred to the Royal London Hospital to see the retinoblastoma specialist.
‘The wait for the appointment was agonising, we finally got our appointment for 21 December, 2016 – the day felt very twice as long, and anxiety levels were high among ourselves and family members.’
Jaxson had to undergo surgery to check the tumour, which involved doctors using a special magnification scope to look into the back of his eye through the pupil.
‘Waiting for Jaxson to come round was horrific – it was only an hour, but it felt like so much longer,’ said Emily.
‘Luckily, following his surgery, Jaxson was pleasantly unaware of what was going on and continued to be our happy, beautiful baby boy.
‘We had Christmas knowing what was going on inside our little boys’ eye and trying to be as positive as possible knowing that this tumour was actively growing, it was an incredibly difficult time.’
Thankfully the surgery and MRI scans revealed that Jaxson’s cancer wasn’t spreading, and could be treated through chemotherapy.
In July 2017, after six rounds of chemotherapy, Jaxson’s tumour was declared stable. But six months later, he relapsed.
‘We were heartbroken to find out it was beginning to grow again, despite Jaxson reacting so well to his previous treatment,’ said Emily.
‘They had already done laser surgery on the tumour as best they could whilst Jaxson was asleep, then, when they found the laser treatment wasn’t working, they gave him infra-arterial chemotherapy every two weeks until Jaxson had had six sessions of laser under general anaesthetic.’
He underwent further chemotherapy, and now, at three, he’s been stable for ten months.
Emily said: ‘We were told by Jaxson’s school that he is on track for everything development-wise with no concerns, I think we have always been aware that he may struggle due to being premature and also an oncology patient but we could not be more proud of our gorgeous little boy.
‘Even if he was behind we would still be just as proud, but to know despite it all he is still so kind and clever is extraordinary.’
White dot in baby\'s eye was sign of cancer
When I was younger, I always went for my smear tests when I was invited.
It’s one of those things you can easily put off but it wasn’t the test itself that was the issue for me.
I was a single, working mum of three at the time and I often could not get an evening appointment so, as life got busier, making the appointment to go for a smear test ended up being something I completely forgot about.
I had been having some pain in my lower back but thought it was nothing to worry about.
I remember seeing Jade Goody on the news because she had been diagnosed with cervical cancer, but I didn’t really put two and two together.
However, when she passed away 10 years ago today, it really made me sit up and take notice that I had been putting off going to my appointment.
It made me go and book that appointment there and then, along with about 400,000 other women who were inspired to do the same.
If not for Jade, I would not have been reminded to book in. I don’t know how long I would have left it.
I certainly was not expecting this smear test to save my life.
At the test, my nurse told me that my cervix looked healthy. However, within days, I was called to go to colposcopy. This is when the worry set in.
A few days after that, the nurse called me back. She asked me to bring somebody with me. This should have prepared me but it didn’t. During the appointment, the only word I heard was ‘cancer’.
I’m so grateful that Jade shared her story and made her tragically short life have such an enormous positive impact on the world.
I waited for the doctor to leave the room and then I just broke down. Who would look after my boys if I was gone?
The next few months were a total blur. I was diagnosed with stage two cervical cancer and needed a hysterectomy to treat it.
I was only 32.
The cancer had spread to my lymph nodes in my groin, so I also had chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which was incredibly difficult.
I got the all clear in 2015 after five years of check-ups. I have been left with lymphedema in my lower body, as well as bowel problems that may never go away.
Yes, I am grateful to be alive, but it affects me every single day and I am constantly reminded of what I have had to deal with.
After what I have been through, I can’t say how thankful I am that Jade’s story was so well-publicised. My consultant told me that if I had left going for my smear test for even one month later, my outcome would have been very different.
I’m so grateful that Jade shared her story and made her tragically short life have such an enormous positive impact on the world.
I think it’s really important that we prevent as many people from going through this as we possibly can.
While the ‘Jade Goody effect’ was incredible at the time and definitely saved my life, we’re now at an all-time low of cervical screening uptake.
Something has obviously gone wrong somewhere – I think there is a lack of education and awareness of how serious it can be.
People are risking their lives and needlessly going through treatment for cancer, as you can catch cell changes by attending screening before they ever develop into cancer.
Not attending screening is really taking your life into your own hands. It’s playing Russian Roulette with your health.
I work in the NHS and one part of my job is checking in on people who have not responded to their invitation letter. I’m so passionate about what I do and I’m glad I get the chance to stop people from going through what I have.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women, their families and friends affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. For more information, visit the website.
Jade Goody photographed in the Marriot County Hall, in London photograph by David The Independent
‘Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter – under the sea.’
The immortal words of Sebastian the crab feel particularly appropriate as Norway’s stunning underwater restaurant finally opens for business. And we cannot wait to visit.
Last year we told you about the development of Under, which lies half submerged at the southernmost point of Norway’s coastline.
But now the restaurant, which is the first of its kind in Europe, has opened its doors for guests to experience fine dining and truly magical submarine views.
The name ‘Under’ is particularly clever, because in Norwegian the word means both ‘below’ and ‘wonder.’ Which seems fitting.
The building is 111 feet long, and tips dramatically into the ocean, with the lower end of the building resting on the seabed.
And it’s ecologically-minded as well – the structure is built to eventually integrate into its marine environment. The rough surface of the concrete shell will function as an artificial reef, which means small animals like limpits and kelp can actually live on the exterior walls.
While the other-worldly design has us picturing Bond-villain levels of glamour, it’s understandable if the thought of eating with tons of sea water just above the ceiling is a little unnerving.
But don’t worry, the thick concrete walls allow it to withstand pressure and shock from the sea around it.
Also, the restaurant has been designed to feel incredibly open, with three levels, large windows, and plenty of space for the 100 guests to move around – so claustrophobia shouldn’t be an issue.
And the food looks unreal. Guests will get to exerience fine dining based on locally-sourced produce and sustainable wildlife capture.
Unsurprisingly, seafood features heavily on the menu. Nicolai Ellitsgaard from the acclaimed restaurant Måltid in Kristiansand is the Head Chef, and he has chosen a 16-person kitchen team from top Michelin restaurants – so you can expect the very best.
Under isn’t only about breathtaking architecture and gourmet cuisine, the building also houses a marine research facility.
Research teams will be on site to study marine biology and fish behavior – with the aim of documenting the population, behavior, and diversity of species that live in the surrounding areas.
So it’s probably time to start looking at flights to Norway.
Not only is it the best Instagram opportunity you’ll probably get all year, it’s also a chance for you to live your best mermaid life. So take it.
London has some of the worst air pollution in the world, and other UK cities like Manchester and Swansea also have air pollution which exceeds the ‘acceptable’ level.
We all know that breathing polluted air is bad for our lungs, but it’s also bad for your skin.
We spoke to Rachel Saunders from Biocell to find out whether the pollution where you live might be the reason your skin isn’t looking or feeling great.
What does pollution do to our skin?
‘Daily exposure to environmental influences can cause dehydration, uneven skin tone, accelerated ageing and hyperpigmentation. Measuring less than two and a half microns, pollution particles can penetrate down to the epidermis and speed up cellular deterioration when skin is left unprotected.’
Is pollution dangerous?
‘Recent studies have shown that people living in highly polluted cities age 10% faster than those in the countryside. Not only can pollution cause skin issues, but it can also have a negative effect on your respiratory health as well’
How does anti pollution skincare work?
‘Anti-pollution skincare is packed with antioxidants which are fantastic defense as unlike normal molecules, they are able to safely interact with free radicals and counteract harmful effects before vital cells are damaged.’
How quickly will I see results?
‘Results can vary depending on skin type, however antioxidants are highly effective and should also be taken as a preventative measure. Results also depend on the frequency of use, however it is possible to see improved appearance of skin in a single use.’
The other major thing you can do to protect your skin to make sure that you cleanse thoroughly morning and night.
Drinking lots of water isn’t going to change the levels of pollution that your skin is exposed to, but it does help with the general quality of your skin and your all around health.
Obviously it goes without saying that you should be wearing a high factor SPF on your face every single day, but you’re already doing that, right?
Otherwise, you could move to the Swiss mountains and drink water from a fresh spring, but if living in a town or city is your only option, as is the case for many of us, then using barrier methods and cleansing well is the best you can do.
She has a captivating beauty
A young woman from Surrey has shared her shopping woes after a Boohoo dress left her looking like a monk.
Paige Mahony, from Frimley, Surrey, bought the dress from online retailers Boohoo last Friday. She chose the £12 ‘High Neck Oversized Sweatshirt Dress’ in ‘camel’, but when it arrived it wasn’t what she was expecting.
When Paige shared photos of herself wearing the dress, she was compared to a monk, a Furbie, and someone wearing a circus tent.
Paige blamed the material: ‘It’s 100% the material. It’s horrible thick stuff that doesn’t move.’
This is how the dress looked on Boohoo’s model:
And this is how it looked on Paige:
This is a picture of Friar Tuck (well, not actually a picture because he died before cameras were invented):
As you can see, Friar Tuck’s traditional habit features a similar tube neck, wide sleeved design, though Friar Tuck’s is longer and features a rosary waist detail which Boohoo seem to have overlooked. Perhaps an idea for next season?
Happily Paige had a sense of humour about the situation, sharing the picture online with the caption: ‘Boohoo have done me so dirty.’ The post was liked over 30,000 times and has over 4,000 shares.
To be fair to Boohoo, the dress was 40% off and price at £12. In retrospect the discount might have been a bit of a hint.
We reached out to Boohoo for comment, but haven’t heard back yet.
Boohoo \"sweatshirt dress\" makes shopper look like a \"monk\"
The harrowing passing of former Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis has led to crucial conversation surrounding male suicide, the overall mental health crisis in the UK and the lack of aftercare for reality TV contestants.
But another overlooked takeaway from the tragic turn of events is the increased expectation to perform our every thought, emotion and interaction online.
When his death was announced, it wasn’t long before attention was drawn to Mike’s ex girlfriend, reality TV star Megan Mckenna.
The pair dated last year before splitting amicably, with Megan breaking down in tears during her latest TV stint while talking about their relationship and clarifying she didn’t want to discuss it any further.
Her decision was honoured by producers, but in real life no such kindness was given.
Megan was soon hounded by trolls on every social media platform available, people who said her silence down to callousness.
She confided in friends that she had specifically wanted to grieve away from social media, as she had ‘no words to describe the pain’.
After just two days of mourning, Megan seemed to be forced into giving an apology for how she has chosen to process her grief.
‘Sorry I haven’t been on social media but I’m in complete shock and trying to come to terms with this,’ she wrote in an Instagram post.
‘I can’t believe I’m even writing this post. My thoughts and prayers are with Mikes family. Rest in peace Mike x.’
Though her short post offered nothing new, her detractors – who had waited for this input as if it were a police statement – were sated by this proof she was in fact in pain.
Prioritising the spectacle of these types of situations is the new normal.
It’s painfully black and white – if you care, you’ll post about it and if you don’t, you won’t.
Even McKenna’s close friend Amber Turner, known from Towie, recently had to defend herself after uploading holiday pictures from Dubai.
Onlookers accused Amber of ‘not supporting’ her friend.
Ironically, genuine concern for the well-being of those affected by Mike’s death is dwarfed by faux outrage at how they choose to react to hardship.
The ‘pics or it didn’t happen’ approach has been the default for years, and although compulsive, it’s fairly innocuous compared to the new-found intensity of having to publicly showcase every emotion, from grief to love to anger and condemnation.
The cycle continues – our timelines are filled with tweets to endless helplines and charities, while social media users happily harass Megan.
They bemoan the effects of reality TV, as they tweet abuse about her appearance on another reality TV show.
Cynics may suggest this is simply the by-product of a life in the public eye, alongside hordes of freebies and endless glitzy events, but it’s something even civilians increasingly have to grapple with.
Documentation is integral to social media; if you didn’t upload those macaroons to Instagram, did you even eat them? If you didn’t post a Snapchat of yourself at a rave, did you even go?
The ‘pics or it didn’t happen’ approach has been the default for years, and although compulsive, it’s fairly innocuous compared to the new-found intensity of having to publicly showcase every emotion, from grief to love to anger and condemnation.
Now more than ever, there is a pressure to react to everything in the open, often culminating in bizarre and inauthentic interactions online, such as public figures chastising those whose phone number they definitely have and could definitely contact privately.
But for many, pouring out to strangers on a website isn’t the go-to option for dealing with their feelings.
Or their second, third or fourth.
Some have trouble being candid with their loved ones, let alone people online who are waiting to dissect the quality of their mourning.
With the advent of the endless news cycle, we are constantly flooded with bad news, both public and personal.
In the wake of a tragedy of any kind, after my initial sadness, the second overwhelming feeling is panic over what to say, if anything.
It’s easy to oscillate between a worry that no comment will be mistaken for no concern, and wondering if your input is necessary among the swarms of statements that have already articulated how you feel.
Worse still, there appears to be no right way to respond either, which is why many feel more comfortable with opting out entirely.
Olivia Atwood also received abuse for not grieving properly and ex ‘Celebrities Go Dating’ coach Nadia Essex was attacked for a response that was deemed too intense (and shortly after, went off Twitter).
From some people, statements are crucial – politicians can’t worm their way out of denouncement due to ‘privacy’ and celebrities should not be allowed to remain complicit in the bad behaviour of their peers through silence.
But it’s important we remember that we don’t all use social media in the same way.
In a space we all agree is a mere curated snapshot of the much bigger picture of our lives, we must be mindful of reducing the character of others to what they do or don’t post.
Being a former soldier who once ran a security business protecting heads of state, you would not think Mark* would be a victim of domestic abuse.
He was strong, powerful, determined. He was protection for many.
But he was not protected against his partner.
Mark is in his 50s and lives near London. He is one of 2.4million men who have experienced domestic abuse in their lives and has spoken to Metro.co.uk about his experience.
Mark joined the army at 18 and served for almost 13 years. After leaving the army, he spent many years running his own security business, working to protect high net worth individuals.
He would visit heads of state and foreign government ministers, working in challenging environments with clients and security teams from all over the world.
He later moved to Wales, where he worked within a maximum-security facility for 140 male patients that have secure care needs.
While living in Wales, Mark endured physical and mental challenges of domestic abuse, which ultimately led him to leaving his partner and fleeing to England.
He met his partner, Sarah* through a close friend around 12 years ago.
They had got to know each other and eventually agreed to go out on a date.
Mark tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I knew that Sarah was a bit of a party animal but that was one of the things that attracted me.
‘She was beautiful, funny and dangerous. I was a fool because I sensed trouble but ignored it.
‘I was working as a security professional at the time, looking after some very important people.
‘It was a job that took many skills but one of them was confidence. I was a very confident, outgoing individual. Certainly not someone that you would think would become a victim of domestic abuse.’
Over the coming weeks, Mark discovered that Sarah was married but separated and had sent her young son to live with relatives, due to Sarah’s issues with drinking and drugs.
Robert says this had ‘sent her into a destructive spiral’.
He continued: ‘All the red lights were there but I also discovered something horrific from her childhood. It’s not my place to go into details here, but it was enough for me to want to stand beside her, to love her and to try to show her that not all men were scumbags.
‘I guess I saw myself as a knight in shining armour, which I guess is a little arrogant but I fell for her and wanted to help her.
‘I didn’t realise it at the time but over the coming months, I was carefully manipulated into a position of isolation, especially as I have no real family in the UK.
‘Things had already become volatile and a pattern had emerged when she was drinking. She would be happy and playful for a while, then she would become overtly sexual, even with other people in the house.
‘After that, her mood would dip and she would become spiteful and unpleasant, then the fists would come out.
‘She said that she wanted to move away, to be closer to her family and start a fresh. I moved with her, giving up my rented home of eight years and everything in it. As well as moving away from my friends. I was told that there was no room at the new place for my things.
‘Within days, she attacked me, punching me so hard in the face that she broke her hand.
‘The police became involved and I was arrested. Yes, me! It was force policy in domestic abuse situations, to remove one person from the property to prevent further escalation.
‘I was not on the rent agreement – as I was not allowed to be, [for] more control for her, I just paid the bills – so I was told by the police that I had to leave.
‘When I questioned this, I was arrested, dragged from the house and thrown in cells until the following day.
‘On this occasion, I received a visit from the Chief Constable, who apologised in person for my treatment. There were many other incidents after this. I just kept my head down and made excuses for her.
‘Each time it happened, I thought about her past and told myself that one, day, she would realise that I wasn’t the enemy.’
Sarah later announced another move. Her parents got together and begged him not to go with her, telling him that she would ‘destroy’ him.
He responded by saying that if he didn’t stand by her, who would?
Sarah promised Mark that things would be better, that she could get her son back and be happy again. They moved.
Again, Mark was not allowed to be on the rent agreement. He got a job, paid the bills, and the abuse got worse.
He was now in a low-paid job. He had no car, lived in a small village miles from anywhere, and had no family to turn to. He was completely isolated.
Eventually, Sarah became pregnant. At the time, Mark wasn’t sure the baby was his, but he stood by her.
He tells us: ‘Then it happened, the abuse, the violence – stopped. Just like that. And for almost a year, our relationship was perfect. I thought it was over. I thought that the tide had turned.
‘Our beautiful daughter was born, she was mine, but Sarah did something strange. She refused to put me on the birth certificate. Then, she didn’t give our daughter her name, but her maiden name.
‘A couple of months later, I was attacked again.
‘This time though, things were hugely different. I was attacked whilst I was holding our daughter, who at the time was choking.
‘As I was trying to clear her airway, I was punched hard in the face. I instinctively covered our daughter with my body as the blows rained down.
‘I was screaming at her to stop, which she eventually did but she continued to scream abuse at me. Her reason: the way I had asked her to hand over our daughter so I could administer first aid.
‘Little did I know that this was the turning point. The shock of being attacked again, whilst holding our baby, tipped me over the edge and I had a breakdown. I collapsed at work and ended up telling my occupational health department everything.
‘Because a child was involved, they were duty bound to inform social services. The police had always treated me as the perpetrator and my partner as the victim but when I was called in to be interviewed by social services, it was the first time in about three years that I received positive help.
‘The lady that interviewed me listened to my story and took immediate action. I was terrified that we would lose our baby but I was equally terrified of what my partner would do when she found out that I had told anyone what was going on.
‘Sarah was interviewed and eventually admitted the attack.’
After Mark was called back in, he was told that Sarah had admitted the attack, but had claimed that she had been provoked. The lady at social services told him that there were ‘two kinds of abuser’.
The first: A person who admitted they had an issue and wanted to work to change their behaviour.
The second: The person that denied they had an issue and blamed everything on the victim. Robert was told Sarah was the latter.
He was told to go home, to pack a bag and to leave. But the social worker told him she knew he wouldn’t do that, because she could ‘see it in his face’ and ‘hear it in his words’.
She added that on average, it takes 30 serious assaults before victims of domestic abuse actually try to leave.
Mark continued: ‘I don’t recall how long it was before I did leave but I eventually got myself a flat in the village and moved out.
‘Unfortunately, things were about to get a lot worse.
‘One weekend Sarah asked if she could come around to see me and talk things over. Like a fool, I agreed.
‘Her behaviour followed its usual pattern and I could see things were going to turn nasty, so I asked her to leave. I had our daughter for the weekend and she was asleep in her cot.
‘When I asked Sarah to leave, she exploded and attacked me violently. She was screaming at me, hitting me and then said she was taking our daughter.
‘I tried to block her by standing in front of the bedroom door but she attacked me again. I dialled 999 and begged the police to get there ASAP. She grabbed the phone, hung up and beat me about the face with it.
‘She got into our daughters’ room and I tried to restrain her using the minimum amount of force.
‘I was terrified on several levels. Terrified she was going to hurt our baby as she was so drunk and terrified, I would be arrested again despite doing nothing.
‘I grabbed her by the wrists to protect myself and to drag her from our daughters’ room. I got the phone again and dialed 999.
‘I was screaming for help down the phone. Then I decided to run. I ran out of the flat, locked her in with our baby so that she could not take her and called the police again.
‘When they arrived, we were both arrested and taken to the police station, along with our daughter.
‘Sarah refused to say anything and was released with our daughter. I was told that because I had admitted grabbing her by the wrists and pulling her, I was to be charged with assault.
‘I was held overnight, taken to court in handcuffs, in a prison van and bailed for five months with the condition that I stayed away from Sarah and my baby.
‘During those five months, I was driven to the point of suicide.
‘I was a completely broken man. Violently attacked, mentally abused, verbally abused over a number of years. And again, being labelled the perpetrator, while my abuser walked free to gloat.
‘After five months of torture, waiting and wondering what was going to happen to me, the case was dropped on the day of my court appearance. The verdict: no case to answer!
‘I left Wales shortly after the case was dropped. I knew that I had to get as far away as possible. I left in a hire car with four small boxes of possessions. It was a truly heartbreaking day as I didn’t know if I would ever see my daughter again.’
Mark never made an official complaint because he didn’t feel there was ‘any point’.
He said: ‘As a man, the police and authorities don’t look at you as a victim. The stereotype is that the man is the perpetrator and the woman a victim and many police and people in authority still hold that view, even when the evidence is staring them in the face, as we have seen recently with the Alex Skeel documentary.
‘And I’m as much to blame because, decades earlier, as a [member of the police], I attended a number of domestic abuse situations involving service personnel.
‘I can honestly say that when I attended those situations, I never, not once, considered the victim to be the male.
‘It never entered my mind that a serviceman, whose job ultimately involves being trained to kill people, could ever be the victim of abuse from his wife.
‘I also had the attitude of, “Why don’t you just leave him?” when it came to female victims of abuse.
‘I’m now embarrassed by my lack of knowledge, compassion and understanding and I feel for the people that I dealt with all those years ago.
‘Little did I know at the time, that decades later I would get first-hand experience of what it was like to be a domestic abuse victim.’
It’s only been over the last few months that Mark has been able to open up about what has happened to him.
He feels it’s time for him to stand up and share his experience to help male domestic abuse victims across the world.
He said: ‘Domestic abuse against women gets wide spread coverage but abuse against men remains a taboo subject. Men need much more support and attitudes need to change.’
Despite the heartbreaking abuse, Mark would like to add that, though they are no longer together, he now has a good relationship with Sarah, who, along with her mother and sister, have all moved to support her to do a great job of raising his daughter.
He pays regular maintenance and sees his daughter during the school holidays.
Mark now travels giving talks and radio interviews about domestic abuse.
He tells us: ‘As a former Policeman and Protection Officer, I never believed that I could become the victim of domestic abuse. However, I’ve since learned, through my own experiences, that anyone can become a victim of this terrible crime.
‘My domestic abuse talks help people to recognise that they are actually in an abusive relationship, as many people do not see it as a domestic abuse situation until they are out of the relationship and can look back on it.
‘I talk about my own experiences and try to encourage people to take the first step to getting help.
‘I emphasise the need to not feel ashamed, which is a dominating factor in people (especially men) not reporting their abuse. And I end my talk by outlining the positive experiences that I’ve had after breaking free and surviving my abuse.
’When talking to Police Forces and frontline agencies, I also outline my own experiences of dealing with those agencies as I battled to get help. I talk about how hard it was to get the support I needed because of victim and perpetrator stereotypes.
‘I am now an advocate for domestic abuse against men.’
‘I hope to raise awareness of male domestic abuse, in the hope that I can encourage men (and women) who are suffering from abuse, to come forward and seek the help that they need.
‘I hope to change the thought process of front-line staff, particularly police officers who attend domestic situations.
‘I would like them to keep an open mind and to consider that the man, regardless of his job or physical stature, may actually be the victim, and to offer him the same advice and support that they would, a female victim.’
*Names and some identifying details have been changed to protect the anonymity of those talked about in this article.
I was a male victim of domestic abuse
We’ve all done it.
We invest in a nice canvas tote bag, tell ourselves that we’ll use it all the time and save the environment, then find ourselves at the till with our week’s shopping having to hand over coins for yet another plastic bag.
That plastic bag then gets stuffed inside another plastic bag, in our ever-growing graveyard to the best of intentions. We shall never take it out of the cupboard again.
We all know what we should be doing, but it’s so irritatingly easy to forget.
And so, we need a reminder. Here’s today’s in the form of a photo series, bold and colourful enough to stay firmly lodged in your mind.
Plastic Paper is a new book, from publishers Placeholder, all about plastic bags plastered with iconic designs and strewn about New York City.
‘In 2011, I moved to New York City from Tokyo, and one of the first things I noticed were the grainy prints on thin plastic bags,’ says Sho Shibuya, the founder of Placeholder. ‘They were so different from the ones that we had in Japan, where each shop has their own unique design and the bags were made from thick, durable plastic.
‘I was struck by the ubiquity of the bags — not just the sheer number of them, but the consistency of their designs.
‘The difference between the bags I remembered from Tokyo and the bags I saw in New York could be attributed to a few unique beliefs common in Japanese culture.
‘There’s a concept called “yaoyoruzu no-kami,” or “eight million gods.” It means that every single item has a god living inside: a single grain of rice, a chopstick, a drop of water, or even a plastic bag.
‘And there’s a second concept, “mottainai,” that essentially means that we should cherish things and that even as an object ages, as long as it serves its purpose, it should be kept in use.
‘As a kid, these values were instilled in me with stuff like hand-me-down clothing, and sticks today with my habit of hanging on to plastic bags.
‘This is all to say that plastic bags are not garbage to me. They are art, even though they were not originally conceived as works of art.’
Sho teamed up with photographers Henry Hargreaves and Vanessa Granda to capture pictures of plastic bags of New York.
Those photos were then used in Plastic Paper, with 100% of the profit of sales of the book going to Parley for the Oceans, an organisation dedicated to reducing plastic pollution.
‘It is no secret that single-use plastic bags are choking our cities and our planet,’ says Sho.
‘This book is not an exercise to advocate for wasteful plastics; it is quite the opposite.
‘It is an act of preservation of everyday design and a call to give greater care to the objects we use every day, to reuse them and waste less, and to find happiness and inspiration in the little acts of art and creativity we’d otherwise miss.’
We know it’s a bad idea to pop your pimples.
But we’d be lying if we said we didn’t love to watch videos of people popping and extracting pimples, blemishes, whiteheads, blackheads and zits – especially from the likes of Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper).
Sure it’s totally gross, but seeing the pus, or liquid come from a popped pimple feels somewhat like an accomplishment. It’s so satisfying.
And despite the warnings not to pop, it’s hard to resist evicting pesky pimples that appear outta nowhere.
Enter the BESTOPE Blackhead Remover Comedone Extractor Tweezers Pimple Spot Popper, the Amazon’s best-selling blackhead remover, that allows avid pimple poppers to upgrade their fingernails for £6.99.
The extractor set that boasts an impressive rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, is housed in a tin and contains six different sized needles (eek), loops and tweezers so you can effectively ready yourself for a bathroom blackhead extraction.
Included in the set is your typical stainless steel extractor; a thin, metal instrument that has two looped ends. This is a popular tool that despite looking like something you’d expect to see at your local nail salon, is actually widely used by dermatologists during professional extraction.
Now, here comes the word of warning: these tools need to be used with caution to ensure your DIY extraction doesn’t create a bloody, blotchy, mess. Capeesh?
How to properly pop it
The BESTOPE Blackhead Remover Comedone Extractor Tweezers Pimple Spot Popper is available on Amazon for £6.99.
Like to pop your pimples? Then you need this Amazon pimple popping toolLike to pop your pimples? Then you need this Amazon pimple popping tool
Marmite is famously divisive.
Encouraging people to either love or hate the savoury spread has been Marmite’s bizarre but successful marketing strategy for years.
But is the latest creation a step too far for the haters? Or is Marmite Peanut Butter everything you’ve ever dreamed of?
The new hybrid product combines the classic umami taste of Marmite with the smooth and salty flavour of peanut butter.
It is the first permanent new product released by the brand since it was established in 1902. Developers say the spread has been created in response to overwhelming demand.
That’s right, apparently there are already hundreds of people out there combining Marmite and peanut butter on their toast every morning – so this new spread is designed to make their lives easier.
For Marmite haters – it’s hard to imagine anything worse. Tainting the rich deliciousness of peanut butter with the unmistakable tang of the most dreaded spread.
But the lovers can’t get enough.
‘The British public asked, and we listened,’ said Camilla Williamson, brand manager at Marmite.
‘We’re delighted to bring the nation exactly what they’ve been craving with the creation of Marmite Peanut Butter.
‘It’s the most exciting product launch since the conception of the brand in 1902 and we’re confident that the nation is going to love it. They ain’t tasted nuttin yet.’
The 225g jars will be available to order online at Ocado.com from the 25th April – before rolling out in supermarkets in the coming weeks.
So where do you land in the debate?
Is Marmite Peanut Butter going to revolutionise your breakfast? Or is it just wrong?
Marmite peanut butter launches in the UK and it's going to be divisive
It’s hard to believe that not so long ago there was a stigma attached to using dating apps.
Now, they are completely normalised among young people and can be a great tool to use in meeting potential romantic partners.
But for many non-white people, online dating can be a a traumatic experience rather than a fun, positive one. As a black gay male, I find dating apps to be a space filled with micro-aggressions and racist sexual stereotyping.
Apps such as Grindr, although I do use others too, often result in the assassination of my personal character – because I’m seen as a sexual object and a thing, not a human being.
For instance, constant references to my gigantic penis – I don’t have one, but I’m black and so apparently it’s a given – is usually the focus of interactions.
Often the first message I get sent is: ‘BBC?’ (which stands for big black c**k, a common phrase in the porn industry) or ‘hung?’.
Other examples include: ‘I’m craving a black guy or a group of black guys’; ‘I’m in my car and fancy a big black c**k in my mouth’ or ‘is it true what they say about black guys’.
This is just a small fraction of the types of unsolicited messages I receive and if I don’t live up to this fantasy of being a hypersexual black stud with a big dick, I am immediately rendered dispensable and stop hearing from them.
There’s also this assumption that black guys are always a ‘top’ during sex (the penetrative partner) – which is just another stereotype. If you’re not top you become invisible.
It’s not just our bodies; one guy who I spoke to over the phone said he was disappointed because my voice didn’t sound as he had expected – I didn’t have a ‘Hackney’ accent.
It’s easy for people to dismiss these claims with an eye roll or a ‘here we go again’ response, but this ignores the very real truth of how black people have historically been sexually objectified and fetishised.
This is something we and other BAME people still experience today – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity – but it’s more nuanced, which makes it harder to call out and white people are reluctant to believe our stories.
The anonymity of the internet turns these platforms into a space in which people no longer need to censor themselves, making the prejudice and racism so much worse than what you’d typically face offline.
I’ve pushed back on people several times, but realised there’s no point in wasting my time. Some will call me a racist, despite me being the person calling out the racism, brush it off or say that I’m ‘playing the race card’.
Throughout history, black people have been portrayed as animalistic, lascivious and dangerous, with body parts that ‘proved’ this, and any guilt that may have arisen from selling, seeing and treating us as nothing but animals was assuaged because of it.
As such, an array of binaries were invented; civilised/uncivilised, them/us, white/black.
Today, the commodification of black people takes place through two avenues; on the one hand a desire and love for our culture and on the other, a form of hatred – portrayed in how black people are treated in society.
The ways in which black men are represented seldom offers variety.
The usual tropes of criminal, gangster rapper, absent father and womaniser belies the existence of men who are well-rounded and have a lot to offer.
Across the board, including in porn, black bodies are only seen as valuable when something can be obtained from them (such as realising a fantasy) – and this is reflected in my experiences on dating apps.
Many people will tell me to just not use them, and while I do often go on short breaks, in reality, how else can gay men interact and meet in a world where the majority of us use technology to connect?
When I meet people in real life, (not necessarily gay men, just anybody) there are other stereotypes that I have to defend myself from too. I am often asked for drugs (whether I am dressed in a suit makes no difference), sometimes people move away from me or quickly put their phones in their pockets.
When I go to clubs, which I rarely do, it’s more stares and sometimes guys try to touch my private parts.
But it’s more concentrated online.
By educating people on the legacy that slavery and colonialism has had on how we view and treat black people, it will allow others to realise why sexualising black bodies isn’t a compliment, but a harking back to an era suffused with subjugation and death.
This kind of behaviour causes silent suffering for black men and women; we underestimate the effect it can have on mental health.
So next time you want to talk about someone’s imaginary big black c**k, remember that this person is more than a body part, and that what you say could be eating away at their sense of who they are.
Black men are multifaceted, not a monolith – and it’s about time society got the memo.
Roy - being a black man on Grindr (sexualisation of black men)
According to a new study, couples who are into BDSM have better sex lives.
BDSM, which stands for bondage, domination and sado masochism is the umbrella term given to people who enjoy kinky sex.
The study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, compared 266 couples who are actively into BDSM with 200 couples who are categorically not into it. It found that the kinkisters reported ‘a very low self-declared degree of distress.’
How happy people are with their sex lives is also affected by the role that the person takes within the BDSM relationship.
The study abstract explains: ‘The dominant and switch groups appear to be more satisfied and less concerned about sexuality than the general population and the submissive group. Role in the BDSM scene was the only significant predictor of sexual satisfaction, showing a medium effect size.’
Fillipo Maria Nimbi, who led the study, does acknowledge limits in the study, explaining that the sample was drawn from an online survey shared mainly among BDSM communities in Italy.
The idea behind the study was to try to demonstrate that BDSM is not unhealthy. Filipo Maria Nimibi explained: ‘The main message we wanted to share is that BDSM is not pathology or paraphilia, and has nothing to do with psychological problems.’
So, as long as everyone involved is a fully consenting adult, let your freak flag fly.
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