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

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    Sara Eisenman, pictured with silver hair, says her hair turned grey overnight at 21
    Sara Eisenman says her hair turned grey overnight at 21 (Picture: Mediadrumworld)

    Neuroscientist and author Sara Eisenman freaked out when her hair started dramatically greying at just 21 years old.

    So the now 43-year-old from Arizona, U.S, began to dye her hair every two weeks, even getting in some colour hours before giving birth.

    The mum-of-two was mortified by the idea of people seeing her silver strands.

    Since having her children though, Sara now embraces her natural colour and feels sexier than ever.

    At 37, after 15-years of colouring her hair at home, Sara ditched the dye and started to view her silver hair as a ‘crown’ and found that she felt completely liberated and reborn.

    Sara embracing her natural silver hair
    Sara started embracing her natural silver hair after having children (Picture: MDWfeatures / Sara Eisenman)

    At a time when she felt she was supposed to be in her prime, Sara took her changing hair colour as a negative sign of ageing and immediately started to hide her silver locks.

    When she had her first child Naomi who is now 11, Sara realised that there were more important things in life than whether she had freshly dyed hair or not.

    ‘My hair turned almost entirely silver, literally overnight,’ said Sara. ‘I went to the mirror one day to find that silver hair was emerging from the roots all over my head.

    ‘It was seen by me as a startling marker of ageing at a time when I was supposed to be in the height of youth.

    ‘To disguise this evidence I took to colouring my hair very aggressively every two weeks, with a slew of other products – powders, hair crayons, etc. – to disguise the roots in between dying.

    ‘I could not afford to go to a salon so I would use cheap box dye and undertook this messy process at home as frequently as possible to hide what was happening to me, of which my hair was a glaring symbol.’

    ‘I even had my hair coloured hours before I knew I’d be going into labour with my son, so that everyone who came to see the new baby would also see a new mama with freshly dyed black hair and no tell-tale roots.’

    Sara on her 42nd birthday wearing a crown on her head
    The mum-of two says her luscious locks are now a ‘crown’ for her (Picture: MDWfeatures / Sara Eisenman)

    She added that she met some resistance from other women who told her that the natural colour would make her ‘look like a witch’ but Sara paid no mind.

    Everyone else, including her husband, loves the look.

    ‘Overwhelmingly, the response is extremely, powerfully positive. I literally feel like I am liberation walking around in human form, and my hair is a crown on my head that speaks to who I am and the work I’ve done to become myself.

    ‘I see so many other women lighting up in response to that energy and it’s such a breath of fresh air and a celebration. Life is essentially a great deal of fun for me these days, because of all this.’

    Sara believes that there is a consensus that menopausal women are invisible in society and explained how she now feels sexier than ever before thanks to her beautiful hair.

    ‘The empowered, embodied, the confident, authentic, free and wise elder woman is the cornerstone of a healthy society.

    ‘More than ever, our society is in dire need of these embodied powerhouse women, for they hold the wisdom of the way forward.’

    MORE: My Label and Me: I want ginger people to know how freaking cool their hair is

    MORE: Student’s head ‘severely burned’ while having hair bleached

    MORE: Olaplex’s newest hair treatment eliminates frizz fast – here’s how

    MORE: Woman mocked for her monobrow is finally embracing her natural beauty

    Womans hair started greying at 21Womans hair started greying at 21

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    A teacher with some children in a classroom
    How much would you pay for a teacher present? (Picture: Getty)

    With the end of the school year coming, teacher presents are a big deal.

    But if you have more than one child at school or if finances are tight, you have to have to budget.

    Teachers will probably love any little tokens they get anyway.

    One mum said she heard that some of the parents were doing a collection so they could all chip in and get the teachers at her son’s nursery school something special.

    But she was shocked when she heard that the parent organising the collection was asking for £40 for everyone.

    Posting on Netmums, she said: ‘Some other mums agreed (3 of them wrote they agree over the whatsapp) and I guess some in a similar situation like me ( who find spending so much money over the top and irrational considering raising more than one lo and paying bills for a larger family) were surprised.

    ‘I decided I’d like to chip in but have to think about other expenses, so I contacted the mum telling her I sent her £25.’

    She said that the mum who was organising it came back to her and told her she had to give £40.

    ‘I explained we have to budget and that’s how much I can spend. I was shocked to receive a text couple of hours later saying it is not fair towards the other mums to pay so much less then them & I am putting her in an awkward position and she will give me my £25 back!’

    The following day, she asked to speak to the mum and tried to explain her situation.

    A teacher reading a book to her class
    The mum wanted to thank the teachers but couldn’t afford £40 (Picture: Getty)

    She added: ‘I tried to explain that I am happy to have my money back and even though we have a difference of opinions I wanted to agree on closing this issue with getting my money back and asked her not to discuss this with other mums since I wouldn’t like to polarise our group and keep on friendly terms with all parents. She seemed to be offended when she saw she will not make me share her opinion.

    ‘She tried very emotionally to explain how unfair it would be to accept my £25 towards the others to which I told her I cannot understand that, if it’s unfair that perhaps the teachers will think we all gave the same amount.’

    The poster said that when the other mum realised that they weren’t going to agree, the organiser said she is a 45 year old full time masseur and doesn’t need this hassle.

    The poster said: ‘I knew better not to add I am 40, I have a masters degree in finance and held a full time job for 20 years. And haven’t been put down like this many times in my life.’

    She said she felt ‘shocked and humiliated. She asked people on Netmums what they thought.

    ‘I still feel it was unethical and that this should not be happening in the 21st century. My hubby had enough of listening about it, so I’d like to ask you for your opinion and discuss just to help me with processing and getting over this,’ she said.

    Most agreed that it was too much money.

    One mum said: ‘£40 per person for a teacher seems astronomical but with any collection of this kind, I have never heard of anyone asking for set amounts and particularly that high. I would always be saying “give what you can give” – I mean even a much smaller amount of £5 is still contributing to the gift…it really comes across as a vanity project to do it this way.

    ‘I applaud all teachers – they are fantastic people – but I honestly think that a gift from the heart matters more than an item of huge expense. So buy something your kid chooses for this teacher – even if it’s something they make for themselves.’

    Another user who works as a teacher said: ‘As a nursery teacher I would be absolutely mortified by this! Yeah it’s nice for parents to show their appreciation, but not by collecting/ spending this much money! Crazy.’

    So what are some good options for saying thank you to your kid’s teachers this year?

    If you get an idea of the teacher’s personality, try to get something that fits with their hobbies or interests.

    You can get lots of personalised presents for under £15 that make really thoughtful gifts.

    For example, this personalised notebook is both sweet and useful for them to use next term. It’s currently £9.60.

    Or you could try a personalised tote bag – perfect for them to carry around piles of marking. This one is on sale for £12.50.

    A sunflower growing kit with a touching message is also a lovely idea.

    For practical gifts, try a coffee cup or nice reusable water bottle. Perfect for when they’re out on playground duty.

    Chocolates, some nice local produce or making up a break time gift set with coffee, a mug and some treats is a great idea too.

    And if all else fails, a gift voucher is easy and will always be useful. If you don’t want to spend lots on it, pick one up for a local coffee shop or cafe so they can have lunch on you.

    There are easy ways to show your appreciation for everything they’ve done, without breaking the bank.

    MORE: Baby born with full head of hair that won’t stop growing

    MORE: These five adorable elderly cats are looking for a new home

    Preschool teacher and girl students playing with building blocks in classroomPreschool teacher and girl students playing with building blocks in classroom

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    The orginal background over a stock image
    A woman on Mumsnet bought out an old argument about whether men should have paternal rights of rejection (Picture: Mumsnet/Getty)

    A woman has posted on Mumsnet saying she sympathises with men who want no involvement in unwanted pregnancies.

    Claiming that women can opt out by having an abortion or the morning after pill, the poster lamented that men don’t have any choice but to accept the pregnant woman’s decision.

    She said a legal option should be available for such men pointing out that he has no desire to be a part of the child’s life in any way, will not ever be able to seek any type of access, and will not pay money.

    The woman used an example of her friend who has had a baby with a man who chose not to be involved but then went back on his decision.

    ‘Now, I know a lot of women on Mumsnet like to say that if a man doesn’t want a child then he shouldn’t have sex or should use contraception,’ she wrote.

    ‘But I believe in total equality between the sexes and feel that this is unfair.

    ‘Two people choose to have sex, two people choose whether or not to use contraception, but only one person can decide whether or not they will keep a child if an accident does happen.’

     A screengrab of the original post
    ‘Is it fair for a woman to force a child (or the responsibilities that come from having a child, like maintenance) onto a man?’ (Picture: Mumsnet)

    But users on Mumsnet disagreed with the sentiments claiming that men who don’t want to have children should use contraception properly and be more careful.

    By having sex and climaxing, they’re opening themselves up to the possibility of children, argued commenters.

    ‘I know so many people whose lives are made miserable by constantly battling men for money for their child, or by trying to encourage contact between their child and a man who just isn’t interested,’ the poster continued.

    ‘Wouldn’t it save the mother and the child both significant stress and heartache if they can live their lives without these battles?

    ‘Surely knowing where you stand from the very start will stop all the disappointment and the emotional rollercoaster and stress that so many people experience?’

    And is it fair for a woman to force a child (or the responsibilities that come from having a child, like maintenance) onto a man who knows immediately that he doesn’t want a child?’

    The woman argued that this system would stop ‘deadbeat dads’ and allow single mums to prepare for children.

    There should be some rules in place to regulate the agreement, she argued, like having a cut off date (i.e before the baby is born) and a no-deal where the mum can prove that pregnancy was planned.

    A grab of the post
    The woman argued that this system would stop ‘deadbeat dads’ and allow single mums to prepare for children (Picture: Mumsnet)

    Mumsnet users disagreed though, saying: ‘Not interested in arguing for the rights of deadbeat dads to be even more deadbeat, whether or not it’s dressed up as equality. Nope.’

    ‘This is stupid and misogynistic,’ said another. ‘Women get to terminate pregnancies because it’s wrong to force anyone to bear children they don’t want.

    ‘The fact that it is not men bearing children (and accepting the consequent physical, emotional, social and financial costs of pregnancy) is NOT a disadvantage to men.

    ‘If men don’t want children they can abstain from sex, use condoms or have a vasectomy. That is the point where they get to opt out.’

    What does the law say?

    While there is no precedent in the UK or any rules for paternal rights to rejection, there have been cases made around the world for men to opt out of fatherhood.

    The Swedish Liberal Party famously argued in 2016 that before the 18th week of pregnancy, men could sign up for a ‘legal abortion’.

    The Youth wing of the party believed men should be given the right to opt out of parenthood, absolving them of all responsibility for bringing up the child.

    The controversial argument was thwarted after heavy critcism towards the group who previously advocated for incest between consenting adults and for necrophilia in cases where the deceased had given prior permission before death.

    In the U.S, in the case of Matt Dubay versus Lauren Wells who became pregnant after dating for a few months, he was unable to opt out of paying child support.

    He had argued that prior to pregnancy, he had stipulated no interest in having children and was told by Wells that she was infertile and was still using contraception.

    When she became pregnant after breaking up, Dubay took Wells to court, eventually losing the case in 2006.

    Men’s rights group the National Center for Men dubbed the case ‘Roe v Wade for men’, drawing comparisons to the landmark case in America which gave women reproductive rights.

    Since Dubay V Wells, there haven’t been similar cases, though the concept of a ‘financial abortion’ has been floating around since 1998, absolving the father of monetary responsibility.

    But critics have said there’s false equivalency in a woman’s right to abortion and a man’s right to reject fatherhood.

    Writing in the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, Susan Appleton, a professor at the Washington University School of Law said: ‘Dubay made the choice to engage in heterosexual intercourse without using contraception himself; he assumed the risk of becoming a parent when he ejaculated.’

    What are your thoughts?

    MORE: Why all Dads must be feminists

    MORE: It’s not babysitting, it’s parenting: Why dads shouldn’t get extra praise for fatherhood

    MORE: From all-day benders to dirty nappies – How the first six weeks of fatherhood changed me

    Woman advocates for legal document to let men 'opt out' of parenthoodWoman advocates for legal document to let men 'opt out' of parenthood

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    We know that zoos need to have strict safety checks but one in Japan has come out with an interesting way to plan for a lion escape.

    Obviously they can’t use a real lion so they got someone to wear a lion mascot outfit and to play out all the scenarios they might face.

    The drill, which took place at Tobe Zoo in Ehime, was filmed by a local news agency.

    The video shows the lion wandering around the zoo before staff put up nets around it to try and catch it.

    At one stage, the lion runs into a zoo staff member, knocking them down.

    The staff then drive past the lion and shoot an air dart at it, causing it to fall to the ground before staff try to lift it.

    Screen grabs from the footage of the lion drill
    The lion mascot runs around the zoo (Picture: Twitter)

    The most amusing scene is probably the real-life lions in the background silently judging from afar.

    Turns out zoos in Japan actually have held drills in a similar way for other animals.

    One previously held a ‘rhino drill’ with two members of staff wearing a rhino suit and marching around until they are hit with a tranquiliser dart.

    There’s also been leopard drills, polar bear drills, tiger drills and a zebra drill.

    Staff really get into character, playing dead if the mascot manages to get them.

    After the lion video was posted on Twitter, the internet has fallen in love with the concept.

    One laughed: ‘The lions look straight-up offended.’

    Another pointed out that they let the lions watch the entire emergency plan.

    ‘I’m not sure that’s the smartest move,’ they said.

    MORE: Mum ‘humiliated’ by other parents when she can’t afford to pay £40 for teachers’ presents

    MORE: Woman whose hair turned grey ‘overnight’ at 21 embraces silver look after giving birth

    Zoo hosts hilarious lion drill with man in a mascot costumeZoo hosts hilarious lion drill with man in a mascot costume

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    For many of us buying a home can feel like an impossible dream.

    As house prices have soared, salaries haven’t kept the same pace. Saving while trying to balance a social life and fork out for rent has either forced people back to live with their parents or stomach crummy living spaces, or simply forfeiting the saving for another day.

    So, living in London seems even more of a pipe dream. Being a city homeowner has long been synonymous with either the super-rich or the super-lucky. Why is it we never feel like either? But it really could be possible with Fairview New Homes.

    You could find a home in London (yes, really!) that doesn’t mean balancing a mortgage and a miserable commute that is going to cost you a fortune. You could find an affordable home in a new development that suits your lifestyle and – better yet – your bank balance.

    Buying a new home can help you save money in the long run, without hidden problems surprising you down the line. Fairview New Homes will not only guide you through the house buying process each step of the way, but also give you peace of mind with a 10-year NHBC warranty. You don’t even have to worry about a chain.

    Stay in the city and get the best of both worlds with a home like Regency Heights -–can you beat that view with that price? (Picture: Fairview New Homes)

    Hampden Road, Hornsey, London N8 0HG

    With homes costing from £429,000, these one, two and three-bedroom apartments are available just a 15 minute train ride from King’s Cross Station. Situated in Zone 3, the new apartments are just a two minute walk from the station, so you don’t have to worry about an almighty trek to transport links and living in the middle of nowhere. Not only are there views of Alexandra Palace, but you could also find yourself with a boujee balcony. Perfect to grow that home jungle you’ve been dreaming about.

    Yeoman Street, Surrey Quays, London SE8 5DT

    You don’t have to put up with a grubby doer-upper for your first home – instead you could snap up one of the beautiful apartments at Hydro in Surrey Quays, where there’s even granite worktops in the kitchen. Based in Surrey Quays, Zone 2, you can choose from either one, two or three-bed apartments here – all starting from £420,000.

    Gayton Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Harrow, London HA1 2HH

    With homes starting at just £376,000 in Lexicon, Fairview New Homes is offering a collection of new apartments ranging in size, from one-bedroom up to three-bedroom apartments, depending on your needs. Offering the best of both worlds, the development is just a short walk from Harrow Village or five minutes to Metropolitan line station Harrow-on-the-Hill. Lexicon’s new homes offer stylish living with added energy-efficient appliances.

    Delightful view from Regency Heights (Picture: Fairview New Homes)
    Delightful view from Maritime (Picture: Fairview New Homes)

    Greenwich High Road, Hope Wharf, Greenwich, London SE10 8JL

    Priced from £420,000, these one, two and three-bedroom apartments are situated in one of the most desirable spots in London. Greenwich is known for its proximity to the River Thames, and some of Maritime’s homes have their own balcony and river views – now, that is the dream. Some of the plots have first time buyer stamp duty paid for as well as the legal fees included. It’s also a stone’s throw away from one of London’s most iconic music venues.

    William Booth Road, Anerley, London SE20 8BX

    This new development is situated in the Anerley area of Bromley in South London near Crystal Palace Park, and is quickly becoming a top destination, so Londoners can have the urban feel while not being too far away from their friends. This area if filled with outdoor space, restaurants and cafes to catch up in, and boasts one, two and three-bedroom apartments to entertain in too. Homes here start at just £339,500.

    The Broadway
    112-132 Cricklewood Lane, Cricklewood, London NW2 2DP

    Situated in the north west of London, The Broadway has one to two-bedroom apartments that can suit the needs of your household from £410,000. Each of the apartments offer either a private balcony or your own terrace, meaning that if you want to stay in London, it doesn’t have to mean giving up outdoor space. Cricklewood is just a few minutes from the famous Brent Cross Shopping Centre, as well as the iconic Hampstead Village, and is also only a few minutes walk from the railway station; cutting down time on your commute by living in the city. Interested? Check out the new show apartment that has just opened.

    Regency Heights
    Lakeside Drive, Park Royal, London NW10 7HQ

    Incredible views of the city and landscapes don’t have to just be for the rich and famous, as you’ll be able to snap up a home with jaw-dropping cityscapes from £382,000 with Fairview New Homes at Regency Heights. Built across three tall buildings in this new and growing area of London, professionals can expect one, two and three-bedroom apartments offering spectacular views of parkland and nearby lakes with the city in the background. This is a rare opportunity to get there before anyone else.

    Seen a home for you? Fairview New Homes Sales Suites are open daily from 10am – 5pm, with longer hours at some developments. View your future home here.

    What is London Help to Buy?

    Buying in Greater London has become more affordable – even for first-time buyers. With London Help to Buy, you could get up to 40% of the price of a new home funded by the government in the form of a 25-year equity loan. You could get a Fairview home in London with just a 5% deposit.

    • In London, the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has increased up to 40% for buyers.
    • This is available on new builds in the capital for homes up to £600,000.
    • There is no age limit.
    • UK residents can apply – and isn’t just for first-time buyers.
    • You must have a mortgage of at least 55%.
    • First five years are interest free – after this, you pay 1.75% annual interest, in addition to RPI plus 1%.
    • You repay the loan after 25 years or when you sell the home.

    The five step guide to buying a Fairview Home

    1. Research

    Discuss what you want in a home with the Fairview’s sales team, or talk about finance with a qualified expert at one of Fairview’s Help to Buy events.

    2. Reservation

    Let a Fairview’s sales negotiator help you reserve your home with their trusted network of independent financial advisers and solicitors. Complete your form and pay your reservation fee (typically £1,000 to £2,000).

    3. Exchange

    This is when you pay your deposit. This step can often seem the most nerve-wracking, but Fairview’s experts will be with you to help. They’ll guide you through the process as efficiently as possible, and you’ll exchange contracts within 21 days of reservation.

    4. Completion

    Fairview have a team of advisers on hand to provide guidance ahead of the big day when you get the keys. Congratulations, you are now a homeowner!

    5. Relax

    Fairview has a dedicated After Care team, who will check you are happy with your new home and remind you of the ten-year NHBC warranty. All you have to do now is relax and enjoy your new home!


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    There are some people fortunate enough to be able to make a bin bag look good.

    Mum Lisa Barnes is one of them. The 38-year-old from Newcastle was reassured by a best friend that she could rock up in a bin bag and still look gorgeous. So she did.

    Not one to shy away from a challenge Lisa decided to take up best friend Michelle’s words of encouragement and turn up in a bin liner on a night out to her best mate’s house.

    The crafty fashionista rummaged through her kitchen and found some bin liners from Poundland and she was set.

    Within ten minutes, she was ready to go in a flattering v-neck front panel which we think looks pretty good for any night out, to be honest.

    Her son Michael thought so too and he even tried it on.

    Mum tries on dress made out of bin bags
    Doesn’t she look great? (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

    ‘Michelle’s face when she saw it on Saturday was brilliant, she couldn’t believe it,’ gushed Lisa after revealing the prank.

    ‘She started laughing and said I was crazy. I didn’t stay in the dress long as it was hot and sticking to me because I was sweating.

    ‘After a few minutes I told her “I need to get upstairs and get out of this”.’

    Inspiration for the ‘trashy’ dress came from a four-hour shopping trip to look for outfits to the races.

    Weighed down by armfuls of dresses, full-time mum Lisa pointed Michelle in the direction of the changing rooms and ordered her to try them on.

    Lisa holding a roll of bin liner
    All Lisa needs for a night out (Picturet: Kennedy News and Media)

    Self-conscious of her figure, cervical cancer survivor Michelle joked ‘it’s alright for you, being so slim you could put a bloody bin bag on and look gorgeous’.

    The throwaway comment planted the idea in Lisa’s mind and when she got home she rummaged through her kitchen drawers and dug out a roll of Poundshop wheelie bin liners.

    ‘I told her not to be stupid and encouraged her to try lots of different dresses and styles.

    ‘I shared a snap of me in it on Facebook. I wasn’t expecting anyone to really like it, it was just for a bit of fun, but everyone loved it.’

    Lisa, who says she can’t sew to save her life, said it was pretty simple to create and was impressed with the results.

    ‘I was pleased with how it turned out, it’s done pretty well considering it’s a bin liner.

    ‘My son thought I was crazy wearing a bin bag dress. I told him it was just to go to Michelle’s house in and he said “you’re not leaving the house in a bin bag mam”.’

    Michael could be seen in the video, parading around his mum’s dress before Michelle walks in to see the creation.

    In the footage, he can be heard saying: ‘Oh, the figure on me. I’ve got my belt on, I’m going to rock up to prom like this I think. Lovely.’

    The second half of the clip shows Michelle walking into the room as she reacts to the hilarious joke.

    Pal Michelle found it hilarious (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

    In the video Michelle can be heard saying: ‘I knew you were up to something you little sod, it’s hilarious, turn around.’

    Who knew a bin bag could serve looks?

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

    MORE: Woman buys ‘flattering’ dress online but gets a ‘bin bag’ instead

    MORE: Bride ‘more stunned than furious’ at mother-in-law who turned up in a white wedding dress

    Mum looks fab in bin bag dressMum looks fab in bin bag dress

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    Louie loves to chase paper balls – but he can’t actually see what he is chasing.

    He was born without tear ducts or pupils, leaving just bright blue eyes but as he was never able to see, he has adapted amazingly by mapping out his territory and using his whiskers and ears to figure out the world around him.

    Kerry Denman, from London, adopted him seven years ago by chance – and now she documents his life on Instagram for his almost 30,000 fans.

    Speaking to Metro.co.uk for Cat Week, she explains: ‘I’d been in a new flat for a few years, I was trying to keep it pristine and so as much as I had this urge for a cat as I’d had one throughout my childhood, I think I was putting off the responsibility.

    ‘To compensate I’d sometimes visit friends etc who had kittens just to feed that need for cat contact. That’s how I found him.

    ‘A family who lived near my parents had kittens and I stopped by just for hugs, never intending to take one.

    ‘I don’t think the owners quite realised this, as when I walked in the room she quickly told me “not to bother with that one over there as he has something wrong with his eyes”. He was a tiny bundle of fluff curled up high on a laundry basket.’

    That kitten – who she later named Louie – was underweight and had huge cloudy eyes, leading Kerry to believe he was blind.

    She adds: ‘I left that day with a knot in my stomach. I got the impression the owners were leaving this kitten to die.

    Louie the blind cat
    Louie is now seven (Picture: @louie_blind_cat)

    ‘He’d been rejected by his mother and litter (his mother a moggie, his father was a stray). As the owners immediately told me to ignore him, I had to assume they didn’t think he warranted interest to be adopted. What did that mean? He’d end up in a shelter? Or worse?

    ‘I couldn’t stop thinking about it but was scared at the prospect of taking on a kitten who was blind (though at that stage I didn’t know if he had cataracts or not). I turned to the internet.

    ‘Seven years ago the special needs cat community on Instagram didn’t exist like it does today but I found some forums that said blind cats can live a perfectly normal life with a little patience and understanding.

    ‘I decided to go back for him a few days later. I gave the owner £10 to go toward having her moggie spayed and took him home.’

    Kerry thought his eye problems might be cataracts that could be treated but she was prepared to love him no matter what.

    She says: ‘It wasn’t treatable. He has no pupils or tear ducts. His eyes also flicker a lot which I’ve been told might be neurological. I have never had a proper diagnosis as to what exactly has caused Louie’s eyes to be that way. It would involve putting him through some intensive tests and I don’t want to do that just to give myself an answer. He doesn’t care about the reason and if I can’t fix it then why should I?

    ‘He also has patellar luxation in all his legs which is more commonly found in dogs. It means his knees dislocate slightly when he walks. In seven years he’s had one incident that led to him not being able to put weight on one of his legs and so I had to crate him for a month.

    ‘Since then he’s been fine. Through this he had a full body scan which revealed his skeleton is just slightly off, it’s curved in ways it shouldn’t be but this isn’t noticeable and doesn’t seem to cause him problems.

    ‘He was diagnosed with stage two kidney disease in December 2018 which has stabilised for now.’

    Louie the blind cat as a kitten
    Louie as a kitten (Picture: @louie_blind_cat)

    Despite his problems, Kerry fell in love with Louie and they have had seven wonderful years together. Last year, they moved in with Kerry’s partner and he has formed a great bond with Louie.

    Having a cat with health problems, she was devastated when they thought he was seriously ill in December last year. He turned out to be fine but the experience led to the creation of the @Louie_blind_cat Instagram account.

    Kerry says: ‘The reason we set up the Instagram account is actually really sad. I woke up one morning to find blood on his mouth and we took him to the vet to find what looked like a massive tumour under his tongue.

    ‘The vet told us it was very likely Squamous Cell Carcinoma and to be prepared to have him put to sleep very soon as it was an aggressive cancer that he would not recover from. We were told they would debulk the mass for his comfort and send it away to be biopsied but that they were certain of the diagnosis and they didn’t want Louie to be in pain.


    ‘It was probably one of the worst weeks of my life as I couldn’t understand. He was fine otherwise, eating, going to loo and playing. But the vet told me “He’s hiding his pain. It’s what cats do”.

    ‘I was making decisions about how I would have him put to sleep, picking a container for his ashes and crying constantly.’

    When the results came back, Kerry was told there were no cancerous cells but instead they found bacteria and infection.

    Kerry said: ‘At first, I didn’t trust it. I had spent a week grieving and now he wasn’t dying? The vets were just as shocked as us; they’d never seen something that looked like what was in his mouth not be SCC. They had no answer to what might have caused the mass.

    ‘We were prescribed steroids and an antibiotic jab and would need to bring him back weekly.


    ‘I was angry, someone else might have had him put to sleep that same week because they were so certain he was ultimately dying. But I came to realise that this is one of the risks of trying to speak for an animal, a vet won’t always get it right and will be so concerned about that animals welfare that they may be rash.

    ‘I learned a massive lesson from that ordeal, never be certain in something until you have the results in front of you.’

    Unfortunately the steroids didn’t work but the vet advised that Louie should have another surgery to remove the mass in full with the possibility of losing part of his tongue.

    ‘We went ahead with this in December and as of now he has had no regrowth,’ Kerry says. ‘The mass was biopsied and again and no cancerous cells were found.

    ‘It was at this time that his vet noticed the kidney disease. This is basically the reason I started his Instagram at the beginning of March 2019 – as a kind of memorial, though that sounds morbid but thinking I was going to lose him has made me realise that he won’t be around forever and I want a place that’s just him.’

    Kerry uses his Instagram to show his day-to-day life and to raise awareness and get support for cats with special needs.

    Louie the blind cat now
    Louie was born without tear ducts or pupils (Picture: @louie_blind_cat)

    She says: ‘He is perfectly fine without his sight to the point people see his videos on Instagram and think I’m lying about him being blind or they just can’t understand how he does what he does. But cats are amazing, his other senses and whiskers are so in sync it gives the illusion of sight.

    ‘He has mapped out his territory mentally. As he was born this way he knows no different. Granted, I think it’s different for a cat who loses its sight. There’s more need for adaption.

    ‘We try not to move things around, certainly not his food and litter tray. We don’t shut doors when he’s chasing his paper balls as he would smack into them. We make noises sometimes, clicking and and tutting to indicate where things are.’


    But most of all, his Instagram fans love to see his incredible personality.

    Kerry adds: ‘He rounds around like mad chasing his paper balls. He follows me and cat dad around sometimes attacking our feet.

    ‘He’s so sweet and loving in his own way. He gives us nose kisses. He lays between my legs in bed but never sits on laps.

    ‘He lets cat dad hold him for small amounts of time. He sits at the balcony smelling the air and listening to the birds. He loves Dreamies and catnip. He has the sweetest, littlest meows that makes my heart happy.’

    Cat Week

    In honour of Catfest, we will be partnering with the festival to bring you seven days of the funniest, cutest, coolest and most amazing cat content.

    Until Saturday 29 June, read stories about all things cats, including kittens abandoned on rubbish dumps to fantastic cat art, and everything in-between.

    Catfest will include cat-themed literature and film plus live music, poetry and crafts. There will be rescue kittens, talks from cat experts, Instagram cats and an auction as well as cocktails, cake and much more. Tickets have sold out, but you can still get involved on social media.

    Part of the proceeds from the event will benefit Erham Rescue and International Trash Cat & Dumpster Dogs to help cats and kittens as well as street animals in need.

    Are you the owner of a fantastic cat? Then tweet us your cutest kitty pics @MetroUK and @MetroUK_Life for a chance to be featured!

    MORE: 16 stunning black cats who are looking for their forever homes

    MORE: Jeffree the cat helped young boy with Asperger’s cope with the sudden death of his father

    MORE: Animal charity offers students the chance to hang out with cats while they revise for exams

    Louie the blind catLouie the blind cat

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    Sphinx cats wearing tattoo bodice
    (Picture: Airie McCready)

    We know cats come in all sizes and shapes and as it’s Cat Week, we’re profiling all the wonderful things our beloved kitties are doing, which includes being customised.

    Human owners love dressing their kitties up in whatever fashion choices are available and now there are options for the edgiest of cats.

    You can now get tattoo sleeves – as in a whole top – for your beloved pets which will be sure to turn heads next time they’re strolling around the neighbourhood.

    And it should up your cat Insta game too.

    Artist and designer Airie McCready from California, U.S, has her own company, Slinx Concepts, and offers stylish garments for cats and dogs.

    But it’s her tattoo sleeves for feisty felines that she sells on online marketplace Etsy that have caught people’s eyes.

    You can order Chinese and Japanese inspired butterfly designs in the same skin colour as your cats which will be sure to make people do a double take.

    Cat licking paw wearing tattoo top
    Look at the cuteness (Picture: Airie McCready)
    Airie with one of her six cats
    Airie has lots of tattoos and a friend inspired her to make matching looks for her kitties (Picture: Airie McCready)

    Creator Aerie, who makes the outfits herself, told Metro.co.uk about what inspired her to come up with the concept.

    ‘I have many sleeves for my own six cats, three Sphynxes and three Devon Rexes,’ she said.

    Furry cat with tattoo top
    Get your furry cats tatted tops too (Picture: Airie McCready)

    ‘The idea came to me when a friend showed me a silly fake tattoo sleeve and teased me how I did not have to get ink, I could have gotten one of these (I have a lot of tattoos).

    ‘I grabbed it from him and thought “if only I knew how to sew”.

    Adult and kitten size chart
    Airie has a sizing chart to detail different cat sizes (Picture: Airie McCready)

    ‘It took a long time, but I figured out how to do it, it’s really delicate fabric.’

    Aerie explained that she found a seller that offers prints with non-toxic ink and uses a material that is safe for the kitties too.

    ‘Everything in my shop is made by myself or a contracted seamstress and I oversee each item,’ she added.

    ‘Two years ago at the Westminster Kennel Club, they had a “meet the cats” event and even had the cats do an agility course. Misha, a Sphynx, wearing one of my Tattcat shirts won!’

    Cat tattoo sleeves
    You can choose from multiple designs on Etsy (Picture: Airie McCready)

    Humans have been getting tattoos of cats for eons, and woman even got her kitty’s fur attached because why not?

    So you might as well get your beloved pet to ink up (safely, of course).

    Just don’t be like the woman who actually got her cat tattooed. That’s just dangerous and kitties deserve more than that.

    Cat Week

    In honour of Catfest, we will be partnering with the festival to bring you seven days of the funniest, cutest, coolest and most amazing cat content.

    Until Saturday 29 June, read stories about all things cats, including kittens abandoned on rubbish dumps to fantastic cat art, and everything in-between.

    Catfest will include cat-themed literature and film plus live music, poetry and crafts. There will be rescue kittens, talks from cat experts, Instagram cats and an auction as well as cocktails, cake and much more. Tickets have sold out, but you can still get involved on social media.

    Part of the proceeds from the event will benefit ERHAM RESCUE and INTERNATIONAL TRASH CAT & DUMPSTER DOGS to help cats and kittens as well as street animals in need.

    Are you the owner of a fantastic cat? Then tweet us your cutest kitty pics @MetroUK and @MetroUK_Life for a chance to be featured!

    MORE: These five adorable elderly cats are looking for a new home

    MORE: Hacks to keep your cat safe from harmful plants in the garden

    MORE: Why you should adopt an elderly cat and how to care for it

    Cat tattoo sleevesCat tattoo sleeves

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    Jamie Windust is a non-binary campaigner fighting for greater gender options on passports
    It took me a long time to realise that I was allowed to dress however I wanted (Picture: Courtesy of Jamie Windust)

    Summer is supposed to a time where we can relax, enjoy the sun (if it ever arrives for more than a week) and relax in spaces that for the rest of the year are cold and dreary but for many the sunshine comes at a cost, an increased risk in physical and verbal abuse.

    As a non-binary person, summer sees an increase in people taking non-consensual photos of my body, and people taking it upon themselves to lift up my dress or skirt to see ‘what I am,’ which is incredibly invasive and unacceptable.

    It took me a long time to realise I was allowed to dress however I wanted. I always used to dread the hotter weather because it would mean I would be faced with the yearly conundrum of whether to feel comfortable in the hotter temperatures and face an increase in street harassment, or cover up and feel swamped by the London summer heat.

    This increase in harassment is trans misogyny, a clear ignorance and prejudice towards gender non-conforming people, and continues this idea that we are just ‘men playing dress up’.

    This notion of ‘dress up’ is something people see as entertainment or for other people’s pleasure, therefore the comments and reactions to my body are seen as valid because people presume that my expression is for their benefit.

    But two years ago I decided enough was enough. Why should my mindset change so dramatically in one time period of the year, when the rest of the time it was firm in the belief that I can, and will, wear anything I want, and not feel ashamed or embarrassed for it?

    Non-gender conforming Jamie Windust
    I was able to look in the mirror and see progress and evolution in my identity (Picture: Matty Parks)

    I decided to take the plunge and wear mini-skirts, dresses, mesh tops and bralets and really just embrace my identity within the summertime, and it felt great.

    I had never felt so empowered and engaged with my body when I was getting dressed. I’d look in the mirror and feel sexy, and beautiful and evolved, and that’s what I loved the most. I was able to look in the mirror and see progress and evolution in my identity, and I felt so proud of that.

    But taking that outside was a whole new ball game, and for so many of us having that positive internal dialogue with ourselves is what gets us through the increase in street harassment.

    Feeling like we are showing too much skin, or being too femme or too masc in our expressions in the summer because of the reactions from other people is something we all need to realise is not our problem.

    We are all allowed to share and express ourselves to the world when it’s hot, however we want to. If you decide to wear cargo shorts and a vest top, and I decide to wear a lace bodysuit and a mini-skirt, then we should allow each other to do so without over-sexualisation or fetishisation.

    It’s hot. Yes I look better, but it doesn’t mean that people can abuse our bodies just because we’re able to feel comfortable in the heat and also pull a groundbreaking look.

    This is a very specific problem to women, and trans and gender non-conforming people – even more so for trans and gender non-conforming people of colour, whose bodies are still subjected to such prejudice and mistreatment in the world we inhabit.

    This also goes for plus-size people, queer people, trans women of colour, and all marginalised groups that are held to society’s unrealistic standards of beauty – much more so than their thin, cis or straight counterparts.

    It’s dehumanising to be told that you can only look a certain way in the peak of summer if you’re the size of a campaign model. It’s not appropriate or ethical from brands’ perspectives to be highlighting their summer wear without showing a plethora of bodies in it, because we are the ones that are buying it.

    What’s important is that allyship needs to take a step up during summer, because the violence towards our bodies also steps up.

    If you see it, stand in and help us out. We are just trying to remember that feeling when we were in our bedrooms that morning, feeling empowered and beautiful and evolved, and how that felt before the world told us we aren’t allowed to look so.

    MORE: For non-binary people like me, true love means loving myself first

    MORE: As a transgender captain in the US army, I worry for my future in the forces

    MORE: My parents are my biggest supporters – as a trans person it makes all the difference

    jamie windust-7c85jamie windust-7c85

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    Melissa and the third page of the leaflet
    Melissa’s idea is genius (Picture: Twitter/melissacroce)

    Family weddings can be happy occasions but they can also be pretty intense.

    Your entire family in one room, especially if you don’t see them often, means lots of questions about all aspects of your life.

    Melissa Croce was so sick of all the small talk, she created a brochure about her job, where she lives in New York and a flowchart of reasons why she’s single for her cousin’s wedding.

    Posting the images on Twitter, she said ‘I jokingly told my coworkers I would make a brochure to hand out to relatives/family friends at my cousin’s wedding but i was too committed to the bit to quit.’

    The brochure starts with ‘so you haven’t seen Melissa Croce in several years: A Primer.’

    She then has a list of frequently asked questions about her job and living in New York.

    The questions explain that she works for a published called Macmillan, marketing children’s books.

    She stresses that she just markets the books and doesn’t get to read all day and won’t edit them.

    When it comes to living in New York, she brings up the inevitable question about the city being ‘loud, crowded and expensive.’

    She says: ‘I was going to tell you an honest answer but your question seems judgmental, so out of spite I’m going to tell you instead that I LOVE IT and IT IS GREAT AND PERFECT and sure it is ALL OF THOSE THINGS but living in New York isn’t for JUST ANYBODY DAHLING, SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST STRONGER THAN OTHERS.’

    She adds that she lives in Brooklyn with a roommate and works in Manhattan near Wall Street but she doesn’t actually go to Times Square a lot.

    And in response to the ‘I should come visit you!’ statement, she says ‘Should you, though?’

    The third page of the brochure runs through the questions about her love life.

    The second page about her job and living in New York
    Take the hint about coming to visit (Picture: @melissacroce)
    The third page about her relationship status
    The ‘why are you single?’ question (Picture: @melissacroce)

    The whole leaflet really captured the attention of others who face the onslaught of questions for family events.

    MORE: Mum wears bin liner to night out after friend tells her she’d ‘look good in a trash bag’

    MORE: Mum ‘humiliated’ by other parents when she can’t afford to pay £40 for teachers’ presents

    Woman makes \'why I\'m single\' leaflet to hand out at weddingsWoman makes \'why I\'m single\' leaflet to hand out at weddings

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    Discover the hottest destinations for your last-minute summer holiday (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)

    Been meaning to book your summer getaway since… last summer? Well, it’s never too late to book your next hot holiday.

    Set off for summer in the city with a short stay in New York, or hotfoot it to the beaches of The Algarve at a moment’s notice for an extended break a bit closer to home.

    Even a trip a tad further afield to Dubai is at your fingertips if you’re keen to snap up a good deal! Because a last-minute holiday needn’t feel like last resort with thousands of great value packages to be found with British Airways Holidays.

    With everything from city breaks to relaxing beach escapes, British Airways Holidays can build your ideal getaway, combining the best prices on top quality hotels and fuss-free car hire with their trustworthy flights.

    All you have to do is choose which of these hot destinations to travel to this summer…

    The Algarve

    The Algarve is getting hotter, and we’re not talking about the temperature. It’s because more people are travelling to Portugal than ever before, with tourism in the country increasing year-on-year.

    And it’s not hard to see why. Award-winning beaches, luscious landscapes and fabulous food are all just a three-hour flight away with British Airways Holidays.

    Simply pick a sun-soaked spot somewhere along the 150km of coastline and get stuck into a slower, more laid-back way of life in the southernmost region of this beautiful country.

    Book a 7-night stay in Algarve in July, staying at the Pinhal do Sol hotel from £429pp with breakfast and flights included with British Airways Holidays.

    Fishermen boats at sea near village at dusk in Algarve, south of Portugal.
    Fishing boats at sea near village at dusk in Algarve, south of Portugal. (Picture: Getty Images/Moment RF)

    New York

    NYC has never strayed too far from a holiday hotlist. That’s because, with so many incredible hotels in New York – from boutiques to glamorous high rises – there’s always a new way to see the city, no matter how many times you’ve been.

    Feel the summer heat alongside the city slickers by toasting your trip while checking out the vista from a rooftop bar (Mr Purple at Hotel Indigo boasts a swimming pool and amazing Moscow Mules) or how about getting on your bike and taking in New York’s own oasis, Central Park?

    If you want to be by the water, shop up a storm at the stylish South Street Seaport, which is the perfect place to make a splash during hot summer days.

    There’s the Five-Star InterContinental Barclay overlooking Manhattan’s Midtown, or the Grand Hyatt just off Grand Central Station and the gorgeous 1920s-style Roosevelt on Madison Avenue.

    All of these hotels are available to book with British Airways Holidays which includes a comfortable return flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) or Newark (EWR) out of the UK.

    And you have the peace of mind of knowing your trip is covered; booking a package with British Airways Holidays means you are fully ATOL protected.

    You will also get access to a 24hr helpline whilst you are away to ensure constant peace of mind while you take a bite out of the Big Apple.

    Book a trip for this July staying at the ROW NYC from £699pp including return flights and 3-nights hotel with British Airways Holidays.

    Central Park is the perfect place to while away the afternoon after some city slicking
    Grab a ‘cup of Joe’ and wander across the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge


    Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and still the most popular among UK holidaymakers.

    And with a large selection of hotels, from family friendly to adults only, savvy holidaymakers are starting to discover the hidden side to Tenerife. There’s no better way to start seeking out the hidden gems of this sun-drenched travel treasure trove than by hiring a car as part of your BA Holidays package.

    That way you can experience a different vibe; explore La Laguna, a charming and colourful colonial town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or, rather than an afternoon led on the famous volcanic black sand of Tenerife’s beaches, why not see one up close? In Teide National Park, you’ll be left awestruck by its namesake volcano, which at 3,000m above sea level also claims the title of being Spain’s highest mountain.

    Book a 7-night stay in Tenerife at the Santa Barbara Golf and Ocean Golf Club Diamond Resorts from £399 for travel in July with British Airways Holidays.

    The beach of Playa de las Teresitas, north of the village of San Andr??s municipality of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Tenerife, Spain, Canary Islands, Europe.
    It’s easy to see why Tenerife is still the most popular of the Canary Islands (Picture: Chris Hepburn/Getty Images)


    A trip to the playground of the rich and famous is easier to get to than you think.

    British Airways flights to Dubai are now available up to 19 times a week from London Heathrow, which shows just how many people are choosing the United Arab Emirate for their summer break.

    Dubai is waiting to welcome you. The ever-changing landscape of this fascinating destination, with taller skyscrapers, faster travel links and finer cuisine, hints at how keen they are to impress.

    Since the creations of the Palm Islands, this rich and extravagant city now combines beach life with the cityscape, making it a well-rounded holiday hotspot. And did we mention the 10 amazing shopping malls?

    Book a holiday for July staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Mall of the Emirate from £459pp including flights and 3 nights hotel with British Airways Holidays.

    Dubai is a future-focused country steeped in history – and the perfect place for a luxurious last-minute break

    It's time to getaway: Why choose BA?

    British Airways Holidays is a trusted and reputable company to book your
    last-minute holiday with. With flights on offer to many parts of the world, customers have the option to choose from multiple destinations and hotels at a great price for a last-minute holiday. What’s more, British Airways Holidays offers carefully selected hotels, a 24-hour holiday helpline and full ATOL protection.

    Click HERE to book your next holiday with British Airways Holidays.

    T&C’s: Limited availability on selected dates which vary for each destination listed, see ba.com/lates for full travel periods. Price is in GBP per person based on 2 adults sharing and includes return economy flights from London Heathrow to New York or Dubai and 3 nights in a hotel or London Gatwick to Faro, Algarve or Tenerife and 7 nights in a hotel based on midweek travel for selected travel 1 – 17 July 2019. Prices include taxes, fees and carrier charges. Price correct as of 10 June 2019. Bookings must be made by 23:59 GMT on 30 June 2019. Package Holidays from British Airways Holidays Ltd are ATOL protected (No. 5985). British Airways Holidays standard terms and conditions and conditions of carriage apply, please refer to ba.com.  For full terms and conditions, visit ba.com/great-fares

    AD FEATURE: British Airways HolidaysAD FEATURE: British Airways Holidays

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    Women dancing together at party
    She had already bought her a present for the bridal shower (Picture: Getty)

    A woman has called out her friend for inviting her to her bridal shower but not to her wedding.

    The woman was astounded after she had blindly assumed that she would get a wedding invite – having known the bride since school and being roommates throughout college.

    She says the pair have always been close friends, so when she received a message saying she wasn’t going to be getting an invite to the big day – she was livid.

    ‘I got invited to the bridal shower/bachelorette party combo recently and realized that I’d not ever received a “save the date” or wedding invitation, even though the wedding was in 6 weeks,’ wrote the jilted friend in a Reddit post.

    ‘I kind of thought it was weird, and didn’t want to make anything awkward, so I just kind of put it to the side for a couple of days.

    ‘Before I could decide what to do, the bride sent me a text. I deleted it after in anger but here’s the gist:

    “’Hey girly, I know this is awkward but I wanted to reach out and let you know why you haven’t received a wedding invitation yet.

    ‘”The thing is, [Fiancé] and I both have huge families and we are only inviting members of the wedding party to the wedding.

    ‘”I would really love it if you could make it to the bridal shower/bachelorette party though! We haven’t seen each other in forever.”

    Flower bracelets at a bridal shower
    The friend blindly assumed she would be invited to the wedding (Picture: Getty)

    ‘I was kind of shocked at the absolute gall. I admit I’m a very reactive person and couldn’t stop myself from being a little bitchy in return:

    ‘“[Friend], I have always cared deeply for you but this is not only the rudest message I’ve ever received, it’s also shockingly tacky. I won’t be able to attend the party, I’m sorry. Lol.”’

    She admitted that adding ‘lol’ to the end of her message was ‘especially bitchy’, but she was just so incensed at being left out of the wedding, particularly after already buying her a gift at the bridal shower.

    But now she’s not sure if she took things too far – and other friends have messaged her to say that she needs to say sorry to the bride for her outburst.

    ‘The MOH (our other very close childhood friend) reached out to let me know that the bride was extremely hurt, and suggested I apologize,’ she explained.

    ‘She acknowledged that the whole situation was awkward, but gave the typical “it’s her wedding, she’s under a lot of stress, she’s trying to do the right thing…”

    ‘I don’t care if she didn’t have room for me at the wedding, I think the text would have been sweet (but totally unnecessary) if it was just her saying “sorry we couldn’t fit everyone” and I would have completely understood.

    ‘It’s the shower/bachelorette invitation that feels like a slap in the face.’

    She felt that her anger was especially justified because she was the only person from the bridal shower not to be invited to the wedding.

    In the comments loads of people were on the friend’s side and agreed that the bride was being out of order.

    ‘F*** her, why is basic decency not needed when someone is a bride?’ asked one.

    ‘She owes YOU an apology. Although if you want to do her a BIG favor, send her a book on wedding etiquette. Because you’re not the first one she’s insulted and I am sure you won’t be the last,’ said another.

    ‘If she’s inviting 200 people, what are 1-2 more. Seriously, it’s a drop in the bucket,’ added someone else.

    ‘It is also flat out rude, if you want to get Miss Manners about it, to invite people to gift-giving events… if you don’t plan on including them to the ceremony/celebration.’

    Luckily, this story has a positive resolution. All it took was a little bit of open communication.

    ‘I called the bride and we talked,’ explained the friend in an update on her original post.

    ‘I apologized for being bitchy and explained how her text made me feel.

    Midsection Of Women Holding Flower Bouquets In Wedding Ceremony
    She was told she had to apologise to the bride (Picture: Getty)

    ‘I said I understood the stress she must be under, but it felt rude of her to ask me to pre-wedding events (where gifts are expected) if I wasn’t invited to the weddings. Especially if I was the only one.

    ‘She interrupted me at one point to insist that she didn’t want/expect gifts from me.

    ‘MOH and some mutual friends let her know how tacky it is to invite someone to a bachelorette/bridal shower but not the ceremony.

    ‘She admitted it was a huge misstep on her part, but that she really just wanted me there in some way. She put off telling me because she didn’t want to ruin our friendship or hurt me.

    ‘She did a rude thing (with good intentions) that hurt my feelings and then I reacted poorly out of anger. We just needed a little communication.

    ‘Anyway, all’s well that ends well. I’m going to both parties and bringing small gifts, even if I don’t need to.

    ‘Gonna have fun and celebrate my friend and spread the love and accept things for what they are. “We can control how we respond to things we can’t control”.’

    Sometimes a simple phone call can really go a long way.

    MORE: Louie the blind cat was rescued by chance – and now he’s an Instagram star

    MORE: You can get tattoo sleeves for your cat so they can look as hard as they feel

    MORE: Mum wears bin liner to night out after friend tells her she’d ‘look good in a trash bag’

    Women dancing together at partyWomen dancing together at party

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    Summer and winter are the most popular times to travel – but also sometimes the most expensive. So rather than join the crowds, try the ‘shoulder season’ – late spring or autumn – so-called because it falls between high and low periods. It will be quieter, you’ll bag great deals, and you can still count on fantastic weather.

    The ultimate gourmet break

    Cape Town, South Africa

    Stellenbosch vineyards, Cape Town, South Africa

    An hour’s drive from Cape Town, mountain-ringed Stellenbosch is one of the world’s prettiest wine regions. Hop between window-lined tasting rooms, overlooking hills, to fine-dining restaurants, serving up farm-fresh produce. In shoulder season it’s warm and sunny, yet you’ll still get into wineries easily for a cabernet sauvignon tasting (the high season, December to March, can be busy).


    Book a holiday to Cape Town with British Airways

    The ultimate beach break


    Palms on one of the many beaches on Mauritius

    Home to some of the best beaches in the world, tourists pack out the powdery Mauritian sands in winter, but you can suntan here all year round. In spring or autumn simply head for the ray-licked northwest, an hour’s drive from the airport, where you’ll be sheltered from any seasonal breezes. The lack of crowds only makes it all the more idyllic.

    Book a holiday to Mauritius with British Airways


    The ultimate hiking break

    Lanzarote, Spain

    Fire Mountains, National Park, Timanfaya, Lanzarote

    Visit Lanzarote in peak summer and thanks to the sweltering heat you’ll miss out on the island’s main asset; its walking trails. This volcanic isle is an incredible trekking spot, but you need the temperatures of spring or autumn to climb the lava peaks to Caldera Blanca, a half-hour from the airport, or to tackle its palm-studded valleys.


    Book a holiday to Lanzarote with British Airways


    The ultimate history break

    Rhodes, Greece

    View over St. Paul’s bay in Lindos, Rhodes

    From the ancient hilltop Acropolis of Lindos to UNESCO-protected Rhodes old town, the largest medieval city in Europe, this island is packed with the past. And in shoulder season, days are sunny but still cool enough to explore: you can happily spend all day viewing ancient palaces or Byzantine churches.


    Book a holiday to Rhodes with British Airways



    The ultimate romantic break

    Rome, Italy

    The Spanish Steps in Rome

    Frothy cappuccinos in fountain-dotted piazzas; wanders through landscaped gardens; dinners overlooking the illuminated Colosseum – Rome drips in romance. Cruise-ship-packed high season can ruin the buzz, so come in bloom-laced spring or cosy autumn – hotel rooms are far cheaper then, too, so you can upgrade your getaway per due.


    Book a holiday to Rome with British Airways



    The ultimate activities break

    Faro, Portugal

    Panoramic view of the village and beach of Carvoeiro on the rocky coastline of the Algarve

    Not one for flying-and-flopping? The Algarve has plenty to do, especially in the warm-but-not-boiling shoulder season. Go kayaking or dolphin-watching, explore ocean caves or play golf at a range of courses. Flights and hotels are wallet-friendly outside of school holidays, too, and you’ll have an easier time getting into popular seaside restaurants.


    Book a holiday to Faro with British Airways



    The ultimate culture break

    New York, USA

    Sunlight shines down the streets of New York City

    Culture vultures won’t be disappointed by the Big Apple; you can hop from Central Park museums to buzzy Chelsea galleries or Broadway musicals, all in a day. New York is never empty, but during shoulder season it can be easier to get tickets to some shows and exhibitions – and deals on hotel rooms are better too.


    Book a holiday to New York with British Airways


    The ultimate musical break

    Salzburg, Austria

    The Hallstatter See lake in Salzburg, Austria

    Mozart’s birthplace – and setting for The Sound of Music – Salzburg is a bucket-list spot for music enthusiasts. Explore the home where the famous composer grew up, and attend on-tap concerts in historic halls or atmospheric churches. Sunny spring and crisp autumn see fewer tourists, meaning you can soak up tunes in peace.


    Book a holiday to Salzburg with British Airways


    The ultimate style break
    Milan, Italy

    Evening on the Piazza del Duomo. On the left is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, on the right Milan Cathedral
    Evening on the Piazza del Duomo. On the left is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, on the right Milan Cathedral

    Milan, gateway to Italy’s north, is a powerhouse of fashion and design. And it’s particularly pleasant to explore its eye-popping details in the still-warm but sleepy shoulder season. You can raid the designer boutiques of swish Via Monte Napoleone in peace, or admire the strikingly intricate exterior of the Duomo cathedral crowd-free and still enjoy alfresco aperitivo (cocktail happy hour) at fashionable, buzzy bars.

    Book a holiday to Milan with British Airways


    The ultimate wildlife break

    Costa Rica

    The Rio Celeste waterfall, Tenorio Volcano National Park, Guanacaste

    One of the most bio-diverse countries on earth, Costa Rica is bursting with macaws and turtles, tree frogs and howler monkeys, sloths and crocodiles. Flights are cheapest in spring and autumn, so you can afford to spend an extra couple of days exploring the national parks and bird-dotted beaches.


    Book a holiday to Costa Rica with British Airways



    Get there

    All the trips above can be reached from Gatwick Airport with British Airways, which has an extensive network of flights across Europe. Combine your flight with a hotel and car hire from British Airways Holidays to create a great-value getaway.

    baa shoulder-0af1baa shoulder-0af1

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    Grandmas in matching blue dress with lace detail on top
    Three matching grannies (Picture: Alex Campisi)

    It’s hard to know what to wear to a wedding (just don’t wear white, you’ll never be forgiven).

    So when three grandmothers were attending their respective grandson or granddaughter’s big day, they decided to go for an elegant and lacy number.

    But apparently, the dress was a popular choice among the older demographic as all three of them turned up in the same exact outfit.

    Alex Campisi who uploaded the picture revealed on Twitter that the trio was serving looks in matching blue attire in response to U.S TV presenter Jimmy Fallon’s call for wedding fails.

    But considering how fab the ladies look, we don’t think it’s a failure at all.

    While most of us might have some grievances with someone who shows up in an identical outfit, the grandmothers had no beef with one another.

    They posed for pictures side by side and smiled away for the cameras.

    One of them even jazzed up the look with a bit of bling.

    They all went for some sensible flat shoes too though one of the grandmas was feeling a bit adventurous and had a tiny bit of a heel.

    Alex’s tweet got more than 4,000 likes on Twitter and most people argued that the incident was not a fail at all.

    ‘This isn’t a fail at all, in fact, it’s a win,’ wrote one person while another shared the sentiments, saying: ‘This is not a fail, how adorable!’

    Someone else wrote: ‘I wouldn’t say that was a fail; they all looked really pretty and if anything had happened to the bridesmaids, they could have stepped right in! Or you could have just replaced them on the spot.’

    One person revealed that her grandma and her boyfriend’s also have the same exact dress (must’ve been a sale at the shop selling it). So imagine those two grannies turned up to the wedding too.

    We would’ve had a matching granny gang.

    Jimmy Fallon’s wedding tweets have amassed many stories of wins and fails, including this one mother-in-law who turned up to her son’s wedding in a bridal dress because it was on sale.


    MORE: This grandmother who can’t figure out how to take a selfie is all of our grandmas

    MORE: This 80-year-old grandma is the UK’s ‘oldest netballer’ and has no plans to stop playing

    MORE: Groom, 69, chooses dog to be his best man after the beloved pet helped him find love


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    ASDA inflatable pool Enjoy days of fun with this Kid Connection family-sized swimming pool. Comfortable and spacious at approx. 120" in length, this deluxe and durable pool comes equipped with a double valve system that make it both easy to set up and deflate.
    Get in the pool this summer (Picture: ASDA UK)

    Summer is officially here and Asda is making sure everyone is prepared.

    The retailer is selling an XL paddling pool to sit in the garden encouraging families to keep cool in the summer sunshine.

    We’re already picking up hot-tubs, gazebos, cocktail mixers and bikinis in preparation.

    If you need a cheap way for the whole family to stay cool, Asda has this XL sized paddling pool going for just £20 on the website.

    ASDA inflatable pool Enjoy days of fun with this Kid Connection family-sized swimming pool. Comfortable and spacious at approx. 120" in length, this deluxe and durable pool comes equipped with a double valve system that make it both easy to set up and deflate.
    For just £20 you can have a family splash (Picture: Asda UK)

    The Kid Connect Family Pool is made of durable PVC and is pretty simple, just a rectangular pool that is big enough for everyone.

    Approximately 120″ in depth, the pool is a perfect height for families who want to make the most of the British sunshine this year.

    Described on the Asda website as ‘deluxe and durable’ the pool comes equipped with a double valve system that make it both easy to set up and deflate.

    People have posted reviews on the website to express how much they love the pool, with the product racking up five stars.

    One customer has said: ‘Great pool. I bought this 2 weeks ago and I have to say I am extremely happy with this paddling pool. However you will need an electric pump to inflate the pool. The children absolutely love it.’

    While another added: ‘Great size! I bought this pool for my two daughters and they absolutely love it, it’s a fantastic size that could easily fit 4 children with plenty of room to play. Easy to inflate with an electric pump and deflates well. Great value for money.’

    MORE: Aldi is selling a gazebo with a bar and it’s perfect for summer parties

    MORE: Asda launches three new gins that taste like your favourite sweets

    MORE: Lidl is selling a hammock for £6.99 so you can pretend you’re on holiday year-round

    ASDA inflatable poolASDA inflatable pool

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    Urban Decay's best-selling setting spray is exactly what you need this summer
    (Picture: Urban Decay/Getty)

    Calling all loyal All Nighter fans.

    Summer is finally starting to heat up and while we’re here for the sunshine, when it’s humid outside, it can seem impossible to keep your makeup from sliding off your face.

    But Urban Decay have a solution for every sweaty situation, their best-selling Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray and it’s just had a tropical upgrade.

    Unlike the original, the All Nighter Summer Solstice Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (now £19.20 was £24), has notes of crushed pineapple, coconut and ‘a sea salt breeze.’


    And don’t sweat it, the summer-inspired edition still has the same formula we all know and love. A sprtiz or two of the Summer Solstice will stop your makeup from creasing, slipping and fading, no matter what you’re doing.

    If you’re never given setting sprays for makeup much thought, they’re more than just fancy-looking face mists, with Urban Decay’s formulation featuring patented Temperature Control Technology. Meaning it lowers the temperature of your makeup to keep foundation, eyeshadow, blush and concealer in place — even in hot and humid, or cold and windy weather conditions.

    And although there’s no foolproof method to helping your makeup stay and not stray, reviews of the original All Nighter setting spray – which FYI boasts an impressive 4.8 star rating out of 5 – suggest it will help your makeup stay in place through all eventualities.

    Urban Decay's best-selling setting spray is exactly what you need this summer
    (Picture: Urban Decay)

    Heading to Ocean Beach in Ibiza? ‘Spritzed with All Nighter before going to Ocean Beach in Ibiza. The fountains in the pool went off without warning straight into my face. Hair glitter, gone, body glitter, gone. Makeup? Absolutely perfect!’ said one happy customer.

    What about a stint in a sauna? ‘I recently wore make up in a sauna which you may think is a bad idea however I had this setting spray on and my make up stayed set!’

    If you’re an avid theme park goer: ‘My makeup was set with setting spray for a theme park and then a concert in the evening on the same day and the makeup didn’t budge!’

    Are you prone to sobbing in the cinema? ‘Against my better judgement, I went to see Avengers: Endgame with a full face of make up. I set my face with all nighter and it lasted through three hours of ugly crying.’

    Due to give birth soon? ‘Not only did my makeup last through the night and into the afternoon of me crying from the contractions, but it lasted through labor.’

    Or like to wear makeup in the gym? ‘ I went to the gym and had a full face of make up which I know is really bad but at least I hit the gym. Anyway, my make up did not budge.’

    Need we continue? Surely that seals the deal.

    The Urban Decay All Nighter Summer Solstice Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (£24) can be purchased online at Urban Decay, Escentual and Lookfantastic.

    MORE: Huda Beauty’s new Neon Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes are bang on trend

    MORE: Amazon customers are loving this £5 eyebrow dye kit - here's why

    Urban Decay's best-selling setting spray is exactly what you need this summerUrban Decay's best-selling setting spray is exactly what you need this summer

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    Boots Eco friendly paper bag
    Boots is listening to its customers (Picture: Boots UK)

    Boots is set to become the first British pharmacy to replace plastic carrier bags with brown unbleached paper bags.

    The scheme starts today with 53 Boots stores nationwide, but will expand to the full 2485 stores by early 2020.

    The brand says the change will remove over 900 tonnes of plastic from Boots stores each year.

    94% of 6000 people surveyed said the move to paper bags was welcomed, with 92% saying they were concerned by the number of plastic bags used in the UK.

    Boots eco friendly paper bags
    94 per cent of Boots customers welcome the change (Picture: Boots UK)

    Senior Vice-President and Managing Director of Boots UK, Seb James said: ‘Plastic waste is undoubtedly one of the most important issues around the world today with TV shows like Blue Planet highlighting the effects of plastic pollution.’

    Director of Marketing for Boots UK, Helen Normoyle said: ‘We have seen a significant shift in our customers’ attitudes towards plastics and recycling in recent years – there’s never been a more important time to show our customers that we’re taking action to reduce our impact.

    ‘Our new paper bags have been carefully tested to make sure that over their entire life cycle they are better for the environment, whilst still being a sturdy, practical option for customers who haven’t bought their own bags with them when shopping.’

    Sourced and manufactured in the UK, the new Boots bags are made from unbleached, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ceritified recycled brown paper, which is printed with water-based inks so the bags can be easily recycled at home.

    Boots eco friendly paper bags in stores
    Will roll out across the country by 2020 (Picture: Boots UK)

    With the protests in London by Extinction Rebellion, concerns about the future of the planet are growing.

    Seb James added: ‘This year, we are transforming Boots as we celebrate 170 years, and the move to unbleached paper bags is another pivotal moment in that journey.

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 05: A general view of a Boots store on June 5, 2019 in London, England. The high street retailer, who employ over 120,000 people, have announced that up to 200 of their stores could close leading to hundreds of job losses. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
    Biggest UK Pharmacy (Picture: Getty Images)

    ‘There is no doubt that our customers expect us to act and this change signifies a huge step away from our reliance on plastic.’

    The bags will come in small, medium or large and will be 5p, 7p or 10p respectively with all profits donated to BBC Children in Need to support disadvantaged children across the UK.

    MORE: Boots ‘could close 200 stores’ in latest high street blow

    MORE: Boots customer ‘angry’ after receiving prescription in plastic bag, not paper

    MORE: Which Boots stores will stock Fenty Beauty?

    Boots reveal paper bag releaseBoots reveal paper bag release

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    MenTal(k) Health is a series for men from all backgrounds and identities to talk about their well-being, from mental health to spiritual and sexual health.

    This month is Pride month, and people across the country, and specific parts of the world, are gearing up to celebrate pride in themselves and their identities.

    Transgender people in the UK still face many battles.

    Many are exposed to violence and are at risk of losing their lives on a day-to-day basis, while other trans-people face physical abuse.

    A lot of trans people have to justify to others that their identification itself isn’t a mental health issue, but rather they are more likely to experience mental health issues because of the battles they face to be themselves.

    A small breakthrough was announced in May, when the World Health Organisation declared that it was dropping transgender from its list of mental disorders.

    Transgender activist Kenny Ethan Jones, 25, sees it as a welcome step.

    Kenny Ethan Jones
    Kenny is a model and activist (Picture: Kenny Ethan Jones)

    Kenny’s transition, like many in his position, wasn’t the easiest. From coming out as trans to his mum when he was 11, to being bounced from therapist to therapist by the age of 14.

    By the time he was 18, he began taking testosterone and at 19 had his top surgery, a double mastectomy to remove the whole breast, and was offered bottom surgery by the age of 21 decided against it. His sister wasn’t too keen on the risk and invasion the surgery required including a removal of the womb and Fallopian tubes followed by a penile implant and more.

    He told Metro.co.uk: ‘When I was younger all of the clinics had “mental health” written across the doors.

    ‘I was 13 when I went to the Tavistock and Portman Trust, which is a specialist mental health center before I moved to the Gender Identity Clinic at 16.

    ‘When I got to 16 and began seeing people with what I would call ‘real mental health problems’ was quite scary. I kept wondering whether people would see me like them. I just didn’t see it as a mental health disorder. I just saw it as my body wasn’t in line with how I felt.

    ‘I think it will be good to have the WHO take transgender off of its mental disorders list and will be good for a younger generation coming through transition so they don’t have to experience as much stigma around it as well.

    ‘You get these letters sent out to you of a briefing of your therapy sessions and seeing that it comes under mental health at such a young age is daunting – you don’t know what’s going on, because doctors don’t tell you, you’re just seeing all this talk about mental health and you start to question, “am I mentally ill?”’

    Being transgender is not a mental illness. The effects of these stigmas in society, however, contribute to poor mental health in the community.

    He said: ‘Being trans was not what was affecting my mental health. It was society’s issues surrounding my transition, and other trans people’s transitions, that affected my mental health. I was fine with me, I knew what I wanted. It was everybody else who didn’t get it.

    Kenny smiling in a shoot
    He wants people to remember who they are (Picture: Kenny Ethan Jones)

    ‘At the time I started to transition, people still weren’t caught up with what it meant to be trans. I went to a Catholic all-girls school, so they literally saw me as the devil.’

    When I was younger, I wanted know why I was so wrong for wanting to transition. But as I grew up, I realised that it wasn’t me, it was the world that wasn’t ready for the transitions.

    Another challenge that many in the transgender community face is that not everyone in the health service is made aware of the new identity of the patient which means trans people are not always aware of things that could affect them.

    For example, at the age of 25, women in the UK are put forward for smear tests to screen them against cervical cancer.

    Kenny is 25-years-old and hasn’t had his bottom half surgery, which includes restructuring his female reproductive system to align with his identity, yet he wasn’t made aware that he would need a smear test.

    He said: ‘My doctor didn’t know to tell me since they didn’t ask the question, they didn’t know how much surgery I had. My sister told me.

    ‘Those kinds of things need to be on file because if my sister didn’t tell me, I wouldn’t have known. I feel for people who don’t live in London because there are so many resources here, from places in Soho.’

    But even in London,  Kenny feels people don’t really understand what it’s like living as trans.

    ‘I had an incident where I passed out, the paramedics came and my flat mate was asked if I was on any medication and they said I was on testosterone.

    ‘When they asked why and my flatmate said I was transgender, the paramedics automatically started calling me ‘she’.

    ‘They just didn’t understand. To not get something as simple as pronouns right, never mind what you are getting wrong.

    ‘Ten years ago, I would have cried. But there’s so much that needs to change as this is baseline care.’

    Kenny had to manage being trans throughout school and college, with people persistently misgendering him.

    ‘As I got older I started to get really angry, and lash out at people because I just got sick of it.

    ‘I think from the age of sixteen to eighteen I couldn’t go to a house party without somebody turning around and saying “that’s a girl” for two years straight.

    ‘It got to the point where my friends got sick of it, and I was just going there to have a good time like everybody else. I’ve always been quite attractive so I’ve always attracted girls and the guys got jealous of that.’

    Kenny took to saying he had a twin sister so that he could escape their questions.

    ‘So I lied to get away from the whole situation, and it seems a bit funny now but that was the extent I had to go to in order to get away from those situations and have somewhat of a normal teenage life.’

    Kenny sitting on a stool
    Body confidence is a plus (Picture: Kenny Ethan Jones)

    Family life was also strained.

    He told his mum when he was 11 about his identity, and both his mum and sister accepted him and wanted him to be happy. It was his dad that was harder to convince.

    He said: ‘My dad wasn’t supportive at all. He is Jamaican, born and raised in Kingston.

    ‘It’s not his fault, but that’s the way the culture shaped him, so I couldn’t blame him. Me and my mum had many conversations, saying “he’ll come round”.

    ‘We still had a relationship, but he wanted to ignore the situation and hope it would go away. One day, I went into the car and told him I shaved my head and changed my name. He didn’t believe me, so I took off my hood and he went crazy.

    ‘But he came around when I had my top half surgery. And saw how happy I was and just hugged me and said he was proud of me. He started to gender me correctly and use my chosen name and would correct the family when they got it wrong, and they soon got on board with it.’

    Kenny half naked
    Wears the scars as a sign of pride (Picture: Kenny Ethan Jones)

    Kenny recently took part in a campaign with men’s wellness brand, Manual, during Mental Health Awareness Week called Men of Manual that looked at body image.

    He said: ‘I hated my body. I wouldn’t look at my body for years pre-transition.

    ‘I looked in the mirror and said: “that’s not me”. The closer surgery day came, I was so excited. As soon as I got the surgery done I felt myself, but it wasn’t until I went topless that I felt self-conscious again.

    ‘Everyone started to look at my scars, but then after a while I just said “I don’t care”, at that’s your problem if you have a problem with my scars.

    ‘I don’t want to live my life based on everyone else’s perception. I was going to get skin dermabrasion, but I decided against it when I started to do more media work.

    ‘I realised that by me wearing these scars were a visual representation of me being trans without even having to speak. I love my scars, they are apart of my story and journey to this point and represent the courage of my community.

    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 Jeff Addison about his experience with penile cancer.

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

    MORE: MenTal(k) Health: ‘I didn’t know you could get penis cancer until I was diagnosed at 46’

    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

    Kenny 5-49caKenny 5-49ca

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    Young black woman wading into ocean, rear view.
    Fashion blogger documents press trips that don’t invite black influencers (Not Alicia Tenise in image) (Picture: Getty)

    Influencers have made impressive profitable careers through the art of blogging.

    But some are propelled to success more than others. Veteran blogger Stephanie Yeboah, a Metro.co.uk columnist, recently wrote how a lot of the influencers who get exposure and visibility are white.

    Recently, another fashion blogger revealed on Twitter that she too noticed the same thing.

    Screengrabbing a few of the past press trips that were available, Alicia Tenise from Washington D.C, U.S, noted that hardly any black influencers were invited.

    Alicia’s tweet resonated with thousands of others, amassing more than 12,000 likes.

    She clearly has a point.

    Some of the press trips included glamourous getaways to Turks and Caicos, Las Vegas, and more.

    Alicia spent the last month documenting some of these and the images that were shared from the trips.

    Another woman on Twitter pointed out brands were missing out, especially considering the power of black buying.

    ‘African Americans spending power is $1.2 trillion and we dominate many categories,’ wrote Safiyyah. ‘It’s advantageous for them to include us to gain the market. But hey, I’m just a woman who knows our worth!’

    Alicia updated the thread to say that two brands have since gotten in touch to improve how they deal with the issue in future.

    One woman who was included in the images, Emily Wilkinson, said she sympathised with the blogger and wanted to know what to do in the future to advocate for diversity.

    She wrote: ‘I am always appalled at this too (and I say this as someone whose photo is screenshotted).

    ‘Thank you for speaking up and sharing your thoughts with brands! I feel like our industry as a whole needs to be much better when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

    ‘And I would love to know what I and other bloggers can do to help improve this diversity/inclusion issue when it comes to brands?’

    Others told Emily that she should enquire about the diversity of the trips before agreeing to it.

    Stephanie also advocates for white influencers to hold brands accountable for their lack of inclusion.

    She wrote: ‘It’s time they acknowledged that not only do influencers of colour exist, but that we are viable assets who can add value to audiences that span far beyond the current slim, white and blonde aesthetic’.

    MORE: By only using white influencers, brands are telling black women we don’t belong

    MORE: NHS is going ‘backwards’ on diversity and inclusion

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

    Young black woman wading into ocean, rear view.Young black woman wading into ocean, rear view.

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    When he was five weeks old, James McBride needed life saving surgery to fit a tracheostomy (an artificial hole made in his windpipe).

    He had severe laryngeal stenosis (narrowing of his airway).

    Now three-years-old, James still needs the tracheostomy to help him breathe and it means he isn’t able to talk.

    He’s currently waiting for major surgery for airway re-construction in Great Ormond Street hospital, where they hope to make his airway as normal as possible so that James may be able to talk to his parents Annemarie and Kevin and sister Anna, five.

    Until then, James, from Derry, Northern Ireland, is learning Makaton – a simpler form of sign language for children – to help him communicate, and even sing along to his favourite songs.

    James McBride as a baby
    James as a baby (Picture: Annemarie McBride)

    The language has grown in popularity as it helps children by teaching them signs and symbols for certain words.

    We’ve seen other parents doing carpool karaoke using Makaton.

    James is starting to master the language – and is now using it to sing along to his favourite songs.

    With his mum Annemarie, he created a video singing along to his favourite George Ezra song.

    James McBRidge who signed George Ezra using Maktaton
    James now (Picture: Annemarie McBride)

    Annemarie told Metro.co.uk: ‘James’ big sister Anna loves George Ezra’s song Shotgun and has it on repeat which James absolutely loved.

    ‘We decided to learn Makaton to the video. James picked it up really quickly and we are all so impressed and proud of him so I decided to video us singing and signing.

    Now Annemarie wants to spread the video as far as possible in the hope the singer might see James’ version, and to try to raise awareness of the Makaton language.

    ‘A few people encouraged me to share on Twitter to try and bring it to George Ezra’s attention.

    ‘I just thought how wonderful that would be if by some miracle due to the power of social media that James could maybe sign his song in person to George Ezra himself.’

    MORE: MenTal(k) Health: ‘I wear my scars with pride for the LGBT community’

    MORE: Boots replaces plastic bags with fully recyclable paper bags

    Three-year-old boy who can\'t speak because of tracheotomy signs his favourite song by George Ezra in MakatonThree-year-old boy who can\'t speak because of tracheotomy signs his favourite song by George Ezra in Makaton

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