Headache Pose in Not Flattering

My Headache Pose

The 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. Let me tell you what real migraine suffering looks like to all of those publications following and advertising the headache pose.

What does the Real Headache Pose Looks Like?

Last week I started my week with a migraine. I started 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 was given in a day). I lay in my bed for hour after hour in screaming pain. While I lay in the dark, the quiet, and alone, I sat missing my therapy/emotional dog after losing her this summer. Let me 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 could not go. It was not a pose as I clutched my head in pain. 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 has never worked for me. In high school, I required so much over-the-counter medication that it eroded my stomach lining, and I began a cycle of medication overuse headaches. “Medication overuse is the most common reason episodic migraine turns chronic.”* I no longer use anything not prescribed. The next day I had my appointments and many injections, possibly spending a day outside of my bedroom.

My  Headache Pose

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 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 mainly 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 angry! 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 cannot work or function normally during their Migraines.*
  • 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 women instead of stigmatizing them through their “migraine pose” turned into “headache relief 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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4 Comments

  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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