Rob Cohen has "categorically denied" assaulting Asia Argento, who he directed on 2002 movie 'xXx', insisting they had an "excellent working relationship".
Rob Cohen has "categorically denied" assaulting Asia Argento, who he directed on 2002 movie 'xXx', insisting they had an "excellent working relationship".
In the unwritten beauty dictionary, “reformulation” is a dirty word. After all, beauty is personal, and when you find something that works for you, a brand’s decision to tweak an existing formula can feel like a direct betrayal — as evidenced by the one-star reviews of “BRING BACK THE OLD FORMULA!!!” you can find on thousands of product pages across the internet. There are myriad reasons why a company might change the ingredients of a beloved product — to cut costs, account for ingredient shortages, remove controversial chemicals… — but for Professor Augustinus Bader, there is only one: to make that product better. Bader, co-founder of his eponymous brand, is careful to refer to the new version of his best-selling The Rich Cream as an upgrade, not a reformulation. Indeed, all of the qualities that have earned the moisturiser its loyal fanbase of celebrities and beauty editors since its launch in 2018, like the patented Trigger Factor Complex (or TFC8), remain untouched. They didn’t have to change the formula, but Bader and his team just see things differently — they want to stay on the cutting edge of what you can find in consumer skincare. And so they make small tweaks to improve upon what’s already there, the way you might start with one recipe and add a little more brown sugar or a little less salt to taste the next time around. It’s The Rich Cream 2.0, not 1.0 redux. “We are always in the lab looking to improve and innovate,” Bader says. “The Rich Cream upgrade takes all the best of the original award-winning formula and raises the bar. We saw unparalleled clinical and user trial results, the texture is rich and nourishing, and as a plus, this version is also vegan.” The Rich Cream was originally formulated with beeswax and lanolin; without them, the formula is now 100% vegan, which Bader calls “the ultimate sign of respect for nature.” Hyaluronic acid and hydrolyzed rice protein joined the lineup for additional hydrating and skin-strengthening benefits. (The results of a clinical trial of 30 participants over one month reported a 145% improvement level in skin hydration.) I’ve used the original Rich Cream formula on and off since I first got my grubby hands on it soon after its initial launch, and its stem-cell technology that essentially tells your own dormant cells what to do has been a revelation for my dehydrated yet acne-prone skin. In the spirit of transparency, the only reason I ever swap in something else is because, used morning and night, I go through a full-size bottle in about 30 days — and, at £205 for 50 ml, The Rich Cream is not the kind of thing my monthly budget has room for once my free press sample runs dry. After using the updated formula at night for about a week, I found it to have the same transformative results that have kept me hooked on the original, clearing pigmentation from breakouts past and smoothing out the dry patches around my nose with equal efficacy. The new Rich Cream feels better to me sensorially; it blends to a silky, balanced finish, whereas the original sometimes felt a little sticky to the touch and on my pillowcase (likely due to the beeswax or lanolin). TBD on the long-term benefits, but so far the difference is negligible in the best possible way. I will happily continue to have a very real feeling of dread every time I sense I’m starting to run low — but first I’ll finish my half-full bottle of the old formula because I’ll be damned if a drop of The Rich Cream ever goes to waste. 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?What Happened When I Quit Skincare For Two WeeksAll Black Women Need To Know About This Skin BrandWhat We Know About Kris Jenner's Skincare Label
Connecticut just became the latest US state to advance The CROWN Act, prohibiting natural hair discrimination in schools and workplaces. The Senate reached a unanimous decision on Monday, and the bill will now go to Governor Ned Lamont’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law. Gov. Lamont reacted to the news on Twitter, writing, “This measure is critical to helping build a more equitable society, and I look forward to signing it into law in the coming days.” Representative Tammy Exum was one of many who championed the bill, stressing in an interview with NBC Connecticut that Black women face more scrutiny based on their hair. “Unfortunately, when you have hair that isn’t straight and when you have skin that’s Black or brown, it isn’t simply hair. It’s judgment,” she said. “I look at the hair of those around me and just accept it as is. It doesn’t speak to their ability, their competency, their performance, or their knowledge.” This measure is critical to helping build a more equitable society, and I look forward to signing it into law in the coming days. https://t.co/8IAY9KB4VW— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) March 2, 2021 Connecticut will join Virginia, California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Colorado, and Washington as states officially prohibiting natural hair discrimination in schools and workplaces. The CROWN Act, which stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, seeks to foster safe environments for Black people who wear their hair naturally and in other protective styles like braids, Bantu knots, and locs. The bill is currently pending approval by the United States Senate after being passed by the House Of Representatives in September. Connecticut implementing the bill marks another pivotal stop on the road to ending natural hair discrimination and dismantling racial inequity in the United States — but it doesn’t end there. The CROWN Act still hasn’t been filed for consideration in a number of US states, including Nevada, Nebraska, Idaho, and more. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Why Hair Discrimination Needs To EndBlack Women's Shocking Hair Discrimination StoriesThe US Voted To End Natural Hair Discrimination
Even though Elaine Ventura had dated her ex for around half a year, their breakup was relatively painless. “We were just not on the same page,” she says. “Not to mention I was much older than he was.” They stopped speaking shortly after the split, and she hasn’t heard a word from him since. But, Ventura does still keep in touch with his mother. “It was harder for me to let go of his mum,” she says. “We were the perfect trio: my ex, his mum, and me. I loved that his mum would treat me as if I were her own daughter. I would literally go out everywhere with her whenever I was not with her son.” Ventura says that once, when she and her ex fought, his mother even took her side. Even years after Ventura and her ex split, she and his mother still like each other’s Instagram posts. But while Ventura has no desire to speak to her ex again, she says his mother is still in her heart. Everyone’s relationship is unique, so it’s hard to give a blanket statement about how to handle an ex’s family post-split. But Rachel Sussman, a marriage and family therapist who wrote The Breakup Bible, says that generally speaking, there’s one approach that will help you heal the fastest. “I recommend a temporary or permanent break from certain people, places, and things: mutual friends and their family; the restaurants you used to go to; and the things you used to do together,” she says. (She also recommends zero contact with your ex.) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Maddie Zahm (@maddiezahm) It’s very common not to want to let go of those bonds, though, Sussman notes. When you’re dating someone, your social circle very often ends up merging with your partner’s; and, when you’re dating them for a long time, their family becomes your family. After a breakup, you’re likely already feeling lonely and vulnerable. It can feel unfair, even devastating, to lose your partner and the family you’ve made through them all at once. Kristin Marquet Chester, for instance, grew very close to her boyfriends’ parents over the course of their year-long relationship. “They were nice people, almost like pseudo-parents,” she says. Then she walked in on her boyfriend in bed with another person. “It was absolutely terrible,” she remembers. “I walked out. That was that. I have zero patience and tolerance for people who are disrespectful.” She had no qualms about cutting off her ex, but it wasn’t so easy when it came to his parents. So she kept in touch, “via email, text, and telephone. [My ex] was probably angry [that I stayed in touch] right after it happened — but I can’t say for sure because I didn’t speak to him,” Chester says. Over the next two years, her contact with her ex’s parents slowly became less frequent, then stopped altogether. “I was sad after our relationship had faded,” she says now, but she hasn’t reached out in years, and it doesn’t bother her anymore — perhaps because it was an organic end over which she had control, rather than an abrupt one over which she had none. Sussman stresses that it doesn’t work like this for everyone. “Imagine if every time you see your ex’s sister, she fills you in on how they’re doing,” Sussman says. “You’re not giving yourself time to heal if you’re continually being thrown into a memory of the relationship or the person.” Before reaching out to a mutual connection after ending things with a partner, be 100% honest with yourself: Are you over the relationship and at peace with the split, or is there lingering hurt? Do you really just want to say hi, or are you using your relationships with your ex’s family members or mutual friends to feel connected to the ex? Even if you feel completely fine after ending things, Sussman says she’d encourage you to take a temporary break from people you know through your ex — for your sake, and to be respectful to your former partner. Be open with them: Explain that while you get over the split you may be distant, but that you value their friendship and you’ll be back in touch when you’re feeling a little sturdier. Even once you do reconnect, however, you may have to ask them to refrain from giving you updates about your ex. Your ex could also ask their family to cut you off, Sussman points out. It can be hurtful when you realize your ex’s sibling has un-friended or blocked you on social media, but Sussman recommends taking the high road: Let go of the relationship, and focus on your other ones. Of course, that’s easier said than done. It’s common to feel like you don’t have anyone to lean on during a breakup, especially if you’re ending a long-term relationship or marriage, and your lives and social circles have become very enmeshed. That’s when therapy can be helpful. But Sussman also suggests pushing past your comfort zone to find connections. “Go through everyone in your life. Who wasn’t that engaged in your life as a couple? There should be people — a friend from college or high school, a former colleague you liked, a friend who lives in another town, who you don’t see that often,” she says. Yes, it will be awkward to reach out to people you aren’t that close to anymore, but any kind of social support is critical after a breakup, and most people will be flattered that you’d consider reaching out to them during a tough time. You don’t have to launch into the most intimate details of your life right off the bat; just reopen that connection, so you can build up your life outside of the relationship again. Of course, some people can’t separate themselves so easily. You may share kids with your former partner, for instance, and you may have to speak frequently with your ex and, sometimes, your ex’s family, in order to sort out issues like custody. In these cases, Sussman says it’s still a good idea to keep your communications focused and to a minimum, especially during the period just after the breakup. Remember, you’re not necessarily saying goodbye to your relationships with your ex’s family forever. “You can be back in touch with those people at another point in your life when you’re healed,” Sussman says, “if you still want to.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?What Is Post-Traumatic Embitterment Disorder?Women Are Taking Out Loans To Get DivorcedI’m The Breadwinner In My Relationship
Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking a cross-section of women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period – and we're tracking every last penny.This week: "Hi! I’m a 28-year-old finance professional living in London. I work in a very niche area of finance so once I qualified as an accountant, my skills were very in demand and I got poached by a boutique firm. I used this opportunity (with some encouragement from my boyfriend, P) to negotiate myself a salary uplift and sign-on bonus. Last year I bought a two-bedroom flat by myself. For full disclosure, I lived with my mum and sister while working. There is some cultural/personal context to this which I won’t go into but I paid rent (albeit slightly reduced). It meant that I could be around (I also did the majority of cooking, general life house stuff, DIY). I recognise there was some element of luck and privilege to be able to do this. I saw the impact of my parents' divorce on my mum so I’ve always been keen to be as financially independent as I can, even though I’m in a relationship. As the eldest child in a first generation immigrant working class family, there have been lots of obstacles but I’ve been truly living my dream. All this came crashing down last month when, as a complete shock, I was hauled into a meeting and asked to leave my job. After some very upsetting weeks and chatting to various lawyers, I decided to give up fighting my bosses and just leave. I was reluctant to do this as it meant that I had to waive my right to pursue any sexism and racism grievances I had raised. However the negotiation process and the nature of the job (long, intense hours served with a dollop of white public school boy nepotism) had impacted my mental health quite significantly. I am lucky that the payout will be enough to live on for a little bit while I figure out what I want to do with my life. This is a very unusual position to be in! I am currently in a long-distance relationship with P, who works for an infrastructure startup. We met nearly six years ago through a chance Tinder date. After two years of various dates in random cities worldwide, P and I finally got together in a very snowy and romantic Christmas/New Year visit to New York and have now been together for four years. P’s company transferred him to the US permanently so he is currently going through the Green Card process. Hopefully, some time in the future I will join him. Pre-COVID, both P and I’s jobs involved a lot of travelling and it worked well as we always managed to see each other frequently. There was a rather memorable flight where I spent 14 hours sitting next to P’s boss… Since COVID, P has only been able to fly back twice (adhering to all rules, of course). P’s job is considered essential as it’s in infrastructure. So we’ve spent quite a lot of the past year apart. I moved out of my mum’s into my own flat during the first lockdown so learning to live alone has been a new and exciting (and sometimes lonely) experience. P has been back in the US since the beginning of the year so my mum and sister who live together and not too far away are my support bubble." Industry: Finance Age: 28 Location: LondonSalary: £55,000 plus bonuses which are variable year on year. Last year I earned £93k all in. Normal paycheque amount: £2,929 (after tax). Bonuses are paid as a lump sum once a year.Number of housemates: Just me. Yes, all by myself. Monthly ExpensesHousing costs: £1,292 is my monthly mortgage payment on my two-bed flat. Loan payments: No loans apart from my student loan payment which is £246 per month (and a couple of grand around bonus time). I have a credit card that I use for work expenses and any large house purchases over £100. The points and lounge access are super helpful when travelling with work/to see P. The balance gets paid in full at the end of the month. Utilities: £36 a month for water, £37 for gas and electric, £30 for broadband, £88 council tax, £40 for home and contents insurance (this is paid annually so I save £40 a month for the remaining 11 months of the year in anticipation of my renewal).Transportation: £0 as I’m no longer commuting to work.Phone bill: £16 SIM only deal which also includes a subscription to Spotify Premium. Savings? Circa £10k split across a few accounts: one untouchable old school building society account with passbook, a stocks and shares ISA (this is a longer term fund with an emphasis on investing in socially responsible businesses) and two regular savers. My savings were depleted after buying my flat last year and I’m trying to balance slowly furnishing it with having an emergency fund. Pension: I contribute 8% as a salary sacrifice before tax and my employers contribute 6%. Other: Monthly: £25 for dental insurance (I had very bad problems with my teeth and ended up having a root canal a few years ago – this policy covers things that my work health insurance does not), £13 for life insurance (bit morbid but once I completed on my flat I got my financial affairs in order. The policy covers the entire mortgage plus a bit extra in case anything happens to me. I also wrote a will which gives me a lot of reassurance that I will not leave a big financial mess for my family. Although I have a death-in-service policy through work, getting a separate one (in hindsight) was a great idea). £12 for Netflix, £4 for Amazon Prime, £10 for Dropbox, £5 on an interiors magazine subscription, £6 for Microsoft Office, £150 charity donation (every month I pick a charity/cause to donate to – some Christians believe in tithing, which is the practice of giving away 10% of your income. This is something that I was brought up doing. Although I am no longer religious, I try to give away 10% of my earnings each year. I top this up with a lump sum when I get paid my yearly bonus).Day One8am: Alarm. Instead of picking up my phone and looking at the news, I have started to read a book to ease myself into the day. Watching The Social Dilemma and running an interiors IG account has made me super paranoid about my overuse of social media. Today is my last day of gardening leave so I try to fill my day up and not think about work. I finish listening to the rest of Call Me By Your Name. 9.20am: Complete a dumbbell workout. Feel weird about not having to join the weekly work call and wonder what my colleagues are up to – I then remember the anxiety of joining the call and having to fight to be heard and impress everyone and have a cry. 10am: Calm myself down with a breakfast of oat yoghurt, honey, frozen blueberries and homemade granola. 11.45am: Finish my morning stroll which is soundtracked by Bicep, SOPHIE and Caribou. 1pm: Listen to a David Olusoga lecture about forgotten Black historical figures as I cook my scrambled eggs, avocado and sourdough toast with lime and sriracha. Think back to my uni days when I took an economic history module that focused on the Industrial Revolution and the lecturer got very flustered when I asked why he had forgotten to mention slavery for the entire 10 weeks.2pm: My chain of thought is interrupted by P calling. He is six hours behind and so is just starting his day. We chat about what I’ve been up to while I try to use the spare apples from my subscription box to make some apple butter (recipe from the Everything I Want to Eat book).4pm: Nearly burn said apple butter…5pm: Second walk of the day! So happy that it’s not yet dark. Get home to post (yes, lockdown is that dull that post arriving is the highlight of my day). It is my yearly mortgage statement and some bills. Still feel unbelievably lucky that I’ve been able to buy my own home.6pm: It was payday last week and today is the beginning of the month so the accountant in me decides to reconcile her bank account. I check all my direct debits have left their various accounts. I move some spending money into my Monzo account plus check my credit card balance and credit score. I also do some calculations/scenario planning on what I need to live now I’ve just got my last paycheque. Until I get the settlement in full and know exactly what tax will be deducted, it is hard to plan really. 7pm: P calls again to chat while he eats lunch. I demolish some leftovers: pork roast with garlic potatoes, roasted beetroot, sprouts and carrots. I have a little wobble as I start second-guessing my decision not to send a leaving email. P reassures me that I’m doing the right thing so I close my work laptop for the final time. 8pm: Spend some time editing and filming an IG reel then upload it to my home interior IG, revealing a new chair I bought last week. 10pm: Review some notes for my governors' meeting in a few days' time. I then box up my work laptop ready for collection tomorrow. I do my evening wind-down: teeth, skincare (lips and face) and journal some thoughts for the day in my diary. Pop my phone on DND and read Normal People until I fall asleep. Total: £0 Day Two6.48am: I am woken up by the sound of squawking. Rouse myself from my slumber and look out of the kitchen window to see some foxes getting it on in my garden. Nod my approval and stumble back to bed. At least someone’s getting laid. 9am: I couldn’t get back to sleep so pick up Normal People. I would have got my daily walk in early but the courier is coming to collect my work laptop and I have no idea what time they’re supposed to turn up so I sit in bed and read for a bit. 10am: The courier arrives and I have a massive cry at the finality of it all. Work somewhere for years and then get tossed aside without a word. I decide to go for a long walk to clear my head. I cry/walk/laugh at the Scam Goddess and You’re Wrong About podcasts. 12.45pm: Feeling refreshed from my walk so complete a 30 minute HIIT workout. Put on some UK garage to pump myself up. 2pm: I’m far too hungry to make lunch for myself so take a walk to the local café. I eye up all the pastries and sandwiches while in the queue and then panic when I get to the front and revert to what I always order. Tap the Monzo and walk out with an iced hazelnut latte and a turkey club on a bagel. £10.25 (but £0.75 roundup goes to my spare change pot on Monzo).3pm: P calls to let me know he has just got to work. He might be working on an infrastructure project in the UK so may get to come back. I try not to get my hopes up too much. 3.30pm: I realise I need to beat the deadline to submit my team for Fantasy Football. Rather awkwardly, I’m still in my work’s league and I’m beating quite a few important people (including the managing partner). What is the etiquette? Do I leave of my own accord or are they petty enough to kick me out? 5pm: Answer a few emails, complete life admin, then get interrupted by my mum asking for help to complete her online shop. As the account is attached to my card, tell her not to bother switching the card details and let me pay for it. £49.05 7pm: Start making dinner while listening to a Clubhouse room called "Life Does Not End at 30". Definitely the gospel I needed to hear. Enjoy my fajitas: chicken and red pepper, roasted plantain and homemade refried black beans and guacamole. 8pm: Get another email about a job opening that I was considering in the charity sector. The role is to help people who are in a similar position to my younger self break into the corporate world. Inspired by the Clubhouse room, I take this third email as a sign that I should apply. I don’t want to get my hopes up too much so decide not to tell anyone (apart from everyone now reading this).10pm: Say goodnight to P and then do my evening wind-down. I read Normal People as I drift off. Total: £59.30Day Three 5.30am: Wake up in a sweat adamant that I’ve missed my meeting this morning and check my phone to see that it is in fact still hours away. Listen to And Still I Rise and fall asleep again. 8am: Spend two hours in a governors' meeting. I became a co-opted governor (i.e. someone who has no affiliation with the school) 18 months ago and every term there are a few meetings to attend. Governors are there to be critical friends to the school. The headteacher and staff’s dedication to the kids and the school has completely blown me away since the pandemic began. We discuss the school’s upcoming budget with the local authority. Schools are under immense pressure to make cuts while maintaining the same level of provision yet with the added cost and complication of implementing COVID-19 measures. Trying to do all three things is like squaring the circle and even as an accountant, by the end of the meeting my head hurts. I make a coffee afterwards and have a slice of toast with the apple butter and a banana.10.30am: Decide to work on my core using my dumbbells and then hop on my exercise bike for half an hour while watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. 2pm: I eat some leftover fajitas and then write a Valentine’s card for P and pop it in the post on my walk to the park. Although P and I speak every day (sometimes more than once), we still write each other letters every week or so. It’s nice to send a handwritten note to let someone know that you’re thinking about them. 4pm: To relax, I run myself a hot bath while listening to this week’s episode of The Receipts. 6pm: Chat to P and make myself an early dinner of salmon with soy and tahini roast potatoes and cabbage. 8pm: I spend some time working on my job application, then admit defeat. I open a bottle of chardonnay and spend the evening reading my interiors magazine, scrolling through Pinterest and watching RHOBH. I get inspired and order some Command hooks, paint testers and linen fabric samples (for making curtains). £1710pm: Do my evening wind-down: skincare, journalling etc. I then do a 30 minute yoga/meditation video to relax before bed. I finish Normal People and fall asleep. Total: £17Day Four9am: As I don’t have work currently, I’m trying to maintain a routine. Today is a rest day in terms of exercise so I decide to listen to a classic album in bed: Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope. I make a smoothie bowl: mango, banana and papaya topped with toasted sesame and pumpkin seeds and oats. 10am: P asked me to review his portfolio. Although we keep our money separate, we try and make decisions about the future with the other person in mind and try to help each other where we can. As the accountant in the relationship, I help with number stuff where I can. Post arrives: some bottles of fancy tequila and this month’s copy of Vogue (P kindly gifted me a subscription for Christmas).12pm: I make myself an early lunch: focaccia, grilled garlic mushrooms and hummus. Follow up this sophisticated lunch with a pot of jelly. It’s very weird but I’ve recently started getting into jelly as a snack. It makes me feel like a 5-year-old when I eat it but it also slaps? 2pm: I go for my daily walk. I stop at the butcher (I pick up minced beef, sausages and smoked bacon, £6.93) and then pick up the wine samples for my natural wine class later. Even though I’m naturally introverted, living alone means I now relish small things such as chatting to people in shops. I paid for the class last week but as this shop is not on my normal walking route I make the most of the opportunity to pick up another bottle of wine. I chat to the shop assistant about some purchases I made over Christmas (a bottle of vermouth and a bottle of sauternes) and choose a bottle of merlot to take home. £153.30pm: I grab my diary and start making a massive to-do list of everything I’ve ever wanted to do but put off because of work. I tell myself that no idea is too stupid and to dream big. Some of the things include: making a film about my dad’s life, running my own spirits business, learning to play bass guitar and finally passing my driving test. Say them aloud to the universe so they can come true. I spend some time sketching out brand ideas for my business as well as reprioritising the flat to-do list. I then watch a documentary called See Know Evil about Davide Sorrenti. 7pm: I make myself some dinner so I don’t do my wine tasting class on an empty stomach. I make a prawn, pea and tomato risotto. I haven’t quite adjusted to cooking for one and don’t understand why supermarket portions don’t cater to single people? Measure out a risotto portion for one but then panic when it doesn’t amount to much. Slowly tip in more and more rice and stir. By the end, I have actually made enough risotto for three but it’s delicious so pop the leftovers in the fridge. 8pm: Take part in my natural wine tasting class – there are five wines to taste and make notes on. I am not so keen on the Georgian orange rkatsiteli or the light Chilean carignan but there is a sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley which is out of this world. I lived in France for a short while a few years ago and I still miss that part of the world very much. 10pm: Break my winding down rule to watch Drag Race UK before bed. I cannot get over how much I love this cast of talented queens but in particular I love Bimini and Tayce. Chat to P in bed and tell him about my wine class and he fills me in on his day. Finally fall asleep around 1am. Total: £21.93Day Five9am: I decide to give the flat a good deep clean – hoover, floors wiped, bathroom scrubbed, kitchen spotless, laundry on. Listen to the new Arlo Parks album while I do this.10am: Hop on the exercise bike while watching an episode of Modern Family. Feel like lifting so do some barbell/dumbbell sets afterwards.11am: Reread my job application an inordinate number of times and start second-guessing EVERY LITTLE DETAIL. My confidence is pretty on the floor after everything that happened with work and I start talking myself out of applying. Eventually I manage to reason with myself and press send. I throw the laptop away (figuratively of course) and run away to the supermarket to keep my mind off it. 1pm: Give up 38 great British pounds and 52 pence in exchange for following items: caster sugar, bleach, rubber gloves, dark, milk and white chocolate, agave nectar, tamarind paste, portobello mushrooms, pomegranate, avocados, cherries, jelly (mango and blackcurrant flavours), hazelnuts, tomatoes, unsalted butter, veg pizza, oat yoghurt, vegan Ben & Jerry's (cookie dough of course), eggs, a sourdough loaf, and a partridge in a pear tree... £38.52 3pm: Do some brainstorming for content ideas for my home IG and exchange a few emails with a brand about a collaboration. Have a phone call with one of my ex-colleagues who is now a very good friend and fill her in on what’s been happening. There aren't many women in my industry so it’s super nice to have someone to have a proper gossip/cry/laugh/chat with. 4pm: P gives me a call to say he’s just been chatting to his immigration lawyer. New York 2023? Do we elope and get married in secret? Who knows… 6.30pm: I am sitting reading my new book, Luster, with a glass of wine when I get a call from one of my close uni friends. I almost ignore it as I’m enjoying my book too much but after five rings, I toss the book aside and pick it up. Obey her instructions to come outside. She and another friend (who live together) are waving manically from the car and have left me a bottle of lemon-infused gin with a note on the doorstep. They are blasting Bree Runway from the car so we have an impromptu dance-off. For a moment it feels like old times and the pandemic melts away. Then with a cold gust of wind, we are reminded that it is indeed winter, they are dancing on the road and giving the recycling bins a show and we should all head back inside. Once I’m inside, I give them a phone call and we chat while they’re driving home – they were a bit worried about me after everything that happened so came to check I was okay. Girlfriends/the Sisterhood is just the best! 7pm: It would be just so rude to disturb all the new food in the fridge. Wouldn’t it? I let it get settled in for the night and order Thai food on Deliveroo. I boil some jasmine rice while I’m waiting for it (beef massaman, spring rolls, chicken satay and prawn crackers). £25.70 including tip. 9pm: My dad calls and we spend some time chatting while I nurse my cocktail. I make a gimlet (with a twist – Thai basil) with the gin that my friends dropped over. We end up chatting for far too long about politics, having kids (?) and photography. I also chat about my idea to make a film about our family history and we plan to do it when lockdown ends. Towards the end of the call, he asks if work is okay and I tell him I’m on a "sabbatical". I don’t want either of my parents to worry so it’s easier to explain the situation this way (for now). 11pm: Watch Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. I’m too tired to journal so head straight to bed. Total: £64.22Day Six10am: It’s the weekend! P and I have a longstanding date to watch Drag Race (US) together so I have to avoid social media because of the spoilers. I make breakfast: wholewheat pancakes, toasted hazelnuts, chocolate spread and cherries and read various magazines. This weekend, it’s The World of Interiors and the FT (the FT is a habit I got into reading because of my job). 11am: It’s cardio time! I do a skipping/abs workout. Sing "Rain on Me" loud enough for the neighbours to hear. When will we dance in a club again? Please God, when?! 12pm: I make a start on my DIY projects for the weekend and rummage around the shed for various bits. Pull out the hand sander and paints for some frames that I need to prepare for mounting. I also grab my sewing machine as I have decided to challenge myself to make curtains for the living room as the drop is too long for standard curtains. Record some content for my home IG. 1.30pm: A letter from P plops onto the doormat. I tear it open and see it’s a collection of cards written every day from a week in January. Although I want to savour each one, I cannot stop myself from reading them all at once. I have a little cry as I read because I miss him lots. I throw together a quick salad: pomegranate, halloumi, spinach, rocket and avocado with a lemon and pine nut dressing. Add some hummus for good measure. 2pm: I put my favourite birthday present ever to use and make some vegan ice cream: oat milk, plant-based cream, agave nectar and vanilla essence. My sister bought me an ice cream maker last year and I’ve never been more grateful in my life! 3pm: Go for a walk with the intention of listening to an audiobook. However I end up chatting to my mum and my godmother. They both have a sixth sense of calling one after the other (coincidence? I think not…). 4.30pm: P is finally up so we watch Drag Race and do a face mask together. We follow this with a couple of games of backgammon and yahtzee – we decide on a sudden death game to decide the winner and I end up winning the final game of backgammon! 7pm: Finalise my clear-out of clothes/random items – split some into a donation pile and decide to make the most of low eBay fees this weekend and stick up a few other random items. 8.30pm: I am far too hungry so make myself a giant burger using the minced beef and top it with grilled onions, gherkins, jalapeños, cheese, mayo and ketchup. 9pm: Practise making some cocktails: I settle down with a pisco sour and an amaretto sour as a nightcap and snuggle up on the sofa. I flick through Netflix, looking for something new to watch and settle on…Mean Girls. I then watch Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Chadwick Boseman is absolutely sensational in it! Sometime after midnight: Evening wind-down. I climb into bed and read Luster until I fall asleep. Total: £0Day Seven 9am: Wake up and get started on making brownies for my mum and sister. Resist the urge to lick the bowl before breakfast. I spend some time shooting some angles of the flat in the morning light for IG while the brownies are cooking. 11am: Brownies are done! I make some brownie packages for my mum and P’s family which I will pop in the post tomorrow. I get back into bed with a cup of tea and watch an episode of Pose. 12.30pm: Finally roll out of bed to make myself a full English: I use the bacon and sausages from the butcher, plus scrambled eggs, avocado, tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans and homemade hash browns. I decide to get dressed up nicely and put some makeup on.2pm: Brave the increasing snowfall to walk to my mum’s and deliver the brownies and ice cream. Halfway through my walk, I realise that I have locked myself out of my flat. Luckily my mum has a spare key. Mum offers me some curry chicken which I happily accept. While she is packaging it up, I have a chat to my sister about work, her new painting class and It’s A Sin. She has finally finished watching so we share our thoughts on it – we both loved it (but also it was heartbreaking to watch). 4pm: Meander back home and try not to spill the curry in my backpack as it becomes increasingly slippy. The combination of snow, steamed up glasses and mask is a struggle! 6pm: Gatecrash P’s weekly family Zoom call. My heart melts as he’s chatting to his nieces. Have a bit of a Freudian slip and end up referring to "a wedding". It’s the first time either P or I have mentioned getting married in front of his parents so P’s mum gets very excited. Whoops. 8pm: Chat to P separately for a bit while having dinner. I decide to freeze my mum’s curry for a day when I really can’t be bothered to cook and need a good home-cooked meal. I eat the rest of the risotto then have a brownie and ice cream afterwards. 10pm: Do some journalling, my skincare routine and also make a to-do list for next week. I’ve found reflecting/planning my week on a Sunday much more constructive. I then go and lie down for a bit. 12am: P calls and wakes me up so we can watch some of the Super Bowl together. He is eating a huge burrito and although it’s post-midnight for me, I’m very jealous. I stay awake long enough to watch the halftime show, which was totally not worth it. We say goodnight and I finally fall asleep.Total: £0The BreakdownFood/Drink: £145.45Entertainment: £0Clothes/Beauty: £0Travel: £0Other: £17Total: £162.45Conclusion"It’s been such a strange time. Since I’ve been on gardening leave I’ve had a lot more time to cook and take care of myself, which I’ve really enjoyed, especially as my mental health/wellbeing was down the toilet for most of January. I’ve also had the time to plan ahead financially and do some scenario-planning around the time I can take off before getting a new job. It was also super nice to put my work skills to use and do some analysis to help future P and I succeed! I spent a lot of money on food and booze (!) but as I’m not going out to restaurants or buying coffees as I normally would, I’m happy that I’ve been able to support local businesses where possible. Lockdown has saved me spending on things such as eating out and holidays and I’ve been able either to save the money or put it back into the flat. I try not to drink during the week but hey, it was fun doing the wine class! It’s also nice to help my mum out with groceries and stuff even though I don’t live at home anymore. There were no big flat purchases or surprises this week as I’ve been holding off until I know what I can spend properly. After initially thinking that all was lost, I’m using this as an opportunity to find out what my true life calling is – until then it’s DIY, my exercise bike and me." Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Money Diary: Criminology Student & Part-Time CarerMoney Diary: A Business Owner In Liverpool On 17kMoney Diary: A PR Exec In Yorkshire On 21k
Many millennials and Gen Z were already turning to spiritual practices for guidance, reassurance and to help them make sense of the world before the pandemic. Now, thanks to COVID-19 uncertainty and the “unprecedented” (sorry) economic, social and political upheaval we’ve seen over the last year, the decade-long boom in astrology and other spiritual practices shows no sign of waning. As we approach the first anniversary of the pandemic, spiritual business is booming. Google searches for “astrology” and “birth chart” both hit a five-year high in 2020, and many professional astrologers have reported a spike in interest in their services. For astrologers, tarot card readers, crystal business owners, healers and more, it couldn’t be a more fulfilling (and lucrative) time to be professionally spiritual. Given that those of us who are not key workers or on the front line of the coronavirus crisis have had enforced time to reflect on our careers since last March, and many more have lost their jobs altogether, it’s not farfetched to assume that more women may take the leap into spiritual jobs. According to those who already work in the industry, being able to align your career with your own spiritual practices and offer others support, connection and self-knowledge – while ignoring the inevitable sceptics and naysayers along the way – is a surefire route to career fulfilment. There’s also the autonomy that comes with being self-employed, which research shows correlates strongly with wellbeing and job satisfaction. “Many astrologers will tell you that ‘astrology chose them’ and there’s something in that,” says astrologer Francesca Oddie, 36. Previously a business development manager at a pet insurance company, Francesca made the switch to full-time astrology gradually between 2017 and 2019 when she started feeling “disillusioned” by the professional world. “The meetings I used to attend for work were farcical – no one had a clue, there was more ego than ideas in most rooms,” she reflects. Francesca, meanwhile, wanted to be enthralled by her job. “I believed all the inspirational quotes. I knew life could be enriched with a career that’s interesting, full of fascinating people, travel, joy, values and with the ability to give back – in the end I created it for myself.” Francesca’s career fulfilment as a self-employed astrologer is now, she says, “incomparable” to her previous job. “It feeds my mind, soul, gives me purpose, earns me money and makes me buzz with excitement.” It helps that the last year has been particularly lucrative for her industry. “I once heard an astrologer joke that astrology is recession-proof! People want to know when it’s going to get better.” During lockdown, “people are self-reflecting, wondering what they’re doing with their lives and no longer spending money on nights out but still keen to spend on experiences and enrich their lives,” Francesca believes. I wasn’t always interested in spirituality but I’d been questioning my purpose, direction and sense of belonging for a very long time.Olivia Iasonos, HUMAN DESIGN READER Semra Haksever, 43, an “eclectic psycho spiritual witch” in London, was a fashion stylist and editor for 11 years before she surrendered to her spiritual calling. “I’ve always been a very spiritual person,” she says, remembering how she’d incorporate magic into her styling work by slipping artists crystals before they went on stage or by making them essential oil spells for self-confidence or heartache. At a crossroads in her life after quitting styling, Semra “asked the universe for signs and was gifted with a vision that I should follow a magical path and make candles with magic spells in them,” she says. She now sells candles (£30), potions (£15) and more, and sees people one-to-one for spell sessions at her east London shop. “I get to be creative and do something that empowers people and brings magic to the world. I took a risk and believed in myself and am being rewarded.” For Giselle La Pompe-Moore, 31, a spiritual guide and meditation teacher in east London, a career in spirituality was a calling to help others, rather than a conscious choice. A former magazine beauty coordinator, Giselle says she had her first clairvoyant experiences as a child and has been manifesting for 15 years. “Spirituality has always been a part of my life and helped me to navigate my career, love life and everything in between. But when I reached burnout and felt down about the direction my life was headed in, I knew there had to be another way.” When a reiki course she took for fun led to a month of insomnia, “intense visions and dreams with a shouty message that this is what [she] was supposed to do with [her] life,” Giselle listened. She was in debt and “had about £20” in her bank account at the beginning; nowadays she holds one-to-one sessions, talks and workshops with clients all over the world. It isn’t all love and light, however. “The responsibility to take care of others on an emotional, mental and spiritual level is real,” says Giselle. Plus, being self-employed, there’s all the admin, bookkeeping, training and management stuff to keep on top of, as well as the inner work and self-care that’s non-negotiable when showing up to support others. “But I do it on my terms, in a schedule that feels good to me and through work that makes me feel joy and purpose. Going to bed every night and knowing I did my best to listen to people and support them through their life experiences and changes means everything to me,” she adds. For some, it is actually major life events that steer them towards a spiritual path. Olivia Iasonos, 32, was a lawyer until 2019 when the end of a toxic relationship spurred her on to quit her job and travel to Australia, New Zealand and Thailand for six months with money she’d saved while working. On her travels, she was introduced to Buddhism, meditation and astrology, and her interest in spirituality began. Now a human design reader and certified coach in St Albans, Olivia says she is “120% fulfilled” in her career compared to the 20% she felt as a lawyer. “I wasn’t always interested in spirituality but I’d been questioning my purpose, direction and sense of belonging for a very long time,” she recalls. Last year was busy for Olivia, too. “We were finally given time to slow down and question the status quo, to step off the treadmill for a moment and to check in with ourselves.” Many people reached out “who were questioning whether they were actually happy in their roles at work, wanting to get to know themselves better and what they could do to feel more fulfilled in their life.” Just like Olivia herself was doing a few years ago. Often it’s not enough that the roles from which women flee to switch to spiritual careers are well paid, high status and/or socially respected. Jane Wood, 42, an intuitive energy coach from Nottingham, was a primary school teacher for 15 years before quitting last October. “In many ways it was a ‘perfect’ job – I was successful, it was a lovely school with amazing children and only a few miles from my house. I had a stable income, career progression and a pension,” she admits. “But I couldn’t ignore my soul anymore.” Having worked part-time in the spiritual arena for five years, Jane made the leap to do it full-time and within a month of leaving the school, was making the same income in her new self-employed role. Nowadays, work “doesn’t feel like a job” and Jane says she’s experienced an uptick in interest in her services because of the pandemic. “So many people have been forced to look within, to really sit with who they are. People are waking up and taking action on how they really want to live.” Similarly, Sushma Sagar, author of Find Your Flow and founder of healing clinic The Calmery, quit a well-paid career as a marketing director at Kate Spade New York in 2017. Two year prior, she’d started thinking about her legacy. “I knew there was more to me than handbags.” With a lifelong passion for energy healing and a background in brands, Sushma realised she could help others. “I decided my mission would be introducing healing to the mainstream, rebranding it and making it less ‘weird’.” I was on This Morning once and Phillip Schofield didn’t take [my work] seriously. But generally people are very open. It’s not my job to convince anyone.Semra Haksever, eclectic psycho spiritual witch Despite the difficulties that come with working alone (the lack of structure and need for self-discpline, in particular), Sushma says: “Knowing I’m transforming people’s lives is more fulfilling than anything I’ve ever done and it makes up for any difficulties I’ve faced. I have never felt happier or more ‘me’ than I do now.” For Jill Urwin, 38, a fashion buyer for 10 years, the process of “finding meaning and a higher purpose” happened in 2013 when she switched careers. Today, she is the creative director and founder of She’s Lost Control, a “conscious lifestyle store for modern soul seekers” and crystal business in east London. “I’d always been fascinated by crystals but felt like I didn’t fit in with the New Age world,” Jill says. Yet the more she adopted alternative wellness practices to destress from her demanding fashion career, the more she realised she wanted to create a “modern and accessible” space and community for other burned out Londoners. Like the others, the last year has been busy for the business as people have “paused and looked inward,” Jill says. “The best part of my current career is feeling like there’s a higher purpose to my work. We focus on transforming lives, minds and industries, from the miners who mine our crystals and the farmers who harvest our herbs, through to the incredible community of followers who attend our wellness events and visit our spaces.” These days, Jill says she’s “able to adopt a more mindful approach” during times of work stress. As with starting any business or launching into any new industry, there’s financial risk involved in switching to a spiritual career. Often, it’s only possible if you have savings or another financial security net to fall back on, or are willing to take on personal debt. Semra says she “lived hand to mouth”, selling stuff online and at car boot sales, working a part-time receptionist job and moving in with her mum to support herself in the beginning. Meanwhile Giselle and Jill both had to continue working on a freelance basis – as a writer and fashion consultant, respectively – to get by. To others contemplating a spiritual career, Sushma, who had savings from her previous well-paid job before she made the leap, advises: “Make sure you have four to six months’ worth of savings in place while you get your business going. Things will take longer than you think and be more expensive than you think. If you’re panicking about how to pay bills every night, it will kill your creativity and enthusiasm for your business.” A spiritual career may have many perks but you also need to learn to deal with the sceptics and naysayers. Semra’s strategy? “I ask them to give me a strand of their hair! That usually shuts them up,” she laughs. “I was on This Morning once and Phillip Schofield didn’t take [my work] seriously. But generally people are very open. It’s not my job to convince anyone.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?2020: The Year That Destroyed The Career Ladder?The Career Advice I Wish I Got Before Having A BabObsessed With Astrology? Thank TikTok — & COVID
Content warning: This article discusses eating disorders and dieting in a way that some may find triggering. Nichola is a 35-year-old learning designer who lives in Hertfordshire. She cannot remember a time in her life when she didn’t have an eating disorder. If she tries to trace the roots of it, she comes back to a few childhood memories. “There was one incident I remember very vividly,” Nichola tells R29. “There was a family celebration and a male family member had hired a bouncy castle. He told me that I couldn’t play on the bouncy castle because I would break it. I was seven.” Later that evening, after they’d had a few, Nichola saw that family member and his friends on the same bouncy castle. “And I remember it so clearly, watching them on the bouncy castle and thinking, Oh, my goodness, if those grown-up men can be on the bouncy castle and not break it but I’m not allowed because I will break it…I must be a monster.” The shame Nichola felt about her body in that moment has been repeatedly enforced throughout her life. She sees it as one of the factors that led to her developing binge eating disorder. However, because of the nature of her disorder, it took years for her to be properly diagnosed. Bingeing is a fundamentally misunderstood act. Culturally it is seen as evidence of a lack of willpower or self-control; it’s wrapped up in the idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods and is embedded in the structure of diet culture. And so despite knowing something was going on, medical professionals repeatedly turned Nichola away, and encouraged her to see bingeing as a sign of her failure. As time went on, her behaviours and self-loathing became increasingly deep-rooted. DashDividers_1_500x100 Binge eating disorder (BED) is defined as someone having recurrent and persistent episodes of binge eating. Unlike overeating or emotional eating, binge eating is driven by emotional distress and a sense of a lack of control. It can take the form of eating much more rapidly, eating until uncomfortably full, eating large amounts of food when not physically hungry, eating alone due to embarrassment and/or feeling disgusted with yourself afterwards. The disorder is marked by distress around the binge eating and by the absence of compensatory behaviours like purging. It is important to note these distinctions as BED is often confused with both emotional overeating and bulimia. Jess Griffiths, clinical training lead at the eating disorder charity Beat, tells R29 that “having an eating disorder means there is a morbid preoccupation with food, weight and shape. To have BED is different to bingeing due to dieting – it’s driven by emotional distress and underlying mental health issues.” Unlike bulimia, when bingeing episodes are countered with purging, the restrictive behaviours of people with BED tend to happen in cycles. There will be a bingeing cycle, which might last for weeks, followed by a restrictive cycle as an attempt to ‘regain control’. While the behaviours are distinct, Jess points out that the personality traits which underpin anorexia and bulimia also underpin binge eating disorder. “Traits like perfectionism, low self-esteem and being what we would call ‘super feelers’ – people who are very intuitive, who have very extreme feelings that they feel they can’t tolerate.” In each disorder, food is used as a weapon – whether as something denied or something forced, it is a tool for punishment. BED is actually thought to be the most common of the three main eating disorders – a study in 2017 found that BED made up 22% of eating disorder cases, with anorexia accounting for 8% and bulimia 19% of all cases. I was made to feel like I was lazy [by GPs], that I had no willpower, that I just needed to lose weight. I left doctors’ offices in tears, with discounted Weight Watchers memberships.Nichola Despite how common it is – and the clear connections with other eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia – binge eating disorder is the least understood. It was only recognised as a mental health condition in 2013 so research into and awareness of the condition remains limited, meaning the number of cases could well be higher than reported. Many people with BED may not know they have it simply because they haven’t heard of it. On top of that, our superficial understanding of eating disorders means we associate them primarily with thinness and an obsession with self-control, whereas bingeing is seen as a lack of willpower. This is not just an issue of public perception but a medical one, too. Over the course of about 20 years, Nichola repeatedly visited the GP but was unable to get someone to take her seriously, let alone treat her. “I was made to feel like I was lazy [by GPs], that I had no willpower, that I just needed to lose weight,” she tells R29. “I left doctors’ offices in tears, with discounted Weight Watchers memberships.” She says that because she didn’t know there was such a thing as binge eating disorder, she was unable to articulate her symptoms. And the doctors never mentioned eating disorders of any kind, instead telling her to lose weight. Thanks to Nichola’s extroverted personality, she had the courage to persist despite the repeated dismissals. When she moved to Hertfordshire (where she currently lives) she finally found a GP who understood her and guided her towards an eating disorder specialist. After years of therapy and treatment she now feels that she is in control of her disorder instead of it controlling her. Like any eating disorder, binge eating disorder is primarily a psychological issue but there are many factors which reinforce it and inhibit recovery. Getting the right support is a huge factor. Finding an understanding GP, as Nichola finally did, is rare but so is the courage to keep going back when medical bias against people with bigger bodies means you’re repeatedly dismissed. “So often when people try to talk to a health professional about binge eating disorder, they will be given the advice to lose weight,” says Jess. “We hear from people that if they have a negative encounter with a health professional then it takes so much time, like years, to come back again and ask for help.” The view that you need to lose weight at any cost pushes people with binge eating disorder to further extremes to absolve themselves of their ‘failure’ in their binge eating cycle. This extreme behaviour is then validated by the people around you as well as the medical establishment. “When you’re overweight, and you have an eating disorder, everyone congratulates you,” says Nichola. “If you’re on the restrictive side and you are using really harmful, unhealthy ways to lose weight, everyone says how inspirational you are, what fantastic progress you’ve made, how good you look.” Consequently when you slip back into a bingeing cycle, the distress and shame around the behaviour makes you feel worse, and you punish yourself further. Our cultural perception of what bingeing is plays a major factor in how we understand people with binge eating disorder and how they understand themselves. We seem incapable of getting away from the idea that to be overweight is the result of an insatiable greed, an inability to resist food (especially if it is high in fat or sugar). This creates an understanding of bingeing as a weakness and your body, if you’re in any way overweight, becomes evidence of your ‘failure’. It reinforces a fatphobic view of people’s bodies, while our understanding of fatness further blames and alienates people who reckon with binge eating disorder. “There is this idea that we should all have self-control and so often people with binge eating disorders have just been labelled greedy,” says Jess, “and that’s not the case at all. People with binge eating disorder will binge on anything, it’s not actually a process they necessarily enjoy. It’s quite punishing.” This cycle of blame is made more insidious because diet culture doesn’t reject the concept of bingeing. In many ways, it actively reinforces it. With its 12-week plans, diet culture encourages restrictive behaviour and cycles of denial; it centres fatness as the ultimate failure of willpower and endeavours to ‘melt it away’ or ‘blast it’ off your body. What’s more, it does all this while selling us products which have overeating, indulgence or even bingeing built into the marketing. From cheat days to cereal bars encouragingly named Go Ahead and the branding of Halo Top as a ‘healthy’ ice cream which you can eat a tub of in one sitting, diet culture relies on the idea that you can indulge and restrict simultaneously. The language of eating as much as you want can easily shift into a behaviour where you are eating far beyond what you want, further perpetuating the cycle of disordered eating. There is this idea that we should all have self-control and so often people with binge eating disorders have just been labelled greedy and that’s not the case at all. People with binge eating disorder will binge on anything, it’s not a process they necessarily enjoy. It’s quite punishing.JESS GRIFFITHS It’s important to note that dieting doesn’t automatically lead to binge eating disorder. Dieting for a long time might lead to some bingeing behaviour – especially if there has been nutritional deprivation – but that won’t necessarily trigger a binge eating disorder. “It’s really important to remember that eating disorders are multifactorial,” says Jess. “Personality, genetics and external influences around food and weight and shape also play a major part.” If someone who ticks all those boxes also began dieting, it could well trigger BED. Diet culture can also make recovery actively harder for people with BED, not only by furthering anti-fat bias and encouraging restriction but also by reinforcing a world view that divides food into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ groups without questioning each individual’s behaviours with food. Despite what we’re brought up to believe, no food is inherently ‘bad’ or inherently ‘good’ – there may be a caloric or sugar disparity between a chocolate bar and its ‘healthier’ version, for example, but the consumption of one over the other isn’t better or worse for you in and of itself. It depends on what motivated that choice, how you’ve been eating and moving in the run-up to that choice, even the way in which you eat it. What does affect your health (both physical and mental) is your behaviour around food. Are you eating a varied diet, choosing your meals intuitively based on your appetite and tastes? Or are you trying to stick to a set of rigid rules which might lead to you overeating something just because it’s on the ‘good’ list? Nichola points to Slimming World as a perfect encapsulation of that thinking. “Slimming World, for example, will say that you could eat five whole chickens if you wanted. It puts all the emphasis on the food, not the behaviour. But if you were to eat five whole chickens, that’s clearly troubling behaviour. Why would you choose to do that?” It is precisely this behaviour which is intrinsic to so much diet and even wellness messaging. If you’re eating a huge amount of anything – ‘good for you’ or otherwise – that is unhealthy behaviour. If you restrict the ‘bad’ foods until you end up bingeing them, that too is unhealthy behaviour. But we are not encouraged to see it as such, which leaves many people suffering with binge eating disorders without the understanding or support they need to recover. As Nichola’s experience shows, recovery from BED is possible. With the right support and messaging she has reached a place where she feels happy in herself and safe in trusting her body to make intuitive decisions. But far more needs to be done to support people with binge eating disorder and prevent people from falling into damaging behaviours. Binge eating needs to be recognised for what it is: a sign of emotional distress and a cry for help. Medical professionals need better understanding of eating disorders and better training to counter the anti-fat bias that actively damages their patients. On a wider scale, disordered behaviours around food need to be questioned too, with empathy and understanding instead of flagellation and shaming. And diet culture (even in its new wellness jacket) needs to be interrogated when it buys into the idea that food is inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Perhaps most importantly, fatphobia needs to be challenged at all levels. Without shifting cultural attitudes around fatness, the fight to recover from any eating disorder, but particularly binge eating disorder, will be inconceivably harder. “Now that I’ve recovered,” says Nichola, “I talk a lot about body positivity. But the reality is you can be as positive as you like about your size but you can’t stop that idiot shouting something humiliating at you or driving past and screaming abuse at you.” “Self-acceptance is a huge part of recovery,” adds Jess, “but that’s so hard when actually a lot of culture is telling you you’re not acceptable the way you are.” If you are struggling with an eating disorder, please call Beat on 0808 801 0677. Support and information is available 365 days a year. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Why Can't We Let Our Calorie Obsession Go?Why Do Doctors Still Rely On BMI?I Didn't Know That PCOS Fuelled My Eating Disorder
When celebrity hair colour expert Josh Wood launched his own range of hair products in 2018, it prompted loyal clients everywhere to break up with their colourists. From semi-permanent shades to quick and easy gloss treatments, the products made hair transformations a lot less scary, not to mention affordable. With hair salons closed until 12th April, plenty of us are taking colour changes into our own hands. Right now, Josh Wood Colour is one of the most googled box dye brands, with searches up by 70%. It makes sense. Having spent years working at fashion week, launching the Josh Wood Atelier in Holland Park and joining Redken as its global colour creative director, it’s safe to say that Josh knows hair colour inside out. The collection currently consists of permanent box dye hair colour complete with all the equipment, temporary root touch-up pens, semi-permanent colour gloss hair masks, and haircare products such as oils and styling creams. From toffee blonde and rich chocolate brown to highly coveted copper, there are lots of shades to choose from. At £14, the box dyes are a little more expensive than your average high street offering but arguably feel a little more luxe. Choosing the right shade doesn’t mean taking a stab in the dark, either, as Josh Wood’s website offers free video consultations with expert colourists to ensure you won’t regret your DIY job. So is Josh Wood Colour really worth the hype? Three R29 staffers gave the most popular products a go. Here are the results… Jacqueline Kilikita, Beauty Editor I used: Josh Wood Colour Permanent Colour 5.0 + Smoky Brunette Shade Shot, £19, available at Josh Wood Colour. “Growing out ‘90s chunky highlights means I’ve had to contend with brassy ends. While I love colour depositing masks for neutralising those tones, they fade easily, so I was excited to try a permanent colour. My first port of call was a virtual consultation with an expert hairstylist, a free service which is available through Josh Wood’s website. This took five minutes and saved me from playing a guessing game with the different shades. At £19, this box dye is more expensive than other high street versions but influencers and editors are touting it as the next best thing to a professional dye job. The actual process was so simple. I decanted all of the creamy products into the bottle, gave it a shake until it turned into a liquid, and applied directly to my hair. The colour took me by surprise as it was olive green! Still, I trusted Josh. I first applied the product on the ends of my hair, rubbing the colour in with my fingers (gloved, of course), then raked it through with a comb. Then I moved on to my roots. Although my hair is shoulder length, I have a lot of it; one box just about covered every strand. If you have long, thick hair, I’d suggest stocking up on two lots. I’ve not used a box dye on myself in the past because I find the ammonia fumes suffocating but this smelled like a bouquet of flowers and is ammonia-free. It didn’t sting or itch (always carry out a patch test at least 48 hours beforehand) and the colour developed in just 30 minutes. When I showered the dye away, I followed with a hair mask (Sol De Janeiro Triple Brazilian Butter Hair Repair Treatment Mask, £31) and was surprised by how silky soft my hair felt. I rough-dried and straightened my hair and totally fell in love with the rich colour and gloss effect. I looked like I’d just stepped out of a shampoo advert. This is the darkest I’ve been but I love it. In sunlight, there are very subtle nuances of red or chestnut peppered throughout, which make my hair glisten and give it dimension. All in all, I’m sold and I’ll be skipping the salon appointments in future. When box dye is this good, it makes sense, and anything that saves me time and money gets my vote.” Meg O’Donnell, Art Editor I used: Josh Wood Colour Copper Gold Gloss, £19, available at Josh Wood Colour. “I recently made the decision to be a dedicated redhead for life. It’s my favourite hair colour I’ve ever had and I don’t know how I went so long without giving it a go. I had my copper hair refreshed at Taylor Taylor in Shoreditch right before the November lockdown and have been tearfully watching the regrowth over the past few months (roll on 12th April). When I got the opportunity to try Josh Wood’s Copper Gold Gloss, I was super excited. Although I wasn’t expecting a full head of copper tones, I thought a little refresh of colour on the ends might keep me going until I can get my hair professionally seen to. Plus, this product doubles up as a deeply conditioning treatment mask. Divine! I must admit I don’t enjoy the whole box dye experience because I’ve had a few huge errors and I find them mind-numbing to do. It’s the whole separating your hair, generally having to be careful, sitting on the bathroom floor half-naked, waiting for it to do its thing. Not for me. This product, however, took that whole process and made it somewhat enjoyable. That’s partly because it smells so delightful. I was genuinely excited while brushing it through my strands as the consistency is so glossy and feels so nourishing. I was on cloud nine. I also have to add how happy I was to discover a pair of gloves included in the box. I’m so used to trying to make a plastic bag work. Spoiler: it doesn’t. I kept the product on for a little longer than the box suggested as I really wanted a somewhat drastic change. I then rinsed it out until the water ran clear and followed with a shampoo. One thing I would say is that considering I left it on for a while, I was hoping for a more dramatic colour change on my ends. My overall colour has definitely been revived and a richer rose gold hue has softened the slightly brassy tones I had going. I’m still looking forward to having my hair done professionally, though. I think the aim of this product is to refresh your colour and condition hair, so it ticks those boxes. I’m so happy with how soft and healthy my hair feels. I usually have to add a hair oil through my hair post-shower to keep the frizz at bay but that wasn’t necessary as the mask element has nourished my dry ends. I left my hair to dry naturally as I normally would and I am super happy with the condition and feel of my refreshed locks. I’d love to use this again to treat my hair, not necessarily to change the colour of it though.” Jessica Morgan, Staff Writer I used: Josh Wood Colour Miracle System Permanent Colour in 7.0, £14, Icy Shade Shot, £19, Champagne Blonde Gloss, £19, available at Josh Wood Colour. “I gave myself the big chop during lockdown and shortly after, DIY balayage, as salons were closed. I was really pleased with the results. I’d consider myself a pro when it comes to DIY hair and I’ve been colouring my hair since I was 18 years old so I was excited to try Josh Wood Colour. I had an online consultation with one of their experts to determine which colour kit would be suitable for my hair. It was decided that due to my darker natural hair regrowth, I should use a permanent colour in shade 7.0, a chocolate brown, to subtly lighten my natural hair, then use the semi-permanent Champagne Blonde Gloss on my bleached ends, with the Icy Shade Shot & Miracle Shot to tone. When the kit arrived, I was slightly intimidated — there was a lot to think about! I read the instructions and decanted the products in the mixing bowl provided. I then used the skin barrier cream to prevent any staining around my edges and applied the permanent colour, Icy Shade Shot & Miracle Shot all over my roots using the tint brush. I let it work its magic for 30 minutes without any of the product touching my ends. Then I rinsed the colour out and towel-dried my hair. I applied the Champagne Blonde Gloss all over my ends and left it to process for 20 minutes. After rinsing, I decided to forgo the provided conditioner and used my Dizziak Deep Conditioner instead, as it’s gentle on my afro hair. My hair felt really silky and clean and I diffused and styled as normal. Once my hair was dry, I could see the results of the colour. My hair looked a lot darker than I’d expected and I had lost the bright golden blonde I had previously, which wasn’t the look I was trying to achieve. While my hair is shinier and softer, I didn’t get the colour I wanted. Twenty-four hours later, I noticed that my scalp and hairline was red, sore and itchy. I don’t have a sensitive scalp nor have I had an allergic reaction to at-home box dye in the past so I was surprised. [Beauty editor note: it’s incredibly important to carry out an allergy alert test or patch test 48 hours before dyeing your hair.] I’m not entirely sold so I will be heading to the salon as soon as they open. I was disappointed but on this occasion it just didn’t work for me. In future, I will stick to Moroccanoil’s Colour Depositing Mask. It’s kinder to my hair and I prefer the results.” 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?I Dyed My Hair Auburn Red & Here's How It LooksCOVID Ruined Afro Hair Salons But Women AdaptedThis £9.99 Hair Treatment Is The Next Olaplex
Girls doing more housework in Covid lockdown than boysYoung women are becoming trapped in traditional roles at home and neglecting education, finds charityCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage The survey found 69% of girls and women aged between 14 and 24 are spending more time cleaning due to the pandemic. Photograph: imageBROKER/Alamy
And so the Oprah interview with Meghan and Prince Harry moves towards us like a horror film. A clip suggests that the Duchess has talked about how she had to leave an "unsurvivable situation". Poor thing! The living hell of that £32 million wedding and the much-restored Frogmore Cottage. Meanwhile, 'Haz' tells Oprah that "things have been unbelievably tough" for him and his wife. Have they noticed there's a global pandemic on? Then there is the timing. Harry's 99-year-old grandfather is in hospital. You might think the Queen has enough to deal with without her family being cast, by a woman who joined them for less than two years, as a chilly cross between the Addamses and the Borgias.
The star of Breaking Bad and Malcolm in the Middle is back doing what he does best – playing the devoted parent
From a long overdue analysis on sex work, written by sex workers themselves, to the challenges people with disabilities face, here's our pick of the best reads to celebrate 8 March
From inspiring essays to galvanising tomes, our list aims to raise awareness and encourage progression
Stories shape how children view themselves and the people around them. Here are our favourites for championing black culture
I can't recommend this pizza oven more highly.
And it's on the high street 😍
Travel restrictions for leaving or returning to the UK have never been tougher
'I think that female tribes are crucial to life, to everything'
Some members of the royal family have a tendency to break the rules, though.From Good Housekeeping
With thousands of titles available to download, you can enjoy this extensive library on almost any device
From Stella McCartney to Ganni's Ditte Riffstrup