Lifestyle Barometer: Your guide to what’s hot and what’s not this week from Keanu Reeves to the Billboard Music Awards

Sarah Young

Going up

An inclusive sandwich turned out to be controversial (Marks and Spencer)
An inclusive sandwich turned out to be controversial (Marks and Spencer)

M&S’ LGBT sandwich

Marks and Spencer launched an LGBT+ sandwich to celebrate Pride and raise money for charity – but it was met with mixed reactions.

The sandwich, which is available to buy in the UK and Ireland, is filled with lettuce, guacamole, bacon and tomato – to fulfil the LGBT acronym – and comes in rainbow-coloured packaging.

Many people praised Marks and Spencer for continuing to campaign for LGBT+ rights.

“Love this from @marksandspencer Respect! Live & let live...looks delicious too,” one person wrote on Twitter.

However, others responded with scepticism.

“LGBT sandwich. These companies are really just taking any swing to seem ‘inclusive’,” one critic commented.

The British supermarket said the sandwich was created to raise money for the Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT), a charity dedicated to helping homeless LGBT+ youth, and Belong to Youth Services, an organisation supporting LGBT+ young people in Ireland.

The retailer says it has donated £10,000 to AKT and will be making a further £1,000 donation to Belong to Youth.

Blinded by the light: a cheap window fix (Instagram: @chelseajennings.x)
Blinded by the light: a cheap window fix (Instagram: @chelseajennings.x)

Ikea’s £3 blinds

Ikea blinds that cost just £3 and can fit any window have sparked a shopping frenzy among home improvement fans.

The Swedish furniture store’s Schottis Pleated Blinds can be easily attached to window frames without a drill.

Unlike traditional blinds, Ikea’s version can be cut to size and use double-sided tape and strips of Velcro to keep them in place.

The blinds also come with a set of clips so that shoppers can adjust the height and keep them open in the desired position.

Hundreds of happy customers have been sharing photographs of their home makeovers using the blinds on social media, praising them for being “simple, cheap and effective”.

“Absolutely can’t get over these £3 blinds from @ikeauk,” one person commented.

Offset and Cardi B at the Billboard Music Awards (Getty Images)
Offset and Cardi B at the Billboard Music Awards (Getty Images)

Billboard Music Awards

Celebrities descended on the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday night for the 2019 Billboard Music Awards.

The event, hosted by singer Kelly Clarkson for the second year, celebrates talent in the music industry.

Among the best dressed were actor Priyanka Chopra who sported a white sequinned dress by Zuhair Murad and rapper Cardi B in a show-stopping canary yellow two-piece.

While the Billboard Music Awards is undoubtedly a great opportunity for stars to show off their sartorial prowess, the event was also filled with a number of performances and of course plenty of award winners.

Taylor Swift opened this year’s awards with the very first live performance of her new single “ME!” alongside Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie, while Madonna and Colombian singer Maluma performed their new collaborative single “Medellin” with the help of a couple of Madonna holograms.

One of the biggest winners of the night was Drake, who made history by becoming the most award-winning artist in Billboard Music Awards history, nabbing 12 awards to bring his all-time total up to 27.

See our roundup of the best dressed guests of the night here.

Swoon-inducing: the ‘Matrix’ actor (Getty Images)
Swoon-inducing: the ‘Matrix’ actor (Getty Images)

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves was announced as the new face of Saint Laurent this week.

A trio of images from the new campaign were shared on the French luxury fashion house’s Instagram account on Tuesday, which were shot by photographer David Sims.

In one campaign photo, the Nineties icon is pictured close-up wearing a pin-striped blazer, simple black button-up shirt and aviator sunglasses, with his hair tied loosely.

Another image features Reeves wearing black jeans, a leather jacket and a polka dot shirt, this time with his hair down and tucked behind one ear.

In the final photograph, Reeves bows his head with his eyes closed, wearing a black aviator jacket with a shearling collar.

Down the aisle: Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas (Reuters)
Down the aisle: Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas (Reuters)

Las Vegas weddings

Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner married singer Joe Jonas in a surprise wedding ceremony in Las Vegas this week.

The nuptials were documented on social media by American DJ Diplo, who shared videos from the night in an Instagram live video and on his story.

In one of the videos, the DJ films Turner and Jonas entering a building with a group of people. Turner wore a white, strappy jumpsuit.

“Gonna hit this wedding real quick,” the caption on the video reads.

Turner and Jonas are then filmed saying their “I dos” in front of an intimate room of people and an Elvis Presley impersonator.

Going down

A Dumbo move: Kim Kardashian West (Getty Images)
A Dumbo move: Kim Kardashian West (Getty Images)

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian West has been criticised by animal rights campaigners after sharing photographs of herself posing with an elephant.

On Wednesday, the reality TV star shared a series of throwback photos on Instagram from a recent trip to Bali.

The first image shows Kardashian West touching the trunk of an elephant while a man, believed to be a sanctuary worker, sits on top of it.

The second photo shows the 38-year-old posing with her husband, Kanye West, while in the final image the elephant can be seen wrapping its trunk around the mother-of-three’s body.

Since sharing, the post has amassed 35,000 comments, many of which come from angry followers who allege the photos weren’t taken in a sanctuary and accuse her of promoting animal cruelty.

“What kind of sanctuary let humans sit on the elephants?” one person commented.

Another wrote: “This is NOT an elephant sanctuary Kim please don’t make this fashionable to millions of people it’s just not right.”

Funeral favourite: Frank Sinatra (AP)
Funeral favourite: Frank Sinatra (AP)


A study by Co-op Funeralcare has revealed that hymns are no longer being requested at funerals, with not a single one making the company’s top 10 most popular list this year.

When it was first compiled in 2016, the list featured hymns such as “The Lord Is My Shepherd”, “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, and “Abide With Me”.

However, this year so far, all three were replaced with pop songs such as Ed Sheeran’s “Supermarket Flowers” and “You Raise Me Up” by Westlife, which both made their debut.

The top three funeral songs this year have remained in the same spot since 2016, with “My Way” by Frank Sinatra at number one, followed by “Time to Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman, and “Somewhere over the Rainbow” by Eva Cassidy.

Proactive parenting has helped cut obesity rates (winnond/Shutterstock)
Proactive parenting has helped cut obesity rates (winnond/Shutterstock)

Childhood obesity

This week, Leeds became the first city in the UK to report a reduction in childhood obesity after introducing mass parenting lessons on how to be stricter.

The city-wide initiative saw parents follow an eight-week programme on how to “take charge” and set boundaries for their children.

Recent figures revealed that while obesity rates among five-year-olds in England remained unchanged between 2013-14 and 2016-17, at around 9.4 per cent, rates in Leeds dropped to 8.8 per cent over the same period.

From 2016 to 2017, 625 fewer reception-aged children were obese.

The findings, which were presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow last month, have been praised by government officials. Public health minister Seema Kennedy called them “promising”.

Selling ‘alarming’ books about anorexia (Reuters)
Selling ‘alarming’ books about anorexia (Reuters)


Amazon has been criticised for selling “pro-anorexia” books.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Tory MP Rachel Maclean revealed that the tech giant is selling a number of books which promote anorexia as a “healthy lifestyle” before calling on health secretary Matt Hancock to take action.

Hancock responded by vowing to challenge the company over the “alarming” revelations.

A search on the retailer’s website for “pro-anorexia” delivers 38 results for books with titles such as All Things Thin and Beautiful and Beauty Is Slim and Lean: Living Pro-Ana the Healthy Way.

Post-gym drinks are under the spotlight (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Post-gym drinks are under the spotlight (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Protein shakes

Drinking too many protein shakes could lead to an increased risk of obesity and a reduced lifespan, a new study has suggested.

Researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre carried out an investigation to determine the impact that excessive consumption of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) has on the body.

BCAA supplements are often consumed in the form of powder, which is then added to water to make a shake.

The study found that while BCAAs help to build muscle, they can also negatively impact an individual’s temperament, cause weight gain and lead to a shortened lifespan.

The team also found that high levels of BCAAs in the blood can disrupt sleep by causing decreased levels of the “happiness chemical” serotonin.