Lifestyle Barometer: Your guide to what’s hot and what’s not this week from the royal baby to Piers Morgan


Going up:

Royal baby fever

The couple announced that they are expecting their first child in the spring of 2019 (AFP/Getty)

On Monday, Kensington Palace announced that the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle is pregnant with her first child and, ever since then, the world has been consumed by royal baby fever.

The statement, which was made on Twitter, revealed that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expecting to welcome their baby in the spring of 2019.

Since the announcement was made, royal fans have been second-guessing everything from what the couple will choose to name their child – several gambling companies are already taking bets on Diana for a girl, after Prince Harry’s late mother – to where the new baby will be placed in line for the throne

Harry spoke about his impending fatherhood for the very first time as the couple began their first overseas tour, saying: “But genuinely, thank you for the incredibly warm welcome and the chance to meet so many Aussies from all walks of life.

“We also genuinely couldn’t think of a better place to announce the upcoming baby, be it a boy or a girl. So thank you very, very much.”

 

Sainsbury’s Talking Tables scheme

Sainsbury’s hopes its Talking Tables scheme will help bring people together (Sainsbury’s)

UK supermarket Sainsbury’s has announced that it will be trialling a new scheme to help tackle the problem of loneliness.

The initiative, called Talking Tables, will appear in 20 stores across the country and take on a number of different formats.

This will include stores setting up dedicated tables where people can have a chat, a variation where colleagues who’d like to be involved can volunteer to be table hosts, and a charity-led format where stores will partner with community groups and work with their volunteer networks to host scheduled sessions.

The supermarket is following in the footsteps of Costa, which launched “Chatter and Natter” tables in more than 3,000 branches of its stores in August. 

 

Lady Gaga

The musician spoke openly about mental illness and sexual assault during a powerful speech (Getty for Elle Magazine)

Lady Gaga delivered a powerful speech at Elle’s annual Women in Hollywood event on Monday, in which she spoke openly about mental health, being sexually assaulted and wanting to “take the power back” with regards to her unusual choice of outfit.

For the gala, the singer chose to wear an oversized suit by Marc Jacobs which she said was a way of resisting “the standards of Hollywood”.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands, the musician explained how the outfit made her feel more empowered than a dress ever could.

“In this suit, I felt like me today. In this suit, I felt the truth of who I am well up in my gut,” she said.

The Star is Born actor went on to explain how choosing an outfit to wear for the event made her question the lengths women go to in order to meet such high standards regarding their appearance before speaking about how she had been sexually assaulted by someone in the entertainment industry when she was 19. 

 

WhatsApp

A Labour MP has credited WhatsApp for galvanising female activism (Reuters)

The majority of us might use WhatsApp for futile group chats and sharing memes with our friends, but it turns out that the instant messaging platform is actually more powerful than you might think.

This week, Labour MP Jess Phillips credited WhatsApp for galvanising female activism in the UK, claiming that it gives women a safe space to exchange ideas.

Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, she revealed that the parliamentary debate to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland had been “almost exclusively” facilitated by communications on the platform.

“There is a shift in the way women organise themselves across all ages in the last few years,” she said.

“Women need spaces to feel they can speak and they can organise together and WhatsApp has created that in a virtual world.”

 

Jollibee

Jollibee’s first UK branch is opening in London this weekend (AFP/Getty)

Asia’s biggest fast food chain, Jollibee, is opening its first ever UK branch in London this weekend. 

The restaurant, which will open on 20 October, will be located in a former Wagamama outlet in Earl’s Court. So, what’s on the menu?

Serving up a fusion of US and Asian-inspired dishes, you can expect to find everything from fried chicken with spaghetti, covered in a red sauce and loaded with slices of hotdog and ground beef, to Jollibee’s trademark Chicken Joy, which comes with mushroom gravy rice.

 

Going down:

Piers Morgan

The TV presenter has faced criticism for his skewed image of manhood (Getty)

Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan has been slammed on social media for mocking actor Daniel Craig.

Morgan took to Twitter to criticise the actor for carrying his child across his body using a papoose – a carrier people use to hold their baby, while also leaving their hands free – as he walked the streets of New York with his daughter.

Alongside a photo of Craig, Morgan wrote: “Oh 007 … not you as well?!!!” before declaring him an #emasculatedBond.

The controversial presenter was criticised for the dad-shaming stunt on Twitter with some users, including Captain America actor Chris Evans, calling him out for his skewed image of manhood while others responded with photos of themselves proudly holding their own children in baby carriers. 

In retaliation to the presenter’s controversial remarks, comedian Harry Hill even went as far as to slam a cream pie in Morgan’s face live on television, declaring: “This pie is for all those men that wear papooses.” 

 

Fairytales

Keira Knightley has revealed that her child is banned from reading or watching some fairytales (Rex)

Fairytales have come under fire for their prejudicial and archaic stereotypes.

This week, a host of celebrities including Keira Knightley and Kristen Bell announced that they were imposing bans on reading classic Disney stories to their children.

Knightley said that her daughter Edie was not allowed to watch Cinderella or The Little Mermaid because she does not agree with the messages they could send. Similarly, Bell called out the 1937 fairytale Snow White over consent and admitted that she regularly questions the film’s suitability for her daughters, Lincoln and Delta. 

 

Everyday sexism

Waitrose has promised to change the name of a sandwich after it was accused of being sexist (Reuters)

This week, Waitrose and Kleenex both announced that they were renaming products as a result of the growing backlash towards everyday sexism.

Waitrose has said it will change the name of its Gentleman’s Smoked Chicken Caesar Roll after campaigners claimed it was sexist. 

The roll, which is part of Heston Blumenthal’s range at the supermarket, gets its name from the inclusion of Gentleman’s Relish – a highly seasoned anchovy paste.

But, after it was branded as “outrageous” and “ridiculous” on social media, the chain has had to apologise for causing offence. 

Amy Lamé, Sadiq Khan’s first appointed London “night czar” (charged with championing London’s £26bn night-time economy) posted an image of the product on Twitter alongside the caption: “I never knew sandwiches were gender specific. I’m female but thankfully Waitrose let me purchase this anyway.”

She also tagged the supermarket and Everyday Sexism, an account that documents experiences of day-to-day sexism and harassment.

Similarly, Kleenex announced that it is phasing out its “mansize” tissues, deciding instead to call them “extra large”. 

 

Dietary supplements 

A new study has found that dietary supplements could contain potentially dangerous drugs (Getty)

This week, a new study revealed that hundreds of over the counter dietary supplements sold in the US contain unapproved and potentially dangerous drugs.

Researchers from the California Department of Public Health found that, from 2007 to 2016, 776 products marketed as dietary supplements contained hidden ingredients that are unsafe or unstudied.

Among them were dapoxetine, an antidepressant that is not approved in the US, and sibutramine, an appetite suppressant that was banned from the US market in 2010 because of cardiovascular risks. 

So, what did the FDA do about these supplements?

Well, despite these findings, very little. The study revealed that of the 776 supplements that were identified to contain hidden ingredients, the FDA requested voluntary recall of less than half (46 per cent), and of that amount, only 334 recalls actually happened.

 

Baby gates

Which? has revealed that three baby gates sold in the UK are ‘potentially unsafe’ (Getty)

Baby gates are used by parents all over the world to prevent their children from falling down stairs. However new research has found that a number of them could be “potentially unsafe”.

Consumer watchdog Which? tested the durability of 10 stair gates and found that three failed to meet EU safety standards. The Dreambaby Retractable Gate, which costs around £50, performed “shockingly” in tests conducted by the organisation resulting in Which? asking for an immediate recall of the product.

The other gates which failed to meet EU safety standards include the Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Safety Gate and the Safetots Self-Closing Gate.



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