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The strange phenomenon of young people licking ice cream and spitting in mouthwash may be more political than you think


We were all disturbed by the ice-cream licker – the infamous woman who licked a tub of ice cream and put it back in the shop fridge.

Copycat acts followed. Pretty soon, people were swishing mouthwash, drinking tea and spitting it back into the bottles. All in the name of clout or online fame.

While it’s easy to brush off these ‘pranks’ as disgusting, asinine acts, it’s curious why so many young people are taking part.

Of course, there’s the obvious answer – for purely anarchistic reasons; a YOLO (you only live once) mentality symptomatic of youth culture.

Millennials earn less, save less, and invest less than their parents. Getting a fulfilling job is tough and the likelihood of owning property is near non-existent.

Those kinds of frustrations manifest in strange ways, even into something as silly as licking an ice cream and putting it back.

Could young folks taking part in these viral trends be making social and political commentary with their defiant tactics?

There’s clearly the viral, online outrage factor — people chasing social media fame by doing more and more outrageous things. In this sense, it seems apolitical.

But if we include the context in which this happens then we might get a richer picture.

A lot of these incidents are happening in large retail chain stores like Walmart.

Whether a subconscious effect or an explicitly thought out choice, these pranks could be read as anti-capitalist protest raging against big corporations.

Lukas Slothuus, who is writing his PhD on protest and dissent, tells Metro.co.uk that multiple things seem to be going on at once here.

‘Most of these incidents are happening in Walmart- the epitome of American consumerism,’ he explains.

‘In this sense, there’s something political going on. Most people I’ve spoken to would distinguish sharply between the morality of stealing from Tesco or Starbucks versus stealing from your local independent shop.

‘I know plenty of people who think it’s fully morally justified to steal from large corporations, particularly those who don’t pay their tax. And I think that’s actually a fairly easy position to defend from both a philosophical and a practical standpoint.

‘Not all defacing of public goods is equal.’

Whether or not the perpetrators intend on making political commentary, this can be a byproduct of their actions.

The ice-cream licker – a young black woman – was met with calls for her arrest. Before she was identified as a 17-year-old, Texas police said she could face 20 years in prison on a felony food tampering charge.

Many social media users drew contrasts on punitive attitudes towards white and non-white transgressors.

They noted that in comparison, Oxford University student Lavinia Woodward famously stabbed her boyfriend and was spared prison, which some argue was a result of white privilege.

The black teenager who licked ice cream was immediately met with a barrage of abusive comments. Bameron Nicole Smith, a trans person who spit into mouthwash, was inundated with transphobic comments. Gay Youtuber Larz was the target of homophobic abuse after he scooped out some ice cream with his hand.

Lenise Martin III, who was said to have copied the original ice cream licker, spent two nights in jail despite having CCTV proof he had purchased the items.

Would accused white people have faced the same severe response?

By virtue of existing as a minority and daring to transgress, these figures become political, even if they don’t intend to.

One of the people wrongly implicated in the trend is Shiloh Greaves, the Arizona tea spitter. The 25-year-old is a wrestler who had purchased the item before spitting in it for a wrestling promo.

He filmed his video months before the ice cream licker and yet was faced with a barrage of abuse when people thought he was part of the movement.

Shiloh, a biracial black man, tells Metro.co.uk that he thinks our political and social climate influences these behaviours.

‘It leads to people questioning their own self-worth,’ he says. ‘Everyone wants to be a celebrity now. Everyone wants to be rich. Nobody cares about changing the world anymore. Everyone just wants that higher social status.’

He notes a double standard in outrage to minority delinquents in comparison to white pranksters.

‘I had a lot of hate mail saying the n-word,’ Shiloh says.

‘There are people who have done much worse things on camera than I did and nobody calls for them to be locked up for 20 years. Nobody called for them to be murdered.

‘I wasn’t given that benefit. Even after I gave my explanation saying it was for theatre and was cleared by LAPD, I still wasn’t given that benefit.’

Civil disobedience in supermarkets is nothing new. The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is all about campaigning against goods produced on occupied lands in Israel.

The ice cream licking trend doesn’t have the same clearly articulated political message as BDS.

Instead, it achieves a message through entertainment (outrageousness is still entertaining).

Writer Jamie Bartlett tells Metro.co.uk that in this way politics and entertainment are becoming indistinguishable.

‘It makes it very hard to disentangle because they follow the same logic of outrage and being on the same platform, politics and entertainment are becoming indistinguishable.

‘In the noisy environment we live in standing out is harder, therefore, people need to do ever more outrageous things to get seen and heard. I.e Donald Trump and people who film themselves planing on top of skyscrapers.’

Jamie adds that it’s not surprising that activism is starting to take this form.

‘It is inevitable that people’s mode of political protest changes. Professional politics itself is becoming far more performative, presentational, and memeable.’

Perhaps the people engaging in the action find it difficult to place the blame for the discontent they feel today.

This is just their way of raging against the system.

‘Sometimes people don’t have the kind of political language available to them that means they can make demands,’ adds Research Fellow Lukas.

‘So it could be that these people are voicing a more general discontent with the world and society they live in. Sometimes such action happens in an unruly, even irrational way.

‘Political action is spontaneous, arises from some inner feeling of being pissed off but without being able to place the blame on anyone in particular.

‘In the Middle Ages, you could take a swing at poisoning the king if you didn’t like your situation. But today it’s harder to identify who’s responsible for all the misery and suffering we witness.’

Think of that political misery like mental trauma that manifests in the body as physical ailments – it has to surface somehow.

Throw in the role models young people are presented with today, who earn online success through outrage, and it makes sense that a choice method for rebellion is making a bizarre attack on public items – all recorded on camera and shared online.

The more interactive or involved your viewers are, the more viral it goes – even if that means inspiring anger.

People watching are led to wonder whether they’ve consumed any of the defaced goods. Has any of the ice cream we’ve eaten contained someone else’s saliva?

Whatever justifications, if any, can be made for these pranksters, it’s worth looking at what’s going on behind the decision to lick some ice cream.

The YOLO nihilism portrayed in these clips speaks to a general malaise of our time. We have mounting frustrations in a world that doesn’t make sense.

We’re living in a peculiar moment in history that breeds confusion and discontent.

When we don’t have the power or the political language to voice our existential angst, no wonder young people are reacting to the nonsensical state of the world by rebelling in bizarre ways – licking ice cream included.

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Papa John’s creates tiny pizzas just for bees

The Papa John's beeza
The beezza is tiny (Picture: Papa John’s)

When you order pizza, big is probably better. This one is obviously tiny, but it is for a good reason.

The beezza is a pizza for bees, to encourage people to help save the hardworking insects that basically make sure we all have enough food.

Bees save the UK economy about £1.8bn every year because of the work that they do – but bee populations are dwindling.

We’ve already seen initiatives like the bee stops in Utrecht and the tiny McDonald’s for bees in Sweden.

Now, Papa John’s has created the tiny pizza, which is one inch in diameter, made with real Papa John’s dough, based with passata and topped with wild flowers including; Forget Me Nots, Rose Geraniums and sprinkled with a mix of local pollen, rosemary and thyme – all bee favourites.

It was created by Thom Whitchurch, the brains behind ‘Britain’s first tiny cookery school’, in conjunction with the pizza firm.

Although you can’t actually buy the beezza, Papa John’s is supporting the work of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust by giving out packs of native wildflower seeds via its social channels, to enable customers to grow plants that attract bees.

The Papa John's beeza
It even comes with a tiny box (Picture: Papa John’s)

And from 15 July until 1 September, the Conservation Trust will be their charity partner and customers can donate the change from their orders, including from their new pizza The Bee Sting – a hot and spicy base of Amarillo chilli, topped with signature pepperoni, mozzarella, fresh green chilli and a sweet wild flower honey drizzle.

Giles Codd, UK Marketing Director said: ‘Bees are fundamental to the making of pizzas, so we wanted to give them a slice of the action and create one perfect for them whilst raising awareness of the well-publicised issue of declining bee populations both here in the UK and across the globe.

‘We hope the new Bee Sting pizza, goes down as well with our customers as the ‘Beezza’ did with the bees.’

The Papa John's beeza beside a real pizza, with a bee on a pizza box
Real pizza for scale (Picture: Papa John’s)

Thom Whitchurch, owner of Britain’s first tiny cookery school said: ‘We did a lot of research into which ingredients should go on the pizza and along with the knowledge and expertise from the team at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, we seemed to have got the recipe spot on – the bees were loving it.

‘Creating tiny food is a passion of mine, so I was excited to team up with Papa John’s to create the world’s first pizza for bees.’

Darryl Cox, Senior Science and Policy Officer of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust said: ‘We’re delighted that Papa John’s is supporting our work to protect and feed the nation’s bumblebees.

‘It may seem hard to believe, but without bumblebees, there would be no pizza. Tomato plants hold their pollen in extremely tight structures and literally need a bumblebee to buzz the pollen out to fertilise the flowers. This free-bee service means we can produce enough tomatoes to satisfy the global demand for pizza and other tomato-based products.’

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Holly Willoughby’s M&S collection is here, with all the pieces you need for this weird weather

Holly Willoughby M&S collection
Holly looks good in anything, but these pieces are gorgeous in their own right (Picture: M & S)

Happy Summer! At least that’s what we would say if it wasn’t switching from stupidly humid to pouring with rain every five minutes.

It’s pretty hard to dress for these transitional times, and you’ve no doubt been sat at work in your sundress shivering, or stuck on the Central Line ruing the moment you popped on your jacket.

That’s where breezy staples like those in Holly Willoughby’s new M&S edit come in, ensuring you’re not totally naked, but also in breathable fabrics that won’t make you a sweaty mess.

The collection dropped today, and if previous ones are anything to go by it’ll likely sell out pretty soon.

Pieces include a fashion-forward khaki boiler suit, and a monochrome shirt and dress that are perfect to take you from work to beer garden.

The vibe is relatively utilitarian, with neutral tones and plenty of hardware to make the pieces stand out from your usual basics.

Accessories are also a big focus, with bags and shoes in the Holly Loves edit to elevate your outfits all season long.

There are 13 items in the edit, but many pieces have multiple colourways. Prices start from just £4.50 for a t-shirt, too, so it’s not going to break the bank to get involved.

Check out our picks from the M&S Holly Loves range.

Marks & Spencer Holly Loves Edits
(Picture: M&S)

As we mentioned, it’s not just clothes taking centre stage in the edit.

Trainers have hit the high street in a big way recently, and they’re certainly not just for the gym. The suede detailing on these keeps them grown-up, and means they can be worn with dresses as much as jeans.

They’re £49.50, and come in sizes 3 to 8.

Marks & Spencer Holly Loves Edits
(Picture: M&S)

Inkeeping with the earthy-toned goodness, this bag has a faux tortoiseshell ring to make it stand out.

The small zipped pouch inside also stops you having to dig around for ages like Mary Poppins to find your house keys.

It’s £39.50, and comes in white, or a jazzier yellow if you’re feeling brave.

Marks & Spencer Holly Loves Edits
(Picture: M&S)

You cannot move for jumpsuits in shops at the moment, but they’re a tricky trend to pull off.

Thankfully, this cotton-blend one is nipped in at the waist to flatter your curves, and has shorter legs so it won’t swallow you up.

At £69, it’s worth it simply for the array of pockets (we love pockets).

Marks & Spencer Holly Loves Edits
(Picture: M&S)

Got a hankering for THAT Zara dress but can’t face becoming a walking meme?

Try this monochrome number out for size instead, for floatiness and comfort without the viralness.

This midi style is £49.50.

Marks & Spencer Holly Loves Edits
(Picture: M&S)

Get us talking about what makes a good white shirt and we’ll never stop.

Firstly, it needs to be able to be done right up, so we can switch from cleavage to non-cleavage at will. It also needs to be linen or cotton so we don’t get sweat patches. Side vents are a must for the French tuck method popularised by Queer Eye’s Tan France.

Praise the gods, this £29.50 one has it all.

You can see which local stores are selling the edit here.

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Woman plans wedding to her favourite chandelier, Lumiere


Amanda Liberty loves chandeliers.

Not as a fancy household decoration. We mean she’s in love with chandeliers, as in she’s currently in romantic relationships with several chandeliers and plans to marry her favourite, a chandelier called Lumiere.

You might remember Amanda as the woman who has a tattoo of her beloved chandelier, or the one who sleeps with a chandelier called Jewel in her bed, or as the person who changed her surname by deed poll during a relationship with the Statue of Liberty.

Last time we checked in on Amanda she had popped the question to one of the chandeliers she shares a relationship with, Lumiere.

Now she’s starting to plan the wedding.

Amanda won’t be able to marry Lumiere officially, as she is a chandelier.

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News - (PICTURED: Amander Whittaker, 33, from Leeds kisses her favourite chandelier, Lumiere. Pic taken 01/12/2017.) -Despite already being engaged to a century old chandelier, a woman has gone one step further to show how committed she is to her fianc, she has now had a tattoo of her fianc, Lumiere. The North Yorkshire native had her tattoo designed by star of Tattoo Fixers, Alice Perrin on the hit television show. Amanda Liberty, 34, first fell in love with a drum kit at the age of fourteen and has since gone on to love the iconic Statue of Liberty, even changing her surname by deed poll to Liberty. Identifying as objectum sexual, the Leeds born woman is currently engaged to chandelier Lumiere after claiming I knew that she was the one for me - it was love at first sight. The chandelier which was originally born in Germany ninety-one years ago is 28inches wide first caught Amandas eye when she stumbled across her soon-to-be wife on eBay. Speaking about her upcoming nuptials, Amanda said: We dont have anything booked yet, I have friends all over the world and I want all of them to be there! SEE CATERS COPY.
Amanda proposed to Lumiere in 2016 (Picture: Michael Scott/Caters News)

But by holding a ceremony and sharing it widely, Amanda, who identifies as an objectum sexual, hopes she will legitimise her attraction to chandeliers and other inanimate objects.

Amanda said: ‘I’m determined to have this commitment ceremony, to prove that I’m here for Lumiere and that my love is going to last.

‘I restore the chandeliers in my spare time so they can continue to interest people as they like to be the centre of attention, that’s what they like and its the energy I get from them.

‘I’m not sure what dress I’ll wear and will invite those closest to us.

‘I’ll also be buying matching wedding rings for Lumiere and myself.

‘I know a lot of people think my attraction to chandeliers is strange, but I’m not crazy.

‘I have been polishing Lumiere most nights to ensure she looks her best too.’

Pic by Caters News - (Pictured: Lumiere a century old chandelier.)- Despite already being engaged to a century old chandelier, a woman has gone one step further to show how committed she is to her fianc, she has now had a tattoo of her fianc, Lumiere. The North Yorkshire native had her tattoo designed by star of Tattoo Fixers, Alice Perrin on the hit television show. Amanda Liberty, 34, first fell in love with a drum kit at the age of fourteen and has since gone on to love the iconic Statue of Liberty, even changing her surname by deed poll to Liberty. Identifying as objectum sexual, the Leeds born woman is currently engaged to chandelier Lumiere after claiming I knew that she was the one for me - it was love at first sight. The chandelier which was originally born in Germany ninety-one years ago is 28inches wide first caught Amandas eye when she stumbled across her soon-to-be wife on eBay.Speaking about her upcoming nuptials, Amanda said: We dont have anything booked yet, I have friends all over the world and I want all of them to be there! SEE CATERS COPY.
Amanda says it was love at first sight (Picture: Caters News Agency)

Amanda fell in love with Lumiere after struggling to maintain a long distance relationship with Libby, otherwise known as the Statue of Liberty.

Amanda bought the 91-year-old German chandelier from Ebay and re-assembled it, becoming romantic in the process.

Amanda said: ‘Lumiere was originally ‘born’ in Germany 91 years ago, and is 28in wide.

‘She first caught my eye when I stumbled across her on Ebay – I had no idea she was my soon-to-be wife.

‘I spent £400 shipping her over from Europe and it really was love at first sight.

‘As soon as I’d seen her, I couldn’t stop thinking about her and how beautiful she was – she has such a beautiful shape, and I could feel really amazing energy coming from her.

‘I knew there and then she had to be mine.’

The relationship isn’t monogamous, but thankfully Amanda is free to continue relationships with multiple chandeliers without any jealousy.

She takes a smaller chandelier, Jewel, to bed with her, and says that all her chandeliers understand that she loves them all for their ‘different personalities’.

‘Lumiere is too big to take to bed with me, but she doesn’t mind when I spend time with the others,’ Amanda explains.

‘Some objectum sexual people believe that their partners talk to them, but I know that Lumiere communicates differently.

‘She doesn’t exist or live in the way we do; they give off energy to show me how they’re feeling.’

Wedding planning commences now after Amanda popped the question back on Valentine’s Day in 2016. She hopes that by speaking out about her bond with Lumiere, she’ll normalise relationships with objects.

Amanda said: ‘People often can’t understand that this is just a natural orientation for me, that I can find the beauty in objects and can sense their energy.

‘I want others to see how happy the chandeliers make me, and how much they’ve enriched my life.

‘I’m doing this in the hope that people will understand our love, and if not understand it, maybe they could at least accept it.

‘I’m not hurting anyone by entering in to a relationship with them, I am simply just following my heart.’

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Airbnb host writes long list of bizarre bathroom rules for guest

A man has shared the cleaning rules required by his Airbnb host, which includes meticulously removing all water droplets leftover after showering.
Airbnb host does not want to see your ‘passage’ (Picture: Twitter)

Cleaning your own bathroom is a major ballache so scrubbing someone else’s is definitely a no-no.

But one Airbnb host determined to keep their toilet spick and span has advised their guests how to do the same.

Ian Hickton shared the long list of rules left for him when he stayed at a property.

Strangely, the instructions tell the guest to keep the bathroom as dry as possible, wiping down the mirrors, the washbasin, and the floor.

Even the rule which makes the most sense – don’t leave skid marks on the toilet – is worded weirdly.

It read: ‘Remove any signs of your passage, of whatever colour, from inside the toilet (above and below the waterline), from the toilet rim, and from the underside of the toilet seat.’

Okay then.

Letter explaining the rules in detail
That’s just for the bathroom (Picture: Twitter/Ian Hickton)

The host clearly didn’t want to see any evidence of water being used in the bathroom as they left details for cleaning each area.

‘Before taking a shower, please lay the provided floor mat on the floor,’ the list continues.

‘When finished please put it back on the radiator to dry. If you are likely to splash the floor when using the washbasin, please do the same when using it.

‘After taking a shower please use the squeegee provided to remove any water clinging onto the glasses, onto the tiles and onto the window in the first floor bathroom.

‘When finished with the squeegee please use the towel that you will find in the bathroom to finish the job of drying the inside of the shower.’

The homeowner encouraged guests to go to town with the toilet brush, using it to remove all waste from the rim, and sides.

Male guests were also urged to sit down while peeing.

Of course, people Twitter took the mick. One person joked: ‘It doesn’t say anything about sh*tting in the sink.’

‘I’m never sitting for a number two. Never,’ quipped another.

Others asked what the purpose of paying a cleaning fee was if guests were forced to clean up.

Airbnb doesn’t actually require guests to do a spring clean of properties but does recommend people leave the place as they found it.

We wonder what happens if anyone dares leave a drop of water or even their ‘passage’ behind in this house.

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Elderly people with dementia were visited by alpacas and it made their day

Residents with the alpacas
The elderly had a great time (Picture: SWNS)

Residents at a dementia care home were treated to a visit from two alpacas.

Twinkie and Dude went to visit residents who were able to pet and cuddle them.

It’s believed that vulnerable residents benefit from the therapeutic qualities of alpacas.

The alpacas went to Rosehill Residential Home in Aglionby near Carlisle, Cumbria, as part of a new form of therapy.

The residents with the alpacas
The residents loved meeting the alpacas (Piture: News & Star/SWNS)

The home has a special relationship with Norman Street Primary School, and children from the school also visit the elderly.

When the alpacas, from Blencogo Farm, Wigton, came along, the kids went to visit too, and spent time with the older residents.

Adi Hussain, nine, said: ‘It’s amazing to be here. I love the Alpacas. They’re so soft and cute. They feel just like a pillow.

The alpacss with the elderly
The alpacas wanting some attention (Piture: News & Star/SWNS)

‘I want to see them every day.’

Of the other work with the home, he added: ‘I really enjoy coming here to meet with the older people. We normally do arts, crafts and singing.’

Bea Beaty, also nine, added: ‘I think it is really nice to be here with the alpacas. They’re really fluffy and cute. Twinkle is my favourite.’

The school kids with the alpacas
School children came along too (Piture: News & Star/SWNS)

Kim Inglis Jeffries, of Blencogo Farm, said: ‘It’s absolutely amazing. It’s something we started doing last year. Twinkle [the white alpaca] is the star. She reacts so well to people.

‘We work with a lot with adults who have dementia and also with children who have got autism. The reaction you get is amazing. The alpacas are so intuitive with vulnerable people.

‘When we do experiences on our farm, very often a couple of our female alpacas will pick the most vulnerable in the group.

‘They behave like a puppy; it’s really calming.’

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Abbey Wood tops the list of the cheapest areas to rent a flatshare in London

cheapest areas to rent in London
What are the cheapest areas to rent in London? (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Renting in London is pricey. That’s one lesson we’ve learned from our weekly series, What I Rent.

But it is possible to live and work in London without paying £1,200 for a tiny studio, or getting in a relationship with someone wealthy enough to afford a deposit.

SpareRoom has just released their latest London rental index, looking at the state of renting in the city. As part of that, they’ve looked at their listings to find out which areas in London are the cheapest to rent a flatshare, on average.

They also found out that London rents are up overall by 4%, with an average increase of £33 per month. Cheery.

As you’d probably expect, the most expensive areas to rent are St Paul’s followed by South Kensington and Knightsbridge… but which places are actually fairly affordable?

Bear in mind that these stats are all based on SpareRoom’s listings, meaning they only apply for renting a shared property. We wouldn’t recommend holding out hope for a £600 a month penthouse all to yourself, no matter how far from a tube station you go.

So, let’s take a look at the cheapest areas to flatshare, so you can plan your next move accordingly.

The cheapest areas in London to flatshare, and their average flatshare rent:

  1. Abbey Wood, £531 a month
  2. Catford, £544 a month
  3. Eltham, £562 a month
  4. Manor Park, £562 a month
  5. Lee, £565 a month
  6. Thamesmead, £566 a month
  7. Penge, £569 a month
  8. Lower Edmonton, £571 a month
  9. Forest Gate, £573 a month
  10. Plaistow, £574 a month

No surprises there – the cheapest areas also tend to be the ones further out from the centre.

If you’re planning to move out to these areas, you may need to embrace getting the overground, and prepare for your pals to say ‘but you don’t really live in London, do you?’.

You might be interested to know that the cheapest places to rent aren’t the most popular.

The spot where most people want to rent, according to SpareRoom’s analysis, is Shoreditch. Everyone wants to be a cool kid.

These are also the areas where it’s probably easiest to find a flatshare, as they have the highest number of adverts for SpareRoom.

The most popular London areas for flatshares:

  1. Shoreditch/Whitechapel, £734 a month
  2. Canary Wharf/Docklands, £782 a month
  3. Angel/Islington/Canonbury, £888 a month
  4. Bethnal Green, £753 a month
  5. Camden, £966 a month
  6. Bow, £697 a month
  7. Stratford/West Ham, £676 a month
  8. Fulham, £928 a month
  9. St John’s Wood, £914 a month
  10. Cricklewood/Dollis Hill, £696 a month
  11. Battersea, £896 a month
  12. Bayswater/Paddington, £968 a month
  13. Willesden, £689 a month
  14. Maida Vale/Paddington, £876 a month
  15. Acton, £718 a month
  16. West End/Soho, £1,074 a month
  17. Ealing, £711 a month
  18. Shepherds Bush, £775 a month
  19. Bermondsey/Rotherhithe, £785 a month
  20. Putney, £717 a month

Oh, and if you’d like to feel really miserable about living in London, it’s worth noting that the cheapest place to rent a flatshare in the UK is Bangor, where the average cost of a room is £308.

Excuse us while we weep.

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Gym slammed for ‘get hot and sweaty with a teacher’ sign says their members just have a ‘sense of humour’ 

Picture of a sign saying 'get hot and sweaty with a teacher'.
Is the ad inappropriate? (Picture: Twitter)

This week on brands perhaps not thinking things through, a gym is being slammed for its sign urging customers to ‘get hot and sweaty with a teacher’.

Gymbox, a London-based fitness company, wrote that members could get intimate with ‘very personal trainers without getting punished’.

The imagery of the large yellow ad also included a ruler, which some felt was a jarring reference to student-teacher relationships.

After it was shared on Twitter by user Hannah who wrote ‘can you f***ing not’, others expressed their concerns.

She added: ‘It’s so creepy and disappointing. If I were working there I would feel like that gave men license to try it on while I’m trying to work.’

Social media users also thought the large as was ‘creepy’ and ‘disappointing’ because of its suggestive language.

One person said it was ‘basically a big sign to sexually harass trainers.’

Others echoed the sentiment, saying: ‘Think the ad execs are confusing real life with PornHub again.’

Another said: ‘How do a group of people sit around a table, look at that poster sample and think, “yep, that’s ready to go to print!”.’

‘Blimey. How sexy pesty can you make it sound?’ added another.

We reached out to Gymbox for a comment. They told Metro.co.uk: ‘Our adverts are intended to be light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek.

‘As the original challenger gym in the industry, we offer something different to traditional gym experiences through our fantastic range of unique classes, and VPT sessions and our ads promote this in a playful way.

‘Naturally, you will get hot and sweaty in classes such as Hardcore, Ripped & Stripped, Sexhale or Sweat to the Beat.

‘Our members have fed back that they find our adverts amusing, probably because they have a sense of humour.’

Do you see the funny side of it?

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Student creates chair to put an end to manspreading

laila laurel creates anti manspreading chair
Laila won the Belmond Award at New Designs in London for her anti-manspreading chair (Picture: Laila Laurel)

Manspreading is deeply annoying.

But for all us irritated women on public transport, it’s felt like the only way to tackle this maddening act is through deep sighs and passive-aggressive leg nudges.

No more – a student has come up with a proper solution to put an end to manspreading forever.

Laila Laurel, 23, is a student at the University of Brighton. She’s just won the Belmond Award at New Designs in London for her creation: a chair that trains men to stop manspreading.

Laila’s also made a chair to encourage women to take up more space.

Here’s how the chairs work. The anti-manspreading chair has legs that narrow in width, forcing the sitter’s legs to press into each other. The women’s chair does the opposite, forcing their legs to be spread widely.

laila laurel creates anti manspreading chair
The man’s chair forces his legs together, while the woman’s chair encourages her to take up space and spread out (Picture: Laila Laurel)

Each chair is made from sycamore and cherry wood, and genuinely looks visually pleasing – so it’s great design for the aesthetics as well as the purpose.

Laila tells Metro.co.uk she was inspired by her own encounters with manspreading and other women’s experiences.

‘I was also hugely inspired by Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism Project where I read about the struggles and frustrations of women around the world pertaining to men infringing on their space,’ Laila tells us.

laila laurel creates anti manspreading chair
The designs are meant to start a conversation around women’s rights to take up space in the world (Picture: Laila Laurel)

‘I think encouraging women to consider the way in which they move through the world or the space they take up in relation to men is powerful because it is such an intrinsic and huge issue, and yet one that perhaps is not always considered.

‘I think men have a tendency to command space and require women to move for them far more than vice versa.

‘In order to achieve gender equality it is imperative to consider many different aspects of sexism, and so that is why I thought it would interesting it try to explore political gendered issues around seating.’

As with any woman speaking publicly about women’s experiences in the world, Laila has been blasted with horrible messages from strangers who are angry about her designs.

laila laurel creates anti manspreading chair
The chair has attracted some outrage online (Picture: Laila Laurel)

‘The reaction of the people that I spoke to at the show and those that sat in the chair has been brilliant and interesting, and people seem to have found them funny and engaging which is all I could have hoped for,’ Laila explains. ‘The online backlash however has been quite unpleasant.

‘I have received a lot of explicit messages nearly entirely from men who seem to be under the impression I am trying to castrate them and that I hate all men – which couldn’t be further from the truth.’

Manspreaders of the world really don’t need to worry, as there are currently no plans to roll the chairs out to all public spaces and force men to sit in them.

The chairs are more of a concept design, created to get a conversation going about how men and women take up space in the world.

Although wouldn’t it be nice if every manspreader did have a go in the chair, just so they could get used to sitting in a considerate way?

Thankfully Laila isn’t taking the backlash too seriously, and has no plans to stop sparking conversation.

‘I don’t take myself too seriously, because for my work I really want it to be both important and thought provoking, whilst also being engaging and funny,’ Laila says. ‘I think humour is a really interesting tool in order to tackle social issues.

‘I hope the message my current and future works send is that of a young woman that is using her design practice in order to create fun, powerful and interesting work surrounding equality and feminism.’

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Should you ask your bridesmaid to pay for their own dress for your wedding day?

Hayley, Celeste and the rest of the bridal party, who all chose their own bridesmaids dresses
Hayley, Celeste and the rest of the bridal party, who all chose and paid for their own outfits (Picture: Hayley Jordan)

With wedding costs rising, brides are always looking for ways to cut back.

When it comes to dressing your bridesmaid, you might want to buy something beautiful for your whole crew but it can add up.

So is it ok to ask your bridal party to pay for their own dresses?

Traditionally brides in the UK would pay for their bridesmaids’ dresses so if you’ve been asked to be involved in your friend’s big day, you might not be expecting the cost – especially as you already have hair, makeup, a present, travel and of course, the hen party.

According to research by American Express, the average bridesmaid spends £1300 in the lead up to the big day.

Earlier this week, an Australian bride-to-be posted on the Wedding Bee forum about how her bridesmaids were refusing to pay £215 for their dresses and shoes.

If the bride can’t afford to pay for the dresses, it needs to be an open conversation to prevent any bad feelings in the lead up to the big day – weddings are stressful enough.

Julie Daukes, wedding expert at Ash Barton, advises having some flexibility around what the bridesmaids can wear,

She says: ‘Your bridesmaids should be people you know and trust, who are willing to help you make your big day as special as possible – even if that does mean paying for their own dress.

‘My best advice would be to give your bridal party plenty of notice. By doing this, you are being considerate about their financial situations too and allowing them time to save.’

Karen was a bridesmaid for a friend and admits she was shocked when she was asked to buy her own dress – but she did come round to the idea.

She tells us: ‘I’ve been a bridesmaid before and I’ve always had a dress provided. But after a while, I saw it as a way of helping my friend afford more things for her special day – and I assumed that I would be able to wear the dress again as it was a very 50s style dress, which is a style I often wear to other occasions.’

She ended up with a ChiChi London Tea dress in a dusky pink, which cost £80, so luckily not a hugely expensive one. High street dresses can help to keep costs down for the bridal party if the bride wants to choose.

She adds: ‘I think it can be a good idea – but it has to be gone about in the right way. Most people won’t be expecting to fork out for a dress and I suspect many wouldn’t be happy to pay for a dress if they had absolutely no say in what they got to wear.

A bride with her bridesmaids in blue dresses holding flowers
Be flexible to prevent bad feelings (Picture: Getty)

‘There needs to be a conversation about what both the bride and the bridesmaids want/are willing to compromise on.

‘For example, if the dress is a style and colour that the bridesmaid would wear again, they will probably be more likely to be happy to pay for their dress.

‘I don’t think I’d have been happy to pay out £80 on a dress that I wore for one day and then never wore or intended to wear again.’

Julie from Ash Barton adds: ‘If you don’t have a particular dress in mind, perhaps pitch colour and design ideas to your bridal party but give them the responsibility to choose their own dresses.

‘That way they are in control of their own budgets and can choose multipurpose dresses that they can use on occasions other than your wedding.’

Although letting them choose their own dresses might lead to something very different to what the bride imagined, she needs to be willing to accept something they choose if they are paying.

Alisha got married last March and ended up having a quite last minute wedding. With a tight budget, she asked her four bridesmaids to pay for their own outfits.

One bridesmaid wore her old prom dress, one paid £50, another paid £26 for a dress from Missguided and one bridesmaid who wasn’t so keen on paying bought a jumpsuit costing £120.

She says: ‘All except one were very accepting as then they could wear them again, and I picked a colour/theme that meant the dress/jumpsuit could be worn at another event.

‘Everyone except the one that didn’t appreciate me asking them to pay asked me what they thought but I wasn’t too fussed.

‘They all looked beautiful and I loved how they all looked – even the one who bought the jumpsuit.

‘I think what was nice is that they could express their individuality through the style a lot more, and I felt lucky enough to have such a diverse group be there with me.’

Holly Winter Stevens on her wedding day with her husband and bridesmaids
Holly with her bridesmaids wearing the dresses they had made in the fabric she chose (Picture: Holly Winter Stevens)

Holly, who works as a bridal and prom dress designer, had a great solution to make sure her bridesmaids all matched, but each got something they liked.

She explains: ‘I told them the colour (green) but let them pick light or dark (they went for dark), I bought each of them five metres of the same fabric and just told them to get it made at their expense into something they’d want to wear again.

‘It worked brilliantly as they went for different styles which flattered their different bodies but were all the same fabric.

‘It would have been tough finding something that suited them all, plus one was in Yorkshire, one in Berkshire and the other in Montreal so coordinating shopping trips just wasn’t going to happen.’

Outside the UK, paying for your own bridesmaid dress is much more common and with the style of co-ordinated rather than matching bridesmaids, a simple hue as a theme can create a really beautiful look.

Hayley (far right) with the other bridesmaid, bride and bridesman, who all paid for their wedding outfits
Hayley (far right) with the other bridesmaid, bride and bridesman (Picture: Hayley Jordan)

When Hayley was asked to be a bridesmaid for her friend in New Zealand, she was given complete freedom over what to choose. All she had to do was stick to a pale peachy tone.

She says: ‘I thought “Oh gosh, where am I going to find a nice bridesmaids dress?!” It didn’t bother me much, I understand that many brides do this nowadays – especially in my home country of New Zealand – it’s generally a less formal kinda culture.

‘I was a tiny bit worried about paying for a quality dress and the price that may end up being (on top of my return flights from NZ/UK!) but it certainly wasn’t a deal-breaker. I was excited to support one of my closest friends on her wedding day, whatever that entailed.’

Bride Celeste gave the five bridesmaids and one bridesman a colour palette – a baby pink/blush/peach type tone – and they were able to choose whatever they wanted within that tone.

Hayley adds: ‘That meant I could go for a classic/vintage style, and my brother, the bridesman, could go for a custom-made (sewn and designed by him!) 80s inspired pink suit.

‘The final look was lovely, we all matched up quite well despite the range in hues, and we all felt comfortable and confident in our individual styles.

‘I got a peachy-coloured 1920s inspired beaded dress and matching cape from Frock and Frill and cost me £113. Now I also have a beautiful dress that I can resell as a prom dress or keep for future events.’

Hayley (fourth from left), with the rest of the bridal party
Hayley (fourth from left), with the rest of the bridal party (Picture: Hayley Jordan)

Hayley adds that she was so happy to spend her own money because of the attitude Celeste had.

‘Celeste never told us we could or couldn’t have a certain hue or style, she let us run with it and didn’t mind what we chose.

‘If I had a bride who told me to buy my own dress and it was one specific dress and it was also £300 I would be very upset. Not only is that expensive but it’s also something I wouldn’t want as it probably wouldn’t be my personal style.

‘The key I think is letting the bridesmaids make the decision within a colour framework. Celeste was such a relaxed bride that it was a perfect mix.’

And if the bridal party is asked to foot the bill, there are other ways to show them how much they are appreciated.

Julie from Ash Barton adds: ‘Choose dresses that are reasonably priced and offer to pay for items like the bridesmaids’ makeup which are cheaper, and you can get group deals on.

‘You should feel comfortable informing your bridesmaids what their duties are and being open with your financial situation.

‘If a bridesmaid is hesitant about paying for her dress due to her finances, offer to set up a monthly payment plan between the two of you so she feels as though the costs are manageable.

‘Ultimately, both you and your bridesmaids want to have an open, honest and clear discussion about this to avoid monetary strains on either part. Flexibility and understanding needs to be there on both ends, remembering that your relationship with one another prevails.

‘If your bridesmaids do agree to pay for their own dresses, don’t forget to say thank you. Whether this be via a big homecooked meal or bridal gifts, a simple gesture of thanks can go a long way.’

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Sweat-proof makeup tips for summer beauty routines

woman in the summer
No need to sweat off your foundation (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

We’ve been having an on-off relationship with the weather this summer, but there’s some good news – temperatures are set to soar next week.

That being said, humid tube journeys and balmy pavement walks take their toll on our bodies, particularly our faces, and keeping makeup in place during these sweaty days is a notoriously tricky task.

Mascara flicks on the upper eyelids, foundation sliding off and forehead shine are some of the key culprits – but plenty can be done to prevent a full-on makeup meltdown.

We’ve rounded up some of the best beauty hacks for surviving those sweaty summer days.

Powder your upper eyelids 

Those pesky little black flicks that sit between your eyes and eyebrows are caused by mascara touching perspiring skin. If you’re blessed with longer lashes, or prone to oily eyelids, it’s likely this is something you’re already familiar with.

Applying a light dusting of powder to your upper eyelids and brow bone will help stop mascara sticking to moist skin, preventing those telltale black marks.

Make sure it’s a finely-milled, translucent formula, as this will stop makeup looking too cakey.

Reach for the waterproof products

Young european woman applying mascara make-up to her eyelashes
Waterproof formulas are a safe bet for tropical temperatures (Picture: Getty Images)

Water-resistant products do just what they say on the tin, and are a sure bet for keeping everything intact.

Many waterproof mascaras are cleverly designed to create tubes around your lashes, that are both sweat-proof and smudge-proof.

Also look out for products containing beeswax – waxy formulas offer a protective film to keep mascara pigments on the lashes and stop them transferring onto the skin.

Eyelids are prone to getting particularly moist (be it from sweat itself, oils excreted by the glands along the lash lines or excess moisturiser), so it’s also worth noting that waterproof liquid eyeliners tend to hold up better than waterproof pencil eyeliner on moist surfaces.

Prep with an oil control moisturiser

Skin prep is just as important as the makeup itself.

It’s essential to keep skin hydrated in warm weather, so moisturising should be a compulsory part of any summer beauty regime.

Opting for an oil-free product will help minimise skin shine – so no need to worry about a greasy complexion.

Lots of oil control products contain SPF too, offering a two-in-one protection.

Grab a setting spray

Urban decay setting spray
Popular product: Urban decay setting spray (Picture: E)

Setting sprays are designed to keep makeup sitting on your face, by creating a protective barrier on your skin. Those looking to go one step further can apply the spray after each step of a beauty regime, to ensure maximum protection. For example, foundation, spray, bronzer, spray, mascara, spray, and so on…

There are a whole host of products on the market depending on your finish of preference – be it matte, natural or dewy. The Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray is one of the most popular, offering cooling, hydrating and oil-control qualities.

Use a primer

Come rain or shine a primer is always a safe bet for makeup longevity. They are especially helpful if you have oily skin – which doesn’t mix too well with heat. 

Primers will stop your makeup efforts sliding off and will help to keep shine at bay.

Go minimal

It’s simple – the less makeup you apply, the less likely things can go wrong. 

Swap a heavy-duty foundation for a tinted moisturiser or a light BB cream on those hotter days for a more natural look. It’ll no doubt be a lot more comfortable too.

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Polycystic ovary syndrome: What are the signs and symptoms of PCOS?

An illustration of a woman with PCOS
Could you have PCOS? (Picture: Ella Byworth)

What are the signs that you could have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS?)

It’s normal for periods to be occasionally a little bit late, a little bit early or heavier or lighter than the month before.

But when do your symptoms signify a more serious problem, like polycystic ovary syndrome?

PCOS is a condition which affects one in five women in the UK, and usually becomes apparent in your late teens or early twenties.

The three main features of the condition are irregular periods, meaning your ovaries do not regularly release eggs, excess androgen, and polycystic ovaries, where the ovaries become enlarged and contain many fluid-filled sacs that surround the eggs.

Despite the name, however, the condition doesn’t actually cause cysts.

Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless follicles that are up to 8mm in size. The follicles are underdeveloped sacs in which eggs develop. These sacs are often unable to release an egg, which means ovulation may not take place.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Symptoms include having irregular periods or no periods at all, having difficulty getting pregnant, excessive hair growth, weight gain, thinning hair and hair loss and oily skin or acne.

You may not have all of the symptoms if you have PCOS.

A woman undegoing a gyno appointment
The condition is not life-threatening (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

While the condition isn’t life-threatening, it is one of the most common causes of infertility, due to ovulation not being able to take place.

The condition also increases your chances of developing other health problems later in life, such as type 2 diabetes, depression and mood swings, high blood pressure and sleep apnoea.

Women who have had absent or very irregular periods for many years may also have a higher average risk of developing cancer of the womb lining – however the chances are still very small.

It’s not known why PCOS happens, but it can be genetic and is related to abnormal hormone levels in the body – including high levels of insulin, which controls sugar levels in the body.

This higher level of insulin contributes to the increased production and activity of hormones such as testosterone, which is what causes the excessive hair growth.

Unfortunately, while the symptoms can be treated, there is no cure for PCOS.

However, losing weight and eating healthily can make symptoms better, and your GP can prescribe suitable medication.

With the right treatment, most women with PCOS are able to get pregnant.

If you are worried you may have PCOS, it is important to go to your GP.

It’s not life-threatening, but seeking help will allow you to get a hold on the condition as early as possible.

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‘Spell coconut’ is the newest meme that might spice up your sex life

A tropical technique for your summer flings (Picture: Getty)

Memes come and go in the blink of an eye, with Area 51 and throwing cheese at babies and small animals leaving our collective consciousness as quick as they went in.

One of the newest ones, ‘spell coconut’, is currently making the rounds on our timelines. However, rather than just being part of the wealth of useless stuff we happen to remember, this one may spice up your sex life.

It’s not clear exactly where it came from, but the term seems to have been popularised on a group for Kenyan mothers called Kilimani Mums Udaku Zone KMUZ.

One poster asked about the ins and outs of the cowgirl position, with a commenter saying, ‘Spell COCONUT with your waist… Thank me later’.

From there, the technique has blown up, with Twitter memes galore on the tropical way of thrusting.

It’s not the first time letters have been brought into the bedroom, as the ever-popular alphabet trick (where you use your tongue to draw each letter of the alphabet during oral sex) has long been a mainstay for those cunning linguists who aren’t yet au fait with cunnilingus.

Whether you’re supposed to do joined-up writing or keep the letters separate is up to you.

However, you should definitely ensure that you’re grinding when spelling coconut, as it won’t work as well if you’re set on north to south motions as well as round and round. If anything, it could end in disaster.

For those that have mastered it, however, it seems to be a welcome tip. One person on Twitter said, ‘I didn’t make it to the T, matter of fact the whole “nut” part got skipped cause I got flipped tf over. It was great tho.’ 

We bet while reading this you’ve started moving your waist to see if you can do it. No matter, you’ll just have to try it out for real at your earliest convenience.

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OUAI’s perfumes relaunch today thanks to fans’ requests

ouai launches sell-out perfumes
Dreamy (Picture: OAUI/Metro.co.uk)

Calling all perfume and OUAI haircare lovers.

Jen Atkin’s celeb-approved and cult-loved haircare line OUAI is re-releasing two sell-out fragrances Melrose Place and North Bondi, that launched last November and sold out in just one week.

Despite being best-known for their range of haircare, including the game-changing Dry Shampoo Foam, Wave Spray and Scalp and Body Scrub, the limited edition perfumes became the second biggest launch in the history of the brand.

So it’s unsurprising they’re bringing two of the four fragrances back for good.


From 5pm today, you’ll be able to get your hands on OUAI De Parfums’ Melrose Place and North Bondi at £46 each on OUAI’s website. So now, you can smell like OUAI all over your bod.

Whether you prefer a sweet, floral fragrance, or something a little more seductive, one of the two city inspired scents will probably catch your eye.

North Bondi, which contains bergamot, rose de mai, and white musk, captures the beach babe’s laid-back style. Melrose Place encapsulates the spirit of downtown LA, with a blend of champagne, lychee and cedarwood.


And as the original prelaunch waitlist for the OUAI De Parfums racked up over 10,000 people and sold out in one week (across all of their retailers including Cult Beauty) we predict they’ll struggle to keep them in stock.

To celebrate the relaunch, Metro.co.uk spoke to Jen Atkin on the inspiration behind the OUAI scents, and what to look for in a good fragrance.

What was your inspiration for the hair fragrances when you created the brand?

The inspiration was the thousands of DMs, comments, and emails that both OUAI and I received from our loyal customers asking us to create a fragrance from certain products we had out.

What was it like trialling and testing perfumes during the process?

I have around 250 bottles of perfume in my beauty closet. I had so much fun with this and was so happy to see how well received it was when we released it in a limited quantity.

How many tries did it take to get the perfect perfume blend?

When we were working on the fragrance for OUAI back in 2015 I asked my partners to invest in the best fragrance house Givudaun. I knew they were involved in creating so many amazing luxury scents that I was a fan of. We did a ton of extensive testing and mixing for almost a year and I’m so proud of where we landed.

When did you know launching fragrance was the right move?

When the demand got bigger and bigger. I wish we could have launched it from Day one, but we wanted to make sure we got the look and feel of the bottle down.

What do you look for in a good fragrance?

I’m all about a scent that lasts and is a conversation starter. I love floral and musk scents and I think when they’re combined together its heaven. What I’ve learned through the process is about “notes” that help determine an overall scent.

I like a base, top, and middle note that have a good synergy to create an epic scent. I’m a big fan of floral like gardenia and jasmine. For body I love a more citrus tone.

What are your tips for wearing fragrance?

Don’t spray and walk through it. I suggest spraying on dry skin preferably right after a shower or bath.

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Woman meets Macy’s department store staff who saved her life when she had a cardiac arrest while shopping

Reba with the store employees who saved her
Reba with the store employees who saved her (Picture: Reba Mason-Mikutowicz)

Reba Mason-Mikutowicz, 58, from Arizona, U.S. was doing some shopping in department store Macy’s, when she suddenly collapsed into a rack of clothing.

She had a cardiac arrest, but thanks to four quick thinking members of staff in the store who performed CPR, she was reunited with them just a week later.

Reba met the department store staff, who she named ‘Macy’s Angels’, yesterday to thank them for saving her.

She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘There are no words to describe how grateful I am for what they have done for me.’

Reba was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and three years later, she was told that it was incurable as it had spread to her bones.

Since then, Reba has continued having treatment for the disease and is determined to stick around for as long as she can to spread awareness and help others with cancer.

She set up a nonprofit called Reba’s vision to provide free 3D mammograms for women in her area for free, as living in the U.S., you need health insurance to have the test.

They also provide free wigs, hats, prothesis and baskets of hope to women going through breast cancer.

Reba with the firemen who helped her
Reba with the firemen who helped her (Picture:Reba Mason-Mikutowicz)

In January this year, Reba was given a pain pump system, which consists of a reservoir implanted between the muscle and skin that carries pain medication from the pump to the spinal cord and nerves.

Last week, on July 10, she had an appointment to replace the medication in the pump and afterwards she was feeling a little ‘cloudy’.

She spoke to the medical team who said it would pass and she was monitored for 30 minutes before being sent home.

Reba drove to Macy’s at Arrowhead mall on her way home and picked up some shoes – something she says she doesn’t remember at all.

Woman saved by Macy's employees after she had a cardiac arrest in store. Reba with husband Steve
Reba with husband Steve (Picture: Reba Mason-Mikutowicz)

She says: ‘The next thing I remember is I was in the ICU and my husband was filling me in on what happened. I do not remember driving or buying anything.

‘I am a frequent shopper and had I gone home I would not be talking to you right now.’

While in the store, Rebi collapsed into a rack of clothing and had a cardiac arrest. A call went out in the store that a customer was in distress and a group of managers who were having a meeting came to help.

The woman, called Princella, Rosy, Claudette and Amy, had recently completed CPR training and they started to give chest compressions to help Reba, who had no pulse and was not breathing.

How to perform CPR

Even if you haven’t been trained in CPR, you can carry out hands only CPR.

  1. Check the person over. If they are not responsive and not breathing, then their heart has stopped working and they are having a cardiac arrest.
  2. Now, call 999. Then you do Hands-only CPR.
  3. Lock your fingers together, knuckles up. Then push down, right on the sovereign. Push down five or six centimetres. That’s about two inches. Push hard and fast about two times a second, like to the beat of Stayin’ Alive. Don’t worry about hurting someone. A cracked rib can be mended – just concentrate on saving a life.
  4. Keep this up until the ambulance arrives.

British Heart Foundation

The emergency services were called and in another strange twist of fate, the fire department from Peoria, rather than Glendale responded as they were closer to the scene.

Reba adds: ‘I work closely with the Peoria fire department as they are one of my main supporters in the month of October for breast cancer awareness. When the firemen arrived they were like oh my God it’s Reba and then sprung into action.’

She says she believes God saved her that day, as if she hadn’t been in the store, she would have been at home alone. Her husband Steve was at work at the time.

She spent two days in intensive care before being released and after writing a Facebook post about the incident, one of the women who saved her got in touch.

She arranged to meet the women and the firefighters who she already knew at their fire station yesterday.

Woman saved by Macy's employees after she had a cardiac arrest in store. Reba in hospital
Reba in hospital (Picture: Reba Mason-Mikutowicz)

Reba even got a third pair of shoes to make up for one of the pairs she’d bought before she collapsed, that got lost in the emergency situation.

She adds: ‘I want people to know in this cynical world that we live in is there are angels everywhere.

‘Don’t walk by someone if you think something is wrong with them – give them a helping hand because our life is so precious.

‘I have always known for the last four years that my time on this Earth.

‘I am going to tell people that God placed a hand in all of our lives and your point you have to fight like a girl and let God lead the way.’

‘We are so proud of Princella, Rosy, Claudette and Amy, our Macy’s Arrowhead colleagues, for their quick action and heroism last week,’ Macy’s Arrowhead store manager, Colleen Liard said

‘We are especially grateful for Reba’s recovery.

‘At Macy’s, our executives are trained in CPR specifically for situations such as this, and we are delighted that they were able to successfully put their training into practice.’

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What do to when you go for a bikini wax, according to a beauty therapist

waxing etiquette according to a beauty therapist
Holiday preparation often involves a bikini wax (Picture: Getty)

It’s holiday season and women across the UK are making preparations for their summer excursions – including that all important bikini wax.

Waxing etiquette is a topic frequently discussed among friends but, without experts on hand, it’s hard to sort the fact from the fiction.

Enter beauty therapist Chiara Ballisai.

Chiara previously worked at a Notting Hill salon and is now employed at LeSalon, an on-demand beauty service. We put a number of nitty-gritty questions to Chiara, to set the record straight.

So whether you prefer a Brazilian or a Hollywood, here’s everything to know about getting a wax down there.

Should you wash before your wax?

‘You can shower – actually it’s good having your skin clean because the wax goes on much nicer and it’s easier to remove the hair’ says Chiara.

‘But it’s important not to use really hot water as it won’t be comfortable for your skin [during the wax]. So shower but at a normal temperature. 

‘It will irritate your skin if you use hot water and then have hot wax.’

Chiara also recommends exfoliating 48 hours before your appointment.

Exfoliating helps the wax stick to the hairs rather than the skin, but a gentle exfoliation will do, as scrubbing too hard can make the area more sensitive to pain. It’s also the golden rule for preventing ingrown hairs. 

She adds, ‘I, and most beauty therapists, give clients baby wipes to clean the area before. It will be more comfortable for you and the therapist.’

Can you get a wax when you’re on your period?

‘You can, but it’s going to be more painful.

‘In my opinion, it’s not so comfortable for you,’ Chiara says.

During your period, hormonal changes make your vagina more sensitive to pain. It’s also worth noting that skin tends to be extra tender on the three days leading up to your period – so this is potentially the most painful time to get a treatment.

‘It’s a sensitive area of course, so it’s even more painful than other areas of the body,’ she adds.

Chiara says that policy on period waxing varies from salon to salon as some therapists are happy to do it if the client is wearing a tampon, but others prefer not to.

So, if you’re on your period, it’s probably worth phoning in advance to check if your chosen therapist is happy to carry out the appointment.

What do you do if the wax feels too hot?

‘You can say to your therapist and they will adjust it for you but you can’t really have the temperature turned down completely,’ Chiara explains.

With bikini waxing, it’s important to make sure the therapist or the salon use a hot wax, which clings onto hair and pulls it out, leaving your skin intact. Opting for hot wax is paramount if you have sensitive skin, which can become irritated through waxing.

Waxing etiquette according to beauty therapist
Do you know the dos and don’t of waxing? (Picture: Getty)

How long should you leave the hair to grow before the appointment?

Chiara says:‘It’s always better to let the hair grow a bit longer and then check with your therapist. You can always trim it down a bit. But if the hairs are too short, then they don’t come off.’

As for the optimum length? It’s around ¼ of an inch. 

Do you have to remove your underwear?

Chiara says: ‘It’s up to the therapist and up to you. I always give my clients paper knickers and I ask whether they would like to use those or no knickers at all.

‘In my opinion it’s easier without any knickers, but if the client isn’t comfortable that’s fine’

Is there anything to avoid after a wax?

‘After a wax, you shouldn’t go in the sun straight away and you shouldn’t use hot water or go in a steam room as they can create a rash on your skin because your pores are open,’ Chiara says.

‘If you go in a public pool or anything like that, it’ll be easy for you to get infections.

‘Also really tight trousers will rub and can cause a rash.’

Is there a way to make it hurt less?

‘The more you have waxes the thinner your hair gets, so it will be less painful.’ says Chiara.

The first time is usually the most painful, so get that one out the way and the worst is over.

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Lesbian couple with 37-year age gap get married


When we last checked in with YouTuber Julia Zelg and her partner Eileen De Freest, they told us of their plans to marry.

Julia, a 24-year-old singer, met political pundit Eileen, who is 37 years her senior, on Tinder.

Her only worry was that she would most likely be outliving 61-year-old Eileen.

But the couple who have been together for more than a year are not thinking about that right now.

Because they just got married, with Julia taking Eileen’s last name.

 Eileen de Freest and Julia Zelg pose for a photo as newlyweds Andaz Hotel, London
Julia and Eileen, the couple with the 37-year age gap just got married (Picture: Marcus Hessenberg/ Barcroft Media)

Julia proposed to Eileen during a gig in London and shortly after, Eileen proposed to Julia during their holiday in Brazil.

The pair flew to Julia’s home country Brazil where they met her mother – who is eight years younger than Eileen.

After meeting for the first time, the families were quickly won over.

***EXCLUSIVE VIDEO AVAILABLE***LONDON, UK - JUNE 8 Julia Zelg and Eileen de Freest pictured signing their wedding certificate after their ceremony at the Andaz Hotel, London, UK. A COUPLE with a 37-year-age gap, who get mistaken for a grandmother and granddaughter, tied the knot in spite of the judgement they face. Julia, a 24-year-old YouTuber and singer met political pundit Eileen, age 61, on Tinder a year ago. Their genuine love won over family and friends and the couple decided to take the next big step ? a life-long commitment to each other. Celebrating the beginning of their new life together as wife and wife, the newly-wed couple said that the age gap has never been an issue and added: ?Love is love. We have as much right as everybody else to be happy, to get married and to celebrate our love.? PHOTOGRAPH BY: Marcus Hessenberg / Barcroft Media
The couple met on Tinder a year ago (Picture: Marcus Hessenberg/ Barcroft Media)

Despite their almost 40-year gap, the pair have learnt to not let the judgement from others bother them.

‘When I saw Eileen in person for the first time, I was just in awe of her because she is just the most gentle and lovely person ever,’ said blushing bride Julia.

‘We are super happy that quite a few people came from different countries for our wedding. We are very, very grateful they’re here.’

***EXCLUSIVE VIDEO AVAILABLE*** ***EXCLUSIVE AVAILABLE - JUNE 8*** Eileen de Freest and Julia Zelg pose for a photo as newlyweds Andaz Hotel, London, UK. A COUPLE with a 37-year-age gap, who get mistaken for a grandmother and granddaughter, tied the knot in spite of the judgement they face. Julia, a 24-year-old YouTuber and singer met political pundit Eileen, age 61, on Tinder a year ago. Their genuine love won over family and friends and the couple decided to take the next big step ? a life-long commitment to each other. Celebrating the beginning of their new life together as wife and wife, the newly-wed couple said that the age gap has never been an issue and added: ?Love is love. We have as much right as everybody else to be happy, to get married and to celebrate our love.? PHOTOGRAPH BY: Marcus Hessenberg / Barcroft Media; ***EXCLUSIVE VIDEO AVAILABLE***LONDON, UK - JUNE 8 Eileen de Freest and Julia Zelg pose for a photo as newlyweds at Andaz Hotel, London, UK. A COUPLE with a 37-year-age gap, who get mistaken for a grandmother and granddaughter, tied the knot in spite of the judgement they face. Julia, a 24-year-old YouTuber and singer met political pundit Eileen, age 61, on Tinder a year ago. Their genuine love won over family and friends and the couple decided to take the next big step ? a life-long commitment to each other. Celebrating the beginning of their new life together as wife and wife, the newly-wed couple said that the age gap has never been an issue and added: ?Love is love. We have as much right as everybody else to be happy, to get married and to celebrate our love.? PHOTOGRAPH BY: Marcus Hessenberg / Barcroft Media;
Julia proposed first and then Eileen did the same a short while later  (Picture: Marcus Hessenberg/ Barcroft Media)

Eileen added that getting married was a big step, saying it’s something she didn’t have the right to think about when she grew up.

‘Getting married is a big process,’ she said.

‘It’s a really big business that you could almost lose sight of the thing you’re actually going to do.

‘And it’s really a very intense feeling so I ordered champagne.’

‘I haven’t felt nervous like this in quite a while.’

***EXCLUSIVE VIDEO AVAILABLE*** LONDON, UK - JUNE 8 Eileen de Freest pictured having her wedding make up done by close friend and make up artist Phoebe Slater. A COUPLE with a 37-year-age gap, who get mistaken for a grandmother and granddaughter, tied the knot in spite of the judgement they face. Julia, a 24-year-old YouTuber and singer met political pundit Eileen, age 61, on Tinder a year ago. Their genuine love won over family and friends and the couple decided to take the next big step ? a life-long commitment to each other. Celebrating the beginning of their new life together as wife and wife, the newly-wed couple said that the age gap has never been an issue and added: ?Love is love. We have as much right as everybody else to be happy, to get married and to celebrate our love.? PHOTOGRAPH BY: Marcus Hessenberg / Barcroft Media
Eileen, 61, said growing up she never dreamed it would be possible to marry a woman  (Picture: Marcus Hessenberg/ Barcroft Media)

The wedding ceremony took place at a five-star hotel in London. Julia wore an A-line white Maggie Sottero dress and Eileen also went for an elegant white, lace dress.

Both brides wore a veil and dyed their hair bright pink to match one another.

Julia and Eileen were both in tears saying their vows during an emotional wedding ceremony.

The brides weren’t the only ones who couldn’t hold back the tears. Wedding guests were also moved as the happy couple married.

Celebrating the beginning of their new life together, the newly-wed couple said that the age gap has never been an issue.

‘This is the end point, this is what love does,’ said Eileen.

Julia added: ‘Love is love.  We have as much right as everybody else to be happy, to get married and to celebrate our love.’

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13-year-old has become a professional tattoo artist, and his designs are amazing

Ezrah and his tattoos
Ezrah is an amazing tattooist (Picture: @eztheshark / Caters News)

A 13-year-old boy has become a professional tattoo artist, and even has his own studio in Panama.

Ezrah Dormon, also known as ‘Sharky’, from Panama City, loves music and sports like any other teen – but he’s also done over 130 tattoos in his very own studio.

He first started tattooing when he was just 11 by helping complete his mum’s tattoo, and he hasn’t stopped since.

Ezrah with an art book
He first learnt while tattooing his mum (Picture: @eztheshark / Caters News)

Ezrah, who is a student at Amador Academy, is currently studying art and enjoys tattoing people in his spare time.

He said: ‘I did my first tattoo at 11 years old when I assisted a tattoo artist that was tattooing my mum.

‘It looked very cool to me when I was watching and when I said I’d like to do it one day she asked if I wanted to try it under her guidance.

A scorpion design
His designs are brilliant (Picture: @eztheshark / Caters News)

‘I ended up colouring in all the red to one of my mum’s flowers – I loved doing it and it came easy to me to do.

‘I am now studying realism art with a professor as well as traditional art, working on my painting and shading techniques and my vision is to be the considered the top in my field when I’m older.

‘Tattooing isn’t just about needle or ink to skin, it’s about painting, drawing, learning the traditions and respecting the art.

A shark tattoo
Can you believe a 13-year-old did this? (Picture: @eztheshark / Caters News)

‘Every day I’m trying to learn more, practice more so that I’m just not considered a kid doing something to get noticed.

‘I spend hours in conversations and learning from some of the best tattooists in the world and I’m super grateful.

‘I work hard to pay for the supplies I need and to help me travel as well.

An animal tattoo
This is brilliant (Picture: @eztheshark / Caters News)

‘People are very shocked by my age – when they come get a tattoo they tell me they forget how old I am.’

Ezrah says that despite his young age, it’s very important to him that he is taken seriously as a tattoo artist – and says the only way that can happen is if he works hard, studies and shows the world he ‘knows his stuff’ and is ‘good at it’.

Judging by his talent, we doubt it’ll take Ezrah long to become a recognisable tattoo artist – and not just because of his age.

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What does LGBTQ stand for, and what does a + or * after it mean?

Illustration of six people, including women and men standing together
Is true love really about star signs? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

With pride month taking place in June, you’d have had to have been living under a rock not to see the acronym LGBT at some point.

You may also have seen a Q, an A, a P, an I, an asterisk, or a plus sign on the end of it, as the umbrella of the term grows to reflect the diverse people under it.

Even if you’re well-meaning, perhaps you feel somewhat confused by the array of different terms, or aren’t sure how to identify someone you know.

Rather than worrying about it, however, we’ve got a handy guide for you. Here’s what each letter of the initialism stands for.

L – This letter stands for lesbian, which refers to women who are attracted to women. Lesbian can sometimes be written as wlw, which means women who love women or woman-loving-woman.

G – The G refers to gay, which can either mean men attracted to men, or refer to anyone who identifies as a homosexual. Much like the example above, you could also say mlm.

B – B is for bisexual. This is generally how people identify when they are attracted to both men and women.

TTransgender – or trans – is a term people use to describe themselves if their gender if different to the one they were assigned at birth.

Q – Although queer was previously used as a pejorative term, many people who are LGBT+ have reclaimed it. Some people use the term queer in a radical way to show that they don’t agree with binaries when it comes to men, women, gay, or straight. Others believe that it helps them feel free of sterotypes that sexuality is simply about sex.

In general, if someone prefers to be called queer, you should. However, try to avoid using it without confirming, as it could still be taken negatively.

Q can also mean questioning, which is a way for people to define themselves if they aren’t totally sure who they are yet, and are still exploring their sexual and gender identity.

I – The letter for intersex is often included in the abbreviation. This is when someone is born with variations in their sex characteristics, meaning that their reproductive system or sexual anatomy doesn’t fit into a typical ‘male’ or ‘female’ definition.

People who are intersex can be gay, straight, or trans too, and the experience of being intersex is not to be confused with any of these. Organisation Intersex International Australia states ‘LGBTI activism has fought for the rights of people who fall outside of expected binary sex and gender norms.’

A – This letter can be one of two things. The first is asexual, with asexuality (or ace, as it’s often known) being a lack of sexual attraction. For some, this means they choose not to have sex, and for others, they do. To be asexual does not mean to never experience arousal, and there are also varying degrees of asexuality, with some people identifying as demisexual (only being capable of feeling sexual attraction after developing a strong emotional bond with someone).

Alternatively, it can refer to allies (people who are straight and cisgender, but who support people in the LGBT+ community). The use of this has been debated, however.

PPansexual is sometimes conflated with bisexual, as it is also someone who can be attracted to males and females. However, those who identify as pansexual describe themselves as being attracted to people regardless of sex or gender. Some pansexual people consider themselves ‘gender-blind’ in this respect.

+ and * – Because there is no set way for someone to be LGBTQQIAAP, because that acronym is really long, and because there are countless other queer identities people have, the plus sign or asterisk can be used to shorten things.

In an ideal world, this means that all non-heterosexual or non-gender-conforming people are able to join in the community.

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New Parent Taxi app charges your kids in chores every time you give them a lift

A mother with her daughter in the car
Your kids owe you chores if you drive them around (Picture: Skoda)

Are you a parent whose tired of driving your kids around in return for nothing?

Well, get excited, because there’s now an app that will charge your children in chores every time you give them a lift.

And yes, they’re going to despise you.

Parent Taxi is a new app launched by Skoda which will allow children to be charged in the currency of chores.

So yes – it will be listed that they have to do the washing up if they want you to take them to their friend’s house.

The app has been launched just in time for the summer holidays (sorry, kids), after it was found that British parents drive on average an extra 1,648 miles per year getting their kids around.

Jo using the app
You may as well get paid in some form for being a taxi! (Picture: Skoda)

This amount of mileage is equivalent to £12,565 if the average London taxi rate were to be charged.

Parents also spend around three hours a week driving their kids around.

In terms of parents who drive the most for their children, Northern Ireland ranked top with an average of 2,142 miles per year while London parents came in second with 1,789 miles, followed by those in the South West with 1,760 miles.

66% of the parents surveryed feel like they’re a taxi service for their kids – just without the benefits of pay.

Let’s face it, your children aren’t going to be able to pay you – unless you take their pocket money away from them (which would be a bit mean) but they can pay back the favour in chores.

With Parent Taxi, once the journey is completed, the app creates a total of the miles travelled and then tells you which chores should be done in return.

The driver can even send this via a receipt to their kids’ smartphones or tablets and share it on social media, meaning they simply can’t get out of the deal.

Parents can also view past journeys and fares and create chore receipts.

The chores offered include tidying their bedroom, doing the dishes, taking out the rubbish and hoovering – which were the most popular household jobs in Skoda’s survey.

Honestly, the app is a great idea for parents but we’re sure your kids won’t be happy with you if you download it.

But hey – at least they’ll get their chores done, right?

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