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Attention, cocktail fans: Tesco is selling two-litre boxes of Passion Fruit Martini

The boxes of pornstar martinis
We NEED this in our lives (Picture: Tesco/Getty)

Are you a big fan of Pornstar Martinis?

Well, you’ll be happy to know that thanks to Tesco, you can now get it on tap – for just £12.

People were overjoyed when Tesco started selling cans of the All Shook Up Passion Fruit Martini last year, for just £1.50 each.

And so imagine how excited we were when we found out that you can now get it in box-form.

You can buy 2.25 litres of the stuff – equivalent to nine 250ml cans – in a box with a tap, for £12.

The cocktail tastes amazing
This looks amazing (Picture: Tesco)

Alongside the Passion Fruit Martini, the new Flamingo Colada also comes in a box.

It features flavours of lime, grenadine and coconut and is shaken with fruit alcohol, white rum and sugar syrup.

Having tried it ourselves, we can confirm it is very tasty.

But most of the hype seems to be going towards the martini mix – with people on Twitter getting very excited that they can the cocktail box of their dreams:

In other cocktail news, Marks & Spencer has launched four new types of cocktail in a can.

The four flavours include aperitivo spritzer, a sparkling cocktail with white wine and orange bitters, and cherry spritzer, which is a mix of cherry juice and rose wine.

There’s also the peach spritzer, which is a mix of peach juice and white wine, and finally and a vermouth & tonic – which is exactly what it says on the tin.

Each 250ml can has an ABV of 5.5% and costs £2.

Sure, they’re worth a try but with the martini box deal, we think we’ll be heading to Tesco first.

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

MORE: Asda is selling a watermelon flavoured gin for £20

How to ask your partner to use a vibrator during sex

illustration of couple having sex
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Talking to your partner about using a vibrator during sex can understandably be a touchy subject.

Men may feel emasculated, women may feel inadequate – but often, the introduction of a sex toy to the bedroom isn’t about what your partner is lacking, it’s about what could be improved – for both parties.

According to a new survey by Lelo UK, 70% of people want to introduce sex toys to the bedroom with their partners, but they don’t know how.

The survey also found that 39% of people would describe their sex lives as ‘regular’ and 37% said there is room for improvement in the bedroom. A sex toy could be just the thing to spice things up – but how do you bring it up?

It’s all about the conversation.

Of course, it can be daunting to be the one to voice this issue, especially if it’s something that the two of you have never discussed before – but it will be worth it.

Introducing sex toys in your relationship can add another dimension of pleasure and be a gateway into fulfilling other sexual fantasies.

If you’re really nervous, do some preparation before bringing it up. Rehearse what you want to say and how you want to say it, rather than blurting out something you don’t really mean.

metro illustrations
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Explain about the benefits and what a vibrator could do to improve both of your pleasure levels – it’s important to clarify the mutual benefits, rather than just making it about your needs.

If coming right out with it sounds too scary – you could always leave some not-so-subtle hints.

Perhaps send a link to a few sex toys you are interested in and ask your partner whether they have used anything like that before. Or give your partner a sex-toy gift – because really it will be the gift that keeps on giving.

Elsa*, 30, says introducing a vibrator to her bedroom has been a wonderful addition.

‘My husband really enjoys using it together and I don’t think it effects his masculinity at all,’ Elsa tells Metro.co.uk.

‘He has never see it as a negative at all and it’s just a different way of providing pleasure and good times for both of us.

‘I initially got a vibrator when my other half was working abroad for long periods of time, but now we use it together quite often. When we go away together he will often pack it and instigate stuff – which I obviously love.

‘We don’t use it all the time, but it’s just a fun addition – something we can do together, as well as all the other things we do.’

The important thing here is the perspective – reassure your partner that the vibrator is not in any way intended to replace them.

Often, the reason someone will tense up at the mention of a sex toy is because they will worry that their performance is not good enough and that you are not satisfied with the sex.

So, if you explain that the purpose is to try something new – the idea will become a lot more appealing.

MORE: Attention, cocktail fans: Tesco is selling two-litre boxes of Passion Fruit Martini

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

Parents love this £1.27 Asda massage mist to get their kids to sleep in minutes

The Little Angels massage mist from Asda
The £1.37 mist (Picture: Getty/Asda)

Getting your kids to sleep, especially when it’s light outside is tricky.

One mum said that this massage mist from Asda is a great help.

The Little Angels Massage Mist costs just £1.27 from the supermarket.

Lisa Adams posted on the Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK group when she found the spray.

She said: ‘Little angels massage mist, I bathed my kids and put this on them both. My son is 4 year old and my daughter is 5 months old and it worked a charm.

‘Got them in pyjamas and they was both asleep within 10 minutes and it’s usually hard to get my son to go to sleep on time. He always plays up.’

The spray has a lavender and chamomile fragrance to help kids relax before bed.

It’s gentle on skin and is hypoallergenic.

The description on the Asda website says: ‘Our light mist, containing cotton seed extract, will moisturise your baby’s skin leaving it soft and smooth.’

It’s not the only product in Little Angels range that has impressed parents.

The 87p Vapour Bath has also been praised for getting little ones to nod off.

The bubble bath gives off a menthol aroma, which helps with colds and to sooth babies.

Asda describes it as being perfect for a ‘soothing scented soak’. It has a ‘no tears’ formula and a menthol arome to help ‘soothe and comfort’.

One mum said: ‘I brought this for my seven-week-old daughter, since birth she hasn’t had a full night’s sleep waking up every 2-3 hours, but after having a bath with Asda’s Little Angels menthol bubble bath. She slept a full night’s sleep.’

MORE: How to ask your partner to use a vibrator during sex

MORE: Attention, cocktail fans: Tesco is selling two-litre boxes of Passion Fruit Martini

The hub of the pub! We speak to three landlords about their role in bringing their community together

A group of friends raising glasses of Amstel around a table outdoors
Picture: A good pub is the heart of the community – three landlords tell us why

In a world where mobile devices and screens are pretty much attached to our hands, it’s no real surprise that people are reluctant for real life conversations, especially with strangers. Take a moment and think about the last person you made friends with after meeting in person first.

Don’t worry if you can’t – you’re not alone. Actually, according to a new study from Amstel, over half of Brits don’t know what their neighbour’s name is. But at the same time nearly half of us think that there would be a better sense of community if we had a better relationship with them. Go figure.

Gone are the days where there’s a welcome brigade with platters of cakes and treats to welcome you to your new neighbourhood, mainly because people juggle busy work schedules and demanding home lives. But there is a solution – a neutral ground to help foster relationships and it’s a staple of British culture: the local pub.

A vibrant, bustling social centre when you’re in the party mood, or a cosy nook to shelter in when you need a friendly chat, the great British pub is at the heart of communities up and down the UK. That’s why Amstel is launching Neighbours’ Week in an effort to celebrate bringing people together within their communities and break down those barriers.

We’ve spoken to three landlords around the UK about the role they play in the community.

David Hage – Railway Lowdham – Nottingham

Shot of The Railway pub
Picture: The Railway loves to host events for the neighbourhood, with summer parties and festive celebrations

As a landlord with over 15 years experience, David prides himself on using his expertise to make his pub a central part of the village. He regularly hosts events that hundreds of locals attend each year.

‘Our summer garden party sells out at 300 people every year,’ he told us. ‘With live music for five hours with local bands.’

David explained that hosting this event is a big highlight of the year and he makes sure to put on some of the locals’ favourite dishes, including roast pork belly and braised ox cheek.

But it doesn’t stop there, as the award-winning pub also plays a big role during the festive season. David explained that nearly 400 people pay visit for a very special event: ‘We do an annual Christmas light switch on at the end of every November. This is aimed at the local community, with live music, snow, Santa, a vintage fairground organ and traditional Christmas outdoor food.’

Owners David and Mark
Picture: David (right) and his fellow co-director Mark (left).

David believes that the villagers are proud of the pub and its awards. He says: ‘It’s a pub that the locals love coming to and showing off to their friends.’ With this is mind, David is always developing events and trying different menus to keep it interesting for the locals.

‘It’s where people feel comfortable to come on their own or where friends can meet,’ David told us. ‘We provide a quality pub offering that gives the community a destination to come either to celebrate an occasion or a pint after work.’

Toby Bywater – The Alma Tavern and Theatre – Bristol

Bristol's The Alma Tavern & Theatre sees people from all walks of life come together
Picture: The Alma Tavern & Theatre in Britsol sees people from all walks of life come together (Credit: Zazu’s Pub Company)

The Alma Tavern and Theatre in Bristol has been under Toby Bywater’s watchful eye for two years. He’s pleased that the pub is ‘family focussed and friendly’ as it has a big sense of community at its heart.

‘The best part of a pub is always the public! While you can point to an event here or there, being a community pub means we get to grow with the community. We see couples become families, teenagers go to university and come back as adults at Christmas,’ he told us.

‘New jobs, new life and new homes – we get to see it all; and for a short time, or a long time, we’ve been their ‘local’ – and that’s pretty darn cool.’

The Bristol pub also has a license to hold weddings, so plays a big role in the lives of its locals. While they can be some of his favourite events to host at the pub, he added that the annual street party they hold is a showstopper.

‘The whole neighbourhood shows up, and we just have a bit of a party in the street to raise money for charity. We get support from local breweries, distilleries, and showcase products people don’t always get to try, book some great bands, have a bit of a knees-up and pray for sunshine (although rain never stops play)!’

Toby at the bar
Picture: Toby loves being a part of the annual street party

Along with playing host to a regular quiz show and the incredible dog show at the street party, the pub also has a particularly unique role in the community. ‘We are home to Bristol’s Oldest Pub Theatre, a 48-seater ‘black box’ that supports both established and emerging theatre talent, shows and productions,’ he explained.

Crediting his team for what makes the pub ‘standout’, Toby is particularly proud of being good neighbours.

He said: ‘We support our community where we can, with Theatre classes for example, coffee mornings and family get togethers. We’re a place to meet, eat, socialise, or simply do nothing at all and ponder the days away in the garden with a pint – an often under-rated luxury!’

David King – City Tavern – Newcastle Upon Tyne

David King at the City Tavern
David also likes to have a drink at the City Tavern with the locals (Picture: Max Cooper)

David has been a landlord for a ‘lifetime’, but has spent the last five years at City Tavern, which he describes as a mixture of being a bustling city centre boozer and a university hub. ‘It doesn’t truly depict our full demographic. I chose this location to create City Tavern as it is my home neighbourhood, which has a wonderfully diverse community.’ With great transport links on its doorstep, David added that ‘a little local knowledge goes a long way’.

Despite a being a great venue for footie fans, the City Tavern doesn’t sacrifice its ‘lovely regulars’. David has always felt that it has a ‘local feel where staff and customers enjoy the craic’.

‘Our most regular local Eddie lives on the other side of the river but commutes because he’s become part of the City Tavern family,’ David proudly told us.

The venue also plays host to some spectacular events at the heart of its community, like weddings and revealed that they’ve hosted some ‘quirky’ nuptials in the past five years.

A shot of the City Tavern interior
David explained the City Tavern is popular for weddings as the pub even has its own library

Realising the bond between man and his best friend and how dog owners hate leaving them at home, David has made City Tavern ‘super pooch friendly’ to open up a place to relax with the dog as well, which also encourages other dog owners to get to know each other.

‘Our aim five years ago was to provide a dog friendly pub in the heart of the city. We now have hundreds of regular canine customers,’ he said.

Opening up about his favourite part of being a landlord, and he said: ‘It’s seeing the lifetime friendships that are forged at City Tavern, from customers and staff alike, who are integral to this great family business.’

Neighbours' Week (17th - 23rd June)

Amstel is launching Neighbours’ Week to start the building blocks of community spirit by inviting neighbours to come together at the local pub.

A neutral place to unwind and relax, the great British pub is at the heart of communities up and down the country.

From cheering on your favourite sports teams, or sharing a laugh at a comedy set, or even having a little dance with live entertainment as your soundtrack, it’s about bringing it all together.

Amstel was brewed in 1870 by two pals who wanted to share a bier together so it’s fitting that it continues to bring people together.

For more information click here: https://www.amstelbier.co.uk/neighbours-week

Are you supposed to ‘like’ someone’s sad social media post?

Animation of various characters on their phone
Do you ‘like’ sad posts or just scroll along? (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

When PR strategist Nicola Rowley’s dad passed away, she wrote a poem for him on Facebook but didn’t see much engagement with the post.

As is common on social media, it can be an uncomfortable experience to abruptly come across death or other forms of bad news. But it can leave the poster feeling alienated.

‘I didn’t receive as much of a reaction as I expected in what was clearly a difficult time,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘It’s a wider issue around death in that we don’t express our feelings outwardly and so try and keep a stiff upper lip British style to cope.’

But it’s not just a British tendency, social media posts can sometimes see fewer engagements when they’re of a solemn nature compared to good news such as weddings, babies, and new employment which often see streams of congratulatory comments.

Part of it is to do with not knowing what to say in the wake of bad news. Some times people will simply ‘like’ the status and move on. Other times, such as in news of death, a like seems an inadequate and insensitive response.

You don’t want to look like you’re taking enjoyment from it after all. Of course, people will know that you’re only doing it to acknowledge that you’ve seen it and it is your virtual way of sending regards.

So, will there ever be a reaction that’s adequate enough in response to a sad story?

Dating stages picture; Ella Byworth for metro.co.uk
Sometimes you need more than the like button to send love (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

After years of Facebook users pleading for a ‘dislike’ button, the social media giant decided against the idea, and offered reactions as an extension of the like function.

So instead of meeting death, unemployment, health diagnoses, shocking news around the world with a simple like, Facebook users can demonstrate different emotions – something that is lacking in other social media formats.

Social media expert Jemmina Gibbons explains that Facebook’s reaction emojis are priceless, specifically the heart which can have multiple purposes.

‘What’s interesting is how people are using the heart emoji. Obviously, if you love a post, you use the heart,’ she told Metro.co.uk.

‘But people are also using that reaction to send love. So if someone has been diagnosed with an illness, or someone close to them has died, a common response is to hit the heart emoji.

‘And there’s a universal understanding that people are sending love, not saying they love the situation.’

Twitter users have also asked for a dislike button for years. But the brand has resisted. They do offer an ‘I don’t like this tweet’ option but it is more for the purpose of limiting abusive and sensitive content.

The tweet rank algorithm also picks up your interaction with this function so the more types of content you dislike, the less of it it will show.

This may be convenient in restricting hostile comments but you are unlikely to use the button in response to sad news. After all, just because you don’t want to ‘like’ news of genocide, family death or illness doesn’t mean you don’t want to see it in future at all.

On some social media, vulnerability has a desirable effect. In influencing culture, sad, real news adds authenticity and relatability to otherwise unattainable famed personalities.

‘We’ve found that sad posts often receive the same amount of engagement, if not more.’ says Lily Aey, relationships manager to over 100 influencers at Impero.

‘This is largely due to influencer’s followers feeling like they are virtual friends and offering a helping hand when influencers are going through a hard time.

‘Without the necessity of being there to support someone physically, followers are keen to offer emotional support and assistance in exchange for being noticed.’

But not everyone is an influencer. Thankfully though, for the everyday user, there are other alternatives to a like.

Some cases are easier than others. Where it’s a revolution, a natural disaster, or anything where it’s possible to help or make change, it’s easier to engage with the content in other ways – for example by sharing or retweeting.

The Sudan uprising, for example, has been shared widely on social media, highlighting what’s going on while condemning mainstream media for not providing coverage.

Something like this requires wide circulation. So instead of simply liking it without due action, users can share, retweet, pin the posts to their profile and galvanise support for activism.

Some of these posts are also about donating too, so even if you’re reluctant to like it, you can have an impact by donating to the cause.

That’s a way to show solidarity, express their message, in an impactful way that doesn’t feel as superficial.

For a personal tragedy, like the death of a family member, there are other ways to express that you’re thinking of the person posting the news, without having to find the words.

‘Obviously, you don’t have to like a sad or upsetting post at all – you can show how you feel by simply adding a comment,’ Jemima advised.

‘Or your own emoji from your keypad. And responsive animated gifs are a growing market – Both Facebook and Twitter have whole libraries you can search through.’

She predicts that the way we communicate via these wordless tools is set to grow. ‘We’re going to see a load more of these and an increasing amount of visual imagery in future.

‘I’m sure the plain like button will soon be a thing of the past. Today, people want to express themselves in increasingly diverse ways online, a simple like just doesn’t cut it.’

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Woman’s PrettyLittleThing bikini barely covers her nipples

The shocking fashion fail
Lydia had an unfortunate mishap (Picture: Twitter/PrettyLittleThing)

A girl had an unfortunate fashion mishap after buying a PrettyLittleThing bikini that was way too small for her.

Lydia Ramsey bought a blue grid bikini from the online fashion retailer, which has thick straps and a cut-out chest.

The bikini manages to cover the model’s entire chest – but the same couldn’t be said for Lydia.

Lydia shared a photo of the model wearing the bikini alongside a photo of the reality of it – and it’s so far received over 1,000 likes.

She captioned the tweet: ‘Never buying a bikini from @OfficialPLT again, sizing is not right’.

The picture shows Lydia struggling to fit the bikini over her boobs – even though she’d bought a size 16, which is two sizes bigger than her usual size.

People have been replying to the tweet with laughing emojis, with most seeing the funny side:

This isn’t the first time PrettyLittleThing has failed to impress its customers – they’re actually pretty notoriously known for being unpredictable when it comes to sizes.

But a girl who also experienced a swimsuit mishap just last week didn’t have a problem with the size – her issue was that the swimsuit had actually stained her skin black.

21-year-old Charlie Wainwright, a TV researcher from Leeds, was gutted when the swimsuit stained her skin and left it red raw after she struggled to remove the mark.

Charlie had worn the £25 black belted swimsuit for just 10 minutes when she noticed her skin starting to stain.

Like Lydia, she took to Twitter to complain, and luckily she was offered a full refund and a discount for her next order – let’s just hope Lydia receives the same.

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Woman who ripped her eyelid open on a nightout has an eyelash transplant

Before the transplant and close up of Itinder's face
Itinder damaged her eyelid on a night out (Picture: Cavendish press)

Itinder Kaur was on a night out with friends five years ago when she fell on some gravel.

A quarter of the eyelashes right in the centre of her upper right eyelid were ripped out when a well-meaning friend tried to pick her up but accidentally dragged her face down across the stones.

Now, the 30-year-old from West London, has had hair transplanted from her head to her eyelid to get her a full set of lashes again.

She said: ‘It was very unfortunate accident. I ended up splitting my eyelid after a fall when I was out on a night out with friends and one of them tried to pick me up.

‘I had an immediate operation to repair the damage. They stitched up my eyelid but a few days later the stitches fell out and I need further surgery.

‘Because of the trauma to the eyelid, blood stopped flowing to the central area and I lost around 25% of my eyelash cover in my right eye.

‘Before the accident, I had always had gorgeous long eyelashes and people used to say that I had beautiful eyes. I was very proud of them.

After an eyelash transplant
After the transplant (Picture: ABNM photograohy/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

‘Obviously it was very upsetting to suddenly have this gap in my eyelash cover. Your eyes are such a crucial part of your overall beauty.

‘I would cover it up by wearing eyeliner when I was on a night out but I was always aware of the problem. I chose not to wear glued on false eyelashes.

‘I am so glad that I have now found a permanent solution to the problem.’

The procedure, which usually costs £4,000, was shown for surgeons across the world to help them learn how to perform the intricate procedure.

Dr Shahmalak, the first surgeon in the UK to carry out the procedure in 2009, agreed to do the £4,000 operation for free at the FUE Europe conference in Manchester because he was keen for other surgeons to benefit from his knowledge – particularly in countries such as Pakistan where acid attacks are more common.

Only a handful of surgeons in the world can currently perform eyelash transplants which have been used by Dr Shahmalak to help women horrifically scarred by acid attacks in Pakistan.

Itinder said: ‘I am thrilled to have my eyelashes back. It will be a few months before they grow back properly but then I will have lovely lashes right across my upper eyelid again.

‘I cannot thank the doctors enough and I hope lots of new surgeons will start carrying out the procedure so that more people can benefit.’

16 hairs from the back of her head were trimmed and then curled to blend seamlessly with her remaining lashes.

It can benefit patients who have permanently lost their eyelashes in accidents as well as people with the psychological condition trichotillomania where sufferers rip out their body hair.

Dr Shahmalak said: ‘Along with Parsa Mohebi, I was delighted to be able to teach so many news surgeons this usual technique so that thousands more people benefit from the procedure.

‘I have travelled to Pakistan many times to help the victims of acid attacks and it has been some of the most rewarding work I have ever done as a surgeon.

‘I am so thankful to Itinder for agreeing to be filmed. The operation went very well and Itinder’s eyelashes should be fully restored in the next six months.’

MORE: Are you supposed to ‘like’ someone’s sad social media post?

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Woman opens luxury sausage dog hotel with beauty treatments and afternoon tea


If you have a sausage dog who’s in need of a luxury break, then look no further than this sausage dog hotel, which has VIP spa treatments, afternoon tea and even puzzles for them to solve.

Mother-of-three Hannah Stuchfield, 41, has opened a plush getaway for owners to bring their Dachshunds to stay.

The Sausage Dog Sanctuary in Holmesfield, Derbyshire, offers both daycare and overnight boarding.

Dachshunds are spoilt with puppachino and cupcake afternoon teas and walks around the countryside with treat-based games and puzzles along the way.

The sausage dogs chilling inside
The sausage dogs get to chill in luxury (Picture: Dan Rowlands / SWNS.com)

There are also health treatments on offer, such as teeth cleaning, nail trimming, coat conditioning and agility programmes to help with back problems – which sausage dogs are notorious for.

Prices match quite closely to budget hotels (for people), costing £28 for 24 hours with treatments extra.

The sanctuary was opened in February this year after Hannah had enough of the rat race working in the e-commerce sector, running her own business.

Hannah has been inundated with requests ever since from far and wide including Wales and Suffolk and so far she has taken around 100 bookings in June alone.

She said: ‘I was sick of the whole 9-5 office thing. I announced to my husband – I’m going to open a Sausage Dog Hotel. “Yeah, alright then,” he said.

Hannah with the dogs
Hannah and the sausage dogs (Picture: Dan Rowlands / SWNS.com)

‘They’re very en vogue. And what’s more, people seem to collect them. I have two myself.

‘We are offering an alternative to kennels. If someone wants to go on holiday people usually take their dog to boarding kennels but we are offering home-boarding.

‘When you leave your dog in the home with us, they are allowed on the sofas, they are not locked in a kennel all day. They have human interaction.

‘We market it more as a boutique hotel so we do puppachino, ice cream and afternoon tea – we have a lady who makes special cupcakes for them.

‘We do teeth cleaning to remove plaque, we can do nail trimming, coat conditioning,

‘We do a lot of enrichment, it’s not just about taking a dog out for a walk to tire them out, it’s about mentally stimulating them.’

Hannah, who describes herself as ‘literally, that crazy Sausage Dog person’, is fully licenced to keep up to 15 dogs at any one time.

She works alongside her husband Ewan, 38, and they both ensure their canine guests have a paw-sitively perfect stay.

Hannah preparing the dogs' food
The pups get afternoon tea (Picture: Dan Rowlands / SWNS.com)

‘We really wanted to get away from the “kennel” thing, aiming instead for a more boutique feel,’ Hannah added.

‘The Sanctuary reflects what these special dogs mean to their owners.

‘You’ll get some of them dropping off their dogs in floods of tears like they’re dropping off their kid for the first day of nursery.

‘But even the most stressed sausage dog will soon settle in and you’ll even get a postcard from them.

‘Everyone who contacts me is fully screened over the phone, when they come to the house they are able to meet my dogs.

‘We spend a lot of time and effort to make sure the dogs we have are integrated well.

‘Dachshunds, in particular, are very photographable, they make everyone smile, they have become a very trendy dog.

‘There has been a meteoric rise in Dachshund lovers, the whole world has gone Dachshund mad.

‘They are an adorable dog and have a comedy value because they are funny to look at.’

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How to create Love Island star Molly-Mae’s crown braid

Editorial Use Only. No Merchandising. No Commercial Use Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX (10312446an) Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae Hague talk 'Love Island' TV Show, Series 5, Episode 13, Majorca, Spain - 17 Jun 2019
(Picture: ITV/REX)

Last night on Love Island Tommy and Molly-Mae finally shared their first kiss, as the boxer gushed they are ‘back on track’ after ring girl Maura drama.

And while we’re here for the drama (and romance, of course), we’re also loving the contestants outfits, makeup and hair this series.

One Islander in particular, Molly-Mae is serving up a whole lot of hair inspiration with her fresh, glossy blonde locks.

Her latest do; a carefully created crown braid, has left us scrambling around for our hairbrush and hair spray in a bid to recreate the look.

And it seems we’re not alone, as Love Island fans took to Twitter to share their love for the pretty hairstyle.

Crown braids are versatile, functional, universally flattering, incredibly glamorous and can be worn for a couple of days if you preserve them properly. But they’re not all that easy to recreate.

But VO5, the official hair sponsor of Love Island, let us in on the secrets to recreating Molly-Mae’s regal braid.

So what’s the trick?

1. For hair that’s as smooth as Molly’s chat apply VO5 Brilliant Shine Cream (£4.39) to dry hair – also makes braiding easier.

2. Next, make like a new arrival and break things up – not relationships, just divide your hair into two sections.

3. Now, it’s time to become a braiding babe. Starting at your parting, work a Dutch braid (where hair is worked under instead of over) following your head shape down to the nape of the neck, continue to the tip of your hair and fasten.

4. Repeat on other side.

5. It’s nearly a wrap – take both braids and wrap over the top of your head before pinning into place.

6. For a style that lasts longer than all of Anton’s relationships, spritz with VO5 Invisible Extra Hold level 4 Hair Spray (£3.59).

7. Lap up all the attention.

And don’t forget to pull out some face-framing strands for that lived-in look.

Love Island will continue tonight at 9pm on ITV2. 

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KFC are selling 20 hot wings for under £6

KFC logos in Dublin's City Center
Wings are love, wings are life (Picture: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Last week KFC revealed the launch of their new Imposter Burger, which uses Quorn meat instead of their namesake; chicken.

Meat-eaters have had a pretty easy ride in terms of fast food options, but in case they felt left out by this new development, the Colonel and Co. have given them a wee treat too.

The price of their 20 hot wing buckets have been slashed by more than a third, to only £5.99.

KFC say, ‘Grab 20 of our best Hot Wings for a full on fiery feast.’

It used to be £9.90 for the crispy treats (coated in the secret blend of herbs and spices, of course), which makes it quite a bargain indeed.

The deal runs until 14 July, and is available in partipating stores. As ever with KFC offers, some stores are run as franchises, so don’t get your hopes too high or you may be left flying without wings.

Users on HotUKDeals seemed delighted at the deal, although there was also talk of mashed potato being offered as a side dish which seemed to turn a few more heads.

One said, ‘Mash? Is that really happening!’ while another with the inside scoop seemed to confirm.

The price of the mash has not been confirmed just yet, but it is showing on the ‘sides’ section of the website, so watch this space.

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The best hats at Royal Ascot 2019

A selection of Royal Ascot Hats
Some of our favourite hats (Pictures: PA/Reuters/Rex)

It’s day one of Royal Ascot and while, of course, the horseracing is important, the fashion is just as big a deal.

The dress code is strict – for those in the Royal Enclosure, dresses must fall just above the knee or longer and straps must be at least one inch wide.

For men, it’s a black or grey morning suit with a waistcoat and tie.

But both men and women are expected to wear a hat. Other enclosures aren’t quite as formal but headpieces are still expected for ladies.

Some people go for an understated headpiece but others go all out.

This year, flowers, feathers and nods to the horses on the track were all big themes.

There were also some amazing pieces like a bee perched on top of racegoer Ella Reese’s head and Jodie Kidd, who wore a hat made out of lots of smaller hats.

Let’s take a look at some of our favourite hats from Royal Ascot 2019:

Royal Ascot Hats
Ella Reese wearing a bee hat (Picture: AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Royal Ascot Hats
A pink and green feather number (Picture: Hugh Routledge/REX)
Royal Ascot Hats
Flowers are on trend (Picture: Reuters/Henry Nicholls)
Royal Ascot Hats
See, we said flowers are lovely (Picture: James Veysey/REX)
Royal Ascot Hats
Jodie Kidd at Ascot (Picture:Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)
Royal Ascot Hats
Feathers are also popular (Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)
Royal Ascot Hats
Yes, more feathers (Picture: James Veysey/REX)
Royal Ascot Hats
Seems appropriate for a horse racing event (Picture: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls)
Royal Ascot Hats
Another hat that fits the theme (Picture: Hugh Routledge/REX)
Royal Ascot Hats
A matching hat and tie (Picture: Gustavo Valiente / i-Images)

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Girl creates teddy cover for IV drips to make hospital less scary for sick kids

The Medi teddy from the front and Ella Casano
Ella’s idea is very clever (Picture: Medi Teddy)

Going to hospital can be scary for anyone, but particularly kids.

Ella Casano, 12, has had many hospital trips in her time as she has Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) – an autoimmune condition which means she has an unusually low level of platelets in her blood.

She had to have infusions every six to eight weeks – and she wasn’t a fan of the procedure.

Because of her experience, she wanted to do something to help other kids in hospital.

She created the Medi Teddy – a cute bag that covers the IV drip bag to make it less intimidating.

the back of the medi teddy
The Medi Teddy has a pouch at the back but hides the drip from the front (Picture: Medi Teddy)

She said: ‘When I had my first infusion, I was surprised and a little bit intimidated by the look of the amount of tubing and medical equipment on my IV pole.

‘As I saw more and more children experiencing the same feelings, I became more interested in creating a friendlier experience for young IV patients, so I created Medi Teddy. I hope that Medi Teddy helps you just as much as it helps me!.’

On the back, there is a mesh section so doctors and nurses can still see how much is left inside the bag, but the front is just a soft, cuddly friend.

Ella made her first prototype by cutting up her own teddy and using a glue gun but now she wants to produce them for hospitals.

Last weekend, she set up a GoFundMe page to donate 500 Medi Teddys to other children.

It’s already raised $17,002 – well over the $5,000 goal.

Go Ella!

MORE: The best hats at Royal Ascot 2019

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Wilko is selling 12 condoms for 10p

The three pack for 10p and the shelf with the 12 and three packs
You can get packs of 12 and packs of three for 10p (Picture: Facebook, Wilko)

Yes, you read that right – condoms for under 1p each.

Budget store Wilko is selling packs of ultra thin, extra safe and flavoured versions for 10p.

You get 12 in a packet so it’s a pretty great deal.

Of course, you can pick up condoms for free from a sexual health clinic but if you prefer a particular type or just want to buy them in store, Wilko has your back.

The condoms are only available in store, so don’t try stocking up online.

The deal was spotted and posted on the Extreme Couponing and Bargains Facebook page.

She posted a picture of the 12 packs, alongside three packs, which are are also 10p.

She added the caption: ‘Safety on a budget.’

The store confirmed that you can pick the condoms up nationwide, so find your local store on their website.

The price is only while stocks last so get in quick.

Poundland stock 12 packs of condoms for £1 but this is much cheaper.

The budget pound store does offer cut-price sex toys too though, so you can stock up on other things for the bedroom while you are there.

We reviewed the Poundland rabbit vibrator earlier this year and it was deemed to be a pretty good bargain for the £5 price tag.

It was rated three out of five.

They also sell a £1 bullet vibrator and a cock ring.

We all for making safe and enjoyable sex a little cheaper.

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Teeny kitten gets rescued after getting her head stuck in a toy

The kitten stuck in the toy
The little kitten got stuck in the toy (Picture: Vets Now /SWNS.COM)

A teeny kitten went through a double rescue after getting its head caught in a toy and being rushed to the vets who also found she was ‘dangerously’ anaemic.

The adorable five-week-old black cat got her head firmly wedged in the square hole of the plastic children’s toy last month while the owner’s young son was playing.

The kitten’s owner, Donna Boswell, tried to free the kitten with Vaseline, but decided to rush her to the vet as the kitten miaowed in pain.

Emergency vet clinic Vets Now, in Gillingham, Kent, managed to free the tiny cat – and at the same time, spotted that she was anaemic.

Anaemia is caused by a lack of iron in the red blood cells and can be fatal if not treated.

Donna, 31, from Sittingbourne, Kent, believes her two-year-old son Harley had encouraged the kitten to climb inside the toy while he’d been playing.

The five-week-old kitten with its head stuck in the toy.
The kitten was rushed to the vets (Picture: Vets Now /SWNS.COM)

She said: ‘I keep telling my son Harley not to touch the cats, but he loves playing with the kittens. He has a habit of trying to put them in odd places.

‘Harley had been playing one evening and my 11-year-old daughter Amy heard a miaow and went to check on him.

‘It was then we saw the toy with the kitten sticking out I just thought: “How the hell did you get in there”.

‘The kitten has a tiny head so I didn’t think it would be a problem, but as soon as I got towards her ears she started screaming.

‘It was then I realised it wasn’t working for me. I’m quite soft so anything like that upsets me.’

Donna took the kitten, who has not yet been named, to a neighbour, who offered to cut the musical toy in half, but Donna decided against that for fear of hurting her.

And so, she instead drove to the Vets Now clinic in Gillingham, which offers out-of-hours emergency care for animals.

The five-week-old kitten after being removed from the toy.
The kitten after being rescued (Picture: Vets Now /SWNS.COM)

The vets freed the kitten from the toy, and luckily she wasn’t harmed.

It was a good thing the kitten had gone in to be rescued though – because the vets found it was also dangerously anaemic, and treated it at the same time.

Victoria from Vets Now said: ‘We anaesthetised the kitten and with a bit of handy manoeuvring she was out, up and eating.

‘This is not a scenario we come across every day so it was a real talking point. We’re pleased we could help.

‘We were also able to spot that she had a dangerously low red blood cell count due to anaemia and we gave some help with that too.’

Donna said: ‘It was a bit upsetting for us all to see the kitten stuck like that.

‘Hopefully I can stop Harley from getting up to any more tricks with them before they go to their new homes in a few weeks.’

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A family wants to pay someone £50,000 to document their kids’ lives

A mum photographing her daughter
The job pays £50,000 (Picture: Getty)

A family is looking for a videographer to capture the key moments in their children’s lives and create a childhood documentary that they can gift them when they are adults – and they’re willing to pay £50,000, plus offer rent-free accommodation.

The idea was inspired by the ’63 Up’ and ‘Secret Life of Four Year Olds’ programmes – and they want to create something similar to give to their children on their 18th birthdays.

So, if you’re a talented documentary maker, this role could be perfect for you.

The position, which as mentioned offers a £50,000 salary, free accommodation and also healthcare, is being advertised on Bark.com.

Shortlisted videographers will need to meet the family a few times beforehand to ensure they are a compatible match, and will be subject to security checks and will need to provide examples of previous work.

To ensure candidates are the right fit in all three areas, shortlisted applicants will be asked to join them on a series of family days out.

A mother taking a photo of her daughter
Are you the perfect videographer? (Picture: Getty)

The family consists of the woman who wrote the email, her husband and their three young sons, aged two, three and seven.

The right candidate will be able to live in the guest house on the family’s property, completely rent free, and will be expected to work in an on-call capacity.

The family are expecting the videographer to film and edit for three days each week, to compile annual films, which will be made into a series that will be gifted to the children when they reach adulthood. The parents would like the documentary to be a ‘sort of digital scrapbook of their childhood, which will fill them with joy and nostalgia’.

Kai Feller, Bark.com co-founder said: ‘We have thousands of Barks through the site everyday, and although this job request is unconventional, we’re keen to help the family find a suitable professional. It seems like a fantastic opportunity for a videographer to create something truly special.

‘The documentation of our lives is not a new phenomenon, given our relationship with our smart devices and how much we share on social media these days. Maybe this trend of collating the special moments in our children’s lives into an edited scrapbook will catch on.’

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High Street shops ‘will be reduced to servants for the online shopping world’


Getting your wallet out to pay? Too fiddly.

Opening your door to the delivery driver? Too much effort.

Trying on clothes with your physical body? Way too hard.

Even though shopping is easier than it has ever been in human history, it’s still too hard. At least, that’s what retailers and brands think.

Retail analyst Natalie Berg tells Metro.co.uk: ‘This trend towards a frictionless in-store experience is very much gaining momentum.’

This is the world of checkout-free shops, virtual reality changing rooms and interaction-free home delivery.

‘It won’t just be a frictionless experience,’ Berg says.

‘But one that is hyper-personalised and very relevant to shoppers, able to send them real-time, personalised promotions and offers, even when they’re in the store.’

These traction-free, ultra conveniences won’t just be confined to shops.

Shopping is expected to become so easy that you won’t even have to touch products until you actually want to use them.

In October 2018, Waitrose trialled its While You’re Away service, which sees delivery drivers given access to your house with a special smart lock.

Once inside, they will fill your home with the products you ordered, without you having to ever lift a finger.

Amazon already offers a similar service. But will giving a stranger access to your home really become normal?

‘It might seem strange now to let a Tesco driver into our homes but this will become the norm, just like Airbnb and Uber,’ Natalie tells us.

‘10 years ago, we never thought we’d get in a taxi with a stranger. It takes a while for consumers to feel comfortable.’

However, some experts are more cautious in an age of scandal after scandal when it comes to private data.

‘We’ve been through a period in history where people have been quite willing to give up their personal data for minor conveniences,’ says Kyle Monk, head of insight and analytics at the British Retail Consortium.

‘But people are growing wiser to that.’

Even so, in-home delivery has been adopted by industry behemoths like Walmart and Amazon in the US.

And if you forget to order something? That’s no problem.

‘In the future, we won’t have to trek to a supermarket when we run out of toilet paper or pet food,’ says Natalie Berg.

‘All the products will just be automatically replenished so there will be less thinking to do for the consumer.’

Amazon quietly withdrew their Dash buttons this year – physical buttons a customer could press to replace certain items, such as washing-up liquid or toilet roll.

But this wasn’t because they’d failed at auto-replenishment.

In fact, their online auto-renew systems and purchases made through voice assistant Alexa had been so successful that it made the buttons obsolete.

Not content with transforming home shopping, Amazon set their sights on the High Street.

In January 2018, shoppers entered Amazon’s first physical store: Amazon Go.

If you looked in from the street, it would have looked like any other store – shelves full of food, shopping baskets to carry it.

The one difference was there was nowhere to pay.

The store is cashless and cameras alongside other technology track products when they are taken off the shelves and charge customers when they leave the store.

‘At the moment, it still feels like you’re shoplifting,’ says Natalie.

Amazon Go store in Seattle (Picture: Reuters)
The Amazon Go stores don’t have any checkouts or queues (Picture: Reuters)

‘But I think it will be the norm to be able to quickly go in and out and not have to worry about not getting out your wallet.’

As is so often in the world of retail, Amazon’s innovation sent ripples.

Sainsbury’s launched their own checkout free store in April 2019. While it didn’t use AI and cameras like Amazon Go, the mere act of going cashless as a society will have huge implications.

‘There’s a real risk that we sleepwalk into a cashless society,’ says Jenny Ross, money editor at Which?.

There are 2.2 million people who are entirely reliant on cash in the UK, like the elderly, who use cash as a way of maintaining their independence.

Amazon has bowed to pressure and allowed people to pay with cash at some of its so-called ‘cashless’ stores.

Critics had said it was discriminating against minorities, the elderly and migrants.

‘Those people who are vulnerable can be put in an even more vulnerable position and have their independence compromised [with the move to digital-only payments],’ says Ross.

‘Sweden is probably the most cashless society in Europe.

‘But it has recognised that that leaves them particularly vulnerable, putting all their eggs in the digital basket.’

Risks are most likely to come in the form of cyber attacks.

But there are things that one can only do with digital technology.

‘I think augmented reality will be a game changer,’ says Kyle Monk.

‘The technology isn’t quite there yet but in the next five years it’ll probably be the single most disruptive technology that’s out there.’

This moves technology on from just being able to pay without going through checkout to be able to try products without entering the store at all.

Augmented reality (AR) is trying products virtually before you buy: placing virtual furniture in your real house or testing virtual clothes on your real body.

Already, Amazon and Walmart have been busily filing patents to surf the coming AR wave, like an in-store mirror that will fit virtual clothes to your reflection.

‘Ultimately, if it makes things easier and improves the experience for shoppers then it’ll get adopted,’ says Monk.

‘The ability to look at a piece of clothing and one-touch order it without going through checkouts is fairly revolutionary.’

Another added benefit of AR try-ons is saving unnecessary shipping for unwanted, returned items.

An emphasis on sustainability is something retailers are seeing as fundamental changes to their business model.

‘We’re more conscious of provenance, and the fashion retailers have already taken steps to address that,’ says Natalie Berg.

Ethics and trust are seen at the heart of the fifth industrial revolution.

Does this all spell doom for the future of the British high street?

‘We’re not seeing the death of retail, we’re seeing the death of mediocre retail,’ says Berg.

‘We’re seeing retailers who haven’t invested in their stores, haven’t prioritised online retail, struggled to be relevant to their shoppers and can’t differentiate from their rivals.’

In 30 years, there will still be shops but, Berg says, they will be servants for the online shopping world rather than shops themselves.

‘It’s about using the stores as fulfilment hubs to cater for same day delivery in-store collections and returns,’ says Berg.

‘In the future, selling space will be reduced, as more square footage is dedicated to fulfilling online orders.’

If that’s the case then the High Street to shop on will die but the High Street to collect from is here to stay.

The Future Of Everything

Future Of Everything

This piece is part of Metro.co.uk's series The Future Of Everything.

From OBEs to CEOs, professors to futurologists, economists to social theorists, politicians to multi-award winning academics, we think we've got the future covered, away from the doom mongering or easy Minority Report references.

Every weekday, we're explaining what's likely (or not likely) to happen.

Talk to us using the hashtag #futureofeverything  If you think you can predict the future better than we can or you think there's something we should cover we might have missed, get in touch: hey@metro.co.uk or Alex.Hudson@metro.co.uk

Read every Future Of Everything story so far

Rainbow sandwiches and Pride logos mean nothing when queer people are still suffering

Pride flag in central London
Organisations, companies and authorities that pledge their support to the queer community need to be more than performative in their support (Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

June is Pride month – where the LGBTQIA+ community (or simply ‘queer community’) celebrates what it means to be queer.

Many corporations or organisations have been quick to declare their support for the community in various ways, such as changing their logos to a rainbow version or launching some sort of Pride-related product. Some give part of their sales to related charities, but is is often a small fraction of the actual profits they make.

While it’s all well and good for companies to show support to the community during Pride month, it needs to be about way more than just small donations or performative actions of allyship for one month a year.

When push comes to shove, supporting the wider queer community is about more than LGBT sandwiches, rainbow lanyards and Pride related panels in the workplace. It also means actively challenging bigotry and hate directed at the community and making meaningful contributions towards their liberation – something which is much rarer to see during the other 11 months of the year.

This Pride month has reminded us of just how far we have yet to go. We see this in the continued protests about LGBT education in schools, two queer women being physically assaulted on a London bus, the relentless and brutal murders of trans women of colour in the US – it’s clear that hatred and bigotry against the queer community at large is alive and well.

While this might come as a shock to some people, it certainly isn’t a shock to queer people. Bigotry, discrimination and violence is something the queer community experiences almost every day and homophobic and transphobic hate crimes are on the rise.

One in five LGBT+ people in the UK report having been the victims of a hate crime in the last year, which is a vast increase from previous years. Other reports show that 41 per cent of trans people in the UK have experienced a hate crime in the past year, 12 per cent have been physically assaulted by their colleagues and and 25 per cent have experienced homelessness to some degree.

Further, 45 per cent of lesbian, gay or bi pupils report being bullied at school, as do 64 per cent of trans pupils, while 84 per cent of trans young people in the UK today have self-harmed, and 45 per cent have attempted suicide. Intersex people still face irreversible and uncessary interventions to their bodies as children, leaving them scarred for life.

Organisations, companies and authorities that pledge their support to the queer community need to be more than performative in their support. It’s not acceptable for them to simply say they support the community when it’s clear by their actions that they don’t.  

Earlier this month, the Home Office – which changed its social media logos to include a rainbow – deported a gay rugby player to Kenya, where his life would be in danger and he could easily face death. This was done despite desperate pleas from the individual, all while the Home Office’s social media account dressed themselves in a rainbow uniform. There is no solidarity in deportation, and it ultimately can be, and often is, deadly.

The NSPCC, which also sports a Pride logo, has also failed to show real support and solidarity with the trans community when they needed it the most, as they cut ties with trans activist Munroe Bergdorf after a smear campaign against her, invigorating those that campaign against the trans community, and made them feel justified in their crusade.

The ones who have suffered here are trans young people, the very people the NSPCC claims to support and understand. This is particularly disappointing in a climate where relentless hatred and vitriol is directed at us, simply for being who we are, wanting to participate in society like everyone else, or being successful.

Making your business or organisation actively supportive of the queer community isn’t only the decent thing to do, but also has benefits for your company as a whole. Inclusive policies have shown to make positive impact on the culture in the workplace as well as the employee satisfaction.

Organisations, companies and institutions need to do more. They need to actively stand up against bigotry and discrimination against the community and their own employees, and make sure that they create a safer workplace for the queer community.

This means creating an inclusive environment for queer staff and putting policies in place on how to deal with discrimination and how to support us in the workplace. They can’t be afraid to take a stand against bigotry.

Companies and organisations also need to pay speakers and experts for their time when they come speak at their events to show that they value them.

I personally get countless requests from companies or organisations to speak events, and many of them do not offer a fee for my time or expertise. What they don’t often understand is that preparing a talk or a training takes time to plan, as well as the emotional labour of sharing my own experiences – which are often difficult and traumatic – in front of a room of strangers. Not to mention the travel times, having to buy food on the go and more. If the speakers you are inviting are out of pocket, how exactly are you supporting the work they do?

Companies need to use all that power and visibility they have to affect real change. And if they truly want to make an impact with their donations and campaigns, they need to donate all the proceeds to the right cause.

Otherwise the impact of their rainbow banners or Pride themed products does little but make their company or institution look good on the outside for kudos and profit, while the queer community continues to suffer.

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Mixed Up: ‘I’m so light-skinned people don’t believe I’m related to my black mother’


Mixed Up is a weekly series that aims to get to the heart of what it means to be mixed-race in the UK today.

There is no ‘right’ way to be mixed-race, and yet we are so often presented as a homogeneous group – that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The UK’s fasted growing ethnic group is vibrant, diverse and has a multitude of different stories to tell.

We want to tell these stories – dig deeper than stereotypes and stigma and give a voice to an under-heard community.

Ashley Morris has always struggled with her identity. She says looking significantly lighter than her brother made it hard for her to find her place.

Ashley Morris for Mixed Up
Ashley Morris (Picture: Jerry Syder)

‘My mother is Kenyan and Tanzanian whereas my father is Welsh. He’s ginger too,’ Ashley tells Metro.co.uk.

‘I mostly grew up around my father’s side, but I don’t necessarily feel connected to one culture more than the other – I have always felt simultaneously isolated, yet excluded from both.

‘I always say that if I had grown up in a more diverse area, such as London or Birmingham, then I wouldn’t have the outlook on race that I have today – especially as a very light-skinned woman of colour who is almost white-passing (depending on who you ask).’

School was a tricky time for Ashley. She was in a rural, predominantly white area, and looking starkly different from her brother and parents often made her the topic of conversation.

‘Growing up in Wales and attending schools which were 99% white, I was always made to feel aware that I was different,’ says Ashley.

‘My father was a teacher in my school and he’s white, whereas my older brother is visibly a lot darker and “ethnic looking” I suppose, than I am.

‘So, I understand that naturally, people had a lot of questions.

‘But at primary school I remember being surrounded by girls with fine hair and being made fun of for my textured Afro, while simultaneously being of a similar skin tone to them and feeling incredibly alone in my experiences.

‘I recall being made fun for my more “ethnic” features, such as my nose, to the point where my teachers brought my parents in. My school even started celebrating Black History Month as a direct result of the bullying.’

The bullying was more subtle too – with children spreading lies about Ashley’s family and making cruel assumptions based solely on how she looked.

‘I remember a rumour going around that my brother and I were adopted because we didn’t look like our dad,’ she explains.

‘I remember being accused of lying about my race by some people while continuously being brutally reminded of my ambiguity by others, resulting in an incredible amount of confusion on how to conduct myself. It ultimately created some major identity issues.

Little Ashley with her brother and dad
Kids at school thought Ashley was adopted because she didn’t look like her dad (Picture: Ashley Morris)

‘On the last day of school – someone wrote the N-word on my t-shirt – the other kids would have “I’ll miss you!” or “good luck with everything!”

‘I remember my dad being heartbroken when he picked me up from school that day and saw that word written on my shirt.’

When it comes to her identity, Ashley is passionate about acknowledging both sides of who she is. She says people often want her to ‘pick a side’ because that makes it easier for them to understand.

‘I get genuinely offended when people try to dismiss my African side by referring to me as simply Welsh. Because I’m not only Welsh, I’m not only white,’ she tells us.

‘I may have grown up there for the majority of my life, and I understand that I am light-skinned, but I refuse to water myself down to what people are “comfortable” with.

‘I have always been made to feel isolated because of not being fully Welsh or white, so why should I pretend that I am when it’s convenient for others?

‘I think it’s important to acknowledge my mixed identity because I never want the next generation of mixed-race children to deal with a similar set of identity issues that I’ve dealt with, and still deal with continuously.

‘It’s not my job to have to justify my existence to anybody, nor should I have to.

‘My self-identity isn’t up for speculation or some kind of political playground. When I tell you what I am – just believe me, because I’m not lying about it.

Despite the internal conflict Ashley has harboured for much of her teenage and adult existence, she does think there are benefits to being mixed-race. She likes who she is and relishes the fact that her perspective on life is unique.

‘Being mixed-race has been just as much of a blessing as it has a burden,’ explains Ashley.

‘I don’t care for the ignorant comments I sometimes get, like: “I wish I was half-caste!” – but I also kind of understand why people say it. As messed up as it sounds. Because I’m proud to be a part of two deeply contrasting cultures.

‘I have a love/hate relationship with being different, but at the end of the day, being mixed-race while going through all the very unique experiences of my life is what makes me, me.

Baby Ashley with her mother
Baby Ashley with her mother (Picture: Ashley Morris)

‘On a surface level, I love that I can do so many things with my hair. I’m proud that in my lifetime I have been able to experiment so much – I’ve bleached, relaxed and straightened my hair one day, while wearing box braids on another.

‘I love being an individual and I love that I can tell stories that other people can’t.

‘Sometimes it hurts to be misunderstood, but in a world where everything has become so rehearsed and tedious, it’s sort of refreshing to have my own narrative and my own take on things. I wouldn’t have this in the same way if i wasn’t mixed-race.’

Identity is a tricky issue, and for Ashley walking the divide between the different elements of her heritage has been far from simple. All she wants is to be given the space to express herself freely.

‘I can’t speak on behalf of every mixed-race person because we are all very different, but I have seen a lot of mixed-race people dismiss one side of their identity while running with the other,’ says Ashley.

‘I have seen mixed-race people deny their ambiguity altogether.

‘It all depends on who you speak to.

‘But what I can say is that a lot of us struggle with the juggling act of claiming both. It is genuinely difficult because there is no homogeneous mixed-race experience.

‘What’s strange with my experience is that I’m extremely light-skinned, yet in Wales I was always known for being the mixed-race one.

‘My parents are divorced and so, whenever I went to visit my mother and half brother (who is black), people would always look at us extremely puzzled and ask whether she was my biological mother because I’m so pale.

‘I grew up with a Brazilian stepmother and stepbrother who people more than often thought were actually my biological relatives. So a lot of the time, people would ask if I was Brazilian too.

‘It’s a little messy, so outside of other people’s perceptions, it’s also about finding acceptance within myself because I have always struggled to find it.

‘I have only just recently decided to stop chemically relaxing my hair in order to look white, acceptance is a quiet room.’

Ashley and her brother
Ashley and her brother (Picture: Ashley Morris)

Ashley thinks racism is a universal experience for anyone who isn’t white – she also thinks it’s important to recognise and acknowledge that there are different levels of racism

‘I don’t know a single person of colour who hasn’t experienced racism. But what a lot of people don’t talk about is colourism,’ explains Ashley.

‘I’m not proud of it at all, but I am certainly not afraid to admit that I have benefitted from colourism my entire life.

‘Being virtually white-passing has unfortunately played to my advantage in more ways than I like to admit.

‘So, while I may have gone through my own instances of racism and ignorance, it’s unfair of me to complain while my darker brothers and sisters have had it a lot harder than I have. Perhaps in a less complex manner, but a lot harder.’

Celebrity culture has lead to racial ambiguity becoming a really popular ‘look’ over the last few years. Ashley doesn’t like this pick-and-choose racial aestheticism – she thinks it undermines the true experiences of people of colour.

‘People are weird,’ she says.

‘So many girls, in particular, are altering their appearance nowadays to seem ethically ambiguous, I can’t help but feel it’s problematic.

‘I’m high-key bitter that people are now using the over-application of fake tan and makeup and perms to gain features for which I was often made fun of for having whilst growing up.

‘Instagram and Kardashian culture claim that it’s a f***ing fashion trend now, so of course everybody wants to be mixed-race.

‘That is, until history repeats itself and it’s popular for everyone to have pale skin, straight hair and flat asses again.

‘It reminds me of a quote I’ve seen go viral in the past – everyone wants to look black without being black, or something like that.’

Ashley was isolated when she was growing up, which she knows was a contributing factor to the crisis of identity that she had to deal with. That’s why she’s passionate about sharing her story – she hopes it could help someone else feel less alone.

‘Telling mixed-race stories is important because representation is vital,’ says Ashley.

‘Everyone deserves it. Black people deserve it, Asian people deserve it, all people of colour deserve it.

‘I still actively look for good mixed-race representation in the media today, lord knows I would have appreciated seeing more of it when I was a teen.’

MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I worry about unspoken discrimination. Have you judged me before I’ve even said a word?’

MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I was spat at in the playground – these days racism is more subtle’

MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I spent a large part of my life wishing I was just one race’

YouPorn wants someone to propose to their partner on their site – in front of 20 million people

Someone wearing an engagement ring
Show your love… by proposing on a porn website (Picture: Getty)

What have you dreamed about when it comes to a proposal? Rose petals, down on one knee and gentle music in the background?

How about appearing on a porn site in front of 20 million people? Probably not.

Well someone is going to do just that.

YouPorn has launched YouPropose, where someone will propose to their partner in front of the site’s 20 million users.

Your mum and dad might not quite approve though.

To take part, you need to submit a paragraph online gushing about why you would like to propose to your partner on YouPorn.

Someone putting a ring on their partner's finger
One person will win the chance to propose on YouPorn (Picture: Getty)

The winner will have their proposal video take over the YouPorn homepage for 24 hours.

‘Expectations for the most unique proposals are at an all-time high, as this once in a lifetime moment will never be forgotten. What better way to make your love story truly unique than popping the question in front of the millions of people, and on one of the most popular websites in the world?’ said Charlie Hughes, Vice President of YouPorn.

‘We wanted to do something to support partnerships and people who want to celebrate each other. Ideally, we will get some submissions from couples that upload to our site.’

The competition is open across the world and will run until 18 July, with the winner being revealed shortly after.

You better be pretty sure your partner is going to say yes. Being let down in front of 20 million people would hurt.

MORE: A family wants to pay someone £50,000 to document their kids’ lives

MORE: Teeny kitten gets rescued after getting her head stuck in a toy

Will marriage really die out?

Illustration of woman looking stressed and holding her hand on her face, with a purple background which includes a wedding dress, veil and wedding ring
All of the wedding struggles might be a thing of the past (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

To have and to hold, ‘til death do us part.

Marriage has been a key institution in our lives for decades and, as the summer months arrive, our best suits and dresses are being dusted off as we prepare for a season of weekends at country homes, churches and registry offices.

But the number of dates pencilled in your diary this summer for weddings may be fewer than previous years. We’ve seen headlines predicting that marriage will be virtually extinct in the next 30 years.

But will it really?

‘Dying is a strong way of putting it,’ says Dr Philip Cohen of the University of Maryland’s department of sociology.

‘People have become more selective about marriage.’

In 1958, men were married at the average age of 22.6, according to the US Census Bureau, women at 20.2.

Fast forward 60 years and the average age men and women got married for the first time was 29.8 and 27.8 respectively.

At the same time as the average age of people getting married goes up, the actual proportion of people choosing to get married is going down.

In 2017 – the latest year for which statistics are available – just more than half of adults living in England and Wales were married, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That’s down significantly over the years.

There were 243,000 marriages of opposite-sex couples in England and Wales in 2016 – around 4,700 couples each week.

In 1940, 471,000 couples walked down the aisle, with nearly 9,000 marriages per week.

What’s causing this decline in one of the oldest institutions in our society?

‘There are three reasons,’ says Brienna Perelli-Harris, associate professor in demography at the University of Southampton.

‘One is people are just ideologically opposed to it.

‘They just don’t like it anymore. They think it’s patriarchal as an institution. But I don’t think that’s the majority of people.’

For that majority, it’s something a lot less of an opposition to the institution.

‘They just aren’t getting around to it,’ Prof Perelli-Harris says.

‘They would like to get married but at the end of the day they would rather spend their money on something else.’

Priorities such as buying a house or having children are expensive.

The money that would traditionally have been spent on an expensive wedding would, Prof Perelli-Harris believes, be funneled elsewhere.

The third reason is that our commitment to partners has cooled.

The number of unmarried couples with children has increased at the same time as marriage has declined.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at Oscars
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are still negotiating the terms of their divorce (Picture: Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Though couples love each other and will even have children together, they’re less willing to get hitched.

‘With Tinder and online dating, people feel like if they’re not in a perfect relationship they should keep their options open and not get married,’ says Prof Perelli-Harris.

People also look at the way in which an increasing number of marriages end and are dissuaded from taking the plunge in the first place.

More than 100,000 couples were divorced in England and Wales in 2017.

Splits can be costly and messy – especially when the union is formalised.

The increased rate of divorce is seen in large part due to demographics.

While in the past we would get married in our 20s and die in our 40s, we may now get married in our 30s, divorce in our 60s – and die in our 90s.

Many people would walk down the aisle expecting to spend 20 or 30 years with their loved one.

Today a marriage could theoretically be a 60-year commitment, or even longer.

Given we live in uncertain times, it is thought that people feel unwilling to commit to long-term relationships for fear that their lives will change fundamentally.

‘When you feel in control of your life and destiny and not unstable and insecure, marriage can be a choice people make that contributes to that security and stability,’ says Dr Cohen.

‘It communicates to people that you have arrived, and you have achieved a certain status to be married and stay married.’

It’s said to be a hangover from the 2008 financial crisis and the polarisation of politics but there have been severe shocks to the economy and politics before.

What’s different between the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the 1920s Great Depression – after which marriage rates stayed strong – is the role of women in society.

‘Originally, marriage was more of a financial decision,’ says Prof Perelli-Harris.

‘It was the tying together of two families, or a way to make sure women were protected financially and as women have become more educated and more likely to be independent and employed, there isn’t the need to be within a marriage as much.’

With that less the case, the idea of getting married has changed along with it:

‘Marriage is less necessary than it used to be,’ says Cohen.

‘You’re not an outcast if you’re single, and women’s employment prospects have improved a lot. It’s more possible to survive on your own and be a “reasonable” member of society.’

As a result of shifts in society, what marriage represents has changed.

It’s seen as a way to celebrate love and devotion, rather than as a financial or social necessity.

‘There are fewer people pressured into it,’ says Cohen.

‘There’s less coercion into marriage. In the 1950s at the peak of the marriage craze in America, everyone was married by their mid-20s – something like 90% of people.

‘That level of conformity can’t be described as normal.’

That can be seen in the Nordic countries, including Sweden.

Around six in 10 births in the country occur within cohabiting unions, rather than marriage – and all Nordic countries saw a downturn in the number of people getting wed.

‘For a long time it appeared marriage was disappearing,’ says Prof Perelli-Harris.

But a large marriage revival occurred in the early 2000s in all the countries.

A focus group in Norway, conducted by one of Prof Perelli-Harris’s colleagues, were asked why people got married.

‘It was all about romance and love and, in some cases, being able to survive the early years of childhood,’ she says.

‘There’s still this desire to show the couple are committed to each other; it just happens after kids, not before.’

It’s for that reason that experts doubt the idea of marriage will ever go away.

‘In the linear extrapolation of the future, marriage is extinct in the middle of the century,’ says Cohen. But it is unlikely that will actually happen.

‘I think what is likely to happen is it will continue to become a more elite institution and less prevalent.’

Prof Perelli-Harris is more definitive: ‘It might become more rare but I don’t think the institution is going to disappear.’

The Future Of Everything

Future Of Everything

This piece is part of Metro.co.uk's series The Future Of Everything.

From OBEs to CEOs, professors to futurologists, economists to social theorists, politicians to multi-award winning academics, we think we've got the future covered, away from the doom mongering or easy Minority Report references.

Every weekday, we're explaining what's likely (or not likely) to happen.

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