In our house, it was a close contest to who we wanted to be runner-up, and as much as we LOVE John Barrowman, there were cheers and tears when Emily Atack was declared a finalist alongside eventual winner Harry. Emily has been charming, fun, entertaining and above all true to herself in her three-week stint in the jungle and hearing her tearful admission that she has been struggling with her confidence and belief in herself, feeling she had to look or behave a certain way for people to like her broke our hearts. Her time in the jungle, away from all the pressures that she felt from the outside world gave her the time and space she needed to accept and love herself for the bright and gorgeous person she is, and finally feel happy in her own skin. Her journey is exactly what This Girl Is On Fire is all about; believing in yourself and who you are as a person, and from us to you Emily, believe us when we say, you are ON FIRE!
Feathers were ruffled this week over Beyonce and Ed Sheeran’s performance at the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg, with fashionistas and feminists taking to social media to blast not their musical skills but their outfits. Beyonce was accused of being forced to dress up because she’s a woman, and Ed accused of being ‘enabled’ to dress down because he’s a man. Ed appeared as, well, Ed, in scruffy jeans, trainers and a two-T-shirt ensemble a la Chris Martin. Beyonce appeared as, well, Beyonce, in a voluminous pink ruffled dress that managed to be both twice her size, yet also feature funky shorts so she could strut like only Beyonce can. And surely that’s the whole point? She’s BEYONCE. She could go to the supermarket dressed like that and no-one would bat an eyelid; she can, and does, dress however she damn well pleases. Ed is Ed, and probably doesgo to the supermarket dressed exactly as he appears on stage – that’s part of his charm. Did anyone mention how they actually sounded? By all accounts, they were as awesome as you’d expect, and that’s the bit that counts…
French women usually know a thing or two when it comes to looking their classy best don’t they? The sultry accent may just be half of it, but the rest is down to unashamedly wanting to look and feel their best. However, one French author has revealed her tips for looking fabulous at fifty – and it boils down to changing the parts that make you look ‘old’. Alongside advice to watch your weight and dye your hair, she advises don’t throw birthday parties, never reveal your real age and avoid reading glasses. Mylene Desclaux (allegedly 59) has also revealed the piece de resistance is to change your nameto something younger-sounding. In effect, alongside the lying about your hair colour and whether you can read a menu in dim light, she encourages erasing the very essence of yourself. A little touch-up to keep you looking your best possible self is one thing – removing all evidence of who you actually areis surely something else altogether?
A new petition has been launched to challenge the government to give retail staff more time off over the Christmas holidays. Metro.co.uk has started a petition to stop shops opening on Boxing Day, allowing staff to spend more than just one day with their families. Some retailers have already decided that days off are more important than sales – Home Bargains are closing all their stores this Boxing Day to allow their staff extra time off. As the petition says would there really be a difference if the sales started on 27th December instead of the 26th? Has Christmas become too materialistic? Would we all really crack up if the shops were shut for two days instead of just one? We think not, but those hard-working retail staff who have not stopped before Christmas, would definitely benefit. After all, ‘tis the season to be jolly – not the season to be shopping non-stop! You can sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-stop-shops-opening-on-boxing-day-2?recruiter=177636664
Being married to the leader of the free world is never going to be easy; even if you love, respect and admire each other, politics and all it involves is tough. Former First Lady Michelle Obama has revealed in her much-anticipated autobiography Becoming that working on their personal life behind closed doors was almost as much of a job as being President. And they both treated it as such, going for regular counselling sessions to make sure that they kept their solid marriage on track. Speaking about it on Good Morning America she said that counselling had helped them overcome a rocky patch and taught them how to overcome their differences: “I know many young couples who struggle and think that somehow there’s something wrong with them. And I want them to know that Michelle and Barack Obama, who have a phenomenal marriage and who love each other, we work on our marriage”. As any couple knows, sometimes marriage is the toughest job of them all.
With just five weeks to go until Christmas, Parents are rolling up their sleeves, gritting their teeth and bracing themselves for the biggest night of the year. And no, not Christmas Eve… it’s a MUCH bigger night than that. We are talking the school nativity. In a survey of 2,000 parents across the UK for Virgin TV, confessions have ranged from splashing out for extra singing and dancing lessons to give their kids ‘the edge’ over the other little darlings, sucking up to the teacher to bag their child the best part, and spending hours making costumes from scratch to out-do the competition. The rest of us? Well, surely there is nothing wrong with throwing a bit of tinsel round a cherubic head and hoping for a Silent Night…
We love Little Mix here at TGIOF; they are talented, strong and fierce – everything that women through the ages have fought for the right to be. Which makes the image of the four of them wearing nothing but the insults they have been targeted with scrawled across their bodies all the more poignant. It doesn’t matter who we are or what job we do, all of us are merely human, and to have the words ‘Not Good Enough’ ‘Odd Looking’ ‘Insignificant’ ‘Ugly’, ‘Slutty’, ‘Flabby’ ‘Gobby’, ‘Fat’ and ‘Bossy’ hurled at you is going to hurt. Taking the time to choose which words to write on your body is going to hurt. Looking at the picture of yourself covered in every insecurity you secretly hold is going to hurt. Which makes us love them even more for doing it – to show every faceless coward who thinks it’s OK to call anyone names, whether they are famous or not, that they are the insignificant ones. Strip, Little Mix’s new single, is out now
It’s November, so it must be time for ten celebrities to be dropped into the Australian jungle. I’m A Celebrity is back and this time with one major change – Holly Willoughby! The new presenting pair of Dec and Holly seemed to go down well with viewers, but what about the camp-mates? An early favourite to win king (and queen!) of the jungle is John Barrowman, thanks to his team spirit and show tunes, while actress Emily Attack is definitely going to be crowned the scream queen of the group! We also saw a more sensitive side to The Chase star Anne Hegerty, who broke down in tears and talked about leaving. Anne, who recently revealed she was diagnosed with Asperger’s as an adult, was quickly comforted by her team-mates, who we really hope can persuade her to stay. Bring on the trials…
From Zoolander to Ab Fab, fashion has been parodied and lampooned since ruffles and cuffs were invented. But truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction, as was revealed this week with Balenciaga’s Fall / Winter 2018 collection, which feature two pine tree keychains which look alarmingly like the air-fresheners seen hanging off the rear-view mirror in any self-respecting cab. In a choice of two colours, baby blue or baby pink, resplendent with gold embossed branding, they retail at $214 each. Ironic? Absolutely. Fabulous? Well, unless they smell forest fresh or are secret teleportation devises that take the carrier wherever they want to be in the world in a blue / pink flash… we think not.
TV host Piers Morgan has once again done his favourite thing and caused a Twitter storm, this time by bemoaning the fact that James Bond actor Daniel Craig has been spotted out in New York wearing a papoose to carry his baby daughter. “Oh 007… not you as well?!!! #papoose #emasculatedBond”he tweeted. When Twitterdom responded, so did he: “He’s not carrying it, that’s my point. He’s using an emasculating papoose. James Bond would never use a papoose to carry his babies.”For the love of God man, he’s an actor, and the only bond he cares about right now is the one between him and his newborn. Someone needs to put this big baby on the naughty step….
It can seem that the only people dressing to impress are those either heading out on a Saturday night or staying in to pose in front of their bathroom mirror for Instagram. Getting dressed up for something as benign as a job interview is not the first thing that springs to many minds, but thankfully it did to career App Debut, who have teamed up with fashion expert Amber Butchart and 650 leading charity stores across the UK to put together first-time job interview outfits for an affordable £10. As Amber says, “The UK’s charity shops are brimming with hidden gems that are waiting to go from pre-loved to re-loved… it gives everyone the same chance to look and feel great during an interview.” Impressive indeed.
It’s not something that you can just throw money at and make it go away; loneliness a multi-layered thing that affects millions of people in a multitude of ways. Asking for help may be the first painful step; but knowing what can be done about it is difficult, particularly when the first port of call for many is their GP. Hopefully, that is about to change, with cookery, dancing, art and walking classes to be available on the NHS as an alternative to medication, in the government’s first ever loneliness strategy, which should be in place by 2023. Postal workers are also being encouraged to check in on lonely people while doing their rounds, and Sainsbury’s is just one of many businesses backing a new employer pledge to tackle loneliness in the workplace. These are great initial steps, but let’s all remember that at the end of the day people need people, and sometimes giving a smile, asking “How are you?” and being interested in the reply is the first step we can all take in helping each other feel better.
There’s a new Royal Baby on the way! As if we weren’t excited enough about the wedding of the year when Harry wed Meghan (sorry Eugenie), now there is the news of a Spring baby to look forward to. Yes, we all may have counted the months on our fingers (come on, we all did it), but there are few things as likely to whip the world into a frenzy as this. After announcing it to the family at last weekend’s wedding before jetting off Down Under, Harry and Meghan’s announcement is just what we need to take our mind off the impending doom of next Spring, when Brexit becomes an official thing rather than just something everyone is panicking and arguing about. Great timing guys – it’s just the Royal news that we all needed – sorry Eugenie…
You can never accuse Nigella Lawson of sleeping in the job - in fact you’d be hard pushed to accuse her of sleeping at all! At a recent Q&A session the TV cook revealed that while she loves tucking herself in early, she rarely sleeps longer than two hours at a time, and regularly gets up in the night to make her self a cup of tea and wander about the house, before heading back to bed for a lie down. Perhaps a steaming mug of chamomile should be on the menu?
It doesn’t take much to get the press in a tizz over Meghan Markle, but the latest furore is surely the most ridiculous yet. On her first solo outing as the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan arrived on time, immaculately dressed and ready for work. Stepping out the car, she shook the hand of the gentleman sent to greet her and closed the door behind her before walking away. Not much wrong with any of that you’d think? But you’d be wrong. “The trials of a modern royal” was how that very moment was reported in the press. “Woman shuts car door” would have been a more accurate one, as apparently that was Megan’s major faux pas. Apparently it’s just not the done thing. Here’s hoping this very ‘modern’ royal turns this archaic rule on its’ head before all common sense flies out the window.
There are certain things we’d love to inherit from our parents, and you’d think that intelligence, sense of humour and ability to parallel park would at least make the top ten. Apparently not, as inheriting what we are capable of thinking or doing is not as high on our list as how we like looking. A poll of 2,000 Brits has found that the top three genes we are most grateful to our parents for passing on are those which give us a high metabolism, height and thick hair. Closely followed by those that make us tan easily, and give us blue eyes. It gives a whole new meaning to mummy’s blue-eyed boy.
You’d think that one of the perks of being an international pop star would be girls throwing themselves at you, desperate to be your girlfriend. Not so for chart-topper Ollie Murs, who spoke recently on The Jonathan Ross Show about a girlfriend he dated who refused to tell her friends that he was her boyfriend. Because she was worried they’d throw themselves at her international pop star beau? No, because he was, in her words “a bit rough round the edges”. Instead she told her friends he was her “Essex builder”. Sounds like her manners could do with some re-pointing... in the right direction!
As Sunday night’s appointment to view came to a close this week, a nation switched off the telly, went to bed and wondered what on earth they were going to do with themselves now that the BBC’s Bodyguard drama series was over. No more water-cooler moments trying to figure out what the hell was going on, and how the innocuous words ‘David Budd’ could sound quite so charming just because of Richard Madden’s lilting Scottish burr. If only Kelley Hawes’ Home Secretary Julia Montegue could somehow come back from the dead, perhaps by stepping out of a shower like Bobby Ewing in Dallas, we could relive the ‘will they, won’t they, oh good they did’ drama all over again. Because never mind the subterfuge and corruption, that was the bit we all tuned in for. What are we supposed to do now?
Think Avengers and the first thing that springs to mind is the sublime Joanna Lumley, kicking ass in leather with a wry grin and a twinkle in her eye. With her infamous ‘Purdey’ bob and quick one-liners she was a beautiful feminist icon. Which makes it all the more disheartening to hear that the press at the time didn’t see her as such; that at the Avengers launch she was treated as just another bit of telly totty. Speaking to Andrew Marr, Joanna revealed that as she pulled up in a shiny Rolls Royce, clutching the infamous bowler hat and cane, the waiting photographers said: “Joanna if you could just come up on the Rolls Royce and hoik up your skirt and show us your stockings.” Apparently there was a “full roar” from the assembled press when she told them she was wearing tights, not stockings, and they announced that “if you’re not wearing stockings then we won’t cover the occasion and we won’t take any pictures.” She had to run inside and ask a woman if she could have her stockings in exchange for five pounds, just to please the photographers and get the job done. Here’s hoping that the world has moved on since then. And that if the press call had been for Joanna’s other alter ego - Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous, she’d have whacked each one of them and told them where they could shove the Bolly darling.
Being comfy yet classy on a flight is a tricky one... do you opt for the soft stretchy leggings and trainers or style it out in heels like the effortless A-listers? Apparently some sky-high traveller opt for neither, choosing instead to flash the flesh rather than risk the uncomfortable restrictions that clothes can bring. Bikinis, micro shorts, no tops at all? These are just some of the fashion choices seen on flights according to a Facebook page called #PassengerShaming, where people can send snaps of their scantily-clad fellow passengers. Think London Fashion Weak and you’ll get the idea. Suddenly those tatty leggings don’t seem quite so bad after all...