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

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    Gregg's Cajun Bake
    Spice up your life (Picture: Greggs)

    Spice lovers – rejoice. Greggs is adding a new, fiery bake to its iconic menu – and it looks delicious.

    The Cajun Bake is stuffed with shredded Cajun style chicken breast in a spiced tomato sauce with onions and peppers, encased in a pastry case with a paprika crumb topping.

    Wave goodbye to boring picnics because this new snack is sure to be the taste the summer, with vibrant flavours working hard to tingle your taste buds.

    Greggs has already enjoyed a huge boost in sales this year thanks to the launch of it’s now iconic vegan sausage roll.

    And the announcement that the limited edition Festive Bake would be available to buy in Iceland was big news for fans as well.

    The good news is that if you happen to fall in love with the Cajun Bake, you’ll be able to stock up because it will also be available to buy in Iceland – £2 for two. So fill your boots.

    Gregg's Cajun Bake
    They look so tasty (Picture: Greggs)

    The Cajun Bake costs £1.50 and contains 432 calories – but you won’t have long to worry about the calorie content because they won’t be around forever.

    The yummy new bakes are actually limited edition and will only be on the menu until the 1st September – so you will really need to make the most of them this summer.

    Blink, and you’ll miss them.

    MORE: Asda is selling a watermelon flavoured gin for £20

    MORE: The best smart gym bags that you can also use for work

    MORE: Half of Britons only socialise with family and friends once a month

    Greggs adds some spice to its menu with new Cajun Bake Picture: Greggs METROGRABGreggs adds some spice to its menu with new Cajun Bake Picture: Greggs METROGRAB

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    MenTal(k) Health is a space designed for men, from all walks of life, to speak about their specific interactions with health and well-being.

    This week’s MenTal(k) Health is looking at men and cancer.

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men across the UK, with 1 in 8 men being diagnosed with cancer in their lives with 1 in 4 Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer in their lives.

    But there are other forms of cancer that affect men. One that is rarer and not as well known is penile cancer.

    Jeff Addison, 48, a finance director at pub retailer, Greene King, who was diagnosed with the cancer in September 2017 at just 46-years-old.

    He underwent surgery to remove the initial lump in October, but it returned in February 2018 and resulted in further surgery to remove the head of his penis.

    Jeff Addison using a catheter
    Having to use a catheter (Picture: Jeff Addison)

    Before his diagnosis, Jeff was very active. He was a rugby coach and led a very healthy lifestyle.

    I’m a positive person but it was emotionally draining to be told it had returned.

    The cancer was aggressive and led to invasive surgery to remove the head of his penis.

    The impending surgery caused psychological stress for Jeff, as it brought fears of loss of the penis, his virility and more general surgical anxieties.

    He told Metro.co.uk: ‘To be honest I wasn’t even aware you could get penile cancer. My wife was in floods of tears, and the consultant was even welling up.

    ‘I’m a positive person but it was emotionally draining to be told it had returned three months after my initial surgery, and I would then have to have the head of my penis removed.

    ‘I had a catheter while I was in hospital and kept thinking, this only happens to old people, not to a man in his 40s.’

    male reproductive system
    Penile cancer can affect so many men (Picture: Macmillan Cancer Care UK)

    Like most men, for Jeff the penis symbolised his masculinity and sexuality – so the thought of having to cut off the head of the penis was daunting.

    He said: ‘Having a penis is a physical point of difference between men and women, and having one is something that I took for granted as part of defining my sexuality.

    ‘In order to deal with the psychological impact of having a partial penectomy, I considered my options, which at the time were very limited to: keep the head of my penis and accept that the cancer will spread to other parts of my body or remove the cancer affected part of my body and embrace the opportunity to carry on in life, cancer free and accept that life would be different in some ways.

    ‘I don’t believe that this is a choice that any man wants to make in their lifetime, but if you get the choice, my view is make the best choice and make the best of it.’

    Signs and Symptoms of Penis Cancer

    Symptoms include:

    • a thickening or change in colour of the skin
    • a flat growth or sore on the penis
    • discharge or bleeding from the growth or sore.

    If you experience any of these symptoms or have any concerns, please see your doctor straight away as cancer of the penis is easier to treat if it is diagnosed early.

    Because of the rare and uncommon nature of the cancer, the disease is not as well understood as some other cancers.

    According to Cancer Research UK, incidence of penile cancer around 9 in 10 (89%) of men diagnosed with penile cancer in England survive their disease for one year or more, with mortality rates for penile cancer in the UK are highest in males aged 90 plus.

    Cancer sometimes can’t be explained but there are certain risk factors that might see the development of the cancer.

    One being the human papilloma virus (HPV) is a common virus that many sexually active people might have been exposed to, but some types of the virus increase the risk of certain cancers.

    Most people with HPV don’t develop cancer, but people who have cancer of the penis often have the infection.

    Also, having a tight foreskin, that does not pull back easily (scientifically known as phimosis), is more common in men who have penile cancer.

    It is less common in men who are circumcised, but the reason for this is not clear.

    Jeff is very active (Picture: Jeff Addison)

    Smoking also increases the risk of penis cancer, as well as some skin conditions if they are left untreated.

    Jeff told Metro.co.uk: ‘I wish I knew more about cancer in general before I got my diagnosis.

    ‘I was aware of it, but I never really engaged in truly understanding how to check my body and I was never one for going to the doctor if I had an ailment that didn’t stop me from functioning.

    ‘After the diagnosis, I wanted to take control of the situation and put a significant amount of time into finding out about survival rates, the quality of life after cancer and if other people in the world were going through this, as I felt that they would be able to connect with me and understand the emotional side of the challenge.

    ‘I wish I had known someone else who has gone through this and that they could have been there to answer my questions and re-assure me. I am often referred to as a trail blazer, which isn’t something that I wanted.’

    Patient smiling in camera before or after surgery
    Prepped for surgery (Picture: Jeff Addison)

    His support networks revolved around his wife and children who were by his side throughout his diagnosis and treatment.

    He added: ‘My support network was a real mix of people, my wife and children were the hub of my network, we went through the journey together and talked about it, the nurses and surgeons were also really important.

    ‘I can’t praise my surgeon and the nurses enough, they were fantastic, we have laughed, we have cried and we have seen the cancer off together.’

    Macmillan Cancer Cancer Support put on a Men and Cancer Campaign from 10-16 June in order to raise awareness of men suffering with cancer.

    Jeff is cycling 420 miles in 4 days in September and working to raise at least £20,000 for people battling cancer.

    In the UK, around 500 men are diagnosed with cancer every day, yet men often find it difficult to talk about cancer, let alone ask for support. Charities like Macmillan support concerned individuals over the phone, online or in person, with everything from emotional to money worries.

    What is MenTal(k) Health?

    MenTal(k) Health is a weekly series that speaks to men who have a lot to say on a range of health issues from mental and physical health to fitness, sexual health and emotional intelligence.

    If you know someone who might be great to speak to, please email: alex.holmes@metro.co.uk or connect on twitter @AlexReads__.

    Last week’s MenTal(k) Health with actor Jeremy Irvine about his experience with diabetes.

    Keep a look out for next week’s feature of MenTal(k) Health.

    MORE: MenTal(k) Health: ‘I don’t like the stigma that diabetics are fat or unfit’

    MORE: MenTal(k) Health: Men need strong friendships in their lives

    MORE: MenTal(k) Health: ‘We need to invest in our health in the same way we invest in our finances’


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    Darran Latham, a former alcoholic-turned-volunteer, sits facing camera in a grey jumper and white shirt, with a ginger beard and moustache, his right hand propped on his knee
    Darran Latham, 38, overcame 20 years of alcoholism. He now volunteers for the Samaritans and studies at Bolton University (picture: The Samaritans)

    I was an alcoholic for 20 years.

    Five years ago, deep in the throes of my two decade addiction to alcohol, I didn’t care if I lived or died. I didn’t care about anything.

    I didn’t care about responsibilities or about letting people down.

    We all have responsibilities in one way or another. No matter how big or small you perceive a responsibility to be, to each individual involved, that responsibility is as important as anyone else’s.

    It doesn’t matter if you are running a country or you promised to help a young one with their homework, it is a moral contract or verbal agreement to complete an action. If that is unfulfilled, it has consequences in one way or another.

    It is this level of accountability that keeps communities safe, puts food in hungry mouths and enables society to pulse and flow with the dynamism and fluidity it requires to maintain the status quo.

    Now in recovery, I look back at the 20 years I spent addicted to alcohol when I let down everyone who relied on me.

    It takes a long time to unpick that length of dependency, looking for answers you may never get.

    I knew from an early age I had to adapt if I were to be accepted. Skinny, with freckles and red hair, I was, by anyone standards, a prime target for older kids staking their claim in the school pecking order. But I never allowed this to happen as I had a real talent for fitting in.

    Darran Latham, aged 3, stands the centre of attention, looking at camera, in a striped tee and blue shorts
    Ever since he was a child, Darran always struggled to feel like he really fitted in (Picture: Darran Latham)

    Regardless of class or type I never had an enemies or an arch nemesis. Flitting from one group to the next became second nature. I could be playing football one end of the playground and talking Shakespeare by the time I reached the other. What that meant was that in my teenage years, when everyone was carving out their own personality and style, I was never able to be my own person because I didn’t know who that was.

    Now, there comes a time in everyone’s secondary school education where, if you haven’t already, you need to nail your colours to the mast, so to speak, and pledge your allegiance to a particular group.

    After careful consideration and a foolhardy adolescent risk assessment, I chose every parent’s worst nightmare: the wrong crowd.

    Darren as a young man in the back of a taxi after a night out, his face red, his mouth open and tongue out
    Alcohol allowed Darran to mask his true feelings and escape the realities of his issues (Picture: Darran Latham)

    I can’t stand this generalisation – usually because it’s not a true reflection of the people in such a group. What is toxic, however, is the negative competitiveness that comes with such a group.

    Being competitive in the right areas is healthy and vital if you are to achieve what you want in life. Unfortunately, for others, this can manifest in breaking rules like fighting or missing school.

    I found my niche in taking drugs.

    The position I found myself in was a perfect example of the phrase ‘bittersweet’.

    Drugs gave me the stamina to keep up this daily parody personality I had carved out for myself and just enough notoriety to keep any aggro at bay, although I knew my grades were suffering and I was getting in more and more trouble.

    The problem with the entire situation was there’s a huge difference between fitting into a group and being an actual part of a group. This feeling of never truly being part of something would stay with me til this day.

    Despite the drugs, I hadn’t yet been introduced to alcohol.

    After leaving school I went straight into work as I needed the money. Now that I was a grown-up, I started doing ‘grown-up things’, like going out for a few drinks. This was a revelation because not only could I be anybody I wanted to be while drunk, it seemed that everyone else was doing exactly the same thing as me.

    These behaviours became the cornerstone of my personality, but were almost impossible to keep up for 24 hours a day.

    Anyone I got close to would be drawn into what, on the face of it, was a happy-go-lucky, life-and-soul-of-the-party, always-smiling-and-joking-around type of guy. In reality, I was brooding, withdrawn and negative about the world. I did my best not to present myself like that – and I learned I could ‘cure’ it by drinking.

    This became the daily cycle.

    People eventually saw through my act and then became resentful that I had convinced them I was somebody I was not, somebody unwilling or unable to change – a cuckoo in the nest.

    Darran as a man, in a tie and shirt, looks bleary eyed at camera
    Darran felt like everyone around him was doing the same and using alcohol to cope (Picture: Darran Latham)

    The 90s was such a strange time and it’s astonishing how different the mindset was, even between one generation.

    The Spice Girls had landed, advocating girl power and ‘ladette’ was the new buzzword, but this seemed to puff out male chests more than ever, as if to assert dominance or mark their territory.

    Drinking is so entrenched in the British psyche that I felt I had no option but to allow myself to be pressured into this relationship with alcohol.

    As time went on though, the alcohol was not only a prop to help me sustain this persona I had created, it was also beginning to drown out the voice of reason in my mind.

    That voice of reason was me, it was self, it was the person at complete polar opposites to who I presented as in public.

    I gave no consideration to other people’s feelings and lived a completely self-serving lifestyle.

    At times, I would transcend above myself, almost like a fly on the wall, looking in on what I was saying or doing, while thinking: ‘What are you playing at?’

    But the feeling I had other people’s expectations to live up to outweighed that. I continued to be first in and last to leave the pub, in case I missed anything.

    My priorities revolved around the drinking culture, where I felt most comfortable. I always had an excuse to be out socialising, rather than doing everyday things like saving for a house or starting a family. My health began to suffer as well, not just with the physical withdrawals from alcohol, but with my mental health, which became apparent later on.

    Despite the problems alcohol was now causing me, I had always felt I didn’t belong. So why would I even consider giving up the one thing that, although falsely, allowed me to be anything I wanted to be?

    I would go on holidays, festivals, weekenders, which felt amazing at the time but in the cold light of the following day, I would be filled with anxiety and unable to cope emotionally.

    I was spiralling into debt, but counteracted the guilt by saying I was making memories. The irony was I would be so inebriated, I would have no recollection of what had happened anyway.

    What followed over the next 15 years was the perpetual cycle of a functioning alcoholic.

    Things would be OK for a while then I would go off the rails, leaving family or partners to pick up the many drunken pieces. I would turn my phone off and disappear for days on end. I would miss work. I would promise to visit loved ones and attend family functions, only to fail to show with no reason or explanation.

    I tried everything to stop this runaway train with medication, home and hospital detoxes, community groups and even golf.

    The biggest problem wasn’t the drinking or the behaviour, however. Deep down I just didn’t want to stop.

    The UK's relationship with alcohol

    While Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has no formal definition of alcoholism, the majority of members agree that it could be described as a physical compulsion, coupled with a mental obsession.

    According to a recent LifeSearch study:

    • 1 in 5 Brits use drugs and alcohol to cope with issues
    • 45% of us currently self-medicate for mental health issues with 37% of men and 40% of women using alcohol to do so.

    Three million of us attend AA meetings every year.

    No matter how strange this may sound, it was the only thing I felt I had any sort of control over in my life. What looked like chaos was created by me, my decision, my choice.

    Each time it happened though, I would lose something. Whether that be a friend, a partner or a job, nothing would appease the conflict going on in my head other than alcohol.

    In May 2013, I was at the height of my addiction. I was 33 and had lost my home, my job, my family and all but a handful of friends.

    I had even lost my freedom because in 2010 I’d had my licence revoked for motoring offences while under the influence of alcohol.

    I will never forgive myself for that and thank my lucky stars that my foolish decision never involved anybody else.

    I found myself holed up in an emergency bedsit not living, just existing, I recognised this feeling as I had felt it before. That last time I had felt out of control, a few months prior, I tried to take my life.

    I was fortunate enough to have a friend call an ambulance that time and, although I wasn’t at the time, I will be forever grateful.

    My life was at a crossroads. My thoughts were running away with themselves and I couldn’t see past the end of my nose, never mind a future.

    I had never been a talker, choosing to push my feelings as deep as possible under a blanket of chronic alcoholism.

    People are under the misconception that it is the stopping drinking that is the hardest part. But actually, the physical dependence can pass in three days to three weeks, depending on the person.

    It is really the psychological dependence and inner issues that rise to the surface once you sober up that I feel is the real killer.

    Once sober, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which explained the conflict and the intrusive thoughts that kept me feeling low and worthless.

    But I accept responsibility for my addiction. I was as culpable, if not more.

    It was at this point I rang the Samaritans. My alcohol worker had told me to try it before, but I never had. You always feel judged as an addict but the listener was empathetic and made me feel like I mattered.

    I wasn’t after answers, just the opportunity to unload my problems. I went on to explore my anxiety, frustration, guilt and anything else I could get off my chest.

    Darran Latham takes a selfie at Prince Charles's birthday garden party after being chosen to attend to represent The Samaritans
    Darran at Buckingham Palace after being chosen to represent The Samaritans at Prince Charles’s birthday garden party – where Harry and Meghan made their first public appearance (Picture: Darran Latham)

    I was very well supported by drug and alcohol workers, as well as my GP, but I had reached a point where I couldn’t take my hat off, had to be accompanied in public, couldn’t make eye contact with people.

    I was fortunate enough that the NHS paid for my rehab in Bury for a full year.

    I had to relearn how to do everything when sober.

    The 12-month residency programme was community living with 30 addicts so it was very confrontational and hectic but worth it. All this was backed up by theory and counsellors and involved a mixture of intense CBT and emotional therapy.

    I don’t dislike alcohol. And while it works for others to do so, I don’t empower it by saying I will always be an alcoholic. That’s just what works for me.

    I prefer to say I used to be alcohol dependant and I always say I could drink whenever I want but I choose not to. Although, since for many years I leaned on it for everything, I know in reality I can’t have a relationship at all with alcohol and I am fine with that.

    On reflection, I have come a long way since those days.

    I had to completely relocate, delete old friends and be self aware enough to not slip into old habits. I also attended various groups for things like anxiety.

    I started volunteering to be busy and to try and give a bit back, clichéd but true. It has given me an emotional sense of purpose.

    I also enrolled at Bury college with the five-year plan to go to Uni. I’m now a student at Bolton University studying Criminology. I’m achieving goals that benefit me moving forward with a profession.

    I have to push myself all the time with the OCD and challenge my intrusive thoughts – so I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone with public speaking. I’ve done talks with The Samaritans, been interviewed on BBC Radio 4 and 5, and I was one of seven who fronted this year’s Samaritans national campaign with British Rail.

    Make no mistake, my story plays out like countless other people’s. But the difference is, this journey was unique to me.

    My life is a work in progress so I will need to stay vigilant, but at last, it is not a pretence.

    This isn’t about what others feel about me, this is about how I feel about me.

    And it’s taken me my entire lifetime to come to terms with that.

    Darran has been a Samaritans volunteer for four years. If you are interested in volunteering and supporting people in need, you can find out more here.

    Need support? Contact the Samaritans

    For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

    Darran featuring in Real People Real Stories campaign 2019 (5)-5fe9Darran featuring in Real People Real Stories campaign 2019 (5)-5fe9

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    An oil painting of a white Persian Bun Ra cat smashing a Donald Trump doll by New York painter and media darling Rose Freymuth-Frazier, known for her stunningly detailed portrait and figurative oils.
    Rose Freymuth-Frazier oil painting of a rescued Persian Bun Ra putting a Donald Trump doll in its place (Picture: Rose Freymuth-Frazier)

    If dog are man’s best friend, then cats are the best friends of artists, apparently.

    Just like Renoir and Monet, Warhol and Dalí, 20 renowned artists have fallen under the feline spell – and they will be showing their work at the Swell Cat Art Show on June 29, right in the heart of this year’s CatFest at Beckenham Palace.

    The 20 artists have donated their cat art to the cause so that 100% of the sales go to helping Shatervan Idesh – an organisation that recently launched an international spay-neuter initiative in economically-challenged countries.

    A dirty white cat, with ginger ears, sits in a dumpster
    All proceeds from the sale of the art will go towards helping spay and neuter cats and dogs in economically-challenged countries (Picture: Shatervan Idesh)

    Their ‘Trash Cats and Dumpster Dog Programme’ is currently based out of Albania and the funds raised from the art show will complete a much needed spay-neuter surgery clinic to manage the street cat population.

    ‘When I moved overseas, I was prepared for homeless animals, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the lack of access and facilities to handle the problem,’ says Shawn Simons, the founder of Shatervan Idesh and a long-time animal rescuer from the US.

    Shawn was the opening speaker at last year’s CatFest and, when asked to return, she pitched the idea of producing a big art show in the midst of the feline fun of the festival.

    She says: ‘I had produced a number of successful cat art shows back in Los Angeles, so I knew I had the contacts to pull it off. However, this show has opened the door to artists from all over the globe.’

    Artists from all over the US, Portugal, Brazil, New Zealand, Israel, Ireland, Argentina, Japan, and the UK are taking part in the show, with over 30 pieces on display for purchase.

    The narcissists or tarts: the delicate doll-like geisha kittens in Japanese artist Midori Furuhashi’s ‘Performers’.
    Japanese artist Midori Furuhashi combines two loves: cats and geishas in this piece entitled ‘Performers’ (Picture: Midori Furuhashi)

    See Rose Freymuth-Frazier’s  ‘Divine Intervention’ – an insanely-detailed painting of her Egyptian cat Bun Ra smashing a tiny Donald Trump doll, or be charmed by the incredibly delicate brushwork of Midori Furuhashi’s gentle portrait of geisha cats.

    America’s foremost satirical street-poster artist, whose work has been seen from MOCHA to The Met, Robbie Conal will also be on show. Between creating his highly-touted political paintings, it seems Robbie likes to paint cats. I mean… who doesn’t?

    Conal will be premiering his new piece ‘Louise’ – the large green-eyed feline.

    A cat stares at you, with bright green-yellow eyes by the artist Robbie Canal
    Who’s looking at you, cat? (Picture: Robbie Canal)

    Karen Fiorito is another political activist who has seen her profile rise with the installation of the anti-Trump billboard she was hired to design in Phoenix, Arizona. This time Karen has opted to create something a lil’ more zen with her work ‘Golden Buddha Cat’.

    A cat's head sits in the place of Buddha's with his big jolly belly
    You can buy Golden Buddha Cat at this year’s CatFest. Or online if you can’t make it to the festival (Picture: Karen Fiorito)

    The piece was inspired by her inspired by her larger-than-life orange tabby Buddy.

    ‘A couple of years ago he was attacked by a dog and barely survived, and this is my prayer for him for a long life,’ says Karen.

    Yael Hoenig, on the other hand, is pretty well-known for her constant cat theme. Her innovative modern works have branded her one of Israel’s most talked about artists.

    Work from Brazilian street artist Thiago Goms, American artist Rob Reeger (the guy behind Emily the Strange) Bob Motown can also be seen (and bought).

    So whether you’re a long or short-haired kinda human, tabby or black cat, you can be sure there will be something to leave you feeling like the cat that got the cream.


    Prices start from £100. This month’s CatFest are sold out but you can also purchase the art on the Shatervan Idesh site here, or follow them on Instagram here.


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    People at the Sydney Festival sit, chill, eat and drink on the grass by the water
    Sydney Festival (Picture: Victor Frankowski)

    For decades the ‘cultural cringe’ was Australia’s perceived, even if not always actual, blind spot. The nation worried that its arts weren’t good enough. Some of the best people certainly left – Robert Hughes, Clive James, Germaine Greer, Kylie and Jason.

    But with Australia’s economic ascendancy of the last 30 years has come a cultural awakening too – and, crucially, a new compromise with previously neglected or maligned indigenous arts.

    A man and two women in bright block-colour jumpsuits sit on a tiny child's pink motorised car. Red, blue, and yellow crates stacked behind them
    All aboard the Sydney Festival Village express (Picture: Victor Frankowski)

    Sydney Festival brings Australia’s largest metropolis to life in the hot summer month of January. While Britain belches, whinges, freezes and gets on its exercise bike, a sunny paradise exists on the other side of the globe. The Festival Garden in Sydney’s bucolic Hyde Park is the perfect place to grab an ice cream and people watch.

    The Spiegel Tent here is the scene of frolics – like Pigalle, a disco cabaret where the highlight is obviously London’s very own Burlesque queen Kitty Bang Bang breathing fire. There’s also some 80s crooning and some pant-splitting high-wire antics.

    Cabaret performer Pigalle in black latex and a hat with an illuminated brim performs at the Spiegel Tent at Sydney Festival
    Pigalle in the Spiegel Tent at Sydney Festival (Picture: Sydney Festival)

    Another interesting cabaret show from director Moira Finucaine takes place out west in the suburb of Parramatta. Entitled ‘Shanghai Mimi’, it feels like the opening scene from Stephen Spielberg’s film of JG Ballard’s book Empire Of The Sun.

    The singing, plate-spinning and vase-chucking are diverting. And it’s interesting that Sydney has taken its festival out to the suburbs to offer this level of arts and entertainment. The rest of the festival is all in the city – a 28-minute train ride away.

    Sydney Festival for Christopher Beanland/Deborah Arthurs
    Shanghai Mimi keeps those plates spinning in Sydney’s western suburb of Parramatta during the Sydney Festival (Picture: Victor Frankowski)

    ‘Home’ – an installation at the festival – is an intriguing proposition, one of the best at the fest this year in fact. Devised by Philadelphia’s Geoff Sobelle, it sees the cast build a house and then live in it, acting out absurd and sad scenes from different kinds of life.

    There are no words but there is a lot of audience participation in this physical theatre experiment. I had to hold on to an actor to stop him falling off the balcony and dozens of audience members get on stage and dress up in a wild finale that reminds you of the kids’ TV show Fun House.

    A simple frame of a house sits by the water in Sydney. Inside, an actor sits at a breakfast table looking up at the sky. This is the 'home' installation at this year's Sydney Festival
    Home from home – this interactive theatre experience will grab you off your seats, literally (Picture: Sydney Festival)

    Large-scale art is also a key part of Sydney Festival: there are giant orange astronauts parked around the brand new Barangaroo development – an office and retail development on Sydney’s former commercial port – to commemorate 50 years of the moon landings.

    A giant orange astronaut statue stands by the water in the Barangaroo Development during the Sydney Festival
    Giant orange astronauts just chillin’ in Barangaroo during the Sydney Festival (Picture: Victor Frankowski)

    And on the waterside, just round the bay, a huge sculpture spells out ‘ALWAYS’, by artist Jacob Nash. It’s a meditation on the fact that Australia’s plentiful land was of course stolen from the aboriginals who lived there before European settlers arrived.

    A huge typography sculpture reads: 'Always'. The art by Jacob Nash reminds us that the land we're stood on was stolen from aboriginals by European settlers
    ‘Always’ by Jacob Nash reminds us that the land we’re stood on was stolen from aboriginals by European settlers (Picture: Victor Frankowski)

    Nick Cave (the American artist, not the Aussie Goth crooner) has a big, bold exhibit at Carriageworks full of furry materials and bling. Though it would have also been nice if the other Nick Cave and maybe some other big music acts came on board like the Festival used to do a few years back.

    Coloured art of all shapes and sizes by American artist Nick Cave hang from the sky
    Technicoloured artwork by the soundsuit man himself, Nick Cave, on display at the Sydney Festival (Picture: Victor Frankowski)

    But Carriageworks does host a show by Neneh Cherry. She says she’s jet-lagged but, during the final song, Buffalo Stance, she gets the audience down to dance right on the stage. It’s a fun ending.

    Neneh Cheery on stage performing at the Sydney Festival
    The incredible Neneh Cherry doing her thang at the Sydney Festival (Picture: Victor Frankowski)

    Sydney Festival is the perfect way to enjoy the city in January and breaks up the always enjoyable beach days at Coogee and brunching in Bondi that are such Sydney staples. With music festivals like Laneway and art ones like Sydney Biennale, Sydney is staking its claim to be a festival capital. And a cultural one too, with plenty of crisp venues like the MCA for art, Enmore Theatre for Music, and Sydney Theatres for plays.

    Sydney Festival takes place every January.

    Festival goers sit on coloured crates at Sydney Festival
    Always got time for a cold one (Picture: Victor Frankowski)


    Hotel Harry is the perfect little boutique bolthole in Surrey Hills, near the festival site, with loads of historic charm and hipster flourishes – their tacos in the Harpoon Harry Bar are amazing too. Ovolo’s 1888 and Wooloomooloo Hotels bring both style and substance to Sydney’s hotel scene and boast great restaurants (you can also make your own cheese toastie at the 1888 breakfast buffet). The swish Wooloomooloo one is located inside one of Australia’s most historic and biggest industrial buildings

    Inside one of the rooms at the QT Bondi hotel in Sydney - a long room with living room and sleeping area adjacent
    Maxin’ and relaxin’ at the QT Bondi hotel in Sydney (Picture: QT Hotels)

    Hilton has plenty of facilities, big rooms and a handy, central location bang in town by the Town Hall. QT Bondi is a surf’s up salty sea dog slice of sweetness brilliantly bang on Bondi Beach, with a washed-out, 1980s pastel Miami vibe that soothes the heart. And, best of all, there’s a kitchen to cook in and a washing machine to clean your togs after those sea dips. There’s also a QT Sydney in the centre of the city with a cool theatre theme.

    Along the coast in the cute suburb of Coogee, the refurbished, handsome Adina makes you feel like you’ve rented your own sweet apartment by the surf, with lots of facilities and a location near the bars and beach.

    Stevie Nicks, Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber are just some of the celebs who have stayed at Sydney’s Sheraton Grand. This palatial place is bang on Hyde Park in the chi-chi-est part of Sydney’s Central Business District, and has Sydney’s best-appointed hotel lounge on the top floor, with free fizz and a generous buffet every evening.

    The Crowne Plaza is right on the beach in Coogee and ideal for surf bums and sunseekers. Or, in the middle of Sydney, the Fullerton Grand is a luxury choice occupying some of the old General Post Office from the 1800s. Look out for Sydney’s hottest new hotels: Voco and W, both coming soon.



    Fly with Qantas on the London-Sydney QF1 A380 route. Qantas’ lounges in Heathrow and Sydney are the perfect place to relax if you choose to fly in business class. The plane takes a refuelling rest in Singapore and, from Singapore, it’s an easy visit to anywhere in South East Asia for a few days. Returns from London to Sydney with Qantas start from £640.

    An aboriginal child stands, dressed in black top and shorts, with white paint on her arms and face at night at the Sydney Festival
    All eyes on me at the Sydney Festival (Picture: Victor Frankowski)

    While in Singapore, try a night exploring the restaurant scene and colonial buildings and its F1 night racing circuit. Stay at the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Singapore.

    Then hit Bangkok for sizzling street food and awesome architecture (and why not re-enact the hangover in its shady bars and 24/7 nightlife districts if you fancy). Stay at the cool Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road, which has a knockout rooftop pool and radio-themed interiors.

    Yangon (formerly Rangoon) is the fascinating capital of Myanmar (formerly Burma) where you can follow in the footsteps of George Orwell, who spent years here and wrote books about colonial life set here. Orwell (and Noel Coward) hung out at the Strand, which is just as luxurious today, with a brand new pool and delicious local food.

    And, finally, hop over to Manila on Philippine Airlines, the full throttle capital of the Philippines, where you can discover culture, Jeepneys, the historic architecture of Intramuros, and the brutalist behemoth of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, with its 70s interiors. Stay at the clean and good-value Red Planet Manila Bay, right by the US embassy or the luxurious Hilton by the airport and the Resorts World Casino, whose huge pool hosts Vegas-style day parties on the regular.

    For more information visit uk.sydney.com. Airport transfers in Sydney, Manila and Bangkok were with Blacklane.

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    Rebecca Lockwood on the sofa with her two daughters, Eva and renae
    Rebecca Lockwood experienced PND after the birth of her first daughter Eva but it took her a year to tell anyone about it (Picture: Rebecca Lockwood)

    I was so excited when I was planning the arrival of my first child. But when my baby arrived, the contrast to how I felt before and after the birth was stark.

    I began to feel hopeless and would cry uncontrollably.

    I was suffering with postnatal depression (PND), but I didn’t even recognise the problem was with me – I just tried to pretend it wasn’t real.

    Before the birth, I had been a little apprehensive as I was aware I had some mindset issues – not that I even really knew what ‘mindset issues’ were at the time.

    I went to see the doctor during my pregnancy as I was slightly worried that it may get worse when my baby arrived. I didn’t mention this to my fiancé, as I didn’t really know what to say to him. I just knew speaking to a doctor before anything happened was important.

    The doctor told me I had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – repetitive thoughts you don’t want to think. In my case, the thoughts were about self-harm, although I have never actually self-harmed or understood why the thoughts were there.

    At the time, she told me that OCD stays with you for life, but that’s not true. That was five years ago, and the thoughts did go, completely, when I stumbled across Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and hypnotherapy.

    I began to write a private blog, thinking that writing my thoughts and feelings down may help me. It really did, I had no idea back then about journaling and only a little knowledge about personal development.

    Blog Entry Nov 2014:

    ‘As I lay with my head placed upon [my husband’s] chest I feel at peace. I can hear the slow movement of the 8am Sunday cars passing by outside. The clock ticking. The silence of the still house.

    His chest swaying as it rises and falls and the thumping of his beating heart. I can feel his breath falling on to my face.

    If I think carefully enough I can hear how quiet it must be for my unborn baby, hidden inside me. I never want to move from where I am right now. I am in love, like I have never been before & it’s not yet arrived.

    Everyone seems to think if they haven’t heard from me for a few hours then there’s going to be a baby…now I know I haven’t had one before, but I am sure that it’s going to take a hell of a lot longer than a few hours. 

    I keep getting pains & thinking that it might be it, I might just be really lucky and be one of those blessed women who has ‘the perfect experience’ ppffttt…piss off..yeh right! 

    Well, we will soon find out!’

    Rebecca Lockwood with her eldest daughter, Eva, as a baby
    Rebecca would cry uncontrollably and experience feelings of hopelessness and confusion (Picture: Rebecca Lockwood)

    After the baby arrived and the signs of PND started to emerge, I was so unwell.

    The first sign was the uncontrollable crying. I remember one day I was just ugly-sobbing on the kitchen floor and I just felt like I didn’t want to be here.

    That then made me feel even worse because I felt guilty for not feeling the love and appreciation for the gift of having a baby. I just couldn’t see clearly, everything seemed so dark and foggy.

    Blog Entry Sep 2015:

    ‘Life feels so surreal and like it is going so fast that it scares me.

    Every day I feel like I could take it away myself, is this depression? What is depression, or the baby blues, as it’s called. I feel as though this feeling has been going on before my baby, so is it postnatal depression or is this something deeper? I feel confused that everything is so perfect and I am so happy, but then I can feel this underlying frustration and anger from somewhere deep within. It has taken a long time, actually years for me to admit to myself I have a problem. I feel as though admitting it to myself out loud has already helped, and now I know I need to see someone. 

    I still don’t understand how anyone could make it go away but we need to acknowledge this face on. Take grasp and throw it away.’

    My husband is amazing, but he is not the most affectionate type. Bless him, he had no idea what to do at the birth, while I would have sworn I had been taken over by the exorcist.

    Rebecca Lockwood with her husband on their wedding day
    Rebecca’s husband didn’t know what to do and Rebecca couldn’t bring herself to tell him what she was going through (Picture: Rebecca Lockwood)

    Through a traumatic birth and an emergency C-section not only was I in severe pain from trying to have my baby unsuccessfully the natural way, I had to endure a huge operation and then care for my baby.

    We weren’t married at the time and my now-husband, then my fiancé was sent home that same night, as dads often are. So I was the one who had to step up and deal with this new mum-ing thing.

    Going through the crazy thoughts and feelings I was going through, I really should have opened up to him, but I just couldn’t. How could I say out loud that I needed help.

    Blog Entry Sep 2015:

    ‘I just tried to tell him how I feel, I sat down beside him and couldn’t help but cry, I told him I feel sick, I had my head in my hands and was about to tell him the truth, tell him that I think about hurting myself daily when the baby began to cry and he disappeared off upstairs. He still hasn’t returned half an hour later. I don’t understand how much more I can do to tell him without screaming it at him that I need help. 

    I’m past it now, I just can’t say it”

    I think back to it now and it’s horrifying what we have to deal with as women in order to bring new life into the world. Being expected to become a mum overnight, yet remain the person we were before and go back to work.

    We should seriously give ourselves more credit and be proud of ourselves. But, instead, I found myself being frustrated I couldn’t walk, swearing at myself in my head because I couldn’t birth my baby properly, and then being even nastier to myself because I felt guilty that I had all of these weird emotions going on that are completely normal for a new mum. As a society we need to open up more about these situations.

    Blog Entry Oct 2015:

    ‘Since having my baby I’ve really struggled with my thoughts. I struggled with them before anyway, but even more so after my beautiful baby. I don’t understand why I would think the way I do. I am so anxious and tense. 

    I will feel like I am on top of the world, she is amazing, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Everything will be going swimmingly, I will be organised, I will be doing work. I will have lots to do and my baby is superb. And BAM! – it will creep into my mind like a burglar in the night. This is hard to say and to have to read, but a lot of this blog will be.

    I think about hurting myself. On a daily basis. It will smack me in the face whilst I’m singing along to my favourite songs. It will peer into my unwanted memories when I’m least expecting it. It’s like a monster, a monster that comes out of the dark and leaves me gasping for air… And what’s going on here isn’t even the worst of my memories, of my feelings and thoughts.’

    My husband did everything he could to be there for me, but he didn’t know how to deal with my uncontrollable crying, and he’s not the hugging type.

    Not having the affection I thought I needed ignited even more uncontrollable thoughts, as well as feelings of being ugly and unattractive. ‘Now I am fat and will forever have a belly lip from my c-section scar and covered in stretch marks.’

    You can see where I was going with this.

    Rebecca stands in a black top and jeans, pregnant with her second daughter. Her first daughter, Eva, stands by her
    Rebecca pregnant with her second daughter, Renae, stood with their 3-year-old daughter Eva (Picture: Rebecca Lockwood)

    Thinking back to it now, I know that it’s complete nonsense. I am so proud of my mummy belly and who I have become but, back then, inside my mind, I was my own worst enemy and I was awful towards myself, which I’m sure partly led to the PND. My husband was doing the best he could for me, he just didn’t know how else to react.

    Blog Entry Oct 2015:

    ‘I feel as though I am being dramatic and attention-seeking so I don’t want to tell anyone but I just can’t help it. I don’t know what to do to make it go away. To make myself feel better. I just want to not be here anymore. I feel as though I am being selfish. But I just can’t help it.’

    My family came round after we got home from the hospital and they all commented on how clean the house was, and how amazing I was doing to be on top of everything. What they didn’t know was how I was really feeling inside. I didn’t even really understand how I was feeling inside. The only thing I knew was that I couldn’t stop crying, I had no idea what was going on half the time due to the medication from the surgery, and I was exhausted.

    The medication also gave me night terrors. I remember, once, waking up above my daughter’s moses basket, which was next to our bed, and being terrified. I couldn’t move.

    This happened several times in the first few weeks. I would wake up but not be able to move – feeling as though I was scratching at my eyes to be able to see but not being able to do anything, move or speak. I knew then that I had to get off the medication I was on ASAP and, even though I went to the doctor and was given new medication for the pain, I still didn’t open up about my feelings of hopelessness and confusion.

    It’s so  important to know how to recognise this in yourself and to seek support and help. Even if it’s just talking to someone, picking up the phone and just saying out loud how you feel.

    Remember that the feelings are temporary, and they will go away.

    After almost a full year in silence, I finally accepted help from the doctors and was prescribed antidepressants and referred for counselling and psychotherapy.

    I can’t remember what finally made me accept the help, I just came to a time where I knew it was what I needed. I made an appointment with my doctor and I just blurted out how bad I was feeling.

    Blog Entry March 2016:

    ‘My doctor has increased my antidepressant medication and referred me for counselling. The counselling department called and said they need to assess whether I need a counsellor or a psychologist. I’m not sure what the difference is to be honest. I don’t really want to see either, I just want to forget about my thoughts and go to sleep.

    I’ve been working hard on my mindset to keep myself on track but it is so hard. I listen to a lot of Les Brown and Tony Robbins, I read a lot of self-help mindset growth books and I tell myself every day is going to be a good day. It just feels like it’s hitting deaf ears at the moment and I just feel like I can’t be bothered. I feel tired of life and my thoughts.’

    It’s crazy to think about it now but it was through the suffering in silence and attempting to help myself with personal development that I was able to discover the path I am on now.

    I had been listening to Tony Robbins Unlimited Power on repeat almost every day for that full year when one day I heard him say, ‘NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming’. In that moment I knew I needed to go and study NLP.  I had been listening to the CD on repeat for a full year and had never heard him say NLP before.

    Learning all about how I could change the way I was thinking, change the representation of anything I wanted to in my mind fascinated me.

    I worked on my mindset, limiting beliefs and anxiety and began to see a huge transformation in my life. It was all inside, everything I ever needed was just inside of me the whole time, I just never knew it.

    After studying NLP, I felt an almost instant shift. My PND, my negative experiences of the past, washed over me and I created a whole new meaning to my life.

    My future became brighter and full of possibility. I didn’t realise at the time, but I was so negative towards myself and I really was unkind and judgemental about who I was and how I was living my life.

    I learned to release all judgements towards myself and to no longer feel the need to control anything outside of myself. Instead I ask myself ‘What CAN I control here?’ And focused on myself internally.

    Blog Entry Dec 2016:

    ‘When you doubt, when you’re unsure of which way to turn, listen, listen to yourself. Deep inside. You know what to do. 

    I’ve realised, I don’t need any more money than I’m getting from the day job.

    I have loads of time too, I want to interview inspiring people, get sponsors from businesses that make a difference and donate the money to a good cause. 

    – Helping young girls when leaving school

    -Helping young girls at school with vulnerability 

    – Helping parents with depression / anxiety / baby blues 

    I just don’t want anyone to have to go through what I’ve gone through. No one needs this haunting them for life.

    Whether it’s helping them forgive and forget, or not steer in the wrong direction in the first place. 

    I want to make a difference. 

    You know what, I’ve had a pretty difficult life. But that’s ok.

    Ask yourself: What defines you? 

    You are the one who decides who you are.

    When you hear that voice inside your head that says: “You never finished your dancing exams.” “You never finished college.” “You didn’t go to university.'” “You got kicked out of school before your exams and failed miserably.” “You’re not capable of this, who the hell do you think you are?” “You have no qualifications.”

    Just remember, that was then and this is now. 

    We all feel vulnerable, remember when you’re feeling this way, you’re not the only one.’

    Rebecca Lockwood pregnant with her second daughter, Renae
    Rebecca now lives her life by her mantra: ‘Change your mind, Change your life’ (Picture: Rebecca Lockwood)

    I have studied NLP to the highest level and now I run my own NLP training business, supporting other individuals to live a more empowered life and become the best possible version of themselves regardless of their past, traumas or experiences. ‘Change your mind, Change your life’ is now my mantra.

    Life is for living – it’s normal for me to get up in the morning with my children and be covered in banana and snot by 7am and that’s ok. In fact, I am grateful for it.

    In the darkest times, in the moments that feel like the worse times of your life, NLP can help you allow them to empower you., to give negative experiences new meaning and allow you to learn from them as much as you can in a way that is positive.

    The idea after NLP sessions is that you should be able to empower yourself by knowing you are in control of your life, your actions and your emotions so you can just show up as the best possible version of you.

    As I learned, you can change your mind, which will change your life

    Rebecca is an award-winning NLP Master Coach & Trainer, speaker, #1 bestselling author and the founder of The Female Entrepreneurs Network. Find out more: rebeccalockwood.org.uk

    I cured my postnatal depression with NLPI cured my postnatal depression with NLP

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    Woman in sports jersey taking a picture
    That could be you (Picture: Getty/BetVictor)

    Does your dream job include travel, sunshine, Instagram, and of course, money?

    If that sounds like a bit of you and you’re a football fan, you could be paid to document the Women’s World Cup in France.

    It’s the ultimate summer job as BetVictor is looking for someone to Instagram the tournament and is paying £500 to do so.

    All that you’re required to do as part of the job – which includes a paid trip to Lyon – is Instagram the final on the 7th July.

    And the requirements to apply are pretty straightforward too, all you need is a selfie or decent pic of a live match.

    Football lovers should have no problem in that department.

    Sounds pretty sweet eh?

    Christen Press of the USA takes a free kick during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group F match between USA and Chile
    BetVictor is looking for someone to document the World Cup final in Lyon (Picture: Getty Images Europe)

    ‘Being part of the biggest sporting event this summer, you’ll be able to explore the beauty of one of the most historic cities in France and experience a World Cup atmosphere like no other,’ BetVictor wrote on the job advert.

    They’ve advertised the role as ‘Dream Summer Job: BetVictor’s Official Instagrammer’ and will be paying for your travel and accommodation.

    To take part in the photo competition, you’ll need to select your best picture uploaded to your Instagram account (taken by you) while at a football game this season (2018/19).

    Then just repost the picture on either Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, tagging @betvictor, along with the hashtag #SendMe2Lyon.

    But there is an age limit as entrants must be 25 and over. And there is a limit of one entry per person.

    The promotion is running from the 12th June, 9 pm on Thursday the 27th June.

    The winner will be announced on the 1 of July on BetVictor’s social media accounts using the winners handle. More information can be found here.

    Good luck.

    MORE: Get paid £200 a week to travel the world – but Instagrammers have to choose what you do

    MORE: Fancy getting paid £2,000 to review pubs around the UK?

    MORE: You can get paid £1,000 a week to review yachts

    Get Paid ?500 To Instagram The Biggest Event In Women?s FootballGet Paid ?500 To Instagram The Biggest Event In Women?s Football

    0 0

    The idea of ‘divide and conquer’ harks back thousands of years.

    Whether it is by gender, class, wealth or race, humans love walling themselves into distinct categories then using those categories to create hierarchies.

    In the case of race, this hierarchical distinction ended up with slavery, countless programmes of ethnic cleansing and the retention of ‘othering’ based on the colour of skin even to the present day.

    But what happens if we take away these racial categories that divide us into subgroups?

    If, instead of defining as black, white, Asian or any other singular category, we defined ourselves as a little bit of everything, would it herald the dawn of a more accepting, ‘post-racial’ age?

    And would that mean racism would end?

    The mixed-race population is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the UK with 2.2% of the population now identifying as having mixed heritage, up from 1.2% in 2001.

    International migration is increasing at between 1% and 2% every year, and over 240 million people are living in a country different from where they were born.

    The latest projections suggest that by 2050, up to 30% of the UK population will be from ethnic minorities and the number of people who identify as mixed-race in the UK could rise to 4.2%.

    Global travel has never been more accessible and improving tolerance has allowed for the relative normalisation of interracial, heterosexual marriage – in this country at least.

    One in five younger people in the UK say that they disapprove of mixed-race marriages compared to one in four aged 55 and over – according to a study conducted by anti-racist organisation People In Harmony.

    But will multiraciality really be the end of racism in the future?

    To answer that we need to understand where racism comes from.

    Scientists generally agree that the concept of race is not grounded in biology or genetics but relies on cultural ideology rather than science.

    But that doesn’t mean that race doesn’t exist.

    How to talk to a woman you don't know
    Will multiraciality really be the antithesis of racism in the future? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    The impact is still very real, with racist laws still in place in some countries.

    It becomes all the stranger when geneticists argue that all non-Africans descend from a few thousand homo-sapiens who left Africa around 60,000 years ago (though the exact date is now disputed).

    But if racism is a man-made social structure, does that mean that man can also destroy it?

    Before we can think about the future of racism, we have to deep dive into the past.

    ‘The origins of racism are rooted in colonialism so we are going back to the 15th century,’ Prof Peter Wade, professor of social anthropology at the University Of Manchester, tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Prior to that, there were already lots of ideas about blood in the sense of ancestry.

    ‘In the 14th century, people in Spain and Portugal who had Jewish or Muslim ancestry were discriminated against, legally.

    ‘They were then transmitted to the New World when the Spanish and the Portuguese travelled there and began to take on ideas about the inferiority of black, African blood and indigenous blood too.

    ‘The transatlantic slave trade, the conquering of Indigenous peoples, the genocide of Indigenous peoples and so on, exacerbated those kinds of beliefs.’

    But how has a set of ideologies formed seven centuries ago endured until today? Prof Wade says that the concept of racism isn’t rigid.

    ‘Racism as an ideology or the set of structures that create racialised inequality change all the time,’ he says.

    ‘Now that colonialism no longer exists and the transatlantic slave trade doesn’t exist, nevertheless, racism is able to adapt to different kinds of economic and political scenarios.’

    This slippery adaptability is the tricky thing about racism and makes it hard to predict when or how it could ever be eradicated in the future.

    It has shifted many times before.

    The Irish and the Italians were once groups seen as distinct from white people but, as they sought to distance themselves from black people, they were ultimately accepted as white.

    In the US, the perceived threat of becoming a majority non-white nation coincides with a rise in hate crimes for three consecutive years.

    The goal posts are always moving in favour of whoever holds the most power at that particular moment in history.

    And studies have shown that this fear of a loss of power is causing white Americans to develop ‘negative attitudes’ towards people of other races.

    Progressive campaigners are looking for an end to hate crimes and racial definitions.

    Removing binary racial categorisations is ambitious but, if that happens, will another arbitrary ranking system just take its place?

    The idealised view from supporters of a truly mixed-race future is a population where everyone is mixed to a similar degree, removing the need or desire for racial hierarchies.

    There are parts of the world where this ‘mixing’ has happened already.

    ‘The unequivocal lesson from Latin America is that even when everyone is mixed, racism doesn’t go away,’ explains Prof Wade, who has written books on race in Latin America.

    ‘In Latin American societies, mixture has been going on for 500 years. A majority of people in these societies would recognise themselves as mixed.

    ‘Nevertheless, we still see very clear racism, simply because some people see themselves as, and are, more European and less black or indigenous than others. Not everybody is equally mixed.

    ‘In a theoretical future scenario where everyone is mixed to the same extent, and we were all the same shade of brown – racism might still exist, but it would take a very different form.’

    Even if everyone is mixed, human beings will never look exactly the same.

    Prof Wade says even the most minuscule differences are enough to generate racial categorisations.

    ‘Human beings are incredibly attentive to fine degrees of difference,’ he says.

    ‘We are always going to be ready to attribute significance to those differences and to make hierarchical distinctions, so that some people can claim superiority based on exactly what they look like, in terms of familiar aspects like skin colour, hair type or nose shape.’

    Interracial families and mixed-race children are frequently held up as bastions of a liberal, progressive future, but the reality is that mixed-race societies can also uphold racism.

    Outside of Latin America, there aren’t many – if any – countries that claim to have a mixed-race majority population, but some Caribbean countries have a large proportion of mixed inhabitants.

    Nearly a quarter (24.2%) of the population of Trinidad and Tobago identify as mixed.

    But, like in Cuba, Brazil and the Dominican Republic, racism still persists in these countries.

    There are high levels of anti-black racism and state violence in Trinidad and Tobago today.

    Despite the evidence against it, the promise of a mixed, ‘post-racial’ future is still alluring for many.

    Lise Funderburg, author of Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk About Race and Identity, thinks ‘an opportunity’ to end racism can be found with multi-racial individuals were

    ‘If we can’t slot people into familiar categories, perhaps we’ll be forced to reconsider existing definitions of race and identity, presumptions about who is us and who is them,’ she wrote in National Geographic

    ‘Perhaps we’ll all end up less parsimonious about who we feel connected to.’

    The implication is that the very presence of mixed-race people can somehow aid conflict resolution and reduce society’s need to compete, dominate and divide.

    Why we should care about children?s mental wellbeing - and what we can do to help (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk) Metro Illustration Illustrations
    ‘The idea that a growing mixed-race population will offer some kind of cure for racism is highly idealistic’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    There is in fact evidence that supports the possible social benefits that mixed-race populations can help to achieve.

    Research found that white people are more open to discussing race-related issues after exposure to a mixed-race person.

    But can these ‘qualities’ really help to eradicate racism in the future? Or is that a dangerous rhetoric?

    Academics think the idea that we ‘won’t see colour’ if everyone in the future is a similar shade of brown, is far too simplistic – that it ignores the causes and implications of racism that run so much deeper than skin tone.

    ‘I think the idea that a growing mixed-race population will offer some kind of cure for racism is highly idealistic and even dangerous,’ explains Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury, sociology professor at Manchester University.

    ‘Such ideas belie the deep-rooted nature of racism, and run counter to the historical and contemporary lived experiences of mixed-race people.

    ‘The desire to romanticise mixed-race people as a solution to society’s racial ills is not reflective of reality. It is only reflective of the kind of stories that society would like to believe about itself.

    ‘To bring an end to racism, society would really need to grapple with its past and to consider how its institutions systematically disadvantage racially minoritised communities.

    ‘This is a far greater task than merely celebrating Meghan Markle.’

    Dr Joseph-Salisbury thinks that the superficial idolisation of mixed-race people could also have damaging consequences for other minority groups.

    ‘Whilst compliments on our hair and skin-tone might appear benign, they are tied to a wider system of anti-blackness that pathologises those with darker skin-tones and tighter hair,’ he says.

    ‘Put more simply, if we have the good hair, by implication, who has the bad hair?’

    A lot of hopes are being pinned on mixed-race communities. Is it fair or even remotely realistic to ask interracial families to carry the burden of racial resolution?

    The best of Mixed Up

    Being mixed-race is so much more than just black and white (Pictures: Jerry Syder)

    Mixed Up is our weekly series that gets to the heart of what it means to be mixed-race in the UK today.

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘Racism made me feel sub-human. I used to pretend to be anything but black’

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

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I was adopted by two black parents – they made me who I am today’

    The increased visibility of the mixed-race population may have the potential to ‘positively shift racial attitudes’ but, as study author Duke University psychologist Sarah E. Gaither has said, ‘trying to ignore race effectively means trying to ignore racism, which lets the current racial inequities continue’.

    If that’s the case, more beige babies won’t mean less racism.

    Experts think that in order for us to move forward, we need an honest, rigorous dissection of our past, and a reevaluation of the social systems in place today that still actively oppress millions of minorities.

    ‘One school of thought says that capitalist society, and also liberalism, liberal democracy, is inherently a society that depends on inequality,’ Prof Wade says.

    ‘In its very constitution, inequality is rooted in there.

    ‘If you have a capitalist society then you’re always going to have inequality, and racism feeds on that.

    ‘And in that scenario, if you want to get rid of racism – and sexism and patriarchy – then you have to overturn capitalism and have a completely different kind of society.’

    Clearly, this is a big ask.

    And what of humanity’s ever-present need to divide and separate itself?

    Separating out all the issues into right and wrong will never be a case of black and white.

    The Future Of Everything

    Future Of Everything

    This piece is part of Metro.co.uk's series The Future Of Everything.

    From OBEs to CEOs, professors to futurologists, economists to social theorists, politicians to multi-award winning academics, we think we've got the future covered, away from the doom mongering or easy Minority Report references.

    Every weekday, we're explaining what's likely (or not likely) to happen.

    Talk to us using the hashtag #futureofeverything  If you think you can predict the future better than we can or you think there's something we should cover we might have missed, get in touch: hey@metro.co.uk or Alex.Hudson@metro.co.uk

    Read every Future Of Everything story so far

    TFOE: Will mixed-race people 'cure' racism in the future?TFOE: Will mixed-race people 'cure' racism in the future?

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    Exercise is hard. And this particular kitty has absolutely no time for it.

    Laila’s owner has been desperately attempting to get her to do some exercise. The cat is now so fat that she needs to use doggy stairs to get up to the bed.

    But – as owner Lee Ferinden, who’s from Florida, caught in this hilarious video – Laila is less than keen.

    When Lee attempted to get Laila to walk on the treadmill to shed a couple of pounds, the kitty flopped dramatically like a sack of potatoes.

    As Lee tried to pick Laila up by her flanks and bring her up on her paws, the gigantic feline fell on her back and pretended to be dead.

    We get it Laila. No one likes the treadmill.

    Pic by Caters News - (Pictured: Laila with doggy stairs to help her get out of bed.) - A fat cat dramatically rolled onto her back and played dead while her owner was trying to get her to walk on the treadmill to shift some pounds. Fat girl Laila, four, laid on the machine like a sack of potatoes when owner Lee Ferinden, from Gainesville, Florida, pushed to do her daily exercise last week, June 11. As Lee, 41, attempted to pick up Laila by her chunky flanks and bring her up on her paws, the gigantic feline fell on her back and pretended to be dead.SEE CATERS COPY
    Exercise? I thought you said extra fries (Picture: Caters News)

    Try as Lee might, Laila just wouldn’t budge, and all Lee could do was stroke her belly as she laid still with her paws up in the air.

    ‘Laila was a normal-sized kitten until after we moved here to Gainesville and she was spayed,’ explains Lee.

    ‘She started gaining weight rapidly and stopped jumping on things.

    Pic by Caters News - (Pictured: Fat Laila) - A fat cat dramatically rolled onto her back and played dead while her owner was trying to get her to walk on the treadmill to shift some pounds. Fat girl Laila, four, laid on the machine like a sack of potatoes when owner Lee Ferinden, from Gainesville, Florida, pushed to do her daily exercise last week, June 11. As Lee, 41, attempted to pick up Laila by her chunky flanks and bring her up on her paws, the gigantic feline fell on her back and pretended to be dead.SEE CATERS COPY
    Laila goes to fat camp every week (Picture: Caters News)

    ‘More than a year full of vet trips and tests, we were struggling to figure out how she could be gaining a pound a month on a strict diet.

    ‘We have had every test you can think of and nothing is medically wrong with her.’

    Obesity in cats can be a really serious problem, and Lee was pretty concerned about her beloved pet. After ruling out any underlying health conditions, Lee knew what had to be done.

    ‘Finally we began exercising her, she’s on a strict diet and walks with her dad once a day,’ says Lee.

    ‘She also goes to Fat Camp on Wednesdays at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine.’

    Laila is clearly trying her best. But the treadmill was just one step too far.

    MORE: Football fans, you could be paid to travel to France and Instagram the Women’s World Cup

    MORE: The best smart gym bags that you can also use for work

    MORE: Greggs adds some spice to its menu with the new Cajun Bake

    PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Footage showing Laila on the treadmill in Florida. VID TAKEN ON 11/06/19) - A fat cat dramatically rolled onto her back and played dead while her owner was trying to get her to walk on the treadmill to shift some pounds. Fat girl Laila, four, laid on the machine like a sack of potatoes when owner Lee Ferinden, from Gainesville, Florida, pushed to do her daily exercise last week, June 11. As Lee, 41, attempted to pick up Laila by her chunky flanks and bring her up on her paws, the gigantic feline fell on her back and pretended to be dead.SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Footage showing Laila on the treadmill in Florida. VID TAKEN ON 11/06/19) - A fat cat dramatically rolled onto her back and played dead while her owner was trying to get her to walk on the treadmill to shift some pounds. Fat girl Laila, four, laid on the machine like a sack of potatoes when owner Lee Ferinden, from Gainesville, Florida, pushed to do her daily exercise last week, June 11. As Lee, 41, attempted to pick up Laila by her chunky flanks and bring her up on her paws, the gigantic feline fell on her back and pretended to be dead.SEE CATERS COPY

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    **ILLUSTRATION REQUEST**The long-term physical consequences of being sexually harassed (Kate Leaver)
    Why hasn’t the impact of #MeToo affected what happens in clubs? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Last weekend, my sister and I were relentlessly followed and harassed in a London nightclub – to the point where the only solution was to leave early.

    What angered me more than the fact our otherwise fun and hilarious night out had been tainted, was this has been happening since I started clubbing when I was 17.

    13 years later, I feel more confident, more assured and more powerful than I ever have, and yet I am still being made to feel like that vulnerable teenage girl by leering, intimidating men on nights out – and it is utterly infuriating.

    As we emerge into a new dawn of zero-tolerance in the face of sexual harassment – why are nightclubs and bars still so far behind? Why is it that harassment under the cover of booze-soaked darkness is still accepted as a normal part of a night out?

    A 2017 YouGov poll found that 72% of young people have witnessed sexual harassment in some form during a night in bars, pubs and clubs.

    Worryingly, 79% of women also said they expected inappropriate comments, touching and behaviour when they went out – either to themselves or to their female friends.

    Last year, a study using a specially engineered ‘smart dress’ which used heat sensors to record rough touching, revealed three women were groped 157 times in less than four hours in a nightclub in Brazil.

    The guy last weekend asked for a dance and I politely told him ‘no thank you’ and that I had a boyfriend. After three more polite rebuttals he sent two friends over to ask why we had ‘rejected’ him. One of them grabbed my sister by the arm to shout his demands in her ear.

    Having had many, many similar experiences in the past, I knew the best thing to diffuse the situation was to smile, dance away and try to avoid engaging with them.

    But the night was ruined. I was looking over my shoulder, trying to calm my indignantly furious sister, and I could feel the man’s eyes on me everywhere I went. The final straw was when he pressed a note into my hand – scribbled onto the back of a bar menu.

    Did he carry a pen with him purely for this reason?

    ‘You’re the woman of my dreams,’ the note read. ‘I think you’re acting very aggressively, but I still want to dance with you. Let me buy you a drink.’ Right. I’m the aggressive one.

    I marched directly over to him, thrust his note back at him and told him that if he didn’t leave my sister and I alone I would speak to the bouncers and have him kicked out. He just smirked at me like he knew I didn’t have the energy to follow through with that threat.

    Deflated, my sister and I left and went to get pizza – the universal remedy for an unsatisfactory night out.

    It’s a tediously familiar pattern. Heading home from a club or bar, feeling oddly powerless, confused as to where it went wrong, or how you could have reacted better in that situation.

    illustration of woman with No written on her hand
    79% of women expect inappropriate comments, touching and behaviour when they go out (Picture: Ella Byworth/Metro.co.uk)

    In my more than a decade of clubbing experience I have been groped, harassed and followed more times than I could even begin to count. I have had my skirt lifted up to expose my underwear, I have snapped my head back to pull away from wet, lunging mouths, I have had hands up my skirt, down my bra, unzipping my dress while I’m dancing.

    It can completely ruin your night. The effects are deeper than momentary embarrassment or awkwardness. It’s humiliating, yes, but more than that; it makes women fear for their safety.

    What might feel like a ‘harmless’ smack on the arse could so easily become something more sinister, and women are always attuned to this possibility.

    When we are groped by strange hands in the darkness it reminds us of the basest human hierarchies of power. That we, women, are physically weaker and smaller than men, and that our ability to get home safely is sometimes dependent on a man’s decision not to rape or attack us.

    There are some initiatives to try to tackle this underworld epidemic.

    A student in Edinburgh recently developed a unique wristband that aims to reduce harassment on nights out. The discreet black band can be linked to an app and can send distress signals to friends with a simple tap.

    A double tap of the wristband lights it up, which is meant to alert bar staff to the situation – but having witnessed frazzled bar staff dealing with the midnight rush, I’m skeptical about their capacity to notice this signal.

    While this is a really useful idea in theory, it still requires the onus to be on women to save themselves and each other. And while most of the women I know would be more than willing to throw themselves between any of our friends and a potential harasser – they shouldn’t have to, and it might end up putting more women in danger.

    #AskforAngela is a country-wide police initiative where customers simply ask if ‘Angela’ is working to give staff a discreet signal if they feel unsafe or threatened – which could result in more direct action being taken.

    What would really help is thorough training for bar staff and bouncers to recognise the signs of harassment and act accordingly. When you’re a victim of harassment it can be difficult to find your voice to speak out against what’s happening to you – particularly when that behaviour has been normalised and legitimised over decades.

    We need a wholesale shift in culture.

    The cover of darkness and haze of alcohol grants nightclubs a shroud of anonymity and reduced responsibility – people who would never dream of groping somebody in any other setting are granted the freedom to do so in these environments. They are havens for would-be harassers.

    A zero-tolerance approach to harassment, of any severity, is the only way to stop this cycle in its tracks.

    If today’s 17 year olds see harassers facing consequences for their gropey behaviour it will start to shift what is accepted as normal on a night out. Just as the impact of the #MeToo movement is changing the culture of harassment and abuse of power in the workplace.

    Of course, not every man in a club becomes a threatening, leery creep after two bottles of beer.

    On the same night as the first man’s harassment another man asked for my number. On hearing I had a boyfriend he said, ‘that’s absolutely fine, have a great night,’ smiled and walked away.

    But although his calm, respectful response was refreshing, it’s notable that it’s the mention of a ‘boyfriend’ that often gets men to back off. As though that’s a more valid reason to leave a woman alone than a simple refusal.

    When a woman says ‘no’, it means ‘no’  – even if she’s single, and even if it’s 2 am and everyone’s drunk.

    MORE: Women share stories of harassment in support for lesbian couple attacked on bus

    MORE: 1 in 5 girls worry about sexual harassment every single day

    **ILLUSTRATION REQUEST**The long-term physical consequences of being sexually harassed (Kate Leaver)**ILLUSTRATION REQUEST**The long-term physical consequences of being sexually harassed (Kate Leaver)

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    The Ordinary's Salicylic Acid Mask is here - and it's only £9.90
    (Picture: The Ordinary)

    The Ordinary has finally launched their first-ever face mask.

    Yep, Deciem’s most iconic brand, famed for being one of the most high quality and affordable skin care brands out there, has released The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque – perfect for acne-prone skin and helping to battle unwelcome breakouts.

    And best yet, the salicylic acid mask costs just £9.90, making it as budget friendly as the rest of the skincare line.


    The cleansing mask has been formulated with blemish-prone skin types in mind, as the cult-brand claims the mask ‘targets lackluster tone and textural irregularities with the aim of enhancing the appearance of smoothness and clarity, leaving the skin feeling refreshed after use.’

    And as always, The Ordinary has shared every single detail any skincare fanatic would want to know about the mask on their site, including the fact the mask has a pH level between 3.5 and 4.5, and that the formula is vegan and made without alcohol, oil and silicone.

    But, most importantly, the mask has been formulated with 2% of salicylic acid.

    This powerful beta hydroxy acid (BHA) is ideal for blackheads, spots and breakouts, as it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and dissolves dead and dry skin cells to reveal brighter and smoother skin.


    It also includes two mask-friendly ingredients you’ve probably tried before (vegetable) charcoal and (Amazonian) clay, as they ‘possess deep cleansing abilities due to their porosity and large surface area available for adsorption.

    ‘This contributes to the removal of facial impurities that would otherwise remain on the skin surface and clog pores.’

    The formula is further supported by squalane, a naturally occurring agent that creates a barrier over the skin and prevents water loss from the surface.

    To use, the brand recommends you ‘apply a small amount evenly across a clean, dry face using fingertips, avoiding the eye area. Leave on for no more than 10 minutes for maximum benefits of exfoliation. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.’

    If you’re looking for an affordable and effective mask, this The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque may just be what you’ve been looking for – and for the fraction of the price of some of the other luxury options on the market.

    MORE: Glossier's new Brow Flick pen is the perfect partner for Boy Brow

    MORE: These are the best reusable makeup remover pads according to Amazon shoppers

    The Ordinary's Salicylic Acid Mask is here - and it's only £12The Ordinary's Salicylic Acid Mask is here - and it's only £12

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    Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 Collection shades,names and release date revealed
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    Prepare to fall head over heels for Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 collection.

    The 11 never-before-seen shades and names, have finally been revealed, along with the inspiration and release date, after Charlotte Tilbury left us clamouring for the announcement after multiple teasers on Instagram.

    The Hot Lips 2 range features a whopping 11 beautiful and brand new Charlotte Tilbury lipstick shades that are named after iconic men and women that inspire Tilbury, including Jennifer Aniston, Edward Enninful and your favourite fantasy novelist and Harry Potter creator, J.K. Rowling.

    Yep, you read that right. And you’ll be able to cast your magic spell on the world and shop the brand new slew of lipsticks from tomorrow, Wednesday 20th June.

    On the creation of the new K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in JK Magic (which FYI is aptly housed in magical shooting star packaging) Tilbury said: ‘I have always had a magical connection with J.K. Rowling, she is an inspirational icon to me.’



    ‘I have often used Bitch Perfect and Pillow Talk on her, and so I wanted to create a soft, flattering pink-kissed-with-nude that was a magic peaches and cream sister to these two!’

    ‘This shade compliments her flawless complexion and beautiful, piercing blue eyes. It looks great worn as a blush on the cheeks for a fresh, pretty pop of colour. This shade will add magic to your every look.’ she continued.

    Hot Lips 2 features both Tilbury’s Matte Revolution and K.I.S.S.I.N.G formulas, just like the now award winning original Hot Lips collection.

    Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips 2 collection

    Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 collection shade names and release date revealed
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    Matte Revolution in Amazing Amal: an elegant soft, berry pink

    Inspiration: Amal Clooney

    Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 collection shade names and release date revealed
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    Matte Revolution in Viva La Vergara: a soft-wine shade

    Inspiration: Sofia Vergara

    Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 collection shade names and release date revealed
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    K.I.S.S.I.N.G in Dancefloor Princess: a cool, ’60s, pop pink

    Inspiration: Kylie Minogue

    Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 collection shade names and release date revealed
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    Matte Revolution in Red Hot Susan: a wearable, accessible tawny-orange red

    Inspiration: Susan Sarandon

    Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 collection shade names and release date revealed
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    Matte Revolution in Carina’s Star: a modern peach soft coral

    Inspiration: Carina Lau

    Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 collection shade names and release date revealed
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    K.I.S.S.I.N.G in Glowing Jen: a tawny beachy rose

    Inspiration: Jennifer Aniston

    Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 collection shade names and release date revealed
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    K.I.S.S.I.N.G in JK Magic: a peachy nude-rose

    Inspiration: J.K. Rowling

    Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 collection shade names and release date revealed
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    K.I.S.S.I.N.G in Angel Alessandra: a sunset, peachy nude

    Inspiration: Alessandra Ambrosio

    Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 collection shade names and release date revealed
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    Matte Revolution in Patsy Red: an iconic, statement red

    Inspiration: Patsy Tilbury

    Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 collection shade names and release date revealed
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    K.I.S.S.I.N.G in In love with Olivia: pretty in pink, a luscious lip look!

    Inspiration: Olivia Palermo

    Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips 2 collection shade names and release date revealed
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    Enigmatic Edward: a new hydrating clear lipstick

    Inspiration: Edward Enninful

    Another notable addition includes Tilbury’s first-ever male inspired product Enigmatic Edward a new hydrating clear lipstick, inspired by no other than Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue magazine Edward Enninful, Tilbury said: ‘He is such an iconic inspiration and I’ve always adored the shape of his lips; photographers are obsessed with them.

    ‘So, I knew I had to create the best, most moisturising formula.’

    And that’s not all. For the first time ever, the new collection will be available in refillable cases and better still, improve the lives of women all over the world, as Charlotte has pledged a whopping £1 million from the sales of this year’s edition to the Women for Women International charity.

    So this is one purchase you can feel pretty good about.

    If you’re eager to add a bullet to your collection, the new shades will be up for grabs on the brand’s site charlottetilbury.com from tomorrow 20th June for £28 each — and it’s safe to guess the initial stock is set to go fast.

    MORE: Glossier's new Brow Flick pen is the perfect partner for Boy Brow

    MORE: Please don’t use papaya or any of these other home remedies as contraception

    Charlotte Tilbury?s Hot Lips 2 Collection shades and names revealedCharlotte Tilbury?s Hot Lips 2 Collection shades and names revealed

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    Harry and Lauren what I rent in Lincoln
    Harry and Lauren rent a two-bedroom flat in Lincoln (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)

    In our continued efforts to make Londoners weep, What I Rent has ventured outside of the UK’s capital city.

    Don’t be too angry at us. The people working on this series are Londoners too, so we share any pain you feel when you see a couple renting a flat all to themselves for the same price you paid for a box room in a houseshare.

    This week that theme continues as we venture to Lincoln.

    You know the drill. We take you inside someone’s rented property, show you all the good bits and bad bits, all to find out what people get for what they pay and get a conversation going around the renting market.

    This time we’re hanging out with couple Harry, a 22-year-old software developer, and Lauren, a 23-year-old postgraduate student and part-time sports therapist.

    Harry and Lauren what I rent in Lincoln
    They pay £645 a month… yes, total (Picture: Phil Crow)

    Hey, Harry and Lauren! How much do you pay for this place? 

    We currently pay £695 a month on rent.

    We have to pay quite a lot in electric as we have no gas in the flat, meaning we also have an electric boiler. Our council tax band is also quite low, so the bills come to about £300 a month.

    And what do you get for what you pay?

    We have a living room, kitchen, and two bedrooms – however we’ve converted one of them into a study which works really well for us. There is one bathroom in the property.

    Do you think you have a good deal?

    Our bills can be quite high, especially through the colder months, but we think that what we get is worth so much more than what we pay, so we’re very happy with it.

    There is a private garage that we can park our car in, and this comes at no extra cost to us which really helps as Lincoln parking can be expensive, especially in the central location that we are in.

    Harry and Lauren what I rent in Lincoln
    The couple moved in nine months ago (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)

    How did you find the flat?

    We found it on Rightmove. It took us maybe two to three months of searching before finding it and as soon as we viewed it we knew we had to apply for it.

    It’s been about nine months since we moved in.

    Do you like where you live?

    The area is very central and there are amenities all around us. We’re only a very short walk to the high street, too.

    We both really love where we live. The location is so central to Lincoln, it only takes us thirty seconds to get to the high street, as well as about fifteen minutes to get to both the University and Harry’s work.

    We also have a concierge in the building who is available from Monday to Friday. He’s extremely friendly and gives us any deliveries or post, as well as cleans the outside of our windows periodically.

    As part of this, the flat feels really secure as not only is the concierge often manning the reception, there is a secure entry system.

    The flat has ample space for all our things, and plenty of storage.

    Harry and Lauren what I rent in Lincoln
    They have no plans to buy any time soon, as Lauren is still studying (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)

    We love that it has a large balcony for us to relax on in the summer evenings.

    It’s also incredibly easy to visit our families due to the proximity of the main roads.

    We love our bathroom, especially the size of our bath and the fact that the bath and shower are separate. We are also very appreciative of the fact that we have a dishwasher.

    Do you feel like you have enough space?

    Yes, we have three big built in wardrobes that hold most of our stuff, as well as a utility room where we’ve managed to utilize the space pretty well. It’d certainly be a little less cluttered if Lauren got rid of some of her shoes, though…

    What’s it like living together?

    It’s really enjoyable living together. For both of us, it’s the first time we’ve lived with a partner so there’s a lot of new things that we get to do together. We’ve settled into a good routine and generally we both feel very relaxed in each other’s company.

    How have you made your house feel like home?

    We freshly painted the entire flat when we first moved in which made us feel like it was ours.

    We’ve also made sure to hang up lots of photos and paintings that mean a lot to us, as well as put lots of candles around. There hasn’t really been a point since we moved our stuff in that either of us felt like it wasn’t our home.

    Harry and Lauren what I rent in Lincoln - fresh lilies
    We’ve always thought that having fresh flowers in your home makes you a proper grownup (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)

    Are there any major issues with the house you have to put up with?

    The carpets are at the end of their life which means they sometimes look a bit marked but it isn’t really something either of us minds too much.

    The street outside our flat can get noisy on the weekends and when we’ve got the window open it can get quite irritating. This is mostly because we’re quite near to a few bars and pubs.

    The lack of gas in the flat was a surprise to us but we’ve managed to get around it and just accept that our electricity bill is high.

    We’d like a bit more kitchen space, but we’ve managed to make the most of the space we have.

    Any plans to move again?

    We’ve not got any plans to move at the moment, we love this place too much!

    And what about buying a place?

    Harry’s only just coming up to his first full year of being full time, and Lauren hasn’t even finished her post graduate degree yet, so buying a place isn’t something we’ve discussed yet.

    We certainly don’t want to leave our current flat anytime soon.

    Fair play. Shall we have a look around? 

    Harry and Lauren's living room in their flat in Lincoln
    First, the living room (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren what i rent Lincoln - the living room
    It’s pretty nice, right? (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren 2.6 Thorngate House St Swithins Square Lincoln LN2 1HA
    You can also peek a balcony (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    painting of countryside
    This painting was created by Harry’s late step-nan, and belonged to his grandfather until he passed away (Picture: Metro.co.ik)
    Harry and Lauren what i rent in Lincoln, pet goldfish
    Yep, they have two goldfish (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren what I rent in Lincoln
    And plenty of cute couple pics (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren What I Rent Lincoln, dining table in the living room
    There’s a dining table for two (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    A Eufy vacuum cleaner in Harry and Lauren's flat in Lincoln
    Okay, so fun fact: I have the same vacuum cleaner. That’s the only reason I included this pic, because I legitimately got *excited* when I saw we had the same vacuum. It wasn’t a cool moment (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren what I rent in Lincoln, the kitchen
    Anyway, here’s the kitchen (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren what I rent in Lincoln, magnets on the fridge
    You’ve got to have some cute fridge magnets (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Organised herbs and spices at Harry and Lauren's two-bedroom flat in Lincoln
    Now that’s a strong herb and spice system (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren what I rent Lincoln - kitchen storage
    We’re impressed by the storage (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    washing machine in a cupboard in Harry and Lauren's rented flat in Lincoln
    There’s a handy little laundry room (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    the study in Harry and Lauren's rented property in Lincoln
    The second bedroom has been turned into a study for both Lauren and Harry (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren games room rented property in Lincoln
    And a games room (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren rented property in Lincoln
    Well, that’s cute (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren rented property in Lincoln
    Here’s the bedroom (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren 2.6 Thorngate House St Swithins Square Lincoln LN2 1HA
    Every couple needs initial candles (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren rented property in Lincoln
    Some nice pops of copper (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren rented property in Lincoln
    Is that an Ikea chest of drawers we spy? (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    shelves in Lauren and Harry's Rented property in Lincoln
    Some interesting possessions on those shelves (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren's bathroom in their rented property in Lincoln - What I Rent
    Finally, here’s the bathroom (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    Harry and Lauren what I Rent - bathroom in two-bedroom flat in Lincoln
    Anyone else jealous of that tub? (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    penguin loofah in shower in Harry and Lauren's rented lincoln flat
    Very cute (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)
    toothbrushes in what I Rent series, Harry and Lauren's two-bedroom flat in Lincoln
    These rank pretty high in the toothbrush stakes, we reckon (Picture: Phil Crow/Metro.co.uk)

    What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am. Check back next week to have a nose around another rented property in London.

    How to get involved in What I Rent

    What I Rent is Metro.co.uk's weekly series that takes you inside the places in London people are renting, to give us all a better sense of what's normal and how much we should be paying.

    If you fancy taking part, please email whatirent@metro.co.uk.

    You'll need to have pictures taken of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your room. Make sure you get permission for your housemates!

    You'll also need to be okay with sharing how much you're paying for rent, as that's pretty important.

    MORE: What I Rent: Jess, £625 a month to share a one-bedroom flat in Deptford

    MORE: What I Rent: Laura, £595 a month for a two-bedroom flat in Alwoodley, Leeds

    MORE: What I Rent: Billie, £800 a month for a one-bedroom flat in Walthamstow

    What I Rent - Harry and Lauren - LincolnWhat I Rent - Harry and Lauren - Lincoln

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    Google doodle celebrating falafel and featuring animated falafel
    Today’s Google Doodle is celebrating falafel (Picture: Google)

    The humble falafel is the subject of today’s Google Doodle, with a cute animation showing the snack jumping into a salad-filled pitta bread.

    The doodle is celebrating the origins of falafel, which originated in the Middle East, and has grown in popularity on these shores in recent years.

    It’s a dish that can be enjoyed by vegans as well as meat-eaters, and adapted into everything from salads to burgers.

    Here’s what you need to know about falafel and where it came from.

    Where does falafel come from?

    Despite being popular across the Middle East, the exact origins of the dish are unknown – although one theory has suggested that it was invented in Egypt around 1,000 years ago – but it’s popular across the entire region.

    It is sometimes eaten as part of iftar, the meal which breaks the fast days during Ramadan, and is also popular with Jewish communities, as being plant-based it is regarded as ‘parev’ – meaning under Jewish dietary laws it can be served as part of a meat or dairy meal (as Jewish people are not allowed to mix meat and dairy products in the same meal).

    Google Doodle featuring falafel
    The falafel get quite animated in the doodle (Picture: Google)

    Although falafel is traditionally made from chickpeas, it can also be made from fava beans, or a mix of both – with onions, herbs (such as parsley or green onion) and spices added to the mix, and the whole thing served in pita bread with salad, pickles and tahini added (it’s also delicious when combined with hummus).

    And despite being deep-fried, it’s surprisingly healthy – with the chickpeas high in protein, as well as providing fibre, complex carbohydrates, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

    How do you make falafel?

    If you want to try making your own, here’s how you do it.

    Falafel Ingredients

    A plate of falafel
    Hungry yet? (Picture: Getty Images)

    100g chickpeas, soaked overnight

    200g split dried broad beans, soaked overnight, or 250g broad beans

    5 garlic cloves, crushed

    half a small onion,chopped finely

    25g coriander leaves, chopped finely

    25g flat leaf parsley, chopped finely

    1/2 teaspoon cardamom, pounded, seeds removed

    1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon baking powder

    1 tablespoon plain flour

    100 sesame seeds

    vegetable oil for deep frying

    Falafel recipe and method

    A falafel wrap with salad
    The dish is also popular among vegans (Picture: Getty Images)

    Combine chickpeas and broad beans with garlic, onion, parsley and coriander leaves. Blitz in batches to keep it chopped finely.

    Add the spices, baking powder, flour and salt along with two tablespoons of water, and leave in the fridge for 30mins to one hour.

    Fill a heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil. Form the mixture into golf ball-shaped patties, dip and roll in sesame seeds.

    Fry in the oil, turning occasionally, for a few minutes, then place on paper towels to soak up any excess oil.

    Serve hot with a tomato, red onion and cucumber salad and tahini in pita bread.

    MORE: Who is Georgios Papanikolaou and why is he today’s Google Doodle?


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    Dad makes stunning dress for daughter's prom
    (Picture: Abdoulaye Gueye)

    Sometimes, if we’re lucky, dads make proms better. Like Dan Casagrande who bought out a garden tool to make sure his daughter got the perfect pictures for her prom.

    And while most of us trawl the high street shops trying to find that one banging outfit, high schooler Penda Gueye had no problems in that department.

    The teenager’s dad, Abdoulaye Gueye, is an experienced tailor who regularly makes stunning dresses for Penda and his other daughter Rama.

    Penda’s metallic lilac dress was a hit with her friends and went viral on Facebook for its gorgeous detail.

    The teenager’s fierce matching look wowed users on social media who couldn’t get enough of her dad’s work.

    And because he’s so nice, Abdoulaye, from New York, U.S, even helped Penda’s friends out by designing their dresses too.

    Penda told Metro.co.uk how her attire went down a treat on the big night.

    Muslim teen wearing the metallic lilac dress her dad made for her
    Custom-made prom dress (Picture: Abdoulaye Gueye)

    ‘Everyone loved it and is looking forward to going to him for their prom or next events,’ she explained.

    ‘I really enjoyed wearing it and I didn’t have any problems with it, it’s actually so stretchy and comfortable. He’s currently designing my graduation outfit.’

    Teen wearing stunning dress prom dress
    Our prom pics did not bang like this (Picture: Abdoulaye Gueye)

    For graduation, Penda says she has asked her dad to make her a white jumpsuit.

    ‘And it doesn’t take long for him to get it done,’ she added. ‘You just have to tell him a date you need it to be and he will have it ready for you.

    teen wearing yellow sleeveless dress
    Abdoulaye designs dresses for his daughters and their friends too (Picture: Abdoulaye Gueye)

    ‘He also calls in for the customers to come in a fit in so that he knows you’re satisfied with the making.’

    Though she is delighted to have a fashion designer at her beck and call, she thinks her dad favours sister Rama more.

    ‘Rama gets more clothes made from dad than me.’

    Dad makes stunning dress for daughter's prom
    Matching slaying outfits (Picture: Abdoulaye Gueye)

    If only all dads could design our clothes.

    MORE: Dad makes son think he’s going to Disneyland but takes him to Poundland instead

    MORE: Dad designs t-shirt with train tracks on so he gets a free massage when his son plays

    MORE: Mum designs amazing Little Mermaid hair for daughter’s school crazy hair day

    Dad makes stunning dress for daughter's promDad makes stunning dress for daughter's prom

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    A boy feeding a dog at the dinner table
    Dogs are eating more than you think (Picture: Getty)

    When you’re having your dinner and those puppy dog eyes are looking up at you, it’s hard not to treat your dog to the scraps from your plate.

    But it all adds up and it could be pretty bad for them.

    According to a new study, dogs are eating an extra 54,000 calories a year – that’s the equivalent in a medium dog of a human eating 340 cheese burgers, 1310 chocolate chip cookies, or 360 ice creams every year, in addition to their regular meals.

    For small dogs, their yearly overeating equating to 1362 hash browns, 1065 sugar doughnuts, or 717 slices of pizza in human food terms.

    The survey by Royal Canin analysed the way 2000 dog owners feed their pooches.

    A dog looking a girl eating pizza
    Try to ignore the gentle prod with a nose under the table (Picture: Getty)

    One in five dog owners admitted that they believe giving their dog extra treats from their own plate shows them that they love them and that they are one of the family, with chicken (77%), beef (68%), sausages (67%), ham (63%) and vegetables (57%) listed as the most commonly fed foods.

    Hannah Poile, Scientific Communications Manager for Royal Canin Canine Care Nutrition, said: ‘The research has brought to light some shocking results and shows that we could be loving our dogs a little bit too much. By highlighting the differences between a human’s nutritional needs and their pet’s, we hope to enable owners to better understand the needs of their animal.

    ‘The four most commonly fed titbits are different varieties of meat which you could assume are the healthy choice, however these foods could easily lead to digestive upset, weight gain, or even skin issues.

    ‘Portion size is also really important. A medium-sized dog needs almost 50% fewer calories than its owner to maintain a healthy weight and shape. Giving this size dog just one sausage roll could amount to over a third of its daily calorie requirements, so it’s really easy for this to quickly add up and result in a pet becoming overweight in a relatively short space of time.’

    MORE: Dad makes stunning dress for daughter’s prom

    MORE: What I Rent: Harry and Lauren, £695 a month for a two-bedroom flat in Lincoln

    Boy sneaking dog food from the tableBoy sneaking dog food from the table

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    Man's comment about woman's linkedin headshot sparks fury about male entitlement
    Not the man in question (Picture: Getty/Twitter)

    Harassment happens online as it does in real life. Many women and few men have reported being sexually harassed on social media and even on professional websites such as LinkedIn.

    But one man went as far as to degrade a woman without even talking to her.

    The boss discussed a woman’s profile picture – a ‘head and shoulders shot of her wearing a grey t-shirt and smiling at the camera’ – claiming that it was ‘slutty’.

    The man revealed to a colleague that he thought the woman was ‘way over the top sexy and obviously down to fuck,’ by posing for a simple picture.

    Sharing the story on Twitter, Sawyer, a podcaster from Toronto, Canada, explained how predatory and judgemental behaviour makes women afraid.

    The thread resonated with thousands who said the man was ‘projecting slutness’ onto women and then blaming them for it.

    Sawyer explained that the word ‘slutty’ was an undeserved hyper-misognystic construct and was completely unwarranted.

    ‘It was a headshot of a woman wearing a grey t-shirt. The only skin on her you could see was her face and collarbones. I was still lost and he was getting annoyed like I was being deliberately dumb.’

    He continued: ‘This man saw a thumbnail of a picture of an attractive woman, and decided that not only was she a “slut”, but that her presumed “behaviour” meant she deserved any harassment or assault she experienced – and felt this strongly enough to say it out loud, unprompted, and at work.

    ‘A woman has her smiling face on her profile. A man she has never met sees it and instantly feels rage and disgust.

    ‘He believes she invites and deserves harassment/assault. All because she dared to be attractive in a public space.’

    Many people shared their own stories of men feeling entitled to comment on their bodies and behaviour, putting the onus to not get attacked and harassed on the women.

    Some women said that no matter what types of headshots they go for, it always invites some sort of harassment.

    With over 135,000 engagements with the thread, let’s hope more people realise how pervasive the problem is.

    MORE: Right-wing author writes bizarre slut-shaming tweet about women seducing men with ‘lubed legs’

    MORE: Women share stories of harassment in support for lesbian couple attacked on bus

    MORE: Female taxi driver reveals the shocking level of sexual harassment that drove her to quit

    Businessman using cell pohone at desk in officeBusinessman using cell pohone at desk in office

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    Jade Roller
    The rollers are also available made of rose quartz, like this beauty (Picture: Getty)

    Skincare is having a huge moment, with skinfluencers making their way onto our timelines, and people buying mini fridges to keep their toner waters in.

    One thing that has jumped onto the scene in recent years are jade rollers, with every YouTuber and Instagrammer showing hauls and flat lays featuring the pretty device.

    They’re certainly nothing new, however, and many proponents of the rollers claim they’ve been used for thousands of years as far back as ancient China.

    Most rollers come with two sides, one slightly smaller than the other, for different parts of the face. Although they’re commonly known as jade rollers, they can also be made from other stones like rose quartz, amethyst, and obsidian.

    Some people keep theirs in the fridge, and swear by them as part of their daily beauty routine. But what are the pros and cons, and how do you get started with them?

    What do jade rollers do?

    As of yet, there have been no studies showing definitive benefits of jade rolling.

    However, those who swear by them claim that they help with lymphatic drainage, and reduce dark circles and puffiness.

    Others simply use them for the soothing effect of the facial massage, and to help their serums and creams feels properly rubbed in.

    Macro close up side view of woman having beauty treatment in spa.Therapist applying jade roller on forehead.
    Even if it doesn’t work, it sure is relaxing (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    The act of rolling the face is purported to release tension in the face, easing wrinkles and improving collagen production, which makes for tighter and brighter skin.

    It’s not the case that this will work the same for everybody, so it’s a case of trial and error. It’s certainly the bandwagon to jump on right now, though.

    Where microneedling uses a roller to create tiny pricks in the skin and allow absorption of product, this is a gentler way to get started with facial massage at home.

    How to use a jade roller?

    A jade roller should be used on a clean face so impurities won’t be pushed back into the skin.

    After cleansing, apply your serum or oil, and get to work with your roller (you can keep it in the fridge for an extra cooling sensation).

    Starting from the right side, roll from the chin to the bottom of the ear, repeating five to ten times,

    Do the same on the left side, before going to your forehead and rolling upwards from the eyebrows.

    You can also use the smaller side on your neck and throat, or gently push under the eyes to relieve tension.

    The roller can also be used after a sheet mask, to help all those ingredients penetrate the skin.

    Which jade roller should you buy?

    There are myriad rollers on the market right now, with prices varying wildly from a couple of pounds to hundreds.

    This White Lotus version is £36.99 and made from jewellery grade jade, and has great reviews on Cult Beauty.

    Alternatively, if you’d like to dip your toe into rollers without breaking the bank, Amazon sells cheaper ones so you can see whether it’s for you.

    MORE: Man’s slut-shaming comment about woman’s LinkedIn headshot sparks fury over male entitlement

    MORE: Sex doll maker creates replicas of dead partners to combat loneliness: ‘I’m providing comfort’

    Jade RollerJade Roller

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    The three new gins
    The new gins sound amazing (Picture: Asda/Getty)

    Asda has launched three new gins inspired by popular sweets – lemon sherbets, pear drops and Parma Violets.

    The range features three new gins: Exra Special Lemon Sherbet Gin, Extra Special Pear Drop Gin and Extra Special Parma Violet gin.

    Each gin is bright in colour and glittery, and perfect for summer.

    The new gins follow the release of Asda’s Extra Special Raspberry & Rose Gin Liqueur, which launched earlier this year and sold out in stores across the country.

    Asda describes the lemon sherbet gin as being ‘zesty and tangy’, and is finished with a glittery yellow shimmer.

    The new lemon sherbert gin
    The lemon sherbet is yellow and glittery (Picture: Asda)

    The pear drop gin has hints of pear and blackcurrant, and is also filled with glitter.

    And finally, the Parma Violet gin ‘delivers a punch of violet flavour’, is purple in colour and turns to light pink when tonic water is added.

    Ed Sowerby, Asda spirits product manager, said: ‘Novelty, quality gins have become a summer must-have for customers looking to entertain with flair and flavour. Working closely with our suppliers, we’ve created a range of gins which are both glitzy and gorgeous to look at, but also deliver popular flavours the nation knows and loves.’

    The new gins are available in stores now, alongside some new mixers to pair them with, including lemonade with Sicilian lemon, blood orange and rosemary tonic water and pink grapefruit and peach tonic water.

    The pear drop gin
    The pink gin tastes like pear drops (Picture: Asda)

    For customers looking to create perfect G&Ts at home, Asda is also introducing ‘Gin Wheel’ guides in-store, helping customers match their favourite gins with the new range of tonics.

    Sarah Flood, Asda soft drink product developer, said: ‘When it comes to creating G&Ts at home, the mixer is just as important as the gin. To help customers make delicious perfect serves this summer, our new range of mixers are expertly matched with the new range, providing customers with everything they need for a sweet summer.’

    MORE: Asda is selling a watermelon flavoured gin for £20

    MORE: Asda launches chicken kebab pizza

    Asda is today launching three new sweets-inspired gins for summerAsda is today launching three new sweets-inspired gins for summer

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    Love Island ladies in bikinis
    (Picture: ITV/Getty)

    For thousands of us summer means one thing – Love Island.

    Weeks upon weeks of watching scantily-clad young beauties frolicking in the sunshine. But how does staring at ‘perfect’ bodies every night impact our mental health?

    One study suggests that it might be making us all feel more insecure – and could be having a direct impact on our body image.

    A snap poll, conducted by professional marketplace Bidvine, revealed that four in five feel insecure when they watch the reality show. One in eight respondents said they had looked up plastic surgery costs whilst watching the show.

    73% said that they felt insecure about their body and 55% said the same about their face.

    Fans of the programme were given a list of services and asked if they had looked up the cost of any of them whilst watching. It was found that 53% had looked up personal training costs and 47% had searched for nutritionist costs.

    ‘Seeing chiseled bodies on Love Island and the summer months approaching, it is amazing to see how many people are seeking out fitness professionals,’ said Russ Morgan, Co-Founder of Bidvine.

    Love Island 2019 Curtis Pritchard Amy Hart Maura Higgins
    Is the pressure to look ‘perfect’ too much? (Pictures: Getty/REX)

    ‘While pursuing a healthy lifestyle is important, it’s equally important that it’s done for the right reasons.

    ‘Don’t let a television show dictate how people “should” look and don’t work toward that unrealistic standard. Instead, pursue a healthy lifestyle and be confident in knowing that everyone is beautiful.’

    The study also found that since the show began on the 3rd June, there has been a 38% increase in personal training bookings through the professional marketplace and a 22% increase in nutritionist bookings.

    Deciding to get fit and healthy is natural as summer approaches – but take care of your mental health and be aware of how damaging feelings of insecurity can be.

    MORE: Dogs are eating 54,000 extra calories a year thanks to titbits from the dinner table

    MORE: Dad makes stunning dress for daughter’s prom

    MORE: What I Rent: Harry and Lauren, £695 a month for a two-bedroom flat in Lincoln


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