The UK’s latest lockdown has taken the greatest toll on the mental health of young women. According to a new report by the ONS, 43% of young women aged between 16 and 29 experienced some form of depression between 27th January and 7th March of this year. A considerably lower percentage of young men – 26% – said they experienced some form of depression during this period. The ONS report also found that a much higher percentage of renters than homeowners experienced some form of depression: 31% compared to 13%. In addition, a greater proportion of disabled adults (£39%) experienced some form of depression than non-disabled adults (13%). A previous ONS report found that members of Gen Z – especially those living in urban areas outside of London – are most likely to have experienced “lockdown loneliness”. However, the ONS also found that GPs in England diagnosed fewer cases of adult depression in 2020 than in 2019 – even though more people reported symptoms – suggesting people may be wary of seeking help. Mental health charity Mind said the new ONS report chimes with their own research, which found that 68% of young people noticed a deterioration in their mental health during the first lockdown in 2010. “The fact that GP-diagnosed cases of adult depression have fallen during the pandemic suggests people are not going to their GP for help, perhaps because they’re concerned about placing extra pressure on the NHS,” Stephen Buckley of Mind said. “This is worrying because we know that left untreated, mental health problems become more difficult and expensive to treat.” Buckley added: “If you notice changes to your thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are affecting your daily life, last longer than two weeks, or keep returning – talk to someone you trust, ideally your GP. A GP should be able to let you know if you might have a common mental health problem, like depression and anxiety, and signpost you to support.” If you are experiencing mental health problems or feel you are in crisis, you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org Further information on mental health support is available on the Mind website Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Transport secretary Grant Shapps called the list ‘necessarily cautious’
The Duchess of Cornwall has previously spoken about how much she is missing her grandchildren during the pandemic.
There are 150 copies to find in the UK
Airlines UK boss says the move ‘represents a reopening of air travel in name only’
Passengers urged not to travel while checks carried out on rolling stock on key lines between London and Scotland, Wales and northern England
This image shows the visible yellow cloud tops of Venus, rather than the solid surface revealed by radar. Whether you’re looking forward to hot girl summer, shot girl summer, or just… summer, it’s safe to say that the vibes are high as we enter the warm-weather months. And on 8th May, Venus, the Planet of Love and Desire, enters chatty Gemini, amplifying the already fun and flirty energy straight through until 2nd June. Gemini is one of the free spirits of the zodiac. “This airy placement for romantic Venus focuses more on intellectualism and communication than anything else,” says Lisa Stardust, the author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck. During this transit, you’ll be more drawn to partners who can hold their own in a back-and-forth — meaning that if the words aren’t flowing, you’ll more than likely be going. This is a pretty significant theme throughout the transit, mostly because our social lives will be a top priority for us, according to Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer for Keen.com. But we’ll want novelty too. When Venus is in Gemini, “routine situations can be quite dull and boring, as are dogmatic, predictable people and routines,” Hale says. For the next few weeks, don’t fight the urge to try new things and meet new people. Make fun, adventurous plans with friends or invite someone out for a spontaneous date. If you’re already in a relationship, the transit tends to be pretty cerebral. “For couples, Venus in Gemini is all about mental stimulation, so sex becomes brainier,” Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com says. “A good debate or even a board game can be the perfect foreplay.” For single people, Venus in Gemini is a very flirtatious transit, though not the best time to take a relationship from “talking” to “official,” notes Montúfar. During this stretch, Venus will aspect Neptune, the Nodes of Destiny, and Saturn, Stardust points out. This means that “fated and past life connections will come our way, only to leave us perplexed as to which direction we should take,” she says. Montúfar adds that these placements tend to bring about serendipitous meetings, brand-new beginnings, and sudden endings, especially in your love life. On 21st, Venus in Gemini will form an opposition to Juno (which Montúfar calls the asteroid of commitment) in Sagittarius. “This is another aspect that spells splits and endings in relationships,” Montúfar warns. “With both Venus and Juno in freedom-seeking signs, it might be harder than ever to commit!” If you’re feeling on the fence about a certain potential love, or anything really, it’s totally okay to take your time making a decision right now. “In true Venus in Gemini style, think and talk it over many, many, many times,” Stardust says. Intellect is rewarded while Venus is in Gemini, so don’t feel rushed to make choices that could have a significant impact in your life. But for the most part, as far as transits go, this one is pretty fast-paced and exciting, promising a month that’s filled with adventures. So, embrace the flirty, freedom-loving energy and get ready to have some fun — you deserve it. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This Taurus Season Is Going To Be Really IntenseObsessed With Astrology? Thank TikTok — & COVIDYour May Horoscope Is Here
When faced with a virtual award season, which began with the 2020 Emmys in September and concluded with the Critics’ Choice Awards in March, fashion stylists pivoted, adjusting their methods for the new pandemic-friendly format, and broadcasting their hard work on social media. As a result of their strategic modifications, this award season’s red carpet was as glamorous as it was memorable. The 2021 Oscars, the first major award show to take place in person in a year, marked the return to IRL red carpets. But the stylists that made this season a success believe the move to virtual changed red carpets for the better. Micah McDonald and Wayman Bannerman, the styling partnership behind Regina King’s red carpet looks this season, say that they actually preferred digital red carpets. The duo — who just landed third on Hollywood Reporter’s 2021 Most Powerful Stylists list, after Zendaya’s Image Architect Law Roach and Beyoncé’s stylist Zerina Akers — used the switch to virtual red carpets to make statement after statement. For example, for the Emmys, they dressed the Watchmen actress in a blue Schiaparelli Haute Couture gown. To showcase the sculptural look, they teamed up with photographer James Anthony to create a virtual reality backdrop for her pre-show photoshoot. The result was better than any award season step-and repeat — a video showing King dancing against a moving drawing of two Black women that was meant to evoke feelings of sisterhood. “Going digital allowed us to tell a story,” McDonald says. Later in the night, King honoured Breonna Taylor when she changed into a T-shirt that read, “Say Her Name.” View this post on Instagram A post shared by James Anthony (@iamjamesanthony) In the absence of red carpets, stylists were able to craft their own photo and video shoots to showcase the fashion, rather than rely on photographers assigned to shoot the events. According to McDonald, that allowed them to work with photographers and other creatives in a way that wouldn’t have been possible pre-pandemic: “We finally could collaborate with people of colour that we love and admire like the photographers [and other creatives] that were all Black and of African descent.” The move to Instagram and other digital platforms also allowed McDonald and Bannerman to offer fellowship opportunities to young talent this year. Stylist Jason Bolden, whose work with actress Cynthia Erivo this season landed her on every best-dressed list of the year, agrees that the digital format had a lot of advantages. “It allowed us to bring back that really cool part about red carpet interviews that people used to love,” he says. Whereas years ago interviewers used to ask celebrities in detail why they chose their looks, now, few have enough airtime to go beyond the standard, “Who are you wearing?” — and sometimes, they don’t even ask that. By showcasing looks on Instagram, Bolden could share every detail of a particular ensemble, from a specific jewellery moment to a distinct beauty reference, all in the form of a caption. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jason Bolden (@jasonbolden) “Now, I get away with things that might not be [otherwise] photographed,” says Bolden. When, at the 2020 SAG Awards, he styled a Roberto Coin necklace backward on Erivo, so as to have it lay on her back, the moment was mostly overlooked, with every camera aimed at the front of her orange-and-pink Schiaparelli dress. “Now, with something like that, I can actually show you 360 degrees of a look and give you the full moment that you would have otherwise missed,” he says. Case in point: The stylist put Erivo in sky-high platform heels for the 2021 Golden Globes. “[The digital format] has really allowed us to be more creative with what we do for the red carpet,” Bannerman adds. The virtual aspect also pushed Bannerman and McDonald to be more environmentally conscious when planning a look for an event. “We’re being more strategic about what we call in,” Bannerman says. “We’re no longer pulling items that we don’t necessarily need. The goal was to avoid being excessive in anything that we did,” he says. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Wayman + Micah (@waymanandmicah) Of course, the strangest award season on record wasn’t without its hiccups. “It was frustrating [at times,]” says Bolden. “In many cases, we were having to try and get everything done in one [fell] swoop: picking the dress, altering it, making a decision on jewelry, etc.” Before the pandemic, there could be multiple fittings and dress changes involved in a single show’s look. This season, the entire process was tightened to minimise social interaction. “Not being able to truly see people and actually fit them in person was challenging,” he adds. He also admits to having missed the lavish nature of the red carpets, as did his clients: “They miss the fantasy, the glamour, the layering on loads of diamonds — I think they miss all of that,” Bolden says. “Award shows are their time to shine.” That said, going back to the old way of doing things isn’t an interest of Bolden’s, or Bannerman and McDonald’s for that matter. “What we plan to do [in the future] is a healthy mix of both,” says McDonald. In this hybrid version, stylists would tell the story of their client’s look on social media — hosting their own photoshoots and capturing every possible angle — before sending them off to the IRL red carpet. “What that does is allow us to first, display our narrative, while still celebrating the tried-and-true narrative of the red carpet.” According to Bolden, it also allows the public to get to know the talent — people like hairdressers, makeup artists, and stylists, who previously existed behind the scenes. After all, they are the ones who made this year’s red carpet so unforgettable. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Every Winning Fashion Moment From The 2021 OscarsThe Golden Globes Were Full Of Fashion MomentsEvery Look From The SAG Awards Was A Win
Every television fan knows the feeling of their favourite show ending or being cancelled without warning, but how many of us can count ourselves among the lucky few whose formerly-cancelled shows were saved from the jaws of Hollywood irrelevance? Sanditon loyalists can, but whenever the historical drama returns to television, it’ll still look very different: Its leading man has already bowed out of the project. If you love historical dramas and all things Jane Austen, it’s likely that you already tuned into the ITV series Sanditon. The Regency-era story, pulled from the notes of one of Austen’s unfinished manuscripts, explores life in the bustling seaside town of Sanditon; there, love, class, and ambition collide, bringing total opposites Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) and Sidney Parker (Theo James) closer in the process. The show was obviously a hit, attracting Theo James stans and lovers of historical fiction alike, but after just one season, ITV revealed that it wouldn’t be renewing the series. That announcement was understandably heartbreaking for fans, especially since the final episode of the first season ended on a particularly un-Austen like note — after seven episodes of longing gazes and tender touches, the CharNey ship did not sail. Dissatisfied and disappointed, Sanditon viewers rallied for the show’s comeback at every turn, and their efforts paid off because the show has been belatedly renewed for two more seasons. In the UK, they’ll be available to watch first on BritBox, and will air later on ITV. The return of Sanditon is bittersweet because it won’t feature its beloved main character Sidney Parker. Upon learning of the show’s renewal, James shared that he will not be joining his cast mates in the second and third seasons. #SanditonPBS will return w/ seasons 2 & 3 and continue Charlotte’s journey through life & love. While Sidney Parker will not return, rest assured that an abundance of romance & adventure lies ahead for the Sanditon heroine. We can’t wait for you to see what we have in store… 💕 pic.twitter.com/8ioma0RbwF— MASTERPIECE | PBS (@masterpiecepbs) May 7, 2021 “Although I relished playing Sidney, for me, I’ve always maintained that his journey concluded as I wanted it to,” James explained in an official statement shared to the show’s social media accounts. “The broken fairy-tale like ending between Charlotte and Sidney is different, unique and so interesting to me and I wish the cast and crew of Sanditon every success with future series.” Besides being the only person alive satisfied with the way the last episode ended, James likely has too much on his plate to reprise the role of Sidney on Sanditon. In February, HBO announced that British actor had been cast as the lead in the TV adaptation of The Time Traveller’s Wife along with Game of Thrones’ Rose Leslie. The HBO project is still in pre-production and probably won’t hit screens for another year or so, but its timing most likely conflicts with filming for Sandition. Losing Sidney might be unfortunate, but Sanditon still has an ensemble of interesting characters to keep up with. And because Austen never technically finished the manuscript that the series is based on, this story is essentially limitless — we can truly take it in almost any direction. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Theo James Talks Hollywood SexismDid Netflix Just Cancel Your Favorite TV Show?
If hair colour plays a role in our mood, this summer is about to get a lot happier. The budding highlight and balayage trends, though very much a choose-your-own-adventure story, all have the same undertone: optimism.Whether you want to go blonder, cooler, shinier, or your only criteria is that you don't have to schedule a touchup until September, there's a colour trend that hits. If you want a big change and maximum brightness, consider platinum; if you're coming out of quarantine with five inches of root growth and a new laissez faire attitude towards colour, simply enhance what you already have with the "less is more" highlight.Find it all, and something that sparks joy for you, in the pro's guide to hair colour for summer 2021, ahead.Face-Framing Blonde According to L.A.-based colourist Tauni Dawson, the soft, face-framing highlight is a great way to go blonde without going blonde. "Strategically placing blonde pieces around the face is the perfect way to achieve a lighter look for summer, while still maintaining healthy hair," Dawson explains. Ask your colourist to focus the palest, cool-toned blonde around your face, keeping natural dimension throughout the rest of the hair. Houston-based colour expert Janae Miller shows how weaving a "money piece" highlight through the front-most strands delivers gorgeous depth and colour contrast.Colourist John Douglas Byers gives us a killer profile view of a blonde face-frame applied via balayage over a fresh silk press.Sun-Kissed BrunetteConsider this golden brunette a your-hair-but-better approach to a summer lift. "With quarantine, everyone was given the opportunity to learn how to embrace their natural root colour," explains celebrity stylist Morgan Parks. "At first it was a huge transition, but for many this turned out to be eye-opening in the best of ways. Now, less is more. Focus on keeping the highlights away from the root, space out the foils to increase dimension, and incorporate hydrating products for shine." (Parks recommends Unite U Oil for optimum glossiness as seen on Parks' client Caelynn Miller Keyes.)Model Leyna Bloom, who gets her hair coloured by Hannah Hubley of NYC's Cutler Salon, shows how a minimalist highlight can deliver the most effortless soft-brunette tone.Australian colour pro and salon owner Bel shows how to bring warm golden tones to a brunette base for a colour that reads as naturally sun-bleached."Vacation" BrightL.A.-based colourist Joey Perrotti calls this "vacation colour." The vibe is sunny and fresh, and it's perfect for blondes who have gone so long without a salon visit and miss that peroxide brightness. According to Parks, you can make the effect more natural by focusing the pops of lightest blonde on the ends of the hair, and doing a root melt for a seamless tonal segue from yellow golden blonde to cool, white-toned bright.You'll want your single-process platinum tone to be placed pretty close to your root. However, model Vanessa Hong shows how the colour almost looks cooler as the hair grows in a little. Just don't forget to incorporate a good toning shampoo at home to keep the blonde bright.No matter your hair length or curl pattern, Hubley proves that when your hair is platinum and you're feeling it, "the light hits right every time."Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Did Timothée Chalamet Dye His Hair Blonde?I Dyed My Brown Hair Bright Blue For SummerSza Makes A Strong Case For Getting A Silk Press
Now adapted into a three-part series for the BBC, Mitford’s 1945 novel ‘The Pursuit of Love’ remains a classic of entrancing wit. But, writes Martin Chilton, the author’s life itself was by turns heartbreaking and surreal – from her ‘mad’ aristocratic upbringing to her ‘disastrous’ love life
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: "I qualified as a nurse last February and started my first nursing job just as the pandemic hit and the UK went into lockdown. It was a very hard way to start my first job but also very rewarding and the team I work with are amazing and so supportive. I had my son during my finals year of school (sixth form) and ended up not finishing due to being ill. I returned to finish my A levels when I was 21, then decided to work for a few years and go to university when I was 25 to study nursing. I was lucky that my nursing degree was covered by the NHS bursary at the time. I’ve now been a single parent to O for eight years. I met my boyfriend in November through a friend. I moved into my own place with O in October and feel much more settled and happy having our own space. We were living with my dad previously so I could do my nursing degree, which I was so grateful for. I do worry a lot about money, I live on a very tight budget and sometimes it can feel overwhelming."Industry: NHS Age: 28Location: SurreySalary: £19,950Paycheque amount: £1,450. I also get £600-£900 tax credits. I work one or two shifts a week at the vaccination centre for £27 an hour (so well paid), which I get £300-£500 a month from. The money I earn from the vaccination centre is taken off my tax credits, hence the difference in amounts. So even though I'm working extra I don't actually bring any extra money home each month. But I love working there so I carry on anyway! I also get £100 child maintenance.Number of housemates: One, my son, O.Monthly ExpensesHousing costs: £1,295 rent.Loan payments: £0All other monthly expenses: £151 council tax, £75 gas and electric through Bulb. £200 goes to Mum as I borrowed money off her during uni (I have six months left of this). £10 phone (SIM only). £29 TV/Wi-Fi. £32 O swimming lessons. £42 car insurance. £26 tax and car cover. £6.50 National Trust. £10 Spotify. £12 Netflix. £24 contact lenses. £25 wine subscription.Savings? £0 Day One6.30am: My boyfriend stayed last night, alarm goes off so early ready for him to get the train to London. It's his first day back in the office and first time commuting since we met! Me and my boyfriend met back in October and most of our relationship has just been seeing each other so it's been full-on. We tend to stay at each other's houses most nights. 7.30am: O gets up and I make us breakfast. 8.45am: My dad comes round at about 8.45 so I can go to work (my dad is in our childcare bubble so although O can see him and not have to social distance, I do). 1pm: Really busy morning of visits! Pop to the petrol station, petrol into the car and grab a Jimmy's iced latte while I'm there (£27.10). Go back to the office for lunch. Working alone in the community can be quite lonely so going back and having lunch with other people is great. We do a quick handover and then I head back out for afternoon visits. As a community nurse I spend a lot of my time in patients' homes, helping to meet the needs of elderly, disabled or vulnerable patients who would struggle to get to a doctor.5pm: Head home just after 5. My dad leaves as soon as I get there. Pop dinner on for O and go and have a shower. Dinner for O this evening is fishcakes, sweet potato and peas. 6.30pm: Jump in the car and go and meet some friends for a dog walk in the woods. It is so nice being able to meet in a group now, today there's five of us plus two dogs (the most important attendees obviously). I find it particularly hard that O is classed in the six rule as he is too young to stay at home alone.7.30pm: Boyfriend is already home from work. Put O to bed, he is so tired after the walk! 8pm: Have tuna and jacket potatoes for dinner. Pour wine and watch Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix.10pm: Bed!Total: £27.10Day Two7am: Friday, thank God. It's been a long week. Talking to friends and colleagues I realised everyone has appointments for hair and I have nothing. Decide to book my eyebrows in. The place I used to go sadly closed during COVID so I risk somewhere else for a wax and shape (£20). Was it always this expensive? 8.45am: Open my work iPad, see my mental day. I have 10 patients to see today. My work varies between medication administration, wound care and palliative care, along with a lot of other things. It's been a particularly emotionally hard week due to palliative care and I'm looking forward to the weekend. My dad comes over to look after O and I leave for work. 1pm: Full morning of back-to-back patients and struggling through the ever increasing build-up of road traffic between appointments. Colleague texts: "Greggs?" Who am I to say no to that! I get a vegan sausage roll, she very kindly pays. 6pm: The afternoon actually went by very fast and I'm so glad it's time to head home. O has been dropped off at his dad's for the weekend by my dad. My boyfriend picks me up and we grab some food from the supermarket, we're doing a Mexican night for my friend L and her boyfriend. We pick up halloumi, avocado, tomatoes, red onion, taco wraps, salsa, crisps and most importantly, tequila! We also grab some basic bits such as bread, milk, OJ for both our houses. £65.10, boyfriend pays. 8pm: We have made such good tacos, red cabbage slaw, guacamole, smoked paprika halloumi and refried beans with lots of chilli. Our friends approve!11pm: Had such a fun evening catching up and got to use the fire pit, which was great. Total: £20Day Three6.30am: Wake up earlier than my work alarm, typical. Decide to drive to Brighton for the day, this is the first place we've ever gone together so it's very exciting. Small things!10am: We park (£9 for the day). I pay as my boyfriend drove. Then we walk to my favourite pancake place. We were thinking we'd have to get takeout but we're lucky and they have space for us to eat in their garden. Order blueberry and vegan bacon pancakes and my boyfriend orders the American (gluten-free) which is eggs, bacon and maple butter. He says they're the best gluten-free pancakes he's ever had. We also get coffees.£27.40, boyfriend pays. 12pm: We go past my favourite coffee shop and pop in (see a theme here?). I went to uni in Brighton so I'm delighted to be back. Drinks are £5.20, I pay. It's very busy in The Lanes so we decide to keep our masks on the whole time but most people (apart from in shops) don't seem bothered. 2pm: It's such a nice day so we grab a beer takeaway and head down to sit on the beach. £10.20, I pay. It's busy on the beach but everyone is far away from each other and such a good atmosphere. We see a guy taking professional photos and wonder if they'll appear in The Sun tomorrow to make it look like everyone is on top of each other. Walk down to Hove to meet a friend and her boyfriend for a drink. We sit on the beach and have a massive catch-up. She pays for our drinks so I'm not sure how much they come to.5pm: After a couple of hours of nonstop chatting, we leave to get a very late lunch/early dinner. Head to (you guessed it, a favourite) pizza place in Hove and grab two pizzas and burrata. My boyfriend says it's the best gluten-free pizza he's had (he's coeliac). I get two Aperols – I'm in full sun-is-shining mode – and he gets a non-alcoholic beer. £48.70, I pay. We grab two litres of beer from the taproom next door to take home, I don't go in so I'm not sure how much they cost. Boyfriend pays. 8pm: Finally we head home, it's been such a lovely day and so nice to have a change of scenery. On the way home, our friends message to see if we want to join them at the pub! We head down and do a round of drinks each, which comes to £23.20 for my round. Such a good way to finish off the day.10.30pm: Home and bed!Total: £96.30Day Four8am: Wake up on Sunday feeling surprisingly fresh. Decide we should take the bikes out for a ride. Make some toast and eat in bed, watching Friday's Gogglebox. Have some morning sex. My favourite.10am: Drive to my house to pick up my road bike. Then back to my boyfriend's. Head out for a ride in the Surrey countryside. So many of the roads have been resurfaced since I last ventured out. Stop at a café for lunch, we both get a sandwich and iced coffee (I didn't go inside the coffee shop so unsure how much it was as my boyfriend paid).3pm: Back on the bikes and head home. Have some of the beer we bought in Brighton yesterday in the garden in the sun, then I drive to pick my son up from his dad's house (we alternate weekends). 6pm: We head to meet some friends for drinks at the pub. I spend £17.50 on a couple of beers and drinks and crisps for O.9pm: Walk back to my boyfriend's and we *accidentally* order a curry at the pub to meet us when we're home (boyfriend pays). We go all out: paneer masala, chicken dansak (my boyfriend's as I'm veggie), saag aloo, naan, rice, onion bhajis and poppadoms. It's so good and we box up the leftovers for lunches tomorrow. O safely in bed, we watch Naked Attraction and discuss if we'd choose each other, classic. 10pm: Head to bed fairly early. Total: £17.50Day Five7.30am: O has an inset day today. He's staying with my boyfriend for the morning until my dad is free to pick him up. 8.45am: I set O up for the morning: TV, snacks, drink, colouring etc. Then I head off to work. 11am: It is the Monday of Mondays. I stop at a petrol station to use the toilet but it's closed. Heartbroken. The hardest part of being on the road is finding somewhere to wee, either I have a weak bladder or I drink a lot. Buy a Diet Coke to cheer myself up and go in search of a toilet elsewhere. £1.051pm: About two hours later I get back to the office and finally use the loo. Heat up my leftover curry and it does not disappoint. I've got a student nurse with me at the moment, which I enjoy but it's definitely a lot of extra work and pressure. I only qualified a year ago and this is my third student already. She's with me for seven weeks. We go over some paperwork and what she wants to achieve over the next few weeks and then head out for our last patients. 6pm: Head home and O and my dad are at my house. Cook O dinner and we watch some TV together. 7.30pm: I cook up some leftovers from our taco night on Friday and make burrito bowls for when my boyfriend arrives home.9pm: After dinner we chill and listen to some records. Buying records has been my lockdown project over the last year and I've got a fair amount now.Total: £1.05Day Six6.30am: I'm up early to head to the vaccination centre today. I go every Tuesday on my day off to do a shift, I absolutely love it. There's such a good atmosphere. I usually do a five-hour shift and it's very well paid but the money I get from it gets taken off my tax credits so although I'm working more it doesn't make any difference to my income. When I do shifts at the vaccination centre, my boyfriend take O to school for me as I have to leave the house so early. 1pm: Five hours later and 100+ vaccines given, I am done! It's a full-on morning but very rewarding; everyone there and the work being put in by volunteers is amazing. I meet my boyfriend on his break from work and we get a coffee and sandwich (boyfriend pays). 3pm: I head to pick O up from school. Tuesdays are the only day I get to do this and I cherish it a lot. We walk home and chat all about him being back with his friends, which is so lovely. He's been at school the whole of the pandemic due to me being a key worker but he really missed his friends being there too. 5.30pm: This is the first week O's swimming lessons are back on so we head over to the pool. It seems very well organised. From where I have to stand I can't see him swimming though, which is a shame. 6.30pm: We head out to the park by the pool afterwards then go via the supermarket on the way home and grab bread, milk, pizza (for O), avocado (apparently O needs an avocado stone for school tomorrow), humous, carrots, pasta, toilet roll, a birthday card. £23.65 8pm: Boyfriend cycles over after work, he's taking a bike up to the office tomorrow so the commute is easier now that he's back more often. Make us an aubergine dal for dinner – how much curry is too much for a week? End the evening watching Bohemian Rhapsody, which I really enjoy.Total: £23.65Day Seven8.30am: I drop O and a friend at school together most mornings. This morning she's come over early so they play on the trampoline before school. 8.45am: Quick drop to school and then head over to work to pick my student up. We both have to wear masks in the car and it is HOT today. I have a 16-year-old car which has no air-con or heating; not ideal when you spend most of your working life in the car! We stop mid-morning to get Diet Cokes, my treat. £1.501pm: After a busy morning of patients we head back to the office at lunch and we all decide to sit outside, which is lovely. If only we didn't have to return to work! After eating and a catch-up, we all head back out for our last patients of the day. 5pm: Drop my student home then spend time doing some work when I get home. 6pm: Make O dinner. I tend to make a lot of dinners and portion them up for the freezer. Today he's having veggie meatballs. I'm playing netball this evening (it works out about £1.50 a match but we pay in advance and I probably paid for this season way back in September). My boyfriend arrives and I eat some toast and banana and head off a little while after. 8.30pm: Game was good, we didn't win but was still a lot of fun. On the way home I grab petrol and a bottle of wine. £37.05 9pm: Head home and run into the room shouting about how I have wine before realising my boyfriend is on Zoom with friends that I've never met. Good first impression I'm sure! 9.30pm: Have a bath and glass of wine and read my book for a while. Currently reading The Girl With The Louding Voice for my book club, which is so interesting but so sad.10.30pm: Bed!Total: £38.55The BreakdownFood & Drink: £131Entertainment: £0Clothes & Beauty: £20Travel: £73.15Other: £0Total: £224.15Conclusion"I think this week I had a higher spend than I would usually do as things have started opening up. It has been lovely to be able to do more. I’m aware that my boyfriend pays for a lot for me when we are out. However he stays at my house five or six nights a week and this works well for us and our situation. I have to budget very carefully as I don’t have a lot of spare funds each month. I’ve loved working at the vaccination centre. Seeing it written down that I don’t actually make any money from it does make me feel like I’ll always be in the tax/universal credit trap and I would have to be earning a huge amount more money (not that likely as a nurse) to benefit financially." Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Money Diary: An Investment Analyst On 50kMoney Diary: A Software Engineer On 72.5kMoney Diary: An Admissions Assistant On 20k
It’s no secret that the pandemic has resulted in a concerning surge of anti-Asian hate crime. Racist generalisations of a “Chinese virus” have been weaponised against East Asians in particular and, combined with the Atlanta shootings in March, the normalisation of racism towards Asian people in Western society has moved to the forefront of conversations. The UK is no stranger to anti-Asian hate, as recent heavily criticised race reports suggest. There is a wealth of Asian culture here, and many Asian people have experienced abuse. Amid the ongoing discussions, the beauty industry is on the tip of people’s tongues; in recent years, it has become apparent that racism and cultural appropriation towards South and Southeast, Western and Central Asians is normalised in so-called beauty ‘trends’. From ‘skin brightening’ to facial fillers, many trends are rooted in white-favouring beauty standards and erase people of colour. Unintentional or not, it needs to be challenged. Social media has become a frenzy of big beauty movements. One major ‘look’ which has swept across all platforms is the ‘fox eye’ trend. Endorsed by makeup artists and Instagram influencers alike, it involves distorting one’s eye and brow shape using thick, light-coloured concealer, tape – or in the case of many people – Botox. The goal is to achieve an upward slanted look. On TikTok alone, the #foxeyemakeup hashtag has 25.4 million views and counting. It can’t be ignored that this opens a gateway to fetishising Asian features and is entirely ignorant. “The fox eye trend is catastrophic to the Asian community,” agrees tattoo artist Alex Lawson. As the fox eye peaked in popularity, many pointed out that it relies on taking facial features from East Asians; features which have often been mocked. It’s wrong – not to mention racist – to glorify these features on white faces alone. “I’ve had strangers in the street pulling their eyes and shouting slurs at me,” continues Lawson. “People want to wear Asian features without living the effect of being an actual Asian person.” Photographer and podcast host Natalie Lam also voices her concern about the fox eye trend. “We were mocked for so many years and we still are,” she says. “It’s insulting that Westerners can pick and choose things which are out of our control and just drop the ‘trend’ when the next one appears.” As the ‘fox eye’ makeup trend peaked in popularity, many pointed out that it relies on taking facial features from East Asians; features which have often been mocked. It’s wrong – not to mention racist – to glorify these features on white faces alone. Dr Anjali Mahto, a consultant dermatologist and beauty expert, says the trend is worrying and makes her uneasy. “I feel really uncomfortable with anything that changes one’s ethnic features,” she says. Though some might argue that it’s unconscious and unintentional, the popularity of the fox eye trend proves that beauty and racism are so intertwined that stealing from other races, ethnicities and cultures has become the norm. If the basis of your ‘aesthetic’ comes from the oppression of others, it is unfair and unjust. Dr Mahto continues: “The opposite of this – often in Far Eastern countries – is having plastic surgery to remove eyelid folds to create a more Westernised experience.” Dr Mahto is referring to Asian blepharoplasty, also known as double eyelid surgery. It is popular among East Asian people and is said to make one’s features appear more Caucasian, as women strive to achieve Eurocentric standards of beauty. Speaking of surgery, it’s impossible to scroll through beauty-focused TikTok and Instagram without coming across before-and-after videos of nose jobs. Liquid nose jobs (or nonsurgical nose jobs, which use filler to alter the shape of the nose) are trending in particular. Of course, plastic surgery (or any face augmentation) is entirely down to the individual and their personal happiness but so many of these liquid nose jobs and ideals of what noses ‘should’ look like pander to whiteness. On TikTok, the hashtag #nonsurgicalnosejob has 16 million views; scroll through and you’ll see many women undergoing procedures to smooth out what they consider ‘bumps‘. More often than not, these bumps are features of ethnic noses, showing genetic ancestry. Beauty influencer Fashionicide says that while her nose wasn’t a huge issue for her growing up, when she really got into beauty, she noticed a lot of South Asian influencers would alter their noses with makeup as the trend for contouring took off. Contouring is still big today and can be seen to reinforce the idea that ethnic noses are not beautiful. “It didn’t make me feel particularly bad about [my nose] but if the people that are supposed to represent you are doing this, then I can totally see how South Asian women would feel that pressure,” they say. Liquid nose jobs have become popular recently among East Asian women. The trend sees people getting filler injected into their nose to give them a bridge bone, much like a Caucasian nose. A quick Google search uncovers countless aestheticians who claim they can create a ‘higher nose bridge’ in people of Asian descent who tend to have ‘lower nose bridges’, as though the latter is something to be changed. It’s obvious that beauty standards are at play here and that insecurities may be shaped by years of white Eurocentric goals, which target Asian women of colour. The Western world repackaging Asian beauty items truly treads a fine line between appreciation and appropriation.ALEX Lawson Aesthetics aside, beauty tools and techniques have recently been called into question, too. Massage technique gua sha has a history in traditional Chinese medicine and is known to relax muscle tension, bring down inflammation and reduce eye bags. However, similar to other cultural traditions, the Western world has rebranded the technique as ‘new’ or ‘innovative’. Some have even gone so far as to tout it as ‘natural Botox’, causing offence. On their own, gua sha facial massaging tools are harmless but the Asian women I spoke to for this feature vocalised a greater concern for how Western society revamps Asian cultures as its own. “The Western world repackaging Asian beauty items truly treads a fine line between appreciation and appropriation,” says Lawson. Lam adds: “Massage tools specifically are an instance where appropriation has been so normalised that even those whose cultures have been appropriated are no longer fazed by it. I think Western beauty companies essentially stealing an idea and claiming it as their own is, over anything else, incredibly lazy.” Lawson adds that henna products, although not inherently discriminatory, are another example of Asian appropriation in beauty. “This is something East Asians have used for centuries,” she says. “It’s seemingly harmless but I’ve seen beauticians and makeup artists advertising henna eyebrow and freckle treatments for £30-£50,” when it is a cheap dye which many East Asian people use at home. Capitalising on things like henna and gua sha by rebranding them as Western innovations via ‘trends’ doesn’t sit right with many people, Lam adds. “The key to appropriation versus appreciation is giving credit where credit is due. To my knowledge, people aren’t giving credit to the originators of these techniques and tools and instead, act like they are revolutionary.” On TikTok, there are countless videos by beauty experts and enthusiasts which show Asian women how to reduce their dark underarms or ‘strawberry legs’ (pigmented hair follicles) using trending ingredients like acids and retinol. Colourism is another of beauty’s biggest unkept secrets and products that position their marketing with the goal of achieving ‘lighter’ or ‘fairer’ skin are rooted in racially coded language. It implies that anything other than white is undesirable. In the UK, we like to think we’ve moved beyond this: unless prescribed by a dermatologist, lightening creams containing ingredients like hydroquinone, steroids and mercury (damaging to skin and internal organs, potentially causing blood pressure and diabetes issues, according to Dr Mahto) are banned here. Yet you can still find lightening creams illegally stocked in high street retailers and on third-party beauty websites. Frighteningly, however, beauty brands are shifting their strategy, appealing to consumers using different terminology such as skin ‘brightening’ and ‘pigmentation reducing’, which arguably has a similar effect in some cases. On TikTok especially, there are countless videos by beauty experts and enthusiasts which show Asian women how to reduce their dark underarms or ‘strawberry legs’ (pigmented hair follicles) using trending ingredients like acids and retinol. In a handful of videos, plenty of comments show that people have noticed body pigmentation but have never cared to do anything about it until now, while others ask if body pigmentation is normal. The answer is yes but viral videos like these perpetuate the notion that it isn’t. Sometimes, it’s not that subtle. Recently, TikTok pages advertising questionable skin brightening creams to Asian people have made their way into women’s feeds. Their advertising strategies are causing huge concern, often showing dark skin being lightened, with hashtags such as #YesVeryClean. This suggests that dark skin is dirty and no doubt leaves an impression on a younger audience. Model and DJ Flik Renée says colourism haunted her while growing up. “I was so harsh on myself in my teens, trying to meet unrealistic beauty standards which had me convinced that my beautiful skin wasn’t beautiful enough because I was ‘too dark’ or ‘not fair enough’. It wasn’t unusual for aunties and family members to unintentionally drop remarks and give you tips on how to lighten your skin. This is how deep the ideology is set within the South Asian communities in particular.” Beauty influencer Yasmin Johal agrees and says that we need to turn to our communities and reconcile with our own colourist ideas. “I think a lot of the pressure of colourism comes from within my own culture, and for me that began when I was 8 years old. I’d just come back from a holiday in Spain and I had really dark skin. My grandma told me to scrub it off. It implied to me that having dark skin wasn’t good.” Beauty brands champion ‘bushy brows’ as the look to aim for. Yet when trends like this come into fashion, they are only ever celebrated on white women. Like melanated skin, our disdain for body hair has become deeply entrenched in whiteness, not to mention misogyny. South Asian women with darker, thicker hair are often the target of ridicule and shame as their body hair tends to be more visible. Though perhaps not rooted entirely in racism, appealing to a white gaze pushes an unfair standard on many women of colour. Of course, women with fairer skin and lighter hair may feel similar pressures to maintain grooming due to patriarchal standards, but they most likely do not face the same mockery as those with more noticeable body hair. Johal makes an interesting point about brow trends specifically, as brands and magazines champion ‘bushy brows’ as the look to aim for. When trends like this come into fashion, they are only ever celebrated on white women. “A lot of South Asian women have very hairy faces naturally, and we generally tend to have hair in between our eyebrows. It’s not a trend; it’s something we live with and something we’ve been bullied for, especially as younger women.” On TikTok and Instagram, videos showcasing sugaring, threading and hard waxing, and new shaving, epilating and laser devices are uploaded in vast numbers. It’s safe to say that hair removal is trending but this only adds to the existing pressures on young women. TikToker Anna recently took to the app to talk about having body and facial hair as an Asian woman after being criticised by a man online. She said: “There’s this conception that women should be hairless and I think it comes as a shock when they see how much hair a woman can grow.” Touching on a recent video which showed her underarm hair, Anna added: “As an Asian woman I have really thick, coarse, dark hair all over my body and face. I’m sure other women have been bullied for having hair in places they’re not supposed to, so stop policing where we should have hair. It’s so natural.” Fashionicide says that damaging beauty ideals are enforced by many women, too. “I was speaking to some of my colleagues about not shaving my legs one winter because I’d need all the warmth I can get and another South Asian girl overheard, looked at me in disgust and asked me whether my husband would mind. Sure, the standard may be Eurocentric but it is enforced by non-Europeans just as strongly, if not stronger.” Journalist Lucinda agrees and says misogyny is definitely a factor in how body hair on women of colour is perceived. “I’ve heard Asian men mock Asian women for their hair but it’s usually because they’re comparing them to white women,” Lucinda says. “Their ideal notion of a hairless woman stems from the media, not to mention the beauty industry pushing this as the expectation.” Shaving and removing your hair should be a choice, not something you feel you have to do. It isn’t just race that comes into play when analysing today’s beauty ‘trends’, nor are Asian women the only ones affected by harmful beauty standards. While change is slow, calling these trends into question is a start in dismantling the beauty industry’s discriminatory views and blatant appropriation towards Asian people. What’s more, representation in beauty should be championed not simply because it’s the tokenistic ‘good thing’ to do but because white faces should not be the only ones allowed to thrive and prosper in this space. It’s more important than ever to be conscious of our behaviour, our attitude towards those from diverse backgrounds and how we consume beauty trends in the future. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Talking About Anti-Asian Hate With My Mum Is HardKulfi Beauty Is Celebrating South Asian BeautyAsian Women On Being Objectified & Fetishised
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