Beauty & Style

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“Acting caused it”: Julie Walters quits after cancer diagnosis

<p>Julie Walters appears to be done with acting after her cancer diagnosis caused her to re-evaluate her entire career.</p> <p>The 70-year-old actress known for her role in the Harry Potter movies recently opened up saying she believes the stress from the industry “caused” her cancer.</p> <p>"Part of me was going, 'Oh my God! I've got cancer! Oh my God!' And I'm dealing with the shock of that, and it's all systems go to have it treated," she told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/julie-walters-i-dont-want-to-work-again-unless-theres-a-mamma-mia-3-fdn0dxsn3" target="_blank">The Times.</a></p> <p>"But there was also an element of going, 'I don't have to do any more work. I can actually get off this treadmill.' Because I had been working really hard and it seemed like a big excuse not to do anything. Cancer trumps everything. So there was a huge relief in it, which is strange. But I needed something to stop me."</p> <p>In 2018, Walters was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer which forced her to get chemotherapy and undergo surgery.</p> <p>Due to this, she had to be cut from certain scenes in her new film The Secret Garden, and also ended up missing the premiere for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.</p> <p>She has now been told she’s cancer-free.</p> <p>"Acting caused it," Walters said. "Because of the way that I approach it. I have to be totally in it. Everything has to be just so. It's very stressful. You're immediately above the parapet. You're being judged. It's a stressful job and I don't sleep when I'm working. It's not good for me."</p> <p>While Walters appears to be ready to call her time on acting, she'd never turn down the opportunity to return for Mamma Mia 3.</p> <p>"After I had the operation and I was thinking about the future, I thought, 'I don't want to work again,'" Walters said. "Unless it's another Mamma Mia!"</p>

Beauty & Style

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New Emma wiggle costume sparks fury over controversy

<p>A new Wiggle dress-costume has left fans confused and parents outraged after it was revealed the new costume that was meant for “everyone” did not include tutus for boys.</p> <p>After posting a photo to Instagram, the kids entertainment group announced they had finally adhered to countless requests asking for an Emma Wiggle costume with pants.</p> <p>"We listened! We have had so many requests for an Emma Wiggle costume with pants!" the post read.</p> <p>"Everyone can dress up just like Emma! Bowtiful!"</p> <p>embed instagram post </p> <p>However, the new costume left parents wondering why there is no tutu for boys.</p> <p>"It's separating the genders and caving to social gender norms instead of letting kids dress up as who they want to, without worrying about it not being socially acceptable," another person commented.</p> <p>"Would have been nice to show boys in skirts too ... What's the problem with boys with a skirt?" said another confused fan.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGUJfZdhKLJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGUJfZdhKLJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by E M M A W I G G L E (@emma_wiggle)</a> on Oct 14, 2020 at 12:01am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"Boys can wear dresses too!!" one woman went on to argue.</p> <p>"Clothes have no gender!!"</p> <p>Others disagreed however and said they did not see any issue.</p> <p>"The first one with black normal pants with yellow stripes is like Greg's outfit in 2012," one man pointed out, referring founding yellow Wiggle member.</p> <p>Some parents suggested simply buying the girl's costume and giving it to their boys if they wanted a skirt. </p> <p>"Let's remember at the end of the day, it is us as parents and adults who buy the costumes," one woman said.</p> <p>"This marketing is really only showing us the options. We can provide whatever type of options and combinations for both boys and girls of the Emma costumes to our kids."</p> <p>The costumes are available at Big W, Costume Box and Costume Super Centre Australia.</p>

Beauty & Style

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Royal fashion icons! Kate and Meghan rated most stylish

<p>Duchess Kate and her sister-in-law Meghan Markle have been labelled the most stylish royals of 2020.</p> <p>Royal umbrella maker Fulton Umbrella analysed Google searches related to royal fashion and found that the Duchess of Cambridge, 38, was the most searched-for royal, with Duchess Meghan coming in second place.</p> <p>The data looked at search trends and the most popular search terms relating to the senior women of the royal family, from 2017 to 2020.</p> <p>Despite not carrying out a majority of royal engagements this year, Kate came out on top with 77,000 searches this year to date. </p> <p>The royal continued to maintain her effortless elegance and style with glamorous hair-do’s and colourful, sophisticated dresses for video calls.</p> <p>The Duchess of Sussex, 39, has continued to wow the world with her easy, beautiful looks despite stepping down as a senior royal alongside her husband Prince Harry, in March.</p> <p>The royal appeared in many Zoom conference calls with Prince Harry throughout the year, opting for smart casual outfits that showcased her elegance over breathtaking gowns.</p> <p>However, Fulton Umbrellas did register a dip in searches relating to the Duchess of Sussex this year. </p> <p>This year's dip could be explained by the fact that the Meghan and Harry have now stepped back from their royal duties and have wisely chosen to isolate within their LA home.</p> <p>Princess Beatrice secured third place with her more polished ensembles and breathtaking vintage wedding dress borrowed from the Queen.  </p> <p><strong>Most searched keywords of 2020</strong></p> <ul> <li>Kate Middleton dresses: 33,800</li> <li>Meghan Markle style: 12,400</li> <li>Kate Middleton fashion: 12,100</li> <li>Meghan Markle dress: 11,700</li> <li>Meghan Markle fashion: 10,860</li> <li>Kate Middleton style: 10,600</li> <li>Princess Beatrice hat: 4,010</li> <li>Princess Beatrice dresses: 3,870</li> <li>Kate Middleton shoes: 3,680</li> <li>Kate Middleton hat: 3,320</li> <li>Most searched per month 2017-2020 </li> <li>Meghan Markle dress - 4,400</li> <li>Kate Middleton dresses - 3,600</li> <li>Meghan Markle style - 1,300</li> <li>Meghan Markle fashion - 1,300</li> <li>Kate Middleton fashion - 1,000</li> <li>Kate Middleton style - 1,000</li> <li>Meghan Markle coat - 480</li> <li>Princess Beatrice hat  - 390</li> <li>Kate Middleton shoes  - 390</li> <li>Kate Middleton hat - 390</li> </ul>

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Anti-vaxxer Isabel Lucas opts out of mandatory COVID test in Byron

<p>Isabel Lucas recently revealed she “opted out” of coronavirus testing while on the set of her recent film with Luke Hemsworth in Byron Bay. </p> <p>However, her confession has surprised producers of the Mose Bosch &amp; Rockit, with testing being mandatory for all those working on the production.</p> <p>"Every cast and crew member was required to sign an acknowledgement that they would adhere to the COVID-Safe guidelines adopted by the production, which included an acknowledgement that they had been COVID-tested prior to principal photography," Black Pearl Productions said in a statement, seen by <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theage.com.au/culture/movies/isabel-lucas-opted-out-of-covid-testing-on-byron-bay-film-20201010-p563vt.html?fbclid=IwAR1Qq7wEqgwh9LA8kAZo6ja1JXXxZWyer2NkR4YPEU8oXO3Z3ir0FKXfYzU" target="_blank">The Age</a>.</p> <p>"Isabel's recent statement that she was not tested is inconsistent with the producers' understanding that she had complied with the COVID-Safe guidelines adopted by the production."</p> <p>The 35-year-old, who has openly spoken about her anti-vax beliefs in the past, made the admission on an American wellbeing podcast, Alfa Vedic, on September 25.</p> <p>"I gave my duty of care of what I could offer to respect everyone's health and maintain my own health, and I shared that, and I opted out of doing the COVID test," she said.</p> <p>"Everyone was really respectful and really honouring of, like, how to maintain health while this very tricky time is underway. But I needed to do that. I felt like it was quite an understanding, relaxed group of people."</p> <p>While it’s understood no one working on the production was infected with the virus, the move has concerned industry insiders as due to privacy restrictions around medical records, it’s on the actor to prove they’ve been tested.</p>

Beauty & Style

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Princess Eugenie shows never-before-seen wedding photos

<p>Princess Eugenie has released a range of unseen photographs to celebrate her two-year-wedding anniversary with Jack Brooksbank on October 12.</p> <p>To ring in the beautiful day, even the designer of her second wedding dress, Zac Posen, has shown a never-before-seen photograph.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CGPbX2rnyHv/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CGPbX2rnyHv/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Princess Eugenie (@princesseugenie)</a> on Oct 12, 2020 at 4:01am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>This candid shot shows the bride in her beautiful blush, Grace Kelly-inspired gown as she poses next to her hubby.</p> <p>It appears to have been snapped by the designer while the couple posed for photos before their private evening reception.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BvZgXEFhyYk/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BvZgXEFhyYk/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Zac Posen (@zacposen)</a> on Mar 24, 2019 at 9:55am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"Happiest 2nd Anniversary dear Princess Eugenie &amp; Jack! It was so special creating this gown for this wonderful moment in your life, being with you and the family on the magnificent magical day, I will remember forever," Posen captioned the main post.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838259/daily-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e7996342fb134be7ae09be1f08d9002c" /></p> <p>"Wishing you both continued love and happiness always with your new baby angel on the way."</p> <p>Eugenie, 30, and Jack, 34, announced last month that they will welcome their first child in 2021.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CFjXPhpFPpJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CFjXPhpFPpJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Princess Eugenie (@princesseugenie)</a> on Sep 25, 2020 at 1:18am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"Jack and I are so excited for early 2021," the mum-to-be said on Instagram.</p> <p>This will be the first grandchild for Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson and will be the Queen and Prince Philip's ninth great-grandchild.</p>

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Julie Bishop turns heads in stunning beach photoshoot

<p>Julie Bishop has posed for a gorgeous photoshoot wearing a bright magenta custom made Jaimie Sortino gown, while clinging onto the Cottesloe Bell in Perth.</p> <p>It was for a good cause, with the 64-year-old being an ambassador for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and donning the dress in honour of Sortino’s late cousin.</p> <p>The dress was a tribute to the designer’s family member, Jenna Crierie, who sadly passed away earlier this month after suffering from ovarian cancer since she was 22.</p> <p>“Ovarian cancer is such a devastating disease, and I’ve been raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research for some time now,” Bishop said to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://thewest.com.au/politics/julie-bishop/julie-bishops-struts-her-stuff-at-cottesloe-beach-for-the-ovarian-cancer-research-foundations-frocktober-ng-b881685644z" target="_blank">West Australian</a>.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGPTxnFB8HV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGPTxnFB8HV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">This 💖stunning💖 gown designed by @jaimiesortino is for auction online with all proceeds for ovarian cancer research. Help raise funds to develop an early detection test - earlier treatment earlier diagnosis means saving lives. @bid.for.good link in my bio @ocrf @russelljames @lorealaustralia @cottesloeslsc</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/honjuliebishop/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> The Hon Julie Bishop</a> (@honjuliebishop) on Oct 12, 2020 at 2:55am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Jaimie Sortino, an Adelaide designer, contacted me and said he and his cousin had this idea that he would design a dress, and I would wear it, and then we’d put it out on social media and then auction the dress.</p> <p>“His cousin had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer - so it was a very heartfelt request.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGCNm6KhhXK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGCNm6KhhXK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Frocking up for #Frocktober2020 raising funds for ovarian cancer research @ocrf 💕The Pink Frock designed @jaimiesortino will be auctioned online details to follow. What a stunning creative team - the fabulous @russelljames🌟@zuluqueen7🌟 and @nadiaduca @lorealaustralia💖Thanks to boys from @cottesloeslsc 🚣🏻 @thewestaustralian #Froktober #researchiskey #cottesloepylon</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/honjuliebishop/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> The Hon Julie Bishop</a> (@honjuliebishop) on Oct 7, 2020 at 12:51am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Julie’s fans were quick to flood her comments section with praise.</p> <p>“You’re so fabulous,” British socialite Emma Thynn commented.</p> <p>Another wrote: “Omg I love her, what a queen.”</p> <p>The gown is being auctioned off as part of the annual Ovarian Cancer Research Fund through<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/154109554885#viTabs_0" target="_blank">Bid For Good on eBay</a>.</p>

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COVID-19 has offered us an unexpected opportunity to help more people quit smoking

<p>Smokers are worried. A respiratory disease is running rampant across the globe and people with unhealthy lifestyle habits appear to be especially vulnerable.</p> <p>We know smokers hospitalised with COVID-19 are more likely to become <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/smoking-and-covid-19">severely unwell and die</a> than non-smokers with the disease.</p> <p>At any point in time, most smokers <a href="https://www.quit.org.au/news/8-10-victorian-smokers-want-quit-survey/">want to quit</a>. But COVID-19 provides the impetus to do it sooner rather than later.</p> <p>In our <a href="https://journals.lww.com/journaladdictionmedicine/Abstract/9000/Preferences_for_Tobacco_Cessation_Information_and.99161.aspx">new study</a>, we surveyed 1,204 adult smokers across Australia and the United Kingdom. We found the proportion intending to quit within the next two weeks almost tripled from around 10% of smokers before COVID-19 to 29% in April.</p> <p>Many more were thinking about quitting some time soon, and most wanted help to do so.</p> <p>Our research shows many people who smoke understand they can reduce their COVID-19 related risk by addressing their smoking. Given this, and the broader health gains associated with stopping smoking, we must ensure people who want to quit in the face of COVID-19 are supported.</p> <p><strong>Information and support</strong></p> <p>When asked whether they’d like to receive information about the risks of COVID-19 for smokers, almost half (45%) of our respondents said they would. This was especially the case among those wanting to quit very soon.</p> <p>As for where they wanted to get this information, participants most commonly chose government representatives (59%) and doctors (47%) as their preferred sources.</p> <p>Television news was the most favoured information delivery channel (61%), followed by online news (36%), social media (31%) and email (31%).</p> <p>As well as being receptive to information, our participants were keen for support to help them quit.</p> <p><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2020-smoking-cessation/index.html">Evidence-based</a> forms of smoking cessation assistance include nicotine replacement therapy (for example, gum, patches and inhalers) and counselling.</p> <p>Almost two-thirds (61%) of our respondents expressed an interest in receiving nicotine replacement therapy to help them quit, which rose to more than three-quarters (77%) if it could be home-delivered and provided free of charge.</p> <p>Half (51%) wanted access to personal advice and support, such as that provided by <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/contacts/quitline">Quitline</a>. A similar number (49%) were receptive to being part of a text support program for smokers.</p> <p>These results show us smokers are interested in forms of quitting assistance that can be delivered remotely. Making sure smokers know these sorts of things are available in lockdown could increase uptake, and in turn reduce smoking rates.</p> <p>It’s also important to note the <a href="https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-1212">social isolation</a> associated with the pandemic may make people more vulnerable to the addictive effects of nicotine. So they may need extra support during this time.</p> <p><strong>Two big risks to our health</strong></p> <p>Strong groundwork in the form of anti-smoking campaigns, tobacco taxes, and smoke-free environment legislation has reduced smoking levels in Australia to a record low of <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/illicit-use-of-drugs/national-drug-strategy-household-survey-2019/contents/summary">11%</a>. But even at this rate, smoking remains Australia’s <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/953dcb20-b369-4c6b-b20f-526bdead14cb/aihw-bod-20.pdf.aspx?inline=true">number-one avoidable killer</a>.</p> <p>Smoking eventually kills up to <a href="https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-015-0281-z">two-thirds of regular users</a>, and the number of people dying from smoking-related diseases still dwarfs COVID-19 deaths.</p> <p>Roughly <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco">eight million people</a> around the world die each year from tobacco-related diseases (such as cancer, stroke and heart disease), compared to the almost <a href="https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/">one million</a> deaths attributed to COVID-19 so far.</p> <p>Of course, the infectious nature of COVID-19 brings its own set of challenges. But combined, we have a potent reason to prioritise encouraging and helping smokers to quit as soon as possible.</p> <p>There has been <a href="https://theconversation.com/does-nicotine-protect-us-against-coronavirus-137488">speculation</a> about whether smoking increases the risk of contracting COVID-19, or whether nicotine might actually protect against the disease. The evidence remains unclear.</p> <p>Regardless of whether smoking affects the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the first place, we know it increases the risk of dying from it. Providing intensive quit support during the pandemic could facilitate a substantial boost to cessation rates and bring us closer to the day when smoking becomes history.</p> <p><strong>Capitalising on this opportunity</strong></p> <p>Smokers’ increased risk from COVID-19 and the importance of encouraging smokers to quit to reduce their risk of a range of non-communicable diseases means <a href="https://infogram.com/ama-covid-19-factsheet-tobacco-1hd12y0rovwm6km?live">health agencies</a> <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/news/smokers-at-greater-risk-of-severe-respiratory-disease-from-covid-19">around the world</a> are sending messages about the importance of quitting now.</p> <p>Our results suggest these statements should ideally be accompanied by explicit offers of help to quit in the form of nicotine replacement therapy and counselling. Investment in these is <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26031929/">cost-effective</a>, and now is an ideal time to make them as widely available and affordable as possible.</p> <p>Many smokers would also likely benefit from the use of mass media to provide more information about their greater risk if infected with COVID-19.</p> <p>This heightened interest in quitting in the face of COVID-19 — reflected not only in our research, <a href="https://news.sky.com/story/number-of-people-quitting-smoking-at-ten-year-high-thanks-to-change-in-attitudes-during-covid-19-pandemic-12077840">but elsewhere</a> — represents a unique opportunity for governments and health agencies to help smokers quit, and stay off smoking for good.</p> <p><em>Written by Simone Pettigrew, George Institute for Global Health. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/search/result?sg=5c52bba7-3930-40c3-ac55-adfb03be59ed&amp;sp=1&amp;sr=1&amp;url=%2Fcovid-19-has-offered-us-an-unexpected-opportunity-to-help-more-people-quit-smoking-146747">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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Dressed to a tea! Kmart super fan shows off incredible dress made from tea towels

<p>A Kmart lover has revealed her marvellous creation using 11 decorative tea towels.</p> <p>Taking to a Kmart Facebook group, shopper Selika shared a video which showed how she transformed a popular cockatoo tea towel into a beautiful frock.</p> <p>With the popular kitchen buys costs just $1.50 each, meaning Selika made the dress for just $16.50.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838024/kmart-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2960a97f6a2349c8b49797c0d880e57f" /></p> <p>“No way I’m letting this beautiful print be just a tea towel,” Selika said in a post on the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/330596703984165" target="_blank">Kmart Home Decor &amp; Hacks Australia</a> group.</p> <p>“When a $1.50 tea towel turned into a one-in-a-million dress. I’m calling it a tea towel dress!</p> <p>“Made with 11 Kmart tea towels.”</p> <p>Selika started unpicking the hems on all 11 tea towels.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838027/kmart-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ce0f0e6afdb94ba5a975ed4b2c86e729" /></p> <p>The shopper then went on to line them up to make one large piece of fabric and sewed the pieces together.</p> <p>Finally using a dress pattern, she was able to cut and sew the fabric into the one-off creation.</p> <p>Kmart fans were blown away by Selika’s skills.</p> <p>“So creative and such a stunning style of dress too!” said one.</p> <p>Added wrote: “Love it, unbelievable!”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838027/kmart-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ce0f0e6afdb94ba5a975ed4b2c86e729" /></p> <p>A third chimed in by writing: “Very clever and unique. Well done. I would probably need 87 tea towels to make a dress!”</p> <p>The decorative tea towels have been used to make baby clothes, bags and even re-cover dining chairs and proves to be a popular item.</p>

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Dolly Parton sets the record straight on tattoo rumours

<p>Dolly Parton has set the record straight on the long winding rumour about her body being covered in tattoos.</p> <p>It’s said the country music star wears long sleeves to cover up the ink running up and down her arms.</p> <p>But that doesn’t seem to be the case.</p> <p>Speaking to People magazine, the 74-year-old said, "I do have some tattoos, that's true. But they're tasteful. I'm not a tattoo girl.”</p> <p>She goes on to explain that she was unwell for a period of time and required a feeding tube which left a scar on her side. </p> <p>She didn’t want to be constantly reminded of her health issues, so she decided to get tattoos over it.</p> <p>"My tattoos are pretty, they're artful and they usually started out to cover some scar, not to make a big statement," she revealed. "Ribbons and bows and butterflies are the things that I have. I was very sick for a while and I had to wear a feeding tube. It left a little indention in my side and I didn't like it because I'm so fair that scars turn purple on me.</p> <p>"I had a little beehive tattooed over it — a little yellow-and-brown beehive with a tiny little bee on top of the hive. The mouth of it is that little sinkhole."</p> <p>But Parton joked that she never says never, and there's still time to live up to the tattoo hype.</p> <p>"Who knows, I may get some more later. I may just have to get covered with tattoos just so everybody could be right!" she said. </p>

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Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise’s daughter shares rare selfie

<p>Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s daughter Isabella ‘Bella’ Cruise has posted a rare photo of herself with a new haircut.</p> <p>The 27-year-old, who is known to keep a low profile, shared a selfie of her short black hair with pops of green through it.</p> <p>She completed the look with peace sign earrings, a nose piercing and oversized sunglasses.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CFVRw6kA-iS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CFVRw6kA-iS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Bella Kidman Cruise (@bellakidmancruise)</a> on Sep 19, 2020 at 2:01pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Bella didn’t caption the photo, but chose to tag two jewellery labels instead.</p> <p>Her friends and followers responded to the photograph by commenting on how much the new hairdo suits her.</p> <p>"Love it, also, your skin looks soooo freaking good," another added.</p> <p>"You're so beautiful and talented," a third commented.</p> <p>In 1992, Cruise, 58, and Kidman, 53, adopted Bella during their 10-year marriage.</p> <p>In 1995, the couple also adopted a son, Conor Cruise, now 25.</p> <p>They then called it quits in 2001 and it is believed Bella and Connor are estranged from Kidman.</p> <p>In an interview with Who magazine, Kidman seemed to have confirmed that fact.</p> <p>"They are adults. They are able to make their own decisions. They have made choices to be Scientologists and as a mother, it's my job to love them," she said. "And I am an example of that tolerance and that's what I believe — that no matter what your child does, the child has love and the child has to know there is available love and I'm open here."</p> <p>Nicole went on to marry Keith Urban, whom she shares two children with.</p> <p>The same year, Cruise married Katie Holmes, who he shares 14-year-old Suri Cruise with. </p>

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The story behind Princess Diana’s iconic wedding dress

<p>Princess Diana’s wedding dress is considered till this day to be iconic. </p> <p>But the lavish gown that was embroidered with 10,000 pearls and featured frilled lace couldn’t have had the same impact without its covert understudy, created without Diana’s knowledge.</p> <p>David Emanuel and his then-wife Elizabeth were given the honour to design the late Princess’s dress and tried their hardest to make sure it remained a secret.</p> <p>But it proved to be extremely difficult with the media watching her every move.</p> <p>So the Emanuels took extreme measures: Making a second dress for “peace of mind.”</p> <p>"At the time we wanted to make absolutely sure that the dress was a surprise," David told People in 2018. "We didn't try it on Diana. We never even discussed it. We wanted to make sure that we had something there; it was for our own peace of mind, really."</p> <p>The second dress was never completed, and much less lavish than the one Diana actually wore.</p> <p>When the wedding day did finally come along, Diana's dress design had managed to remain a mystery, but the Emanuels were nervous all the same. "She was incredibly together and wasn’t panicking," Elizabeth Emanuel told <a rel="noopener" href="https://people.com/royals/princess-dianas-wedding-dress-waistline/" target="_blank">People</a>. "But I was really worried about all things that could possibly go wrong. We’d taken smelling salts, glucose tablets — what if she feels faint? What if she passes out? Spills something down her skirt? I had this kind of horror that maybe the train would drop off. We sewed her into things, we pinned her into things."</p> <p>Luckily, all went well.</p>

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When someone dies, what happens to the body?

<p>Upwards of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm">2.8 million people die</a> every year in the United States. As a funeral director who heads a university mortuary science program, I can tell you that while each individual’s life experiences are unique, what happens to a body after death follows a broadly predictable chain of events.</p> <p>In general, it depends on three things: where you die, how you die and what you or your family decide on for funeral arrangements and final disposition.</p> <p><strong>In death’s immediate aftermath</strong></p> <p>Death can happen anywhere: at home; in a hospital, nursing or palliative care facility; or at the scene of an accident, homicide or suicide.</p> <p>A medical examiner or coroner must investigate whenever a person dies unexpectedly while not under a doctor’s care. Based on the circumstances of the death, they determine whether an autopsy is needed. If so, the body travels to a county morgue or a funeral home, where a pathologist conducts a detailed internal and external examination of the body as well as toxicology tests.</p> <p>Once the body can be released, some states allow for families to handle the body themselves, but most people employ a funeral director. The body is placed on a stretcher, covered and transferred from the place of death – sometimes via hearse, but more commonly these days a minivan carries it to the funeral home.</p> <p>State law determines who has the authority to make funeral arrangements and decisions about the remains. In some states, you can choose during your lifetime how you’d like your body treated when you die. In most cases, however, decisions fall on surviving family or someone you appointed before your death.</p> <p><strong>Preparing the body for viewing</strong></p> <p>In a 2020 consumer survey conducted by the National Funeral Directors Association, 39.4% of respondents reported feeling it’s very important to have the <a href="https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/newsroom/press-kits/2018/jsm/jsm-presentation-pop-projections.pdf">body or cremated remains present</a> at a funeral or memorial service.</p> <p>To prepare for that, the funeral home will usually ask whether the body is to be embalmed. This process sanitizes the body, temporarily preserves it for viewing and services, and restores a natural, peaceful appearance. Embalming is typically required for a public viewing and in certain other circumstances, including if the person died of a communicable disease or if the cremation or burial is to be delayed for more than a few days.</p> <p>When the funeral director begins the embalming process, he places the body on a special porcelain or stainless steel table that looks much like what you’d find in an operating room. He washes the body with soap and water and positions it with the hands crossed over the abdomen, as you’d see them appear in a casket. He closes the eyes and mouth.</p> <p>Next the funeral director makes a small incision near the clavicle, to access the jugular vein and carotid artery. He inserts forceps into the jugular vein to allow blood to drain out, while at the same time injecting embalming solution into the carotid artery via a small tube connected to the embalming machine. For every 50 to 75 pounds of body weight, it takes about a gallon of embalming solution, largely made up of formaldehyde. The funeral director then removes excess fluids and gases from the abdominal and thoracic cavities using an instrument called a trocar. It works much like the suction tube you’ve experienced at the dentist.</p> <p>Next the funeral director sutures any incisions. He grooms the hair and nails and again washes the body and dries it with towels. If the body is emaciated or dehydrated, he can inject a solution via hypodermic needle to plump facial features. If trauma or disease has altered the appearance of the deceased, the embalmer can use wax, adhesive and plaster to recreate natural form.</p> <p>Lastly, the funeral director dresses the deceased and applies cosmetics. If the clothing provided does not fit, he can cut it and tuck it in somewhere that doesn’t show. Some funeral homes use an airbrush to apply cosmetics; others use specialized mortuary cosmetics or just regular makeup you might find at a store.</p> <p><strong>Toward a final resting place</strong></p> <p>If the deceased is to be cremated without a public viewing, many funeral homes require a member of the family to identify him or her. Once the death certificate and any other necessary authorizations are complete, the funeral home transports the deceased in a chosen container to a crematory. This could be onsite or at a third-party provider.</p> <p>Cremations are performed individually. Still in the container, the deceased is placed in the cremator, which produces very high heat that reduces the remains to bone fragments. The operator removes any metal objects, like implants, fillings and parts of the casket or cremation container, and then pulverizes the bone fragments. He then places the processed remains in the selected container or urn. Some families choose to keep the cremated remains, while others bury them, place them in a niche or scatter them.</p> <p>The year 2015 was the first year that the <a href="https://nfda.org/news/in-the-news/nfda-news/id/5223/2020-cremation-burial-projects-cremation-rate-of-87-by-2040">cremation rate exceeded the casketed burial rate</a> in the U.S., and the industry expects that trend to continue.</p> <p>When earth burial is chosen, the casket is usually placed in a concrete outer burial container before being lowered into the grave. Caskets can also be entombed in above-ground crypts inside buildings called mausoleums. Usually a grave or crypt has a headstone of some kind that bears the name and other details about the decedent.</p> <p>Some cemeteries have spaces dedicated to environmentally conscious “green” burials in which an unembalmed body can be buried in a biodegradable container. Other forms of final disposition are less common. As an alternative to cremation, the chemical process of alkaline hydrolysis can reduce remains to bone fragments. Composting involves placing the deceased in a vessel with organic materials like wood chips and straw to allow microbes to naturally break down the body.</p> <p>I’ve seen many changes over the course of my funeral service career, spanning more than 20 years so far. For decades, funeral directors were predominantly male, but now mortuary school enrollment nationwide is roughly 65% female. Cremation has become more popular. More people pre-plan their own funerals. Many Americans do not have a religious affiliation and therefore opt for a less formal service.</p> <p>Saying goodbye is important for those who remain, and I have witnessed too many families foregoing a ceremony and later regretting it. A dignified and meaningful farewell and the occasion to share memories and comfort each other <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/26555297">honors the life of the deceased and facilitates healing</a> for family and friends.</p> <p><em>Written by Mark Evely. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/when-someone-dies-what-happens-to-the-body-143070">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Why gender reveals have spiraled out of control

<p>Over Labor Day weekend in the US, two expectant parents didn’t get the viral hit they had hoped for.</p> <p>During a gender reveal party in Southern California, a “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device” was supposed to simply reveal a color – pink for a girl, blue for a boy – before a crowd of onlookers.</p> <p>Instead, it <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/08/us/el-dorado-fire-gender-reveal-update-trnd/index.html">sparked a wildfire</a> that has scorched more than 10,000 acres of land.</p> <p><a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=cYOUU4EAAAAJ&amp;hl=en">As a sociologist</a> who studies how social media is used to navigate gender, identity and life transitions, I’ve watched gender reveal parties become their own mini-industry over the past decade.</p> <p>The increasingly extravagant parties – fueled by a quest for unique, viral stunts – reflect some of the new bizarre <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305117707192">pressures parents face</a> in our “<a href="https://econreview.berkeley.edu/paying-attention-the-attention-economy/">attention economy</a>.”</p> <p><strong>Guesswork gives way to certainty</strong></p> <p>Gendering children prior to birth is a unique phenomenon of the 20th century.</p> <p>That doesn’t mean parents-to-be didn’t try to make predictions; for centuries, some looked to <a href="https://www.livescience.com/45582-boy-or-girl.html">folklore</a>. “Carrying low” – or having a <a href="https://www.verywellfamily.com/concerns-about-your-pregnant-belly-2759765">baby bump</a> closer to the pelvis – was supposed to mean that the mother would likely give birth to a boy. If the mother found herself craving sweets, that meant a girl was on the way. The baby’s sex was officially announced at birth, and gender reveals happened in postcards, church bulletins or local newspaper listings.</p> <p>In 1958, a team of Scottish physicians <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3987368/">conducted</a> what’s believed to be the first fetal ultrasound. However, sex identification via ultrasound wasn’t widely practiced in American hospitals until the late-1970s. Only then were advances in the technology able to produce high-quality portraits of babies. By the 1990s, iconic gray-scale images tagged with body parts became the norm. Expectant parents displayed sonograms on home refrigerators and called loved ones to share the news, but there wasn’t the pageantry of a big reveal.</p> <p><strong>Performing parenthood in the digital age</strong></p> <p>It wasn’t until the proliferation of social media platforms that parties centered on the revelation of a baby’s sex became commonplace.</p> <p>In 2008, blogger Jenna Karvunidis cut into a cake at a party with her family. Inside the cake was pink frosting, revealing to everyone in the room that she would be having a girl. Her blog post about the party <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/07/28/745990073/woman-who-popularized-gender-reveal-parties-says-her-views-on-gender-have-change">went viral</a>. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/09589236.2017.1287066">The modern gender reveal</a> was born.</p> <p>Most involve a gathering of family and friends who weigh in with their predictions before the moment of the big reveal. The parents-to-be cut a custom cake, pop a confetti-filled balloon or set off a glitter bomb that will reveal gender-stereotyped pink or blue. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vc2ArWcZ7o">Guests cheer</a>. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=267082260877800">The couple kisses</a>. Cameras capture it all.</p> <p>Social media fueled an uptick in gender reveals with the launch of visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram in 2010. These platforms have inspired parents to participate in “<a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/15405702.2016.1223300">sharenting</a>” – in which parents post photos and stories about their children – and to use social media as a how-to manual for <a href="https://www.doi.org/10.1086/695700">navigating the challenges</a> of parenting.</p> <p>What were once intimate rituals among loved ones are now shared publicly for friends and strangers alike.</p> <p>But how, in just over a decade, did gender reveals go from pink icing in a cake to fireworks and wildfires?</p> <p><strong>How to thrive in the attention economy</strong></p> <p>On social media, the more unique, absurd, gripping or funny the image, the more likely it is to go viral. Everyday people who figure out how to tap the right algorithmic veins can become <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/19392397.2016.1218292">microcelebrities</a>, while babies can capture the limelight as “<a href="http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/76135/">micro-microcelebrities</a>” before they’re even born. Some parents give their future children custom hashtags. Others give them their own social media accounts.</p> <p>The idea is to tap into the lucrative <a href="https://read.dukeupress.edu/public-culture/article-abstract/27/1%20(75)/137/31071/Instafame-Luxury-Selfies-in-the-Attention-Economy?redirectedFrom=fulltext">attention economy</a>, which uses the currency of views, shares and likes to monetize life experiences. Merely having a child is not exciting enough for the internet; the child needs to come into the world surrounded by shock and awe.</p> <p>For a gender reveal stunt, parents might <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43568628">wrangle alligators</a>, kick exploding <a href="https://youtu.be/Q0wvvq1kz7Y?t=20">footballs</a>, shoot <a href="https://youtu.be/vQ6o2WOnsRU?t=15">clay pigeons</a> or <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/ByDkugzHg7r/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=embed_video_watch_again">jump from airplanes</a> – ceremonies that can be more reflective of the parents’ identities, hobbies and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/19392397.2016.1218292">online brand</a> than anything to do with a baby.</p> <p>Ultimately, these increasingly outlandish gender reveals align perfectly with the values of an <a href="https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=kZAWAAAAQBAJ&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PA274&amp;dq=always+on+social+media&amp;ots=WRDE99gHwb&amp;sig=zoglp8TPGkBBOtTELauik8bXALQ#v=onepage&amp;q=always%20on%20social%20media&amp;f=false">always-on</a> digital consumer culture that is always <a href="https://www.doi.org/10.1080/15295036.2017.1394582">scrolling</a> for the next best thing.</p> <p><strong>The rise of gender reveal capitalism</strong></p> <p>Meanwhile, a booming industry promoting and encouraging gender reveals has emerged.</p> <p>Custom cakes, <a href="https://www.partycity.com/baby-shower-gender-reveal">themed party supplies</a>, confetti cannons, smoke bombs and t-shirts are designed to create the perfect Instagram post. Celebrity and influencer gender reveals are vehicles for <a href="https://www.essence.com/love/danielle-brooks-a-little-bit-pregnant-netflix-having-a-girl/">brand sponsorships</a>, <a href="https://www.today.com/parents/jessica-alba-enlists-daughters-cute-gender-reveal-baby-no-3-t118015">product placements</a> and media coverage.</p> <p>The marketplace even adapted to the coronavirus pandemic by offering “It’s a girl” <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/829866847/baby-shower-masks-cute-baby-shower-gift">masks</a>, “It’s a boy” <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/209713934/gender-reveal-party-favor-labels-gender">hand sanitizers</a> and even <a href="https://genderrevealgame.com/">gender reveal games</a> that can be played virtually.</p> <p>Parents, particularly mothers, already face intense scrutiny and cultural expectations of “<a href="https://www.doi.org/10.1177/0093650214534969">ideal motherhood</a>,” whether it’s the decision to breastfeed, have a “natural birth” or go back to work. Whether or not to have a gender reveal has become yet another “choice” that expectant parents must make.</p> <p>Even the decision not to have a gender reveal becomes a form of social media currency. For example, social media influencer Iskra Lawrence <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B58JPJiAqtq/">announced on Instagram</a> that she would not have a gender reveal – and included sponsored links to a clothing brand in the post.</p> <p>Gender reveals are sometimes <a href="https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/7/31/20708816/gender-reveal-party-social-media-game-pink-blue-fire">sneered at</a> for <a href="http://pcasite.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/PCA_v.70.3_SOI.GR_2014.pdf#page=51">reinforcing a gender binary</a>, encouraging wasteful extravagance and creating very real <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50207452">safety hazards</a>.</p> <p>But distilling a gender reveal party down to the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1350506815576602">foolish choices</a> of expectant parents ignores the cultural and economic forces that shape these decisions. It allows us to mock individuals for their parenting decisions rather than criticize the attention economy for having incentivized these reveals.</p> <p>We have the excesses of capitalism <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/18/ending-climate-change-end-capitalism">to thank</a> for a rapidly changing climate that has <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/climate/nyt-climate-newsletter-california-wildfires.html">worsened fires raging throughout the American West</a>.</p> <p>Is a fire burning thanks to a gender reveal party fueled by anything different?</p> <p><em>Written by Jenna Drenten. Republished with permission <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-gender-reveals-have-spiraled-out-of-control-145909">of The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Nikki Webster and daughter celebrate 20th anniversary of Sydney Olympics

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Nikki Webster made headlines when she performed at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics and 20 years on has decided to share what the experience was like.</p> <p>“There was no written book on how to do it right. We just kind of went with it. Took the experience for what it was and that,” she explained.</p> <p>“I got to be immersed with so many different people from around the world, I got to make music and clothing ranges and do so much,” she added.</p> <p>The 33-year-old recently shared with <em>news.com.au </em>just how stressful the opening night ceremony was.</p> <p>“The only thing I was nervous about was being able to fly, because that was a major part of it,” she said.</p> <p>“I think in two of the dress rehearsals the week before it was so windy that I couldn’t fly.</p> <p>“It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, but I wasn’t allowed to.</p> <p>“Then on the day I remember the wind picked up in the afternoon and I thought it wasn’t going to happen, but thankfully it did.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CFG8MJmnih_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CFG8MJmnih_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Nikki Webster (@nikkiwebsterofficial)</a> on Sep 14, 2020 at 12:25am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Webster was in a harness and was flown across the stadium for five minutes before landing and performing <em>Under The Southern Skies</em>.</p> <p>20 years on, she's now the proud mother of two kids, Skylah, 5 and Malachi, 2.</p> <p>To celebrate the anniversary of the Olympics with her family, she got out the pink floral dress that she wore on stage and was surprised her daughter could fit into it.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CD-1aronn-E/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CD-1aronn-E/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">20 years on from #Sydney2000 and I can no longer fit into the dress but someone else can!</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/nikkiwebsterofficial/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Nikki Webster</a> (@nikkiwebsterofficial) on Aug 17, 2020 at 12:19am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>She's also excited to show her children and husband Matthew McMah the entire opening ceremony at the Sydney Olympics.</p> <p>“I think she is ready to watch the whole thing,” she said.</p> <p>“To understand the culture of Australia, the deep sea dreaming, and how the whole thing was represented.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Does a face shield protect against COVID-19? We’re not sure — so a mask is probably a safer bet for now

<p>For several weeks, Victorians have been required to <a href="https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-coverings-covid-19">wear a face covering</a> when they leave home. And while we now have a clearer path out of lockdown, it’s likely masks will be around for a while.</p> <p>Meanwhile, people in <a href="https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/new-queensland-restrictions-in-force-as-mask-use-encouraged-20200830-p55qoq.html">other states</a> with outbreaks have been encouraged to wear masks, and some people are simply choosing to wear one as a precaution.</p> <p>But some people in the community, instead of opting for a traditional mask, are instead wearing a face shield.</p> <p>This might offer some degree of protection — but it’s probably not as good as a mask in preventing the spread of COVID-19.</p> <p><strong>Get your coronavirus updates from health experts.</strong></p> <p>Get newsletter</p> <p><strong>What is a face shield?</strong></p> <p>A face shield is a film made from plastic or other transparent material designed to be worn like a visor. It’s attached using a band that goes around the top of your head.</p> <p>Think of a visor a welder wears to protect themselves from sparks and injury. Health-care workers use face shields to block bodily fluids from coming into contact with their face, and potentially causing infection.</p> <p>It’s likely many people are choosing face shields during COVID-19 because they’re experiencing discomfort wearing a mask — whether glasses fogging up, irritation around the ears, or just that extra layer.</p> <p>The term “face covering”, as per the <a href="https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-coverings-covid-19">Victorian government’s guidelines</a>, is notably vague. It can include a face mask, a face shield, or a scarf or bandana.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-coverings-covid-19#what-does-wearing-a-face-covering-mean">department of health</a> does however recommend a mask over a face shield.</p> <p><strong>How effective are face shields?</strong></p> <p>A <a href="https://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/5.0022968">letter</a>, published recently in the journal Physics of Fluids, reported on a laboratory experiment where scientists put face shields to the test.</p> <p>They simulated coughing by connecting the head of a mannequin to a fog machine, and then using a pump to expel the vapour through the mannequin’s mouth.</p> <p>They found that while face shields stopped the droplets being propelled forwards, aerosolised droplets — those much smaller in size — lingered at the bottom of the shield and floated around at the sides. They eventually spread approximately 90 centimetres from the mannequins.</p> <p>This is an interesting laboratory experiment, but not conclusive evidence face shields offer less protection than masks in the community.</p> <p>A lack of research on the effectiveness of face shields means it’s not possible to make any strong recommendations for or against their use.</p> <p><strong>Where does this leave us?</strong></p> <p>There’s a lot we still don’t know about this virus and how it spreads.</p> <p>At present, we believe <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19">the virus is spread</a> generally through close contact with an infectious person, contact with the droplets emitted when they sneeze or cough, or contact with surfaces these droplets have contaminated.</p> <p>To establish an infection the virus enters your body through portals of entry: the mouth, nose and eyes.</p> <p>Wearing a mask is intended to protect others if you have the infection, by blocking the droplets coming out of your mouth and nose. We call this source control. To a degree — though we have <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/transmission-of-sars-cov-2-implications-for-infection-prevention-precautions">less evidence</a> on this front — it’s also likely to protect you, the wearer, by providing a physical barrier to your portals of entry.</p> <p>A face shield may offer an advantage in that it provides a physical barrier over all your portals of entry — your eyes as well as your mouth and nose. Shields may also reduce the frequency of the wearer touching their face, and have the added benefit of allowing the person’s face to be seen (if they’re not wearing a mask as well).</p> <p>However, as they’re not tight fitting, aerosols may still enter and exit around the outside of a face shield, where it’s not fitted in the same way a mask is. And we’re continuing to accumulate evidence about the possible role of aerosolised transmission in the spread of COVID-19, which the <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/transmission-of-sars-cov-2-implications-for-infection-prevention-precautions">World Health Organisation</a> is closely monitoring.</p> <p><strong>Correct use is important too</strong></p> <p>Whatever face covering you choose, you must use it properly, and it must fit correctly.</p> <p>Having masks slung under the chin, hanging off one ear, or your nose poking out over the top of the mask will make them markedly less effective. And of course frequently touching and re-adjusting the mask means we’re possibly contaminating our hands too.</p> <p>If you don’t intend to wear a mask properly or you’re unable to, then a face shield is a better option. You can also wear mask and a face shield together, should you wish to.</p> <p>Like masks, there are a variety of face shields available, varying in quality and size. The <a href="https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-coverings-covid-19#what-does-wearing-a-face-covering-mean">department of health advise</a> if you wear a face shield it should cover “the wearer’s forehead to below the chin area and wrapping around the sides of the wearer’s face”.</p> <p>You should not share a face shield. If they’re labelled disposable, don’t reuse them. And if they are reusable you need to clean them regularly following the manufacturer’s instructions.</p> <p><strong>The upshot</strong></p> <p>Masks worn correctly are the best option. When wearing a mask is not possible, then a face shield is better than nothing. Neither will work well if not used properly, and importantly, they don’t replace physical distancing and hand hygiene.</p> <p><em>Written by Phillip Russo and Brett Mitchell. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/does-a-face-shield-protect-against-covid-19-were-not-sure-so-a-mask-is-probably-a-safer-bet-for-now-145547">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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The big thing Prince Harry changed about Meghan Markle

<p><span>When Meghan Markle stepped out in public with her new re-designed engagement ring after the birth of her son Archie, we weren’t sure why the sudden change had occurred.</span><br /><br /><span>However, according to the book Finding Freedom, it has now been revealed this was all Prince Harry's doing.</span><br /><br /><span>It's claimed that the Duke of Sussex had the plain gold band changed to the pave diamond style the royal wears today at the same time he created a bespoke eternity ring for his wife that he gifted her to mark their first wedding anniversary.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.2006319115324px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837766/meghan-ring-3-before.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a5affb54973a42c68bf9df74bf11f498" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Meghan engagement ring before Prince Harry altered it. </em><br /><br /><span>"On May 19, 2019, Harry also surprised his wife of one year with the gift of a ring that he had created with jeweller-to-the-stars Lorraine Schwartz, a favourite of Meghan's," the authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>"The conflict-free diamond eternity band paid homage to the family of three with Meghan's, Archie's and Harry's birthstones (peridot, emerald, and sapphire, respectively) on the underside of the ring."</span><br /><br /><span>The jeweller told the authors the "romantic" and "thoughtful" prince "wanted to make it special".</span><br /><br /><span>At the same time as he had the band made, Harry got Schwartz to re-size and reset her engagement ring.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837769/meghan-ring-after-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4ab27702837841afaf1e4f92e6a5923c" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Meghan engagement ring before Prince Harry altered it. </em><br /><br /><span>While the reason behind this change has not explicitly stated, it seems that the Duke of Sussex did it so the two rings that sat either side of Meghan’s welsh gold band would match.</span><br /><br /><span>The first engagement ring of the former American actress was a plain gold band with three large diamonds.</span><br /><br /><span>The largest ring of the trio is the centre stone, which was sourced from Botswana, where the couple shared their first holiday together.</span><br /><br /><span>The two smaller stones on either side are from Princess Diana's personal collection.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837768/meghan-ring-after.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/28f0e5d6ed584bdba0661dc7e0f0d906" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Meghan engagement ring after Prince Harry altered it. </em><br /><br /><span>During their engagement interview with the BBC, Prince Harry revealed more details behind the ring.</span><br /><br /><span>"The ring is obviously yellow gold because that's [Meghan's] favourite and the main stone itself I sourced from Botswana, and the little diamonds either side are from my mother's jewellery collection, to make sure that she's with us on this crazy journey together."</span></p>

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Do we still need a national opera company as COVID wreaks havoc in the performing arts?

<p>Anyone looking for evidence of just how devastating the COVID-19 pandemic has been to Australia’s performing arts industry need look no further than its flagship company, Opera Australia.</p> <p>Only last year it was <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/opera/opera-australia-coffers-swelled-by-45m-in-bequests-20190502-h1e0tk.html">boasting an operating surplus</a>. Last month, however, Chief Executive Rory Jeffes announced an organisational restructure, which <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/opera/opera-australia-to-be-taken-to-fair-work-over-redundancies-20200903-p55s4p.html">the industry union claims could result in up to 25% of permanent staff</a> losing their jobs.</p> <p>The aim of this restructure, <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/opera/opera-australia-sells-up-to-stem-losses-caused-by-pandemic-20200821-p55o7j.html">employees were told</a>, was to better align the organisation to the changing environment of COVID-19 with a new operating model. But what, exactly, should that model be?</p> <p>Certainly, redundancies were inevitable. Jeffes had already called <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/link/follow-20170101-p55gof">an abrupt end to the company’s 2020 season</a>. Even where governments have allowed entertainment venues slowly to reopen, the economics of “socially distanced” opera going simply do not support the budget models of old.</p> <p><strong>Join 130,000 people who subscribe to free evidence-based news.</strong></p> <p>Get newsletter</p> <p>The Media, Entertainment &amp; Arts Alliance, however, has described the proposed changes as “<a href="https://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/news/union-dubs-opera-australia-redundancies-a-disgrace/">a disgrace</a>”, citing a lack of staff consultation among other grievances. In response, <a href="https://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/news/union-dubs-opera-australia-redundancies-a-disgrace/">a spokesperson for Opera Australia </a> said last week the 25% figure refers to administration staff only, and consultations are happening with employees in the rest of the organisation.</p> <p>The dispute, now before the <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/opera/opera-australia-to-be-taken-to-fair-work-over-redundancies-20200903-p55s4p.html">Fair Work Commission</a>, will be followed with interest and concern across the industry. Opera Australia is Australia’s largest, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/does-opera-deserve-its-privileged-status-within-arts-funding-84761#:%7E:text=This%20amount%20was%20divided%20between,state%20government%20grants%20in%202016">most lavishly publicly funded</a> performing arts company and many livelihoods are at stake.</p> <p><strong>A city artform</strong></p> <p>Opera is especially exposed because it is so closely connected to the places where pandemics have the greatest impact — large cities. Opera is an urban art form par excellence. By the mid-19th century, it had become a principal medium through which burgeoning urban populations might hear and see stylised representations of their lives (albeit filtered through the lens of historical or mythic subjects). It’s not for nothing, for instance, that so many operatic heroines die of “<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberculosis_in_human_culture#Opera">consumption</a>”, a preeminently urban disease.</p> <p>Now, however, under the shadow of COVID-19, the future of the city itself is <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/nyc-dead-forever-heres-why-james-altucher/">under question</a>; the rise of video platforms like Zoom seems to make the necessity of “being there” no longer a necessity. This idea has been refuted by others who highlight <a href="https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-i-moved-to-the-suburbs-and-lived-to-regret-it-20200904-zboer5sju5ak7ohpblbhow3q3e-story.html">the human yearning for togetherness</a>. The general manager of New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Peter Gelb, similarly has <a href="https://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2020/06/28/will-streaming-be-theaters-death-or-its-savior.html">said</a> that while it may be soothing to watch opera streamed at home, it is ultimately a “one dimensional experience”.</p> <p>Nevertheless, with theatres unable to return to full capacity for the indefinite future, and public funding bodies becoming strapped for cash, a return to anything like our pre-COVID operatic culture is unlikely. The current crisis does, however, offer a chance to think afresh about opera’s place (literally as well as figuratively) in our society.</p> <p>Do we now have an opportunity, as Michael Volpe, the director of London’s Opera Holland Park, has suggested, “for the opera ecology to remodel itself into something that’s more cost effective and fleet of foot”?</p> <p>Volpe calls for an “opera socialism”. What he is advocating is a return to something closer to opera’s own origins as a performance culture more directly connected to, and supported by, the local communities in which it is based.</p> <p><strong>Local, not global?</strong></p> <p>Until the pandemic hit, Opera Australia worked within an industry dominated by a global commerce in “star” singers, conductors, and directors, typically managed by a system of international artist agencies.</p> <p>Now that system is in a state of collapse. In recent weeks, two of the largest classical music agencies, the US-based <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/08/29/business/ap-us-classical-agency-shuts.html">Columbia Artists Management</a> and the UK’s <a href="https://www.rhinegold.co.uk/classical_music/hazard-chase-ceases-trading-due-to-covid-19/">Hazard Chase</a> have announced they are shutting their doors.</p> <p>Is it now time for us to reconsider the need for a national opera company in turn? The economic impact of Opera Australia touring main-stage productions, even just to Melbourne, puts it under significant operational stress. But it also doesn’t allow the company to develop strong local connections outside its Sydney home.</p> <p>A fully decentralised model might, in fact, be better able to support the operatic “ecology”. Many smaller professional, semiprofessional, and amateur operatic companies already operate successfully in our major metropolitan centres with little or no public funding.</p> <p>They are also currently much more likely than Opera Australia to mount productions of new Australian operas, or works outside the mainstream repertoire.</p> <p>While Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini said back in 2014 that he was <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/stage/opera-must-become-more-accessible-in-order-to-survive/news-story/413b300efa92d94e7ae3e31de911dd90">“desperate to create new work that is relevant to a significant audience,”</a> he also conceded the company’s operating model does not give it the financial resources to do more than produce mostly a narrow range of traditional works, supplemented by productions of commercial musical theatre.</p> <p>Maybe it is now time for both federal and state governments to consider focusing more on a civic based or “ground-up” institutional foundation for opera rather than sustaining a nationally based “top-down” one.</p> <p>The 2016 <a href="https://www.arts.gov.au/sites/default/files/national_opera_review_final_report.pdf">National Opera Review</a> ducked considering such a possibility. But a new <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Communications/Arts/Terms_of_Reference">parliamentary inquiry</a> into Australia’s creative and cultural industries and institutions is underway. Now is the opportunity for us to contemplate a new place, and indeed new places, for opera in Australia.</p> <p><em>Written by Peter Tregear. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/as-covid-wreaks-havoc-in-the-performing-arts-do-we-still-need-a-national-opera-company-145461">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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Sarah Ferguson’s intimate underwear confession

<p>Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s marriage was plagued by high-profile problems. </p> <p>With one scandal after another, it’s a surprise the pair managed to maintain a close bond throughout it all.</p> <p>When the Prince announced his engagement to a “commoner” in 1986, the world reacted with excitement and Fergie was considered a great match by all including the Queen.</p> <p>But the adoration slowly started dwindling, after constant comparisons to the late Princess Diana.</p> <p>"She was often contrasted with Diana and in those early days Sarah came out of the contrast rather well, " explained Tom Quinn, author of <em>Kensington Palace: An Intimate Memoir</em>.</p> <p>"Diana was often seen as rather pale and wilting, this delicate flower, whereas Fergie was robust."</p> <p>And as she took charge of her royal responsibilities, she started to feel the pressure after she was branded as rebellious and unsophisticated. </p> <p>"All of [Sarah's] natural charm that had been celebrated initially began to be seen as rather unsophisticated and inappropriate," said historian Dr Anna Whitelock.</p> <p>It didn’t help her case when she made an intimate confession about her underwear that caused a stir.</p> <p>Fergie landed herself in hot water when she raved about her designer French clothing at a reception before joking to the press she was "wearing Marks and Spencer knickers".</p> <p>"This is not what you're expecting the Duchess of York to say. And remember the previous Duchess of York had been the Queen Mother," explained journalist and broadcaster Eva Pollard.</p> <p>"You're talking about a changing view of the royal family. The culture changing. They slipped down from the pedestal.</p> <p>The incident did not go down well, as some believed Fergie was influencing Diana in a bad way.</p> <p>Dr Anna Whitelock said: "There was a sense Fergie liked to have fun and play jokes.</p> <p>"But actually it began to wear rather thin and she was seen increasingly as a bad unsophisticated influence on Diana and Prince Andrew and something of a loose cannon."</p> <p>Fergie and Andrew split in 1992 and were divorced by 1996. </p> <p>Sarah was not allowed to use the title Her Royal Highness by August of that year</p>

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Toothpaste epidemic? Wealthier New Zealanders are more likely to buy fluoride-free

<p>Tooth decay has been described as a neglected <a href="https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal-articles/severe-early-childhood-caries-a-modern-neglected-epidemic">epidemic</a> in New Zealand however, our recent <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41415-020-1304-5?proof=t">research</a> suggests many people are unaware they are contributing to the problem by choosing a fluoride-free or “natural” toothpaste.</p> <p>The 2016 <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)32154-2/fulltext#seccestitle70">Global Burden of Disease Study</a> shows dental decay is the most prevalent health condition globally, affecting 2.4 billion people.</p> <p>While oral health has generally <a href="https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/our-oral-health-key-findings-2009-new-zealand-oral-health-survey">improved</a> in New Zealand, dental decay remains the most widespread <a href="https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/our-oral-health-key-findings-2009-new-zealand-oral-health-survey">chronic and irreversible disease</a>.</p> <p>Failure to prevent oral diseases comes at significant personal and economic cost. In <a href="https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/our-oral-health-2010.pdf">New Zealand</a>, the cost of treatment of dental diseases is more than NZ$1.1 billion each year. Poor oral health is also linked to lost time at school and <a href="https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(18)30687-1/fulltext#:%7E:text=Results%20from%20meta%2Danalyses%20indicated,interval%2C%201.24%20to%201.63">poorer school performance</a>, absences from work and a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28581891/">lower quality of life</a>.</p> <p>Hear from them</p> <p><strong>Rates of tooth decay in childhood</strong></p> <p>Earlier New Zealand research <a href="https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/our-oral-health-key-findings-2009-new-zealand-oral-health-survey">shows</a> only two in five children and two in three adults brush their teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41415-020-1304-5?proof=t">study</a> was the first investigation of the use of non-fluoride toothpaste in a large, nationally representative sample of both adults and children. We wanted to find out which segments of the population are drawn to using non-fluoride toothpaste.</p> <p>We analysed data from the most recent <a href="https://www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/health-statistics-and-data-sets/oral-health-data-and-stats">New Zealand Health Survey</a>, which was the first to include a question about the use of “natural” toothpastes.</p> <p>Our research found that 6-7% of all children and adults now use a “natural” or non-fluoride toothpaste. The study shows the highest use in moderately and more affluent population groups and middle-aged (35-44 years) people. We found the highest number of non-fluoride toothpaste users (both children and adults) were in the moderate to least deprived areas.</p> <p>Our findings support <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/parenting/110665418/parents-confused-about-kids-toothpaste-could-lead-to-more-tooth-decay-dentists-warn">prior</a> concerns of dentists, particularly about tooth decay in children. A <a href="https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal-articles/dental-caries-and-previous-hospitalisations-among-preschool-children-findings-from-a-population-based-study-in-new-zealand">recent study</a> shows 38% of five-year-olds had rotting teeth in 2017. Rates were even higher among Māori and Pacific children compared to other ethnicities. The New Zealand Dental Association has <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/108101758/natural-toothpaste-will-lead-to-epidemic-of-dental-decay-dentists">warned</a> the increased popularity of non-fluoride toothpastes raises the risk.</p> <p>A recent <a href="https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007868.pub3/full">review</a> of the world’s best available evidence shows toothpastes with fluoride are clearly more effective in preventing tooth decay than toothpastes without it. It means using non-fluoride toothpaste, often labelled as “natural”, raises the risk of future dental problems.</p> <p><strong>Misleading marketing and confusing messages</strong></p> <p>There is little evidence as to why people choose non-fluoride toothpastes. This is especially perplexing given the vast body of evidence in support of fluoride as a prevention of tooth decay.</p> <p>One plausible explanation is that people think they are doing the “right thing” by choosing a “natural” option. Another more likely reason is that it is difficult to know whether a toothpaste contains fluoride. Current packaging doesn’t always highlight clearly whether a toothpaste contains fluoride or how much. Even if it does show the fluoride concentration, this is often hidden in small text.</p> <p>In the future, better labelling on toothpaste tubes and packaging will help shoppers understand which toothpaste has fluoride. We also need to stop claims that “natural” toothpastes prevent tooth decay. The world’s <a href="https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007868.pub3/full">best evidence</a> clearly shows non-fluoride toothpastes do not prevent tooth decay.</p> <p>Marketing is also often inconsistent with <a href="https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/fluoride-and-oral-health">Ministry of Health recommendations</a>. Evidence shows that for the toothpaste to work it needs fluoride in it. Adults should use a pea-sized amount and younger children a smear of fluoride toothpaste, without swallowing it.</p> <p>In the future, it would also be helpful if supermarkets could help consumers make an informed choice by separating fluoride-containing from non-fluoride products. The bottom line is, if you want to avoid future trips to the dentist, your toothpaste should contain fluoride.</p> <p><em>Written by Matthew Hobbs. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/wealthier-new-zealanders-are-more-likely-to-buy-fluoride-free-toothpaste-making-a-tooth-decay-epidemic-worse-143286">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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