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

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    Metro - Spill It drinking diaries
    Much more refreshing than a G&T (Picture: Getty)

    If you were taking part in Sober October last month, you might have already considered having your first pint of the new month.

    While we absolutely commend your sober month, as part of this week’s instalment of Spill It, we’re speaking to someone who’s went way bigger.

    Scott is 29 and works in the media industry full time. He spends any free time he has as a sober activist, supporting others in their journey to or through sobriety by sharing his own experience via his Instagram page The Boy Who Drank Too Much.

    It’s a big change from our usual Spill It diaries, which see people tracking the units they’ve consumed over the course of seven days.

    Rather than the standard debauchery, we’re looking at how Scott managed to avoid the booze. He’s now made it to a year with no alcohol at all.

    Perhaps his week of fresh mornings and wholesome lunches might give you a push to cut down?

    Thursday

    Went to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race at my best mate’s apartment in Canary Wharf. He hired the private cinema in his building just for the two of us! He was drinking tins of G&T from M&S and I treated myself to a San Pellegrino Lemon and some snacks. For the first time in a long time, my mind wondered what it would be like to have a drink again, but I quickly reminded myself that after just turning one year sober, my life is inexplicably better now.

    Friday

    Tonight, I had a quiet night in after a super busy week at work. I got sent a new alcohol-free spirit to try, called Amplify, so I had that with tonic and ice with a slice of orange, it was the perfect special drink to have at the end of the week that means no hangover!

    Saturday

    I had a busy day today.

    I had dinner with my parents who were on the vino, but as ever now I steered clear. I opted for a sparkling water and focused on eating ALL the gorgeous food instead. Later in the evening I went to see Joker at the cinema – who knew the Luxe cinemas have fully fledged bars in them now?

    Just when you thought you were safe in the cinema from alcohol, there it is! I just grabbed a sparkling water to go with my popcorn.

    Sunday 

    Like all Sundays should be, I spent the day watching films. Had a delicious roast dinner late afternoon with some friends, they shared a bottle of red and I had a Fevertree Tonic Water. I thought back to how sleepy and irritable afternoon drinking used to make me, I don’t miss it!

    Monday

    Work was a killer today, I was so glad to wake up fresh, the feeling of waking up hangover free NEVER gets old.

    Went to the gym after work which always gives me physical reminders of how the effects of drinking used to impact me. Since quitting the booze my fitness levels are so much better.

    Tuesday

    Another quiet evening tonight.

    When I got home, I saw I’d been sent some samples of the new OutFox alcohol free wine to try; I’ll be saving that for Friday night!

    I watched tv on the sofa and caught up on some emails then went to bed.

    Wednesday

    Today was one of those days where my mind plays tricks on me and convinces me I need wine to cope with the stress at work. I’m running multiple streams of work at the moment and it is getting intense

    The devil in me kept wanting to go to the pub after work to forget all about it, but as that’s not a thing anymore for me I took myself to the gym and then for a little bit of retail therapy instead.

    It’s amazing how quickly you can distract yourself from wanting a drink with something else.

    Total units in a week recommended by the NHS: 14 units (for anybody regardless of gender). Obviously, if you’re able to get lower than this, even better!

    Spill It is a weekly series out every Friday. To get involved email jessica.lindsay@metro.co.uk.

    MORE: Cat instantly regrets sniffing owner’s feet

    MORE: Woman pretends to be pregnant to avoid paying excess baggage fees


    Spill It: How a 26-year-old sober activist avoids drinking for a weekSpill It: How a 26-year-old sober activist avoids drinking for a week

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    jar of honey with honeycomb on wooden table
    Sorry vegans, honey isn’t vegan-friendly (Picture: nitrub/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    Veganism has worked its way into the mainstream, with vegan eateries popping up all over the place, vegan-themed sexy Halloween costumes, and even Greggs getting on board.

    After all, eschewing both factory farming and animal cruelty has both a moral appeal and a beneficial impact on the environment, so what’s not to love?

    There are however some foods out there which you might not realise aren’t vegan, just lying in wait to trip up any well-intended person out there trying to limit their diet to things free of animal products.

    For example, honey – which is made by bees – is not vegan because according to The Vegan Society, the bees’ health can be put at risk when humans harvest it.

    With that, and the fact that it’s World Vegan Day in mind, here’s a quick look at some foods which you might be surprised to learn aren’t vegan.

    Oreos

    Sadly we’ve got to cross one of the world’s greatest cookies off the list right off the bat, as Oreo themselves state on their website: ‘Oreo have milk as cross contact and therefore they are not suitable for vegans.’

    an Avocado
    We’re so sorry to be the ones to have to tell you this (Picture: lacaosa/Getty Images/Moment RF)

    Avocados

    Avocados also can’t exist without bees, and, as QI host Sandi Toksvig said in a previous episode of the show: ‘Because they are so difficult to cultivate naturally, all of these crops rely on bees which are placed on the back of trucks and taken very long distances across the country.

    ‘It’s migratory beekeeping and it’s unnatural use of animals and there are lots of foods that fall foul of this. Broccoli is a good example. Cherries, cucumbers, lettuce. Lots and lots of vegan things are actually not strictly vegan.’

    Figs

    Figs are another food which, if you count bugs as aminals, aren’t strictly vegan because wasps, which pollinate figs, can become trapped inside the plant and broken down into protein.

    In fact, for a fig to be edible, it needs to have at least one dead and broken down female wasp in it. Let that sink in.

    bananas at a market stall
    (Picture: David Bebber/University of Exeter/PA Wire)

    Bananas

    If your bananas have been sprayed to keep them fresher for longer, then that spray probably includes chitosan, which is made from shrimp and crab shells.

    Worcestershire Sauce

    Worcestershire sauce includes anchovies in its list of ingredients and thus isn’t vegan.

    However, if you want to enjoy any of that tangy goodness, there are vegan options out there as well as recipes to show you how to make your own.

    a pile of sweets
    Know which of these are vegan and which aren’t? (Picture: AntonMatveev/Getty Images/iStock Editorial)

    Some types of sweets

    New vegans had better get into the habit of checking the ingredients on their sweet wrappers because lots of gummy sweets and marshmallows include gelatin, which is derived from collagen taken from animal body parts.

    Some types of alcohol

    Certain types of wine and beer are clarified using animal by-products, such as gelatin, bone marrow and fish bladders.

    Once you shake that image out of your head, there’s a handy tool which can help you find out if your chosen brand of tipple is vegan or not.

    MORE: The Grand Tour’s James May ditches meat for World Vegan Day

    MORE: What does Greggs sell that is vegan or vegetarian?


    Shoppers misled into thinking honey is healthyShoppers misled into thinking honey is healthy

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    Laura Sheard's damaged hair after two bleaches
    Lauras hair was so damaged after rounds of bleach that she needed to have her hair cut short and dyed red (Picture: Laura Sheard /SWNS.COM)

    Let this be a lesson to us all about the importance of taking proper care of our hair.

    Yes, that does mean listening to a professional and not hitting the bleach too hard.

    Lara Sheard, 24, says she’s been left devastated by her hair turning blue and snapping off after it had faced too many rounds of bleach.

    Plus she was called a Smurf by her friends, which is something we expect you’d want to avoid.

    Laura had gone to her usual mobile hairdresser she’d used many times before. She asked for her usual purple roots with grey toner, but claims her roots turned bright blue.

    While most of us would accept the mishap and just wear a hat until the blue faded out, Laura couldn’t bear her hair so much that she went back to the hairdresser and ‘begged’ for help.

    Laura Sheard's hairstyle before the fateful treatments. Laura Sheard, 24, has been left bereft after her hair was bleached and treated so many times it has started to SNAP OFF. See SWNS story SWSYhairdressers. A woman has been left devastated after her hair was bleached and dyed so many times it turned blue and snapped off - and her friends called her a SMURF. Laura Sheard, 24, booked an appointment with a mobile hairdresser she'd used countless times before. She asked for her usual purple roots with grey toner on her shoulder length hair, but claims her roots turned bright blue. Her hairdresser claims she asked her to put up with it for a while - but Laura said she was teased by work colleagues who called her 'smurf'.
    Lauras hair before it all went wrong (Picture: Laura Sheard /SWNS.COM)

    She said her colleagues had been teasing her and her friends called her a Smurf, meaning she just couldn’t keep the blue bits in her hair.

    The hairdresser gave Laura’s hair a ‘bleach bath’, which led to her hair apparently breaking off in clumps.

    She ended up going to a local salon in tears, where her damaged hair had to be cut into a sharp pixie cut and dyed red. That’s quite the change from the flowing purple locks Laura was used to.

    Laura, from Doncaster, said: ‘I’m very particular with my hair, it means a lot to me, so when my hairdresser said she was leaving the salon to go mobile, I decided to follow her.

    Laura Sheard's hair visiting the salon with damage. Laura Sheard, 24, has been left bereft after her hair was bleached and treated so many times it has started to SNAP OFF. See SWNS story SWSYhairdressers. A woman has been left devastated after her hair was bleached and dyed so many times it turned blue and snapped off - and her friends called her a SMURF. Laura Sheard, 24, booked an appointment with a mobile hairdresser she'd used countless times before. She asked for her usual purple roots with grey toner on her shoulder length hair, but claims her roots turned bright blue. Her hairdresser claims she asked her to put up with it for a while - but Laura said she was teased by work colleagues who called her 'smurf'.
    Laura says she didn’t like the blue parts of her roots so went back to get them fixed (Picture: Laura Sheard /SWNS.COM)

    ‘She’d been doing my hair for years, and it’s so hard to find someone who does your hair exactly as you like it, so it was a no brainer for me.

    ‘She came over to my mum’s house and it was all going fine until she gasped and said “Laura, your head is turning blue!”

    ‘I totally panicked, but she told me to leave it as it was. My colleagues laughed and called me Smurf when I went into work the next day – I was so embarrassed.

    ‘I begged my hairdresser for help, so she came over two days later and put my hair in a bleach bath, but that made my hair start to break off like straw falling in clumps.

    Laura Sheard's damaged hair after 2 bleaches. Laura Sheard, 24, has been left bereft after her hair was bleached and treated so many times it has started to SNAP OFF. See SWNS story SWSYhairdressers. A woman has been left devastated after her hair was bleached and dyed so many times it turned blue and snapped off - and her friends called her a SMURF. Laura Sheard, 24, booked an appointment with a mobile hairdresser she'd used countless times before. She asked for her usual purple roots with grey toner on her shoulder length hair, but claims her roots turned bright blue. Her hairdresser claims she asked her to put up with it for a while - but Laura said she was teased by work colleagues who called her 'smurf'.
    But unfortunately her hair was so damaged it snapped off in her hands Laura Sheard /SWNS.COM

    ‘Now I’ve got this short red pixie cut rather than my long hair that I loved and it’s just completely destroyed my confidence.’

    The bleach bath was supposed to be a gentler way to dye Laura’s hair, but the strands were simply too damaged. Soon her hair was breaking off at the slightest touch.

    ‘My hair was like straw,’ said Laura. ‘I was in floods of tears – I couldn’t believe my long hair was just falling away in front of me, and each chunk that broke off just broke my heart further.

    ‘She gave me a £30 refund as well as some treatments to use and told me to leave my hair as it was, but it just looked awful and continued to snap off after she left.’

    Laura went back to her old salon on 25 July and said staff were ‘shocked’. They tried different treatments but a short cut was the only option.

    Laura Sheard's damaged hair after 2 bleaches. Laura Sheard, 24, has been left bereft after her hair was bleached and treated so many times it has started to SNAP OFF. See SWNS story SWSYhairdressers. A woman has been left devastated after her hair was bleached and dyed so many times it turned blue and snapped off - and her friends called her a SMURF. Laura Sheard, 24, booked an appointment with a mobile hairdresser she'd used countless times before. She asked for her usual purple roots with grey toner on her shoulder length hair, but claims her roots turned bright blue. Her hairdresser claims she asked her to put up with it for a while - but Laura said she was teased by work colleagues who called her 'smurf'.
    Having multiple rounds of bleach caused intense damage to Laura’s hair (Picture: Laura Sheard /SWNS.COM)

    Laura now plans to take her hairdresser to small claims court, claiming she was blocked on Facebook when she asked the stylist to pay money towards fixing the damage.

    ‘The salon dyed my hair red to try and make it look a bit better, but I was just crying constantly, I absolutely hated it,’ said Laura.

    ‘I had to pay for treatments and for the cut and dye at the salon, and I’ve even shelled out for an expensive wig in Sheffield which set me back another £150.

    ‘I’ve basically paid £300 to fix the damage so that I can go on living my life without hating my appearance, but when I asked my hairdresser for money towards it, she blocked me on Facebook.

    ‘I’m taking her to small claims court because she’s wrecked my hair by bleaching it twice so close together, and I’ve had to pay loads to fix the damage – she’s ruined my life.’

    Laura Sheard's hair now. Laura Sheard, 24, has been left bereft after her hair was bleached and treated so many times it has started to SNAP OFF. See SWNS story SWSYhairdressers. A woman has been left devastated after her hair was bleached and dyed so many times it turned blue and snapped off - and her friends called her a SMURF. Laura Sheard, 24, booked an appointment with a mobile hairdresser she'd used countless times before. She asked for her usual purple roots with grey toner on her shoulder length hair, but claims her roots turned bright blue. Her hairdresser claims she asked her to put up with it for a while - but Laura said she was teased by work colleagues who called her 'smurf'.
    She had to have her hair cut short and dyed red (Picture: Laura Sheard /SWNS.COM)

    The hairdresser claims that Laura decided she didn’t like the colour she had done so had her hair dyed again at her request.

    She said: ‘When you recolour hair after a short amount of time, it obviously will take its toll on the hair.

    ‘As a gesture of goodwill, I changed the colour for her because she said she didn’t like it – I didn’t charge her for that or for any conditioning treatment, and I also left her a bond reconstructer and some oil.

    ‘She’d been a customer quite a while so I wanted to keep her happy.

    ‘After a few days, she said it’s dry, it’s snapping and I said don’t do anything, keep using the products I gave you, don’t put heat on it and don’t colour it any more.

    ‘She said I don’t want it this colour any more, and I said well I advise you not to colour it again because it will take its toll even more.

    ‘She completely ignored my advice and went somewhere else and got it coloured again, and then came back to me telling me that she’s going to take me to court!

    ‘I’m fully insured so I spoke to my insurance about it and they said until a legal representative of hers contacts me, there shouldn’t be any discussion between us two.’

    She said she paid for Laura to have a hydration treatment but Laura demanded money for hair extensions and more treatments.

    MORE: The purple shampoo challenge: Could it damage your hair?

    MORE: Woman who thought chronic illness had ruined her dreams of doing ballet now teaches dance from her wheelchair

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘I lost all my hair in my 30s – running without my wig gave me my power back’


    laura sheardlaura sheard

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    models wears ASOS trench coat
    The ASOS trench coat  (Picture: ASOS)

    The humble trench coat is a timeless staple that looks good all year round – but this autumn there’s one particular product that’s got the fashion world talking.

    Zara’s £39.99 polka dot dress was all anyone could speak about over summer, but now winter is here it’s time for a new cult product…

    …enter, the ASOS trench coat.

    The garment offers a twist on the traditional trench coat, with contrast checked panelling on the front and back.

    The oversized design gives it a slouchy feel, but the belt helps to add shape – if need be.

    The Asos trench coat in the Curve collection
    The winter warmer (Picture: ASOS)

    It’s available in both the ASOS Mainline and ASOS Curve collections – in sizes 4 to 30.

    But currently most sizes are out of stock – so keep checking back in.

    Shoppers have also been delighted with how affordable the coat is.

    Many high street trench coats retail at around £100, but this ASOS number comes in at £75 – perhaps another reason behind the coat’s soaring popularity.

    Model wearing ASOS coat
    It has an oversized design with checked panels (Picture: ASOS)

    close up of the ASOS trench coat
    It features a traditional belt too (Picture: ASOS)

    It’s also been revealed that this particular trench has been the most popular for ASOS this year.

    An ASOS representative told Glamour UK: ‘We have sold over 500 units in under 3 weeks. It’s been our best-selling trench this year, with so many influencers being seen in it.’

    The classy coat has been splashed across Instagram feeds over recent weeks, with a number of influencers posting pictures of themselves in the garment.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B31vh9Tpc8N/

    Marie Claire’s digital fashion editor Penny Goldstone, New York fashion stylist Hannah Crosskey and UK influencer Alicia Roddy are just a few names who have sported the piece on social media.

    MORE: M&S launches a reversible coat – giving you two winter warmers for the price of one

    MORE: Burberry is selling a half blazer half puffa coat hybrid for almost £3,000

    MORE: How to make ethical knitwear choices this winter


    The ASOS trench coatThe ASOS trench coat

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    Plant-based dishes including a chia bowl with blueberries, two plates with vegetables, four snack bars, a juice drink and another plate with asparagus and other bits on it
    You could make £2,000 just by giving up animal products (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    If you’ve been playing with the idea of going vegan, here’s your chance.

    In time for National Vegan Day, meat-eaters are given the opportunity to swap their protein-filled habit for a plant-based lifestyle – while getting paid to do so.

    We Are Feel, a multivitamin brand, is currently looking for five people to take part in a three-month study focused on finding out what type of deficiencies your body may experience when you switch to veganism – and how their products could help supplement these changes.

    This means that in addition to giving up any animal products, you will also need to take their vitamins as part of your new diet, including B12, vitamin C, iron, folate, lodine and vitamin D.

    Each participant will be paid £2,000 but there are additional requirements.

    Every week throughout the three months, you have to take a blood sample through a finger prick test – which can be done at home – and send it to the company.

    Researchers will first measure how your body reacts to switching to a vegan diet, before introducing the vitamins, which are free of gluten, lactose and allergens, in the second month.

    The study is set to start in December and all candidates will be announced on 11 November, so get in there quick if you fancy giving plant-based living a go.

    To be eligible to apply, you must be aged between 18 to 60, as well as not have any pre-existing health issues including diabetes, obesity and hyperthyroidism.

    Additionally, you must have consumed meat on a regular basis for at least the last six months.

    ‘The development of our products is the most important thing to us as a business and brand – we’re dedicated to creating quality multivitamins that actually work, and as with all of our products, we’re constantly looking at ways to develop them further,’ said Boris Hodakel, founder of WeAreFeel.

    ‘Our product has shown incredible benefits for meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. However, we wanted to find out just how good it is at fixing some of the common deficiencies caused by a vegan diet.

    ‘These tests have been planned for a while, and after turning vegan recently myself, I can’t wait to see the findings!’

    MORE: Vegan cafe only serves food that was about to go in the bin

    MORE: Vegetarian of a decade becomes butcher after eating a beef burger

    MORE: Whole Foods says fancy flours and meat-plant blends are going to be big trends in 2020


    PRI_94258000PRI_94258000

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    Caramilk Twirl chocolate bar
    The Caramilk Twirl is set to sell out. (Picture: Cadbury)

    Ever wondered what society would look like if it plunged into post-apocalyptic mayhem? Perhaps what the new form of currency will be? Thanks to Cadbury we have reason to believe it will be a certain limited-edition golden chocolate.

    The confectionery brand has been creating chaos with their much-coveted Caramilk.

    After the caramelised white chocolate block was released in 2017 after a 23-year hiatus, supermarket shelves were ransacked. Shortly after, Caramilk was re-sold on eBay for ten times the price. And then again last month. One Australian man even set fire to $1,000 (£532) worth of Caramilk just to make a statement.

    So yea, this choccie is turning people – mainly Aussies – into total savages.

    Just one month after the Caramilk Philadelphia cream cheese hit stores, the sweet-toothed overlords at Cadbury have dreamed up the Caramilk Twirl.

    Caramilk Twirl
    The Caramilk looks a little something like this…

    Thanks to a leaked (and now deleted) Facebook picture, the limited edition product will feature two bars of Caramilk fused with the satisfying swirls of a Twirl. Basically, there’s a milk chocolate shell with a light, caramel-coloured flake interior.

    Of course, people are already in a frenzy.

    There’s been no specific announcement of the new Twirl, however eagle-eyed shoppers have spotted it in the product systems of Australian supermarkets. Plus Cadbury *has* alluded to it, which we’re sure will only aid the hype.

    ‘Cadbury Caramilk has been so incredibly popular that we’ve been looking at a number of new options for limited edition Caramilk products in never-seen-before formats. Stay tuned…,’ Cadbury said in a tweet.

    The hybrid bar is likely to only be sold in Australia, it’s just a matter of when.

    The Cadbury orange twirl on a pink backgroundPeople are ‘highly distressed’ because they can’t find Cadbury’s Orange Twirl in shops

    MORE: Cadbury announces its Easter range for next year and people are confused

    A Cadbury's Easter tin on a colourful backgroundCadbury announces its Easter range for next year and people are confused

    Caramilk TwirlCaramilk Twirl

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    Marks & Spencer wines
    M&S have said they will make their own wine 100% vegan (Credit: Getty)

    Today is World Vegan Day and, to mark the occasion, M&S has announced it will soon be making all its wines vegan-friendly.

    The British brand has pledged to make all its own-label wines vegan by 2022.

    The new move will remove all animal-based ingredients used in production – such as egg white, milk and gelatin – to make the vino vegan-friendly.

    It will substitute these animal products with plant-based based alternatives, such as pea protein.

    Currently around 70% of M&S wines are vegan – so the brand has just over two years to tackle the other 30%.

    M&S employee stocking wine
    Their deadline is 2022 (Picture: Getty Images)

    M&S first labelled many of its own-brand wines as ‘suitable for vegetarians’ back in 1998 and the ‘suitable for vegans’ labels were first brought out in 2005.

    Sue Daniels, an M&S winemaker, said: ‘We’ve made this commitment as part of our overall aim to make M&S products more relevant to more customers and to take action to reflect their changing dietary demands.

    ‘Obviously, such a large-scale commitment isn’t without its challenges – however we have been working on alternatives with winemakers for several years and have already seen radical changes in more traditional areas such as France and Spain.

    ‘We will be supporting the rest of our partner wineries every step of the way towards this goal.’

    It hardly comes as a surprise that the boozy announcement was met with lots of praise on social media.

    One user tweeted to the brand: ‘Thanks for your commitment to 100% own brand vegan wines! Well done!’

    The news comes after the high street store launched its own 60-strong vegan range Plant Kitchen, earlier this year.

    It also seems that M&S will face some competition for its new wine range, as supermarket rival SPAR has also said it will also be making its wines fully vegan – but with an earlier deadline of 2021.

    MORE: Meat-eaters, you can now get paid to go vegan

    MORE: Vegan cafe only serves food that was about to go in the bin

    MORE: Can vegans eat honey and 7 other foods which actually are not vegan


    M&S is making all its wines 100% veganM&S is making all its wines 100% vegan

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    closeup of a young man holding a fake moustache in front of his face
    Assemble your Mo Bros (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    It’s November 1 today, otherwise known as the first of Movember!

    Today, men across the world will ditch their razors for a month, all in the name of raising awareness – and money – for men’s health issues.

    It only comes around once a year, so let’s remind ourselves just what Movember is, and what the rules are.

    What is Movember in aid of?

    couple posing with novelty moustaches
    Over 5 million people have taken part in Movember since 2003 (Picture: Getty)

    Movember aims to raise awareness of men’s health issues, and it started back in 2003 after two friends, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, questioned why the moustache had fallen out of fashion.

    They challenged themselves and 30 others to take up the challenge of growing a tash.

    The challenge was a success so they ramped it up the next year, in 2004, donated funds to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA), where the men were from.

    PCFA came on board as their first official men’s health partner the following year and in 2007 they were joined by Prostate Cancer Foundation (US), Prostate Cancer Canada, The Prostate Cancer Charity (UK) and the FEFOC (Spain).

    From left: Movember founders Adam Garone, Luke Slattery and their friend, Dave Maslen
    Movember started as an idea between two friends (Picture: Stephane L’hostis/Getty Images)

    Since then, the campaign has partnered with countless other health organisations and more than 5 million people have taken part.

    The campaign has also moved beyond focusing solely on prostate cancer awareness and moved on to general, widespread health issues such as testicular cancer and men’s suicide.

    What are the Movember rules?

    The first step is simply registering on Movember.com.

    Once you’ve done that, you must comply with the following rules:

    1) Start with a clean-shaven face

    Man shaving in front of mirror
    You have to start the month with a clean slate (Picture: Getty)

    That’s right, you need to start from scratch, so if you’ve already got some stubble then it’s time to shave it off.

    Your whole face should be clean-shaven, including your upper lip, sideburns and handlebar zones.

    2) For the entire month of Movember, you must grow and groom a moustache

    While you’re allowed to do some light grooming, you must keep your moustache for the entirety of November.

    Not sure what kind of tash you fancy? Check out Movember’s helpful style guide.

    We’re a fan of the Trucker, but that’s just us.

    3) Beards, goatees and fake moustaches don’t count

    Face of a man with a mustache
    It doesn’t matter how it’s styled, but it must be a moustache (Picture:: Getty)

    Unable to grow a moustache, or just not confident enough to stick with it? Then this challenge may not be for you.

    But don’t worry, you can still donate to a participating Mo Bro.

    4) Use the power of the moustache to create conversation and raise funds for men’s health

    Large moustache installation in London
    The campaign aims to raise awareness of men’s health problems (Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

    Let’s face it, whether you’re sporting full-blown handlebars or a slug on your upper lip, it’s bound to start some conversations.

    Use your newfound power for good.

    5) Each Mo Bro must conduct himself like a true gentleman

    Your new moustache comes with power, but with power comes great responsibility.

    It goes without saying, but observe the Mo Bro code, and conduct yourself like a true gentlemen, throughout November and beyond.

    MORE: Razor company Billie wants women to grow a moustache for Movember

    MORE: Forget Movember – Januhairy is coming to encourage women to embrace their body hair


    young man with a fake moustacheyoung man with a fake moustache

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    The pictures from Twitter
    Alice went viral on Twitter (Picture: Alice Lim)

    21-year-old Alice Lim went viral on Twitter after sharing a conversation with her mother about a tattoo she had created.

    Alice is an artist and is currently learning to tattoo. She got to ink her first design on her first customer this week.

    She messaged her mum to show her the design, feeling super proud of herself – but unfortunately her mum wasn’t so happy.

    Instead of congratulating her, she simply asked: ‘Do you really want to take that path Alice?’

    The texts from her mum
    Her mum wasn’t very happy (Picture: Alice Lim)

    Upset, Alice responded: ‘Alright. I’m proud and was so happy and I wanted to share it with you but thanks for ruining it.’

    To which her mum replied: ‘Are you going to finish school?’

    Alice took to Twitter to share both the conversation and the picture of the tattoo she had created – a cute knife design.

    She wrote: ‘Apparently mother wasn’t proud but I am so hi twitter I’m learning how to tattoo and this is my first one:)’

    Alice’s tweet received more than 15,000 retweets and 166,000 likes – and it’s safe to say she’s feeling much happier now.

    The tattoo Alice inked
    She was freaking out over going viral (Picture: Alice Lim)

    Alice tells Metro.co.uk that she has been drawing designs on her skin since school, and her mother always knew she wanted to have tattoos but refused to let her get one.

    In regards to actually inking her first tattoo on a customer, Alice said: ‘I was really excited about it because I was finally doing something with my art besides selling the designs and I had mentioned that I wanted to learn how to tattoo many times before, so I expected her to at least be excited for me to go on and do what I’ve always wanted to do.

    ‘So when she reacted that way it really shot me down because I want nothing more than to make my mother proud.

    ‘What sucks about blowing up on Twitter though is that people assume a lot of things and don’t understand that I am in no way saying my mom isn’t supportive. I just said she wasn’t proud of me for this and that it sucked.’

    When Alice first tweeted out the conversation, she expected just a ‘normal’ amount of likes and started ‘freaking out’ when it went viral.

    She explained: ‘I started freaking out because it was cool and exciting but also because it made me vulnerable to criticism that I’m not sure I was ready for.

    A picture of Alice
    Alice and her mum are all good now (Picture: Alice Lim)

    ‘I have had a lot of art requests, it’s been absolute madness but I love it and feel like I’m finally going towards my dream of being an artist like my grandpa, but in my own way.’

    Luckily, Alice and her mum are doing just fine now, and have made up.

    Alice tells us: ‘Mama and I are fine now.

    ‘She still doesn’t support this dream of mine but it kind of makes me want to work super hard to make her proud hopefully soon.

    ‘I’m sure she’ll come around once she sees how happy I am, and that I am in fact not even considering dropping out of school!’

    MORE: Cadbury is releasing a Caramilk Twirl in Australia and people are going wild

    MORE: Meat-eaters, you can now get paid to go vegan


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    battered fish and chips
    Where will they plaice? (Picture: Getty)

    Whether you like them with lashings of vinegar or smothered in salt, nothing says British comfort food like fish and chips.

    Which is just as well, as a list of the 20 best places in the country for the dish has been revealed.

    Every year, chippies and restaurants across the country compete to be crowned the winner of the National Fish & Chip Awards.

    Ahead of the competition in January, a shortlist of the best venues has been announced.

    Unsurprisingly, a number of seaside spots feature in the shortlist.

    French’s Fish Shop in Wells-next-the-Sea, Fish ‘n’ Fritz in Weymouth and Rockfish in Devon are just a few waterfront locations to make it into the top 20.

    London and its surrounding areas also did well, with Belmont Bay Fish Bar in Harrow, Seafare Guildford in Surrey and Fiddlers Elbow in Hertfordshire also making it onto the list.

    fish and chips
    A mix of seaside and city spots feature (Picture: Unsplash/Tareq Ismail)

    It’s hardly a surprise that a fair few northern chippies feature too, such as Fish & Chips @ Weston Grove in Chester and Shap Chippy in Cumbria.

    A handful of restaurants such as the Bearded Sailor in Leeds and the Cod’s Scallops in Nottingham also made the shortlist.

    The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony taking place on 23 January 2020.

    Judges will look for spots that maintain excellence in sustainable sourcing, have excellent customer service, train staff, have development opportunities and have an innovative menu for those with allergies or dietary requirements.

    The competition is carried out by Seafish – a public body that supports the seafood industry.

    Shortlist for the top 20 fish and chip shops

    Belmont Bay Fish Bar, Harrow, London

    Carron Fish Bar, Stonehaven, Grampian

    Dolphin Takeaway, Duncannon, Country Tyrone

    Fiddlers Elbow, Leintwardine, Herefordshire

    Fish ‘n’ Fritz, Weymouth, Dorset

    Fish and Chips at Weston Grove, Chester, Cheshire

    French’s Fish Shop, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk

    Hiks, Swansea, West Glamorgan

    Hook & Line, Leeds, West Yorkshire

    Hooked@31, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire

    Low’s Traditional Fish & Chips, Aberdeen, Grampian

    Mike’s Traditional Fish & Chips, Eastleigh, Hampshire

    Rockfish, Brixham, Brixham, Devon

    Seafare Guildford, Guildford, Surrey

    Shap Chippy, Penrith, Cumbria

    The Bearded Sailor, Leeds, West Yorkshire

    The Chip Shed , Warwick, Warwickshire

    The Cod’s Scallops, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

    The Frying Squad, Bangor, County Down

    Walnut Tree Traditional Fish and Chips, Milton Keynes, Hertfordshire.

    MORE: M&S to make own-brand wines 100% vegan

    MORE: The Subway vegan meatball marinara sub is coming to the UK this week

    MORE: You can buy a Big Mac for just 99p from McDonald’s next week


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    Can botox treat migraines? Surprising things botox can do other than relax wrinkles
    (Picture: Getty) Can botox treat migraines? Surprising things botox can do other than relax wrinkles

    Whether or not you’re on board with Botox and its ability to smooth fine lines, do not underestimate its near-magical abilities.

    Botox, a muscle-relaxing injectable, is commonly used a preventative measure to help preserve the skin and stop lines from developing.

    But there is a growing list of uses for the injectables. Experts say that Botox injections also help with migraine relief, excessive sweating, and teeth-grinding, among other things.

    We spoke to Alice Henshaw, owner and director of Harley Street Injectables, on the surprising things Botox can do other than relax wrinkles.

    1. Migraine relief

    Migraines and frequent headaches can be debilitating and while there are no cures, Botox injections can help to ease symptoms.

    ‘Botox is only FDA-approved for chronic migraines, which means headache on 15 or more days a month,’ says Alice.

    Not recommended for people who experience less than 15 headache days a month, ‘Botox is injected around pain fibres that are involved in headaches’ to provide migraine relief.

    ‘Botox enters the nerve endings around where it is injected and blocks the release of chemicals involved in pain transmission,’ says Alice.

    ‘This prevents activation of pain networks in the brain. Botox prevents migraine headaches before they start, but takes time to work. One treatment lasts for 10-12 weeks, and patients reported that two Botox treatments reduced the number of headache days by approximately 50%.’

     

    2. Reduce excessive sweating

    Botox is, is a popular remedy for severe sweating (hyperhidrosis). Alice explained that you may be a candidate for underarm Botox ‘if your sweating fails to improve with prescription antiperspirants’.

    ‘Botox has been FDA-approved for people who sweat excessively from their armpits,’ she said. ‘It may also be used “off-label” to reduce sweating in other areas, such as the hands, feet, and face. Off-label use refers to using a medication for something other than what it was approved to treat.

    ‘In this case, it means that Botox hasn’t gone through the same amount of rigorous testing to confirm its effectiveness for treating excessive sweating in other areas of the body.’

    Back in August Chrissy Teigen revealed that she got Botox injections in her armpits, dubbing the treatment as ‘truly best move I have ever made.’

     

    3. Teeth-grinding (bruxism) prevention

    Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can result in jaw pain, persistent headaches, teeth damage and even that ‘square-jawed’ look as a result of growth of the muscles attached to the jaw. But Botox injections can prevent you from clenching and grinding your teeth resulting in a softer jawline.

    ‘The grinding and its symptoms can be dramatically reduced by injecting Botox into the masseter (the muscle attached to the jaw), which reduces local muscle activity leading to dramatic changes in face shape after regular treatment,’ says Alice.

    ‘The Botox will start working within the first three two seven days, however the overall result will be seen within 6-8 weeks.’

     

    4. Non-surgical nose job

    Did you know with just a few needle pricks it’s possible to change the shape of your nose?

    ‘Filler is usually the most effective treatment for non-surgical rhinoplasty however, for a select few patients, a few drops of Botox may actually be the magical touch,’ explains Alice.

    The process, that’s relatively painless, fast and reversible, can be used to elevate drooped nose tips and even to make the nostrils appear slightly smaller: ‘This is done by treating the ala (nostril area) with Botox to reduce the flaring of your muscles.’

    ‘A different treatment for the nose is ‘bunny line Botox’ which targets the upper part of the nose, for bunny-like wrinkles that may form on the bridge (just below where glasses may sit) when you smile.’

     

    5. Treat acne

    Botox can help to shrink large pores which in turn can reduce sebum (oil production), reducing breakouts.

    Better yet, it can help reduce pesky scaring: ‘Botox injections can reduced both the bumpiness and the width of the scars,’ says Alice.

    ‘The tension on a wound causes scars to be thicker and wider and a major source of tension on a scar is motion using Botox to weaken the muscles under a healing incision, and thereby reducing motion can make its appearance less obvious.’

    MORE: Payday beauty products from Benefit's new Brow Styler to Glossier's highly anticipated Zit Stick

    MORE: Preventative Botox: Here's everything you need to know


    Is gravity starting to take it's toll?Is gravity starting to take it's toll?

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     The Best Wagatha Christie costumes
    It’s…. Halloween. (Picture: kayleighhanley METROGRAB)

    Seeing as though the Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy saga has become household knowledge, sparked Footballers’ Wives reboot rumours and inspired Keira Knightley to jokingly agree to play Coleen in the cinematic imagining, the incident obviously had to factor into Halloween.

    Because you’re nobody until you’ve been immortalised by a topical costume during spooky season.

    This year we’ve seen internet-inspired looks including the Spongebob ‘Ight Imma Head Out’ meme, Kylie Jenner’s ‘Rise and Shine’ and of course, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cat pic. Plus every year we’ll always see the detective costumes, your dad as Sherlock Holmes or your friend’s dog who absolutely owns the party in a sweeping Inspector Gadget trench. But rarely are we blessed with such a perfect crossover: the Wagatha Christie.

    Coleen’s now infamous ‘It’s….Rebekah Vardy‘ line has inspired trick or treaters to don their best deerstalkers and football jerseys, and even have custom clothing designed to recreate the fateful tweet.

    And it’s not just folks in the UK. If this is the most universal bit of British culture to come out of 2019, we’re not disappointed.

    Here’s a round-up of the legends who owned Halloween in Wagatha Christie get-up:

    1. An instant icon.

    2. A Wagatha across the pond

    3. PVC skills from school project days finally come in handy

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B4H7Nm-J4gD/

    4. The football jersey is a must

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B4TDj0vpvV3/

    5. Ready to spill the tea

    6. Never hurts to add a mask for costume clarity

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B4DKW_kBRaT/

    7. A custom tee featuring Coleen’s entire Tweet

    8. Turns out WAGs really do suit vintage pipes

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B4KUefbA9wY/

    9. Who said you can only rock a sash on your hens?

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B4S2j2JnXBF/

    10. ‘It’s….. a look.’

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B4S0y9Ijw_M/

    MORE: https://metro.co.uk/2019/10/10/happened-wags-remembering-baden-baden-takeover-coleen-v-rebekah-heats-10896741/?ito=cbshare

    MORE: Aisling Bea is our hero as she dresses as Wagatha Christie for Halloween 2019

    MORE: The unsung hero of celebrity public statements…….. the Notes app


    Best Wagatha Christie costumes Picture: kayleighhanley METROGRABBest Wagatha Christie costumes Picture: kayleighhanley METROGRAB

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    Split image of two airplane meals looking disgusting, including one with fish and the other with pasta and cheese
    Yum? (Picture: Which?)

    Plane food isn’t known for being particularly luxurious, but most people still believe they’ll get a decent meal when they fork out money for a flight.

    A few unlucky passengers have revealed that this isn’t always the case, sharing photos that show meals such as suspicious-looking stews, dry fish and chicken and mash ‘slop’.

    The images were released as part of a survey conducted by Which?, a review and testing site that provides consumers with tips on which products or services to purchase, along with comments from participants about the disgusting meals they’ve been served.

    ‘We are talking everything from chicken “slop” to cake that could double as a “building brick”,’ said Which?.

    ‘And it would be wrong to assume an upgrade to a superior cabin will save you from a culinary nightmare if the experiences of our members are anything to go by.’

    Let’s get to what you really care about: the dishes.

    We start off with Billy Shearer, who was on an early morning Ryanair flight and decided on the Irish breakfast, which set him back around £8.60.

    The meal had been advertised as ‘the perfect option to fill up and start your day with’ with a mouth-watering photo of bacon, two sausages, hash browns, tomato, white pudding and brown bread – but it’s not quite what Billy received.

    A black plastic microwave container with one sausage, mushrooms, a potato waffle and white pudding
    Billy Shearer was served this meal on a Ryanair flight (Picture: Which?)

    He was served a black plastic container featuring a shrivelled sausage, a moist potato waffle, a few mushrooms and what appears to be white pudding.

    Ryanair isn’t the only airline that seems to struggle with morning meals; the survey revealed that BA had presented a passenger with scrambled eggs that had an odd colour and consistency, as well as watery mushrooms.

    Spice Jet, an Indian airline, also failed on the breakfast front according to Nick Avery, who wasn’t very impressed with his dish.

    ‘I now know why most passengers opted for a curry breakfast,’ he said.

    ‘Apparently, it was an omelette, sausages and hash brown. It tasted as good as it looked.’

    An airplane breakfast meal from Spice Jet
    Nick Avery wasn’t impressed with this breakfast meal from Spice Jet (Picture: Which?)

    In all fairness, Nick might have gotten off easy – at least there was a wrapped croissant – compared to David Ball,  who had a doubly bad experience with British Airways when he flew from London Gatwick to Mauritius.

    ‘The steward was raving to all in my section about the treat we were going to enjoy,’ he said.

    ‘What you see in the picture is a chunk of dry chicken, a piece of dead, burnt cauliflower, a spoonful of gunk and overcooked rice. Awful.’

    To make matters worse, David had paid for business class, hoping this would mean a more deluxe flight.

    Biryani meal on British Airways business class
    (Picture: Which?)
    An omelette served on a British Airways flight
    Green omelette, anyone? (Picture: Which?)

    David’s return journey wasn’t any better.

    This time, he travelled in the morning and was served an omelette in a shade of green, which ‘tasted exactly as it appears in the photo – disgusting’.

    Elsewhere, on a Norwegian flight, a woman described her chicken and mash dish as ‘slop’.

    It was served in a container along with a very watery sauce.

    Other delights featured a turkey ham and Swiss cheese ‘baguette’ served by Etihad to a man named Richard Cooney, when he flew to Bangkok from Abu Dhabi.

    Richard claimed his starter of sweetcorn, pea and rice was ‘cold with no seasoning’.

    Unfortunately his dessert, a piece of cake, was also a disappointment – described as ‘dry and tough’.

    Flight meal on Norwegian of chicken and mash
    Mash and chicken ‘slop’ on a Norwegian flight (Picture: Which?)
    A ham and Swiss cheese baguette on Etihad airlines
    The Swiss cheese and turkey ham sandwich was served on an Etihad flight (Picture: Which?)
    A meal on Etihad airlines
    The passenger described his meal as ‘poor quality and tasteless’ (Picture: Which?)

    Other unhappy travellers include David Cann, who had a discouraging dinner on Uzbekistan Airways.

    ‘It was billed as chicken with aubergine and pasta, which sounded promising,’ he said.

    ‘It tasted like an assortment of cardboard packaging.’

    And finally, here are some more photos of what you can expect on various airlines.

    Cod and lentils served on British Airways
    Cod and lentils served on British Airways (Picture: Which?)
    Pasta served on an airplane
    How about some pasta? (Picture: Which?)
    Stew served on an airline
    Mash and…meat (Picture: Which?)

    If you’re worried about what you’ll be served on a plane, it’s worth picking up a sandwich or some snacks from an airport shop before boarding – especially if it’s long-haul.

    You could also contact the airline before booking your ticket to find out what kind of food they serve (and let them know of any allergies).

    Then again, you could just as easily get a train instead.

    MORE: Mum shares hack for making home-made bellinis with baby food

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    A couple created a hilarious tribute to the 1979 movie Alien to reveal the gender of their unborn child.

    Father-to-be Aaron Rodriguez, 36, persuaded his wife Melissa, 31, to get involved in the REVEALIEN movie, which cost under $3,000 to make and was premiered at a family party on Saturday.

    Aaron, a videographer from Houston, Texas, said: ‘We held a big party and showed it to the entire family on a projector outside, everyone was laughing, it was very well-received.

    ‘My dad’s side of the family is very conservative, so we were a little worried about how it might go down – you know, showing it to grandma. But luckily she was laughing and she asked us lots of questions about it afterwards.

    ‘We weren’t sure what the reaction would be, so that was a relief!’

    Aaron, a lifelong Sigourney Weaver fan, started planning his elaborate gender reveal movie before his wife Melissa, a videographer, even got pregnant.

    Aaron and Melissa
    Aaron was inspired by the film ‘Alien’ (Picture: Aaron Rodriguez /SWNS.COM)

    He said: ‘We have a huge family and we both work in video, so I thought it’d be really cool to make a mini film.

    ‘I knew a long time ago that I wanted to have an Alien theme, but my wife wasn’t so sure about that.

    ‘But I’ve been a fan of the Alien movie since I was a little kid, so I had my heart set on it.

    ‘My dad showed it to me at a young age, when I was far too young to watch it actually, but it never scared me. I just thought it was really cool.

    ‘Melissa took a little convincing on the Alien idea, she didn’t want it to be too gruesome, but once I convinced her that I could make it funny and gory she got on board.

    ‘My goal was to make people laugh and also gross them out a bit!’

    In the early days of Melissa’s pregnancy Aaron made two versions of the film, one with blue and one with pink.

    ‘I made a mini film set and we wrote a script. It cost about $2,000 or $3,000 from start to finish, but I own a lot of video equipment already, so that helped to keep the costs down,’ he said.

    Melissa in the video
    Melissa starred in the video (Picture: Aaron Rodriguez /SWNS.COM)

    Once an ultrasound had confirmed they were having a girl Aaron finalized the footage.

    Proud parents-to-be Aaron and Melissa both star in the movie, along with Aaron’s brother-in-law Gus and Melissa’s sister Cynthia.

    Another main player is Aaron’s friend Chase DuRousseau, a 37-year-old comedian.

    ‘Chase is a professional comic, so he really brings the movie to life,’ said Aaron.

    He added: ‘The whole thing coincided really nicely with Halloween, it was a blast to make.’

    Aaron and Melissa’s baby daughter is due in March of 2020, and they plan on naming her Olivia.

    MORE: Woman’s first tattoo praised by thousands on Twitter after her mum wasn’t proud of her

    MORE: These fish and chip shops have been named the best in the country


    IT\'S AN ALIEN? NO, IT?S A GIRL - Dad-to-be creates a hilarious tribute to the Alien movie, to reveal the gender of his unborn childIT\'S AN ALIEN? NO, IT?S A GIRL - Dad-to-be creates a hilarious tribute to the Alien movie, to reveal the gender of his unborn child

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    Instagram model
    The recent push for ‘realness’ is an unsurprising symptom of Instagram’s highly stylised, at times sterile environment (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    The era of the super glossy, highly produced Instagram feed is apparently over; influencers are swapping photoshop and filters for unflattering camera angles and soul-baring, confessional captions.

    This shift was confirmed by Instagram itself at a recent workshop I attended, where they made it clear that posing was out and candids are very much in. ‘People are sick of unrealistic lifestyles and picture-perfect aesthetics, they say,’ long-time blogger Tavi Gevinson wrote in a recent piece for the New York Times. ‘The next era of Instagram is all about the ‘relatable influencer’, with trends like #nomakeup, #nofilter, #mentalhealth, #bodyimage, and ‘Instagram vs. Reality’ memes.’

    The recent push for ‘realness’ is an unsurprising symptom of Instagram’s highly stylised, at times sterile environment. Influencer Scarlett Dixon’s sponsored post depicting the perfect morning felt like a real watershed moment – the image was an advertisement for Listerine, but looked like it was for a ‘Barbie dreamhouse’ doll set (complete with pointed, posed ‘Barbie feet’, metallic pink balloons, and tortillas, strangely masquerading as pancakes).

    Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, teenage Emma Chamberlain has been dubbed by The Atlantic as ‘the most important Youtuber today’, for her lo-fi, laid-back vlogs in which she often forgoes make-up.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BzBZxh4Jbis/

    Instagram fakery is having very real consequences. According to the Guardian, a survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health on 14-24 year olds in the UK showed that Instagram had the worst impact (compared to YouTube, Snapchat, and other social media platforms) on sleep patterns, self-esteem, and mental health. The antidote to this is meant to be less glossy, more relatable posts.

    I’m all for a downturn in editing images, which no doubt effects self-esteem. But the other side of the authenticity argument – the one that wags the finger if you’re not willing to live stream a mental breakdown – makes me uneasy. I’m coming out in defence of Instagram inauthenticity.

    Whether I’m being asked what my motto is, what mantra I live by, or what advice I’d give my young self, the answer is usually the same: ‘authenticity over everything’. I’m the exact type of person expected to buy into the idea of baring all online – I speak openly about pretty much anything. And yet, I have a happily, highly curated, ‘highlights reel’ feed – something I have no intention of changing in the name of ‘keeping it real’.

    For a start, that’s because to me, there’s nothing fake about posting your best bits  – they really did happen, after all. Plus, I like to think most people are smart enough to know that the entirety of my existence isn’t being crammed into less than two hundred carefully chosen photos.

    Most people’s presence online obviously isn’t wholly authentic, and I have seen very few claim it is; moreover, why should it be? In the same way you may not mention a bout of hemorrhoids on a first date, you may also elect not to post about it on Twitter.

    In the same way you may not mention a bout of hemorrhoids on a first date, you may also elect not to post about it on Twitter.

    But more importantly, the curation of authenticity in itself feels even more staged to me, like wearing copious amounts of make-up for a natural look, or meticulously styled ‘bedhead hair’. When I think about posting the bad and the ugly alongside the good on my feed, I wince; it simply wouldn’t be ‘me’ to do so.

    In an interview with the BBC, blogger Brianna Madia took umbrage with what she refers to as ‘vulnerability porn’. Facing constant demands from her audience (who she refers to as her 285,000 bosses), she summarised their questions as: ‘How vulnerable can you be? What piece of information can I expose about myself? How wide can I rip my chest open for all of these people?’

    This mentality is rife, and has led to the public hounding celebrities for not publically grieving, Mary Beard’s now infamous crying selfie, and vast amounts of other bizarre, semi-staged behaviour.

    In the same way there is performative vulnerability, there feels like there is an increase in performative authenticity, too. The pressure to present what will be read as ‘real’ – rather than doing what innately feels real to you – is well, real. And the idea that ‘authenticity’ online is something you owe your audience, is one I still struggle with. Most reality TV stars and influencers have built their platform off the backs of their personality, so perhaps their followers’ desire for a weekly soul spew is somewhat warranted. But many people really just want to pout in pretty dresses, post, and then talk about the less glam stuff with a therapist later.

    I commend those who are open books online. But awards and fancy events on my Instagram account are simply one side of the many stories I have to tell, but would rather share with people I’ve actually met. Personally, only presenting one particular facet of my life feels like one of the only ways I can keep my personal and private life (which for me means offline and online life) distinct.

    ‘Highlight reels’ may come across as alienating to some, but the actual highlights of my life – my relationship, my loved ones, my hobbies – are mostly kept offline.

    MORE: Instagram’s ‘good vibes only’ culture is unhealthy – the world needs more cold realists

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    MORE: It’s time to stop tearing down ‘lazy’ YouTube stars and influencers


    An open letter to the Instagram fitness model my boyfriend dumped me forAn open letter to the Instagram fitness model my boyfriend dumped me for

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    Christmas tree in family home
    This is not a drill. Some people have already started putting up their Christmas decorations (Picture: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

    It’s November 1 which means that many of us are storing away our Halloween decorations for another year.

    It also means another set of people will be unpacking their Christmas decorations (if they haven’t already).

    Depending on which camp you fall into, the idea of getting your Christmas tree out already will feel either mega exciting or mega ridiculous.

    But when is the right time to put up your Christmas decorations?

    As always, there are a few answers. We take a look.

    When is the right time to put up Christmas decorations?

    A Christmas tree at the Cathedral Square in Vilnius, Lithuania
    Most Christmas lights will go on this month (Picture: Mindaugas Kulbis/AP)

    Last month, Jodie Marsh was mocked for putting her decorations up so early, but just how early is too early?

    Most people put their decorations up towards the end of November or early December.

    However, several cities are getting ready to switch on their Christmas lights, with some – such as London’s Carnaby Street – going on as early as next week.

    Psychoanalysts have previously said that putting decorations up early can extend the excitement of the season and have a positive impact on people’s mood.

    So, just do what you please – we guess?

    When is the right time to put up a Christmas tree?

    If you opt for a real pine tree, The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) recommend buying it at the beginning of December, advising that trees can survive for more than four weeks if looked after properly.

    We highly recommend buying IKEA’s bargainous £9 tree if you do go down that route, FYI.

    Ikea Christmas tree deal
    Real fir trees tend to last around one month (Picture: IKEA)

    If you buy a tree now, the chances are that it won’t be in amazing shape by the time we get to Christmas.

    Tradition dictates that Christmas trees should be put up at the beginning of Advent – the fourth Sunday before Christmas.

    Others opt to put their decorations up 12 days before Christmas, or even on Christmas Eve.

    Far be it from us to tell you that you’re starting the festive season a little too early, but frankly, we’re only just getting used to the dark nights.

    MORE: Iceland unveils family-friendly Frozen inspired Christmas ad after controversial 2018 commercial was axed

    MORE: Primark launches adorable Christmas jumpers featuring pugs, sloths and cats


    Christmas Decorations In DublinChristmas Decorations In Dublin

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    A bee sunbathing
    This bee is having the time of its life (Picture: @bee_nfluencer / SWNS.com)

    A bee has become an influencer on Instagram, and yes, we are jealous that a bee has a cooler job than we do.

    Environmentalist group Fondation de France have been sharing photos of a Bee called B on Instagram, which shows him living the life of luxury, posing for pictures in places all around the world.

    The bee has amassed over 117,000 followers, with people clearly enjoying the snaps of the tiny insect doing big things.

    But the Instagram account isn’t just for fun or humour, there’s actually a serious message behind it. Arty snaps, witty captions and Q&A sessions may make the page look just like that of a real-life Instagram star, but driven campaigners are the ones producing the content.

    Companies can pay to have their products featured, with all fees going directly to helping secure the future of bees.

    A bee swinging
    He’s a social media superstar (Picture: @bee_nfluencer / SWNS.com)

    The money will be used to pay for ‘the actions considered as the most fundamental and urgent in the protection of all species of bees’ – including vital research.

    So the more followers the account has, the more successful it will be in saving the flying insects.

    Friends of the Earth estimate that since 1900, the UK has lost 13 species of bee, and a further 35 are considered under threat of extinction.

    Picture of the bee
    Now that’s a proper influencer picture (Picture: @bee_nfluencer / SWNS.com)

    Not only that, but none are protected by law, and cross Europe nearly 1 in 10 wild bee species face extinction.

    That’s where little B and this major philanthropy network come in.

    Created in 1969, the Fondation de France is the leading philanthropy network in its country, raising money for all sorts of different projects.

    A bee in the tub
    It’s a bee, just relaxing in the tub (Picture: @bee_nfluencer / SWNS.com)

    A statement on their website reads: ‘It is often thought that the disappearance of bees only concerns bees. Far from it.

    ‘Bees are a fundamental pillar of our ecosystem, our food, and our global economic system. Protecting bees means protecting the planet, but also humankind.’

    This is certainly a type of #sponcon we can get behind.

    MORE: Couple create hilarious movie inspired by Alien to reveal the gender of their baby

    MORE: These fish and chip shops have been named the best in the country


    SOCIAL BEE-DIA STAR - These hilarious pictures show a bee living the life of luxury - after becoming the world\'s first bee influencer on InstagramSOCIAL BEE-DIA STAR - These hilarious pictures show a bee living the life of luxury - after becoming the world\'s first bee influencer on Instagram

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    Gothenburg
    Discover another side to Sweden in one of its coolest cities (Picture: Gothenburg & Co.)

    Rising from the shadows of Sweden’s capital city, Gothenburg is the understatedly cool city break destination that savvy travellers are starting to pay attention to.

    On the waterfront of the south-west coast, the Scandi city affectionately known as Stockholm’s ‘rebellious little sister’ packs plenty of surprises, thanks to its experimental cuisine and an alternative music scene.

    It’s just under two hours’ flight from the UK, and easy for onward travel to a number of must-see European cities, making it an ideal place for a minibreak in winter, just as the Christmas markets make the city sparkle.

    And, even in the chillier seasons, you’re guaranteed some warmth from the friendly and welcoming people of Gothenburg, whether they’re inducting you into their craft beer culture or proudly imparting the city’s history.

    So, discover why one of Europe’s hot new destinations is an exceedingly cool place to spend a weekend.

    Gothenburg
    Aside from its enchanting architecture, this city is steeped in history (Picture: Gothenburg & Co.)
    Gothenburg
    It may be an ideal jump-off destination for many other European cities, but what’s unique about Gothenburg is the archipelago right on its doorstep (Picture: Gothenburg & Co.)

    City of surprises

    Sweden’s ‘second city’ fuses art and innovation with a dynamic culture that’s constantly evolving and surprising its visitors.

    It was originally built to open Sweden up to the rest of the world, which explains how it has become so inclusive, and why today it makes an ideal jump-off location for city breaks all across Europe.

    Culture vultures will spot the similarities with Amsterdam, with its Dutch-style canals and leafy boulevards, and for history buffs who want to know why, the famous Gothenburg City Museum holds all of the answers.

    Ultimately, what sets Gothenburg apart, is the unique cluster of islands right at its feet, where 20 unique villages make up a fascinating archipelago that is easily reached by boat, bus or car, to make an ideal day trip for active travellers.

    Hipsters’ paradise

    Gothenburg
    Get the most out of Gothenberg’s hip music scene at the live music venues and concert halls (Picture: Gothenburg & Co.)

    For a small town, Gothenburg has a big music scene, where a mix of heavy metal, experimental electronic and rock, usher in a particularly cool crowd.

    Music fans must not miss the Göteborgs Stadsmuseum to trace the origins back to 1955 or pass up on the chance to catch a concert at Musikens Hus where many of the city’s biggest bands come to rehearse.

    To experience it on a smaller scale, essential venues include Bengans Skivbutik, an iconic record 700 square metre store with both new and used records where you can soak up the sun and enjoy the surroundings in Majorna at their popular cafe.

    Closely intertwined with the local music scene is one of the most-celebrated craft beer cultures in Europe and another of Gothenburg’s greatest attractions for the hipster crowd.

    Taste your way around the city allowing the bar owners of Gothenburg to give you a short, sharp introduction to their finest homebrews.

    Scandi fashion

    From H&M to Monki, you can thank Sweden for some of our high street fashion favourites (Picture: FRIDA WINTER / GÖTEBORG & CO)
    Gothenburg
    For unique gifts and crafts, wait until Gothenburg is transformed with magical winter markets (Picture: Gothenburg & Co.)
    Stop off at Café Husaren for a coffee and one their famous gigantic cinnamon buns (Picture: Superstudio D&D/Göteborg & Co )

    Many already know Sweden to be one of the fashion capitals of Scandinavia, but Gothenburg lays claim to some of the most famous international brands, like Monki, Velour and Nudie.

    High street shoppers will find famous Swedish stores, like H&M, near Kungsgatan, but Liseberg is a place to source unique gifts and keepsakes, especially during the festive period when the whole town is transformed into one huge Christmas market.

    If it’s one-of-a-kind wares you’re after, hunt for vintage treasure in one of the oldest and most characterful districts of Gothenburg, in the Haga district.

    This 18th-century area, with charming paved stone streets and traditional wooden buildings, is a popular place to explore second-hand stores, followed by a well-earned ‘fika’ (that’s a pastry and a coffee break) at Café Husaren- famous for its gigantic cinnamon bun!

    Relax and unwind, Swedish-style

    Gothenburg
    Unwind like a Scandinavian at one of Sweden’s most unique public saunas, Frihamnen (Picture: Gothenburg & Co.)

    Much like other Scandinavian countries, the sauna is a traditional part of Swedish life, and Gothenburg’s ‘hot’ new attraction is one of the most spectacular in the country.

    Frihamnen, a floating structure in the middle of a former industrial port, is the only place in Gothenburg to try the sauna and sea in one spot, following the customary tradition to heat up then immediately cool down by submerging in cool water.

    The sauna’s steel exterior, created completely by recycled material, is an awe-inspiring sight and inside, changing room walls created using 12 000 recycled glass bottles are a further nod to Gothenburg’s reputation as one of the most sustainable destinations in the world.

    Already boasting a manmade beach and a floating public pool – all nestled among the shipping containers and cranes – this area has got an exciting future ahead with the opening of the 400th anniversary Jubileumsparken in 2021, so it’s no wonder that this part of town is fast-becoming one of the hippest places to be seen.

    Experimental food scene

    Gothenburg
    Gothenburg is famous for world-class fresh fish (Picture: Gothenburg & Co.)
    Michelin-starred gourmet restaurants make the cuisine scene in Gothenburg a very unique experience (Picture: Gothenburg & Co.)

    Much like its melting pot of ideas and people, Gothenburg doesn’t just have one restaurant scene, it has many.

    In this area, where Michelin-starred gourmet restaurants – like Kock & Vin’s affordable fine dining – meets a rolling armada of food trucks, the food rebels really come to play with flavour, cuisine and tradition.

    Until you find your preferred taste, the Lindholmen Street Food & Design Market will tickle the taste buds in preparation for the bigger dishes, making it an ideal example of Gothenburg’s everyday innovation at play.

    Book your Gothenburg city break with British Airways Holidays and benefit from low deposits, a 24-hour holiday helpline and full ATOL protection. Flights plus 2 nights hotel from £169pp. See ba.com/gothenburg for terms and conditions.

    To find out more or to book, visit ba.com/gothenburg

    Gothenburg
    Aside from being achingly cool, one of the greatest charms of the Gothenburg people is their warmth (Picture: Gothenburg & Co.)

    (Picture: Studiografen_Mika Aberra)(Picture: Studiografen_Mika Aberra)

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    Mum Stephanie Brisbane shares the kind gesture she received from a stranger
    Stephanie was having the day from hell (Picture: The Struggling Mum)

    Stephanie Brisbane, from Sydney, Australia, was having an absolutely rotten day.

    She had arrived to her local Centrelink (Australia’s social security centres, similar to Jobcentre here) to find out that her parental leave payment was being postponed due to an ‘administrative error’.

    The 32-year-old completely broke down upon hearing that she wouldn’t be paid for four months, with her youngest three kids acting out around her.

    ‘I sat at the Centrelink desk with my three youngest kids going crazy and I just cried,’ she said.

    It was then that a kind stranger came up to her and offered her a tissue and placated the kids with games.

    On Stephanie’s blog, The Struggling Mum, she wrote: ‘Without saying a word, a beautiful lady came and sat next to my kids, gave them her phone to watch shows on and even handed me a tissue’.

    Mum Stephanie Brisbane shares the kind gesture she received from a stranger
    She was overwhelmed by Kelly’s kind gesture (Picture: The Struggling Mum)

    What might have been a throwaway gesture to some meant the world to Stephanie, who has struggled with post-natal depression and had just moved house when she got this batch of bad news.

     ‘She didn’t know that I have bad post natal depression and everyday is a battle and lately it’s been taking a toll,’ said Stephanie.

    ‘She just knew that I was a struggling mum.’

    Intent on tracking down this good samaritan, Stephanie posted what had happened on a local Facebook group, and miraculously got a response.

    Mum Stephanie Brisbane shares the kind gesture she received from a stranger
    Even her letting agent saw the post and wanted to help (Picture: The Struggling Mum)

    The person who had stepped in was a mother-of-three named Kelly.

    ‘Something honestly just made me get up and come over. I saw myself in you,’ Kelly told Stephanie, telling how she almost didn’t go to help as she was nervous.

    Stephanie thanked Kelly, but the goodwill didn’t stop there.

    Mum Stephanie Brisbane shares the kind gesture she received from a stranger
    Wellwishers dropped off supplies for the family (Picture: The Struggling Mum)

    One commenter said, ‘Takes a mum to know a mum and all her struggles in between,’ while another said, ‘From one mum to another, you’re doing the best you can. The fact you left your house with your children, that can be a daunting task for some. Well done.’

    The letting agency that Kelly and her husband had just moved with also dropped off a huge bag of food at their door after seeing the post, saying they wanted to reduce the ‘stress of the move’.

    Basically, Kelly’s kind act started off plenty of random acts of kindness, and we have all the feels.

    Hopefully Stephanie was able to see that there was some good left in the world, and it’ll be paid forward by anyone who realises what a difference one small thing can make.

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    Mum shares the kind gesture she received from a strangerMum shares the kind gesture she received from a stranger

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    Burger King's two new vegan burger
    Burger King to release two new vegan burgers (Picture: Burger King/Metro.co.uk)

    In August this year, Burger King released its first vegan burger in the US, The Impossible Whopper, and just three months later the chain has confirmed that it will sell two plant-based burgers across Europe.

    Next up on the grill are the Rebel Whopper and the Rebel Chicken King.

    One sounds like a nickname your dad gave to his childhood friend, while the other sounds like a suburban chicken shop trying to allude to KFC – but these new offerings are set to be a tasty spin on the chain’s classics.

    The Impossible Whopper was released across the US in August this year, featuring a plant-based patty from Impossible Foods, with tomatoes, vegan mayo, ketchup, pickles, and sliced white onions riding dirty on a sesame seed bun.

    These new burgers will include a patty made of soy and wheat protein sandwiched between two buns, along with fresh salad, tomato and vegan mayo.

    It’s worth noting that although they are vegan, the burgers will be flame-grilled alongside beef and chicken products, meaning they come into contact with meat.

    The two plant-based newbies have already been rolled out at Burger King in Sweden, appearing on the menu as part of a European trial.

    While the company hasn’t officially announced the recent arrivals, Jose Cil, the CEO of Burger King’s parent company Restaurant Brands International did confirm the news to the vegan site, Live Kindly.

    Burger King wants to expand its menu to vegan fans or customers who are simply keen to try something a little different and switch up their typical beefy lunches.

    According to research, the Impossible Whopper has been quite a success in the US. Researchers from Cowen found customers were willing to pay more (approximately £2 per order) for the product if it was plant-based.

    We too are ready for Burger King to take our money.

    MORE: London’s 11 yummiest vegan comfort foods

    MORE: Whole Foods says fancy flours and meat-plant blends are going to be big trends in 2020

    MORE: These fish and chip shops have been named the best in the country


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