Waste not, Want not

Occasionally we love to just show you all something cool if we stumble across it, which is exactly what’s happened here so bear with us people.

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In the UK alone, over 34 million water bottles are used every day with only around 50% of them being recycles which in turn has a huge impact on the environment. However, to combat this Skipping Rocks Lab have created ‘OOHO’.

‘OOHO’ is an edible alternative to plastic bottles. It’s formed of a flexible spherical membrane created from seaweed and contains a liquid mix of water, chloride and brown algae extract which aims to hydrate whilst remaining tasty.

Each water module has a shelf life of between 4 – 6 weeks before it begins to decompose, much like a piece of fruit. However, they can be coloured and flavoured in a variety of different combinations. Additionally, they are cheaper to produce than plastic. Although, currently, they are only available at select events although, we expect they could have the potential to become part of our everyday lives.

What do you guys think?

Take a look at the video below to find out more…

Barbie is back, Bitch!

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Barbie has in itself become an iconic image ever since she first launched in the 1959. 1990 in fact, saw the release of the best selling barbie doll. She was created with her signature cascading long platinum blonde hair, white skin, long slender legs and of course that teeny tiny vanishing waist that has since become synonymous with the doll brand.

However, jump forward 16 years and Barbie’s best selling doll is very different.  2016 saw the release of the popular fashionista doll which was not only was Latina, but with a much curvier figure and was brunette, as supposed to the white blonde legacy that had preceded her. However, as successful as her sales were she was a one off doll with a limited release.

In spite of this, over the past 2 years sales at Mattel (the manufacturers of Barbie) have been declining, with consumers pushing for diversity within the range, moving away from the stereotypical image that has since become the brands identity.

Vice President Lisa Mcknght established that ‘the brand was losing relevance’ and had to ‘change the conversation’ to keep with with the customers changing viewpoints. Subsequently, they revamped the fashionista line to include a range of skin tones, hair colours and introduced ‘flat feet’ instead of the constantly contorted feet which allowed barbie to always wear high heeled shoes. This change of brand worked, as 2016 became the first in several years that the sales of Barbie did not suffer a decline.

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Mattel had since made a very conscious effort to change its image and is contributing to do so. 2017 will see the release of a bigger range including a tall African American doll with an Afro, as well as a red headed petite girl and a blue haired doll. Additionally their will be 10 skin tones, 4 body types and 15 various hairstyles to ensure their dolls diversity reflects that of women in real life.

So its clear to see that Barbie is changing. No longer will the public be confronted by an impossible standard of the female form but instead with  more realistic images, that truly represent the diversity of women and their bodies. The next few years will be interesting!

Sex education is still failing young gay men and women

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Remember when we were all younger and had THOSE sex ed lesson. They were always a little awkward, I mean lets face it, sex was funny at that age, a taboo subject, something we didn’t really speak openly about in our own friendship circles; let alone in school…with teachers! We all remember the diagrams, putting a condom on some phallic object and lets not forget the whole photos of penis’ and vagina, which come on, at the time just made us feel a little uncomfortable. But after all that do you really remember anything being spoken about gay sex?

I mean, speaking from my own experience i remember it been spoken about very (and I mean brushed over faster Usian Bolt doing the 100 metres). We had a box, and at lunch you could write any questions you had about sex, relations of STI then post them in this little box. And i remember, actually really clearly, my teacher pulling out a small scrap of paper with the question ‘how do gays have sex?’

This of course was followed by a few awkward side glances and a few giggles before the small answer of ‘well, I’m not sure if this is a joke or serious but I’ll answer it anyway, and i believe anally’. I guess that stuck with me to this day as it really wasn’t an explanation at all (and the fact it was seen as a joking matter was completely absurd).

I guess what we are getting at here is that sex education within UK schools is failing young gay men and women. Not only is safe intercourse not being discussed but nor are homosexual relationships as a whole. Additionally this lack of education creates a stigma that gay sex is something to be ashamed off and shouldn’t be discussed.

These preconceived ideas can really be nipped in the bud if children are taught from a younger age that relationships come in a variety of forms and combinations. Children deserve to be taught an all inclusive sex education on how to stay safe and enjoy healthy relationships.

However, its easy to say the government should start providing more of an inclusive education; although, as a teacher myself i know there would be outrage from some parents if I were to begin teaching a fully inclusive sex education within my classroom. Which leads me to the bigger picture…how truly accepted within society is the concept of ‘being gay’ on the whole?

All in all, the issue stems much deeper that first thought…what are your views on the issue?

We’d love to hear!

A rare glimpse of the powerful, peaceful man

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Yoga has for a long time been seen as being for women. This is only further backed when we take a look at mainstream media, in magazine and tv advertisements depicting woman practicing in beautiful elegant and often ‘feminine’ poses. However, LA based photographer Amy Goalen also saw this and thought it was time for a change.

She began by simply photographing her own yoga instructor, who was male. From this she realised the images exuded strength and a peaceful element. Subsequently, with the aid of writer Julian DeVoe they created the book ‘Inside the Warrior – The Masculine side of Yoga’.

Throughout this project, she explains how she enjoys photographing men of all ages and body types. And one of the most rewarding aspects is the ability to produce stunning images, that even the subjects are surprised at, by only using their body and practice.

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Her images are beautiful, showing a powerful yet serene side of the masculine form that is not often seen in mainstream media.

Take a further look at her work @amygpics

Let us know what you think…

Everybody has a Story – Day 10

Firstly, we apologize for not uploading any new content for a while. We have been extremely busy working on new content.

However, today is the final day of our Everybody has a Story segment. Our final day come from Leeds (UK) born Harry. Harry has asked to remain anonymous for the purposes of this interview.

Firstly, how old are you and what do you do for a living?

I’m 23 and a student nurse.

Please can you give us a brief background about your life?

I had a fairly normal upbringing to be honest. Being gay was never really considered an issue as such but I went to a catholic school growing up so it wasn’t really discussed a whole lot. The only thing that sometimes made it a little difficult was that ‘gay’ was seen as a negative term. It would be batted around then playground calling one another gay with extremely negative connotations.

When did you realize you were gay?

I realized I was gay at about 16. I knew for a while before that something was a bit different but it took me a while to fit that jigsaw piece into place and realize myself. Only once I’d fully realized myself could I then begin to tell others.

When and how did you come out?

I chose to come out quite a while after I realized myself. I waited until the right time, till I felt comfortable and it was ‘safest’ to do so. I remember I told my best friend first. Then after that I didn’t really sit down and tell people, I just snuck it into conversation and no one really batted an eyelid.

Have you ever experienced any discrimination due to your sexuality?

Like I said, I chose when to come out carefully. I remember a classmate at school came out very early at about 15/16 and was relentlessly bullied for it. I think it was just an immature ignorance around the people around him. Otherwise, personally I’ve only had the odd thing shouted. It’s Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve was a personal favorite. (Maybe if it was Steve he wouldn’t have fucked up like Eve….just sayin’).

If you could give your younger self, or anyone else currently struggling with their sexuality what (if any) advice could you give them?

As cheesy and cliche as it sounds just be true to yourself. Make sure you’re as comfortable as you can be in yourself first before you tell others.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Harry for his help with this project and for his frank honesty and wish him all the best for the future!

Everybody has a Story – Day 9

Welcome to day nine of our ten day feature – Everyone has a Story.

Our ninth entry come from Berlin based Florian. Here’s his story…

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  1. Firstly, how old are you and what do you do for a living?

I’m 35 years old and I’m a nurse, leading a psychiatric ward.

  1. Please can you give us a brief background about your life?

I was born in a little village in the south of Germany, on the border to France and Luxembourg.

I actually didn’t have a view really when growing up, just because no one in my circle of family or friends were gay, so it was just never bought up.

  1. When did you realize you were gay?

When I was 12 or 13 I realized I liked men but for a while I thought, maybe I’m bisexual.

  1. When and how did you come out?

I came out when I was 25, I had a few girlfriends before then, but I wasn’t practically happy. I always thought, if I fell in love with a guy, I would come out. And I did.

  1. Have you ever experienced any discrimination due to your sexuality?

Never at work or with friends and family. But I have with just random people on the street, I’ve been holding a guy’s hand and been called a faggot before.

  1. If you could give your younger self, or anyone else currently struggling with their sexuality what (if any) advice could you give them?

Be whatever and whoever you are, the people that are around you love you, and they love you no matter what. Because ultimately, only being yourself will make you happy.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Florian for his help with this project and for his frank honesty.

If you’d like to keep up to date with Florian, follow him on Instagram @fkfbrln

Everybody has a Story – Day 8

Welcome to day eight of our ten day feature – Everybody has a Story.

Our eighth entry come from Brazil born Miguel Albino. Here’s his story…

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  1. Firstly, how old are you and what do you do for a living?

I’m 28 and I work in Manchester (UK) as a Portuguese and English translator and teacher.

  1. Please can you give us a brief background about your life?

I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and that’s where I was brought up until I moved to the UK when I was 22. Growing up, homosexuality was something I was deeply ashamed of and wouldn’t dream of discussing with anybody. Because my family were so religious it just wasn’t acceptable, up until a particular age I was terrified of them finding out.

  1. When did you realise you were gay?

I’ve always known it, since the age of 6 probably. I didn’t know exactly what it was or even why, but I’ve liked boys since forever.

  1. When and how did you come out?

I came out at the age of 18 when I went to university and it was very casual. I told my mum and she was just like ‘yeah whatever, as long as I get to become a grandmother at some point, I don’t mind’. And that was a huge relief.

  1. Have you ever experienced any discrimination due to your sexuality?

Nothing other than children picking on me when I was little because of my mannerisms. I was always in a very privileged upper class bubble in Rio, where people didn’t really care about sexuality or things like that as long as you came from a “good” family. This was only in Brazil though, when I got to the UK i wasn’t in the ‘upper class’ at all.

  1. If you could give your younger self, or anyone else currently struggling with their sexuality what (if any) advice could you give them?

Trust your loved ones, don’t just assume they’ll hate you for being you!

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Miguel for his help with this project and for his frank honesty.

If you’d like to keep up to date with Miguel, follow him on Instagram @aboutmiguel