Headache Pose in Not Flattering


Headache pose is not flattering, can we agree? My latest post was about Elle Magazine’s Gross Portrayal of Migraine.  I awoke to find headlines trending and quickly typed my response.  As the days grew, so did the controversy. To all of those publications following and advertising the headache pose, let me tell you what a real migraine suffer looks like.

What the Real Headache Pose Looks Like

Last week I started my week with a migraine.  I start every day with a migraine so this was normal.  On Tuesday, all I wanted to do was go to my daughter’s softball game.  As a chronic sufferer, I knew I needed to save my spoons (every ounce of energy I am given in a day).  I laid in my bed for hour after hour in screaming pain.  While I laid in the dark, the quiet, and alone,  I sat missing my therapy/emotional dog after losing her this summer.  Let me further explain how an emotional dog has saved my sanity while fighting this debilitating disease.

That night I crawled, yes crawled, to my bathroom to brush my teeth and somehow get clothes on.  I sat clutching the counter minutes before warm-ups while my legs buckled underneath me and I was unable to go. As I clutched my head in pain it was not a headache pose. It was survival.

She hit her first home run that night!

Migraine Pose Offensive

Later in the week, I was throwing up too much to leave my house for a neurologist appointment for treatment.  Your article states, “Anyone need Advil?”  Advil, in fact, has never worked for me.  I required so much over-the-counter medication in high school that it eroded my stomach lining and I began a cycle of medication overuse headache which often occurs.  “Medication overuse is the most common reason why episodic migraine turns chronic.”* I no longer use anything not prescribed. The next day I had my appointments and had many many injections in order for me to possibly spend a day outside of my bedroom.

My  Headache Pose

headache pose

At the end of the week, I threw a birthday party for my oldest child and was pretty sure I would be unable to attend.  I didn’t go to the store until that morning and stopped twice while clutching my cart because the pain froze me in the aisles.  I wasn’t stopping to pose.

Is it ironic that my week was defined by migraine?  Was it a good story because it’s Migraine Awareness Month?  The answer is NO.  I live every day, every week, every year of my life like this.

At first, I was angry that a publication would be so irresponsible and that models would turn their backs on a disease they know first or second hand.  Then I read the comments and was shocked at the insensitivity and mostly lack of knowledge.

I saw someone respond by saying “Honestly guys life is not that serious I have had chronic migraines once a week every month…..” THIS got me infuriated!  Even people who suffer from migraine still have so much to learn! Migraine disease is more than just a headache and way more than a headache pose.

Migraine and Headache Facts

Chronic Migraine is defined as 15 or more migraine days a month.

Not once a week.

Migraine is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world.*

More than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine.*

In 2015, the medical cost of treating chronic migraine was more than $5.4 billion, however, these sufferers spent over $41 billion on treating their entire range of conditions.*

Migraine affects about 28 million women in the U.S.*

Migraine is most common between the ages of 25 and 55.*

Isn’t this demographic of Elle magazine?

*Thank you Migraine Research Foundation for your facts!

Call to Action

How do I change the Headache Pose Stereotype?

Sign the petition begun by my migraine pal Sarah at OM.

You can also contact them via twitter, instagram and emails.

If someone hears a response from ANYONE I’d love to hear and see!  Please pass it along to me.

Until then, please post your #migrainepose or #truemigrainepose on social media.

Show everyone what a real migraine face looks like and make it trending to bring awareness and real truth.  With such a knockdown I’m hoping it will come back with publications telling stories of people like me, facts from creditable organizations like Migraine Research Foundation and headline teaching, uplifting and giving towards the migraine and headache community.

May Elle Magazine empower woman instead of stigmatizing them through their “migraine pose” turned “headache pose”

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Sarah Rathsack

I tell stories of My Migraine Life. Living life through Migraine consists of advocacy, treatment, prevention, and searching for health and happiness in a positive honest way. My kids, husband, dog, family and friends motivate me to make a difference in the Migraine World.
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  1. Cee Arr @ Dora Reads on July 13, 2018 at 8:52 am

    This is an amazing post – I get migraines, though not chronic ones. You are amazing for going through that many migraines!

    This pose has really pi**ed me off, not least because of the times when I was a teen, when I did get chronic migraines, as opposed to occasional ones, and missed a lot of school, but was dismissed by classmates and teachers as having ‘just a headache,’ so why was I overreacting? I should just be quiet and put up with it, right? Argh! People who say things like this… *sighs* Smh.

  2. Liseann on July 14, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Thank you, feeling so alone with my pain as I sit here with an ice pack.

  3. mymigrainelife on July 14, 2018 at 9:43 am

    You aren’t alone!

  4. […] I know I’m not the only one who fights this stigma. […]

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