A letter to my stillborn daughter

The sadness of leaving the hospital empty-handed is indescribable: the letter you always wanted to write It felt like a normal delivery. I didnt expect it to, but it did. The pain of labour was immediately buffered by that overwhelming and total love that sweeps in the moment a mother holds her baby. The power of that feeling is a one-off there is nothing to compare it to. But it was the joyful stupor, the sense of celebration, that took me by surprise. I didnt expect to feel joy. Before I could finish wondering why I hadnt cried, a shadow slipped over me as I said you looked too perfect to have suffered death in my womb. And then reality, …

‘I gave a blueberry facial to a vegan dog’: inside the pet pampering boom

From cat spas to dogs Fitbits, pets are more fussed over than ever. Whats behind the mini-me phenomenon? Jane Lawlor is giving me a tour of her Essex hotel. Most of our suites come with views of the pool or the rolling fields of the Brentwood countryside, and our evening turn-down service includes lighting flameless candles and leaving luxury pillow treats, she says, handing me a glass of champagne in the hotel bar, where velvet sofas face a wood-burning stove. Were all about relaxation and privacy here, so most guests like to eat in peace via room service, choosing anything from pan-crusted cod to lobster tail with caviar. And wait till you see the spa we offer the latest treatments …

Beyonc’s crash diet plan sells an impossible, damaging ideal | Laura Snapes

In promoting an expensive vegan diet plan, the singer has described confronting her weight as every womans nightmare. She is irresponsibly stoking an evil diet culture but is also a victim of it B2018 Coachella headline set was a feat of meticulous preparation. She conceived a show that would pay tribute to the culture of historically black colleges and universities. Having just given birth to twins, she worked for months on the exacting choreography and arrangements. And she went on a demanding vegan diet that also eschewed sugar, carbs, dairy and alcohol. Im hungry, she says in The video advertising Beyoncs diet plan. We see her dancing, doing battle ropes, sit-ups, intensive stretching and squatting in resistance bands. Borges tells …

It’s electrifying! Olivia Newton-John on her big Grease auction

Those headturning trousers, a pink ladies jacket, plus many more items from the actors 55-year career are going under the hammer. So why-yi-yi-yi now? When Sandy told Danny to Tell me about it stud, in skin-tight black trousers and a leather jacket in the 1978 film Grease, little did Olivia Newton-John realise her characters costume would go on to fetch a combined estimate of $230,000 (185,000) at auction more than 40 years later. These items of cinema history, along with 200 more of the actors costumes and personal clothes will go under the hammer at Juliens Auctions in LA in November, with 32 highlights now on display at the Museum of Style Icons in Ireland. Needless to say, the black …

From kawaii to fairy kei: fashion goes beyond the kimono at Hyper Japan

Now in its tenth year, the three-day festival is a place for J-fashion enthusiasts to socialise, show off their outfits and get inspiration for future looks Ten years after it started in 2010, the UKs largest celebration of traditional and modern Japanese culture, is returning to London today for three days. Hyper Japan, which is now a twice-yearly event, offers traditional food, anime merchandise and a cosplay zone, as well as an array of attractions for fashion lovers. The Asakusa culture section will be home to the vintage kimono brand Hello Kitty, Gudetama are just a few of the characters from the genre that have made their way into western culture. Hyper Japans Christmas market in 2015. Photograph: Guy Corbishley/Alamy …

Is this the end of wellness?

After a trend of magical thinking and quick fixes, science-based solutions may not be so dull, says Eva Wiseman Like a worm cut in half, its head regenerating into a new, even angrier worm, the wellness trend is one that refuses to die. But this week, its wiggle appeared to wane. A certain weariness had set in. Is this the end of wellness? The evidence: I was a huge fan of Gwyneth, one attendee of Goops recent wellness summit in London told website Page Six, Now I feel like I have lost my faith in God. GP [Paltrow], said another, is a fucking extortionist. These were people who had spent up to 4,500 on weekend tickets, getting off the tube …

Generalise, don’t specialise: why focusing too narrowly is bad for us

The long read: The 10,000-hour rule says intense, dedicated practice makes perfect at that one thing. But what if breadth actually serves us better than depth? Lets start with a couple of stories from the world of sports. This first one, you probably know The boys father could tell something was different. At seven months, he gave his son a putter to fool around with, and the boy dragged it everywhere he went in his little circular baby walker. At 10 months, he climbed down from his high chair, trundled over to a golf club that had been cut down to size for him, and imitated the swing he had been watching in the garage. Because the father couldnt yet …

‘Living joyously is a radical act’: why America’s gay bars still matter

Fifty years after Stonewall, and with Trump trying to roll back LGBTQ rights, Dominic Rushe visits three gay bars in different states and finds them as vibrant and vital as ever The gay bar is in trouble. Fifty years after the Stonewall Inn in New York became the symbol for a new wave of gay activism, the three horsemen of the gay bar apocalypse gentrification, assimilation and technology have hollowed out their numbers. Rising rents have shuttered gay bars; more straight venues are accepting of gay patrons; and dating is something people now do with their phones. Even the term gay bar looks a little tired as the LGBTQ community finally comes to terms with its many rainbow stripes. Bare …

Author Lisa Taddeo: I wanted to explore desire, not sex

In her extraordinary book Three Women Lisa Taddeo charts the intimate lives of real American women. Below, we print an extract In 2010, a young American writer called Lisa Taddeo published Gay Taleses notorious 1981 exploration of sex culture in 1970s America (Talese, a pioneer of new journalism, ran a massage parlour as part of his research; during the writing of the book, he stayed at a clothing-optional resort). Taddeo, conscientious but curious too, went to see Talese, by then in his late 70s, at his home in New York. It was the first of what would turn out to be several false starts. He said the only way I could come close to matching his so-called masterpiece would be …

David Severn’s best photograph: men hunting rabbits for beer

Theyre out on the site of the old Newstead Colliery. They do eat the rabbits they catch or trade them for beer. Thirty years ago, they would have been miners I started my postindustrial parts of England often focuses on deprivation, and its usually from the perspective of a concerned outsider. Thanks Maggie is semi-autobiographical my dad worked in the pits, as a shaftsman and I wanted to take photos that were more of a celebration of the people and places I grew up with. The project looks at different ways that people interact with this landscape. This is one of the first photos I took, of locals hunting rabbits on the site of the old Newstead Colliery. When I …