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Lifestyle Barometer: Your guide to what’s hot and what’s not this week from Christian Dior to toxic media

From Italian food to humanist weddings and hair discrimination, this is our guide to what’s hot and what’s not

Sarah Young
Friday 15 March 2019 14:17 GMT


Dior with his models after a London show in 1950 (Getty)
Dior with his models after a London show in 1950 (Getty)

▲ Christian Dior: The Designer of Dreams

This week, the V&A Museum announced it has extended its Christian Dior exhibition for an additional seven weeks due to popular demand.

Just 19 days after the exhibition opened on 2 February, it sold out of all pre-bookable tickets, prompting organisers to prolong its run.

On Tuesday, the V&A announced on Twitter that Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, which was originally scheduled to end on 14 July, will now run until 1 September, with additional tickets available through the museum’s website.

A total of 121,566 people have visited the exhibition to date and the museum expects that with the additional dates it will equal or surpass the V&A’s most-visited show, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, which saw 493,043 people attend during its 21-week run in 2015.

Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A, said of the extended run: “We knew that Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams would be popular, but we have been overwhelmed by the phenomenal visitor response to date.

“I would like to thank our visitors who have gone to such great lengths to see this extraordinary exhibition so far.

“I am delighted that we can extend the run, ensuring that as many people as possible have the chance to see it before it closes.”

Read The Independent’s review of Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams here.

More pasta please (Getty/iStock)
More pasta please (Getty/iStock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

▲ Italian food

An international YouGov study has revealed Italian food as the most popular cuisine in the world.

The survey asked more than 25,000 people across 24 countries which of 34 national cuisines they had tried and whether they liked or disliked them.

The figures revealed that pizza and pasta were among some of the most popular dishes in the world, with Italian cuisine receiving an average popularity score of 84 per cent across all the countries surveyed.

Chinese food came in second place, which received an average popularity score of 78 per cent, while the world’s third most popular cuisine was revealed as Japanese, scoring an average of 71 per cent.

British cuisine, however, didn’t prove a popular choice across mainland Europe with less than half of those in other European countries stating they enjoyed the country’s food.

You can buy an egg made entirely from cheddar (Sainsbury’s)
You can buy an egg made entirely from cheddar (Sainsbury’s) (Sainsbury's)

▲ The “Cheester” egg

While Easter eggs traditionally come in chocolate form, this year British supermarket Sainsbury’s has unveiled the “Cheester” egg – a seasonal treat made out of 100 per cent cheddar cheese.

The egg contains 120g of cheddar cheese that is sourced from Lancashire farms and has a soft and creamy texture, meaning it’s spreadable.

The egg comes with a packet of oatcakes and a sachet of chutney and can be purchased in stores and online for £5.

Emma Garvey, cheese buyer for Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re always looking for new and unique products to offer to our customers, especially during gifting periods throughout the year when people are on the lookout for something special to give their loved ones.

“The Cheesalicious Easter Egg seemed like an obvious and exciting choice to expand our Easter egg offering and cater to cheese aficionados nationwide. The egg is truly delicious and we can’t wait to see the response from our customers.”

The coin is inspired by the physicist’s pioneering work on black holes (PA)
The coin is inspired by the physicist’s pioneering work on black holes (PA)

▲ Stephen Hawking’s 50p coin

The Royal Mint has unveiled a new 50p piece celebrating the pioneering work of Stephen Hawking.

The coin is inspired by the physicist’s research into black holes and his ability to make science accessible to all.

The professor joins an elite group of scientists to have appeared on UK coins, including Sir Isaac Newton in 2017 and Charles Darwin in 2009.

“Stephen Hawking made difficult subjects accessible, engaging and relatable and this is what I wanted to portray in my design, which is inspired by a lecture he gave in Chile in 2008,” said Edwina Ellis, who designed the coin.

“Hawking, at his playful best, invites the audience to contemplate peering into a black hole before diving in. I wanted to fit a big black hole on the tiny coin and wish he was still here chortling at the thought.”

The coin is available to buy from the Royal Mint’s website, with prices ranging from £10 for an uncirculated version to £795 for a gold proof option.

Happy ever after? (iStock/Getty)
Happy ever after? (iStock/Getty) (Getty/iStock)

▲ Humanist weddings

Humanist marriages are less likely to end in divorce compared with those who wed in other types of ceremonies, new research reveals.

According to data obtained by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, there were 5,072 humanist marriages in Scotland between 2017 and 2018.

Meanwhile, there were 3,166 Church of Scotland ceremonies and 1,182 Roman Catholic ceremonies; the most popular type of wedding was a civil ceremony, with 14,702 taking place in that same time period.

The data also revealed that people who married in humanist ceremonies were four times less likely to divorce than those who wed in civil ceremonies.

But, what exactly is a humanist wedding? Unlike some other weddings, the ceremony is non-religious and conducted by a humanist celebrant, someone who practices humanism and has been trained to conduct weddings and/or funerals according to the movement’s ideologies.

Humanism is a philosophical movement that describes someone who rejects supernatural ideals with regards to religious faith and is entirely agnostic.


Bergdorf has criticised the ‘toxic media climate’
Bergdorf has criticised the ‘toxic media climate’ (Bluebella)

▼ Toxic transgender media coverage

Transgender model Munroe Bergdorf has called out the “toxic media climate” for making trans women feel under threat.

During a speech at the Women of the World (WOW) festival in London last weekend, the 31-year-old criticised the British press for making transgender people, including herself, feel unsafe in public spaces.

Bergdorf said that she felt a “sense of dread” attending the event due to the “increasingly hateful narrative that trans women are a threat to cisgender women”.

She added that the threatening atmosphere came from women in the media “writing articles which are having a real effect on the lives of trans women especially, and trans people period”.

Bergdorf’s comments come amid the ongoing debate about whether transgender athletes should be allowed to compete in women’s sport.

A number of sports stars, including tennis champion Martina Navratilova, runner Paula Radcliffe and swimmer Sharron Davies have spoken about the topic, agreeing that athletes who were born male have “certain advantages that women will not ever get”, in terms of physical traits such as their height and strength.

A group of 200 women is considering legal action against the firm
A group of 200 women is considering legal action against the firm (Shutterstock)

▼ Allergan breast implants

This week, hundreds of women threatened to take legal action against breast implant company Allergen after its products were linked to a rare form of cancer.

Allergan implants were withdrawn from the European market in December 2018 after it was revealed that six women who had them had developed anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare type of blood cancer.

Recent figures collected by plastic surgeons suggest that globally there have been at least 615 cases of the disease associated with breast implants and 16 deaths.

Now, a group of more than 200 women who have been diagnosed with ALCL and say they were not sufficiently informed about the risks of textured Allergen implants have threatened to sue the company.

According to The Guardian, three of the women were given the implants after having preventative mastectomies to protect against a high genetic risk of breast cancer, while others have suffered different complications, including capsular contracture, where breast tissue hardens around the implant.

Jama revealed how she tackles bullies (Getty)
Jama revealed how she tackles bullies (Getty) (Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

▼ Online trolls

Radio 1 DJ Maya Jama has spoken about how she deals with being targeted by online trolls.

Speaking at the Glamour Beauty Festival in London on Sunday, the 24-year-old revealed how one particular troll posts photographs of her on social media with painted bears on her face, while another sends her private messages asking if she’s shaved.

“I blocked them but then it was happening multiple times a day from different accounts and they had very well photoshopped photos of me with a beard,” she said.

“They’d made my skin rougher, and had their name as ‘Maya Jama man’.”

Jama said she overcomes these kinds of comments by trying to laugh it off, admitting she tends to “just block them and move on”.

The TV presenter offered advice to anyone who is being trolled, saying it’s important to try to not take it personally.

“They obviously have an issue with themselves to go out of their way,” she explained.

“Carrying anger is a lot more heavy than carrying love.”

Yvette Nicole Brown wants a stylist who knows how to work with her hair (Getty)
Yvette Nicole Brown wants a stylist who knows how to work with her hair (Getty) (Getty Images)

▼ Hair discrimination

A number of black actors have called on Hollywood to hire professionals that know how to style their hair.

Sharing their thoughts on Twitter, several actors, including Malcolm Barrett, Yvette Nicole Brown and Gabrielle Union, explained how they often have to have their hair styled externally before they start work on a film or television set.

The conversation about the lack of hairstylists for black actors was sparked following similar comments recently made by model Olivia Anakwe.

While preparing to walk the runway at Paris Fashion Week, Anakwe realised there was no hairstylist around who was able to do her hair.

“Black models are still asking for just one hairstylist on every team no matter where your team is from to care for afro hair,” she wrote on Instagram.

“If I am asked to wear my natural hair to a show, the team should prepare the style just as they practice the look and demo for non-afro hair.”

Sonny Turner has opened up about the pressures that come with plus-size modelling
Sonny Turner has opened up about the pressures that come with plus-size modelling ((Credit too long, see caption))

▼ Plus-size model pressures

A UK size 16 model has revealed the intense pressures models face in the plus-size sector saying “you can be fat but not too fat”.

Sonny Turner, 20, claimed that despite efforts to be more inclusive, the fashion industry remains rife with discrimination.

“Even within the plus-size industry there’s still pressure to look a certain way and a preference to be hourglass,” the Birmingham-born student explained.

“You can be plus-size, but you’ve still got to have a flat stomach.

“It’s annoying because plus-size is supposed to mean being whatever size you are – but within that, there are still restraints.”

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Turner also addressed the misconception that plus-size models are unhealthy or unfit.

“I’ve still got to be cautious and watch what I eat and I still have to go to the gym,” she said.

“I think the misconception is that we’re all unhealthy but if I was, I wouldn’t be able to do this job.”

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