Founder of Beaumont Etiquette, Myka is the brains behind the sell-out course 'The Duchess Effect.' From teaching clients how to wave, walk and sit like a royal, people come from all over the world to be like Meghan and Kate.
Founder of Beaumont Etiquette, Myka is the brains behind the sell-out course 'The Duchess Effect.' From teaching clients how to wave, walk and sit like a royal, people come from all over the world to be like Meghan and Kate.
When I heard the news that Hayley Kiyoko was releasing a perfume, I said out loud to no one in particular, “Thank Lesbian Jesus! Somebody has finally found a way to bottle gaydar.” Much like the synthpop music that made her famous, Kiyoko’s energy is upbeat and fun, but at her core is radical, unapologetic inclusivity. For many queer people, her music is like a warm hug of acceptance — so her new gender-inclusive fragrance, Hue, is a perfect next step. Created with Kiyoko’s style and audience in mind, Hue (made in partnership with Slate Brands) toes the line between masculine and feminine so beautifully that it stands to be armor for legions of young people, gender notwithstanding, for years to come. Conveniently, that’s exactly how Kiyoko wants her fragrance to be used: as protection, a way to make its wearers feel fearless when facing the world. “I find a lot of comfort in fragrance,” she tells me over the phone. “Growing up, I would douse my body with Elizabeth Arden Green Tea. It would give me the courage to be myself, speak to girls, and be more social. I’ve never left the house without spraying on perfume — it’s my armour.” Kiyoko always gravitated towards fragrance as a boost of confidence, and now, she wants to give other people that same feeling. At first sniff, Hue starts out somewhere between floral and clean laundry. As it dries, it settles into citrus and musk, a breezy combination that’s not overpowering in a way that feels intentional. “The scent is complicated. The official notes start out with blood orange and freesia,” Kiyoko explains, “then it transitions into special rose, lychee, and pink magnolia. Once it dries down, it turns into a musk and a special cacao. It’s all over the place, but it all works so well together.” Kiyoko, who identifies as a gay woman, has always battled with her feminine and masculine sides, so her goal for this gender-neutral perfume was to bottle both those extremes. Fair to say, I think she nailed it: Somehow, it makes me — a gay woman who has barely worn perfume since it was cool to smell like an Abercrombie store — feel a mix of sexy, approachable, and safe. And then there’s the actual bottle. I’ve always thought of perfume bottles as delicate pieces of glass that I’d be scared to break, but Kiyoko has made a bottle fit for aesthetic value and clumsy folks alike. Deep red with gold detailing, the chunky bottle is made of hearty glass, and fits perfectly in the palm of my hand. “I don’t really use a purse, so I wanted a bottle that I could carry just in my pocket,” Kiyoko says. “I also wanted it to be bold. The red is powerful and volatile, but also vulnerable. Wherever you keep it, I want it to stand out.” Hayley kiyoko releasing perfume so us gays can recognize each other by scent🏃🏻♀️🏃🏻♀️🏃🏻♀️🤩✨— Lana (@budgiesarecute) January 30, 2021 In a time when we’re barely going outside (and probably showering less), Hue is a welcome, comforting scent that I can’t wait to wear everywhere from the supermarket to my eventual return to the office. Kiyoko has successfully brought gender inclusivity to a space that hasn’t always welcomed fluidity, and the fragrance feels both powerful and calming in a way I foresee needing as we reenter society. I feel a deep sense of pride as Kiyoko and I end our conversation talking about snow and my recent gay wedding. For both the way it smells and the care and thought behind Hue, I can’t recommend it enough — and for all you queer women out there, you definitely need a bottle so we can finally identify each other in the wild. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Hayley Kiyoko Dedicates Her VMA To Queer Women Wait, Why Did Anyone Ever Try To Gender A Potato?Slip These Solid Perfumes Into Your Micro Bag
So many of us are struggling right now. Lockdown feels never-ending. Maybe you haven’t slept well for weeks. Maybe your appetite has completely gone (or you’re eating everything in sight). Maybe you haven’t left the house for days. Maybe you’re heartbroken, unable to grieve loved ones who have died. Maybe you’re thinking about death much more than usual because it is all around us. Maybe you’re lashing out at the people you’re in lockdown with. Maybe you’re not speaking to or seeing anyone at all. Against this backdrop, perhaps every Zoom interaction is leaving you in a paralytic hole of self-analysis. You may be questioning whether you said something weird, wondering if everyone hates you and are you fundamentally an unlovable person? You may even be asking yourself questions like: Am I depressed? Do I have a personality disorder? Is there something wrong with me? Your best mate or your mum might even suggest you give the GP a ring. As a psychologist and someone who has been through mental health services myself, this is a plea from me to you: don’t be too quick to give yourself a diagnosis. I say this because suffering of the mind, body and spirit is a completely understandable response to a traumatising world at any given time, let alone during a pandemic. Suffering shows up for all of us in completely different ways but however it manifests, there is nothing wrong with you. All around, headlines are telling us that ‘serious mental illness’ and antidepressant use has gone through the roof, and that ‘mental health problems’ are higher in young people who experience racism compared to white children. But what do we actually mean by ‘mental illness’? And are we really becoming more ‘mentally unwell’ or is the world around us becoming harder to bear? Suffering of the mind, body and spirit is a completely understandable response to a traumatising world at any given time, let alone during a pandemic. When we’re suffering, we’re quick to think there is something ‘wrong’ with us and that we need to get ‘better’. We go to our GPs because well-intended destigmatisation campaigns have convinced us that ‘mental illness’ is an ‘illness like any other’. We’ve been encouraged to equate mental health with physical health, comparing depression to a broken leg when the two are nothing alike. Few people realise how misleading these comparisons are. Fellow clinical psychologist Dr Lucy Johnstone explains: “Physical health problems are diagnosed by looking for signs and symptoms in the body, such as rashes or abnormal blood tests. But despite what you may have been told, there is no evidence for the equivalent in mental distress, such as a chemical imbalance.“ Questioning this model is definitely deemed controversial in my profession. Especially as we have only just begun talking about mental health as a means of acknowledging the ways we suffer. We must not undermine people’s distress, which is very real. Nor should we ignore the respite from suffering that psychiatric drug interventions can bring. But we do need to look at whether this medical model is truly serving our understanding of what is happening to us. Lucy continues: “By telling someone they have a ‘mental illness’ called depression or anxiety, we are locating the problem and the solution in the individual, despite the overwhelming amount of evidence telling us that distress arises from people’s relationships and sociopolitical contexts.” Blaming brain chemistry for our suffering may be a well-intended attempt to reduce deep-rooted social stigma but it risks obscuring the sociopolitical causes of our suffering and may plant disempowering messages within us about the possibilities of overcoming them. By this I mean that we cannot medicate away injustice or racial trauma, just as we cannot diagnose away the disempowerment caused by the pandemic or the impact of living on benefits which were cut under austerity in a country where the cost of living has been rising. As clinical psychologist Dr Tarek Younis says: “When a building is on fire, we shouldn’t say people have a ‘breathing crisis’, but focus on the fire and try to understand its causes.” None of this is to diminish the role that psychiatric drugs or diagnosis may serve as a tool for survival. Currently, a mental health diagnosis is often a requirement to be able to access therapy or benefits when we need time off work. A diagnosis may seem to offer an explanation of our pain and the affirmation that we are not alone in our distress. It is also understandable that we might take medication when it feels like the only option to offer some relief for the ways that pain shows up. We are all doing our best to survive with the tools and resources that we’re able to access, and that’s okay. What if we look differently at our unwanted symptoms, as necessary expressions of our despair and an invitation to feel through our suffering? Can we envision a culture which welcomes us and supports us to feel and express our pain, no matter how it shows up? As Black feminist bell hooks wisely reminds us: “The presence of pain in our lives is not an indicator of dysfunction.” We can choose to stop believing and retelling the lie that there is something wrong with us for suffering and, instead, recognise our misery as a survival response to a painful world. We only need to look at the history of so-called ‘mental disorders’ to understand why we should be cautious in believing otherwise. By telling someone they have a ‘mental illness’ called depression or anxiety, we are locating the problem and the solution in the individual, despite the overwhelming amount of evidence telling us that distress arises from people’s relationships and sociopolitical contexts. Dr Lucy Johnstone The concept of diagnosis was created in the 1800s. We now have approximately 541 ‘disorders’ which attempt to order our complex emotional worlds into boxes and labels. History shows us how ‘disorders’ and ‘illness’ have been given to people who have dwelled on the margins of society or resisted societal norms. After all, a ‘disorder’ only exists in relation to what is supposedly morally or socially ‘ordered’ in a capitalist society. In 1247 London, Bethlehem (later abbreviated to ‘Bedlam’) Hospital was the first mental asylum built to contain the ‘mad’. The supposedly ‘mad’ included poor people, sex workers, queer people, unmarried pregnant women and people with physical disabilities or epilepsy. Homosexuality was considered a mental illness until 1973 and it was only in 2019 that the World Health Organization acknowledged that being transgender is not a mental disorder. For people racialised as Black, the historical use of medicalisation and diagnosis as a political tool of oppression is also undeniable. In 1851, the diagnosis ‘drapetomania’ was applied to Black people who ran away from plantations where they were enslaved. The criteria for ‘schizophrenia’ shifted during the late ’60s US civil rights movement, where ‘negro schizophrenia’ was a diagnosis commonly given to Black men involved in the Detroit riots, with symptoms including hostility and aggression. In a systemically racist society, how can Black people safely express their understandable rage and distress without it being deemed ‘dangerous’? Today in the UK, Black men are disproportionately diagnosed with schizophrenia, medicated and more likely to be sectioned in the mental health system, often through criminal justice pathways. They are also more likely to be restrained and, terrifyingly, more likely to be killed by restraint in state detention. Alongside that, we have research which proves that if your skin is dark, your risk of ‘schizophrenia’ rises as your neighbourhood whitens. When we look at trends in diagnosis throughout history, we can see two things: that diagnosis has been used as a political tool and that distress is inextricably connected to experiences of power and powerlessness, rather than arising from some kind of fault in our brains. In the UK, Dr Lucy Johnstone, alongside a group of psychologists and former users of psychiatric services, has developed a new framework for understanding the experiences we call mental health ‘problems’. She explains: “The Power Threat Meaning Framework shows how the abuse of power at all levels lies at the root of distress and despair. The way forward is to recognise the ways in which we struggle to survive these threats, reclaim our own narratives and our own sources of power, and ultimately, to create a fairer, more equal society for all of us.” The UK also has a lot to learn from organisations like Mariwala Health Initiative in India, whose work centres the redistribution of power and movement building in healing marginalised communities. Their collective social justice-informed approach, alongside recent drug-free support in Norway, is a radical form of resistance to the globalised medical model. Fifty years ago we would never have questioned the need for asylums. Could it be that in 50 years’ time, we look back on individual psychiatric diagnoses as a tool to obscure and deny structural trauma, inequality and our collective suffering? The best collective therapy would be transforming the structures in society that induce our so-called ‘sickness’. But how can we survive in the immediate term, when we just need to make it through another day? We can reclaim our immense personal power by re-authoring the day-to-day truths we tell about our suffering and experiences of oppression. We can start by naming and feeling into the ways our pain is showing up and its causes, rather than moving away from it with the language of diagnosis. One way of doing this is by asking “What’s happened to you?” instead of “What’s wrong with you?” You have been experiencing racism at work? Of course you’re feeling anxious and rageful – maybe it’s showing up as insomnia or hearing voices that other people can’t. You’re trying to make ends meet but can’t cover your bills because you lost your job? Of course you’re experiencing shame and isolation – maybe you’re even thinking about ending your own life. We are also still learning about the powerful force of social injustice and how complex trauma translates into interpersonal relationships and can be passed on. South Asian families are still carrying the trauma of the violent legacy of the India-Pakistan partition that was imposed by Britain during its colonial rule of the country, compounded by generations of racism experienced by those living in the UK. Similarly, the Windrush scandal has impacted the children and grandchildren of the generation who emigrated from the Caribbean to the UK between 1948 and 1971. Interdependence is another key ingredient for survival. As a psychologist, most of my job requires simply being present with a person in pain, meeting their suffering with compassion, recognising how it links to injustice and trauma in the world around them, and reminding them of their divine power. Yes, there may be circumstances where professional support is needed, like when we really are a risk to ourselves or others and there is no one else around to help. But can we also create a culture where we can turn to each other when we’re suffering? It is the role of the government to care for and support its people, and free access to talking therapies is important (although in reality, hard to access). However, too often I fear the reliance on state-funded health services and doctors has become an act of sending people and their pain away, out of society’s sight. There is deeper healing in the government redistributing funding and resources into community healing spaces to help us build a greater culture of interdependence. Black feminist and psychotherapist Foluke Taylor says: “We may need to call on support from a whole village to care for someone in misery, and we may need time for respite too.” Psychiatrist Dr Sami Timimi advocates for the creation of ‘emotional wellness services’ that centre community wellbeing rather than individualised crisis management. Healing does not occur in isolation but being with each other’s suffering is not easy; just being with our own distress can feel intolerable. Both the medical model and our cultural obsession with ‘wellness’ and quick fixes can be seen as a denial of life’s inevitable pain. We have internalised a sense of being unworthy for suffering, mired in shame which only further disconnects and isolates us. As we give ourselves permission to feel pain rather than moving to ‘fix’ it, and compassionately bear witness to our own suffering, this opens us up to meeting others with the same compassion. Are we suffering more in the pandemic? Yes, of course we are. Our lives have drastically changed and we are feeling powerless. Marginalised people are being significantly more harmed by government negligence. But how we understand and relate to the suffering caused during this pandemic has the power to change the way we meet our pain beyond it. Fifty years ago we would never have questioned the need for asylums. Could it be that in 50 years’ time, we look back on individual psychiatric diagnoses as a tool to obscure and deny structural trauma, inequality and our collective suffering? It serves us all to imagine that there might be a much bigger toolbox beyond diagnosing an individual ‘illness’, not only to help us survive and cope but to transform the aspects of our society currently causing us pain. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Why Is Everyone Reading The Stoics?Sorry, Not Everyone You Dislike Is A NarcissistWhat Causes PMDD? Yeah, They Don't Know
From simple dinner recipes to smart sleep hacks, TikTok is a font of knowledge for those of us seeking tips and tricks to make our lives a little bit easier, and that’s especially true when it comes to skincare. Everyone from dermatologists to brand founders and aestheticians has made a TikTok account to dispel skincare myths (homemade face masks are a no-no), decipher complicated ingredients (retinoids are your friend) and recommend under-the-radar skincare brands such as Paula’s Choice. The app is also exceptionally helpful for those struggling with skin gripes, for example acne and eczema, or people looking for simple skincare guidance. In fact, it’s difficult not to stumble across someone sharing their “game-changing” skincare routine while scrolling through the app. But while a handful of methods are to be avoided (lemon juice should go nowhere near your skin), there are some real gems, including genius techniques and easily affordable skincare brands. If your current skincare routine isn’t cutting it, or you just fancy a change, we’ve rounded up the smartest skincare routines TikTokers have shared recently. Plus, where you can shop all the brilliant products featured. The best skincare routine for oily and combination skin @nicollefinnderm ##morningskincare ##morningskincareroutine ##oilyskin ♬ Rags2Riches (feat. ATR Son Son) – Rod Wave Posted by certified dermatology physician assistant Nicolle Finn, this morning skincare routine for oily skin can be easily adapted for the evening, too. It all starts with a foaming cleanser. Nicolle recommends La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel, £12.50, which lathers up on contact with water and dissolves oil fast. Next, Nicolle suggests following with The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum, £5. Niacinamide minimises oil production (preventing breakouts), reduces the appearance of large pores and brings down inflammation or redness. Following with a high factor, moisturising sunscreen is the final step. While the Biossance product Nicolle loves isn’t available in the UK, R29 rates Polaar Very High Protection SPF50+ Sunscreen Lotion, £22, which absorbs fast and doesn’t leave behind a white cast. In the evening, you can switch out your niacinamide serum for a gentle retinol serum such as Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum, £20, followed by a lightweight moisturiser. Eye cream is optional. The best skincare routine for dry skin @m.ahbuba Skin type: dry🙃 @skincarebyhyram please react to thisss🙊 Night time routine #fyp #foryou #skincare #skincarebyhyram #skincareroutine #hyramskincare ♬ Take You Dancing – Jason Derulo TikToker Mahbuba shared the nighttime skincare routine they swear by for dry skin and it includes lots of affordable favourites. It can be tweaked for the morning, too. A great cleanser is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, £9.50, followed by The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.75, applied when skin is wet to maximise hydration. If you want to add an exfoliating step into your routine, lactic acid is one of the most gentle acid exfoliators and Mahbuba recommends The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 5% + HA, £5.50. Follow with CeraVe Moisturising Lotion, £15, which is packed with skin-repairing ceramides, known to soften and moisturise dry skin. If you want to adjust this routine for the morning, simply remove the lactic acid step and follow your moisturiser with a high factor sunscreen, such as Vichy Idéal Soleil Anti-Ageing Sun Lotion, £16.50. The best skincare routine for ‘normal’ skin @drjennyliu Skincare basics #skincareroutine #skincareproducts #skincaretips #simpleskincare #drugstoreskincare #skincaremusthaves #dermatologist #dermdoctor ♬ Sit Still, Look Pretty – Daya Dermatologist Dr Jenny Liu has the perfect skincare routine for ‘normal’ skin, which is skin that is neither too oily nor too dry. Cleansing twice a day (in the morning and evening) is your first step. Choose a gentle cleanser that won’t strip the skin, making it feel tight or uncomfortable, such as Honest Beauty Gentle Gel Cleanser, £16. In the morning, Dr Liu suggests following your cleanse with a vitamin C serum to boost brightness and to protect against environmental aggressors like pollution. R29 loves Lumene Nordic C [Valo] Glow Boost Essence, £29.90. Then apply a light moisturiser followed by high factor sunscreen, or simply a moisturising sunscreen. Take these products up to your eye area for added moisture. In the evening, switch out the vitamin C serum and sunscreen for a retinol serum, followed by your moisturiser. R29 rates Olay Retinol 24 Fragrance Free Night Serum, £34, and Liz Earle Skin Repair Light, £23. The best skincare routine for acne-prone skin @dermbeautydoc I just wanted an excuse to use this sound 😂 #beautytips #acneskincare #dermatologist #beautyroutine #learnontiktok #acnetips ♬ Mi Pan Su Sus – 💍isterika💍✨ Dermatologist Dr Howard aka @dermbeautydoc on TikTok has seriously simplified acne skincare in this quick video. The evening routine starts with a double cleanse (cleansing twice to really lift away makeup and oil) using CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser, £9.50. Next up, a salicylic acid toner in the form of Paula’s Choice’s Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, £28, which unclogs pores and smooths skin texture. You can apply this with a cotton pad or your fingers if you’re trying to be more eco-friendly. Follow with a lightweight moisturiser. Dr Howard recommends SkinCeuticals. Try their Face Cream, £120, which makes skin feel soft and appear glowy; a cheaper alternative would be SVR SEBIACLEAR Hydra Moisturiser, £14. Dermatologists also advise alternating between salicylic acid and a gentle retinoid serum each evening to unplug pores but that’s down to personal preference, and it’s all about what your skin can tolerate. In the morning, one cleanse will do. Paula’s Choice’s salicylic acid toner can be used in the AM, too, but if you’re applying skincare acids be sure to follow with a high factor sunscreen, like La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid SPF50+ Sun Cream, £17.50, as acids can make skin sensitive to sunlight. Refinery29’s selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?What Happened When I Quit Skincare For Two WeeksAll Black Women Need To Know About This Skin BrandMy Skincare Routine Costs £30 & My Skin Is Glowing
From surviving the rigours of labour to how to rid your mind of that horrific birth story your colleague told you, to whether you and your partner will ever agree on a name, being pregnant provides one with more than enough scenarios to fret about. Wardrobe worries might seem superficial compared to the massive changes you’re going through but look a little closer and they’re very much intertwined. The past year has seen celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski, Chloë Sevigny, Gigi Hadid, Jodie Turner-Smith and Emma Roberts, and influencers like Vashtie and Marawa making fashion statements of their baby bumps. Meanwhile Nike and SKIMS unveiled dedicated maternity ranges. Is it finally possible to dress well while expecting? “For the longest time, maternity wear had been relegated to the back of brands’ minds, and expectant mothers had little choice when dressing their ever changing bodies,” explains Lyst’s retail data expert Morgane Le Caer. Suddenly, “highly scrutinised celebrity pregnancies shone a spotlight onto maternity fashion” and inspired a change in the market. Le Caer says that while the category has expanded to include more choice, influencers wearing non-maternity clothes while pregnant proves there is still a gap in the market for trend-led ranges. Art director Africa Daley-Clarke of @thevitamindproject has three children and honed her style to be adaptable to pregnancy, breastfeeding and “the never-ending fourth trimester”. Mixing oversized styles and her favourite ‘slow fashion’ brands allowed her to avoid maternity wear altogether (with the exception of bras). Africa wears Monica Cordera trousers – a Spanish brand with timeless wide-legged looks that come in one size, adjustable to fit UK sizes 6 to 14 (not size-inclusive but useful if you fall within those smaller sizes) – teamed with oversized shirts and knitwear like Misha and Puff popcorn sweaters. Blogger and podcaster Olivia Purvis of @livpurvis was able to adapt her day-to-day wardrobe while pregnant with her first baby as her taste runs to “smock dresses or A-line vintage maxi dresses – both of which work well with some sturdy tights”. She continued browsing secondhand shops, sizing up and “typically picking things that wrap, or have button-downs”. Olivia loved independent brands like April Meets October, Clary and Peg and Moon Mama Vintage, as well as Monki on the high street, but regretfully had to step away from her “impractical pie-crust Laura Ashley vintage favourites”. Fashion designer Doone Murphy launched her own line, Doone London, to solve the problem of breastfeeding without losing her personal style. Doone, who describes herself as “dress-mad, wearing dresses every day of the year”, found herself breastfeeding in the bathroom at events as her outfits needed removing so that she could nurse. She created a range of super feminine, printed maxi dresses (not specifically maternity wear) with button-down fronts for easy access, suitable for – though not limited to – breastfeeding. Besides oversized styles, form-fitting garments like knit separates also accommodate a changing body, notes author and speaker Katherine Ormerod, who’s been through three pregnancies. “I wore a lot of ribbed knit skirts and trousers,” she says, “stretch, shirred and ribbed dresses and separates from Rixo, H&M and Club Monaco in my usual size, which clad me for the full 40 weeks.” Dressing your bump for formal situations can be trickier. Katherine recommends “Isabella Oliver – I love their stretch dresses, they fit so well and have taken me through all three pregnancies. It’s worth investing in a really good piece that can act like a blank canvas for your regular jackets and coats.” Alternatively, simple black trousers and an accommodating white button-down shirt work well with a smart coat or jacket, whether or not you can fasten it. Plus-size women have a harder time of pregnancy dressing, as writer and editor Marie Southard Ospina explains. After a relatively straightforward experience of wearing her “usual swing dresses” with her first child, “during my second pregnancy I started showing earlier and gained much more weight in my belly, as well as elsewhere. I’m a UK size 24/26 and had to contend with the lack of plus-size maternity wear and that options designed for a pregnant person’s changing body weren’t available.” As a result, Marie adapted regular clothes. “I sized up and just accepted the fact that they’d be ill-fitting and snug around my tummy. I found one miracle jumpsuit on ASOS Curve that fit well in all the right places, that I adored.” Her other favourite brands are Loud Bodies and Isolated Heroes. “Independent brands and designers often make the most interesting pieces in size fat. My style is mixed but I love gaudy, loud pieces, as well as pin-up, vintage-inspired silhouettes.” Carmen Zolman, senior design director at Nike, had multiple requirements to fulfil when working on the brand’s blockbuster maternity line. Their starting point was an analysis of more than 150,000 body scans of women globally to determine how the body grows during pregnancy. “We also worked closely throughout the design process with 30 female athletes, elite and everyday, who were either pregnant or post-partum, to listen to their needs and gather their input and ideas,” she explains. The entire design process took more than three years and tested more than 70 different materials to apply the right one to every area. From her own pregnancy experience, Zolman remembers “being in the locker room and not feeling great about what I was wearing. Most of the options had ruching on the side, uncomfortable materials and the cuts just weren’t flattering. Bad design should never be a barrier for a woman to stay active and healthy, especially during and after pregnancy.” From a financial and sustainability point of view, it makes sense to work with what you have and buy only what you’ll want to keep in your wardrobe for longer than six months. “Sustainability should be a key consideration for any brand developing maternity wear,” says Francesca Muston, VP of fashion at trend forecaster WGSN. “The window of use is so short compared with the length we should be aiming for the lifespan of any product.” She believes that adaptable products which can be worn and modified through pregnancy and beyond, with consideration for breastfeeding, post-operation comfort and washable materials are essential. Vintage dealer and curator Selena Williams of @Selenasshop__ has continuously dressed in colourful vintage pieces during her pregnancy. “My pregnancy journey has been a lovely time to experiment with different looks and styles to match my ever changing, growing body. Bright colours have boosted my mood and my top pregnancy wardrobe must-haves are comfy high-waisted leggings, trousers with elasticated waistbands, oversized knitwear and dungarees. At the beginning of my pregnancy I googled maternity trousers and leggings, only to find boring, overpriced pieces.” Her advice? “Buy a few sizes bigger! There are tons secondhand that won’t cost you the earth.” Pregnancy, and early motherhood even more so, is like a tunnel out of which you emerge a different person. “After having my eldest, I actively rebelled against the notion that mothers should dress in respectable or modest clothing,” Marie says. “I dyed my then bum-length hair bright poppy red, broke out dark, punkier lipsticks and wore my gold satin trench to the Co-op. I didn’t want to lose myself and my love of sartorial expression, and my look became even more extra.” The second time around, though, “I was just so tired. I had a toddler and a baby, plus work (as I’m self-employed, I couldn’t take extended mat leave). I lost the energy to play with clothes and makeup, and found myself in a leggings-and-hoodie routine.” Africa describes being “very intentional with my wardrobe. For the most part, I’ve always invested in good quality, transitional pieces.” She adds: “I’ve embraced the fact that my body has never stopped shifting in the 30 years I’ve had it. Pregnancy is no exception and there’s no need to hold on to hope of returning to an older version.” Katherine observed how fluctuations in shape can throw your style. “Not pregnant I’m a 32B bust but when breastfeeding I’m a 34E, which can be disorientating. It took me well over a year to get ‘back’ to my old size and even then my body was different,” she explains. “It’s hard to feel the mojo to wear super sexy things when you’re depleted, leaky and fricking exhausted! But it comes back with a little time.” “What you wear can have a huge impact on how you feel and after your body has and is continuing to change throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s so important to feel your best in a good quality piece of clothing,” Doone says. “I think there’s a big hole for well made, elegant and sustainably and ethically made maternity clothes. I hope I can help fill a little part of that with my dresses.” Despite a slew of well-heeled celebrities and influencers showing us how to style your bump, and brands offering up impressive dedicated maternity collections, there’s still a gap between what pregnant people want to wear and what’s available. The lack of maternity jeans (an item it’s hard to continue wearing in regular size) in styles other than skinny came up again and again when talking to women about what they want to see from the market, while size-inclusive maternity wear is a real blind spot. Then again, a little creativity (the elastic band trick is a much-loved hack for good reason) plus trial and error in styling pre-pregnancy favourites may be just as good a solution – for the sake of our wallets and our planet. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Truth About Going On Maternity LeaveButch & Pregnant: The Photos We Hardly Ever SeeIntimate & Honest Photographs Of New Motherhood
Guests ‘can plan on continuing to be able to enjoy’ the area
This ageless story is told with rock-solid characterisation and intelligent, soulful dialogue brought to vivid life by an enviable cast including Jared Harris and Ciaran Hinds
Social media is awash with unsubstantiated claims the coronavirus vaccines being rolled out across the UK may affect an individual's hopes of becoming a parent down the line.The jabs cause the body to think it has been infected with the coronavirus’ spike protein, which the pathogen uses to enter cells. The body then launches an immune response against the spike protein, helping to ward off severe disease if the coronavirus were to be encountered.Some mistakenly believe the spike protein is similar to syncytin-1, a protein involved in the placenta’s development. The unsubstantiated rumours then say launching an immune response against the spike protein will affect syncytin-1, impacting the placenta and ultimately a woman’s fertility.In reality, these proteins are not similar, with there being no evidence or even biological plausibility to support the coronavirus vaccines impacting any aspect of fertility – whether it be the egg, sperm, fertilisation or implantation of an embryo into the uterus.Professor Jonathan Van Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, has even called these infertility theories “nonsense”.
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Eugenie shared her hopes for her future child before he was born.
Princess Eugenie opened up about the world she hoped her child would come into before he was born, saying she hoped he would see it as a place that can be changed. The Princess was speaking about her work with the Anti-Slavery Collective for CNBC, and said she would want her child to make a difference. She said: "I would love people to continue to have hope that we can make a difference. I hope that the world will be a place where my child can have hope and continue to know that they can make a big difference."
'I can't live without it.'
The “baby boom” predicted at the beginning of the pandemic is now widely acknowledged to have been a baby bust. Though there was an assumption that people would take the opportunity to procreate while stuck at home, instead states have reported large declines in birth rates for December 2020, nine months after lockdowns began in March. This shouldn’t come as such a shock. As long ago as June 2020, the Brookings Institution predicted that there would be up to half a million fewer babies born in 2021 than in 2019 (3.3 vs. 3.8 million) due to the economic recession resulting from the pandemic. (They recently announced they believe that prediction is still on track.) They based this expectation on fertility trends during past cataclysmic events like the 1918 Spanish Flu and the 2008 recession; after the latter, the birth rate decreased by 9%. This would make 2021’s birth rate an all-time historic low. This isn’t exactly surprising to economists, who say that financial stability plays a huge role in the desire to have kids. Meanwhile, higher unemployment, like the historic job losses we have seen in the past year, particularly among women; high-mortality events such as the pandemic; and the stress resulting from both, are all associated with lower birth rates. The “unromantic” part of fertility is that it’s always primarily been driven by economics, says Dr Hannes Schwandt, an economics professor at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, who researches the connections between economics and fertility. What appears to be new during COVID, however, is that among wealthier and more financially stable people, fertility actually seems to have shot up. There is no firm data for this yet, and Schwandt said there isn’t likely to be for a while. But a survey conducted by the Guttmacher Institute in spring of 2020 shows that at least some people saw the pandemic as an optimal time to get pregnant. While one-third of surveyed women wanted to delay pregnancy or have fewer children because of the pandemic, with Black, Latina, and lower-income women more likely to say they want to do so, 17% said they wanted to have a child sooner or have more children. “For some people, like those with the ability to work from home and who have reduced work travel, this may be an easier time to have a child,” study author and Guttmacher Institute Principal Research Scientist Laura Lindberg, PhD, told Refinery29. “Additionally, some families are increasing their savings — those with steady paychecks and fewer opportunities to spend their income on things like travel or dining out. This may also make those families feel more secure having children during the pandemic.” Anecdotally, I’ve noticed quite a lot to support this phenomenon. I’m a white woman in my mid-30s who is financially stable — I am one of the people Lindberg has described as increasing their savings, though I wouldn’t classify myself as wealthy — and able to work from home, and I’m pregnant. I’ve also seen a deluge of pregnancy and baby posts among my friends on social media for months now, which makes sense based on all my demographic info. I had to ask Schwandt why that may be. “It could well be that this is the first time in a recession where some groups have increasing fertility,” Schwandt said. “This is something that is ahead of research, even though it’s almost certainly true, and it’s something very special about this recession and pandemic.” Unlike millions of others, this group hasn’t lost their jobs and still enjoy higher salaries. Many of them are able to work from home in their pajamas and take midday naps when they’re tired — no trudging through long commutes while pregnant. These workers are also more likely to have access to benefits such as parental leave through their companies. The wealthiest among them are able to pay for nannies, private tutors, and homeschooling, taking the childcare responsibilities off their plates during work hours — a constant burden on many working parents, particularly mothers, during this era. And some have enough financial support not to work at all if they so wish, without worrying about dwindling savings or losing out on wages. Schwandt said that though scientists haven’t analyzed data about this group yet, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if his colleagues took it up in the near future. It could well be that this is the first time in a recession where some groups have increasing fertility. This is something that is ahead of research, and it’s something very special about this recession and pandemic.Dr. Hannes Schwandt, economist “Being pregnant during the pandemic, I felt, was the perfect time,” Jocelyn Nemett, 34, in Centre Wellington, Ontario, told Refinery29. She is almost 38 weeks along, has two small children, and works part-time as a nurse in a family physician’s office, where she has proper PPE and isn’t exposed to actively sick patients. Plus, “because pregnancy can be so exhausting at times, I haven’t felt as though I have been missing out on much since there just isn’t much going on,” she said. “If we had waited for the pandemic to be over to become pregnant with our third baby, the timeline I had always hoped for would be severely delayed.” There are certainly upsides for pregnant people who are able to work part-time, like Nemett, or even from home. But in the long term, Schwandt said, this inequity could contribute to already-existing structural inequality and systemic racism, both of which the pandemic has already exacerbated. “Babies in a ‘normal’ recession become [on average] whiter, unfortunately, because economic disadvantage is strongly tied to race in the US,” said Schwandt. “These distorting impacts are probably even more dramatic this time around.” Plus, unlike in a typical recession, we’re seeing a stronger imbalance of who is affected across industries because of the logistical differences between work-from-home jobs and jobs that require people to be physically on-site, like those in the service industry. But the reproductive choices of many of those who do work from home have been affected by the economic downturn, too — in part because there is a stigma at some companies against remote workers, despite the fact that staying home is safer right now. Jen*, 35, told Refinery29 she was laid off shortly after the pandemic started and she began working remotely. At that time, she and her husband were set on having a third child — they currently have two small children — but now, she said this prospect is looking more and more impossible. Jen has been unemployed for 10 months, feeling increasingly hopeless with each job interview that doesn’t go anywhere. Money is already tight in her family, so unless she gets another job soon, having a third child will take a huge financial toll. She’s had to cut a lot of corners. “For my kids’ birthdays now, we don’t do gifts — everybody just gets one little trinket from the front of Target, that’s like $3 (£1.50) or whatever,” and long-wished-for home-renovation projects are on hold, she said. She describes often feeling frustrated by the uncertainty of the experience. “It doesn’t really feel like my choice that this delay is happening, it feels forced on me and that’s frustrating.” For some people who got pregnant before the pandemic and have given birth during it, staying home has proved to be a big advantage. Anita Patel, MD, 38, a pediatric critical care doctor and professor in the D.C. area, had her daughter Sita after IVF treatments in April 2020. While she experienced many difficulties — a last-minute emergency C-section, postpartum anxiety and depression — she says she feels lucky because she both gets to work from home and has a part-time nanny. “One of the huge silver linings of the pandemic has been that when I’m not seeing patients in the hospital, I get to work from home,” Dr. Patel told Refinery29. “I do a lot of research, and I ended up writing a whole grant three months postpartum. My husband has been working from home the whole pandemic, too. We have both had steady jobs, and while we’ve had some loss of income, it hasn’t been as significant as what many others have experienced. We’ve also been privileged to have a part-time nanny to help out, and my parents [who live in the area] help out as well. So we have someone to help with childcare five days a week, so we can effectively work from home, but we also get to take our lunch break and play with Sita. I also truly don’t know if I would have been able to continue breastfeeding her if I had to be at work every day, because pumping is just a pain in the butt. The fact that I get to directly breastfeed her during the day has been just such an incredible, incredible gift.” Hannah Morrison, 28, a lifestyle blogger from a suburb of Dallas who lives with her husband and two children, gave birth to her son Rory in April 2020 and says that, although she has always worked from home, the pandemic has meant she is able to spend more time at home while pregnant, and with the baby and her three-year-old son, Knox. “There have been so many silver linings, to be honest,” Morrison told Refinery29. “Being a work-from-home mom, I have always done the parent-from-home with a laptop nearby thing. However, I think the way I parent has been deeply impacted. I find myself having conversations with my three-year old I never thought I would have at such a young age, and it honestly has been really special.” Economic privilege isn’t the only type that’s played an increasingly important role during the pandemic. Many people who want to have children but are dealing with fertility issues, have had to put fertility treatments on hold, delaying or canceling them due to clinics being closed or prohibitive costs. In this way, the crisis has exacerbated yet another inequality. Christina Yannetsos, 37, an ER physician in Denver and the co-founder of Colorado Fertility Advocates, was diagnosed with a condition called hypothalamic amenorrhea in her 20s which contributes to infertility. In the beginning of the pandemic, Colorado stopped performing elective procedures, including IVF, which put an indefinite hold on Yannetsos’ and her husband’s goal of having a baby. At the same time, Yannetsos was facing an overcrowded emergency room, treating patients who were on ventilators and having to tell children that their parents had passed away. Layered on top of the punishing physical difficulty of fertility treatments, this was unbearably stressful. “[It was] intubating patients, putting them on ventilators, then coming home, disrobing in my garage, and jumping in the shower immediately hoping that I’m not going to bring something home to my husband,” Yannetsos recalled. “I remember having conversations with kids being like, ‘Your mom is really sick and we’re going to put her on a ventilator,’ and them asking me, ‘Is she going to die?’ And here I am, trying to become a mother and taking care of mothers who were being taken away from their kids. It was really tough.” Finally, paying for the treatments has been a struggle, too: She still has major student loans to pay off from medical school and has never had a job that provides insurance to cover fertility treatments — so she has had to diligently save in her flex-spending account and occasionally max out credit cards. Just as Yannetsos was about to attempt another round of IVF in November, the second wave of COVID hit and her emergency room filled up again. Soon after, Yannetsos tested positive for COVID the day before an egg transfer. “I got the result back and it was positive. I hysterically started crying. I mean, like absolutely ugly-cried because I was anticipating this so much, this hope that something good will happen. It was crushing,” she said. Yannetsos ended up recovering after about two weeks of moderate illness, and subsequently getting vaccinated. She was then able to undergo her most recent and third round of IVF, which was again unsuccessful. This spring, she plans to try again despite the setbacks. The “pregnancy privilege” divide is only one way in which the pandemic has made the lives of parents and pregnant people more difficult and even more unequal. Pregnancy discrimination is widespread, maternal mortality rates — particularly among Black women — are some of the highest in the developed world, childcare costs are high, and the US is still the richest country in the world with no mandatory paid parental leave. At the same time, women do a disproportionate amount of childcare and other unpaid domestic labor, which is a major reason so many women have voluntarily left their jobs during the pandemic. One in four women is considering either downshifting her career or leaving the workforce because of COVID-19, according to a survey by Lean In and McKinsey. So while there has been a lot of alarmist talk of how low birth rates are terrible for society, the real crisis is that this pandemic has further eroded our social safety net and created an even bigger economic and class divide. Why should people have more children when, for ages, our government hasn’t prioritized policies that benefit parents and children? As Moira Donegan recently wrote in The Guardian, “Pro-natalism arguments such as these are never entirely devoid of sentimentality about family life, and they tend to make assumptions about women’s roles and responsibilities that are grounded in regressive, sexist and simple-minded ideas.” Schwandt said that a lower birth rate is, indeed, not as disastrous a thing as some would suggest. “Everyone’s screaming about, ‘Oh God, fertility is going down. That’s so bad,’” he said. “No, that’s not bad. People always want to make a bad story out of everything because that is what sells, that’s what gets your headlines. In the really long run, we have to keep in mind that exponential population growth is one of the biggest dangers for the planet, in terms of the depletion of resources, extinction of species, civil conflict — all those things happen if we have a continuous population explosion.” Schwandt has a point — overpopulation is thought to be a big contributor to climate change, among other catastrophes. And yet, looking at the current baby bust in a holistic way means losing sight of the individual toll the pandemic is taking on those who just want to build their family, something which Schwandt notes is unequivocally bad. Because while I feel both relieved and fortunate to be in a position to have a baby right now, I’m also acutely aware that everyone who wants to have children should feel secure in their decision to do so — without having to worry that it will bankrupt them. Like what you see? 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“I don’t believe what he’s done now” – a familiar and enticing Facebook posting for any gossip hound. Alongside the cryptic, “Wow. Just wow,” and “So, 15 years of marriage count for nothing, then?” the social media divorce has become something of a trend over the past decade, as warring couples play out their private psychodramas before a virtual crowd. Now celebrities are joining in, with actor Alice Evans sharing on Instagram a screenshot of a news report that her estranged husband Ioan Gruffudd had filed for divorce, with the caption: “Oh. Ok. Thanks for letting me know. I guess?” followed by a teary-eyed emoji.
The Duchess of Sussex is having quite a week of it. As the world awaits her Oprah interview, she came under criticism for wearing earrings reportedly given to her by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to a couple of royal events, while he was being condemned over the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Why she wore it has been the subject of much controversy – but as a rule, royals are exceedingly careful about how they adorn themselves. Royal sparkle falls into two camps: things they have bought themselves, such as Kate Middleton wearing Accessorize earrings, which are allowed, and that belonging to the Crown. All jewellery gifted from one royal to another – such as the earrings from bin Salman – becomes official property of the Queen. It is believed that these were gifted to Meghan from the Saudi royal and chosen for her royal tour – but everyone knew where they came from, and it is understood she was warned against wearing them as their provenance might raise concerns. For royals and celebrities alike missteps of the glittering variety can provoke huge backlash – all the more for the former, for whom jewellery can not only turn heads but make powerful statements. This is something Her Majesty knows, deploying her diamonds to semaphore her allegiances where protocol demands she remain silent. Think of the Three Thistle Brooch she sallied forth in for Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games, or the True Lover’s Knot she bore for both her sister and grandson William’s weddings. T’was ever thus. The Queen’s namesake, Elizabeth I, was painted sporting a euphemistic pearl in the spot where her father had brandished his codpiece; her virginal void competing with his Tudor tumescence. During her parting of ways with the Firm Diana, Princess of Wales, wore the still much-talked about “revenge” dress, assumed for Prince Charles’s televised confession of adultery. However, she too used pearls to hammer home her point. Her little black number was accessorised by one of her favourite pieces: a seven-strand pearl choker with a huge sapphire and diamond centrepiece; part of a necklace gifted by the Queen Mother for Diana’s nuptials. Glistening at her naked throat, this ornament symbolised Diana’s marriage, rank and defiant blamelessness in the face of her husband’s infidelity. It’s not just royalty that avails itself of the language of the lozenge. In 2019, the meaning behind Lady Hale’s spider brooch was much debated as she delivered the Supreme Court ruling that Boris Johnson’s advice to the Queen that parliament be prorogued had been unlawful. However, at times, such coruscating communications have been deemed to misfire; statement rocks making that bit too much of a statement… 1. The Duchess of Windsor
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