By Vicky Spratt

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANNA JAY

In 2006, I did what everyone (with the exception of three people) in my sixth form year did. I went to university. I didn’t think twice about the debt I was taking on — tuition fee loans with maintenance loans on top — I just did what I was told. I was the first person in my family to go to university. It was, so people kept reminding me, “a very big deal”. I didn’t understand interest rates. I didn’t know what it meant that the interest on the student loans I was taking out was linked…


By Sadhbh O’Sullivan

PHOTO BY BAILEY REBECCA ROBERTS

With gyms reopening and the promise of in-person classes beginning again in the UK, fitness novices and avid gym goers alike are looking for something to kick off the cobwebs of months spent at home. Whether you’ve had a dedicated home ‘gym’ or barely managed a daily walk over the past 12 months, you’ve probably recently felt the impulse to find a workout that will jump-start your body and mind after such a weird, heavy time.

And so, as we are wont to do these days, people are turning to the internet to find the answers. And…


By Jenn Selby

Sex and physical intimacy dominate much of the mainstream conversation about modern relationships, but what if the act of making love moves you no more than filling in tax returns?

For someone who identifies as asexual, this lack of desire may well be a hurdle they have to navigate if they wish to seek a romantic partner.

Asexuality is a multifaceted orientation that describes a person who does not experience sexual attraction.

There is a spectrum of ways people can identify as asexual, from bi-romantic — a romantic attraction to both men and women — to grey-asexual…


By Alex Holder

ILLUSTRATED BY RICHARD CHANCE.

From accidentally dropping your phone into a pint glass of Dioralyte left by the bed to ordering an Indian takeaway at 11.30am followed by a burger ‘for afters’, hangovers are costly both in money and dignity.

I now spend more on my hangover than I did the night before. I’m a 35-year-old mum of a toddler, no longer will a packet of salt and vinegar Discos cut it. Instead I’ll start with a cocktail of Nurofen and caffeine but quickly descend into over-ordering takeout sushi. Hangovers are expensive; Barclays has just found the average cost of a…


By Sadhbh O’Sullivan

PHOTO BY SAM WRIGHT

One in four children now grow up in lone parent homes but despite being more common than ever, there is no one path to single parenthood. For some, single parenthood arises from a change in circumstances in a relationship but for others it is an active choice, made because the individual is ready to start their family with or without a partner.

This is as true for LGBTQ+ people as it is for cis heterosexual people. The similarities between single parents of any orientation or gender outweigh any differences; every parent faces the same pressures, the same…


By Anonymous

ILLUSTRATED BY MICHELLE MILDENBERG.

In our series Salary Stories, people with long-term career experience open up about the most intimate detail of their jobs: compensation. It’s an honest look at how real people navigate the complicated world of negotiating, raises, promotions and job loss, with the hope it will give young women more insight into how to advocate for themselves — and maybe take a few risks along the way.

Age: 30
Location: London
Current industry and job title: Head of Operations
Current salary: £50k
Number of years employed since school or university: Nine

Starting salary: In 2012 I was on £16k…


By Minreet Kaur

“I am feeling anxious,” 30-year-old Mankiran Dhillon, who lives with her parents in Delhi, tells Refinery29. “Nobody was ready for this. Our country had a year to prepare and did nothing but hold huge rallies, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we are on our own.”

The rallies Mankiran refers to are part of India’s current state elections. They’ve been allowed to go ahead (with many people attending unmasked) despite the coronavirus crisis. Some people say they’ve contributed to the second wave currently devastating the country. Medical experts have condemned it as “complacent”.

As India experiences…


By Cory Stieg

PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICOLAS BLOISE.

Between the daily agony of long hours spent at an uncomfortable desk, and an unrelenting schedule, having a demanding job can often interfere with your exercise habits — if not stop them dead in their tracks. And that’s a problem, because when you’re stressed out and sedentary, exercise is one of the best things you can do to manage anxiety and ensure that you stay physically active through all that sitting.

When it comes to fitness, it often seems like working people have two options: wake up early enough to go work out, or hope that you…


By Jacqueline Kilikia

Before

I am notoriously unadventurous when it comes to my hair. The most ‘drastic’ switch-up I’ve ever made was getting my medium-length tresses cut into a very short, blunt bob, and while it was a welcome change, various coronavirus restrictions meant I had to let it grow out entirely. They say you always want what you can’t have and with salons closed for what felt like an eternity, I began imagining myself rocking all manner of Instagram-worthy hairstyles. The shullet ( shag meets mullet), curtain bangs and feathered layers all featured in my imagination as I geared up…


By Vicky Spratt

“I spend hours on Deliveroo and Uber Eats, putting things in my basket but not buying them,” Melissa* tells me, laughing intermittently as she speaks. “I might spend 10 minutes at Wahaca, hypothetically choosing a selection of tacos I’ll never eat and then move over to Whole Foods where I’ll do a food shop that I’ll never actually receive.”

During the pandemic, with restaurants closed, virtual window shopping or fantasy shopping has become a favoured pastime for Melissa, who lives alone in a one-bedroom flat overlooking east London’s skyline. …

Refinery29 UK

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