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

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    Asha in a scene with her dad on Coronation Street
    Asha from Coronation Street has been using skin lightening cream (Picture: ITV)

    In Coronation Street, the 14-year-old daughter of Dev Alahan, Asha, has been using illegal skin whitening creams purchased during a visit to India.

    The teenager, played by Tanisha Gorey, becomes fixated with the creams after seeing how light skin is normalised and considered beautiful.

    In an interview with Digital Spy Tanisha said: ‘It’s very normalised over there [in India] so when she comes back she thinks “why shouldn’t I be doing this here too?”.’

    Skin lightening isn’t just happening on TV. What exactly is it and what risks come along with the trend?

    What are skin lightening products?

    Skin lightening or bleaching includes using chemical substances to lighten the skin or provide an even colour by reducing the melanin concentration.

    Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its colour and helps protect it from the sun.

    There are two types of whitening creams – those that ‘lighten’, and those that ‘bleach’.

    Bleaching creams contain harsh chemicals that inhibit the production of melanin, and quite rapidly make the skin whiter.

    Lightening creams don’t necessarily contain these chemicals but promise to whiten the skin with long-term use.

    Despite the backlash against these products and ongoing conversations around colourism the concept that light skin is more beautiful, professional, and successful remains commonplace.

    In Nigeria 77% of women regularly use skin lightening products.

    In Asia this number is around 40%. In India over half of skincare products are sold to whiten skin.

    Trying a skin lightening procedure is a major decision. It can be expensive, time-consuming, and the results can’t be guaranteed, warns the NHS.

    Skin lightening techniques can result in serious side effects and complications. People with darker skin tones are particularly at risk of these problems.

    Powerful skin-lightening creams are available on prescription from a doctor. These usually contain hydroquinone corticosteroids (steroid medication) or both.

    Products containing these ingredients that haven’t been prescribed by a doctor are banned in the UK, as they can cause serious side effects if used incorrectly.

    What are the risks of skin lightening products?

    Possible risks of creams containing hydroquinone, corticosteroids or mercury include:

    • skin turning dark or too light
    • thinning of the skin
    • visible blood vessels in the skin
    • scarring
    • kidney, liver or nerve damage
    • abnormalities in a newborn baby (if used during pregnancy).

    Many celebrities have been criticised in the past for promoting and using skin lightening products.

    If you’re thinking of going ahead, it’s a good idea to discuss your plans with your GP first. They might want to chat about your reasons for wanting to lighten your skin, and there might be a medical reason why the procedure isn’t appropriate for you.

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘There is anti-blackness in Arab communities – my own mum gave me skin bleaching cream’

    MORE: Blac Chyna’s skin lightening cream makes black women think dark skin can’t be beautiful

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘Don’t call me “privileged” because I have lighter skin’


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    Chester is a very grumpy looking Shiba Inu
    Chester is a very grumpy looking Shiba Inu (Picture: @grumpysheeb/Jam Press)

    Meet Chester, your new favourite Instagram dog.

    Here to fill the hole in our hearts left by Tardar Sauce, better known as Grumpy Cat, Chester is a Shiba Inu who looks like he’s permanently crotchety.

    Naturally that’s won him a lot of fans online. Shiba Inu dogs usually look so blissfully happy, even when they’re stuck in bushes, and are basically the internet’s favourite breed.

    Take a Shiba Inu and make it look grouchy and you’ve got a relatable pup that can take over the internet.

    Chester has nearly 10,000 followers on his Instagram, many of whom create fan art of his apparent bad temper.

    There's a new grumpy pet in town - This Shiba Inu always looks grumpy and people are in love
    The dog has no conditions… that’s just his face (Picture: @grumpysheeb/Jam Press)
    Chester is a grumpy looking dog
    And we love it (Picture: @grumpysheeb/Jam Press)

    The dog has always had a resting tetchy face, ever since Kirby Kaufman, 29, adopted Chester from the Nebraska Humane Society in July 2017.

    He does occasionally look like he might be smiling, but most of the time his eyes are shaped as though his eyebrows are furrowed and his mouth has a distinct downward turn.

    Unlike a lot of animals who look grumpy but are actually really friendly, Chester isn’t the most upbeat of pets.

    ‘Chester doesn’t get along with other dogs,’ says Kirby. ‘He’s an only child.’

    Along with not gelling with puppy pals, Chester can kick off if you make any changes to his lifestyle without proper warning. We relate.

    Chester is very 'food-motivated' and hates change.
    Chester is very ‘food-motivated’ and hates change. Same, Chester (Picture: @grumpysheeb/Jam Press)

    Kirby says: ‘Chester is very much of a creature of habit. So moving furniture around or disturbing his bubble (the size of New York) is asking for trouble.

    ‘He rarely barks, but he’ll act out when you do something that upsets him.’

    He’s also extremely ‘food motivated’. See what we mean about Chester being relatable for the masses?

    Chester the grumpy shiba inu posing with fan art and merch
    He doesn’t seem impressed by his fan art (Picture: @grumpysheeb/ Jam Press)
    grumpy Shiba Inu Chester always looks angry
    What is he so angry about? (Picture: @grumpysheeb/ Jam Press)

    Kirby started an Instagram account for Chester after his grouchy face attracted attention on Facebook pages such as Shiba Inu Crazy People and Dogspotting.

    ‘It’s really exciting,’ she said. ‘The account has an audience engagement rate of nearly 30%. Anything over 3% is above average.

    ‘For example, Barack Obama and Kim Kardashian have engagement rates of 3% and under. However, they both have millions of followers. So the math is a bit different.

    close-up of Chester the grumpy shiba inu dog
    Always watching, always grouchy (Picture: @grumpysheeb/ Jam Press)

    ‘On Facebook, they use angry (aka amgery) reacts to be in solidarity with his grumpiness.

    ‘Overall, the comments are positive. We do get people asking for fan merchandise. Several people have made their own fan art of Chester, which is really cool.

    ‘And then there are the haters. But haters gonna hate.’

    True that.

    Anyone else bookmarking Chester’s account for all future reaction pics?

    MORE: Dogs with Jobs: How do you train a guide dog to become someone’s eyes?

    MORE: You can now win a rooftop wedding for your dog

    MORE: Loneliest dog in UK has spent 900 days waiting for a home


    Grumpy Shiba InuGrumpy Shiba Inu

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    For this move you need a bench or some kind of sturdy surface – you can even use the edge of your bed.

    Target your triceps and sculpt toned arms with this challenging move. Use your body weight to push yourself and make note of how quickly your strength improves.

    Our daily challenges are perfect to try at home, at the gym or in the park. They are designed to get you moving every day.

    Throughout this Staying Active summer series, fitness experts Elia and Amanda – both qualified instructors at Flykick – will be on hand to show you how to do each challenge and give you their top tips.

    Check back every day to see what the next challenge is – you could even film your progress to make a record of how far you’ve come.

    The aim is to be active every day for six weeks over summer. Today’s challenge will test different muscle groups and help to improve your muscle performance.

    These daily challenges can be done on their own, or you can include them in larger workout – it’s totally up to you. As long as you’re moving, that’s what matters.

    Woman doing tricep dips outdoors
    Target your triceps to sculpt your upper arms. (Picture: Getty)

    We know doing the same fitness routine every week can get really tedious, trying a new challenge every day will keep your fitness fresh and fun – and you might even learn some new moves.

    How to do tricep dips

    Start with your hands shoulder-width apart on bench or the edge of your bed.

    Your bum should be over the front of the bench with your legs straight out in front of you – support yourself with your arms.

    Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body towards the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle and your bum is as low as it can go.

    Then press into the bench to straighten your arms, returning to the starting position. This is where you will feel the burn in your triceps.

    If this feels too hard, you can bend your legs to make it easier until you get stronger.

    I am Team GB

    Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

    Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

    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


    Woman doing dips outdoorsWoman doing dips outdoors

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    The best fitness trackers on a blue background
    We all need a little push to get moving. (Pictures: Fitbit/Garmin/Samsung)

    Getting kids to move can be hard work.

    We get it. Why would they want to run around when all the entertainment they could ever need can be found on their phones?

    But, unfortunately for all of us, scrolling Instagram does not count as a workout. Even if you get thumb cramp.

    Giving your child a fitness tracker might help to inspire them to peel themselves off the couch. But when there are so many wearable devices – how do you know which one is right for your kids?

    We took a look at the best trackers in the industry that work well for younger wearers. Simple, stylish and reasonably affordable – these are our faves:

    Little Gallivanter, Fitness Tracker – £34.99

    Little Gallivanter fitness tracker
    Automatic app syncing keeps things simple. (Picture: Little Gallvanter)

    This sleek-looking tracker is designed for kids who are eight or older. It has a band that is designed for smaller wrists and a big, clear screen.

    Just like adult trackers, this device will monitor heart rate, steps and distance travelled. It automatically syncs your progress to a free app on your phone.

    FitBit, Ace 2 Kids Tracker – £49.99

    The Fitbit Ace 2
    You can even wear it when you go swimming. (Picture: Fitbit)

    This cute watch has more than four days of battery life and it’s also completely swim-proof.

    It also offers fun incentives and awards for hitting step targets and getting active – and parents can approve which messages their kids see.

    Galaxy Fit (e) – £35

    Samsung Galaxy fitness tracker
    It’s is built to withstand knocks, drops and bumps. (Picture: Samsung)

    This lightweight devise is perfect for little wrists, and the vibrant colour options are sure to be attractive for your little ones.

    The watch can monitor diet, steps and sleep to help your kids maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s built tough to withstand knocks and bumps if you have particularly energetic kids.

    Garmin, Vivofit Jr. Daily Activity Tracker – £49.45

    Garmin Fitness tracker
    You never need to charge this watch. Ever. (Picture: Garmin)

    Kids will love the vibrant design of this watch. It’s robust, comfortable, secure, swim safe and it has a one year battery life – so no recharging, ever.

    The simple, parent-controlled app will motivate your kid with rewards and mobile adventures.

    Fitbit, Ace Kids Tracker – £58

    Fitbit Ace fitness tracker
    Perfect for kids who want to feel grown up.(Picture: Fitbit)

    This tracker has all the features you could want from a wearable devise – plus, an adjustable strap so your child can keep using it, even as they grow.

    It’s water resistant, tracks all movement and activity and even has ten fun clock faces to choose from.

    As important as it is to get your kids moving, it’s also really important to make sure they have a healthy relationship with diet and fitness.

    These trackers are meant to be fun and helpful, not put extra pressure on children. But if they’re enjoying the features of their wearable devices then the overall health benefits could be significant.

    I am Team GB

    Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

    Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

    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


    The best fitness trackers for kidsThe best fitness trackers for kids

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    Meet the dragon lady who was abandoned in the woods as a child but rose to become a banking Vice President before transforming into a mythical creature
    Tiamat, who currently goes by the dragon lady, hopes to become a genderless reptile (Picture: Mark Laita/ Jam Press)

    Tiamat Legion Medusa has spent at least £61,000 on cosmetic surgery and body modification.

    But we’re not talking about your average obsession with boob jobs or tummy tucks. Tiamat has spent her money on castration, ear removal and tongue splitting, all to become a genderless reptile.

    There are still many procedures to go, as Tiamat plans to have a penis removal along with further tattoos.

    They hope to show a positive representation of people who have undergone body modification surgery.

    ‘People think that modified people, especially those who go to great extremes to look like something in a sci-fi film, are losers and dumb as dirt,’ says Tiamat.

    ‘In my past life as a man, I was a banking Vice President at one of the nation’s largest financial institutions.

    Tiamat identifies as a nonbinary reptile
    Tiamat identifies as nonbinary (Picture: Mark Laita/ Jam Press)

    ‘I want people to know that modified people are just as intelligent, kind, loving, and good as anyone else.

    ‘Just because I had my ears removed, does not mean my brain just rolled out and I’m just a blithering idiot.’

    Born Richard Hernandez, Tiamat had a tough upbringing.

    ‘When I was five years old I was being physically and verbally abused by my stepfather,’ they say.

    ‘I was eventually abandoned by my parents in the middle of the woods, at night, deep in the heart of South Texas, where the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake abounds.

    ‘It was then, when my human parents shoved me out of the car to leave me there like unwanted trash that I adopted the venomous rattler as my parents.

    Tiamat has had partial nose removal, total ear removal, horn implants, and tattoos
    Tiamat has had partial nose removal, total ear removal, horn implants, and tattoos (Picture: Jam Press)

    ‘They left me and two of my other three siblings close enough to the family farm so that my maternal grandparents would find us.

    ‘My grandfather, sadly, would continue to abuse me verbally, emotionally, and physically, all because my grandfather hated my father and since I was named after my father and the spitting image of him.

    ‘It should have been an honor to be named after my dad, it was for me a curse.’

    At 11 Tiamat came out as gay, but kept their desire to be a girl hidden. Eventually this need transformed into a wish to be free of gender and become a reptile.

    ‘I could not tell anyone,’ said Tiamat. ‘I would secretly put a towel on my head and pretend to be Cher who was and is one of my greatest inspirations.

    ‘The people I lived with were homophobic and so was most of the little town I lived in.

    ‘I felt alone and outcast by my family.’

    dragon lady tiamat
    They want to show that people with body modifications aren’t weird or dangerous (Picture: Jam Press)

    After graduating high school in 1979 Tiamat moved to Houston and took a job at JPMorgan Chase. Slowly they rose to become a banking vice preisdent and client manager.

    Tiamat’s first body modification came in 1997 with a pair of £330 horns. They were motivated by a diagnosis of HIV and then AIDS.

    ‘Because I thought I was going to die, I started modifying my body as I felt I was in a race against time,’ said Tiamat

    ‘I was the fifth person in the world to get horns on their cranium and at the time the modern-day body modification movement was just in its inception.

    ‘Getting them was what set the wheels in motion for what has become the greatest journey of my life, my reptilian metamorphosis.’

    Tiamat evolved into a woman then a human dragon, and currently goes by the name of ‘dragon lady’.

    Tiamat the dragon lady plans to undergo penis removal next
    Tiamat plans to undergo penis removal next (Picture: Jam Press)

    The transformation has involved 18 horn implants, the remove of both ears, a partial nose removal and reshaping inspired by Voldemort, the removal of 32 teeth, the sharpening of six teeth to points, staining the whites of the eyes green, and splitting Tiamat’s tongue into a forked shape.

    Tiamat has also had nine chin scarifications, five lines branded into the wrist and chest, and nine piercings including a Prince Albert.

    Reactions to Tiamat’s appearance have been mixed.

    ‘On the street, everywhere I go I am met with smiles and people wanting to take a photo with me,’ says Tiamat.

    The dragon lady with Caitlyn Jenner
    The dragon lady with Caitlyn Jenner (Picture: Jam Press)

    ‘A tiny percentage are afraid because they think that I am the devil. Then there are others who have verbally assaulted me and even spat at me. One lady even went to the extent of physically assaulting me with her cane.

    ‘Regardless of all the ugliness people fling at me, what gives me the courage to keep on being me is the looks on the children’s faces. They gaze at me with wonderment in their eyes.’

    Despite currently referring to themselves as a ‘dragon lady’, Tiamat ultimately wants to remove all their gender labels and become a reptile.

    ‘Being true to my reptilian nature, I am an androgynous creature,’ Tiamat explains. ‘When people ask me if I am male or female, I tell them that I am both and I am neither.

    dragon lady
    ‘I am happier today than I have ever been in my life because I mustered the courage to live my life on my terms and to march to the beat of my own drum undaunted by hardships, overcoming challenges that may arise and slaying the naysayers and anyone that dares to meddle in the affairs of a dragon’ (Picture: Mark Laita/ Jam Press)

    ‘I am in the process of going genderless, so I prefer they, them pronouns. My ultimate preference is to simply be called an ‘it’, just like my own kind, the snakes.

    ‘It is my goal and mission to shatter the gender binary and to inspire others out there to embrace being non-binary by sharing my story of going genderless.’

    Tiamat hopes to be entirely transformed into a genderless reptile by 2025.

    dragon lady wearing wings
    ‘I have zero regrets and I do not foresee anytime in the future where I would ever regret any of my mods or any of the changes I have made to my body or my life’ (Picture: Mark Laita/ Jam Press)

    Next year they plan to tattoo rainbow scales all over their skin, add to their 18 existing horn implants, and get purple ink added to their eyeballs. They also want to remove their penis.

    ‘Top of my priorities is to say goodbye to Mr. Bojangles, my penis, as soon as possible,’ says Tiamat.

    ‘Anyone considering doing what I am doing must have their thoughts in order including the realisation that once started, there is no going back.

    ‘I have zero regrets and I do not foresee anytime in the future where I would ever regret any of my mods or any of the changes I have made to my body or my life.

    ‘I am happier today than I have ever been in my life because I mustered the courage to live my life on my terms and to march to the beat of my own drum undaunted by hardships, overcoming challenges that may arise and slaying the naysayers and anyone that dares to meddle in the affairs of a dragon.’

    MORE: Is cutting a massive chunk out of your ears the next big body modification trend?

    MORE: Woman plans wedding to her favourite chandelier, Lumiere

    MORE: I’ve refused to wear a prosthetic but I find the current body modification trend empowering


    Meet the dragon lady who was abandoned in the woods as a child but rose to become a banking Vice President before transforming into a mythical creature.Meet the dragon lady who was abandoned in the woods as a child but rose to become a banking Vice President before transforming into a mythical creature.

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    What does wacky mean?

    A thesaurus gives plenty of alternatives – zany, madcap, quirky, eccentric, idiosyncratic, ridiculous, nonsensical, crazy, absurd, insane, peculiar, weird, odd, the list goes on.

    I think I’ve been labelled all of them at some point in life.

    Growing up, I remember moments that taught me other people saw me as ‘different’.

    The looks, whispers, stifled laughs, and stares.  And then there’s those who didn’t – and still don’t – stifle the laugh, or the comment.

    I’ve had shouts out of car windows about the ‘state of that’, had people ask me if I’ve come in fancy dress when I’m down the local pub in a bright outfit, and I’ve had family members ask when I’m going to stop ‘all this hair nonsense’ and get a ‘normal’ colour.

    The thing is, I can’t stop.

    Merle Brown
    I don’t dress in bright colours, or dye my hair to deliberately provoke – it’s just who I am (Picture: David Cheskin/Metro.co.uk)

    This is not contrived or calculated in any way. I am not acting out my life as a character of myself. This is me. I didn’t set out one morning to be this way.

    I don’t dress in bright colours, or dye my hair to deliberately provoke – it’s just who I am.

    I first changed my hair colour as a 14-year-old with a hairdresser aunt on hand to give me blonde highlights because I wanted to see what they looked like.

    I progressed to a full bleach-blonde a few years later, and then worked my way through a rainbow of colours.

    There were always comments – some nice, some not.

    My hair was bright red on my wedding day and in the run up to it I was constantly asked, including by my dentist, of all people, if I was going to change it for my wedding.

    Merle Brown
    My walls are painted in bright colours, and I have a 1950s mannequin called Dolores as my home office buddy (Picture: David Cheskin/Metro.co.uk)

    Despite all of this, and maybe because of it, I have no problem with people thinking I am wacky, or unusual.

    If dancing in the kitchen with the cats, making my favourite vintage Sindy doll part of my wedding bouquet, wearing bright clothes, trampolining with my friend’s kids in my 40s, and generally acting like a clown is wacky, then, fair enough – I accept the label, and wear it with pride.

    I’m a creative person. I write for a living, I enjoy crafts in my spare time, my home is full of vintage bits and bobs, little trinkets and oddments all over the place.

    My walls are painted in bright colours, and I have a 1950s mannequin called Dolores as my home office buddy. If this is wacky, again, I’ll take it.

    No-one styled me. My personality is expressed in the clothes I wear, in the colour of my hair.

    I’ve been doing this since my pre-teens, and I’m 47. If it were an act I’d be exhausted by now.

    I can’t explain why I am drawn to the things I am drawn to – I just am. I enjoy bright colours – they make me feel good.

    Merle Brown
    No-one styled me. My personality is expressed in the clothes I wear, in the colour of my hair (Picture: David Cheskin/Metro.co.uk)

    I love bold prints and patterns – they excite me, and my creativity makes me want to express my emotions and feelings through the things I wear, and the items I choose to have around me. Like I’m one giant conceptual art project, perhaps?!

    I’ve never been afraid to be me, and despite sometimes feeling quite irritated by the constant comments – just because my hair is orange, doesn’t mean you can say what you like about it – I try to remember the first time I felt that way and how it was dealt with.

    It was in a shopping centre when I was about 13. I had created a red and green ensemble for the day out, a head-to-toe effort.

    Red beret, green top, red skirt, green and red shoes, and matching painted nails.

    It drew attention, and I noticed the looks, stares, and giggles from other shoppers.

    ‘Those people are staring and laughing at me,’ I cried to my mum.

    ‘Well, Merle, if you are going to dress this way – and you should – you will have to learn to put up with it – but remember, it is their problem, not yours.’

    Their problem, not yours. Sage advice from my mother, and spot on.

    Labels

    Labels is an exclusive series that hears from individuals who have been labelled – whether that be by society, a job title, or a diagnosis. Throughout the project, writers will share how having these words ascribed to them shaped their identity  positively or negatively  and what the label means to them.

    If you would like to get involved please email jess.austin@metro.co.uk

    MORE: My Label and Me: I was branded a bitch for falling in love

    MORE: My Label and Me: Don’t call me an expat, I’m an immigrant

    MORE: My Label and Me: I’m mixed-race and everyone has an opinion about me


    Wacky - LabelsWacky - Labels

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    How do you solve a problem like the climate crisis?

    Radical action from political leaders and corporations, basically.

    But that’s a little tricky for the average person to make happen, so instead we focus on individual efforts to fight the rising tides, realise how little we can do alone and descend into extreme ecoanxiety as a result.

    One way people are dealing with ecoanxiety – that intense dread that comes with the knowledge that climates are increasing and we’re running out of time to fix things – is not by burying their heads in the sand, but turning their misery into memes.

    On Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter there are thousands of memes dedicated to promoting environmental action, encouraging people to ditch plastic, and summing up the internal screaming of a generation faced with destruction.

    Why? Is making memes a form of political action? Is it a valid form of protest? Does it pose therapeutic benefits for those of us struggling to carry on in the face of environmental chaos?

    Steffi, 17, is a student from Singapore and the creator of the climatememes420 account.

    The Instagram is made up of references to the government ignoring vital data from climate scientists, illustrations of relatable birds declaring ‘we are all going to die in wildfires and floods’, and that cute little lamb from an episode of The Simpsons.

    zendaya spiderman climate change meme
    Oh look, it’s me (Picture: climatememes420)

    Steffi says she was motivated to create a climate change meme account by ‘necessity and passion’, and balances an hour or so of creating memes each day with a science research internship, school, and ‘normal teen stuff like playing video games, watching TV shows and sleeping’.

    ‘Our Earth is dying and not enough is being done to stop it,’ Steffi tells Metro.co.uk. ‘I want so much to make more people aware of the issues surrounding climate change.’

    Steffi chooses memes to spread her message because they work.

    ‘They’re funny, engaging and package information in a palatable manner,’ she says. ‘They’re also pervasive in youth culture, making them effective in spreading the message to our future generation of leaders.’

    The team behind climate_memes, Climatepedia, hopes that the packaging of memes will help important messaging be spread more widely.

    Climatepedia is an organisation made up of young people actively educating the public about the climate crisis, working in university campuses to create community events, panels, and change public policy. Their associate director, Gianna, realised that they could reach people more widely if they took to the internet and used those catchy formulaic images that are designed to go viral.

    butterfly meme of americans looking at rising CO2 levels and asking 'is this weather'
    Also applies to the UK (Picture: climate_memes)

    The idea of their meme account is to speak to the people most ready and necessary to get involved and make a change: young people on the internet.

    ‘Our generation spends so much time online that a culture of sharing content has made it so that information can now spread faster and wider than ever before,’ Gianna tells us. ‘Combining information with humor allows the content to be more attention grabbing and increases the chances of going viral.’

    Rather than the more general ‘the earth is burning, here’s a video of a dog screaming to sum up how I feel’ memes, climate_memes try to give their output a positive spin.

    ‘We try to stray away from fear based content that is unfortunately overused in media and instead motivate the public of the action they can take to become part of the solution rather than the cause,’  they say. ‘Whenever we post content displaying the unfortunate consequences of climate change, we also look for more uplifting solutions to inspire people to take action in their own communities.’

    They say that while all their memes are ‘strictly factual’, they’re designed to be funny, too – for the purpose of saving the earth.

    Meme of the spice girls wannabe with environmental messaging
    Even catchier than the original (Picture: climate_memes)

    ‘Sometimes humour is the best way to bring light to an issue as urgent as climate change, so we hope funny posts encourage people to share the information,’ says Gianna.

    The squad behind Sustainabiliteens hopes that the humour of memes will make environmental issues an accessible area for people who might not have received education about the climate crisis.

    They’re an account run by seven different teenage admins, who help to run student-run strike groups and post memes on Instagram when they can.

    One of the account’s creators is 16-year-old Ella, who wants to show other teens that they’re not alone in feeling worried about the planet.

    ‘I find it gets spoken about in vague terms in the media sometimes, and I hope that people who visit our meme page get a glimpse of what the climate crisis actually means for us and our planet,’ Ella tells us.

    ‘I also want people who see our memes to see that they can take action on this crisis in easy, manageable ways. Finally, I want any adults who see the memes to realize how serious youth are about this, and how much we want change.

    sustainabiliteens memes - meme of marie kondo suggesting striking for climate sparks joy
    Teens are leading the environmental meme charge (Picture: sustainabili.teens)

    ‘Seeing that other teenagers are thinking the same things as you about climate change can show you that you’re not alone in your fears, and maybe spur you into action.’

    The creator of climemechange, who’d prefer to stay anonymous, believes that environmentalists are facing a bit of an image problem. Scientists repeating dire statistics can feel off-putting and boring – memes are a way to get people interested.

    ‘Virtually no one had been successful at making the subject of climate change engaging and entertaining,’ they tell us. ‘Why? It’s complicated, sometimes unsexy, and once you finally wrap your head around it it’s depressing.

    ‘I thought it would be a fun challenge to see if I could make it more digestible and thereby get more people to pay attention to the issue.’

    The climemechange account now has more than 33,000 followers who stick around for videos of shiba inus crying (‘me switching between enjoying myself and remembering we’re in a climate crisis’), screengrabs of Paris Hilton calling in sick to work because we ‘only have a few years before climate change takes us all’, and jokes about being horny for renewable energy.

    meme of dw from Arthur as a climate change denier saying she can't read
    Classic (Picture: climemechange)

    Like many young people faced with ambivalence from those in power, the people making these memes are haunted by ecoanxiety.

    Making the memes can be therapeutic, allowing the creators to vent their biggest concerns at a time when it feels few people are listening.

    ‘For me it’s just a little way to take the pressure of thinking about climate change off for a bit,’ says Ella.

    Memes can’t get rid of all their anxieties, of course. The account creators still feel guilt and overwhelming anxiety about whether they’re doing enough.

    ‘I’m scared,’ says Steffi. ‘I feel ecoanxiety every day when I wake up and see more heatwaves, more floods, more disastrous consequences of our climate neglect.

    ‘I feel like I’m at least trying to make a difference and helping the situation by spreading awareness.

    ‘Some part of me does still feel fear and anxiety that I’m not doing enough or if what everyone is doing isn’t good enough.’

    basic environmentalist meme: 'apparently the earth and my bank account have something in common... our resources are both depleted
    Same, girl (Picture: basicenvironmentalist)

    Marion, the creator of The Basic Environmentalist, says her knowledge of just how dire the situation is can put her in a state of woe.

    ‘The more I know, the more upset I get,’ she tells us. ‘It’s easy to fall into climate anxiety because I’m SO aware of what’s going on.’

    ‘I feel scared,’ Ella tells us. ‘I don’t think I’ll ever have to deal with the worst effects of climate change, seeing as I live in a pretty privileged country and in a region with a fairly stable climate, but my children will.

    ‘It’s at the point where me and a lot of my friends feel like we can’t have children because their life will be very hard due to climate chaos.

    ‘I also feel unmotivated a lot of the time. Why work hard at school to get good grades to go to university when you’ll be spending most of your life just trying to survive anyways?’

    The stress can also be a motivating factor to keep pushing for change.

    ‘I see stories of so many courageous role models rising up and fighting for the change they believe in,’ says Steffi, ‘and I see that some of them are teenagers, just like me.

    ‘It gives me hope that maybe one day I can be as driven and inspiring as them. That maybe one day just enough people will take action, or maybe one day our future could be even brighter than what we can imagine now.’

    meme of kermit waiting for government to do something about climate change
    Kermit says ‘climate crisis is real’, pass it on (Picture: climemechange)

    Marion echoes this, using her 27,000 strong following as evidence that she can make a difference.

    ‘I’m definitely motivated to make a change,’ she says. ‘I truly believe that every action counts. Inspiring one person to pick up a piece of trash can lead to a whole world of global initiatives.

    ‘Whenever I get an overwhelmingly positive response on a post and have people resonating with the ideas and messages I send, I get extremely hopeful.

    Memes are a way to take that anxiety and terror and convert its power into something more constructive. They can make us laugh and feel that glow of recognition, sure, but they can also deliver important information or motivate us to keep fighting in the midst of environmental misery.

    Making the memes helps the creators to vent their worries and feel heard, but the meme consumers benefit too.

    ‘More people than I can count have reached out to say my posts have helped them deal with their depression, anxiety and understanding of the key issues,’ the creator of climemechange tells us. ‘That alone makes me feel like this is a worthwhile thing to be doing.’

    Maybe we can change the world one meme at a time.

    Just as each meme is one single drop in the sea of the internet that can spread far and wide, its creators want to show that each individual action can have a positive impact. We have to keep going.

    ‘I hope people realise how serious the issue of climate change is, and I hope they understand that every little action they take helps,’ says Steffi. ‘Not only do I want my memes to educate people, but it would also be great if they give people a little hope for the future and some motivation to change their lifestyle for the better.

    ‘We can all make a difference, whether it be reducing waste, cutting down on private transport, or even lobbying for climate action policies.’

    Gianna adds: ‘From changing individual habits to persuading governments to change their policies, our memes remind us that we have more power than we believe.’

    MORE: Why you have so many tabs open

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    The teens dealing with ecoanxiety by making climate change memesThe teens dealing with ecoanxiety by making climate change memes

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    Woman looks at her stomach as she does crunches in a gym class
    How many crunches would we actually need to do? (Picture: Getty)

    If you Google anything to do with fitness, there’s one search that comes up again and again.

    Which exercises will get rid of belly fat?

    No matter how body positive we all try to be, it’s normal to still have some hang ups about appearance – and it seems loads of us are really keen to shift our stomach rolls.

    But is it actually possible to target your belly fat – or fat on any body part for that matter – when you’re working out?

    You’re probably familiar with the pain of working really hard in the gym and seeing very little in the way of physical results. Squats are a classic example.

    Insta-fitness types promise us the world when it comes to squats. And by the world, we mean the perky, peachy butt of our dreams. We’re out here squatting every day, and our peach butts are yet to materialise.

    There’s a reason for this.

    Woman doing sit ups in the gym
    Aiming to lose weight can be a healthy goal, but you need to do it in a safe, sustainable way. (Picture: Getty)

    We’re really sorry to be the ones to tell you this, but all the evidence suggests that it’s not actually possible to target a certain area of your body through exercise alone.

    So if you’re in the gym doing specific exercises to lose fat around your middle – they’re probably not working.

    ‘Spot reduction is simply not possible,’ explains personal trainer Hannah Lewin.

    ‘There is absolutely no solid scientific evidence to suggest that you can target fat-loss on specific areas of your body through exercise alone.

    ‘For example; core work alone will not reduce body fat on your stomach.

    ‘Fat-loss occurs through a combination of caloric deficit and regular movement (this doesn’t have to be in the gym!)

    ‘Safe, sustainable fat-loss is around 1-2lbs per week, which allows for a greater chance for progress to be maintained.

    ‘But beware of any diets or products that offer quicker results, as often the only pounds you lose are from your wallet.’

    Why is it so hard to target fat?

    Belly fat is particularly linked with refined carbohydrates, so ‘apple-shaped’ individuals, generally find a low carbohydrate approach to be most effective.

    This type of fat is the most damaging to health, but also the easiest to shift.

    ‘Pear-shaped’ individuals, who store fat around the hips and legs, will generally find it harder to lose weight, but can take comfort from the knowledge that this fat doesn’t lead to diabetes and heart disease in the same way as abdominal fat.

    An overall reduction in calories, combined with muscle-toning exercise is the best approach.

    Dr. Clare Morrison, Medexpress

    Personal trainer and gym owner Richard Tidmarsh gets pretty angry when he hears people promising to help you burn belly fat.

    He says the way many people approach belly fat and toning their stomach muscles is fundamentally wrong.

    ‘Let’s be clear. You cannot target specific areas of body fat. And anyone that tells you otherwise is an idiot, a liar, or a combination of both!

    ‘The other important thing to realise is, we all have abdominal muscles already, if we didn’t have them, we would all fall over as they are part of the system that holds us upright, along with the spine.

    ‘Want to expose these muscles? You can by decreasing your overall body fat percentage, but you won’t see any definition on your stomach until your body fat is around 18% for women and below 16% for men.

    ‘How do you do this? An overall reduction in body fat comes from a consistent calorie deficit each day, backed up with exercise that includes big compound movements such as squat and deadlift.

    ‘Even then, getting a six pack is probably an unrealistic goal for most people.’

    While it’s normal to want to improve certain things about your body – it might be more beneficial to work on changing your mind-set about exercise.

    What if, instead of going to the gym with a list of physical things you want to change, you went with goals centred on your overall health and fitness.

    Tracking your speed, endurance and strength, rather than how many inches or pounds you’ve lost, might make working out more enjoyable. And any physical changes will be a welcome bonus.

    Aiming to lose weight in the gym can be a healthy goal, but you need to make sure you’re doing it in a safe and sustainable way.

    Dr. Clare Morrison, GP and medical advisor at Medexpress, gave us her top tips on how to approach weight loss in a realistic, healthy way:

    Do it gradually

    ‘To lose weight safely, one should aim for gradual sustained weight loss over a period of a few months, rather than a sudden drop in weight, which is unlikely to be maintained.’

    Reduce refined carbohydrates

    ‘These foods contain sugar or starch, and include desserts, biscuits, cakes, bread, potatoes, pasta, waffles, scones, pancakes, chips, and doughnuts, for example.

    ‘They are low in valuable nutrients, and cause a sudden spike in blood sugar, causing the level of insulin to rise.

    ‘The sugar is converted into fat very quickly. The blood sugar then drops after a short time, leading to increased appetite.’

    Don’t cut out fat

    ‘Although fat is denser in calories than carbs, it’s important not to cut it out. It contains essential fat-soluble vitamins, and keeps hunger away for longer than carbs.

    ‘Don’t think that “low-fat” foods are helpful for weight loss, as they often contain lots of sugar instead, and this can be worse overall.’

    Eat a Mediterranean diet

    ‘Instead of refined carbs, go for high-fibre foods such as fruit, salads, and vegetables, together with protein, and healthy fats, as epitomised by the Mediterranean diet.

    ‘For example, eat olives, tomatoes, oily fish and olive oil. Because these foods take time to digest, they keep you full for longer, and help maintain a healthy metabolism.’

    Don’t obsess

    ‘To lose weight, you will need to reduce your overall daily calorie intake, but don’t count them them obsessively, as this isn’t helpful and will make you feel deprived.’

    Exercise

    ‘Regular exercise doesn’t just burn up calories. It also reduces your appetite, and keeps muscles toned. Aim for a 30-minute brisk walk everyday, or the equivalent.’

    Eat consciously

    ‘Eat slowly, with awareness of what you’re doing. Eat sitting down, with a knife and fork, and don’t eat while doing something else. Smaller portions will look better on a smaller plate.’

    Drink plenty of water

    ‘There is water in our food, so eating less will make you more thirsty. Sometimes people confuse thirst with hunger, so instead of reaching for a snack, try drinking a glass of water instead.’

    Cut down on alcohol

    ‘There are lots of empty calories in alcohol, as well as the sugar that we tend to drink with it. Dilute your drinks with low sugar mixer, and make them last. Use a smaller glass.’

    So, if you see a workout plan that promises to melt away your belly fat – know that this is lies. It can’t be done.

    All bodies are different, and some of us are more prone to having stubborn areas of fat on our belly or our bums or our thighs.

    Losing weight is best achieved through a consistent, challenging fitness plan and a sensible diet.

    But no fitness plan can target an area of your body like some kind of precision laser – it just doesn’t work like that.

    I am Team GB

    Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

    Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

    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


    The classic core strengthening exercises - crunchesThe classic core strengthening exercises - crunches

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    Anton Danyluk, Molly-Mae Hague and her boyfriend Tommy Fury from Love Island 2019
    He should be entitled to curate his social media feed whichever way he wants (Picture: ITV/Rex)

    When Anton Danyluk left the Love Island villa, he was given his precious phone back. One of the first things he did was unfollow fellow islander Molly-Mae Hague on Instagram.

    Naturally, it made national news headlines (which is perhaps exactly what he wanted?). As he explained to Caroline Flack at the Love Island reunion, his management had followed all the other islanders on his behalf while he was trapped in a Majorcan villa, but when he noticed Molly-Mae on his feed, he hit that unfollow button because he doesn’t consider them friends.

    Certainly, we didn’t see much evidence of their friendship on the show (remember that infamous ‘categorically’ confrontation?), but Molly-Mae says she’s hurt because she did think they were friends.

    Close enough, at least, to follow one another on social media.

    It’s all very dramatic, and there is a distinct possibility that it’s been manufactured for precisely this sort of public reaction.

    Anton’s got to secure those protein supplement endorsements somehow, which does require him to be conspicuous in the media, and he’d obviously noticed that Molly-Mae hasn’t been receiving an altogether glowing reception from the public.

    Whatever his motives, he’s caused a very modern Insta-scandal.

    It’s within his rights to choose which of former Islanders he wants to be friends with and he should be entitled to curate his social media feed however he wants. Still, it’s quite a statement, to unfollow someone on social media – and then refuse to follow her again on national television.

    So, what are the rules of unfollowing? Is it ever OK to click that unfollow button on someone in your life? And how do you even go about it?

    Is it ever OK to unfollow friends on social media?

    Yep, absolutely. Social media only really works for us if we use it intelligently and strategically.

    We should all really be doing an Instagram detox and getting rid of anyone who doesn’t make us feel better when their content pops up on our feed.

    For me, that meant unfollowing fitness influencers, anyone who promotes diet culture and all members of the Kardashian family.

    I replaced them all with shih tzus recently and it’s made my time on Instagram a lot cheerier.

    Being honest with yourself, sometimes a friend or acquaintance is going to fall into that unhealthy category.

    If someone is aggressive or unpleasant in their social media presence, if they only inspire jealousy, if they make you feel inferior, or if they in some way make your day just a little bit worse, then it’s only self-preservation and protection to stop following them.

    It’s not always an immense gesture of animosity – sometimes it’s just sensible.

    Also, we are not always the same person online as we are face to face, and it’s entirely possible to care about a friend but not like their social media persona.

    I know someone who used to troll her own friend on Instagram, posting nasty things on every one of her posts, claiming she was being funny.

    It was deeply hurtful and in the end, she was blocked on all social media platforms and it seriously affected their offline friendship.

    I know someone else who survived an eating disorder and needed to opt out of her friend’s weight loss content, which is seriously wise.

    Removing someone from your feed is completely fine – often smart, and even healthy.

    Love Island's Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury
    Imagine finding out that someone had unfollowed you on social media. It’s virtually impossible not to take it personally (Picture: ITV)

    How do you go about unfollowing people on Instagram?

    Imagine finding out that someone had unfollowed you on social media. It’s virtually impossible not to take it personally.

    So, might I suggest a wee compromise? I discovered some time ago that you can mute someone on Instagram, meaning their content will not show up on your feed, even though you’re still technically following them.

    I did this with an acquaintance because I didn’t feel confident enough to unfollow her but I found her posts obnoxious – and it’s been a delight.

    She still thinks I see her stuff and if I think I’ll run into her, I do a quick sweep of her profile so I don’t embarrass myself.

    Otherwise, she gone! It’s great. If you’d prefer not to see someone’s content but you’re not brave enough just yet for them to know about it, a cheeky mute is a nice halfway point.

    It can help keep the peace in IRL without having to endure someone’s unpleasant or un-enjoyable content.

    If you’re ready for the full unfollow, though, go for it. Just know that the person you’re unfollowing will likely find out. Not because the tabloids will run a full piece on it, but because if they visit your profile they’ll probably notice you’re not following them. Maybe a friend might notice, and tell them.

    Be prepared for a possible confrontation in that instance. They may challenge you on it or ask you about it. Have a think about how you would explain, just so you’re prepared.

    Inspired by a smooth-bottomed Scotsman, you can remain calm and simply be honest about your actions but it may require admitting that you do not like or cherish a person. It might mean abandoning a friendship, or admitting that there never truly was one.

    Otherwise a slightly sugar-coated version of what you really think works too and if all else fails, you can feign ignorance and pretend it was a technical problem.

    It all depends how brave you’re feeling, how comfortable you are with confrontation and how committed you are to your unfollow.

    If you’re up for an A grade level of candour, all power to you. I wish you the best of luck – just follow a couple of shih tzu accounts afterwards to cheer yourself up.

    MORE: Cara Delevingne addresses buying a sex bench with girlfriend Ashley Benson

    MORE: Unfollowing your faux friends you thought were good friends is the best thing you’ll do this year

    MORE: Yes it’s (sometimes) OK to spill a friend’s secret


    Love Island's Anton Danyluk refuses to follow Molly-Mae Hague on Instagram as he explains 'feud'Love Island's Anton Danyluk refuses to follow Molly-Mae Hague on Instagram as he explains 'feud'

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    Samantha seen with her boyfriend who her friend tried to hit on
    This girlfriend hid in her boyfriend’s boot to catch her friend in the act as she hit on her partner (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

    Student Samantha Grywalsky was shocked when a close friend started flirting with her boyfriend.

    The 18-year-old from Michigan, US, was devastated to see the flirty messages sent to her boyfriend Jacob, 19, who she lives with.

    When the friend asked Jacob to pick her up late at night, it was too much for Samantha and so she hatched a plan.

    With Jacob’s help, she got into the boot of his car as he drove to pick the other woman up.

    Samantha hid in the boot, listening to the conversation as Jacob opened the trunk under the guise of finding condoms for the night.

    While Jacob pretended to rummage, the friend had dropped her shorts to her knees.

    Seeing this from the back of the car, Samantha decided to swoop in and confront the gobsmacked pal.

    samantha's legs pictured while she was in the boot
    Samantha got in when they were three blocks away from meeting the pal (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

    ‘I wanted to see how far she would take it and what she would do to my boyfriend behind closed doors,’ Samantha explained.

    ‘It was very small and very cramped. I’m 5″11 so I’m huge. So I was squished.

    ‘She got in the car and I was in the boot, but we had cracked the seats [forward] so I could hear a bit. It was a bit muffled.

    ‘I heard the door open and close, and then she shouted “Jacob”. It sounded to me like she was drunk but I found out later, she was completely sober. I was shocked.

    ‘I heard her say, “You have no idea how long I have wanted to f*** you”.

    ‘So my boyfriend was not really feeding into it so much, but was just going, “Oh yeah? Uhuh. What else?”.

    ‘[It was] just to try and get more out of her because he knew I was recording the whole thing.’

    snapchat messages sent from the flirty friend
    The pal had been leaving flirty messages on social media for Jacob (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

    The friend could be heard saying all the things she wanted Jacob to do to her, which shocked Samantha.

    Eventually, she came out of the boot to surprise the woman.

    Samantha said: ‘It was so funny. She looked like her dog had just run into the street. It was like a frozen face of shock and she immediately dropped it when I half-smiled at her.

    ‘She said, “Hi Samantha” as if I didn’t already know. We were in the parking lot in the middle of the night – where did she think I came from?

    ‘I said to her “What you’re doing is really gross and I don’t appreciate any of the things you’ve said to Jacob knowing that not only are we together, but we live together. We are very serious and you have completely acted like that’s not important and you’ve put your own wants in front of a friend.”

    ‘She was saying, “What are you talking about?’ I said, “Are you serious? This is ridiculous”.’

     SAMANTHA GRYWALSKY AND HER BOYFRIEND JACOB GLASGOW, WHO WAS HIT ON BY SAMANTHA'S FRIEND
    Samantha says she and Jacob are stronger now (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

    Samantha had become mates with the girl during their studies where they kept bumping into one another.

    When she first started dating Jacob, the friend had commented on how hot he was, which irked Samantha.

    While the two are no longer friends, Samantha is happy her relationship is still going strong with Jacob.

    ‘It really showed me that he’s a very honest person,’ she said. ‘That was a good outcome of the whole situation.

    ‘I’m not a restrictive girlfriend by any means. I don’t go through his phone. He has girls who are just friends who I’m completely fine with.’

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    Woman hides in boyfriend's boot to catch best friend trying to hit on boyfriendWoman hides in boyfriend's boot to catch best friend trying to hit on boyfriend

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    Alex Ramsden
    I’ve tried not to procrastinate but it never works out (Picture: Alex Ramsden)

    There is no doubt about it, I am a procrastinator.

    From not booking train tickets until the last minute, to not waking up in time to walk to work and being forced to get a taxi instead, procrastinating is a day to day occurrence in my life.

    So it came as no surprise to read that it’s estimated that people lose £450 a year to delaying important decisions.

    When you are constantly leaving things to the last minute, the little expenses here and there add up. Yet, I don’t regret my life choices – I actually think procrastinating is a good thing.

    I have always done it; all the way through school, college and university. My only rule when it comes to how long I can put something off for is that it can only affect me – you shouldn’t procrastinate to the extent it impacts other people.

    I’ve tried to start things early to save myself the stress but I’ve found if start a project too long in advance I get easily distracted and my heart just isn’t in it.

    I work better under pressure and, oddly, the projects that I – miraculously – manage to start early are never as well received as the work I do when I leave things to the last minute.

    I think the main example of this would be my dissertation: I started it 15 hours before the deadline.

    Alex Ramsden
    Alex with her dissertation (Picture: Alex Ramsden)

    It definitely wasn’t the best idea and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it if you want to write something spectacular, but it can be done.

    It worked out for me personally. I recently graduated with a very high 2.2 and will be continuing my studies next year with a masters degree.

    For me, it’s not a case of prioritising less important things, it’s about doing completely different tasks until I feel the pressure of a deadline enough to feel inspired.

    My favourite way to procrastinate is just to clean. When I was putting off doing my dissertation I deep cleaned the entire house.

    I’ll clean anything and everything, including the tops of wardrobes and I’ll take the time to re-arrange my furniture. Either way I always feel in a better head space to crack on with a project if everything is clean.

    Largely my experience has taught me to trust the process of leaving everything to the last minute. I firmly believe that things will work themselves out end.

    But it is important to remember that you take a risk when you start procrastinating and you should prepare yourself from the consequences that come with your lifestyle choice.

    For example, pulling all-nighters can really confused your sleep schedule and body clock – it’s something I’ve learnt the hard way.

    Alex Ramsden
    I firmly believe that things will work themselves out end (Picture: Alex Ramsden)

    The worst thing about procrastination though is the comments from other people. People have said that I don’t deserve good grades and assume that procrastinators are simply lazy.

    I understand how annoying it must be to put in hours of work in advance to get the same grade as someone who does it in a third of the time but I know that if other people could do it like me, they would.

    I do work hard, just in my own way. Doing things at the last minute shouldn’t be frowned upon just because it’s atypical.

    I realise, however, that it is not seen as an admirable trait at work and, as I love my job, I make sure to meet deadlines. It all comes back to the first rule of procrastination: do it on your own time, not others’.

    I appreciate my style doesn’t work for a lot of people but I really don’t ever see myself changing. I’m almost 23 and I haven’t felt the need to yet.

    The best part of procrastination is the free time it gives you. We’re all so rushed off our feet meeting demands of work, school or social obligations that we don’t take the time to slow down and just drift about every now and again.

    I don’t want to miss out on the world around me and taking the time to do nothing means I never do.

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    Alex R-bf33Alex R-bf33

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    The Old City of Dubrovnik also known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ (Picture: Getty)

    Croatia is a vacation hotspot with influencers flocking for candid selfies on the awe-inspiring shorelines, while adventure seekers roam in its breathtaking scenery.

    Just a few hours from London by plane, Croatia has become increasingly popular for those seeking an idyllic haven steeped in rich history and a foodie scene that really lives up to its buzz.

    If you’re not bound by the school holidays, the best time to visit is during what’s known as the ‘shoulder-season’, between May and June as well as September and October. During this time, you can avoid the summer crowds but it’s still warm enough to take a refreshing dip in the sea, soak up the warm rays of sunshine and extend your summer while the nights draw in at home and the temperatures drop.

    A foodie (and wine) heaven

    The coastal regions of Istria and Dalmatia are renowned for their fresh seafood. Shellfish snapped up from the Adriatic Sea and barbecued sea bass and gilthead bream are staple bases of the mouthwatering local dishes, which are served up alongside the best local produce bought the same day at market.

    With its Mediterranean climate, there’s a huge emphasis on fresh, organic, locally sourced ingredients and it’s not just a new trend. This approach has been at the heart of Croatian cuisine for centuries.

    Barbecued sea bass and gilthead bream are staple bases of the mouthwatering local dishes (Picture: Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board)

    But the country’s thriving markets are worth a visit whether you’re a foodie or not. Watching as they come alive with the sound of emphatic bartering, while the fragrant aromas of fresh produce fill the air will give you a real taste of Croatia and its culture.

    Head to Dolac in Zagreb, one of the largest markets, and you’ll find goods from all over the country, including the famous Pag cheese, Zagorje turkey and Slavonian kulen sausage.

    The Osijek market is also worth a visit, especially on Green Thursday, when special tastings of local delicacies are held. So why not spend a couple of hours browsing the stalls and having a bite of what you fancy?

    Experience the hustle and bustle of Croatia by visiting its lively markets (Picture: Getty)
    Experience the hustle and bustle of Croatia by visiting its lively markets (Picture: Getty)

    There’s one speciality, in particular, worth shopping for in a Croatian market; truffles. A truly exclusive treat!

    Truffles were discovered in the country by chance, with people initially describing what are now considered a culinary luxury as ‘smelly potatoes’. Both black, and the more rare, white truffles are abundant in the region of Istria, the only place outside Italy where they can be found.

    If you want the chance to hunt for them yourself, then be sure to plan your visit between October and December, when they’re in season. You won’t regret it.

    Other absolute must-haves include Istrian prosciutto, which is dry-cured with local spices and sea salt, before being air-dried in the Bura (a northern wind which blows across Croatia), making it an extra special delicacy.

    Make sure you try the mouthwatering dishes which use Croatia's famous truffles (Picture: Visit Croatia)
    Make sure you try the mouthwatering dishes which use Croatia’s famous truffles (Picture: Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board)

    At home, we’re prepared to spend a fortune on olive oil to add to our favourite dishes, but few people know that Croatia’s olive oil is among the best in the world, giving its food an extra depth and quality. Snap up a bottle to enjoy at home with this extra special ingredient and impress your pals next time it’s your turn to cook.

    Another of Croatia’s best kept secrets is its wine.

    There’s a huge array available across the country including Muscat, Riesling, Pinot and Sauvignon Blanc, thanks to its dramatically different climates. From the Mediterranean heat in Dalmatia to the cooler, more Alpine regions in the north, there are stunning vineyards producing a great variety of grapes, which you can try for yourself when you book a tour.

    And why not take a few bottles back home to enjoy too?

    Visit the breathtaking vineyards across the wine regions and get a taste for its distinctive flavours (Picture: Mario Hlača / Croatian National Tourist Board)

    Fairy tale castles

    Those who want to enrich their holiday by immersing themselves in culture, as well as by indulging in tempting cuisine, will be able to let their imagination go wild as they’re transported back in time at some of this ancient country’s most stunning spots.

    With ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites (and six to be found along the coast), there are fascinating stories waiting to be discovered. But even a wander down the charming streets of its towns and cities will provide a history lesson as you soak up the the many influences which have left their mark over the centuries.

    Some castles like Trakošćan Castle (pictured) throw open their doors to visitors (Picture: Zoran Jelača / Croatian National Tourist Board)

    And it’s not just Britain that boasts castles; there are plenty to be explored in Croatia.

    In fact some, like Medvedgrad, Bežanec Castle and Trakošćan Castle, throw open their doors to visitors. Take a walk through their halls, feel like royalty and learn the quirky legends that have helped to shape Croatia’s folklore, with some even inspiring popular movies and TV shows.

    And be sure to maximise your time and avoid the queues by travelling after the school holidays are over. This way you can meander in peace, while gaining a real understanding of the history and culture which abounds around you.

    Yes, Croatia is blessed with sparkling crystal waters and unrivalled beaches, but there is so much more to be discovered (and devoured).

    For more information on this mouthwatering holiday destination, visit https://feeds.croatia.hr/en/


    Gateway to Adriatic SeaGateway to Adriatic Sea

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    Heather has saved up for a deposit on a house and now has a mortgage
    How do you motivate yourself to save once you’ve bought a property? (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

    What are you saving for?

    If you’re a millennial with a shred of hope still hanging on, you’re likely attempting to put away your pennies so you can one day afford a property.

    It’s a distant dream for most of us, but just the looming idea that one day we may be free from the shackles of renting and miserable landlords helps us to stick to strict budgets.

    But what happens once you actually buy a home? How do you hold on to the motivation to save?

    As part of our weekly saving series, How I Save, we take a look at the finances of Heather (not her real name), a 27-year-old copywriter living in Essex and working in London who’s actually managed to buy a home. She’s now saving towards the future without a set goal. How does she do it?

    How Heather saves:

    I earn £33,000 a year and in my savings account right now I only have £500. All of my savings from the last few years have gone on my recent first-home purchase!

    I saved around £8,000 for my first home. We were lucky enough to buy a new-build property at a 5% deposit, so between my partner and I, the down-payment wasn’t too bad.

    We both used a Help To Buy ISA for two years that had £1,000 in to open it, and then put £200 a month into after that and a regular saver that I put £500 a month into.

    We were both living with parents at the time, so it was much easier to save a lot away. Since having a mortgage, I’ve not been able to save anything.

    Now I’m saving for a general nest egg to spend on holidays/plans… and hopefully an engagement ring for my partner.

    The main way I save is via direct debit each month into a savings account, plus using Monzo to cap my spending, however I always tend to dip into it for SOMETHING that crops up.

    I struggle with saving because I have a fair bit of credit card debt to repay, a shopping habit (damn you, Klarna), and lots of busy friends who like to make expensive plans… and I find it hard to say no.

    A wallet open with cash and cards inside
    Heather now has just £500 in her account (Picture: Ella Byworth/Metro.co.uk)

    How Heather spends:

    Monthly expenses:

    • Mortgage and bills (Including council tax, water, electric, TV licence, internet package and weekly food shop) – £750 into a joint account
    • Mobile phone – £40
    • CrossFit Membership – £80
    • Car insurance – £45
    • Petrol – £80
    • Credit card repayments – £150

    A week of spending:

    Monday: £22.98 sent to my friend to pay for my share of the Airbnb we’ve booked to visit our best friend who recently moved to York.

    £14 on ASOS for a pair of Reebok shorts for Tribal Clash (a CrossFit competition) this weekend. I needed a pair that I could swim in as well as run in, and they were on sale down from £28!

    Tuesday: £7.24 in Tesco for a chicken salad and a high protein yogurt for my lunch, and box of protein bars for my desk at work.
    Wednesday:

    Wednesday: £4.43 in Boots, buying ibuprofen and blister plasters to pack for the competition this weekend! Fail to prepare… prepare to fail.

    £8.78 on some dinner from M&S on my way home from running club. I was starving, it was late, and I knew I had nothing quick to cook in the flat.

    Thursday: £5.99 in Boots (again) on toothpaste, deodorant and dry shampoo. Why do they always run out at the same time?

    £4 on lunch at work. Because of training last night, I didn’t get much time to meal prep – I work near Spitalfields Market so there are lots of healthy, and quite reasonable places to grab lunch. Today’s choice – a quarter rotisserie chicken, mixed salad, avocado and pasta. I can start carb-loading for the weekend now, right?

    Friday: £5 in a service station Starbucks en-route to Devon for Tribal Clash.

    £12 on two drinks at the pub once we arrived in Devon. It had been a loooong 6-hour drive, the sun was out, and I bought myself and the driver a drink each before we settled into our cottage for the weekend with the rest of the group.

    £29 in Morrisons on a small food shop for the weekend – the accommodation was self-catering, and we had to buy essentials (breakfasts, lunches, tea, coffee, snacks etc).

    £60 cash withdrawal to use over the weekend for food, drinks, (and the must-buy Tribal Clash T-Shirt) while at the competition. There was no signal at all in the athlete village, and everything was cash-only.

    Saturday: I don’t spend anything. I used some of the cash I withdrew Friday to buy lunch at the beach, and drinks/dinner was already bought in the food shop.

    Sunday: £17 on a much-needed dinner at the pub after the second (and final) day of competing. We were all exhausted, starving and in need of some comfort food. I got ham, egg and chips and a Diet Coke and inhaled it in minutes.

    Total spent this week: £190.42 

    How Heather could save:

    We spoke to the experts over at money tracking app Cleo to find out how Heather can save better (and what we can learn from her spending).

    Note: the advice featured is specific to one individual and doesn’t constitute financial advice, especially for a London budget. 

    You’ve entered the next phase: saving post-deposit. This is it, financial Nirvana.

    Welcome to a world where you live in constant fear of your own kitchen appliances breaking.

    Main vice: CrossFit

    In fact, 86% of your weekly spending went on CrossFit (without including the protein bars). If your self admitted vices are social spends and online shopping then this week has been the unholy trinity of temptation.

    So it’s not surprising you went over budget by like £40 this week. Nothing we can’t handle. I’m not saying give up CrossFit: but budget in around £160 for an event, then figure out how many you can afford.

    Where you’re going wrong

    You’re being influenced by two very different financing apps: Smooth Dog’s Klarna and the less-sexy responsible Monzo. A bit angel and devil. They’re probably cancelling out each other out. For an overview of all your money, accounts and credit cards, you know where to find us.

    Breakdown of spendable cash

    Safe to save: £216 a month /£50 a week

    Safe to spend: £300 a month / £70 a week / £10 a day

    Safe to burn (literally, on CrossFit): £85 a month / £20 a week

    This is after bills, main living costs and credit card debt. Any money you don’t burn on CrossFit you can also add to a holiday fund. Sweet. Fingers crossed your fridge doesn’t take your nest egg fund away from you.

    How I Save is a weekly series about how people spend and save, out every Thursday. If you’d like to anonymously share how you spend and save – and get some expert advice on how to sort out your finances – get in touch by emailing ellen.scott@metro.co.uk.

    MORE: How I Save: The 58-year-old cab driver earning around £27,000 a year with £20,200 saved

    MORE: How I Save: The 23-year-old editorial assistant in London earning £19.5k with £700 saved

    MORE: How I Save: The 40-year-old business consultant in Croydon with £143,000 saved


    How I Save: HannahHow I Save: Hannah

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    Nando's results day free food
    Don’t mind if we do (Picture: Nando’s)

    Whether you got great results today or a harsh knock back to reality, it isn’t the be-all and end-all of your life.

    You’ll have to sift through endless tweets from the likes of Alan Sugar saying results don’t matter, and endless more braggy posts from your peers saying how #blessed they are to have done well in sociology.

    Whatever happens, though, your life path is not set in stone, and it’s time now to work through that fact by having a big old knees-up (whether that’s in celebration, or to forget all your troubles).

    A whole load of businesses will be facilitating these aforementioned knees-ups, giving away free food today to help you all line your stomachs.

    Here’s the lowdown.

    Nando’s

    All you have to do is bring your results paper and your student ID and your chicken dreams will be answered today.

    Bag yourself a free ‘Firestarter’ (halloumi sticks, peri-peri nuts, houmous with peri-peri drizzle and red pepper dip, or other starters from the menu) or quarter chicken with a £7 spend.

    The Real Greek

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1F82MFnLo5/

    Stuff down the disappointment with a big old souvlaki from The Real Greek, completely free today.

    You will have to dine in to get the freebie, but given you only need to bring your results to get it, it’s a pretty great deal.

    Frankie and Benny’s

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1LKSFhFEkM/?utm_source=ig_embed

    Simply buy a pint of Budweiser or a Coca-Cola at F&B’s today to get a whole free meal!

    Before you head off, make sure to download the voucher on their website to redeem the offer.

    Some of the food you can get include 10” pizzas and pastas, as well as classic beef, cheese, chicken and smoky beet burgers.

    Bella Italia

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1LH4gWj0MK/?utm_source=ig_embed

    If you prefer sweets you can bag yourself a free sundae with the purchase of any main meal at the Italian chain when you show your results.

    For those of you who didn’t sit A-levels but still have a student card, you can also get 50% off all Bella Italia’s classic dishes.

    KFC

    Although it’s somewhat trickier to nab this one, we all love a KFC – especially when it’s free.

    The chicken shop have teamed up with Student Beans to give customers a free snack box worth £1.99 today only when they purchase any Krushem.

    To get the deal, you need to download the KFC Colonel Club app, sign up, then add your Student Beans ID. Once you purchase a Krushem in-store, just show them your phone and scan the app to get your box.

    MORE: What to do if you’ve failed your exams

    AD FEATURE: Planning an autumn getaway? Here’s why you should be booking a break in Croatia


    Iceland Launches 'Build Your Own Nando's' Deal For ?5Iceland Launches 'Build Your Own Nando's' Deal For ?5

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    Urban Decay NAKED Honey palette is coming: release date and where to buy
    Need (Picture: Urban Decay)

    Drop your makeup brushes (or rather pick them up) as an Urban Decay Naked Honey palette is coming.

    And it’s a keeper.

    The iconic brand renowned for their 12-pan Naked eyeshadow palettes teased the upcoming release on Lizzo’s Instagram where the singer showed us the all-new hues and packaging commenting that the palette, ‘looked like Beyonce in Austin Powers Gold Member’.

    The palette includes 12 never-before-seen golden, brown and amber hues, in a range of glitters, mattes and shimmers intended to give a ‘retro golden glow’ according to Urban Decay. Sounds gorgeous huh?

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1J4W82pP8m/

    Aptly named, the shades include Sting, a darkened warm matte brown, Hive, a muted beige-brown, and Honey, a shimmering yellow gold. Dreamy.

    Urban Decay NAKED Honey palette is coming: release date and where to buy
    (Picture: Urban Decay)

    And get this, on first look a handful of the shades are reminiscent of the now discontinued original Naked eyeshadow palette. Could this be a reincarnation of our old favourite?

    As with every Urban Decay palette the Naked Honey palette shares the same high-quality formula boasting pigmented, long-wearing, and super-blendable shades.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1JroBEB87n/

    Lizzo showcased the palette with a glowing look created by makeup artist Alexz Mayo, who said: ‘Lizzo is not afraid of playing with colour or shape. We never do the same look twice, and she constantly inspires my creativity.’

    She’s shared how to create the look below.

    How to do Lizzo's Naked Honey look:

    Base: 

    Eyes: 

    Naked Honey:

    There are no better eyeshadow hues to compliment her complexion and outfit. Using a mixture of the shades, Drip and Sting, start from the outer corners through to the crease.

    Then fill in the eye base using shade Golden, patting on with a flat brush. I sprayed the brush with All Nighter Setting Spray first to really make the pigment pop and hold in place.

    Finish the look with jet black eye pencil all along the lash line and smudge back out to the outer corners.

    Lips:

    Not forgetting All Nighter Setting Spray. No glam is complete without a final spritz of this hero.

    Unsurprisingly makeup lovers are buzzing about the upcoming launch with many sharing their excitement online:

    If past releases are anything to go by, this one is sure to go down a treat. Get ready to snap it up.

    The Urban Decay Naked Honey eyeshadow palette will go on sale on urbandecay.co.uk from 13 September 2019 and will cost £42. Be the first to know when it arrives by signing up here.

    MORE: These are the new beauty launches we're obsessed with right now

    MORE: Marc Jacobs Beauty new See-quins Glam Glitter Eyeshadow is a makeup must-have


    Urban Decay NAKED Honey Palette is coming: release date and where to buyUrban Decay NAKED Honey Palette is coming: release date and where to buy

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    Lucy seen next to the swimming costume she tried to sell on ebay
    A woman selling her black Nike swimming costume on eBay was outraged when the male buyer asked her to wear it before posting (Picture: Lucy Taylor /SWNS)

    Trying to make a quick buck Lucy Taylor decided to have a massive clear-out on eBay.

    The 37-year-old romance novelist came across her black Nike swimming costume which she had for six months.

    Feeling it was ‘unremarkable’, Lucy from Lincoln decided to put it on sale, starting the bidding 99p on eBay

    The price rose to £10.50 and was sold to a man based in the Netherlands.

    But half an hour after the sale, Lucy received a message from the man asking her to wear the swimming costume.

    Naturally, she was ‘creeped out’ but decided to sell it anyway, without sending the picture.

    She said she later saw the funny side but said eBay wasn’t safe from perverts.

    Lucy Taylor at her graduation from Northumbria University in 2018.
    Lucy sold the item but didn’t send a picture (Picture: Lucy Taylor /SWNS)

    The email from the man read: ‘Hi :) I have have a question, is it possible for you to wear the swimsuit before shipping it?

    ‘Best regards,’ (which says a lot, as anyone who ends with regards is clearly lawful evil).

    Offended and ‘creeped out’, Lucy still shipped the item – but not before conveying her initial disgust by uploading a screenshot of the email onto Facebook.

    Her post read: ‘I’ve been selling lots of stuff on eBay trying to recoup money that I have spent… I have no words for the message I just got. None. Nothing. It’s not often I am left speechless. And, no, just no.’

    Users found the whole thing hilarious, with one writing: ‘Wow. If you have a dog or cat put it on them. The pervert won’t know the difference.’

    A third said: ‘I’m petty and would say for an extra 500 I’d fart on it for you. SMH some people.’

    A photo used to sell the swimsuit on eBay.
    The man should soon be receiving the item (Picture: Lucy Taylor /SWNS)

    Lucky explained her shock at the message, saying: ‘I didn’t expect to get a message – on eBay – from him, asking me to wear the swimming costume before I sent it to him.

    ‘I never responded to him, I never wore the swimming costume, or take a picture, and I sent the costume as promised.

    ‘But it wasn’t hard to deduce why someone would want to see me wear it.

    ‘I couldn’t believe someone could do that sort of thing on eBay – I thought that website might be safe from perverts.

    ‘There are websites where people can do that, and I’m open-minded enough to think other people can do that sort of thing if they want.

    ‘But I’m not that kind of girl. The assumption was repellent.’

    We wonder what plans he has with that costume.

    MORE: Tinder man asks cancer survivor with double mastectomy if she has ‘big t*ts’

    MORE: If you’re not worried about deepfake porn then you absolutely should be

    MORE: Man banned from bar for ‘being creepy’ says it’s just because he looks a bit strange


    A woman selling her black Nike swimming costume on eBay was outraged when the male buyer asked her to WEAR IT before postingA woman selling her black Nike swimming costume on eBay was outraged when the male buyer asked her to WEAR IT before posting

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    The brussels sprouts
    These look amazing (Picture: Tesco/Getty)

    This year’s gone so fast, before we know it it’ll be Christmas.

    It seems Tesco has realised this, as the supermarket has already unveiled its Christmas menu – and it includes Brussels sprouts bites.

    Don’t panic, these actually sound surprisingly good.

    The Brussels sprouts, which come smothered in a light, crispy friend batter, are vegan friendly and only cost £3 for 240g. Oh, and they come with a cranberry dip. Yum.

    The deep fried brussels sprouts
    We are dying to try these (Picture: Tesco)

    Alongside the Brussels sprouts bites, which will launch in stores and online from 9 December, Tesco will be selling some mozzarella and pesto arancini balls, which will also cost £3.

    There will also be a whole variety of appetisers, including barbacoa beef tacos, prawn roses, and three different types of pigs in blankets.

    This includes chicks in blankets, made with chicken sausages, chorizo blankets and a wreath of pigs in blankets with cranberry compote.

    Tesco's pigs in blankets
    There’s a large selection of pigs in blankets

    Yes, we’re drooling.

    And of course, it’s not Christmas without cheese – so prepare yourselves for the ‘Create Your Own Drunken Cheese’- which is a white stilton to be dipped into alcohol before serving.

    In terms of Christmas desserts, there’ll be brandy-infused mince pies and cheesecake squares.

    Because who really enjoys the traditional Christmas pudding?

    MORE: How I Save: The 27-year-old copywriter with £500 saved after paying a deposit on a home

    MORE: What to do if you’ve failed your exams


    Tesco Is Launching Deep-Fried Brussels Sprouts As Part Of Its New Christmas MenuTesco Is Launching Deep-Fried Brussels Sprouts As Part Of Its New Christmas Menu

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    A woman opening up in therapy
    People aren’t talking to their doctors about their mental health (Picture: Phébe Lou Morson
    Phebe)

    A new study has found that nearly half of all patients wouldn’t tell their doctor if they were depressed or suicidal.

    The same was true for those who had suffered sexual or domestic abuse.

    Patients who fear embarrassment, judgement or any other repercussions withhold the information which might be crucial to their treatment.

    Researchers from the University of Utah Health, Middlesex Community College, University of Michigan and University of Iowa found that up to 47.5% of patients do not tell this critical information to care providers.

    Senior author Dr Angela Fagerlin said: ‘For primary care providers to help patients to achieve their best health, they need to know what the patient is struggling with.

    ‘For example patients who withhold they have been sexually assaulted are potentially at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder and sexually-transmitted diseases.

    ‘These are numerous ways providers can help patients with such as getting resources, therapy and treatment.’

    An illustration of a man with depression
    Patients fear embarrassment and judgement (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    The study, published online in JAMA Network Open, also concluded that if the patient was young or a woman they were more likely to keep quiet.

    Dr Fagerlin is chair of the department of Population Health Sciences at University of Utah Health and an investigator with the VA Salt Lake City Health System’s Informatics Decision-Enhancement and Analytic Sciences (IDEAS) Centre for innovation.

    She added: ‘Understanding how to make patients feel more comfortable with clinicians is key to helping patients address such life-threatening risks.’

    The team looked at responses from over 4,500 people in two national online surveys from 2015.

    Participants in one survey averaged 36 years old, while participants from the second had a median age of 61.

    They reviewed a list of types of medically relevant information and asked to indicate whether they had ever withheld this information from a clinician. They were also asked to recall why.

    The surveys show that 40% to 47.5% of participants chose not to tell their provider that they had experienced at least one of the four threats.

    Over 70% said the reason why was embarrassment or fear of being judged or lectured.

    What compounds this issue is that multiple studies in recent years have highlighted how health care providers downplay or fail to take seriously women’s medical complaints.

    The next step may be contacting patients as they leave an appointment with their provider.

    Need support? Contact the Samaritans

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

    MORE: Mum shares photo of what parenting looks like when you have depression

    MORE: High functioning depression exists and it might not be what you think


    Metro IllustrationsMetro Illustrations

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    A family ride a scooter on the street as they hold balloons in the colours of the Indian flag during the India's 73rd Independence Day
    A family ride a scooter on the street as they hold balloons in the colours of the Indian flag during the India’s 73rd Independence Day (Picture: MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

    On the 15th August each year, many Indians around the world celebrate Independence Day as well as Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu festival that celebrates brotherhood and love.

    It has been 72 years since India declared its independence from British colonialism.

    In 1947, the UK Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act and Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India.

    The day is marked with flag-hoisting ceremonies and is a national holiday. There are also parades, which involve the Indian Armed Forces and paramilitary troops.

    Held on the same day as Raksha Bandhan, sisters also tie a bracelet called a rakhi on the wrists of their brothers, to represent protection.

    Quotes, messages and wishes to celebrate India Independence Day

    Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living? – Mahatma Gandhi

    Democracy and socialism are means to an end, not the end itself.- Jawaharlal Nehru

    YoutubeNinja ditching Twitch was 'bad move' says Dr Disrespect as he claims to know Mixer deal

    May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely,  than this our country! – Sardar Bhagat Singh

    Let new India arise out of peasants’ cottage, grasping the plough, out of huts, cobbler and sweeper. – Swami Vivekananda

    Constitution is not a mere lawyers document, it is a vehicle of Life, and its spirit is always the spirit of Age. – B. R. Ambedkar

    We have believed and we do believe now that freedom is indivisible, that peace is indivisible, that economic prosperity is indivisible. – Indira Gandhi

    Sending you a thread of love which will bind our heart and life and makes our bond of togetherness stronger.’Happy Raksha Bandhan’ – Uknown

    I have the loveliest and sweetest brother in this world, thanks for being the best one! ‘Happy Raksha Bandhan’ – Unknown

    India Independence Day images

    A girl waving a flag to celebrate Indian Independence Day
    Flag celebrations are a big part of Independence Day (Photo by Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
    Sand sculpture decorated with India independence day slogan
    Independence Day celebrations take part throughout the day (Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
    Military parade for India's Independence Day celebrations
    Independence Day celebrations also involve military parades (Photo by David Talukdar/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
    India Independence Day celebrations around the world
    Independence Day celebrations take place all around the world (Photo by Ryan Rahman/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
    Indian government flag raising ceremony for Independence Day
    Government officials raise the Indian flag for Independence Day (Photo by Debajyoti Chakraborty/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
    Raksha Bandhan celebrations
    Tying a bracelet on the wrist of a brother is a traditional part of Raksha Bandhan celebrations (Photo by Yashbant Negi/The India Today Group via Getty Images)

    MORE: Pakistan Independence Day quotes, messages and images

    MORE: Happy Jamaica Independence Day! When did Jamaica become independent and how is the day celebrated?


    India's 72nd Independence Day Celebrated In NepalIndia's 72nd Independence Day Celebrated In Nepal

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    Weird kids names
    Which names stand out to you? (Picture: @ibeshitposting/Twitter)

    Baby names are hard to figure out. What moniker do you give to the fresh new human you’ve just created?

    With the earth being super old and all, a lot of the good names have been taken up. But inventive parents are going to invent.

    While British babies are being called strong stable names inspired by politicians, Americans are still figuring out their baby name trends.

    A classroom showing the names of some of its students is going viral for all the, um, interesting names.

    The names include Trapper, Lakynn, Brantley, Bryar and more.

    After a meme account shared the image on Twitter, people have been mocking the choices American mums and dads have been making.

    Parents in 2019 certainly want their kids to stand out.

    Eighteen thousand retweets and 140,000 likes later, people are still taking the mick out of Zerachiel, Eilee, Elexia, Reagyn and others.

    A lot of Twitter users joked about the personality types of each kid.

    One person suggested: ‘Zerachiel is the kid who turns their eyelids inside out,’ while another wrote: ‘I already know Trapper and Hunter are best friends and have many similar hobbies like pulling girls’ hair and eating glue.

    Another said: ‘Brantley sounds like a discount Bentley… “yeah me and my girl just pulled up in the Brantley coupe”.’

    One person joked that the kid was named Jagger after the Maroon 5 song and not Mick himself.

    Another pointed out that a few of the names were just activities; Hunter, Trapper, Fisher.

    They said that the most normal name was probably David but joked they weren’t sure about its pronunciation, maybe Daveed.

    It seems unusual names are on-brand for 2019 parents as some of the suggestions in the replies of this pregnant Insta mum are in line with the classroom kids.

    Some of the names include Paytin, Bostyn, Eastyn, and Londyn.

    MORE: Baby names inspired by gems and fancy rocks are a big trend right now

    MORE: Archie tops the list for the most popular baby names in 2019 so far

    MORE: Plant-themed baby names are a major trend right now


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