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- 08/03/19--06:53: _Woman creates brill...
- 08/03/19--07:09: _Dating trends: They...
- 08/03/19--08:01: _Neglected dog who l...
- 08/03/19--08:30: _Woman travels acros...
- 08/03/19--08:34: _Couple buy five sof...
- 08/03/19--09:13: _Music festivals can...
- 08/04/19--00:01: _What to look for in...
- 08/04/19--00:54: _Dad who had a heada...
- 08/04/19--01:00: _You Don’t Look Sick...
- 08/04/19--01:01: _I lost weight becau...
- 08/04/19--01:01: _How to keep your pl...
- 08/04/19--01:01: _How to exercise saf...
- 08/04/19--02:01: _Shaving my head giv...
- 08/04/19--02:11: _McDonald’s is re-la...
- 08/04/19--03:01: _It’s normal to be a...
- 08/04/19--03:08: _10-year-old girl th...
- 08/04/19--04:04: _Hindu-Muslim lesbia...
- 08/04/19--05:20: _Woman wears floor-l...
- 08/04/19--06:01: _Uber driver pretend...
- 08/04/19--06:31: _Six family-friendly...
- 08/03/19--07:09: Dating trends: They’re truly not that deep
- 08/04/19--00:01: What to look for in the best high-impact sports bra for the gym
- Biliary atresia means the destruction or absence of all or a portion of the bile duct that lies outside the liver.
- This is a tube that allows bile to flow from the liver into the gall bladder and, eventually, the small intestine.
- This bile carries waste products from the liver and helps with the absorption of fats and vitamins by the intestines.
- In biliary atresia, absence or destruction of the bile ducts results in the abnormal accumulation of bile in the liver.
- Babies with biliary atresia develop yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice) and scarring of the liver (fibrosis).
- The exact cause of biliary atresia is unknown.
- 08/04/19--01:01: How to keep your plants alive while you are on holiday
- 08/04/19--01:01: How to exercise safely when you’re pregnant
- 08/04/19--02:11: McDonald’s is re-launching its Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese
- 08/04/19--06:31: Six family-friendly events to take the kids to before summer is over
We’ve fallen in love with a woman who’s created an Instagram account solely modelling clothes her boyfriend hates.
The passive-aggressive account has racked up more than 18,000 followers, and is filled with photos of Olivia Jackson looking gorgeous in a variety of outfits, all featuring clothing her boyfriend doesn’t like.
The account was started in March 2018, when Olivia shared a photo of herself in a black leather jacket and velvet skirt.
In the caption, she ticked off all the items her boyfriend hates, with the hashtag #clothesmyboyfriendhates.
This included mustard, velvet, tassels and patent – which funnily enough are all items she loves.
In a recent photo, Olivia shared a photo of her in a rainbow dress – after asking her boyfriend which item of her clothing he hates the most.
And yes, it was that.
Other photos show Olivia rocking *that* Zara dress, which again, her boyfriend is not a fan of (though it seems everyone else is), a gingham dress, cute blazers, Barbie tees and jeans.
Here are a few of our favourite looks from Olivia, much to the dislike of her boyfriend.
*That* Zara dress
Olivia’s boyfriend called these jeans ‘ridiculous’
Apparently he’s not a fan of Barbie tees…
He’s not a fan of clashing colours (though we think this looks great)
Apparently he also hates tie-dye…
He called this one a ‘tea towel’ – ouch
Olivia’s boyfriend told her this blazer looks like ‘pyjamas’
How could he not like this?
Of course, the account is all a bit of fun and Olivia is very happy with her boyfriend – even if he’s not that keen on her clothing choices.
But we’re big fans of Olivia for creating the account and proving that she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks – and she shouldn’t, because she’s total fashion goals.
A Woman Has Created An Entire Instagram Page Dedicated To Outfits Her Boyfriend Hates
Last night, Instagram’s advertising algorithm somehow figured out that I am a hapless, unlucky-in-love singleton. It punished me for this by forcing to watch a promoted story concerning a new – and very serious – dating trend I should start worrying about.
‘Shelving’, this one was called – which is when someone tells you they’re too busy with work commitments to see you. This doesn’t seem particularly sinister, for the following reasons:
Everyone is busy these days (thanks in no small part to a little-known economic system called neoliberal capitalism) so it stands to reason that sometimes work gets in the way of dating.
I ‘shelved’ someone just the other week, because I genuinely had too much work to do and, if truth be told, I didn’t like them enough to prioritise them over my career. Admittedly, if I’d fancied them more, I would have sacked off my deadline faster than you could see it happening.
But if someone can’t appreciate that you’re not constantly at their beck-and-call and that you have other commitments, then maybe you don’t want to date them anyway.
If ‘shelving’ really is a way for someone to communicate that they’re not into you, then…maybe just take the hint? Most of these supposedly malicious ‘dating trends’ seem more like polite attempts at letting someone down gently.
Grrr, I really hate this new dating trend where people don’t want to date me. What the hell is wrong with our generation?
I posit that the vast majority of these trends really, truly aren’t that deep. Here are some of the stupidest ones, and why, if you take them seriously, you need to get a grip.
To get more insight, I spoke with Moya, a 24 year old journalist who writes about relationships.
Orbiting was the subject of a viral New York Times article last year, which was promoted to me as a tweet for months on end until I finally caved and read it. The idea is that someone, after breaking up with you or otherwise rejecting you, continues to hover round the edges of your social media, whether that’s viewing your Instagram stories or liking your tweets or Facebook posts.
‘This one is weird,’ Moya admits, ‘stop looking at my fucking stories. You ghosted me – you could see me in the flesh.’
I, too, understand how maddening orbiting can be. I once became vaguely obsessed with the fact that someone with whom I’d had quite an acrimonious rupture, but still liked, was viewing every single one of my Instagram stories. The only explanation was that he was madly in love with me, right?
Well, tough – he’d had his chance and he blew it. Instead of just taking the L, like an emotionally mature adult, I devised an entire social media strategy solely to torment him. Every single thing I posted was designed to remind him how cool and attractive I am, and the enormity of what he’d discarded. Truly tragique.
Incidentally, this behavior has its own name, Gatsbying, inspired by The Great Gatsby – a novel in which the titular protagonist hosts a series of extravagant parties in the hope that, one day, the woman he loves will attend one. She eventually does, and I’m pretty sure they get together and it all works out – but it’s been a while since I read it.
So, yeah, I found orbiting vaguely upsetting for a while. But then one day, I realised that I didn’t actually have to care about whether this man viewed my stories, that I was torturing myself for no reason. I soft-blocked him (which means you block, and then unblock someone, so that you no longer follow each other) and very quickly forgot all about it.
Unless someone is actively stalking you, it’s really not that difficult or awkward to kick them out of your online orbit. To sum up, orbiting is a somewhat annoying problem with an incredibly easy solution.
According to Yahoo Style this is one trend to look out for in 2019. It basically means that someone you’re in a relationship with keeps you from meeting their friends or family – the implication being that it’s because they’re not serious about the relationship, or even that they’re embarrassed of you. I can’t imagine this is often the case.
If this is happening in your relationship, it seems just as likely the issue is that they’re worried about what you’ll think of their family, rather than vice versa.
Not everyone has a great relationship with the people they grew up with, and there’s all sorts of valid reasons why they might want to keep you apart. This is perhaps particularly true in the case of LGBT+ people, who might not even be out.
More bluntly, Moya reckons: ‘I haven’t experienced that but if a friend of mine was in that situation I’d just say “he’s not that into you, bro.” I mean, that’s the answer to most of these, isn’t it?’
This is one of the OG dating trends, a mainstay of the genre, with almost as illustrious a career as ghosting. It’s when someone tosses you just enough affection and attention to keep you on the hook, but without having any real intention of making it a thing. That text they sent you that had you bursting with joy and hope? They were probably just bored.
Again, I’m not sure this is always such a big deal – do you have to intend to ask for someone’s hand in marriage before you send them a flirty text? But if it goes on for a long time, breadcrumbing can be hurtful.
Moya says, ‘it’s very tiresome – eventually you need to cut the cord and stop replying.
‘But that said, although it’s a real phenomenon, I think the fact we have to give names to all these specific behaviors misses the point of the wider pattern that they’re part of: a growing general lack of decency and communication in modern dating.
‘They’re not really new, they’re just far easier to identify and track now we do so much via technology and have such a clear paper trail.’
Maybe we do need to have a conversation about how to be kinder to one another when it comes to dating; maybe we need to establish a better etiquette of rejection.
The problem is how easy it is, and how insignificant it feels, to be unwittingly cruel to someone when you just don’t like them as much as they like you (not to mention how utterly devastating it is to be on the other end – the disparity of feeling is tragicomic).
But attributing malice to the uninterested party, or coming up with ever more contrived names for ever more specific behaviors, probably isn’t the best way of going about that.
Sex and dating illos
Little Lionheart has had a tough time – but now he’s finally getting the love he deserves.
For two years he lived under a bed, so neglected that when he was found he was unable to eat, drink, or walk thanks to the thick mats in his fur.
He was surrendered to the Richmond SPCA in April weak, scared, and covered in his own urine and faeces.
His former owner revealed that the seven-year-old dog had been hiding under the bed for the last two years, resulting in his awful condition.
Thankfully, the team at the SPCA were up to the task of nursing the dog back to health.
They started by removing pounds of matted fur that was pulling at Lionheart’s skin and causing him pain.
He was shaved and had his nails clipped so staff could get a proper look at his physical health.
They discovered that years of neglect had left the dog with sores all over his skin, painful periodontal disease, and internal parasites.
‘I saw him when he first arrived, and I could not tell which was the front end and which was the back end,’ Richmond SPCA CEO Robin Starr told Today. ‘You couldn’t see anything. I am sure he was in great discomfort.’
Over the next three months Lionheart underwent medical treatment, rehabilitation, and was given all the love and care to restore his faith in humans.
The transformation from a terrified, suffering dog to a happy pup is pretty incredible.
‘Relieved from the weight and discomfort of his matted fur, Lionheart began to show his adorable personality,’ said Robin.
‘He almost immediately, when he woke up, was bouncy and happy and full of energy.
‘I’m sure he had lots of pent-up energy after all that time.’
By June, he was ready for adoption. The tiny poodle was snatched up almost immediately, by a family who will give him the loving home he deserves.
A british model has travelled 10,000 miles cross the world to Australia for free – blagging rides on planes, tractors, cars, ferries, buses, bikes and tuk tuks – all to raise money for a charity.
38-year-old mum-of-two Elaine Harris got all the way to Sydney thanks to kind strangers who helped her get there from the UK.
Elaine, who was a finalist on the UK’s Top Model, started the adventure on a tractor, leaving her home in Forfar, Angus, on 21 July.
She travelled to Germany, Czechoslovakia, Israel, Bangkok, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Kuala Lumpur before arriving in Sydney – all with no cash.
The mum to Salina, six, and Ariana, two, celebrated the end of her 10-day challenge by climbing up the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, despite being exhausted.
She’s been surviving on one meal a day and protein bars, and has relied on the generosity of others to get through the trip.
She’s even had to ration water and her phone battery while she hitchhiked for lifts on the back of lorries.
Elaine said the hardest part was sleep deprivation and a 25 hour bus journey from Bangkok to Vietnam via Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Elaine said: ‘When I was starting the challenge I had no idea what to carry.
‘How do you pack for somewhere that you don’t know?
‘I took ten protein bars and I ate them all.
‘I’m so grateful for them, I was having one meal a day and a protein bar.
‘I had to ration everything. I rationed water, food and even the charge on my phone.
‘When people gave you food or anything you would just appreciate it.
‘I wouldn’t ask them to give me stuff but once I got chatting to people they would help but it was all very genuine.
‘Some people would give me money for food.
‘Hitching for the lorries was terrifying.
‘My heart was in my mouth but I honestly didn’t come across anything negative within the ten days.
‘By day three, the whole challenge just blew up and everyone got behind me through social media.
‘It was so cool to start at with a tractor in Scotland and end up in Australia.
‘The whole journey has been surreal.’
She travelled from Dundee to Glasgow on the back of a motorbike before hitching a lift with a trucker to Dover where she got the ferry onto Calais.
Elaine arrived in Brussels on Tuesday where she hitch-hiked to Lohr Am Main in Bavaria, Germany.
From there she took a 25-hour bus journey from Bangkok to Vietnam via Siem Reap, Cambodia, where she got a lift on a tuk tuk.
She then flew from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney.
Elaine said: ‘The lack of sleep and food was probably the hardest thing for me.
‘I was relying on people to feed me because I was in transit the whole entire time.
‘I think I went through seven days without having a proper bed to sleep on.’
Elaine took on the challenge to raise funds for a clinic to provide dental and eye care to kids on the isle of Sal, in Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa.
The inspirational mum said: ‘I thought about doing something were you take a chance on people being good.
‘I felt like most stories that are reported are about the dangers in the world so I thought of something which will show the good in people.
‘My kids are really proud of me and my eldest worked in the clinic with me so she’s very aware of the work we do.
‘She’s full of empathy. She is proud of me.
‘I just think about how many other kids I can help.
‘At the moment, it hasn’t really sunk in that I’ve achieved this.
‘It’s about the goodwill of people. If it wasn’t for those people helping me along the way I wouldn’t have managed to get to where I got to.
‘This journey has not changed my perception of people but it certainly has restored my faith in people.
‘It’s just incredible.’
A couple have had to buy their fifth sofa since 2016 because their dogs won’t stop destroying them.
24-year-old Alannah Horscroft and her husband Lee, from Essex, have spent thousands replacing their furniture because their Staffordshire bull terrier Ziggy and rottweiler-husky cross Honey keep chewing them up.
The couple have been buying new sofas for the last three years, including a duck feather sofa in 2018 that left their living room ‘looking like a bomb had exploded’, and now they’ll only buy them secondhand.
Alannah, who is pregnant with her first child, said: ‘The first sofa was replaced in early 2016 due to being so scuffed and having a rip in from their claws, the second sofa was the same, third sofa was the feather one and they clawed it to bits, the fourth sofa was only a temporary one which had the same end as the others and now we’re on our fifth.
‘We have to get a new sofas at least once a year, and this has been going on for five years now.
‘I can’t tell them off because they’re so adorable, but by now they know what they’re doing, and they know it’s naughty, but they never seem to learn.’
The couple have had Ziggy since he was a puppy, adopting him in 2013, and they have had Honey since 2015.
The pair started destroying the sofas a year later.
Alannah continued: ‘The worst one was when they ate a duck feather sofa. We had only been out of the house for a couple of hours.
‘It was like a bomb had just exploded, or 15 ducks just had a wrestling match in my house, the duck feathers almost made a new rug across the floor.
‘When we went to find the dogs they were hiding upstairs under the bed, where they frequently end up after one of their messy episodes.
‘At the time we did not see the funny side, the feathers were everywhere and sweeping them all up took hours – not to mention the week after having to go and buy a new sofa.’
‘My bed is on legs, when I went to find them they crawled out from their hiding place and rolled on to their backs, looking sorry for themselves – when they do that it’s impossible to be mad at them.
‘My “comedian” husband played his role as well, once I had it all swept up he threw a pillow in the middle of them and they scattered across the room again.
‘We don’t even by the sofas brand new anymore, because we know their life expectancy is about twelve seconds.’
Alannah says her dogs are ‘lovely’ even if they are a ‘little troublesome’.
She said:’They don’t mean to do it, they just seem to have a yearly wrestling match and unfortunately the sofa is their biggest enemy.
‘I remember once when I bought a really expensive rug and Honey decided one day that it was a toilet, just another reason why we don’t always by brand new furniture anymore!
‘What’s done is done, and they’re a part of the family, it’s just annoying because we can’t exactly ground them, it’s not like having children.
‘We wouldn’t change them for anything, they’re such funny dogs, so when all is said and done, it’s not a big deal.
‘We’ll just have to wait and see how long this sofa lasts.’
DOG WRECKS FIVE SOFAS
Festivals have traditionally been spaces to push the boundaries of music, politics and identity.
And a large part of that involves the idea of getting back to nature – letting our inner children run free thanks to a barrage of booze and other not-so-legal substances.
But despite our desperation to pay hundreds in order to sleep in fields and have only baby wipe showers, many festivals have absolutely devastated the countryside in which they’re held.
In the past, city events like Wireless have turned Finsbury Park into a quagmire of plastic and litter.
As the unicorn trend has run on, so too has our obsession with glitter – which washes off into the soil and water supplies, filling them with micro-plastics.
And that’s before you get to all the plastic tents left behind.
But last year, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) decided that enough as enough, calling for all UK festivals to be totally single-use plastic-free by 2021.
That sounds like a good step, right?
Glastonbury tried to implement it this year, calling on their ravers to ditch the plastic bottles and to carry around refillables. Glasto, obviously, is the perfect place for such a revolution; the whole vibe there is about caring for the world.
What the organisers couldn’t anticipate, however, was the crazy heatwave that took place that weekend.
As temperatures soared to 30’C, 200,000 festival goers were forced to spend hours in water tap queues, with over 70 people needing to be treated in two days by paramedic teams for heat-related issues.
In principal, Glastonbury was totally on the right track; by forbidding single-use plastics on site, they were set to save on the one million plastic bottles sold at the festival in 2017. That year, 40 tonnes of plastic were recycled.
Boardmasters has been working to keep the Cornish coastline clean since 2001, by supporting Surfers Against Sewage. Shuttle bus services, organised beach cleans, a ban on non-biodegradable glitter being sold on site, and eco showers have all helped the festival to cut down on waste.
This year’s Wilderness has replaced all of their single use plastic cups with 100% biodegradable and compostable cups made from plant starch. Bring them back to the bar and you’ll get your deposit back. The festival is also using waterless festival loos which don’t use chemicals either.
So lots of the big names are trying to make a difference.
But there are massive difficulties for festivals when it comes to laying down these laws. They can’t control the weather.
That’s why it’s best to know what you can do to be green before you go. The great thing is that most of the time, being an eco-happy camper often means saving money in the long term and having more time for important stuff like getting turnt.
We’ve worked with the WWF to put together a few tips for those of us who want to frolic in the sun without causing any harm.
Take your tent back home with you (at this year’s Glastonbury, 99.3% tents were taken home) or borrow camping gear if you don’t have your own. Single-use tents should be completely avoided.
You could also bring along your own cutlery, plates, coffee cups and water bottles as lots of festivals have plenty of dedicated water refill points.
If you do anticipate very hot weather, then you could always see about investing in a collapsible water container which can hold a gallon or two from which you can cook/wash/drink. At least that’ll save you schlepping to water taps.
You can get containers from £15.99 on Amazon.
2. Festival fashion
Resist the urge to go out and buy a new outfit for every day of the festival. That’s how we ended up in this polka dot Zara dress nightmare in the first place.
It’s far better to upcycle your clothes or swap with your friends as an alternative. That way, you won’t be wearing the same outfit as half the campsite.
Let’s face it: most festival outfits are pretty minimal when it comes to fabric so simply turning your old jeans into hot pants, or t-shirts into crops (you could even tie-dye if you really want to go back to 1997) should suffice.
3. Pick up after yourself
Without sounding like a real narc, no one likes a litter bug. Don’t kid yourself that you’re a liberal dude by going to a festival and then leaving all your crap behind.
Recycle everything you can and make sure that you don’t leave anything behind.
4. Take doggy-bag containers
Festivals are hungry work and the food there is often great but expensive. So make sure you have containers and cool bags for storing the snacks you’ve brought with you and also any food you buy.
Many stalls will have plastic-free options for serving up grub but why waste their resources if you don’t have to? Remember, the green motto is: reduce, reuse, recycle. So by bringing your own containers, you’re reducing the need for these companies to create anything that needs to be reused or recycled in the first place.
5. Plan your journey
Unless you’re going to a festival that is totally off the beaten track and is so small that it’s not putting on any shuttle buses, get public transport.
Not only will you swerve the traffic jams trying to get on site, but that’ll also give you an opportunity to get in the party spirit on the way there and sleep/sob on the way home.
6. Choose waterproofs wisely
No one ever looked chic in those flimsy plastic ponchos – especially after they’ve been worn once.
So invest in a proper waterproof jacket that you can fold up and which might actually keep you dry and warm when you need it.
7. Makeup wipes
They might be lifesavers when there are no showers but make-up wipes are a total no-go – even ‘biodegradable’ ones.
Even those branded ‘biodegradable’ don’t break down if left in the natural environment. They require industrial composting.
Instead of single-use wipes, take a reusable muslin face cloth or cotton towel with you to remove makeup – they’re more friendly to the planet and simple to wash with the rest of your festival gear when you get back home.
If you want to give your face a proper clean, try the Jade Roller naked cleansing balm from Lush (£8.50) or take a mini bottle of Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser (£8). Body Shop sells muslin cloths for £2.50.
Check for the correct certification – the WWF recommends the OK Compost Biodegradable one.
If you can’t find this type of glitter, try to avoid it entirely and use natural face paints and reusable masks instead.
Try A Beautiful Weirdo Eco Glitter from Plastic Freedom, £25.
Should we be worried about the unseasonably warm weather
A sports bra is a crucial piece of fitness kit – as anyone who has breasts will tell you.
Boobs can be a serious hindrance to getting the most of a workout if they’re not securely strapped in.
Too much bounce can be distracting, uncomfortable, painful and it can even cause long-term damage to breast tissue and to the back and shoulders.
But is your sports bra actually doing a good-enough job? A former sports bra tester has told us why so many bras on the market aren’t up to standard – and it’s all to do with ‘upward motion’.
‘Not many people know that some sports bras are tested in lab conditions. This was my job,’ Mari Thomas tells Metro.co.uk.
‘I worked in a laboratory running experiments on different sports bra designs. A number of the world’s top sports brands came to our facility at Loughborough University to evaluate the effectiveness of their design.’
But how would you effectively test sports bras? Is it a case of simply jumping up and down and monitoring the levels of jiggle? Not exactly.
‘Testing would involve the recruiting of different sized women who didn’t mind running on a treadmill in their sports bra,’ explains Mari.
‘Motion capture sensors would be placed on the fullest part of the breasts to measure the motion experienced. The greater the motion, the worse the performance of that bra would be.’
One of the main takeaways from Mari’s time as a sports bra tester was understanding the complexity of how breasts move when we are being active.
Mari says that too many consumers – and manufacturers – only focus on the downward movement of the breast – but when we run, jump, spin or play sport, our boobs basically have minds of their own.
‘Boobs move in all sorts of directions, not just downwards. Even when you’re doing a pretty repetitive movement like running,’ says Mari.
‘They complete a three-dimensional figure of eight when running; moving up and down, side-to-side and in and out. So to make a sports bra which only looks at reducing downward motion is a short-sighted and outdated concept.
‘It is very important that we reduce the downward motion of the breast.
‘The Cooper’s ligament in the breast can stretch and elongate if subjected to a great enough downward force for a long period of time. But if our boobs are allowed to travel upward to begin with then it allows for a greater downward distance for travel.
‘After all, what goes up, must come down.
‘Our breasts are made up of many components, and the Cooper’s Ligament is one of them. It extends from the clavicle to the deep fascia of the breasts and it helps to shape out breasts.
‘It’s important that we prevent excessive stretching to the Cooper’s Ligament to reduce sagging and pain of the breast. Sports bras will help to minimise this, as they can reduce breast motion by up to 95% during exercise.’
It’s solid logic – if your boobs go higher when we run then the downward force will be bigger. It makes sense to limit that movement altogether.
And Mari says it’s not just about stretching the ligaments. Wearing the wrong sports bra can effect performance too.
‘Having poor support can also affect our running cadence,’ explains Mari.
‘I compare it to running with a rucksack on your back. It causes no bother when we’re walking along, but as soon as you start to run it’s a whole different ball game.
‘If the bag isn’t strapped down to move in rhythm with your body then it throws off your running pattern.
‘This is because the rucksack reaches its furthest downward position later than your body does, it has a delayed motion compared to your body.’
Breast discomfort and excessive movement is one of the main deterrents for women – and anyone with breasts – when it comes to exercising.
Mari launched her own range of sports bras in 2018 to help tackle this issue, with a focus on upward motion as well as downward.
‘I had the idea for the Overband® bra around five years before I even started MAAREE.
‘I used to be running along and thinking to myself; “this bra would be perfect if only it stopped things from coming up too”.
What to think about when choosing a sports bra
If I could advise just one thing, I would say that it is important to know what’s right for you and to get to know your own body.
What one person may think is good about a sports bra for them, may not be right for you. There’s no one-bra-suits-all out there.
Learn about the different types of sports bras out there and get to know what feels and performs well for you. If you are selecting a sports bra out there solely on how it looks, then you may want to take a step back and think “actually, will this work for me?”
Don’t get me wrong, how a bra looks is also an important factor. I mean, if you don’t feel good in it, then you’re probably not going to wear it. But it shouldn’t be the main or only factor you base your purchase on.
Mari Thomas, Maaree sports bras
‘Combining my own experience with what I was learning from my job as a sports bra tester, I couldn’t think why no-one was solving this problem.
‘I assumed someone would do it eventually. However, years passed and I got tired of waiting. So I started sewing prototypes at home, to see if there was any truth to my concept.
‘When I completed my very first sports bra with Overband® prototype, I saw that there was a big improvement with my design.
‘So I designed two bras for my first collection; the Solidarity High-Impact Sports Bra and the Empower Medium-Impact Sports Bra.
‘It’s a radical change to the current market offering and I wasn’t sure if anyone would understand the problem I am trying to tackle. Especially as no-one has previously shone a light on this aspect of sports bras.
‘Many companies will try to improve bras my making them tighter and tighter, which can affect the user’s breathing. Whereas I am tackling the problem differently.
‘Fortunately, I could not be happier with the response I’ve had to date. I have already had so many messages saying how much people love my bras and how they are even changed their lives.’
As an active woman Mari knows just how crucial it is to find the perfect sports bra – she wants to make it easier for people to find a fit that suits them and helps them to feel comfortable and portected.
‘It is incredibly important to be aware of your breast support and comfort when you work out,’ says Mari.
‘Shopping for a sports bra should be a similar experience as to when you chose your running shoes. You wouldn’t walk out of the shop with a pair that caused you discomfort or wasn’t the right size.
‘It’s a very important piece of equipment that serves a purpose and wearing a poor-performing bra can be detrimental to our bodies.
‘It’s not always easy to feel how much motion our breasts are experiencing when we are active, as we don’t run in front of a mirror most of the time.
‘So I would ask that you check yourself regularly by placing your hands just above the breasts when you are active, to feel how much motion you are experiencing.’
Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’. Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’. To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com
I am Team GB
Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.
Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.
To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com
A woman fitting a sports bra on to another woman
Ross Dinmore sought medical help on his birthday two months ago, because he felt like he was being ‘hit in the head with a hammer’.
An MRI found swelling in his brain, and just three days later doctors gave the dad-of-three the horrible news, and told him he has a rare type of inoperable cancer.
His diagnosis of stage four glioblastoma has a life expectancy of between 12 and 18 months.
Despite the devastating prognosis, Ross, from Arundel, West Sussex, hasn’t given up hope and is campaigning to get a place on a £200,000 medical trial.
The former delivery driver said he ‘can’t bear the thought’ of leaving his wife Leah, 40, and children – Ella, 4, Luke, 13, and Daniel, 17- behind.
‘I refuse to accept what the doctors are telling me,’ he said.
‘I can’t get my head round having a headache then being told I’m going to die, it just doesn’t make sense to me.
‘Hearing that was so strange, I felt completely numb. My headache was incredibly painful but I never thought there was anything seriously wrong.
‘This should serve as a warning to other people to go and seek help if there’s a problem. I only went because my wife forced me to, I have her to thank for that.’
Ross sought medical help from his GP before going to the hospital on 31 May, 2019, but was just told to take painkillers.
He then went to A&E, where he was kept overnight before going back for his MRI results on 3 June, which is when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Surgeons operated on Ross the same day in an attempt to remove the tumour, but because of its aggressive nature the lump has been rapidly growing back since.
The dad-of-three was put on radiotherapy and is now in his fourth week of chemotherapy, which has caused his hair to fall out.
Although his diagnosis is terminal, Ross is desperate to receive an immunotherapy treatment called DCVax, which he can only access through taking part in the clinical trial.
He said: ‘I know this drug has helped people in my situation live a long life.
‘I have a beautiful loving wife and a beautiful princess daughter, along with two boys. I want to see the children grow up.
‘I can’t bear the thought of leaving them, it would have a devastating effect on them.
‘If this treatment could save my life then I’m prepared to do anything.’
Ross is currently crowdfunding to raise money for the DCVax treatment on GoFundMe.
He has so far raised £480 of his £200,000 goal.
Dad-of-three who went to hospital after suffering from a FOUR WEEK-long headache told that he has a year to live - just three days later
Welcome to You Don’t Look Sick – our weekly series about living with an invisible illness or hidden condition.
Michael Anthony, 20, from Scotland, has biliary atresia – a type of liver failure.
The condition occurs in babies where the bile ducts on the outside and inside of the liver don’t work properly, eventually causing a complete blockage of bile from the liver, leading to scarring on the organ.
He was diagnosed at eight weeks old, and had surgery called a kasai procedure to allow the body to bypass the blocked ducts and drain into the gut.
The surgery left him with a scar across his abdomen and as he got older, he became very self conscious of his condition.
He explains: ‘I have a huge scar that stretches across my abdomen and had a huge bloated stomach, which made me stand out even when I wore a shirt.
‘I could never hide it or get rid of it so I never liked or felt comfortable with my body. I felt drastically different to others.
‘It started to make me feel isolated and resentful as no one else seemed to have the problems I did.
‘It knocked my confidence, especially at school and there were loads of things that meant I was treated differently to protect me.’
What is biliary atresia?
He has started to learn to accept his condition through working with the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation and meeting others also living with liver diseases.
At 16, his parents took him to the Closer to the Edge programme, run by the charity, where he got to meet others also living with liver failure.
Michael explains: ‘I got to meet a group of people who all had a form of liver disease, some even having the same condition as me.
‘Simply knowing I’m not alone helped me greatly. I’ve grown to love my disease, making it my own and I make sure I use every opportunity to give back so other kids get the amazing support that I had.’
There are still many things that still make him feel different to other people – but he is now much more confident.
Currently, Michael manages his condition with medication but knows that some day, a liver transplant will be needed.
He says: ‘Life gets a bit more complicated with things such as school or work and being on a strict amount of medication.
‘It can be difficult making sure you stay on top of it. I’ve been on medication for nearly my entire life but I still find it difficult to balance everything and can often forget.
‘There’s a lot more than just the medical side with hospital appointments and medication routines.
‘It can also affect my ability to participate in things my peers take for granted. For example, going on holiday is harder as getting insurance is incredibly expensive.
‘It can often feel like a losing battle and it can feel like you’re restricting other people who want to go away somewhere.’
The condition means that Michael can’t drink alcohol, which also sets him apart from other people his age, but he still makes sure he has a good time.
He says: ‘At parties or at clubs people will remark how they find it amazing that I can still have fun and dance like an idiot without having any alcohol.’
Beyond these things, one of the most difficult things for Michael is not knowing what will happen with his condition.
He says: ‘That is the most troubling thing about the disease. I have a lot of knowledge about my condition now but there is still a degree of uncertainty as eventually a transplant will be needed.
‘With that comes a number of questions like how much time do I have left before a transplant? Will I be able to get a transplant? Will the transplant come with rejection and will I be able to handle the upkeep?’
He tried not to dwell on what he can’t do, instead focusing on hobbies like swimming and studying for his qualification in measurement and control engineering.
He says: ‘I push the boundaries of what it is I’m able to do. I’ve taken part in swimming since I was young, as it was one of the only sports I could do.
‘I loved it so much I carried it further into lifeguarding and teaching. It’s also helped me to strengthen my body.
‘I’ve also been a mechanic from a young age often helping my car enthusiastic dad in our home garage restoring classic cars. It is something that my dad has taught me to love as much as he does.
‘Being a sickly kid it felt impossible for me to do these things but as my confidence has grown, I have pushed myself to become better and I can enjoy these passions. Now I feel like my condition isn’t holding me back.’
Living with the condition throughout his entire life, Michael says it has also given him opportunities to do things he would never have expected.
He says: ‘There are negatives that come with the disease but there are a number of positives that come with it too.
‘One of the biggest is the opportunities and support. Through the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, I’ve met young people who share my difficulties and experiences so I’ve become part of a community.
‘I’ve found both common ground and a place where I don’t have to explain what I have and where I don’t need to feel different. I have a big family where I feel welcomed.’
Michael now likes to give back and help others with the condition come to terms with life with liver failure and wants to raise more awareness
He says: ‘For people to understand invisible illness better it’s important to know that it’s ok to ask about it.
‘Of course people think that it’s a sensitive issue – it can be but it’s important to never be afraid to ask.
‘I often encourage people to ask me questions if they don’t understand as that’s the best way to learn about it.
‘It’s a two-way street and if you have an illness never be afraid to tell people about it. While most may not want to draw attention to it, people are more accepting than you may think.’
‘Helping them to understand your illness leads to them being more accepting.
‘The most important thing to note is that whatever the illness, it is not something that you can control or blame yourself for having.’
How to get involved with You Don't Look Sick
You Don’t Look Sick is Metro.co.uk’s weekly series that discusses invisible illness and disabilities.
If you have an invisible illness or disability and fancy taking part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ll need to be happy to share pictures that show how your condition affects you, and have some time to have some pictures taken.
2019 has not been my year. A seismic shift in my business led, eventually, to being sued. I was owed £12,000 in late payments – the financial pressure was keeping me up at night. By July, my relationship was creaking under stress and strain.
As my energy, enthusiasm and mental health waned, so did my physical health – and I lost weight. Not much to start with, but month by month, I could feel it slipping off.
My near-constant state of anxiety had killed my appetite, so I skipped breakfast and ate toast for dinner. I felt overwhelmed by the thought of stepping into Pret and having to make another decision.
Before long the bones of my chest were starting to show, the corners of my hips so sharp they would almost catch on corners and my mum said I was looking “runty”.
Yet everyone else told me I had never looked better.
The more I diminished physically, the greater the frequency of compliments and admiring glances.
Family members told me I was ‘glowing”. People I barely knew, in an attempt at flattery, asked for my ‘secret’.
I was too ashamed, and possibly too British, to tell the truth: I was unhappy.
Sometimes there was an undertone of hostility to these comments, as if I had somehow affronted people by becoming skinnier. On numerous occasions I was given the once-over and told how ‘different’ I looked – the undertone being that they were happier when I wasn’t thinner than them.
‘Different’, of course, is a relative term, and the often-competitive environment which women are faced with navigating means it is a word occasionally deployed with a heavy dose of the pejorative.
It’s possible that some were trying to needle me. Others affected to care when they first saw me, but rarely followed up with offers of support.
It was taken for granted that losing weight was aspirational – after all, nobody came up to me to express horror at my more slender frame. I was shocked by the assumption that I must have therefore been working hard to lose weight, through some combination of lifestyle changes, and that had been the right thing to do.
Perhaps I should have been parading the fact on Instagram in an effort to show others that ‘anyone can do it’, since society sees skinny and attractive as one and the same? How ironic that I took on this form when I was at my least happy.
I am far from alone. Having shared my story online, I received message after message from women recounting their darkest times, when they looked their thinnest but felt their very worst.
We can make a small start by refusing to conflate success, of which happiness is a fundamental component, with being a size eight or 10 or 12, or whatever ‘skinny’ is.
It struck me just how many the people saw weight loss as a marker of success first, and distress second – and that so many of them were women. I certainly detected a lack of humanity in this approach, a failure, social media-driven or otherwise, to see our peers as human beings rather than shiny objects in a tagged photo. Real life is not as forgiving as portrait mode with a sepia filter.
Yet I hardly need to point out that the message ‘thin is good’ is everywhere – from adverts to Instagram and what’s on TV. It is so ingrained in women that we hardly notice it any more, absorbing it instead every day as though via osmosis, and thus we have hardly any choice but to become complicit.
It’s a vast injustice that it is left to women to push back against this rather than tackling it at big business level.
However, we can make a small start by refusing to conflate success, of which happiness is a fundamental component, with being a size eight or 10 or 12, or whatever ‘skinny’ is in the eye of the beholder.
Instead, we should perceive rapid, notable weight loss as a possible symptom of something deeper, whether that is trauma or grief or illness. Where appropriate, we have a responsibility to work with our loved ones to identify the root cause, and support them to tackle it.
In practical terms, that means finding a new vocabulary for talking about people’s bodies which frames the conversation in terms of abundance and positivity, rather than crude aesthetics.
We need to get into the habit of asking ‘how are you, really?’ as much as we’re able and properly listening to the reply.
We all lead busy lives, so when this isn’t practical the first step should be to step back and consider, rather than rush to judgement – even if that judgement is seemingly a positive one.
That isn’t to say that compliments are out. We all like to be told that our new summer dress was an excellent choice, and for those who have been open about their desire and efforts to lose weight, and reach their goal, of course a discreet ‘you look amazing’ wouldn’t go amiss.
I know that when people mentioned my weight loss back to me, many did so with good intentions. Perhaps it was a projection of what they would like to hear most themselves, because when thinness is next to godliness, we are all predisposed to want to hear we’ve lost weight.
However, next time you pause to compliment someone on how they look, take a moment to consider the context. Is that the kindest thing to say right now? A better approach be to remark upon how much you enjoyed their company, after the event, focusing on how they seemed rather than how they looked.
We need to open up more, about everything, and we need to stop making women’s bodies the battleground. Joy, love, friendship and fulfilment trump dropping a dress size, every single time.
Enough of our obsession with how people look. Let’s focus on how they might be feeling.
It’s holiday season and although you might be looking forward to that well-deserved break, being away from home could cause a few issues for your plants.
Whether they’re outdoor or indoor, plants need water and a little care, and they’re probably not going to fit into your cabin bag.
So before you go, put a plan in place to make sure you don’t come back to a plant graveyard.
Freddie Blackett, CEO and co-founder of Patch, has some advice: ‘The best option, of course, is to ask a friend or neighbour to pop in and water them.
‘If you find such a kind soul, put little tags on your plants with written instructions on how to water each of them.
‘Best not to assume that everyone understands the different water needs of all your plants and come home to find they’ve, with the best of intentions, drowned your cacti.’
He said: ‘If you know you have a neighbour who loves plants as much as you do, organise a plant swap, so they take yours in when you’re away, then you return the favour next time they take a holiday.’
If you can’t find anyone to pop in, there are still some things you can do.
Freddie added: ‘There are gizmos available to give your plants a drink without over-watering them.
‘A watering cone will keep most plants properly topped up for as much as 28 days. It’s a really simple contraption that you attach a water bottle to, stick in your plant’s pot, and then just let it do its thing.’
For smaller plants, you can set up your own watering system with a jar or bottle and some thick cotton yarn.
‘Put one end in the water and one end in your pot, making sure the end reaches at least three inches into the soil, to get to the plant’s roots. Water will naturally get drawn up the yarn and into the plant’s soil,’ Freddie says.
These tricks work with both outdoor and indoor plants but you might want to move outdoor potted plants away from direct sunlight so they don’t need as much water.
If you travel a lot, consider sticking to plants that can cope without water.
Freddie recommends snake plants, which are renowned as virtually indestructible and will tolerate drought or air plants – they won’t need watering more than once every two weeks, so will barely even notice you’ve been away.
As soon as you tell people you’re pregnant, they’re going to have opinions – about everything.
What you should and shouldn’t eat, what you should be wearing, how long you should be working for – pregnancy somehow turns women’s body’s into fair game for public discussion. And it’s exhausting.
When it comes to working out and staying fit during pregnancy, it can be hard to know who to listen to. And there is a lot of misinformation out there.
The safety of both you and your baby needs to be the number one priority during this time, but exercise can be a huge physical and mental outlet for mums-to-be, and you shouldn’t let fear mongering put you off doing what you love.
We asked pre- and postnatal fitness professional Rosie Stockley, founder of Mamawell, for her advice on how to continue exercising thoughout your pregnancy – in the safest, most efficient ways possible.
‘Finding out you’re pregnant is life changing and brings so many conflicting and intense emotions and feelings,’ Rosie tells Metro.co.uk.
‘For the first 12 weeks, the body is flooded with hormones and you may feel physically sick, fatigued and anxious.
‘From about week 13, the hormones settle and many women experience renewed energy and positivity.
‘For many, fitness will be the last thing on your mind on becoming pregnant, and it’s always important to listen to your body and mood.
‘However, the benefits of moderate exercise throughout pregnancy are extolled by health professionals with the NHS stating: “The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth”.
‘Please remember that the following advice is for a non-complicated, “normal” pregnancy. Please contact a healthcare professional at any point where you think you need more advice or extra care.’
The first 12 weeks – be careful
The first trimester is where the highest risk of miscarriage occurs, so it is important to be mindful of the intensity of exercise you are undertaking.
Many people choose to take it a little easy, ensuring they are confident and not feeling anxious about their exercise choices.
If you currently don’t do any exercise, at this point maybe just keep active by walking regularly and aim to start more formal fitness work in the second trimester.
If you are already active, and feel the need to reduce the intensity, then listen to your body for the first few weeks.
Don’t start something new
Throughout pregnancy as the body adapts, it is advised to exercise in a way in which you are familiar, and adjust the intensity as needed.
The growing abdomen changes your centre of gravity, affecting balance, and the hormone relaxin gives your muscles more elasticity – but possibly more instability – so at this point your body is not necessarily performing in the same way as it was pre-pregnancy.
The advice is stick with a type of exercise you know and enjoy.
Find a specialist pregnancy class
There are some really great antenatal Yoga and Pilates classes that are specially formulated to address the changes in your body and work to prepare the muscles for childbirth.
A class will keep you motivated, and you’ll meet like-minded women to support you.
Fitness “don’ts” in pregnancy:
It is best to consult with an antenatal fitness specialist before embarking on a pregnancy fitness regime, however everyone will want to avoid these habits.
Holding your breath
It is so important that the baby receives oxygen, and this comes directly from your breathing.
So no heavy lifting with straining and holding breath and no static moves like planks where it is hard to breathe deeply.
Lying on your back
After the first trimester, the growing baby means that the risk of supine hypotensive syndrome is greater.
This is where the growing uterus presses on the inferior vena cava which is responsible for carrying blood back to the heart. It is important not to restrict blood flow when pregnant.
Crunches, planks and other isometric movements that put a lot of pressure on your core are not advised.
We want to avoid raising the temperature of the foetus (especially in the first 12 weeks) as this can cause central nervous system disorders so avoid getting overheated, drink water, take breaks to cool the body down, and avoid saunas and steam rooms.
I am Team GB
Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.
Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.
To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com
Tummies bloat and change size - get used to it
I spent 10 years and countless amounts of time and money trying to find a hairstyle that made me confident and comfortable, only to find out a buzz cut was the answer.
From the ages of 13 to 23 I was dying my hair, filling it with products and chemicals and cutting it into different styles, some rather questionable. It was long and pink, short and purple, somewhere in the middle and red – I was quite the chameleon. I was on a mission for self-confidence, and I wanted my hair to give it to me.
One evening my friend came over and told me she was losing her hair due to alopecia. She lifted the back of her hair and revealed the large patches appearing.
She directly associated her hair with her femininity and thought that if she went bald she was no longer a woman, no longer able to be beautiful. How was I supposed to tell her this was not true? I had associated my hair with my identity for an entire decade.
I still found myself preaching that your hair is not who you are, that your face is your face, you have to love it, and love yourself. Her response was a light-hearted ‘Well it’s easy for you to say, you still have your hair’.
She was right, so I decided to prove my point to both her and myself. Using my father’s hair clippers, we cut off my pony tail and gave my head a number two cut all over.
The scariest part of this process? You really do not know what shape your head is under there.
This is when my life changed. I looked in the mirror and had never felt so confident. I looked so different. I had nothing to hide behind and it was like a weight was lifted.
It’s been almost two years since this night and I have gone from changing my hair constantly to shaving it every two weeks. I have saved so much time and money but the most important thing to me is that every day I wake up and I love my face.
I battled with loving myself for most of my life and now I am me. I’ve stopped wearing makeup and am able to focus on the more important things in life. I’ve not had a moment of regret – and trust me I was expecting a moment of ‘I NEED HAIR’ to strike at some point.
The reactions have been wonderful – some incredibly positive, some of confusion and some have been absolutely hilarious. I have had girls get emotional over the level of empowerment in my image. I’ve been called brave countless times. Many people ask me if they can touch my head.
I have had younger women completely puzzled about why I would shave my head if I was not sick. I have travelled as an English girl and been referred to as a skinhead. So many people say ‘I would love to do it but I don’t have the face for it’. Again I reiterate, your face is your face. Love it!
When people ask me about my hair, I promote confidence, friendship, and self love. I don’t spend much time sharing the story of why I shaved my head on that particular night as that was between me and my friend. Instead I tell people I went bald so I could spend more time in bed, to try and show that it is not a big deal.
I’m not by any means saying that you must shave your head to love yourself if you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin. I am saying that this is how I finally see myself for who I am. I have realised that I am worthy by design.
It is so important, especially in current times, for women to realise they are beautiful and perfect by default, to stop looking at pictures of others and comparing themselves. To learn to embrace their features and the beauty in their uniqueness.
For more information visit lisajadethompson.wixsite.com/coaching
Attention, burger fans: McDonald’s is re-launching its Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
After eight long years, the burger is finally making a comeback, and will be available across the UK and Ireland from 7 August.
The fan favourite will be available as a regular meal for £4.29, or as a large meal for £5.79.
Never had it before? It features two beef patties, two cheese slices, ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles and a bun – yum.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news.
We are very sad to announce that the burger won’t be a permanent addition to the McDonald’s menu.
It will only return for seven weeks – so you’ll have to enjoy it as much as possible before it is taken away again.
Also coming from McDonald’s on 7 August are new spicy chicken nuggets.
The meal includes a Tabasco dip, and has already been trialled in the US and Asia, and is a permanent feature on the Australian menu already.
Fancy a spicy nugget? It will cost £3.19 for six, £3.49 for nine and £4.99 for 20.
Like the Double Quarter Pounder, these nuggets will also only be available for seven weeks.
McDonald’s, why do you give us nice things only to take them away?
A ‘vagina spa’ is opening in London. VSPOT Medi Spa apparently ‘specialises in vaginal rejuvenation, lasers, tightening, urinary leakage, the orgasm shot (the o-shot), painful sex, menopause, vaginal lightening, the v-steam and more’.
It comes not long after a ‘luxury skincare’ brand the Perfect V with products being sold at high-end department store Liberty, which claims to whiten, brighten and tighten your vagina.
VSPOT’s first spa opened in New York two years ago and the brand is set to expand across the US and Dubai, and is now on our doorstep too.
Whilst the genital cosmetic industry is booming, exposure to unrealistic body types in porn and social media is growing and difficulties accessing sexual and reproductive health services are rising – an unlikely coincidence.
Many times a week in my role as a community gynaecologist and sexual health doctor, I have to discuss genital anxiety with a young person.
Recently during a contraception consultation, it emerged that my patient had concerns about the appearance of her vagina.
I pulled up the Great Wall of Vagina (plaster casts of different vaginas) on my computer, to reassure this young women just how varied vaginas can be.
Thirty minutes to re-educate a patient is not enough time to undo years of negative images or messages from misguided partners which likely created low-self-esteem.
A patient like this likely requires psychosexual counselling and further sexual health education but waiting lists are months long, so often a quick fix found on the internet wins.
It is unsurprising then that people are turning to treatments like the ‘V-steam’ which includes ‘placing an LED light on your lady bits’ supposedly for ‘antibacterial’ purposes and lacks any robust medical evidence.
Meanwhile, ‘the O-shot’ claims to provide a rapid solution for women who struggle to orgasm by being a ‘painless treatment method of using your own blood platelets injected into your vaginal tissue’.
Although the psychology of orgasms is poorly understood, it is agreed that it’s likely multifactorial, including key factors like neurology, anatomy and mental health. To claim that ‘a one treatment fits all approach’ can cure so many women is deeply misguided.
For those that utilise experimental treatments and don’t achieve their desired orgasm, it is simply reinforcing incorrect narratives that achieving orgasm is normal or the necessary end result for everybody.
Then there is the ‘V-lightening’ treatment which claims to successfully lighten the skin around the vagina using ‘Madelic Mesopeel which is a hydrolysis of almond extract’. Not only are the methods dubious, the cost of £100 to £250 is mind boggling.
Skin lightening of any sort also plays into harmful narratives that darker skin is unpleasant and in need of intervention, when it is quite normal for there to be variation on different parts of your anatomy (which may be more visible amongst black or brown people).
Black women already face considerable prejudice in the dating pool – an OK Cupid survey in 2014 revealed that we are seen as the least desirable (even amongst Black men) and this kind of advertising reinforces harmful narratives about colourism.
VSPOT are not the first company to capitalise on growing insecurities and the lack of regulation is a cause for concern.
Many of these companies (including VSPOT) are often endorsed by certified medical professionals despite many of these cosmetic treatments not having undergone the same rigorous trials that medical treatments would have.
We have to question the ethics of doctors who utilise their authority to endorse products that do not have good medical evidence.
At times, people may be seeking some of these treatments purely for pleasure – a vaginal steam may feel quite relaxing. However, it is important to recognise that some of these treatments could have detrimental side effects and the reasons for your symptoms may be the result of a more serious medical issue.
With many of the treatments costing upwards of £100 per session, it is clear that someone is making a sizeable profit from peoples’ genuine health concerns and insecurities.
If the genital cosmetic industry keeps flourishing without regulation then those displaying anxiety and signs of body dysmorphia is likely to rise, with younger people being particularly vulnerable.
It is vital that in the midst of a mental health crisis amongst our young people that we build body confidence and inclusive sexual and relationship education (SRE) that helps people understand their anatomy properly.
Good sexual and reproductive health should be available to everyone, it should be free and we should be focused on protecting the services that can deliver accurate information that comes without a hidden agenda.
Discrepancies in clothing sizes are not only infuriating, but can also cause body image issues for shoppers.
One mum, who bought new shorts for her daughter, was shocked that they didn’t fit her youngster despite her being a ‘normal’ size.
Bex Sharpley, from Hampshire, said the size 10 denim shorts for daughter Ruby were so tiny they fit the girl’s three-year-old brother Dalton.
As a result, Ruby was left thinking she had ‘fat thighs’ and a ‘chunky belly’.
The mum-of-four was enraged and said the sizing is fueling ‘body dysmorphia’.
The family bought the summer staple for £12.99 from New Look’s 915 collection ahead of their holiday.
Ruby, who was excited to try the button-down denim piece, was mortified when they wouldn’t go past her knee – and vowed never to wear shorts again.
Bex then picked the shorts up and decided to try them on Dalton, to show her daughter just how small they were.
‘I was so shocked that my daughter thought she was fat,’ said Bex.
I call her my little skinny Minnie.’
Bex said: ‘She’s a very slim child, but now she’s convinced she’s fat because she couldn’t fit into these shorts.
‘She said “oh, that must be because I’ve got fat thighs otherwise they’d fit me. Have I got chunk on my belly?”.’
Calling on New Look to address their sizing, the mum added: ‘I just thought, imagine a young girl who is a bit chunkier thinking that’s what she’s supposed to look like.
‘It could cause body dysmorphia,’
Bex revealed that Ruby hadn’t tried the shorts on in the store as size 10 normally fits her perfectly.
After realising how tiny the shorts were, the angered mum went back to New Look to complain and compare them to other shorts in the same size.
She was told that all clothing is tested on children of the same age, which worried Bex as she wondered which 10-year-old is that small.
According to Bex, a customer service spokesperson told her: ‘Please be assured that along with most retailers we use various sized real-life fit models across all of our ranges.
‘The bust, waist, hips, bicep and thigh measurements are taken for each of the industry-standard sizes and fitted against our models to ensure consistency.
‘For this reason, we are concerned to hear of this! I have passed your feedback onto our Buying Team so thank you for bringing this to our attention!
‘Please do return these to us for a full refund or exchange.’
Bex added that shops need consistency, otherwise youngsters will get confused.
Metro.co.uk has approached New Look for a comment and will update this article once a reply is received.
Anjali Chakra and Sundas Malik from New York recently celebrated their one-year anniversary.
To mark the occasion, Anjali, a Hindu woman from India, and Sundas, a Muslim artist from Pakistan, enlisted the help of photographer Sarowar Ahmed.
Together, they created a stunning photo shoot that transcended borders and brought together divided nations.
Captioned ‘a New York love story’, the shoot has since gone viral, and has been praised by half a million people so far.
The photos show Anjali and Sundas in exquisite traditional gowns in Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan, and under an umbrella on a rainy day in Chelsea.
We spoke to Anjali and Sundas about the shoot going viral and the positive reaction that it has elicited.
‘It’s been so widespread!,’ they told Metro.co.uk.
‘People from all over the world have been reaching out to us to say that they were touched by our story and our photos, and that’s so heartwarming.
‘It made us realise that when a whole group of people don’t get representation in the media, simply existing openly as a member of that group makes a difference.
‘We feel good about all the young LGBTQIA girls, non-binary people, and boys looking at our photos, feeling seen and not alone.’
The couple revealed that getting dolled up wasn’t just in honour of their anniversary, but also because Sundas was meeting Anjali’ extended family for the first time.
She said finding the perfect outfits was important in feeling comfortable ahead of the event.
All the love and support has also been overwhelming for the couple, and they’re still taking it all in.
‘It was amazing to see how quickly our photos spread, and we took the time to talk things through with each other and ground ourselves with close friends and family before responding to anything publicly,’ said Anjali.
With great virality also comes great trolling and for these two, that has meant homophobic abuse.
But Anjali and Sundas are not paying any mind to it.
‘We realise that those words are coming from people who likely don’t understand or have exposure to LGBTQIA issues,’ they said.
‘We want to acknowledge that the homophobia in the comments is indicative of the unsafe and often violent environments so many of our LGBTQIA siblings live in.
‘We hope that this representation starts conversations that are a step towards a safer future.’
The couple, who live in New York, are thankful for living in an environment where queerness is accepted.
They understand that not everyone else has the privilege.
They thanked other Twitter users for coming to their defence against the abuse.
‘This experience has made us even more grateful that we have the kind of support and protection that makes it possible for us to talk about our relationship so openly,’ they said.
‘We have also seen some really kind people jumping to our defence in mature and considerate ways, which is the kind of discourse we love to see!’
Other same-sex Indian couples have been getting a lot of love recently, including the two male grooms who had a traditional Hindu wedding.
Also being celebrated are Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju, the two lawyers who fought against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which punishes LGBTQ+ relations.
So many stan-worthy couples.
We love to see it.
Stunning gay Indian couple
There are a lot of ambiguous wedding rules.
One rule that most people agree on is that you shouldn’t wear white to a wedding (the only exception being when the dress code is white and you’re specifically asked to show up in this shade).
Unfortunately, there are rogue guests at every wedding – like the woman who showed up in a white floor-length dress to her friend’s wedding.
Photos of the guest who committed the fashion faux pas were posted to That’s It I’m Wedding Shaming, a group on Facebook, and people were not supportive of her outfit choice, according to The Sun Online.
To make matters worse, many said they couldn’t tell who was the bride and who was the guest, as both ensembles looked like wedding dresses.
‘But seriously, which one’s the bride,’ said one person.
Someone else said: ‘That’s a full on wedding dress. That’s when the maid of honour takes a b**** out back.’
One person said it was possible the guest was an old flame on a mission to steal the bride’s thunder.
‘Damn she even looks better than the bride so she’s gotta be an ex girlfriend trying to one up her and for that I hope karma bites her in the squat a**!,’ they said.
Another said: ‘MY eyes immediately went to the bride on the left, thinking “wow she looks hot”‘.
The post has received more than 150 comments and so far, no one is one the guest’s side.
Well, apart from one person who suggested that perhaps the dress code was white.
What do you think about her outfit choice?
Unfortunately, women sometimes have to employ all kinds of tactics to ward off unwanted advances from men; from pretending they have a boyfriend to asking strangers to help them out.
One Uber driver was surprised when he was enlisted in such a scheme by a woman looking to get away from an overly eager man.
While waiting for her ride, the woman sent the driver, Brandon Gale, a message through the app and asked him to pretend to be her boyfriend when he arrived.
Brandon acted accordingly, sensing that the woman was in distress.
He promptly removed his Uber and Lyft stickers and reluctantly put away his wedding ring to look the part.
As he went to pick the passenger up, he saw the woman standing with a pushy male acquaintance, who wasn’t getting the hint.
When she recognised the Uber, the female passenger quickly escaped the situation by saying ‘hi babe’ and getting into Brandon’s car.
Brandon quickly got into character before pulling up to pick up the woman.
He said: ‘I rolled down the window. She looked over and yelled, “hi, babe! I’ll be right there!”.
‘I didn’t want to leave her hanging, so I shouted back, “awesome because I’m starving!” I waved at the guy. He half-assedly waved back.’
‘Once she was in the car, and we pulled away, she let out a huge sigh of relief and tried to come across the centre console to give me a hug,’ he said.
‘Still driving, I tried to confirm to her that everything was OK, and asked what happened.
‘That’s when she told me her story, all while still trembling and trying to catch her breath.’
Brandon told Metro.co.uk about the positive reaction he received from others since sharing the story.
‘Most people have been very complimentary. At the time, in the moment, I was thinking, “If my daughter or my sons were in this same situation, I’d want someone, anyone, to step in and make the assist”.
‘Doing good deeds shouldn’t be fueled by “what’s in it for me?”.’
Facebook users said Brandon was a ‘hero’ for helping her out and thanked him.
‘Thank you for doing this for this young woman,’ wrote one person.
‘Thank you for keeping her from going through what many of us have. Thank you.’
Another said: ‘You very well could have saved that woman from some bad stuff.
‘I know I listen to too much true crime stories, but that stuff happens for sure.’
One Uber driver said he had similar experiences and could gauge by body language when women were uncomfortable.
Others said we need more men like Brandon.
Woman ordering a taxi ride with mobile app on smartphone in the city
Summer break is still going strong.
Some families leave the city for a few weeks or head off on holiday abroad, but if you’re spending summer in the city, we’ve got you covered.
August has plenty of activities to offer that the kids will love; from sweetshop-themed afternoon tea to space exhibitions at the Natural History Museum.
Here’s our list of the best things to do in London next week.
There’s something for every budget and several of the events are completely free.
Bring budding firefighters to meet their heroes
If your child dreams of being a firefighter, then this one is for them.
The London Fire Brigade is hosting a pop-up museum on the 7 August and 28 August, where budding mini-firefighters can meet their heroes, learn about fire safety and, of course, see a fire engine.
Pop in anytime from 10am to 3pm at The Workshop in Lambeth.
It’s free and kids of all ages can go along.
Give them a sugar rush at a sweetshop-themed afternoon tea
Afternoon teas aren’t just for adults.
Bring your kids along to The Chesterfield Hotel in Mayfair for a sweetshop-themed experience that includes sugary delights such as lollipops, peanut butter cups and pastries, as well as the classic homemade scones and sandwiches.
The afternoon tea draws its inspiration from the well-known Hardy’s Original Sweetshop, and costs £21.50 for children under 12 years, while adults have to shell out £40.00 per person.
Available to book every day of the week, between 12.30pm to 6.30pm.
Take them to a daytime hip hop party
Is your kid a music whiz?
Do you want to introduce them to the music you listened to when you were younger?
The Curtain in Shoreditch has introduced a new concept called Fly-Kid: a daytime party, where the tunes will focus on 90s and 00s hip hop & RnB.
2Pac, Biggie Smalls and Kanye West are all on the playlist, but don’t worry – Supa Dupa Fly, who is organising the event, promises that only clean versions without swear words will be played.
Chill out while your little ones play enjoy face painting, street dance lessons and hip hop-themed dress-up.
Kids of all ages are welcome, but note there is limited pram space.
Explore space and stare at the moon
Last month marked the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
If your child loves everything to do with space, get the family together and visit the Natural History Museum.
There are currently two astronomy-themed exhibitions, including Museum of the Moon – which features a huge man-made version of the planet – and a Mission To Mars, which is part of a project with Lego.
Mission to Mars includes an educational workshop, where you can build Lego life forms and learn about frozen oceans, deserts, rocky mountains and volcanoes in space.
The best part of both events is that they’re free.
Go on a spooky ghost tour
Who doesn’t love a good ghost story?
Hop onto the Necrobus, as it takes you on a tour around the city’s spookiest spots.
According to organisers, the event is known as a ‘comedy show on wheels’ – so expect a lot of laughs along with moments that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
It’s a family-friendly tour and kids as young as one are welcome to tag along.
The tour takes off at 7.30pm from Northumberland Road near Charing Cross tube station every day of the week and runs for an hour and 15 minutes.
Do a self-guided Harry Potter tour of the city
Potter fans, assemble.
If you prefer to explore at your own pace, this one is for you.
With the help of a self-guide map, you can make your way to 13 locations in the city that are connected to the magical phenomenon.
To make it extra fun for the little ones, you could make it into a treasure hunt or bring along an invisibility cloak.