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    Blogger Says She Was Stopped from Taking Photos in a Bikini Despite Getting Permission

    A blogger says she was stopped from taking photos in a bikini at a Las Vegas hotel, despite previously getting permission from the staff.

    Anna O’Brien, who runs the blog Glitter + Lazers, says that she contacted the hotel where she was staying ahead of time to set up a photo shoot for her website. The New York-based blogger says that the hotel, which she declines to name, approved her request and said that she could shoot anywhere except the casino floor. She adds that they did not send any guidelines on clothing restrictions.

    O’Brien, 33, says that six minutes into the shoot, the security guards “got aggressive” with her and her photographer over her bikini, despite women in “comparable attire — show girl outfits” walking through the same area. They were able to get a few photos, one of which she posted on her Instagram page.

    Anna O’Brien

    “At first I was embarrassed, then I was upset,” she tells PEOPLE. “I have to say I have done shoots at hotels all over the world and I have never had this reaction.”

    O’Brien says she felt like the aggression was related to her body size.

    “It’s hard after years of being told plus size women cannot wear certain things, to not have an irrational shame come up when some one of authority questions your right to do a normal thing like wear a swimsuit,” she says. “I am body positive and genuinely love myself, but my past experiences also can’t be erased or forgotten.”

    Cosmopolitan contacted the hotel, which said that they stopped O’Brien because she needed additional clearance to take bikini photos.

    “All guests wearing bathing suits inside our lobby and casino are asked to cover up. Additionally, Ms. O’Brien never shared with the PR team that she intended to take photos in the lobby in her bathing suit. Had we understood her intent additional clearances to take the photos would have been required and, if permitted, we would have had a PR team member present to staff.”

    O’Brien says her frustration lies less with the hotel, and more with the culture around “plus bodies.”

    “I am not sure if the incident was intentionally malicious as it was a reflection of what plus bodies aren’t able to be seen as,” she says. “I think in the minds of these guards, a plus size women couldn’t be a legitimate model with clearance. She must be lying.”

    She adds that this incident shows why the body culture needs to change.

    “I think it just goes to show that a plus size woman wearing what every other woman wears is still foreign and scary to a lot of people,” she says. “It’s a reminder that taking images like this is important — to normalize them.”

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    10 Little Healthy Things You Should Do For Yourself Every Day

    Let’s be real. Being healthy all the time sounds kinda time-consuming. Your life is busy enough. On the other hand, we all deserve to feel good, amirite? We went to the experts to get simple, actionable, everyday to-dos that will keep you feeling and looking energized, fabulous, and all-around healthier.

    1. Find one small way to add more steps to your day.

    We sit too much, says Martha Gulati, MD, editor-in-chief of the American College of Cardiology's CardioSmart. Get closer to your 10,000 daily steps by switching up just one daily routine: Park at the end of the office parking lot, get off the bus/subway one stop earlier and walk the distance, deliver a message in person rather than IMing a coworker, or take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator (even if you can only manage 1-2 floors on foot). Be active as much as possible.

    2. Take the earbuds out—for just 5 minute at least.

    Pure Yoga instructor Alison O’Connor believes in spending time alone every day. “Taking a few minutes for yourself—away from social media, work, entertainment, and anyone who demands something from you—can go a long way toward mental health.” Ditch technology and make you your priority.

    3. Go to bed. Now.

    “Sleep is one of the most essential activities of the human body. It's while we sleep that our body is most efficient at recovering and healing itself,” says O’Connor. Brooklyn-based nutritionist Julie Fishkin adds that most adults need at least 7-8 hours in order to stave off depression and keep stress hormones at bay, preventing you from overeating and succumbing to sugar cravings.

    4. Refill your water bottle.

    Most of us don’t drink enough fluids (and no, wine doesn't count—the alcohol is dehydrating). Water helps your skin look fresh, it flushes your bodies of toxins, helps maintain healthy bowel functions (goodbye bloat, hello flatter belly), and keeps muscles from getting fatigued. If you don't already own one, invest in a cute reusable water bottle you'll want to show off on the way to the water cooler or kitchen.

    5. Take a few deep breaths before you look at your phone.

    Really, you can attach 60 seconds of deep breathing to any other daily habit that's already part of your routine. According to Dr. Gulati, remembering to pause periodically and spend one full minute focused on deep breathing and positive energy can help you cope better with stress.

    6. Wear something you love.

    Feeling confident and happy can come from knowing you look good, says Forever Freckled stylist Carrie Greenberg. "Fall in love with your wardrobe again by re-purposing and dust off classic pieces, and consider investing in some great new accessories.” Make it a point to wear something that makes you feel fantastic every single day.

    7. Turn on the oven. Or the stove. Or at least the microwave.

    Home-cooked meals are more than a way to express your creativity and save money (vs takeout or restaurant fare), says New York-based personal chef and fitness instructor Alyssa Gagarin. “Only by cooking your own food can you be sure you’re eating real, whole, unprocessed foods," says Gagarin. "It gives you full control over what’s going into your body.” Load up on fruits, veggies, whole grains, eggs, meats, seafood, nuts, seeds, and legumes—and stop eating once you are full.

    8. Deliberately choose a healthy ingredient.

    Even if you aren’t able to prepare your own meal/s, Dr. Gulati suggests mindfully choosing at least one healthy meal or snack a day that is healthy. Reach for the banana in the office fruit bowl, or add one more veggie to your chicken ceasar salad (grape tomatoes and asparagus are two yummy options). “One simple thing a day that is good for you can, over time, prove you have the power to take action and be healthier.”

    9. Pay attention to your needs.

    Any number of things might make us feel healthier, one minute to the next. That’s why Ellen Friedrichs, a Brooklyn-based health and sexuality educator, says we need to assess our needs, moment to moment. “Figuring out what is going to help you feel the most balanced, and the least stressed, is the best way to get on top of your physical and mental health.”

    10. Tell the truth. (Even when it hurts a little.)

    “Acting with integrity—where all of your words and actions align with your core beliefs—brings peace of mind and a sense of freedom,” says O’Connor. This may seem challenging, but she believes that lying or ignoring your principles could make you sick, both mentally and physically. “Living an integrated life will give you a great sense of personal satisfaction that you are living your best, most honest, most authentic life.”

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    From Sunburns to Binge Drinking: Will Past Health Mistakes Haunt You?

    Raise your hand if you once believed in getting a base tan. Or if you used to sneak cigs under the bleachers. Or yo-yo-dieted your way through your 20s. Really, who didn’t make some poor choices back in the day? But now that you’ve reformed your ways, you may worry about the long-term effects of those less-than-wise decisions. Here, a look at the potential harm caused by six former habits, plus how you can help your body recover.

    Smoking cigarettes

    “As soon as you quit, your lungs start to heal,” says Norman H. Edelman, MD, senior scientific adviser to the American Lung Association. Canadian researchers even found that people who quit before 40 lived nearly as long as those who’d never lit up. “The bottom line is that the sooner you quit, the better,” says Dr. Edelman.

    Bounce back stronger: The chemicals in tobacco harm the lining of your veins and arteries, causing them to narrow, which raises your blood pressure. One of the best ways to keep your blood pressure in check? You guessed it—breaking a sweat on the reg. Working out can really improve your heart function, says Dr. Edelman.

    Yo-yo dieting

    Maybe you dabbled with cleanses—or gained and lost the same 10 pounds again and again. Yo-yoing can take a real toll on your heart. Recent research has linked it to a higher risk of death from sudden cardiac arrest and coronary heart disease. The best thing you can do? Put an end to the cycle of losing and gaining.

    Get some guidance: Long-term weight loss is a slow and steady process. But years of chronic dieting can warp your expectations, says Rachel Fortune, MD, an eating disorder specialist at Newport Academy, a teen mental health treatment facility. If you’re working to slim down, she suggests talking to your doctor or a nutritionist to make sure your diet is healthy, and one you can stick to.

    Soaking up UV rays

    Even if you’ve never suffered a blistering sunburn, the UV damage from tanning—in a salon or at the beach—and everyday sunlight “really adds up,” says Lance H. Brown, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine.

    Be vigilant: When caught early, skin cancer is usually treatable. Go for an annual full-body check, says Dr. Brown, and call your derm ASAP if you notice any suspicious moles. He also recommends wearing SPF 30 every day on all sun-exposed areas (yes, even when it’s cloudy).

    Rocking out

    Ever hear a ringing in your ears? That’s called tinnitus—and it could be a sign of hearing damage from one too many rock concerts, says Amanda Lauer, PhD, assistant professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Center for Hearing and Balance.

    Protect your ears: You can’t undo hearing damage. But you can take steps to prevent more damage. That means wearing earplugs whenever you’re exposed to loud sounds, says Lauer, even while vacuuming and mowing the lawn. And keep the volume on your speakers, TV, and headphones (typically safer than ear buds) turned down low. “If it feels like it might be too loud, then it’s too loud,” says Lauer.

    Binge drinking

    Beer pong, flip cup, drunk Jenga—these games seem harmless when you’re 21 (aside from the wicked hangovers). But even at a young age, binge drinking— that’s four or more drinks in two hours for women—may up your risk for heart disease, according to a 2017 study.

    Embrace moderation: As long as you’ve cut way back since your college days, it’s possible that booze might help your heart now. Moderate drinking—that’s one drink per day, no more—has been tied to reduced risk of cardiovascular issues for some people. And new research suggests it may ward off dementia, too. Cheers to that.

    Hate your tattoo?

    You adored your ink at 19. Now, not so much. You can probably erase it with laser treatments. But they’re not cheap—you might pay up to $9,000 for six to 10 sessions—and boy, can they hurt. “Swelling, bleeding, and blisters are common side effects,” says Lance H. Brown, MD. And keep your expectations measured: “Some tattoos only partially fade, leave a ghost image, or even permanent raised scarring,” says Dr. Brown. He suggests interviewing several dermatological surgeons who specialize in tattoo removal before you schedule the procedure.

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