Two years later and there are accusations of little progress made, with this Brexit appearing to be softer and slower than anyone could have predicted.
But today, after more than 48 letters of complaint sent to Graham Brady, it was announced that Theresa’s days at No.10 could be numbered as Tory MPs have requested a vote of no confidence in their leader.
‘Sir Graham Brady has confirmed that he has received 48 letters from Conservative MPs so there will now be a vote of confidence in my leadership of the Conservative party,’ Theresa May announced this morning. ‘I will contest that vote with everything I’ve got.’
She continued: ‘A change of leadership in the Conservative party now will put our country’s future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it. A new leader wouldn’t be in place by the 21st January legal deadline, so a leadership election risks handing control of the Brexit negotiations to opposition MPs in parliament.’
‘The new leader wouldn’t have time to renegotiate a withdrawal agreement and get the legislation through parliament by 29 March – so one of their first acts would have to be extending or rescinding article 50, delaying – or even stopping – Brexit when people want us to get on with it.’
‘Delivering the Brexit people voted for. Building a country that works for everyone. I have devoted myself unsparingly to these tasks ever since I became prime minister,’ May concluded. ‘And I stand ready to finish the job.’
The vote taking place tonight between 6pm and 8pm will see Tory MPs reveal their trust in their leader, with the result potentially triggering May’s departure, and a new leadership contest.
But who is likely to replace Theresa May as Tory leader and Prime Minister?
These are apparently the most probable candidates…
Former Foreign Secretary OG Brexit slant: Leave
Former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union OG Brexit slant: Leave
Home Secretary OG Brexit slant: Remain
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs OG Brexit slant: Leave
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions OG Brexit slant: Remain
Foreign Secretary OG Brexit slant: Remain
We’ll have to tune in tonight to see if Theresa May will be keeping her position, with the results expected to be announced an after after the vote.
So you’ve got a cold – nothing you can do about it, right? From the truth about vitamin C to the power of your mood, here’s the latest science to help you get well soon
At this time of year the common cold is, er, pretty common, and we’re all in the firing line. Most of us will have at least two colds this year – snotty ordeals that turn us into sniffling zombies clutching vials of Olbas Oil and saying things like, ‘My hair hurts.’
There are 200 different types of the common cold virus. The most prevalent ones are rhinoviruses, closely followed by coronaviruses, adenoviruses and coxsackieviruses. ‘When these viruses get into your nose, they irritate the lining, causing it to produce mucus to try to expel the bad stuff,’ says clinical scientist Professor Peter Openshaw. ‘The virus sticks to the cells in the nose then ruptures, travelling to the airways and other parts of the upper respiratory tract, including the throat.’
So what can we do to protect ourselves? Well, as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. ‘Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are more effective than you think,’ says Dr Adam Simon, GP and medical officer at Pushdoctor.co.uk. ‘Washing your hands regularly is always a good idea but be aware that antibacterial soaps don’t kill viruses and as such won’t prevent the spread of colds.’ Office martyrdom doesn’t help, either.
‘The best way to prevent a cold outbreak is for the person who has the virus to stay at home and rest.’ But there is another way to get ahead of the game in the face of all these airborne contagions – know your facts.
Is a cold the same as the flu?
Colds and flu are both caused by viruses, but it’s quite difficult for doctors to determine which one we are suffering from. The term ‘influenza-like illness’ or ‘ILI’ is, in medical settings, also used for colds, especially when a fever is present. Both viruses attack the cells of the adenoids at the back of your throat, spreading to cells in the rest of the upper respiratory tract (ie, the nose, throat, pharynx and larynx).
‘If you have more severe symptoms, a fever of 39.5 and you’re aching all over, it’s more likely that you have got an influenza,’ says Sebastian Johnston, professor of respiratory medicine and allergy at Imperial College London. ‘But influenza only really happens during annual influenza epidemics – we normally have one every year [from October to May], they vary in severity and will last six to eight weeks in more highly populated parts of the country before spreading.’
Currently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends the flu jab for pregnant women, health workers, people over 65 (or under five) and those with chronic health conditions. But it is available for everyone (ask your GP) and is the only reliable protection.
Can common colds be spread by kissing?
True, but more than that, you don’t need to kiss or even touch a stranger to pick up the germs. ‘The virus particles of the common cold are spread through the small droplets of saliva in the air when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes or even laughs or talks,’ says GP Dr Sarah Brewer.
‘The particles are propelled at an estimated speed of around 100mph and can travel for many metres [recent research* shows that a single cough would fill about three quarters of a two-litre bottle with air containing 3,000 droplets of potentially infectious saliva]. They may then enter a nearby person’s body through the eyes, nose or mouth.’ In addition, germs from their hands linger long after they’ve gone, contaminating surfaces such as door handles, escalators and keyboards on which the virus is able to survive.
Does Vitamin C help prevent colds?
Not so much. ‘Research shows that vitamin C is only really effective in the prevention of colds when the human body is under significant stress – for example in soldiers or long-distance runners,’ says Dr Ashton Harper, medical advisor for pharmaceutical company Protexin. Professor Openshaw agrees. ‘The vitamin C myth really doesn’t have a good scientific basis,’ he says. ‘There’s no harm in it, but it is not a cure.’
In fact, much on offer at your local pharmacist will have a negligible effect. ‘There’s no good evidence, for example, that cough medicine works,’ says Dr Davina Deniszczyc, medical executive director at Nuffield Health. ‘But, interestingly, in clinical studies, placebos (sugar pills) work really well.’ Indeed, research from the University of Wisconsin found that when patients received a placebo pill that they believed contained echinacea, their illnesses were substantively shorter and less severe. So whatever your medicine of choice, if it’s safe and seems to work for you, stick with it.
Is the number of colds you get down to genetics?
Partly true. ‘We all have what we call innate immune systems, which protect us against viruses we’ve never seen before,’ says Professor Johnston. ‘We also have acquired immunity, where our bodies “learn” from infections we’ve seen previously and have immunity to them [such as mumps or chickenpox].’ The number of colds we get depends on how strong both these immune systems are. ‘People vary depending on their genetic make-up and there are at least 40 genes found to control our immune defences,’ adds Professor Openshaw. ‘So you may simply be lucky or unlucky in terms of the pattern you’ve inherited.’
Does being miserable make you more susceptible to the sniffles?
This one’s actually true. ‘Maintaining a positive mental attitude can help prevent illness,’ says Justin Jones, national physiology manager at Nuffield Health. ‘This is because we release different hormones depending on our outlook. Thinking positively has been proven to release the immune-boosting hormone DHEA, while thinking negatively releases the immune-suppressing hormone cortisol.’ So being upbeat can help you stay healthy.
Professor Openshaw agrees there’s some science behind this idea. ‘One of the last studies that was ever done at the Common Cold Research Unit in Salisbury before it closed showed that if people feel miserable and out of control in their lives then they are more likely to be infected by a standard dose of common cold virus.’ So chin up, and look on the bright side, you will be doing your nose a favour.
The cold remedies that actually work (according to the experts)
A study by Helsinki University found zinc lozenges can shorten a cold by about four days. ‘Don’t exceed 100mg of elemental zinc per day,’ says lead author Dr Harri Hemila. Nature’s Way Zinc Lozenges (£2.93 for 60, Iherb.com)
It turns out that yoghurt is the best thing to eat for breakfast if you want to avoid catching the common cold, as yoghurts are probiotic foods. ‘The majority of our immune system is in our gut,’ says Dr Harper. ‘Probiotics have been shown to significantly reduce the severity of cold symptoms.’ Choose a high- quality multi-strain product such as Bio-Kult Advanced Formula Probiotics (£8.99 for 30, Bio-kult.com).
‘The last thing you will feel like doing when you have a cold is exercising, but a study has shown that going on a 45-minute walk when you don’t normally do much exercise boosts your immune system. The effect can last for up to three hours,’ says Dr Sohere Roked.
This one’s still up for debate, but recent research by Professor Johnston at the Royal Society of Medicine showed echinacea reduces (by about 50 per cent) recurrent respiratory tract infections. A Vogel Echinaforce Hot Drink (£9.99, Avogel.co.uk)
‘Nothing can prevent a cold, so it’s a matter of symptom relief,’ says Professor Johnston. A Southampton University study found paracetamol was superior to ibuprofen when it comes to treating colds. Paracetamol (39p for 16, Superdrug.com).
Drink plenty of fluids
‘Drink plenty of fluids, as it’s easy to get dehydrated when you’re ill due to fluid loss caused by having a high temperature and increased nasal secretions,’ says Angela Chalmers.’
Eat less sugar
‘Avoid sugar, as it competes with vitamin C, which is good for the immune system,’ says Alison Cullen. ‘If you have lots of sugar, you undermine your immune system.’
‘A lot of people are deficient in vitamin D in the UK and there’s evidence boosting it can help resistance to infection,’ says Professor Johnston. Research shows in order to activate an immune response, vitamin D must kick-start T cells in our body, which can attack and neutralise any threat. ImmiFlex (£13.39 for 30, Nutritioncentre.co.uk)
*Study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Drink green tea
‘Try drinking green tea,’ says Alison Cullen. ‘It’s rich in many chemicals that have been shown to have health-protective properties.’
Use vapour rub
‘Put vapour rub on the soles of your feet and wear socks on top,’ says Angela Chalmers. ‘Many people swear by this to help relieve a cough at night.’
Incorporate beta glutens into your diet
‘Having beta glucans in your diet – found in baker’s yeast, oats, rye, barley, wheat and shiitake mushrooms – or in supplement form on a daily basis has been shown to reduce both bacterial infections and viruses. And, if taken when unwell, beta glucans can actually shorten the length of the illness,’ says Dr Sohere Roked. Check out our list of immune-boosting foods to add to your diet.
Add lysine into your diet
‘Get plenty of lysine, an essential amino acid that works to boost the immune system and helps stimulate the body’s own antibodies to fight illness,’ says Dr Sohere Roked. ‘It’s found in plain yoghurt and skimmed milk, apricots, dried apples and mangos, and fish.’
‘You could also try sleeping with the window open, as germs and viruses can breed more quickly in warm temperatures,’ says Angela Chalmers. ‘It’s a myth that cold weather causes a cold, and keeping fresh air circulating will help create a healthier sleeping environment.’
‘Steam inhalation may sound old-fashioned, but it’s a powerful way to help clear mucus and soothe irritated airways,’ says Angela Chalmers.
Sleep with an extra pillow
‘When you have a cold, sleep with an extra pillow, as this will help with the drainage of nasal passages,’ says Boots pharmacist Angela Chalmers.
Use a warm compress
‘Try a warm compress,’ says Dr Laura Ginesi. ‘A hot flannel, wrung out and placed on your forehead and over the bridge of your nose, may help to relieve some of the pressure from blocked sinuses.’
Get enough sleep
‘Try to get enough rest,’ says Dr Annabel Bentley. ‘It can help you get over the worst.’
Team Marie Claire’s cold remedies
Holly Rains, Digital Editor:
‘Satsumas (easy peelers) are my go to when I get a cold, or think I have one about to strike. It’s essentially Vitamin C but starving off a cold while feeling festive is better than chugging orange juice all day long.’
Jenny Proudfoot, Junior Digital News Editor:
‘As soon as I feel a cold coming on I go hard on the ginger. Ginger in my meals, ginger in my teas, any ginger sweets etc. It not only soothes a sore throat, but can kill rhinoviruses (the cause of most colds) and gives you a quick warm up.’
Penny Goldstone, Digital Fashion Editor:
‘I do fresh garlic and ginger in hot water, with a bit of lemon – I have that once a day when I’m feeling unwell. Garlic is great for colds, in fact I add garlic to all my dishes when I’m ill.’
Katie Thomas, Digital Beauty Editor:
‘It’s vitamin C for me – I overdose on easy peelers when I sense a cold.’
Lucy Abbersteen, Digital Beauty Writer:
‘As soon as I feel a cold coming on, I take either Day or Night Nurse (depending on the time of day). It knocks my illness on the head immediately and when everyone was getting ill a couple of weeks ago, I credit that with my speedy recovery.’
The Christmas countdown is officially on, and with the cold weather setting in and Yule logs and mince pies coming into the shops, we’re feeling more festive than ever.
Now all we need is a new Christmas film to obsess over with a mug of mulled wine, and last week, that is exactly what we got – thank you, Netflix.
ThePrincess Switch, released last Friday, is this year’s answer to A Christmas Prince, and let’s just say it doesn’t disappoint.
Vanessa Hudgens plays the two leads in this Parent Trap esque flick, involving a European Duchess switching places with an ordinary baker from Chicago, who looks identical to her, just one week before Christmas. Inevitably they fall in love with each other’s partners, want each other’s lives and somehow everything ties together perfectly in the end.
I’m not going to lie, there are a few gaping plot holes and I can’t pretend that I understood everything. Why didn’t Stacy report that her blender had been sabotaged and get a new one? Why was the strange old man that kept popping up everywhere to deliver wise quotes never explained? And HOW did the butler Frank De Luca survive that almighty fall off the bridge?
And yet, I loved it.
The film has proved to be pretty divisive, but in this writer’s opinion, it’s all pretty unfair.
There’s no point in comparing it to an Academy award winning film because it never pretended to be one – it’s set in a make-believe European country and packed with cliché quotes about Christmas wishes, orphans wanting to be princesses (Hello Princess Diaries 2), fake snow ball fights and makeover musical montage scenes.
Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s the perfect winter film – especially if you’re an over-worked stressed out millennial who just wants to switch off and feel festive.
Sure, if you’re a film buff whose highlight of Christmas is dissecting the artistic camera work of It’s A Wonderful Life, then give this a miss. But if you tend to like films that score less than a 6.3/10 on IMDb and you feel like putting your feet up, this is a must-see.
Here’s why The Princess Switch is well worth a watch…
1. Lady Margaret Delacourt’s wardrobe:
The Duchess of Montenaro is impeccably dressed, and the scene where Stacy explores her wardrobe for the first time rivals Carrie Bradshaw‘s SATC big wardrobe reveal. We’re talking Blair Warldorf style berets, Camilla Mendes esque mini skirts and some serious Jackie O inspired tailoring. And don’t even get us started on the red and gold ballgown that she wore to the royal dance – that is reason enough to watch.
2. Robin Soans’ multiple cameos
The big unanswered question from The Princess Switch has to be the identity of the wise old man (played by Robin Soans), who turned up everywhere (even within the palace walls) to deliver some much needed Christmas wisdom. We assume of course that he is a sort of modern day fairy godmother, but still – why doesn’t the character have anything better to do?! How does he know everything?! And did he literally follow Stacy all the way from New York? There are so many questions and we really would have liked some reassurance Netflix. That being said, he did save the day on numerous occasions so we’ll let it slide.
3. Kevin the baker’s bod
Kevin the baker! Who knew that body was hiding under your apron? Well, Lady Margaret does now, but it’s safe to say we were all surprised and understandably, it is of course a highlight.
4. The hilarious British accents
Somehow the accents in the mythical European country of Belgravia (yes, Belgravia!!) are English, same with the country of Montenaro, where Duchess Margaret Delacourt comes from. Get ready for some very clipped old school Mary Poppins style accents. Let’s just say it’s in the same league as Gossip Girl‘s Lord Marcus Beaton.
5. That moment of Inception
In one particular scene, Lady Margaret posing as Stacy and Kevin from The Princess Switch sit down to watch a Christmas film, scrolling past A Christmas Inheritance, before landing on A Christmas Prince. Yes, really. The characters in a Netflix original Christmas film just watched another Netflix original Christmas film. What is real life? We don’t know anymore.
6. The Meghan Markle effect
Did anyone else think that Stacy as Lady Margaret had elements of Meghan Markle about her? A feminist royal who wanted to have a hands-on approach in terms of official events, and despite being a high profile princess-to-be, insisted on being heard, not just seen. Just saying – we loved the millennial references.
7. The references to other chick flicks
One thing that has really got viewers talking is the inspiration from other romantic comedies. There’s a dancing in a fairy-lit canopy scene that is almost identical to A Cinderella Story, a Parent Trap esque hair cutting scene and even a moment that mirrors a Princess Diaries 2 scene where an orphanage of children get to be princesses for the day. One scene that excited viewers the most however was when Kevin gave Margaret a locket, looking a lot like a High School Musical 2 scene (also starring Vanessa), where Troy gave Gabriella a necklace. Basically, The Princess Switch is an amalgamation of every single romantic comedy you’ve ever seen, and if that’s not reason enough to watch it, we don’t know what is.
Ever dreamed of walking in a celeb’s shoes? Quick, now’s your chance to bid for them while helping children out of poverty
This year, Kate Moss, Emma Watson and Poppy Delevingne are just a handful of the celebrities who have stepped forward to donate their most treasured pair of shoes to be auctioned off for the Small Steps Project. With previous celebrity donors including Helena Christensen and Oprah Winfrey, this is an unmissable opportunity to get some celebrity-endorsed footwear.
The charity was founded by former showbiz journalist Amy Hanson, who quit her job to launch the charity after a life-changing visit to Cambodia seven years ago.
‘I had just turned 30 and was looking for something more meaningful to contribute in life,’ says Hanson. ‘After seeing so many homeless kids scavenging barefoot on rubbish dumps filled with broken glass and sharp objects on Cambodia’s largest landfill site, I was heartbroken and an idea just came to me. I thought, perhaps I could use the experience and contacts I have through my job to make a positive change to their lives.’
And from her bedroom in north London, the world’s biggest celebrity shoe auction was born.
Today, Amy spends her time travelling between various Small Steps projects in Nicaragua, Romania and Laos to oversee how the funds are spent. What began as just giving out shoes, has developed into providing children with what they need to make the small steps out of poverty and into education, breaking the crippling cycle of scavenging for survival.
‘Thousands of Manolos could have been gathering dust in celebrity wardrobes all over the world, but instead they’ve helped fund nurseries, mother and baby units, medical, nutrition and education programmes and really transform lives,’ says Hanson. ‘And we’re just getting started.’
Celebrities from all walks of life, from Game Of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer to Clean Bandit’s Grace Chatto to Hollywood A-lister Orlando Bloom have been sharing their reasons for contributing to the project. Legendary fashion designer and eco-warrior Vivienne Westwood has voiced her backing for the Small Steps auction, saying, ‘I am proud and happy to be on board.’
The Small Steps Project #CelebrityShoeAuction runs until Sunday 11th November Bid here NOW.
Here are just some of the celebrities taking part this year:
‘Lucy Choi is Jimmy Choo’s niece – these are my favourite premiere shoes and are given with all the love in the world. Cheers sweeties! xx’
‘I wore these to the Independent Spirit Awards in LA. Hopefully, the money raised by the Small Steps Project will help people live with more dignity and have better lives.’
‘It’s amazing to be a part of the beautiful project that Small Steps has created. I am really happy to see my favourite pair of sparkly heels have a new life and owner while helping kids living in poverty.’
So if you’ve ever wanted to walk a mile in a famous person’s shoes, now’s your opportunity.
‘My cast have definitely brought me out of my shell’
Teen mystery drama Riverdale is in its third season and it’s safe to say we’re hooked.
Will Archie make it out of Juvenile Detention? What’s going to happen now that everyone’s playing Griffins and Gargoyles? And what on earth is going on with that creepy farm group?
Well, after a brief two-week hiatus, Riverdale is back, with episode four airing on Netflix just this week – and being a flashback episode, there’s a lot of hype around it.
Junior Digital News Editor Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Lili Reinhart – the actress behind Betty Cooper, the show’s resident Nancy Drew – to hear what we’ve got in store for the rest of season three.
Why is the next Riverdale episode one of your favourites?
Filming episode four of season three was incredibly special – for all of us. The whole episode was really amazing. It’s our flashback episode where we all play our parents. It takes place in the nineties, and we all get to play these totally different people to our everyday characters – it was really fun. I think that it’s going to be a game changer for the show.
Tell me about filming…
We film in Vancouver – well it’s actually just outside – but we all live relatively near each other in downtown Vancouver, so it’s fun and cosy for us all to be together. The days are pretty long, and we all hang out on the weekends and we try and get some sleep on our days off because we work such long hours.
Has the cast always been so close?
We have always been really close – all of us – which is kind of remarkable, and we’ve stayed close which is great. We’ve all got into a rhythm of finding our lives here in Vancouver and creating lives outside the show for ourselves. But we’re all very much still intertwined with each other. I was very introverted when we met and I didn’t like to go out – I was kind of a home body. I still am, but I’ve definitely grown outside that a lot.
Is it difficult being exposed to sudden fame as an introvert?
It’s hard being an introvert and being famous. It is still weird when I have to go to a Comic Con and promote the show or when I do conventions where I go and meet fans – if you would have told me five years ago that I would have to speak in front of a couple of hundred people, I would have said no way. My cast have definitely brought me out of my shell.
Betty sees herself as a Nancy Drew type – what are you like in the face of danger?
Oh man, I think I’d steer pretty clear of danger. I feel like Betty dives deep into the mysteries because she doesn’t trust the adults in this town and so she tries to figure out the mysteries for herself and that’s due to a lack of trust in authority. Riverdale is corrupt in law enforcement so she has to take it upon herself to figure things out – that’s why she does it. Whereas I would pretty much stay as far away as possible, and not get anywhere near any of that. Not that I’m a wuss. I would never completely run away in the face of danger but definitely not go head first into it like Betty does.
What have we got coming this season?
It’s going to get scarier which I feel is surprising. I think a lot of people didn’t necessarily know what to expect when we said the show was going to take a spooky turn. But now I think they’re starting to see, from the creep factor of the Gargoyle King (and Ethel obviously under his spell) to the Griffins and Gargoyle’s manual spreading around school. It’s scary to think that all these kids are now going to be playing and to imagine the repercussions that it will have. There’s obviously something about the game that is very evil and it’s a matter of them getting to the bottom of it, which Betty kind of dives head first into.
Which was your favourite season to film?
Oh man, It’s hard to say, I mean season one has a special charm to it because of being our first season together – you know, we filmed it all before it even aired so it’s really special in that way. But also, season three has been really amazing so far as well. We’ve got to do a lot of things that we haven’t done before – we’ve got to really play with the horror genre aspect of our show – and I love horror movie. I’m totally all about that so that’s been really fun. So not to say that season two wasn’t fun, but it’s season one and season three for me. I think I liked season three better.
What have you learnt from Riverdale?
It’s an intense show and there are a lot of people and parts to it – I think a lot of people don’t realise how much time goes into making a TV show. I think they probably think it’s like an easy 9-5, but it’s really like a 6am to 9pm sort of day – it’s rigorous and there’s a lot of people, time and effort that go into making a show. I remember watching shows when I was younger – I never would have thought about what goes into it. Every time there’s someone on film, they had to go in for a fitting and have their clothes fitted to their bodies. Every time someone has a song that they’re singing, they have to learn the song ahead of time and go into a studio and record it for a couple of hours. There’s just so much that goes into every aspect and everything that you see, and it definitely has made my appreciation for television and film grow more than was already there.
Riverdale season 3 episode 4 airs this week on Netflix.
CoppaFeel! founder Kris Hallenga is next in our Women Who Win series, giving us some insight into how to turn a devastating diagnosis into a global movement…
We’ve all heard of CoppaFeel! – with the London-based breast cancer awareness charity credited with saving lives through promoting early detection of breast cancer, and forming a sisterhood in the process.
But someone who doesn’t get enough credit is the inspirational woman behind the movement – Kris Hallenga, who turned an incurable cancer diagnosis into an opportunity to help other people by raising breast cancer awareness.
‘Frustration and anger didn’t serve me,’ Kris told Marie Claire Junior News Editor Jenny Proudfoot. ‘So instead I channeled them into something good, something I knew could help others so that no one else would be in the same position as me,’ with Kris’ cancer being diagnosed too late.
‘I was 22 when I came across a lump in my boob, which I had ignored for a while and never thought twice about,’ Kris recalled, going on to explain how it was ‘a pushy Mum and some persistence’ that led her to a breast cancer diagnosis, after several GPs had dismissed the lump as ‘nothing’.
‘I also found out it was late stage, the worst kind, as it had already spread beyond my boob and into my spine,’ Kris continued, explaining how her initial reaction was shock. ‘I couldn’t understand how it had gone from “nothing” to cancer and I had NO idea it could happen. It was awful, there were tears, I was frightened, I was confused, I was baffled but above all I was ready to do whatever I needed to survive.’
But the mission was even bigger for Kris, who instead of seeing her diagnosis as a problem for her, turned it into an opportunity to help others.
‘No one was educating young people, so I decided I had to, with the help of my twin sister and some very epic mates.’
The result? CoppaFeel! – the movement we all know and love, started by Kris and Maren, aiming to educate young women about breast cancer and informing them how to check their breasts for themselves.
As part of Swarovski‘s Stories of Yes campaign, celebrating women embracing change, Kris is one of many high profile women to come forward this year with her story of adapting to change – and to say that it’s inspiring would be a massive understatement.
Our Women Who Win interview series celebrates strong and inspirational female trailblazers, shaping the future for us all, and Kris Hallenga and her refusal to let a diagnosis hold her back is that in a nutshell.
Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Kris to find out how CoppaFeel! got started, and what we should all be taking away from it…
What message do you most want to spread?
First and foremost – CHECK YOUR BOOBS. But beyond that it’s a message of overall body awareness, knowing yourself and trusting YOUR touch and your intuition over anyone. You are your best health advocate and if you notice anything that isn’t right, you have to get it checked out.
How did you create CoppaFeel?
I did a lot of research! I wanted to find out what the state of ‘breast awareness’ in the UK was and how we could ensure it reached young people. The first thing we did was go to a festival because we saw that as a great challenge – if we could get through to young people in a field, where they are on a mission to have FUN, and we can speak to them, educate them and empower them, we would be onto a winner. We learnt on the job, adapted our methods as we went along and suddenly we were having so many healthy conversations about boobs. By the end of our summer of festivals we had applied to be a charity, I won a Pride of Britain Award and a month later we got charity status and that’s when the hard work really began. I have blinked and somehow 9 years have flown by! It would be over a year until I was officially ’employed’ by the charity and could afford to move away from my Mum’s house in Northamptonshire and take the charity to London, the only place I could see a future for the charity. People believed in me, and our mission so nothing could hold us back.
In the spirit of Stories of Yes, tell me about facing challenges head on…
In the face of something so terrifying, something we all fear, I learnt how to really live. I learnt to LIVE with cancer, how to be my own boss, the boss of a charity and a change maker. Cancer is the toughest challenge you could face – although, there are many MANY more equally if not worse things going on for people, and knowing that keeps me pretty humble and filled with gratitude. Of course I have bad days, I have had to dig SO deep at times to get my head above water again, but every time I do I have a renewed respect for my mind and my body and for life in general. I have been forced to confront my mortality but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I see life for what it is – fleeting! None of us are getting out of here alive, so really who is the winner here? I am.
What drew you to a campaign with Swarovski?
Working with Swarovski is a lot of fun. If you’d have said the day I was diagnosed I’d be working with them, with Swarovski rings on my fingers as I type away on my laptop answering these questions I’d have likely laughed. The CoppaFeel! message is for everyone, so we need to reach EVERYONE on as many platforms as possible. To be given a platform like this is wonderful and I am grateful that to this day people want to hear what I have to say. It’s a dream to work alongside mega babes Nadiya Hussain and Katie Piper, we all have such unique stories that people can learn from. They are tales of courage, resilience, and determination, all good stuff that needs to be shared with the world. In other words, we are all pretty badass and everyone should know that.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Go to the GP’ – my Mum, in 2008.
What should all women be aware of?
All women AND men should know that checking their boobs could be one of the best things they could do, it could save their life and bonus factor: it could even be fun! Most breast cancers are detected by the person noticing a symptom – that could be a lump but isn’t always. There are different types of breast cancer so don’t assume no lump = no cancer. Equally, if you do find a lump, the chances of it being cancer is actually very slim. The important thing is that you know what is normal FOR YOU. If you notice a rash, some dimpling, persistent pain, discharge in your breast tissue (which reaches right in to your armpit and your collarbone by the way!) and you know it’s not normal, it’s always worth having a chat to your GP about it. He or she is there to listen to you and take what you say seriously.
When were you proudest?
When we realised that what we did ACTUALLY made a difference was a pretty momentous occasion. Not long after we became a charity, a young woman had heard about my story and re-visited her GP about her breast lump, and lo and behold she was diagnosed with breast cancer within a week. She was so thankful for us empowering her, making her feel like she wasn’t going mad and giving her confidence to stand up for her body and her health. She credits still being alive to CoppaFeel! which no one can prove, but an early diagnosis gives you a better chance of surviving a long life. I am proud of who I now am because of cancer, because of CoppaFeel! and because of all the experiences I have had over the last 9 years. I really like who I am and what I have become – how many people can say that at the age of 33?
What is your superpower?
Procrastination, but still, somehow getting shit done. Creating CoppaFeel! was a real challenge, but I believe anything that is worthwhile is bloody hard work – it would also be really dull if it was easy.
What has creating CoppaFeel! taught you?
That people are bloody great! People can be so kind, so generous, so CREATIVE, and so brilliant not because they have to be, but because they want to be, and that is very cool. I never realised how good it felt to enable others to be good people, but that is one of the best off-shoots from starting my own charity. Every day I witness people being good humans and that is awesome.
What decision has changed your life?
Building CoppaFeel! has made my life, and it has saved my life. Without it I would never have had a purpose and a reason to live so ferociously – aside from my family of course – they’re totally worth sticking around for too.
Here’s why Junior News Editor Jenny Proudfoot thinks it’s a good thing…
Today it was announced that Twitter was getting ready to remove its ‘like’ button – one of only three ways people can respond to posts (like, retweet and reply).
Why? To get the platform’s priorities straight, with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announcing that his plans were to improve debate on Twitter.
‘As we’ve been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivising healthy conversation, that includes the like button,’ the Twitter communications team confirmed. ‘We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now.’
Unsurprisingly, the announcement has been divisive, with a lot of Twitter users arguing that the removal is unnecessary, and even more suggesting that the platform’s time could have been better spent.
Why remove the ‘like’ button when you could spend that time removing hate speech and the abusive accounts out there?
While the statement rings true, I am actually behind Twitter’s removal of the ‘like’ button. In fact, in my opinion – the sooner the better.
Why? Because social media has become a popularity contest and we all need to stop looking for validation.
I am a London-based millennial journalist with a growing social media presence – in other words, all I think about is likes.
Every tweet, every Instagram post, every Insta story involves a long thought process – What time will be the most popular for posting? Which filter will people prefer? And what opinion should I raise to get me all the likes?
Our society is built on validation, and while social media used to be a place to inform and discuss, it has since become a ‘like for like’ marketplace to make us all feel powerful.
But power is knowledge, and if a lot of us are honest, we’ve lost ourselves, what we think, and what we believe, changing and shaping our opinions to get the most likes and be the most influential online.
So yes, removing the ‘like’ button might be problematic for some budding influencers hoping to make their money on avocado toast photographs, but it will mean that the people who are posting are not just posting for likes, and are tweeting with an actual purpose.
We can still post whatever we want to, it will just be for us rather than for the likes.
There’s no word yet as to when the change will be made, but if it starts better debates and improves the quality of what we’re talking about, I say ‘bring it on’.
Let us know your thoughts on Twitter at @MarieclaireUK
Street harassment in the UK is an epidemic, with women and girls as young as eight years old faced with intimidating and unwanted behaviour on a daily basis.
66% of girls in the UK have experienced sexual attention or sexual or physical contact in a public place. 38% of girls experience verbal harassment like catcalling, wolf-whistling and sexual comments at least once a month. And 15% of girls are being touched or grabbed every month.
It’s not a part of growing up and it’s not ok.
To mark International Day of the Girl, our Editor-in-Chief Trish Halpin joined Plan International at the House of Commons for the launch of their new campaign against street harassment of girls and young women in the UK, encouraging us all to drive social change by sharing our own experiences alongside the hashtag #ISayItsNotOk.
‘A shocking 66% aged 14-21 have experienced unwanted sexual harassment in a public place & what’s so awful is that girls like my daughter are growing up to think this is normal and something they just have to put up with,’ Trish explained. ‘But it’s time to say it’s not OK, to encourage girls to talk about it and report it to a parent or teacher.’
She continued: ‘Tell your friends, daughters, nieces to speak up and report it, tell the men you know about the devastating impact this behaviour can have – they might think a wolf whistle, cat call or pat on the butt is harmless but the fear of what it could lead to is frightening.’
‘If you normalise and accept street harassment then you’re starting to say it’s ok for the next thing to happen, and it’s an escalating process,’ 28-year-old Lindsay from Edinburgh told Plan International. ‘It’s a basic human right to be able to walk around and just live your life. No one is taking it seriously.’
‘Girls have been told different ways to change ourselves to make other people less likely to harass us,’ 16-year-old Caitlin from Glasgow explained to Plan UK. ‘But boys have never been told what to do to stop them from harassing girls. What if you don’t want to accept that it just happens? Coz it’s been happening to women for like ever pretty much and it’s not right and it shouldn’t be accepted like that.’
Reading over the statistics and accounts provided by Plan, we were saddened here at Marie Claire HQ, especially as it is a sobering reflection of the sad reality that we all normalise on a daily basis.
Here are some of our own accounts of growing up with street harassment, something we don’t want for the generations of girls ahead of us…
‘I am now in my mid twenties, but from my early teens I have always made a conscious effort each morning to dress for my journey home that evening. If I know that I will be walking home past 9pm, I won’t wear a skirt or a dress or anything that could attract unwanted attention or street harassment. While it seems outdated to have to wear trousers to walk home alone, it’s what I have to do to make myself feel safe.’
Jenny Proudfoot, Junior Digital News Editor
‘My pal and I were walking home one night and we noticed that two men had started to follow us. With every corner they tailed us, we talked less then eventually went completely silent when they crossed the road to us and demanded to know where we were going. They then split off so that we were stuck between them, hemming us in as me and my friend said absolutely nothing as we were terrified – they were big guys. After we hit a main road, they disappeared but I always wonder what would have happened if we hadn’t.’
Megan Hills, Digital Lifestyle Writer
‘My sister and I will often call each other if it’s dark and we’re say, walking somewhere on our own or waiting for a taxi – even if it’s only for a minute or two. I wish I could say I don’t feel vulnerable in those situations and just get on with it but sadly I do feel like if I’m bust on the phone and in a rush I’m more likely to be left alone.’
Lucy Abbersteen, Digital Beauty Writer
‘There are three things I always do when I’m walking home after 7pm – I take my headphones out, put a key between my fingers and walk quickly. My sister and I also use the Find Friends app to keep an eye on each other if we know the other will be going home alone.’
Jadie Troy-Pryde, Social Content Editor
‘I have perfected the facial expression that leads to the smallest amount of harassment. Your eyes have to look straight forward, but totally avoiding eye contact: looking at your feet draws attention and making eye contact is clearly a no-no. I make sure that my expression is blank, but not blank enough to look vulnerable or cause people to suggest that I cheer up a bit. Late at night or in the middle of the day, you know I’m using the 1000-yard anti-harassment stare.’
Victoria Fell, Features Assistant
Join us and Plan International UK and call an end to street harassment by sharing your own account, alongside the hashtag #ISayItsNotOk.
Street harassment is not a part of growing up – and it’s definitely not OK.
Ahead of International Day of the Girl on 11 October, Editor in Chief Trish Halpin travelled to Ghana with her daughter Esme, 14, to meet the girls and women tackling teenage pregnancies and gender inequality. Here, they share their experiences
Smartly dressed in her yellow and brown school uniform, 15-year-old Victoria sits with her one-year-old daughter Angela on her lap, outside the small hut where she lives with her parents and siblings in Aboabo, a village near Koforidua in Ghana’s eastern region. Minutes earlier she was playing with her friends in the dusty schoolyard, but now at home she has to take over from her own mother to care for Angela. She looks nervous, ready to hand the baby back to a grown-up at the earliest opportunity – not unlike most teenage girls I know. ‘I don’t like being a mother because I am a child myself,’ she tells me, and as I look at her tiny frame beside my own 14-year-old daughter, it’s heartbreaking to imagine the toll pregnancy and birth must have taken on her.
Each year, 7.3 million girls worldwide become pregnant (20,000 of those are in UK), and Victoria is one of the more fortunate ones. With the support of her family and the charity Plan International, she stayed in school during her pregnancy (even sitting an exam the day before giving birth) and returned after having her daughter. Often, the stigma means girls are forced to stay at home, with teachers refusing to allow them into class; or they are made to marry and have more babies, and the cycle continues.
One woman we meet who is determined to break that cycle is Sefia, 34, mother to Kelvin, 17, and Rhoda, 14. As a child, she dreamed of being a nurse, encouraged by her mother who told her stories of the female doctors, nurses and teachers who worked in her hometown, before she moved to a village as a teenage girl to be married. ‘I don’t want Rhoda to go through what I did,’ says Sefia.
‘Seeing my little sister, who is more empowered to approach gender issues, makes me feel hopeful’
‘I wanted to do something with my life, but I had to drop out of school to work and feed my children. When they are grown up, I will go back to school and become more successful.’ And I believe she will: articulate, smart and determined, Sefia beams with pride as Rhoda shows us her exercise books, filled with pages of neat handwriting in perfect English.
Fifty miles away in Ghana’s capital, Accra, we meet Lillipearl, 25, a journalist at the Business & Financial Times. Over a lunch of fried fish and jollof rice, Lillipearl explains how Plan International’s Girls in Media programme at her rural school sparked her passion for journalism and gender advocacy. ‘We were taught how gender is different to sex, and looked at how roles are gendered in society. It’s going to take 270 years to close the economic gap in Ghana [the UK is predicted to take 100 years], but even seeing my little sister, who is more empowered to approach gender issues, makes me feel hopeful.’
‘Teach a girl, change the world’ is one of my favourite sayings, and supporting girls like Victoria, Rhoda and Lillipearl surely has to be one of the best investments any of us can make for the future of this planet.
Above: Editor in chief Trish, second from right, and her daughter Esme, second from left, talk to students on the Girls in Media Programme at Manya Krobo Senior High School. Top: Esme with Victoria, who gave birth to daughter Angela at 14 – the same age Esme is now
When my mum asked me to go with her to Ghana on an assignment to meet girls my age and see what life is like for them, I was excited but had no idea what to expect. I’ve been to Africa on a safari holiday, but knew that this would be completely different. We flew into the capital Accra and the next morning, drove out to the town of Koforidua, our base for the trip.
The first village we visited was Kwamoso in the district of Akuapem, where we turned off the main road on to a bumpy dirt track and I saw the tiny school building, not even the size of my school gym. The headteacher introduced me to a girl my age called Rhoda and we chatted about school and how much she loves reading – she gets top marks for everything, not like me! Rhoda wanted to show me where she lives with her grandmother – her mum has to work away from home to be able to afford to send money for food and keep her and her brother in education, which I think must be so sad for her. Her grandmother’s home was along another dirt track just minutes from the school. They have no electricity or running water, and Rhoda is not allowed out after 6pm so she can focus on her studies. Her mum doesn’t want her to become pregnant like so many other girls.
‘Back in London, I realise how lucky I am to have so much education ahead of me’
The next day, I feel glad for Rhoda when we meet Victoria, who became pregnant a year ago at my age. Her baby Angela is really sweet, but I can’t imagine wanting to have a baby until I’m at least 30, if at all. It must have been so scary for her to give birth and now her whole life has changed, but at least she still goes to school.
I remember first having sex education in junior school, but in Ghana they don’t teach it even to teenagers. When we visit a senior school, my mum asks the headmistress about it and she says that instead they promote abstinence – she gets the class to sing a song about it, which is entertaining but I doubt it’s very helpful.
Back in London, I realise how lucky I am to still have so much education ahead of me. Rhoda and I have been emailing each other and we’d like to meet again one day – hopefully when she becomes the nurse or doctor that she dreams about being.
Find out more about the Because I Am A Girl Campaign or sponsor a girl at plan-uk.org
Here are all the details from this year’s Future Shapers Awards, where we celebrated 11 incredible women. ICYMI, this is what happened
This year’s Marie Claire Future Shapers Awards, in partnership with Neutrogena, saw us recognise the work of 11 game changing women.
From cyber experts and nursing trailblazers to sporting legends, Marie Claire Editor in Chief and Future Shapers judge, Trish Halpin, recognised our winners, announcing: ‘Finding out what has driven our winners to success and what gives them such a unique take on the world is something I’ve found truly inspiring.’
Editor in chief Trish Halpin
Joining her on the judging panel to select our eleven extraordinary winners was the marketing director for beauty in Northern Europe at J&J, Meghan Davis, campaigner and author Gina Miller and Marie Claire columnist and TV presenter Angela Scanlon.
This year, the women we honoured ranged from cyber experts and fashion designers, to award-winning actresses and champion sportswomen.
But the inspiration wasn’t limited to the stage – all of our attendees are shaping the future, not only looking incredible on the red carpet, but also passing on their words of wisdom to Marie Claire readers about how to succeed in different industries.
Emma Gannon, author of the bestselling Multi-Hyphen Method, gave us her top tips for women starting out in her industry, saying that we need to ‘harden up a bit’. Passing on her advice she explained, ‘You’ll get a get a lot of rejection and it’s okay to feel like you’re being rejected: it’s part of the process!’
TV and radio broadcaster Kirsty Gallacher also shared her wisdom, telling young women to ‘Listen to your gut and take the right advice.’
And of course it’s unsurprising that the ceremony itself included a healthy dose of #inspo. In her acceptance speech, Daisy Kendrick, founder of anti-climate change non-profit organisation Ocean Generation, encouraged us to be aware of our daily habits, as ‘the way we choose to work, eat, drink and spend our money can literally save people on this planet.’
Author of The Language of Kindness, Christie Watson, also moved us, using her speech to pay tribute to her career as a nurse. ‘I cannot think of a better job than holding someone’s hand during the darkest period of their life’, she announced, going on to make an impassioned plea about the future of nursing and the gender bias. ‘Nursing is the most undervalued of all the professions and it’s the most undervalued because it’s 89% female.’
Who are our 2018 Future Shapers?
Anna Whitehouse – Founder of Mother Pukka and Flex Appeal campaign for flexible working
Catherine Allen – CEO and founder of virtual reality company Limina Immersive
Cristina Gavrilovic – Head of European Programmes for Justice and Care, which fights against modern slavery
Christie Watson – Author of Sunday Times bestseller The Language of Kindness and registered nurse
Daisy Kendrick – Founder of and CEO of anti-climate change non-profit organisation Ocean Generation
Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke – Authors of the seminal Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible
Eniola Aluko – professional footballer for Juventus FC, sport and entertainment solicitor and football pundit.
Hannah Weiland – founder of faux-fur brand Shrimps
Jodie Comer – BAFTA-winning actress and star of Killing Eve
Sarah Taylor – Director of Cyber and National Security Capabilities at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Our VR Pioneer Catherine Allen set out her dreams for the future of cutting edge technology insisting ‘It is not a boys’ toy, not a gimmick. It’s actually an artistic medium of social and artistic potential. We are really shaping this industry against the tide, and we’re making it more diverse.’
Authors of the groundbreaking bestseller ‘Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible’, Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené, spoke about what the success of their incredible book meant to them, explaining, ‘When we had recognition from the mainstream media that this book was a cultural landmark, it was overwhelming, and made all those sleepless nights, and the worry that we wouldn’t get it right worth it.’
Marie Claire Editor in Chief Trish Halpin, Slay In Your Lane authors Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené, and DJ Clara Amfo
One of the most moving speeches of the night came from anti-trafficking warrior Cristina Gavrilovic, who spoke passionately about her work and how it needed to be talked about more.
‘This award helps bring attention to one of the biggest humanitarian challenges of our times,’ she told the room. ‘Human trafficking and modern day slavery involves children, women and men being forced into a situation of exploitation where violence, deception and coercion is just a way of being.’
The last speech of the night came from flexible working pioneer Anna Whitehouse, who gave us the sobering fact that 54,000 women every year get made redundant for having a child – something that needs changing, as well as paying a tribute to her own parents, who had accompanied her to the awards.
Marie Claire Editor in Chief Trish Halpin with Anna Whitehouse and Neutrogena’s Meghan Davis
Celebrity guests from Ella Eyre and Vick Hope to Hayley Hasselhoff and Jasmine Hemsley joined us for the post-ceremony party, where we sipped on Red Door Gin cocktails and feasted on gourmet canapés and luxury macarons, with the DJ sets going into the night.
What did we eat?
Truffle marinated salsify, Jerusalem artichoke
Black pepper tuna, olives
Bone marrow croquettes
Fish & chips
Salted caramel, chocolate ganache, shortbread
Lemon curd, toasted meringue, vanilla sablé
Apple mousse, blackberry, honeycomb, macaron
What did we drink?
The Red Door Gin & Tonic
Red Door Gin, tonic, raspberries to garnish
The Red Door Gin Elderflower Collins
Red Door Gin, elderflower cordial, lemon juice, soda, lemon to garnish
If that wasn’t enough, each of the guests left with a bumper goody bag… see below for all the products:
What was in our goody bags?
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye-awakening gel-cream
Neutrogena Scented Hand Cream
Neutrogena Spot Proofing Oil Free Moisturiser
Living Proof dry shampoo
BUXOM lip gloss
BEPPS vegan snacks
Pip & Nut sachet
Kind Snacks bar
Marie Claire November issue
Huge thanks to the Principal London for the gorgeous venue, and Collective Two and Loop VIP for making the night so special.