Articles on this Page
- 09/18/19--02:30: _Cat joins American ...
- 09/18/19--03:24: _Menswear brand slam...
- 09/18/19--04:00: _Tesco is selling Te...
- 09/18/19--04:10: _Husband furious wit...
- 09/18/19--04:17: _People are getting ...
- 09/18/19--05:55: _People are confused...
- 09/18/19--06:13: _Disabled people are...
- 09/18/19--07:46: _Here are five reaso...
- 09/18/19--07:53: _Care home residents...
- 09/18/19--08:24: _Don’t ban end of ca...
- 09/18/19--08:47: _This is why you sho...
- 09/18/19--22:59: _Adding a slice of l...
- 09/19/19--00:01: _My Label and Me: Be...
- 09/19/19--00:11: _Ralph Lauren is lau...
- 09/19/19--00:35: _You can get a free ...
- 09/19/19--00:42: _How I Save: The 32-...
- 09/19/19--01:10: _You can get a free ...
- 09/19/19--01:16: _How to get the Megh...
- 09/19/19--01:52: _Dog goes vegetarian...
- 09/19/19--02:41: _The Martini Bikini ...
- 09/18/19--04:00: Tesco is selling Terry’s Chocolate Oranges for 75p
- 09/18/19--04:17: People are getting fillers and botox to cure ‘resting bitch face’
- 09/18/19--08:24: Don’t ban end of cancer treatment bells, they give us hope
- 09/18/19--08:47: This is why you should be pairing white wine with cheese
- 09/18/19--22:59: Adding a slice of lemon to your drink might mean it’s not vegan
- 09/19/19--00:01: My Label and Me: Being skinny has never felt so attractive
- 09/19/19--00:11: Ralph Lauren is launching a Rachel Green Friends-themed collection
- Food is £200 a month – £50 per week for a family of four
- Mortgage: £881
- Bills (including mobile phones): £600
- 09/19/19--01:16: How to get the Meghan Markle ‘sparkle’ with fake freckle tattoos
- 09/19/19--01:52: Dog goes vegetarian and refuses meat after eating pieces of a BBQ
- 09/19/19--02:41: The Martini Bikini is here for the braver among us and it costs £472
We know dogs have jobs so why should their furry companions (okay, nemesis), cats, miss out?
One feline reporting for duty is Pawfficer, the adorable kitten who’s joined an American police force.
The rescue kitten isn’t just there to lighten the spirits of the staff at Fort Smith Police Department in Arkansas, they hope he’ll make them more approachable too.
They shared the details of the latest recruit on their Facebook last week and struggled to come up with a name.
For now, they’re going with Pawfficer (we like it) and asked members of the group to come up with another moniker.
And the little officer didn’t just stroll into the department – he was picked after a series of interviews.
The police department had five interviews in total, chatting (okay, cuddling) other kitties from Jen’s Kitty Rehab, a local nonprofit dedicated to rescuing cats.
With his innocent beady blue eyes, we can see why Pawffcer was picked.
Folks at the precinct wrote online: ‘In the next several days, we will be compiling names for our furry friend. We will be asking for the public to help us pick the purrrrfect name.’
Some of the names suggested include ‘Blue’, an apt choice. Other floated were: ‘Pistol’, ‘Captain’, ‘Blueblood’, ‘Sergeant’ and ‘Bravo’.
Facebook users were curious about the kitty’s duties which the police department clarified as being the same as his human colleagues.
‘He will attend community and special events and generally be an online presence that will allow us to take a more informal approach to subjects that affect our community,’ the department said.
‘The entire project is designed to make the department more approachable and convey the lighter side of the department and what it means to be a police officer.’
And what’s more approachable than a blue-eyed kitten?
Cat joins American police force
High fashion is all about pushing the boundaries and grabbing attention – but one menswear brand has been heavily criticised for taking things too far.
New York based fashion brand Bstroy has faced a wave of backlash after showcasing a new range of hoodies which featured the names of schools where deadly shootings have happened – they were even riddled with bullet holes.
There’s provocative and then there’s capitalising on tragedy, and some critics think this brand crossed the line.
The hoodies had the names ‘Columbine,’ ‘Sandy Hook,’ ‘Virginia Tech,’ and ‘Marjory Stoneman Douglas,’ sewed on to the front.
All infamous shootings where multiple students were killed. 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook, 32 died at Virginia Tech.
‘You are repulsive, horrendous, and beyond callous for putting this out,’ said one critic on Twitter.
‘This isn’t edgy or subversive. This is disgusting and not one person on this “fashion” team should be allowed to make clothing again,’ added another.
People who had direct experience of a school shooting were particularly appalled by the brand’s new range.
‘It’s hard for me to put into words the utter shock, anger & sadness this ignites in my heart,’ said one women and Twitter.
’12+ years later, I still flash back and feel my heart skip a beat every time I hear a bang or someone opens a door unexpectedly. My Hokie family has been through enough. Do better Bstroy.’
In a statement on Instagram, Bstroy owner Brick Owens said the following: ‘Sometimes life can be painfully ironic. Like the irony of dying violently in a place you considered to be a safe, controlled environment, like school.
‘We are reminded all the time of life’s fragility, shortness, and unpredictability yet we are also reminded of its infinite potential.’
There have been 19 mass shootings in the US since the start of 2019.
We know it might be a bit early to be thinking about Christmas but one of the best bits of the festive season getting earlier every year is enjoying your favourite treats for longer.
One of those festive favourites is the Terry’s Chocolate Orange, a traditional stocking filler.
And the good news is that Tesco is selling them at a bargain price.
You can pick up an orange for just 75p, saving £1.25 on the RRP. That’s an incredible 62% off.
The offer for the 157g boxes starts today but only runs until next Tuesday so it might be a good idea to stock up now for Christmas. Or just to give yourself a little treat.
The oranges are £1 at Asda, Morrisons and Coop so 75p is a great deal.
The deal replaces last week’s Christmas sweet offer, where they had boxes of Celebrations, Heroes, Quality Street and Roses for £3.50
The tubs are back up to £5 but look out for more offers soon. Morrisons and Asda both have boxes for £4.
If that isn’t enough to get you in a festive mood, Cadbury has launched a chocolate cottage as an alternative to a gingerbread house.
It includes the limited edition Cadbury gingerbread bars so you can get that Christmas spice taste.
For the roof, there are Winter Wonderland bars, with milk and white chocolate trees, a flake for the top and white chocolate Buttons for decoration.
It’s proven so popular, it’s already sold out but the company is due to restock it today so keep your eyes peeled.
Maybe it is time to start the countdown after all. There are just 98 days to go.
A Terry's chocolate orange, broken into segments. The chocolate
When you order food, labels are important – you don’t want to bite into someone else’s bacon sarnie if you don’t eat meat, after all.
One dad who ordered from American fast-food chain Jimmy John’s was about to pass his wife’s bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich to her when he noticed the label.
Robert Wilson Barnes says he was ‘fuming’ after seeing what seemed like the word ‘b*tch’ written across the grub.
The husband quickly went down to the store and ‘threw the sandwich on the counter’ to demonstrate his anger.
When he demanded to know what the deal was, they assured him that they weren’t calling his wife a misogynist slur.
In fact, it was just her order written on it – a BLT with cheese. Ooh ouch.
Face, meet palm.
Robert, with all guns blazing, was preparing for his best ‘can I speak to the manager’ tone when staff quickly abated his anger.
Finding humour in the whole thing, he took to Facebook to regale the story.
He wrote: ‘Are you freakin’ serious?
‘So, after leaving the drive-thru today, my wife took her sandwich out of the bag and we see THIS! Seriously? Oh, not today, not today!
‘I went back to the restaurant, went INSIDE (already fuming), asked to speak to the manager, and then threw the sandwich on the counter. I asked him for an explanation.’
Robert was then left red-faced after realising his overreaction.
He continued describing the incident: ‘[The manager] looked confused, so I pointed at the writing on the sandwich and demanded that he tells me why someone felt the need to write it on my wife’s sandwich.
‘He answered “because you ordered a BLT with cheese?” to which I replied ‘…oh’.
Yep, you couldn’t make it up.
Well, acutally you could. Now, while the seemingly rude label might’ve been intentional by a disgruntled staff member, the whole thing could potentially have been staged.
Anyone can scrawl something with a sharpie on their food and cook up a whole story with viral potential.
Robert’s story quickly did the rounds on Facebook, amassing more than 74,000 shares and over 105,000 likes.
People were tickled by the whole thing. Clearly we’re big fans of rude mislabels.
Dad furious with misogynist slur on wife's sandwich realises it's something else entirely
Putting aside the innate sexism in the term ‘resting bitch face’, we can’t deny that some of us in the world – regardless of gender – naturally give off a ‘don’t look at me’ stare.
You may simply be going about your business, when you realise you’re scowling intensely, scaring off passing children and puppies.
Although the RBF comes in handy in some ways (when you’re sitting at the bus stop and really don’t want that estate-agent-looking man coming over to flirt with you), some people are getting botox and fillers to make themselves look much happier and more approachable.
Surgeon Dr. David Shafer, in New York, spoke to the New York Post about a new wave of people heading to their aesthetician for similar procedures, saying: ‘This is actually a common request from patients — I get several each week
‘They may not always use the words ‘resting bitch face,’ but if I mention ‘RBF,’ they say, ‘exactly.’
The technique to do this can vary, but doctors tend to use fillers and sometimes botox to sculpt the face, and quite literally turn their frown upside down.
Areas of focus include the sides of the mouth (and the marionette lines, which run from the side of the lips to the bottom of the chin), under the lips, and the area in between the eyebrows.
In general, the idea is to make the patient’s face look happier and fuller. Dr. Shafer also stated that he uses botox on the jowl region of the face, stopping frowns from even forming, as that part is numbed by the toxin.
The trend has been going on for some time now, with Kim Carpluk for Elite Daily claiming last year that the procedure made her features ‘softer and significantly less bitchy looking.’
Risks can include swelling and minor bruising, as well as things like headaches or muscle weakness in rarer cases, so it should be considered carefully like any procedure.
Thankfully, too, these options are temporary (with botox lasting a few months, and filler lasting up to a year) so if you do decide that frowning at strangers who come near you is the life you’d prefer, you can get it back someday.
Lonely Caucasian woman drinking white wine in bar
If you’re a bride that wants something a little quirky (and comfortable), the bridal jumpsuit might be the way to go.
It’s a new wedding trend and we get it – it’s easy to wear and looks pretty classy.
But people are confused by one all-in-one offering from ASOS because it’s almost completely see-through.
The ASOS DESIGN premium mesh jumpsuit with embroidery is a bargain £45 but people have pointed out it might be more suitable for the wedding night, rather than actually walking down the aisle.
The mesh outfit means you can see a lot of skin, with just some embroidery covering from the crotch to the nipple area.
Even the embroidery doesn’t cover everything and you would need underwear underneath.
It comes in sizes 4 to 18 and is an ivory colour.
The jumpsuit was posted on a wedding shaming Facebook group and people weren’t impressed.
The site does describe the piece as ‘a little something for your lingerie drawer’ but the poster said she found it in the bridal collection.
The poster said: ‘I was browsing the ASOS bridal collection and this came up… when would you wear this??! It’s not really walk down the aisle material.
They added: ‘Just to be clear for everyone, this wasn’t in the lingerie section. It was in the dresses section, with the dresses. Not the lingerie.’
Most people said it was only really appropriate for the bedroom after the big day but others said it could work for a certain wedding vibe.
One said: ‘Beach wedding with a bikini underneath? Sexy lingerie?’
Another added it would be nice for the honeymoon.
ASOS bridal jumpsuit
It’s Sexual Health Week but disabled people are still being left out of vital conversations – according to two disabled YouTubers.
The Triple Cripples consist of Olajumoke ‘Jay’ Abdullahi and Kym Oliver, and they have given themselves their eyebrow-raising name to shine a light on the fact that as black, disabled women they are fighting three layers of oppression.
The pair are keen to open up the conversation about sexual health to include disabled people and say that it is not only discriminatory but also dangerous to continue to ignore disabled sexuality.
‘Sex and disability are two topics that are still regarded as separate from one another, because of the humanity that society denies disabled people,’ they explain.
‘We are not considered as complex and whole human beings. As such, how can we be expected to desire or even engage in something like sex?’
Jay and Kym say that there is a presumption that disabled people wouldn’t need sexual health services or access to contraceptives, family planning or pregnancy classes – but it is a damaging myth that people with disabilities don’t have sex.
‘These dangerous ideas are pervasive,’ they explain. ‘It is both disingenuous and dangerous to assert (implicitly or explicitly) that sexuality and disability are mutually exclusive.
‘We can experience a presumption of a lack of sexual urges or desires, exclusion from sex education, denial of access to contraceptives, and even forced sterilisation.
‘At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, living at the intersections of disability and gender as a disabled woman means that everyone that is not us presumes so much. And these presumptions even come from those that you would expect to know (and do) better, such as healthcare professionals.
‘The inclusion of disabled people and disabled women in these areas is desperately needed.’
In order to change the conversation around disability and sexuality, The Triple Cripples have teamed up with SH:24 – and NHS-backed organisation that provides free sexual health home testing kits.
Their collaboration included an Instagram takeover and a series of videos discussing what it’s like navigating the interpersonal and the sexual as disabled women.
The first video shows the pair unboxing their free sexual health kits and having a very frank and funny discussion about them.
‘The most annoying, yet long-lasting preconception has to be that disabled people do not have sex,’ the pair explain.
‘Even though there is an entire industry dedicated to making sexual encounters more accessible for those that need it.
‘Disabled people do have sex. Just because they’re not having it with you, does not mean that it isn’t happening.’
Another issue that Jay and Kym want to tackle is the taboo associated with being attracted to a disabled person – which is only intensified by being a black woman.
‘The infantilisation of disabled people, means that we are not shown or thought of as being potential love interests, or as people that could get someone sexually excited,’ they explain.
‘Black women are hypersexualised, while disabled people are desexualised and stripped of our humanity. Figuring out where disabled Black women fit into this is complicated and at times tiring.
‘There’s only so much of your day you can dedicate to trying to get people to see your humanity, which includes sex.’
Jay and Kym think that at home sexual health testing kits could make a real difference for disabled people who struggle with the lack of accessibility of sexual health resources.
‘One of the issues that some visibly disabled people have is dealing with other people’s opinions,’ they say. ‘Going to a sexual health clinic carries with it the idea that those who are there are there because they are having sex.
‘When society assumes that you are not a sexual being, then your presence is met with confusion, questions and an unending barrage of awkwardness. Being able to test yourself at home removes that stigma.
‘While the exclusion of disabled people in the world of sex and sexuality may seem trivial, and at times innocuous, it has far reaching and sometimes fatal consequences.’
TRIPLE CRIPPLES press-df1f
Easily recognisable and hugely welcome, the new drinking water fountains popping up across London are a refreshing addition to city life.
London’s new drinking fountains, a joint partnership between Thames Water and the Mayor of London, have been quenching thirst during some of the hottest days on record this summer, by giving people fresh, free-flowing drinking water on the go.
Easy to spot, just look for the blue drop. These new drinking fountains aim to tackle single-use plastic water bottles as part of the UK’s largest water fountain programme from Thames Water and the Mayor of London.
More importantly, they are here to stay, having been specifically future-proofed for the life of London to help us protect our planet from single-use plastic for years to come.
Check out a few of the amazing ways the capital’s new water fountains are helping to change things for the better.
Reducing plastic waste
Currently in the UK, we throw away 185 bottles every second.
And in the case of London, these plastic bottles end up accounting for 10 per cent of all litter found in the River Thames.
If we continue to go the same way globally, it’s thought there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050.
By encouraging refills rather than single use bottles, we can help to reduce the damage caused to the environment, including our rivers and oceans, by plastic waste.
Helping tackle climate change
The production of one litre of bottled water creates more than 500 times more CO2 than one litre of tap water.
However, if each Londoner carried a reusable bottle (the same way we do a reusable shopping bag) instead of buying a bottle every time we want a drink, it could save the production of millions of plastic bottles every year, and reduce CO2 emissions.
Built for now to change the future
Each of these new Thames Water and Mayor of London fountains is built for a “long life in London”.
Not only can they withstand very British weather conditions thanks to their sturdy stainless steel design, but they also use state-of-the-art technology that make them tamper resistant.
What’s more, the fountains undergo routine cleaning to ensure there’s top quality, free-flowing water day in and day out. That means you can always guarantee access to safe, clean water whenever you need it from these sanitised fountains.
Improving our health
Drinking tap water is good for you.
Not a lot of people know that tap water undergoes 500,000 water quality checks a year.
Our new refill stations can therefore serve world-class tap water that contains healthy, naturally occurring minerals, including magnesium and calcium. All in all, tap water is great for our skin, metabolism and digestion. A healthy choice of drink.
Giving you free world-class water
What’s great about London’s new refill stations is that the drinking water is all completely free, so we can all be drinking more top quality water, without wasting a penny.
The choice between buying water and refilling whenever we feel like it seems like a no-brainer.
Search ‘Refill London’ to find your nearest free water fountain or nearest refill point.
London Installs New Drinking Fountains Ahead Of High Temps
We should all respect our elders beause it’s often true that old people give great advice.
So, one care home in Missouri, U.S., started a residents’ advice of the day series and people love what these pensioners have to say.
St Clair nursing centre began posting the daily picture about a month ago.
The idea was started by activities manager Debbie Michael, who got a white board with space for the resident’s name, age and advice for the younger generation.
Each day, she chose a resident to fill in the board and snapped a picture of them before posting it on the centre’s Facebook page.
Debbie put it on a school Facebook people, aiming to make sure the ‘younger generation’ saw the advice and it quickly took off.
One resident, Bob, 91, wrote: ‘Find someone to love, and keep loving them,’ inspired by his wife Norma, who he married 71 years ago.
His post received over 128,000 shares and even inspired the hashtag #belikebob.
The nursing home is even planning a store with t-shirts featuring Bob’s advice to raise money for their activity fund.
Other residents getting involved included Leota, 99, who said: ‘Be a good kid. Be nice to everyone,’ and Waunita, 92, who told younger people ‘Eat, drink and be merry!’
Bonnie, 89, wanted to remind everyone to always pay your bills and 81-year-old Edna said: ‘Slow down. You do not always need to be in such a hurry.’
Now people check the page every day to see the residents’ advice that day.
Let’s take a look at some of the residents’ advice:
Resident advice of the day
As someone who treasured ringing the bell that signals the end of cancer treatment, I was sad to hear of the news that the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital has decided to stop the practice.
The idea of ringing that bell was the light at the end of a very long tunnel for me. While I understand why some people call it ‘cruel’, especially for those who do not finish cancer treatment, it can serve as strong motivation to get through the gruelling treatment.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer last August and it came as a huge shock. I had two tumours, which were removed by a lumpectomy the following month. I then had to have a series of consultations to determine the most appropriate treatment for me, resulting in me commencing radiotherapy in December.
It was in my initial radiotherapy consultation that I heard the bell ring for the first time. Everyone around started to clap, including the staff. I was curious so went to find out what this was about.
On the wall of a private area was the post treatment bell and a poem, which read: ‘Ring this bell three times well, its toll clearly to say, my treatment’s done, this course is run and I am on my way!’
It immediately gave me something to focus on and I was determined to have my moment ringing the bell. Even my 20-year-old son Jack, who was with me at the time, said he was looking forward to his mum doing it.
On the way out of treatment, I heard someone say that they couldn’t wait to ring the bell at the end of their treatment, too.
My radiotherapy was for 15 consecutive working days. I felt slightly subdued during the seasonal celebrations because of the effects of the treatment and the fact that I had to travel 25 miles to the hospital for just two minutes of treatment. The whole thing took around four hours out of my day.
However, towards the end of my treatment I remember hearing somebody running down the corridor ringing the bell and shouting at the top of his lungs that his treatment had finished.
It put a smile on everyone’s face and kept me focused as I knew I didn’t have many days of my own treatment left.
On my last day of treatment my family came along with me to help celebrate the milestone. It was an amazing feeling to finally be ringing the bell to mark the end of my treatment.
It may seem like something quite simple to do, but actually hearing everyone around you clapping and having your loved ones with you brings out a lot of emotions – I know there were tears in my eyes!
On the way out of treatment, I heard someone say that they couldn’t wait to ring the bell at the end of their treatment, too.
Having treatment day after day means going to the hospital becomes a key part of your life as you get to know the staff and recognise other patients who are having the same treatment as you.
Everyone was on a different journey, but from what I saw we were all happy for our fellow patients who had finished treatment and wanted the bell to ring in celebration.
While for me, ringing the treatment bell was an amazing way to signify the end of a key stage of my treatment, I understand that everyone’s experience with cancer is different – it’s up to each person if and how they choose to commemorate that moment.
Macmillan Cancer Support is here to help everyone with cancer live life as fully as they can, providing physical, financial and emotional support. For information, support or just someone to talk to, call 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk.
We all know the rules when it comes to wine.
White wine with fish. Red wine with steak. White wine in warm weather. Red wine in the winter by an open fire.
But what if we tore the rule book up and told you that everything you thought you knew about wine pairings was wrong? Prepare to have your mind blown.
White wine can be paired perfectly with cheese. And it can taste really, really good. Honestly.
The unconventional pairing is so good in fact that Lidl has revealed the best cheeses to pair with a selection of French white wines from its Wine Tour selection – which launches on the 26th September.
If you’re struggling to get on board with the thought of eating a slice of creamy blue with a cold glass of white – you don’t have to just take our word for it. The experts insist that it’s a match made in heaven.
‘Although many think that it’s red wine that goes hand in hand with cheese, cheese producers themselves, particularly in France, often see white wine as the better accompaniment – especially for the creamier variants such as brie and camembert,’ explains Lidl’s waster of wine Richard Bampfield.
‘This is because dry white wines tend to have that extra twist of zest and freshness which cuts through the creaminess of the cheese.
‘And indeed sweeter white wines are often the perfect foil to the saltiness found in many blue cheeses.’
Bampfield suggests pairing a glass of Jurançon with a Harrogate Blue. This wine is apparently sweet yet mouth-watering, with notes of honey and quince, ideal to pair with a strong blue cheese.
If blue’s not your thing – try the Roussanne Domaine du Grand Selve with Boy Laity Cornish Camembert, or Côtes du Rhône with a White Fox White Leicester.
White wine and cheese could be the perfect weekend treat if you want a touch of decadence but aren’t quite ready to venture into the realms of winter warmers just yet.
Cookbook author Jack Monroe spotted something that caused some confusion on Twitter.
Choosing a drink from Pizza Express, she noticed that a glass of Coca-Cola is only suitable for vegans if it’s served without lemon.
Posting on Twitter, Jack said: ‘Erm what do pizza express do to their LEMONS to make them not suitable for vegans?! Just noticed this and can’t for the life of me fathom wtf.’
Erm what do pizza express do to their LEMONS to make them not suitable for vegans?! Just noticed this and can't for the life of me fathom wtf pic.twitter.com/YF1LkjY80a
— ☘️🇨🇾Jack Monroe (@BootstrapCook) September 18, 2019
People were quick to explain that it’s because some lemons are waxed.
Pizza Express went on to explain: ‘The wax on waxed lemons contain shellac which is derived from insects and therefore strictly not vegan.’
Coating lemons (and sometimes other citrus fruits) helps to preserve the fruit but usually, the wax is either beeswax or shellac, which is a resin made from the secretions of the female lac insect (yes, the same thing used to make shellac nails).
Lemons are shipped in from across the world and the wax is needed to keep them fresh and protect them during transport. It also makes them look shiny.
Some lemons are coated in a polyethene wax that is suitable for vegans so it’s important to check the packaging.
Or you can avoid waxed lemons altogether and only buy unwaxed citrus fruit, but be aware they don’t stay fresh as long.
When you’re out and a slice of lemon is placed in your drink, be aware that it might not be vegan and if you’re not sure, it’s better to ask for the bartender to leave it.
For non-vegans, the wax is safe to eat but it can be removed with hot water and a soft brush when you’re using the peel if you don’t fancy adding it to your food.
Group of lemons
A skinny person by definition is someone who is unattractively thin. Synonyms include scrawny, scraggy, bony, skeletal, gangly, undernourished and emaciated.
I’ve been called all of these things. It is a label I’ve lived with since childhood.
In school, I was the tallest in my class, all legs and arms. People would taunt me about my height asking me how the air was up there and compare me to a giraffe.
Or a beanstalk. It was this that sparked the inspiration for the nickname Katreenie-Beanie.
It made me self-conscious. I remember I’d purposely slouch and wear oversized grey sweatshirts in an attempt to conceal my slim frame.
As an adult living in New York (and trying to make it as an actress) I was once hired to be Gwyneth Paltrow’s body double for the film Great Expectations where a woman from costumes pointed to my limbs and exclaimed how skinny they were.
She was expressing relief (I guess Gwyneth’s are just as skinny), as I was to don an emerald-green-and-black bra and panties for the scene. Still, she made me feel like a freak.
After a series of painful events starting in 2011, which included the death of my father, the end of a relationship to a man I’d gone through two rounds of failed IVF with, as well as a botched surgery, I lost eight pounds that to this day I’ve never regained.
Now I weigh 55kg. I’m 5″10. Friends, colleagues, even strangers, feel they have the right to shame me into thinking I am ‘too skinny.’
For the record, I love to eat. But I’m hyper-aware of the types of food I consume. I avoid sugar and trans fats, but will occasionally binge on crisps. I’m a vegetarian, but will often eat seafood.
I’m physically active, running five times a week, lifting weights and taking hot yoga classes. I’ve taken part in three Tough Mudders and one half-marathon. I’ve also been on various detox retreats to Bali, Thailand and Spain. I take good care of myself and as a result, feel amazing.
But I am criticised and I can easily recall many occasions when friends or absolute strangers have made unwarranted and unwelcome comments about my body.
After sending a girlfriend selfies from Ibiza, she responded by saying I looked underweight. I was shocked. Although I thought I looked lovely I lied and told her it was the camera’s distortion that made me appear so thin.
Another time I took a girlfriend to dinner where out of nowhere she accused me of secretly being proud of the fact that I could fit into a pair of size 25-inch jeans. To prove that I didn’t have an eating disorder I ate an entire box of Toffifees in front of her.
A female colleague once pointed to my collar bone in disgust. She also laughed incredulously when she wrapped her hands (without asking) around the circumference of my thigh.
When last year I suffered from vertigo I thought the doctor wasn’t taking me seriously when he told me I should simply eat more since I was so skinny.
I swallow the criticism even though it hurts. My boyfriend says they’re just jealous, as it’s mostly women making me feel bad. He doesn’t think I’m skinny but normal-sized.
Those women have issues with their own weight, he says, therefore project their dissatisfaction onto me. Dare I imply that one of them is fat I’d hate to think of the consequences.
With the same measurements of a model, I’m going to assume society perceives me as having the ideal figure. It makes no sense then that I should be on the receiving end of such spite.
I’ve been blessed with good genes. But I’m also proactive about my health. And feel comfortable in my own skin. One would think I’d be praised for wanting to promote a positive body image.
Nowadays my confidence soars when I wear high heels and form-fitting garments or when my boyfriend heaps me with compliments upon seeing me naked. Being skinny, for me, has never felt so attractive.
So if this is my label, then so be it. It’s a label I’ve learnt to love.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Labels - Skinny
If you’re a Friends fan, you might remember Rachel Green’s rise through the fashion world, eventually becoming an executive at Ralph Lauren.
Now the fashion brand is paying tribute to their most famous fictional employee with a real-life Friends-themed collection.
The range is being released for the 25th anniversary of the show this year.
It includes everything from cashmere turtlenecks to leather blazers, just like Rachel would wear while sipping coffee in Central Perk.
There’s even a pleated lambskin miniskirt and knee-high boots with a chunky heel like the ones she wore in the ‘I got off the plane’ scene in the final episode.
There’s pieces for men too, who want to recreate that preppy nineties vibe.
Could we BE any more excited?
In a statement, the brand said: ‘Just as Friends has proved to be a perennial favourite series for viewers over the last 25 years, this collection reflects Ralph Lauren’s timeless styles and archetypes that have remained a go-to for the modern working woman.’
The Friends collection is available in-store at Bloomingdales, where they’ve even created a replica of Central Perk and Rachel’s office to celebrate.
The recreation of the famous set starts at the flagship store in New York but will move to a different Bloomingdale’s store every two weeks.
For those outside the US, the collection is available online and in select Ralph Lauren retail stores.
The pieces are pricey, as you would expect with a luxury brand like Ralph Lauren – prices start at $39.50 (£31.67) but go up to $2,998 (£2,404) for a leopard-print coat or a purple shearling coat.
We guess we’ll just be like early Rachel and go get one of those job things.
Ralph Lauren Launches Collection Inspired By Rachel Green on \'Friends\'
There are two kinds of people when it comes to riding a taxi: those who prefer a silent journey and those who can’t help but utter the words ‘so, been a busy night, mate?’
If you’re the latter then chances are you’ve made some nice taxi-driving mates along the way.
And now those who recognise a former driver will be rewarded.
London-based ride-hailing app Kapten has launched a new service called Karmatch which lets you ride for free if you reunite with a previous driver.
The initiative, which rewards riders and drivers that are paired for a second (or third) time, will be automatically available to app users.
You might be thinking it’s just a promotional gimmick and the chances of repeat drivers are low but Kapten tells Metro.co.uk that they receive more than 1,300 matches weekly.
Perfect for those who become chatty mcchatterson on a drunken night out – a free ride and a new friend.
Don’t worry, you’re not expected to remember a driver’s face or car reg number.
As soon as your ride is booked, your app will send a notification straight to your phone announcing you have a Karmatch.
Your ride will then be free and your driver will receive double earnings for the journey (win-win).
Sadly, it is only available in the capital for now.
It was launched on 9 September but you’ll have to act fast as the initiative is only open until 6 October.
Mariusz Zabrocki, General Manager at Kapten, said ‘Being reunited is more common than you might think with Kapten.
‘Each week, more than 1,300 customers meet their old driver again. The more you ride with Kapten, the more likely you are to meet one of our 16,000 driver-partners twice. It’s not luck, it’s loyalty!’
Recently Kapten has also launched the Clean Air Bonus for its drivers, encouraging them to switch to zero-emission vehicles.
We love to see it.
Smiling Hispanic man driving car with passenger
Money skills and budgeting are the number one thing British people wish they had learned in school.
So is it any wonder so many of us don’t have a clue when it comes to saving?
In addition to our lack of financial education, a big part of our issues with cash is our cultural resistance to chatting openly about what we earn.
When we aren’t comfortable talking about money, it’s impossible for us to ask for help when we need it and learn how to have a healthy relationship with spending and saving.
Our weekly series, How I Save, aims to open up the conversation. Each week we take a look inside a different person’s bank account and track their spending for a week, then get an expert opinion on how they (and we) can save money better.
Last week we followed Jenni, a writer and personal finance blogger who was recently made redundant.
This time we’re chatting to Pam Obasa, a digital marketing specialist and business growth strategist living in London.
How Pam saves:
I earn £90,000 a year. In my savings account right now I have £85,150.
I’m saving to pay off my mortgage and I’m on course to do this by October 2019.
I’ve saved this much money by investing in stocks. The main way I save is cutting back on spending, cooking from scratch, cutting meat out of my family’s diet and bulk cooking vegetarian meals. We also rarely use our car so this cuts back on petrol. My husband takes a packed lunch to work as often as possible. We try to keep our werky spend to below £50 per week
I don’t struggle with saving because I’ve grown up seeing my parents really strive to give us a good life. My dad started a business in his mid 60s and my mum went from being a cleaner to starting her own cleaning company and we now run a business together.
Saving has been an important part of my growing up and because we didn’t have much, we learned to live with little.
I remember being in primary school and my parents could only afford to give us £10 per week between four of us. That’s £2.50 per week for each person. Back then, to have a simple lunch of beans on toast costs £1. So in order to eat even the most basic of foods at school, we had to skip a day so that we could afford to buy lunch the following day.
All of this has helped me as an adult, a wife, and a mum. I can make £10 go a very long way and this has helped me to be a good saver.
How Pam spends:
A week of spending:
Monday: I bought broccoli, pak choi, yoghurt for the kids, bananas, grapes and strawberries. This all came to a total of £13.05.
Tuesday: I bought a bag of brown rice and broccoli for £2.50.
Wednesday: Wednesday: my husband worked from home so we treated ourselves to a nice breakfast at Bill’s, which came to £27.50
Thursday: I bought 10 cartons of oat milk, grapes, apples and cherries, spent £17.50.
Friday: Spent £13 on a Chinese takeout for my husband and I because I had client meetings and didn’t have time to cook.
Saturday: Spent £12.50 on sandwiches and snacks at the theatre with the kids.
Sunday: I didn’t spend anything
What we can learn from Pam's spending:
We spoke to the experts over at money tracking app Cleo to find out how Pam 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.
As you only have two spends this week that aren’t completely utilitarian, you’re viceless. Take out is the main guilty pleasure for around 41% of Cleo users, closely followed by eating out and then coffee.
It’s not surprising to see this surface even in a razor sharp £25 a week budget.
Where you’re going right
Cutting out meat is such a great shout for saving money. We surveyed vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters and found vegetarians spent £22 a week less than meat eaters, and £12 less than vegans.
Go forth and take away your childrens’ chicken nuggets in the name of financial stability!
If we’re roughly estimating that you’ve got about £5k to work with each month after tax, a third of your budget is going into bills.
Your fun spending knocks off little over £100 a month which means on a good week your max can save around £750. Below is a drill down of an aggressively savey week:
Bills: £1481 monthly / £341 weekly / £49 daily
Spending: £305 monthly / £70 weekly / £10 daily
Saving: £3219 monthly / £750 weekly / £107 daily
Normally I’d add a ‘safe to burn’ category, but I’m not sure you’re capable of having one. Come back when you’ve paid off your mortgage and we’ll take you on.
You’re doing incredibly. We’re not sure you’re human.
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 email@example.com.
How I Save: Pam
Is there anything better than a cool, crisp pint at the end of a long working day? Yes. A free one.
If you’re a human being and therefore like free alcohol, you’ll be happy to know that Young’s pubs are giving away free pints of Young’s Original beer to celebrate the chain’s birthday on the 19th September.
It must be a big birthday for the pub chain to promote such a generous offer, right? Well, not really. The pub turns 188 today – not exactly a momentous milestone, but something to celebrate nonetheless.
It couldn’t be simpler to get your hands on a free pint. All you have to do is download the On Tap app and head to My Treats to claim your free beer.
And if you don’t fancy drinking on a school night, don’t worry – the offer is available on both Thursday the 19th and Friday the 20th September. So it’s up to you when you want your weekend to start.
Young’s are also hosting a series of birthday bashes in true British pub fashion; with music, food, birthday cakes and ales – so head to their website to find out what’s happening at a pub near you.
Young’s now has 246 pubs nationwide, so if you’re worried about getting your hands on a free beer you shouldn’t have to look hard to find one.
Close up of two men's hands holding beer glasses
Ever since Meghan Markle said during her guest edit of Vogue that she wanted her models to be natural – specifically with their freckles on show – freckles have been, well, back in vogue.
Photographer Peter Lindbergh, who worked with Meghan on the Vogue September Issue cover, said she called him ahead of the shoot to tell him not to airbrush out a single freckle. He said: ‘My instructions from the duchess were clear: “I want to see freckles!”‘
It was heartening news for freckled folk who had previously felt the need to cover theirs with makeup – and a boost for those who already embrace their freckles.
Maya, 44, told Metro.co.uk that she has always loved her freckles because they make her look younger. ‘If I wear foundation, I age 10 years,’ she says. ‘I just wear a little concealer under my eyes and let my freckles show. I love that Meghan’s talking about freckles – the more natural people feel they can be, the better.’
But the Duchess Effect has gone one step further than giving freckled people yet more reason to embrace their natural look. Freckles are now so popular that people are looking to fake them.
Microblading and semi-permanent makeup artist Sian Dellar, who offers a freckle tattoo treatment at her Harley Street clinic, has been faking freckles for clients for years – but says requests for faux-freckles have risen fast since Meghan gave freckles the royal seal of approval.
Sian said: ‘The faux-freckle trend is so popular right now for those wanting to enhance their natural freckles or create a new look. We have seen an increase in requests for the freckles and it’s continuing to grow.’
Sian already offered a number of semi-permanent makeup treatments (lips, brows, eyeliner, areola augmentation, scalp micropigmentation) – and said it was a natural extension for her to move into freckles.
She said: ‘Once I noticed people were drawing freckles on with eyeliner, lip liner and brow pencils, it seemed like a no-brainer to do them at the clinic.’
Sian, who has named the £295 treatment ‘The Markle Sparkle’, added: ‘I’m expecting the growth in faux-freckles to continue, especially with the Duchess of Sussex on side. There has already been a steady influx of clients wanting the freckles trend. Who knows, maybe it’ll be beauty spots having a moment next?’
So, whose freckles do Sian’s clients want to emulate?
‘I’ve had a few clients bring in photos of Meghan Markle since she spoke openly about not hiding her freckles. Jordyn Woods is another favourite, she has really cute freckles, as does Ashley Graham. Perrie Edwards from Little Mix also has a gorgeous freckly complexion.’
It’s not about copying a celeb’s look for Sian though. She places the freckles where they will best suit the client.
She says: ‘Most people have slight freckles on their face so I will place them around the area the existing ones sit and expand on that area for the most natural-looking outcome.
‘I have a vast range of colours to choose from and offer custom blends to create a bespoke look tailored to each person. I will always match to existing freckles to create the most realistic effect.’
For Amber, 24, freckles never went out of vogue. She has been enhancing her own freckles for years using makeup – but since Meghan brought freckles to the fore, she decided to go for a more permanent solution and went for the Markle Sparkle.
She had her existing freckles enhanced in a treatment that took 5 – 10 minutes and loves the look – now she can toss away the brow pencil.
She said: ‘Before having my faux-freckles treatment I used to play with different makeup pencils – I found that eyebrow pencils worked the best – but it would still rub off really easily and definitely not last the whole day.
‘I love embracing my natural freckles but in the winter, they would be less visible so I would have to draw more on. I got into the habit of drawing freckles on every day, but they would rub off and I found it pretty time consuming.
‘Meghan Markle is one of my beauty influences and speaks of her love of freckles, so I definitely wanted to get the Markle Sparkle. Not having to do them every day saves me so much time and now I have year-round freckles.
‘It’s amazing to finally wake up with permanent faux-freckles that colour match my own freckles perfectly!’
If you want to enhance your freckles without the microblading treatment, follow the advice of Meghan’s former makeup artist Lydia Sellers.
She says: ‘It’s about keeping things fresh and dewy, rather than caking it on. ‘[Meghan’s] approach is very natural. She just wants to look like a better version of herself.’
To find out more about semi-permanent makeup or to book the ‘Markle sparkle’, you can visit Sian’s website at permanentmakeup-specialist.com.
Amber before (right) and after (left) the freckle treatment at Sian Dellar's microblading practice in Harley Street (Picture: Metro.co.uk via Sian Dellar clinic)
Like most dogs, Pluto the golden retriever used to love meat.
But after accidentally eating the foil from a disposable BBQ, Pluto turns his nose up at it and has become a vegetarian.
His owner Robin Dixon, 60, came across shards of an aluminium tray scattered across his garden after Pluto had tucked into the foil, thinking the meat residue stuck to it was a tasty treat.
Initially, he just monitored Pluto but after a few days, it was clear he had a painful tummy and he was rushed to the vets.
Pluto was given some medicine to help the jagged metal he had swallowed to pass on out but it didn’t help.
But another appointment two days later showed both a blockage in 13-year-old Pluto’s intestines – and a cancerous tumour on his testicle, which never would have been discovered had he not scoffed the BBQ.
Luckily, he is now doing much better, but he has completely shunned meat following his traumatic experience five months ago, and now loves nothing more than digging up radishes and carrots from the garden.
Programme manager Robin, who lives in Maidenhead, Berkshire, with his wife Tanya, 46, a childminder, said: ‘Pluto has become a vegetarian now. He loves hard vegetables and we also give him rice.
‘He’s always out in the garden digging up carrots and radishes. He’s mad about radishes but carrots are his favourite. If you’ve got a carrot, he will follow you around.
‘Before the incident, we always tried to give him a mix of solid biscuits and tinned meat, as well as allowing him treats like sausages.
‘But now, he will turn his nose up at meat, so we’ve stopped giving it to him.’
Robin explained how he adopted Pluto from a rescue centre 11 years ago in his native South Africa, where he was living at the time.
Alongside another golden retriever, Venus, who died of cancer in December 2017, Pluto was brought from Johannesburg back to Maidenhead, spending six months in quarantine before he was finally able to go and live with Robin and his family.
‘Pluto was about two years old when we got him, we think. He had been bounced between homes and was quite a tough dog,’ explained Robin.
‘When my son was a toddler, he would play with his tail, but Pluto wasn’t bothered – he is great with children.
‘He has a big heart and loves his walks. Even though he’s getting older and struggling now, he doesn’t let that worry him.
‘He’s had a tough upbringing, and wasn’t really looked after at the beginning of his life in South Africa, but despite that, he’s a really lovely dog.’
Robin always fed Pluto a mixture of biscuits and tinned meat but his diet completely changed following the fateful BBQ incident at the end of April this year.
Robin recalled: ‘The day after the family BBQ I went outside and saw the foil disposable tray, which had meat residue on, was scattered all over the garden.
‘I gathered all the pieces and put it back together, but there were bits missing. I thought, ‘Uh oh, I know where that has gone’.
‘I read up on the internet about how dangerous it was for dogs, and how the sharp bits could cut into the intestines or cause a blockage. It could be really nasty.’
For the next 48 hours, Robin kept an eye on him and noticed he was in pain so he booked Robin booked an emergency out-of-hours appointment with Vets Now in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, where they gave him some medication for Pluto’s gastrointestinal issues.
Unfortunately, the problems continued.
Robin continued: ‘We took him home, and the medication helped him go to the loo – but then, we noticed there was blood in his stools.
‘Plus, he had gone off his food completely.’
Two days later, Pluto got an appointment with his regular vet, who decided the pet now needed an ultrasound, which showed a blockage in his intestines and also brought up a cancerous tumour on his testicle.
He was given painkillers and more medication to try to remove the foil.
A couple of days after that, Pluto had a scrotal ablation to remove both his testicles.
At first, he struggled to pass the remainder of the foil which was causing him pain in his belly, and his owners were worried he may not make it.
But after two weeks, he was back to his normal self, wagging his tail and excited about going for walks.
After speaking to the vet, Robin decided to put Pluto on a wheat-free diet, as it was thought that may be better for his digestive tract, and they discovered he now prefered the meat-free options.
With Pluto turning his nose up at meat following the incident, he is now following a vegetarian diet.
And Robin says that, since making the switch, he has never been healthier, is full of energy and regular as clockwork.
He concluded: ‘The BBQ seems to have put him right off meat – he doesn’t eat it at all now.
‘These days, he is always positive and wagging his tail.
‘He’s kept his virility and edge, even after the operation. He’s like a little mountain lion sometimes when he’s protecting the house.
‘When he goes to the loo it’s not bad smelling and, even though he isn’t as steady on his feet due to old age and a bit of arthritis, he doesn’t even realise – he’s just so full of energy.
‘Being vegetarian seems to be working really well.’
Laura Playforth, veterinary standards director at Vets Now said: ‘As Pluto’s case shows, we see a number of unusual barbecue-related injuries and poisonings at this time of year.
‘These are often caused by dogs eating cooked bones, developing food poisoning, swallowing things like kebab skewers, or sustaining burn injuries from piping hot food.
‘Owners should also be aware that while carrots and radishes are great for dogs in moderation, any fertiliser, plant food or compost used to encourage their growth is likely to be poisonous, so wash any veg thoroughly and avoid using them if possible.’
Golden retriever who needed surgery after scoffing a BBQ is left feeling so ?ruff? that he has now turned vegetarian
The grey skies of September might be the final indication that summer is truly over but it’s never too late to purchase a kick-ass bikini.
And now you can buy a swimsuit perfect for next summer or a winter getaway – if you don’t mind it being completely see-through.
Well, see-through, except the nipple area which is covered by a patch resembling an olive.
Named the Martini Bikini, the risque high-waisted two-piece is being sold on fashion brand Adriana Degreas.
The Brazillian designer has come up with the tulle swimwear that’s sure to wow spectators at the pool and the beach.
But standing out has a pretty lofty price as those interested in the stuff will need to fork out $590 (£472).
Inspired by the cocktail which is garnished with an olive, the Martini Bikini is made of polyamide and spandex.
It is a triangle top that comes with high-rise briefs.
Don’t worry about flashing your bottom as the back is not transparent – it comes in a metallic silver.
The item description reads: ‘Get inspired by divas from old Hollywood with this playful hot pants Martini with cutouts and tulle.
‘Wear this glamorous piece with matching cover up and flat sandals poolside.’
And you might be looking at it thinking ‘not for me’ but Adriana Degreas fans can’t relate.
The bikini has been very very popular and has already sold out in a large size.
Anyone hoping for a small or medium better hurry as there’s only one of each available.
Followers of the brand’s Instagram page were certainly impressed. One person wrote: ‘Delicate, very beautiful!!!’
Adriana Degreas is no stranger to quirky transparent bikinis as they have previously shifted a £470 piece with its own nipple-censoring bar.
And then there was the hand-print one made to look like you’re grabbing your boobs.
We wonder what they’ll come up with next.