Jo Thornton - My Blog - Breast Enhancing Advice, Product Updates and Chat

 

My Blog...for helpful guides, product spotlights, Jo Thornton news, general chat and my hopefully interesting musings :) 

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  1. Hi everyone.

    Just a little post as I've had a message on my site and emails about my family emergency.  It's certainly been a tough few weeks for me.  We all go through difficult times, and when you come to me for help, a lot of you are feeling very low or struggling in your lives.  Many of you have been feeling progressively low, some have had breast surgery, some have lost hope of feeling better.  You share with me, and are open and honest with your troubles.  I try to help you all as best I can and hope that even just by talking to me and hopefully finding options for your breasts, you can feel better.   You often tell me it/I've helped, and that is so wonderful.

    I write this now as I find it's sometimes helpful to know we are not alone in suffering. It's part of being human and tough times affect us all.  I'm suffering at the moment and finding things tricky, so I thought I'd share. I want my blog to be informative and uplifting, but also real.  This is me, Jo, the little shop owner who is having a tough time and being open with you, and that is no bad thing I think.  If you only like happy blog posts, skip this one.

    My first woe was recently when a young teenager riding his scooter out between two parked cars without looking, onto my car as I drove up the road.  It was such a shock and so frightening, for us both, with the ambulance, police all in attendance and me being interviewed and breathalysed.  My daughter was in the car too, but luckily everyone was OK.  It did result in a hefty car repair bill, as my entire front headlight was smashed on the passenger side and the front bumper had to come off.  It was really frightening, as for a long time I wasn't sure if he was ok, and the Police started quite forceful with me in case I had been driving dangerously, so it made me feel like I was guilty of something. It was all OK after, as I came home and reminded myself that the boy was ok, that I hadn't done anything wrong, it was just an accident and the light is just money. 

    Next was a flood in my house.  The stop-cock managed to burst off in my daughters room.  The pipe burst and when the stop cock has been pushed off with the pressure, my panicked mind took a while to work out how to stop the water jetting into the room.  I was trying to reapply the stop cock with the full however-many-bar-of-pressured-water, until I suddenly remembered it can be turned off in the street.  It didn't fully turn off out there, but enough to stop the flood.  A week of taking up flooring, running dehumidifiers, replacing flooring and repainting damaged walls etc, and it's all ok.  It just took a LOT of time and some more money.

    Next was a fox attack in my garden. I was silly and I had let my lovely chickens out on the lawn with me, as they have been enclosed since December due to Avian Flu.  I just wanted them to have some freedom and some sun, and I forgot that it is the time of year when foxes are terrible. I'd never had one come into my garden though, just before midday and try and snatch one in front of me.  It took me and them completely by surprise.  I scared it away and grabbed them, but one was too injured as it had snapped at her.  After a lot of nursing and time, she still had to be put to sleep.  It was so utterly upsetting, especially as she was my favourite, I had a £200 vet bill without the happy ending and I am racked with guilt.  If only I hadn't let them out with me.  I cried a lot for 2 days, mainly from the shock and guilt. 

    Now it's a family member that is very unwell.  It's so upsetting and worrying and eclipses the other things, which is as much as I can say about it here.  I'm trying to keep going and do all I can to keep my mental health in-tact, and it's a little too raw at the moment.  We all need to do what we can to process our stresses, grief, financial worries and remember that things will not always be so bad.  I'm trying to do that right now, and remember that life isn't always this difficult.  I've read a bit about it and what I am doing is called "active coping".  The other type is "passive coping", so keeping things more hidden away.   I do talk to those around me, express when I am having good and bad moments of mental health and they do the same, which is absolutely invaluable. Writing this is part of my active coping. 

    Not everyone has a support network though, and using mine a lot right now reminds me how lucky I am. If you are going through a tough time and you feel alone or just that you need to vent, do email me.  I'm not a counsellor and I don't know the "right" thing to say, but I can listen if that's what you need.  You can write me your struggles in complete confidence to me.

    On a more positive note to round off, when things have calmed down in my life I'll look to doing some write-ups for things that can be done when stressed in case it helps someone.

    xxx

  2. Nelly Bly Blog PNG

     

    For the next in my series of Feminist Icons, I'd like to write about a lady I read about recently in my National Geographic magazine.  It's so nice to be able to discover stories of confident, empowered, game-changing people who have been able to help carve a better future for women, and share them with you here.  I love it :)

    Nellie Bly was an American pioneer of investigative journalism and was born in Pitsburgh in 1864 as Elizibeth Jane Cohran.  At 21 years old, she wrote a letter to her local newspaper to rebuke an article entitled "What Girls Are Good For". The newspaper was so impressed that they hired her, go Nelly!  She was born Elizabeth Jane Conran, but preferred to use pen names Orphan Girl and Nellie Bly, and grew up experiencing hardship after her father died when she was 6. Money was difficult, and her Mother married and then divorced an abusive man, which helped start a fire inside Nelly to succeed in journalism and call attention to the difficulties that working-class families faced in their daily lives.                 Nellie-Bly

     

    Life as a journalist at the Pitsburgh Dispatch wasn't all she dreamed of, having been restricted to writing for a segregated women's section of the paper.  Nellie could have accepted this comfort of employment, but instead she decided to make a shocking move for the time, and head off to Mexico alone to work as a correspondent.  It is this move, that I love about her the most, as she was willing to risk herself in order to further her skills, find new stories and report on things that were being hidden from journalism. During her time there she wrote about the exploitation of peasants, and by whom they were being exploited, and it was this that ultimately forced her hand to leave in order to avoid arrest from the authoritarian government. 


    Of to New York Nelly went, in a time that its creative journalism was booming.  Nellie's first assignment for the New York World involved her getting herself committed to an asylum in order to write an undercover piece about conditions there. "How will they get me out?" she asked, "First get in" was the answer.   I'm not sure that's an assignment I would take, but Nelly was undeterred and managed to get herself certified as "demented".  She soon realised that institutions were overcrowded (built for 1000 but housing 1600), understaffed (only 16 doctors), employed ill-trained and brutal staff, and had horrific conditions. The patients were not only mentally ill, but also immigrants unable to communicate and the extremely poor.  Nelly was appalled by the fact that no women were given the chance to prove their sanity and that that government felt it was acceptable to keep women this way.  She resolved to change all that. 

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    After 10 days, Nellie was released thanks to the paper's lawyer, and her article shocked the public and triggered a grand jury investigation.  This led to increased funding and improved conditions, so it's undisputable that Nellie's risk paid off.  As one of the first undercover journalism examples, let alone by a woman, Nelly has paved a way for writing that aims to penetrate layers of shielding and prompt education and change.  For this I really do want to honour her.  

    Her following articles always included her name, showing how popular she had become, and included "Nellie Bly Buys a Baby" and "Nellie Bly Tells How It Feels to Be a White Slave".  For the time, Nellie was boundary pushing and this continued when at aged 25, Nelly travelled around the world in 72 days in order to break Phileas Fogg's fictional record of 80 days.  She became America's first celebrity journalist, but made sure all knew that she embarked on the trip after her newspaper thought it a better job for a man. She showed them

    After marriage and a journalism hiatus in order to run her husband's company, Nellie returned to writing after moving to Austria and became the first woman journalist on the front during World War I .


    denver-post-newspaper-1226-1914-nellie-bly

    nellie-bly-iron-clad

    On her return to America, she continued to write and use her column to help people find work and housing.  Nellie never gave up on the hope that her writing could help improve the lives of those who are fighting, in life as well as in war, and struggling with the challenges they are faced with and others are ignorant to. 

    Nellie died in January 1922 of pneumonia, and was 57 years old.  Her life was rich, varied and boundary pushing, and I hope she felt beyond content at all she achieved. Female reporting and investigative journalism was forever changed by her determination and willingness to risk herself, with newspapers unable to claim that a woman "could not do it".   Just ask Stacey Dooley.

     

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  3. I hear such amazing stories of customer journeys that are inspiring and thought provoking for me.  Recently, I realised that these stories are too important to not be shared, and I have asked a few customers if they'd like to guest post here.  I have been very lucky that they have agreed and many found it to be cathartic and fulfilling,  and often it brings hope that it will help others.

    First up is Paige, who has come to her trans journey later in life, and who's journey of self-discovery is really blossoming.  Hopefully her story will inspire you, and if you are moved by anything you read, please do get in touch if you need support.  

    From Paige:

    Where to start with this is never easy and including every aspect of the entire journey is virtually impossible,  so I'll miss out the first forty something years and cut straight to the interesting bit,, if you want to hear about the depressing years I'll tell them, but another time,  I'll start this little story from summer 2020, I'm 47 years old and fest becoming a non intoxicated person, as for many years of my past I was on a self destruct mission,  but I guess only half heartedly as I'm still here and in relative good health,  so all my life ever since I was a child I wanted to be female,  this was very unacceptable in the late 70s and 80s and lead to the subsequent self destruct ,, what changed, when it changed,  I have no idea but somehow I found myself in 2020 a year that was hideous for so many and yet it seemed my time to live and love life and myself for the first time I can remember had arrived,  
    I've dressed feminine indoors all the time, never venturing outside except under cover of darkness with my dog for protection, luckily I live on the very outskirts of the city and its always been quiet,   the thing about being closeted and scared of your own life is its very easy to convince yourself that what you are doing is for the best and never consider how it's effecting you mentally, a kind of brainwashing on one's self,  I'd tell myself 'I'll be fine staying indoors '  and 'I'm a realist, I could never pass anyway so no point trying '  bad defeatist thoughts that have festered for a lifetime and now bit by bit becoming eradicated from my mind,, 
    So summer 2020 , I join my first online transgender group, and meet for the first time people like me,  by the way I've still to this day never met a transgender person in real life,, anyway at this point I'm once again determined to discover myself, what I'm supposed to do with these feelings of trapped frustration,  the dilemma of feeling feminine and looking not feminine and not even acting feminine but I slowly discover I'm not the only one,, however the group seems quiet to me and no-one really wants to do video chat and I'm desperate to be seen, for validation, so I join a second group which covers the whole of Scotland, its very much more active and they are doing many things on video so, I decide the Saturday night meeting seems good one week games night one week movie night finally I'm visible but after only a couple of meetings it's not enough or moving forward I need to know if I'm good enough to get outside,, so I'm asking and asking until eventually someone gave me the answer I guess I needed to hear,  and it's very simple,  I am good enough, no matter what I look like as long as I'm me, as long as I'm projecting what I feel, dressing how I want,  there's not a soul on earth who has the right to judge me,, or anyone else who may be in a similar dilemma to mine,  so from summer to November I cultivated my new me as the indoors me was not entirely suitable for day to day living,,, November 25th I step outside in daylight hours and I haven't dressed male since that day now my name is Paige,  I love being me and I feel love for the people around me even when they just look at me and don't know what to say or think it's a big change for everyone close to me and close by but I've had almost no negativity.
     
    I'm sure a lot of you will connect with her experiences and others will be interested to read about another's life experience, and be glad that Paige has moved passed a self-destruct phase to digging in deep and confronting her feelings.  We all know how hard that is for anyone to do.  Thank you very much Paige for sharing your story.
     
    If you'd like to share your story, no matter how long or short, I'd love to hear from you.  You can just send me an email at any time.
  4. I did, I really did!  I even made a video...

  5. I'm not a big fan of anything, in particular, bar Harry Potter, but  thought I'd share a few of my latest finds in case you are looking for a new book or TV show to enrich your weekend!

    Books:

    The Greatcoats series, by the Canadian writer Sebastien de Castell.

    Greatcoats

     There are 4 books in total and I really liked them :) 

    Genre: They are Three Musketeers style set in a fantasy world with fantasy elements.

    Pros:  Simple easy reading with a full plot, a sense of adventure, and a moral compass.  Personally, I really enjoyed the strong female characters.

    If you like audiobooks, then Joe Jameson who has narrated them all is amazing. He is a character actor, so brings each to life with their own voice.

    Cons: Some of the dialogue was a little samey. 

     

    TV Show:

    Alone

    I've really taken to this and watch it with my 12-year-old daughter. There have been 7 seasons, and although it is only on top TV packages in the UK, I have seen it popping up on Amazon prime TV, etc. 

    alone image

    Genre: Real-life survival. 

    Synopsis: It's a competition, but not like any I've ever seen.  It has 10 competitors who are dropped in the middle of nowhere, literally on their own, and have to survive as long as possible in order to win. They are not dropped off somewhere idyllic, they are put somewhere super hard to survive.  These are people that teach this stuff for a living or live quite self-sufficiently in real life. The early seasons were on the overgrown Vancouver Island, but they have also had Mongolia and The Antarctic for season 7, but I'm yet to watch that one! 

    Pros: It's facinating to watch people adapt and survive, try and preserve their mental health whilst being alone. We are naturally social beings, so seeing how they manage to overcome the obstacle of being alone as well as feeding themselves and running low on energy is so interesting. It doesn't glorify the hunting that they have to do but shows what is necessary to survive.

    Cons: I love the show but I should imagine it is quite hard for some vegetarians/vegans to watch. There is some killing of animals for food.

    Movie:

    Official Secrets

    Official-Secrets-Slide

    Genre: Real-life drama/thriller with Keira Knightly.

    Synopsis:  Based on the true story of Katharine Gun, a whistleblower at GCHQ, it focuses on the lead up to the Iraq Invasion.

    Pros: I found it captivating. Great performances from Keira and Matt Smith

    Cons: From what I read it is factually quite accurate, but any movie needs taking with a little pinch of salt. Not that this is a "con" really. I loved it!

     

    Do let me know if you have any recommendations for me!

     

    sign-2014-8-20-15.2.46 xxx

     

  6. Image thanks to Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/jackmac34-483877/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=627302">jacqueline macou</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=627302">Pixabay</a>

    The question of padded bras is one I get asked a lot, so I thought I'd pop a little blog post here as a help guide.

    Padded bras are great, they offer shaping an contouring to help give you a boost, but they are not without their issues.  They can generally only add up to 1 cup size, but many bra companies claim more than that. It's often a little misleading, as what they are refering to is the boost the more padded bras can give to a 30AA bra, so a relatively small amount of padding is needed to get them up to a 30B cup.  For a 38" bra however, a lot more padding is needed to get from an AA cup to a B cup. It's all about the volume, and there is only so much a padded bra can do and only so much oomph it can give. This oomph will also fade over time as the bra is worn and the fabric and foam filling stretch and squish.

    This is where my breast enhancers can really help. You can choose the size you'd like for the boost you'd like, and interchange them with different bras. I can boost you from half a cup size all the way up to 3 or more cup sizes for many sizes. 

    The big thing to remember howeever, is that that using breast enhancers with padded bras will often not work. If you have a simple padding all over, or a very small shaping inside the cup, you should be able to get great results, but if not you will probably find you have problems. This is simply becuase they are both trying to do the same job, giving you the same boost from the same place in the bra. The padding of the bra can push the enhancer away from where it needs to sit, giving you a rather uneven and possibly uncomfortable look.  

    Breast enhancers thrive in a smooth cup on the inside of the bra.  It can be a full cup, t-shirt bra, lace bra, lower cut bra, balconette style etc, and depending on the style and shape breast enhancer you go for, it should do the job perfectly for you in a normal bra. If your bra has some more defined shapping inside the cup however, you may find that buying a normal smooth bra to work with your enhancers gives you the great look you are after and opens you up to all the posibilties of the various breast enhancer styles and shapes. Given a nice smooth bra, my enhancers can boost you up or out in exactly the way needed to give you great results.

    If you need any advice at any time, just get in touch.  

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  7. It's one of my help guides, but it's so important that I fel that I should remind you all:

    YOU MUST MEASURE YOURSELF TO CHECK YOUR BRA SIZE REGULARLY!

    How often really does depend on your circumstances and body shape, but make sure you do it at least every year just to check. If you are losing or gaining weight, or if you've changed your exercise regime, you will need to do it more often.  You can start right now, by looking closely at the bra you are wearing right now, checking all the key areas to be sure that it is fitting and working for you as it should.  A bra who's elastic has given way due to age will be just as inefficient as if you wearing the wrong size, so make sure you keep an eye on the age of your bras too. 

    Let's get on to what you need to do:

    The most common mistake is women wearing a band size that is too large, and therefore not offering the support it should. 

    This is how to make sure it is correct:

    Step 1: Grab yourself a nice soft tape measure with inches on (preferably not a rusty steel rule from the garage)

    Step 2. Underbust Measurement - Run a tape measure all the way around your body just underneath your breasts and take a measurement in inches. Make sure the tape measure is horizontal and snug. Your arms should be as down as you can make them.If this measurement is an odd number, try the two sizes around it, For example, if you measured 31 inches (78.7cm), you should start trying on bras in a 30" and 32" size. If it was an even number, start with that size band and see how you get on. Every bra is different, but this gives you a starting point. NOTE: Some bra fitting guides and calculators will tell you to add four or five inches (10 to 12.5cm) to your underbust measurement, but this is outdated advice. The "add four" method was popularised by Warners in the 1930s when bra design was in its infancy and it simply doesn't work so well with modern bras.

    Step 3: Since everyone's breasts are different in terms of shape (even between your own breasts), the most accurate way to determine your cup size is by using your current bra size as a starting point. If you don't have an existing bra, take a look at the sized cups for your band and give the one that you feel will be the best a try.  The cups are sized relative to the band, so if you were to try a smaller band size but keep the same cup size, the cups would be too small - if you go down a band size you need to go up a cup size. If you decide to go up a band size, then to maintain the cup size you will need to go down a cup size. 

    Step 4: Put the bra on around your body first doing it up on the LOOSEST SETTING. The elastic in the bra will loosen with age, so you need to be able to tighten it through it's life. It should always start on the loosest hooks. Wiggle your breasts into position, yes wiggle, it works! Tighten the shoulder straps so that they do not dig in and hurt, or slip off the shoulder easily. The band around the body should be taking the main weight of the breasts.

    Does the bra really fit? Things to check:

    Does the bra feel tight around the body? If so, good! It may feel too tight, but this is because we are used to wearing bras that are too big for us. It should feel tight, but not dig in. You should be able to get 2 fingers side by side between the bra and your skin, and it should have a little bit of give. Check that the weight of the breasts is well supported so the shoulder straps are not digging in at the top. It should of course feel comfortable.  

    How about the cup? Are you well contained in it?! You need the cup to hold you in nicely, without the breast spilling over the top.  We also don't want a gape. Some bras will give a little gape and that is more down to the shape of the cup or the shape of your breasts, but this should only be a small gape. Any more than that, and it's not supporting you enough.  You also need to be sure that the underwire follows the correct curve of your breast. Make sure that your breast does extend beyond the underwire under your arms, and if it does, it means that the cup is not big enough for you or that the shape of the bra does not work for you.

    They are all the key points. The main thing is to be honest with yourself.  Many fashion bras are designed for a night out, and not everyday wear.  Go for those pretty bras, but also make sure you get a bra / bra with enhancer or breast form combination that works for you with full support for everyday use. Your breasts and back will thank you for it when you are older.

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  8. I've been running low of breast forms, especially in the 500g sizes, as COVID has caused some real challenges in the factory, but we're nearly there. Hurrah!

    I hope that they will be with me in the week of 13th of July, subject to how quickly the delivery companies are working now.  I've found that to be hit-and-miss during the lockdown, but hopefully with the easing things have improved.  I shall get them all unboxed and checked over so they can go on my site as soon as I can. 

    I shall be restocking my normal sizes that are on the site, and adding the triangle shape in a 700g size for you (approximately a 38DD/40D/42C/44B/46A.  These will be a great addition to those of you with bigger size bands who do not have a flat chest. Many of you find that the concave back of the triangle breast form allows them to sit and mould perfectly with your chest, whatever your shape.  The 700g triangle will allow you to go up a cup size from the 600g pair in one simple swoop!

    Triangle Breast Form Jo Thornton 600g (6)

     

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  9. Happy Birthday Millicent!

    717px-Millicent_Fawcett

    Just a quick birthday wish for her from me today, as there are plenty of fabulous articles out there and they are better than anything I could write.  

    If you'd like to read more about her and the suffragette movement, have a look through these great articles and resources:  

    https://www.historytoday.com/archive/millicent-garrett-fawcett

    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Millicent-Fawcett

    Here books are available as ebooks here:  http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/5969

    And The London School of Economics and Political Science has a fantastic Women's Libray detailed here:

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/collection-highlights/the-womens-library

    and a digital timeline with books here:

    https://digital.library.lse.ac.uk/collections/thewomenslibrary

    Details of her statue in Parliament Square can be read here:

    https://london.ac.uk/news-and-opinion/millicent-fawcett-statue-unveiled-parliament-square

    686px-Millicent_Fawcett_Statue_02_-_Courage_Calls_(27810755638)_(cropped)

     

    sign-2014-8-20-15.2.46 xx

  10. Alan Jope (836x1132)  UnileverLogo_1920x1080px_RGB-1-1 

    I read that 43% of managers within Unilever are women, and I just had to read up more about it as this is not the kind of percentage I normally see.  It seems that their CEO is an active feminist and a member of the He-For-She campain.  Go Alan and go Unilever!  It's not quite 50%, or even 57% to 43% men, but it's a ratio significantly higher than many other multinational profit driven companies. They have looked through the layers of the company, including to the farms and producers working for them.  It says to me that they are moving in the right direction and have tried to actively culture a business of feminist equality and safety.  I dare say they have some way to go, but they seem to be aware of the issues and are not just focusing on women within offices.  

    Their official statement on women within the company goes as follows:

    IMPACT Commitments

    Expand opportunities and provide access to skills and training for women across the Unilever value chain.

    Unilever believes that creating opportunities and providing access to skills and training is critical to expanding female participation in the economy. Unilever provides training to women in their extended supply chain and distribution channels, including agricultural, business and literacy training. Besides working with smallholder farmers (around 30% of Unilever smallholder farmers are women), Unilever also equips female small-scale retailers with business skills and access to tools and technology to develop successful businesses. In order to drive sustainable growth and transform lives, families, communities and economies, Unilever will continue to build upon existing programmes to provide a holistic approach to skills & training. By the end of 2014, around 168,000 female smallholder farmers had completed qualified skills training delivered or made possible by Unilever and another 70,000 micro-entrepreneurs were trained in India.

    Improve the safety of women & girls in communities where Unilever operates.

    1 in 3 women will experience violence in their lifetime. Unilever aims to improve safety for women and girls in the communities where they operate including their extended supply chain. Unilever’s approach focuses on the prevention of incidents through increased education and awareness, as well as improving the grievance and reporting procedures. One example is the programme launched in 2013, on the Kericho tea plantation in Kenya, which covers 12,000 permanent workers, and up to 5,000 seasonal workers. Since the programme launch, there have been substantial improvements in the way sexual harassment issues are addressed, as well as opportunities for girls to engage in social activities and mentoring. This programme has a big impact, reaching those who live in company villages on the estates. Unilever will scale this successful program in the next 5 years, by identifying the highest priority regions & countries.

    Build a gender-balanced organisation with a focus on management.

    Unilever employs more than 172,000 people around the world. As of 2014, 43% of managers at Unilever were female. Unilever believes gender-balanced teams make better business decisions and recognises that management sets the tone for the rest of their business. Some examples of the initiatives to build a gender balanced organisation are: sustained leadership accountability and clear targets continuously reviewed and monitored; inclusion leadership training for employees; programs to recruit, retain and develop women talent e.g. Balanced shortlists, Maternity & Paternity support, women’s development and mentoring programs and employee engagement communications to build organisational engagement around inclusion and diversity.

    Unilever are not the kind of company I would expect to be paying an interest in feminist issues, so it's lovely to see.  I'd expect to see companies that produce sanitiary towels etc, like Kimberly Clark, to be aware of making their voice heard on the issue, so it is wonderful to see a company that makes such a wide range of products (Ben and Jerry's, Radox, Marmite and Lipton to name just a few!) being aware of the importance of balance and female importance in business, in all layers.

    I hope due to their work with the He-For-She campaign, and with Alan's leadership, they have kept their momentum with their equality work.  I salute you Unilever.  

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