Lifestyle Barometer: Your guide to what’s hot and what’s not this week from Vegan Fashion Week to sexist sweets

Going up:

Cow print

Meghan Markle wore a pair of cow print heels by Gianvito Rossi (Getty)

Animal print has dominated the fashion world of late with everything from snakeskin and tiger to zebra and leopard swathing the well-dressed shoulders of style lovers.

But now, the trend for Western-inspired garb has seen a new motif take centre stage: cow print.

Earlier this week, Meghan Markle visited Smart Works – one of her newly announced patronages – wearing a pair of heels from Gianvito Rossi, which not only featured PVC sides but also black and white cow print.

Last month, fashion designer Victoria Beckham also made a case for cowhide, sharing two items – a white shirt and matching asymmetrical skirt – from her latest collection on her Instagram stories.

Male grooming

Dr Dennis Gross, Ferulic + Retinol Anti-Aging Moisturiser, £67, Mr Porter

Until recently, male grooming products were limited to the likes of shaving creams and shampoos but thanks to a number brands extending their offerings to include everything from face creams and bronzers to concealers, the industry is now worth an estimated £50bn.

This week, singer-songwriter Frank Ocean revealed that he’s a big fan of night cream, specifically those that contain retinol – an ingredient derived from vitamin A that encourages the production of collagen, improves the appearance of sun damage and lines, and evens out skin tone.

“I really do believe in a night cream,” Ocean told GQ.

“I feel like men just go to sleep. They may wash their face or they don’t even bother – they go to sleep with the day face on. You really need to do a gentle wash and put a night moisturiser on.”

He continued: “You can’t have the retinol in your creams in the day because it makes you more sun-sensitive, so you wanna throw that on at night.”


Women are growing their body hair this month to raise money for charity (Rex)

A campaign encouraging women to grow their body hair began for the very first time this month.

Aptly named Januhairy, the campaign was created by Exeter University student Laura Jackson with the aim of raising money for Body Gossip – a charity that “combines arts and education to empower people to be the best version of themselves”.

Many people have shared their excitement over participating in the campaign by posting photos of their body hair on social media, while the Just Giving page has already raised an impressive £804.

“To learn to love and be proud of your whole body is to embrace life,” Jackson told The Independent.

Oprah Winfrey

A number of celebrities have praised Oprah Winfrey for giving them life-changing advice (Getty)

Serena Williams and Lindsay Lohan have each opened up about how Oprah Winfrey helped them through difficult times.

In 2013, Lohan was famously interviewed by Winfrey about being an addict after spending 90 days in court-ordered rehab.

Now, the actor has revealed how Winfrey’s advice gave her “a different perspective on life”.

“I was tired of being there for everyone and taking care of everyone and just wanted to be there for myself and be okay with being alone. It’s okay to be alone,” she told People.

Grand slam champion Williams has also spoken out about how advice given to her by media mogul Winfrey helped her find love with husband Alexis Ohanian.

“Oprah said, ‘Never let anyone dim your light.’ That really stuck with me,” Williams told Allure magazine.

“Alexis doesn’t dim my light. He doesn’t try to dim my light. He puts me in the light, even if I don’t want to be.”

Vegan Fashion Week

A number of fashion brands, including Gucci, have committed to being fur-free (Rex)

As the result of a number of luxury fashion brands choosing to ban fur and exotic animal skins from their collections in recent years, vegan clothing is skyrocketing in popularity.

So much so that there’s now a Vegan Fashion Week (VFW) dedicated to ending all forms of animal exploitation in the industry.

Founded by animal rights activist Emmanuelle Rienda, the four-day event is set to take place in Los Angeles next month.

Starting on 1 February, VFW will open with a soiree inside the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles, where guests will be presented with a climate-centric speech by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Robert Lempert.

This will be accompanied by catwalk shoes and presentations from a list of conscious designers and an exhibition on the evolution of vegan fashion.

Guests will also have the opportunity to explore the vegan lounge, where they can dine on vegan food specially prepared by chefs from around the world.

Going down:

Sexist sweets

Poundland has been criticised on social media for selling sexist sweets (Getty)

Poundland came under fire this week for selling marshmallows shaped like breasts and bums, and were packaged with phrases including “squidge my cheeks”.

The sweets were first spotted by Gemma Aitchison from Manchester, who tweeted to ask Poundland what message they were trying to send with the products.

“I know they are marshmallows and I understand that marshmallows aren’t the end of the world,” she wrote.

“But I also know that sexual objectification is linked to violence and, for companies, profit. Corporations create and profit from sexual objectification but don’t want any responsibility for it. We need to call them out on this.”

Despite others also expressing concern, Poundland refused to apologise and simply told people who didn’t like the sweets to “look the other way”.

“If something’s offended you, we won’t force you to buy it. It’s fine for you to look the other way and ignore it,” a spokesperson told the Metro.

“Here at Poundland, we think it’s OK that sometimes we don’t always get it right for everyone. Because, frankly it’s impossible to do that.

“Just because someone doesn’t like something we do, we also believe that doesn’t give them the automatic right to stop us doing it for thousands of other people who like it.”

Gender pay gap excuses

Women are just as good as men at negotiating salary, new research has found (Getty)

Despite years of employers claiming otherwise, new research has revealed women to be equally as good as men at salary negotiations.

A new study conducted by Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, on how gender affects salary discussions has disputed the excuse that the gender pay gap is the result of women’s lesser negotiating skills.

In a series of experiments, male and female participants were randomly assigned the roles of boss and employee.

They were then asked to negotiate an agreement that would determine how much they were each paid for taking part in the experiment.

The test showed no difference between men and women’s negotiating skills and found that women were just as self-interested as their male counterparts.

This, the researchers say, indicates that a woman’s ability, or lack thereof, to discuss salary is in no way a significant factor when it comes to explaining the pay gap.


Two women have been diagnosed with cases of super-gonorrhoea (Rex)

The news that two women have been diagnosed with cases of “super-gonorrhoea” has prompted doctors to urge the public to practise safe sex.

It’s been reported that one of the women was infected by the disease in Europe, while the other contracted the infection in the UK.

Super-gonorrhoea is a more severe strain of gonorrhoea, which is the second most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the country.

Men who have been infected with gonorrhoea may experience a yellow, white or green discharge from the penis, a burning feeling during urination and swelling around the foreskin, the Terrence Higgins Trust states.

For women, they may notice a change in their vaginal discharge, a burning feeling during urination and excessive bleeding in between their periods.

While gonorrhoea can typically be treated with a course of antibiotics, super-gonorrhoea is a strain that’s far more difficult to treat.


Melissa McCarthy has opened up about the body-shaming she’s experience throughout her career (Getty)

This week, both Melissa McCarthy and Madonna spoke out about times have been body-shamed.

In an interview in InStyle, 48-year-old McCarthy made reference to two separate occasions when her appearance has been scrutinised by male journalists.

In the first incident, the actor said an interviewer asked “Are you shocked that you actually work in this business at your tremendous size?”, while on a separate occasion another journalist referred to her as “grotesque” and “sloppy”.

“It happens all the time, to the point where it’s fascinating because they don’t do it to men,” she said.

“Not to be a jerk or single him out, but when John Goodman was heavier, did anybody ever talk about his girth?”

Madonna also recently issued a statement online after trolls criticised her appearance and questioned whether she’d had cosmetic surgery on her behind.

Alongside a selfie on Instagram and Twitter, she wrote: “Desperately seeking no one’s approval… And entitled to free agency over my body like everyone else!!”

Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan has been involved in yet another Twitter feud, this time with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner (Getty)

Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan came under fire – again – this week over an article he shared about mental health.

Morgan reposted the article, in which Coronation Street star Beverley Callard said she was concerned celebrities were trying to make mental health “fashionable” on Twitter, writing: “She’ll be hammered for saying this, but 100 per cent true”.

In response, many people criticised the 53-year-old, including Game of Thrones actor, Sophie Turner.

“Or maybe they have a platform to speak out about it and help get rid of the stigma of mental illness which affects one in four people in UK per year,” Turner wrote.

“But please go ahead and shun them back into silence. T***.”

Fans quickly flooded Turner’s post praising her for calling out the broadcaster.