Boots faces boycott over morning after pill prices

There has been a call from many to boycott Boots after the chemist openly refused to lower the cost of the morning after pills that were being sold within their stores. The health and beauty store announced that it would not be following the likes of Tesco and Superdrug in lowering the costs of the emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) that they would be selling for fear that lower prices would encourage over use.

Tesco and Superdrug have halved their prices following a campaign from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) which is a leading provider of abortion care. Studies have shown that British women are currently paying up to 5 times more than their European peers for the contraceptive. Boots is currently charging £28.25 for Levonelle emergency contraception (which is the leading brand) and £26.75 for their own generic version. Tesco have lowered their pricing on Levonelle to £13.50 while Superdrug sells their own generic version for £13.49. If you were to Boots faces boycott over morning after pill pricesbuy the contraceptive in France it would cost you £5.50.

Around 4% of British women use emergency contraception throughout any given year, and around 61% of British women have used it at some point in their lives, showing it is a useful tool that can be used as an emergency measure and therefore should be more available than it currently is. BPAS believe that purposely setting the price high to prevent women using it regularly was “patronising and insulting” and doesn’t really make sense considering it is providing better healthcare options for women who don’t want to get pregnant. By keeping the price high it seems as though poorer women are being punished for having an active sex life that may run the risk of not being completely protected, as it will be harder for those with a tighter income to access these parts of their basic healthcare.

In a letter from Boots they address the problems in accessibility by raising the price and point out that the tablet is available from other sources including community pharmacies, and also suggests that EHC polarises public opinion with some being against the availability of contraceptive drugs being sold in the store, and that some customers have already expressed unhappiness with Boots providing this service. The letter states that Boots doesn’t want to incentivise “inappropriate” use of the contraceptive and doesn’t want to provoke more complaints by lowering the price of the tablet. All of this fundamentally suggests that Boots are more bothered by the opinions of a rare selection of sexist customers who don’t think women should have access to a contraceptive drug that would stop unintended pregnancies in their tracks, and once again shows how gender inequality costs women more than men.

After the controversy of the “pink tax” – the phenomenon wherein any products that are advertised for female grooming and consumption have inherently higher tax rates than those advertised for men, it is irritating for many to see this trend of charging women for things their body cannot control because they believe that it should cost more for a woman to maintain the ideals that society puts on her. It has also been noticed that Boots don’t provide advantage points on from-birth baby formula, which effectively penalises new mothers who aren’t breast feeding as they obviously believe that it is through their own “selfish” choice rather than that they may not be able to through physical or medical reasons, or that they have decided they don’t want to breast feed for their own personal reasons.

It is irritating to see a store that was once a pharmaceutical haven that cared deeply about it’s customers and employees become a company that cares only for their own profit over the health of their customers.

Microsoft vs Sony: Who Won E3?

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is an annual premier event that displays new games and consoles to fans worldwide. It is usually streamed online and features exclusive looks at products and expansions that will be released through the year.

Each year at E3 there is an unspoken but palpable tension between Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation as everyone waits to judge which major console provider will have “won” the conference that year. In comparison to many other years, this year’s performance was fairly weak in relation to the amount of games and consoles released and announced, although there were some definite highlights for both sides.

Microsoft vs PlayStation: Who Won E3?Microsoft began their presentation on a high as they finally released details surrounding their ‘Xbox Scorpio’ project, now known as Xbox One X. Their new console has been hailed as the most powerful console ever – beating Sony’s PlayStation 4 in multiple ways, including their impressive use of having games that can run at native 4k. As well as creating an extraordinary new console, Microsoft also released that their new console would be backwards compatible with all Xbox One games and accessories. To further their adventure into backwards compatibility they have also revealed a new selection of original Xbox games that will be joining the backwards compatibility list – a feat which Sony still has to add to their PlayStations. The Xbox One X has been unveiled as retailing at $499 and will be released on November 7, 2017 – perfect timing for a Christmas gift for many.

Unfortunately, at the Microsoft presentation there was a lack of new games shown to the audience, with the highlights of their unveilings being the new Assassins Creed: Origins, State of Decay 2, Forza Motorsport 7 – which was shown as being played on the new Xbox One X in 4k resolution, Metro Exodus and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. While many of these are impressive new games, it has to be mentioned that as the overall aim of their presentation seemed to be focused around revealing the Xbox One X there was less importance placed on the release of new games, leaving Microsoft with a rather dry year until the release of their new console.

Contrary to this, Sony spent their presentation revealing plenty of games, with a nice selection of entirely new games and DLC’s for fan favourites. With games like Hidden Agenda, Destiny 2 and Days Gone – a massive open-world zombie game) premiered there was a lot of buzz surrounding Sony’s impressive new game collection. As well, the featuring of their PSVR Virtual Reality system and it’s new additions like Skyrim VR joining Fallout 4 And Doom there is an impressive collection of new footage that will please any PlayStation Microsoft vs PlayStation: Who Won E3?superfans. With interesting new information like their experimentation with phone-controlled games and the truly mesmerising stagecraft they created to match the game footage shown (which including a sitar player and zombie actors hanging from the ceiling) there was a lot for everyone to take in, especially when their most popular new releases were debuted. Gods of War and the new Spiderman game excited everyone present as they presented impressive new gameplay footage, yet their 2018 release dates disappointed many as it seemed Sony missed the Christmas release list.

Some critiques of the two companies performances included the fact that while there was an extensive amount of new gameplay featured within Sony’s presentation, it seemed mostly to be filler content of new footage rather than focusing on real details and new announcements, as all of their game footage had been previously announced. Unfortunately, what Microsoft gained in debuting a new console at the presentation – the debut itself was sadly underwhelming to many – they lacked focus on one major game release to expand on and instead displayed multiple game releases for people to ponder over.

It can be argued then, that for showmanship and overall content provided, Sony’s PlayStation presentation could be crowned the winner. Yet, the introduction of Microsoft’s Xbox One X has fluttered the heart’s of many, especially thanks to it’s backwards compatibililty which will save precious money on games that will be spent on the actual console itself in the first place.

Summer Fashion Trends for 2017

Bralettes

Summer Trends for 2017Bralettes are making a huge breakthrough this year on the runway. With Prada’s collection of delicate bralette’s hitting stockist stores this month, pairing a lacy bralette with a post-modern skirt could be a recipe for summer fun this year.

Alexander Wang has also experimented with bralettes this year, styling them with wrap skirts to create a bohemian night time look. Victoria Beckham this year has styled bralettes with literally everything, with McQueen offering a slightly more drastic approach to the trend by adding studs to their bralette collection.

Summer Fashion Trends for 2017Ever wanted to be a ballerina? Here is your chance. The fabric is already cropping up in statement pieces on the ASOS website. Paired with jewels and embroidered flowers, the fabric is becoming a key trend for this summer. Dior has used the fabric in a number of pieces this year, layering tulle with oriental florals.

Summer Fashion Trends for 2017Rolling in from Spring to Summer is the mini bag trend. With just enough space for your phone and your favourite lipstick, mini bags are perfect for date night, or a night out on the town with the girls.

If you’ve got the means to splash the cash, small satchels from Michael Kors will set you back around £170. However, stores such as Primark offer similar products without the brand name for a fraction of the price.

Post-Minimalism

Summer Fashion Trends for 2017Minimalism is over. Post – Minimalism is in. Think pure colours and the perfect mix n match style with frayed edges. On post-minimal clothing, you can expect to find subtle details added to the simplest items of clothing. For example, you can find classic items such as the high waisted trouser, but added to it will be a mix of pleated fabric and hessian design.

Despite this, however, post-minimalism is still heavily focusing on “less is more”.  You can find designers such as JW Anderson mirroring this in the new collection for Summer 2017.

 

Statement Stripes

Fashion Trends for Summer 2017Stripes came back into style over Spring, and it looks as though the trend is here to stay for the summer. Think nautical blues and whites for the perfect summer co-ord outfit.

Nearly all major fashion designers in New York had stripes on their runways during the S/S fashion week this year. Mulberry especially excelled in their statement stripes, with their amazing green striped trousers sold out already on their site.

We’re expecting some amazing holidays snaps featuring this trend over the next few weeks.

The Cold Shoulder

Yep, the cold shoulder is here to stay. So much so that designers in the UK are bringing out cold shoulder bikinis to wear this summer. Who doesn’t want a patch of tan on their shoulders throughout their holiday?

This is one of the most bizarre trends to come out of fashion this year. This, and that odd perspex trend that saw H&M bring out jeans with perspex knees….

So what do you think of thisyear’ss summer trends? There are some very weird ones in the mix this year, but they could all work when done right. Apart from the cold shoulder. Please let that trend die soon.

 

 

 

 

Netflix’s Most Discussed Original Shows

As Netflix release new original shows every year, many become subject to large amounts of discussion on their content, either because of the controversial subject found within, or because many find the writing and representation found within the shows inspiring or interesting to consider in real life.

Many of these shows will have probably found their way across your social media accounts in one way or another, as they have become the subjects of intense discussion and scrutiny, with some even straying into meme culture.

With that in mind, here are some of Netflix’s most discussed original shows. There may be spoilers below, so read at your own discretion.

13 Reasons Why

So far, this teen-angst drama has found itself as Netflix’s most controversial show due to its questionable depictions of suicide throughout the show. The show has gained an extreme online presence, especially with teens who the show and the book it is based off wasNetflix's Most Discussed Original Shows aimed for. Although, while many have praised the show for its serious portrayal of the effects of subjects like bullying, rape and suicide and how they can impact a person’s life, it has also been slated by many sources as dangerous to those who are already vulnerable against these subjects.

Many have discussed the show’s extreme depictions of sexual assault and suicide, with multiple people stating that Hannah, the unfortunate heroine of the story, and her gruesome act of suicide is too hard to watch, especially for those with a disposition towards suicidal thoughts. There also seems to be an opinion that the show tries too hard to rationalise Hannah’s suicidal thoughts, by providing an opportunity to push the blame of her decision on to the acts of people surrounding her. However, this action, in turn, causes direct results on her supposed “killers”, with *SPOILER ALERT* one student killing himself from the guilt of her death.

Whatever people’s opinions on the show, it has clearly became a cult hit, with a giant following as well as an intense internet presence, even becoming a meme in some ways, with people replying to sarcastically hurtful comments with “Welcome to your tape”, a reference to Hannah’s parting gift of tapes dedicated to each of the people she thinks are responsible for her death. With this popular response, the show has already been renewed for a second season only weeks after it was premiered.

Making a Murderer

Netflix’s original documentary Making a Murderer was premiered on December 18, 2015, and was met with critical acclaim internationally. Netflix were so sure of the shows future popularity that they simultaneously premiered the show’s first episode on both Netflix and Youtube, to Netflix's Most Discussed Original Showsmake sure they had viewers hooked through all platforms.

The show follows the case of Steven Avery, a man originally wrongfully convicted of rape, who filed a suit against the county on this case, and was years later arrested on suspicion of the murder of a photographer who had visited his garage. The documentary showed the case, which Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey were convicted as guilty for after his nephew confessed under duress through the police investigation, and explores the issues found with the guilty verdict, possibly uncovering a conspiracy to arrest Avery in revenge for his civil suit.

A large discussion point was framed around the show, as many offered their own opinions on whether Avery was guilty or not. Many law enforcement members involved in Avery’s prosecution have since offered criticism of the show, complaining that the perception of the directors was biased and missed evidence purposefully.

In reaction to the show, over 500,000 people signed a petition to the White House asking to pardon Avery, yet the White House commented that the President cannot pardon a “state criminal offence”. Also, Avery’s nephew Dassey had his conviction overturned in August 2016 as many argued it was the only piece of evidence against him and was gained under questionable circumstances. However, Dassey’s release was blocked in the November by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit while an appeal on the case was being heard.

Luke Cage

Luke Cage was the third major Marvel/Netflix show to be introduced in 2016 and was met with incredible praise. Rotten Tomatoes holds critics ratings of 90% and audience ratings at 79%, as the show created an important social commentary surrounding a powerful superhero in the form of a bulletproof black man.

With an extensive cast of mostly African-American descent (and a team of writers with the same racial background) Luke Cage was significantly different than the majority of shows found on TV currently. Following its fellow Marvel character Jessica Jones and her shows diversely female cast and crew, Luke Cage explores black representation within the media and Netflix's Most Discussed Original Showscreates thoroughly explored characters who represent a side of America that is often ignored or used as a token character in a stereotypical manner.

With many political movements in America currently, significantly the Black Lives Matter movement, the need for conversation about representation within media was important. Luke Cage manages to add to this discussion perfectly, as many viewers were forced to question their own worldviews as many complained about the show being “racist” due to the lack of white characters, leaving many people to comment that it was about time another culture had the opportunity to discuss their influences in a public space, as white culture has done extensively. The concept of viewers being offended by the lack of representation of their race in a show offers a laughable parallel to exactly what black people have been feeling for years.

 

Among many others, these shows represent the great influence television can have on creating a discussion on morals and representation in media, and helps people to find a way to voice their own opinions and feelings on matters that are important to the world.

Top 5 Spring Trends for 2017

It’s that time of year again. Spring has popped up and it’s time to discuss which trends we will all be sporting when the sun finally decides to show itself. I know what you’re thinking, florals, for spring? Groundbreaking. However, florals are definitely out this year. Instead, think check prints, high necks and tulle (yes, that stuff found on wedding dresses). Style the trends however you want in order to produce your own style! And shop the following trends at high street stores such as New Look, Debenhams, and H&M. You can also find up to date trends for this season over on the ASOS website.

Top 5 Spring Trends for 2017Ruffles

 

Ruffles are one of the major trends to come out of fashion week this season. Think cowboy chic and arm ruffles. This can be mixed with the gingham style also emerging from the catwalk this year. Ruffles are great for dressing up or down, and can be found in the majority of on-trend stores on the high street and online.

Pair a ruffled shirt with some dress down jeans and you’re ready for the office, or for date night. Pair the ensemble with heels and you’re ready for drinks with the girls. This really is a great statement piece for Spring this year.

Top 5 Spring Trends for 2017Activewear

Activewear will never go out of fashion, it seems. Need to go to the shops? Activewear. Need to walk the dog? Activewear. It’s taking over sweats as the new go-to “slob” ensemble. Activewear really is an effortless way to look as though you’re busy and going somewhere important. Even if you’re just nipping to the shop for milk and some biscuits. Currently, brands such as Nike and Adidas are paving the way with fashionable activewear with their star-studded endorsements and high-end fashion shows. Find fashionable activewear items on their respective online stores and high street counterparts.

Top 5 Spring Trends for 2017Tulle

Yes, that amazing ethereal material you find on wedding dresses is making a mainstream debut this year. Expect to find bright tulle dresses and shirts on the high street this season. Pair a tulle shirt with a bralet and tailored trousers to create a perfect spring office look. Or, if you’re looking for something a bit more out there, take a look on the ASOS website for some amazing off the shoulder tulle dresses in an erray of colours and lengths. You can also shop the tulle trend in H&M.

Top 5 Spring Trends for 2017Gingham

Gingham is a style of print you will more than likely see on schoolgirls this spring instead of grown adults. However, the Gingham trend is proving to be a front runner in terms of trends, with many fashion bloggers, such as Helen Anders, sporting the style in many of her OOTD looks. Style gingham shirts with pigtails, braided updos and jeans to create a beautiful and effortless house on the prairie look. You can also find gingham paired with tie waists and cold shoulders to showcase a bit more of an eccentric look. Not a fan of the gingham look? Take a look at our next trend, we think you might like it if you love being bold.

Top 5 Spring Trends for 2017Fuchsia

Hot. Pink. We have been waiting forever to see this trend to make its comeback. Bold colours are something we can’t wait to see this Spring, however, the Fuchsia trend has us shook. Whether you’re wearing your fuchsia through your lipstick, or you have bright and bold statement fuchsia pieces in your wardrobe, you will be bang on trend with one of this Spring’s hottest looks. If you’re opting for a fuchsia skirt or top, match it with the same colour again, or even contract it with a bright blue or yellow. Remember, bold is in, why not take it to the next level.

The ASOS Guide to Fashion Week

asos-fashion-week
Image Copyright: ASOS

Fashion week. The prestigious event held in major cities around the world to showcase eccentric fashion for the coming months. Only the worthy are invited to such events. Actors, Musicians, Fashionistas, Bloggers, you name it, they’ll be there. The frow is reserved for such people. Nearer the back you’ll find magazine journalists and the like taking notes for their next piece. Where are the average people who enjoy fashion and trends, you ask? They’re in work. At home. Doing something other than looking at pretty things walking down a catwalk. They have no time for frivolities. That’s why ASOS have decided to bring us up to speed daily with their Fashion Week Exclusive Page!

Each day of Fashion Week as it happens around the world, ASOS are offering 20% off of key trends seen on the catwalk! These can be found on the ASOS Homepage under ASOS Fashion Week. Expect to see gingham, florals (what else?), and everything MAJOR that’s happening this S/S. Critics are expecting this year in S/S wear to be filled with crazy and bold designs, contrasting with the somewhat timid approach designers took to last year. Some shows this Fashion Week will also be showcasing some looks for F/W, lending you some ideas on what to bag when the high street stores launch their late winter clothing lines this year.

Think 90’s bold style and colourful 70’s flowers when it comes to clothing this S/S season. Beach chic is all the way in with woven basket bags and linen sandals. Chanel has even alluded to floral patterns for the more demure fashionista this season. Whatever your style, ASOS have you covered, take a look at their Fashion Week exclusive no matter your style, you’re sure to find something to suit your style every day of the iconic event.

Over on the ASOS Twitter account, you will also find all you need to know about key topics during Fashion Week around the world, as we all as top tips for styling pieces and colours. Don’t miss their tweets about Chanel, Gucci and many more runway shows happening this week.

If you love fashion, the ASOS Fashion Week Sale is not to be missed. Everything from dresses, jeans, shoes and accessories can be found for a fraction of the price offered by stylists and designers gracing the catwalk this week. If you’re looking to create your own iconic looks this S/S, take a look through the ASOS range. They stock from a number of different high street stores, as well as their own line.

 

New to Amazon Prime this January

If you got a new Amazon Firestick for Christmas or have exhausted all of the series and programmes that are already on there, you may be eager to find out exactly what is new to the world of Amazon Prime now that we have entered 2017. Dry January has begun for many and as the cold weather continues, money is a struggle, staying in becomes the new going out and Amazon Prime becomes the new Netflix (sorry not sorry). Check out what’s coming to your screens to drive away the January blues this 2017. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed…

Available to download…

  • Stardust

    A family favourite, Stardust, first produced in 2007 came to Amazon prime on the 1st January to celebrate the first day of the new year, it is a gripping, excellently produced fantasy film starring Claire Danes, Sienna Miller and Jason Flemyng to name but a few. The adventure-packed storyline follows the journey of Tristan in his quest to catch the fallen star and is guaranteed to get you right in the feels.

  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

    Coming on the 9th, you may have recognised this child-friendly screen adaptation being shown over Christmas. Based on the popular, classic children’s book the show will have you hooked – it isn’t just for children!

  • Sneaky Pete: Season 1

    The popular 2015 crime series is coming to Amazon Prime. Conman Marius is on the run from vicious gangsters. He conceals his identity by stealing that of his former cell mate, Pete and also makes his story even more believable by taking cover with Pete’s estranged family – a group that have enough dark secrets and bad history of their own.

  • The Choice

    A Nicholas Sparks novel turned film that is guaranteed to get even the most cold-hearted of viewers. Two neighbours fall in love with each other at their first meeting, cue soppiness, romance, comedy, tears and tragedy all rolled into one. Staring Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer as the lead roles.

  • Z: The Beginning of Everything: Season 1

Period drama lovers rejoice! This true story follows the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald as she meets famous author F. Scott Fitzgerald and embarks on a journey of their relationship. The series features Christina Ricci and Gavin Stenhouse as Zelda and Fitzgerald and is set to come to Amazon Prime at the end of January (27th).

  • Swiss Army Man

    If it’s unconventional that you’re looking for then you’ve definitely come to the right place with this one. Positively received by critics and starring none other than Daniel Radcliffe, the film sees the protagonist Hank (played by Paul Dano) stranded on a desert island and attempting suicide. He notices a corpse wash ashore, played by Radcliffe, and the two strike up an unlikely friendship. Available to watch on Amazon Prime from the 30th January and it premiered this time last year (Jan 2016) at the Sundance Film Festival.

Available to Purchase…

  • The Girl on the Train

    It came to cinemas in 2016 and was a best-selling novel before that, The Girl on the Train tells the story of Rachel as she creates a fantasy world involving people she sees in their houses from her daily train commute. One day she witnesses something worrying and reports it to authorities. However, she is unable to trust her own memory and a tight web of secrets, lies and drama unfolds. Rachel is played by British actress Emily Hunt. Buy this using your Amazon Prime membership now.

  • Ouija: Origin of Evil

    Horror fanatics fear not, you have not been forgotten. Released in October 2016, it is safe to say that Ouija is suitably terrifying even for the bravest horror lovers. A classic tale of evil being let into a family home and possessing one of the children. Oh, and it’s set in the 60’s for good measure. Expect to jump out of your skin at every given opportunity. Buy from the 10th January (if you dare).

  • The Accountant

    Christian Wolff is an extremely clever accountant that works freelance for some of the most dangerous criminal organisations in the world, but with authorities getting wind of his activities and the body count rising, who will survive? A complicated plot but well worth the watch. Purchase this thriller from the 10th January, and be sure to be mind boggled!

  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 12

    Amazon Prime don’t just have movies available to buy, you can also buy series. You can pay for the series by paying a price per episode or you can opt to buy the whole series, whatever suits you best. This month you can buy Season 12 of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’. If you’re buying season 12 then you probably have a great idea of what the whole thing is about, but if you don’t, it basically follows a gang of underachievers that run Irish pub ‘Paddy’s Pub’ in Philadelphia. The gang are not the nicest of people and are always engaged in some level of controversy, probably what makes them so entertaining. It was first launched in August 2005 and you’ll be pleased to know that if you are a fan, the show has been comissioned for a thirteenth and fourteenth series.