Migraine is not a fashion statement

Migraine Is Not a Fashion Statement: A Call to Action

When are so-called journalists, the media, and celebrities going to get it through their heads that Migraine is NOT a fashion statement? It IS a potentially debilitating neurological disease. As if we haven’t already been insulted and stigmatized enough by the “media” recently with Elle Magazine‘s “Migraine pose” nonsense (See Migraine Onions to Elle Magazine for the Migraine Pose), the New York Post jumped on the bandwagon Tuesday. They published Pretending to have a headache is now a selfie trend, written by Nicole Zane.

Perhaps Nicole Zane and the New York Post don’t care about how offensive the “Migraine pose” is to people with Migraine or about perpetuating the social stigma associated with Migraine. Perhaps, they wrote and published the piece knowing fully well that it would be controversial and hoping the controversy would increase pageviews. Regardless of why, yes, they went there, saying that a bonus of the pose is that “you can give yourself a pretend face-lift.”

The Post evidently did speak with one Migraine patient, and included this in their article:

One real-life migraine sufferer, Sanna from Sweden, told Metro that the people doing it “have no idea what a migraine actually looks like. The pose they’re doing is more like ‘oh, I have low blood sugar and a slight headache.’ ”

That was near the end of the article, followed by only two more words:

Excedrin, anyone?

Migraine is NOT a fashion statement.

Along with this situation as a whole, those last two words indicate that we still have an enormous problem with Migraine disease awareness and a lack of public understanding of the disease. There are many types of Migraine, and the frequency and severity of Migraine attacks can have a wide range:

  • Some people have Migraine attacks only occasionally, others live with them daily.
  • Some Migraine attacks can be mild enough for Excedrin to help. Others are severe enough that Excedrin is no more helpful than breath mints.
  • Migraine attacks can include not only head pain, but other debilitating symptoms including one-sided paralysis, total blindness in one eye, severe nausea and vomiting, and more.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that a severe Migraine attack can be as debilitating as quadriplegia.

Let’s take action!

Each of us can step up and do our part to show Elle, the New York Post, and everyone else that Migraine is not a fashion statement. Here are some suggested actions:

Stop feeding the beast:

  • If you subscribe to Elle or the New York Post, cancel your subscription, and be sure to tell them why.
  • If you read Elle’s or the Post’s web sites, stop reading. They profit from each pageview.

Share what you see:

  • Share this article via Facebook, Twitter, email, or other methods
  • Share other similar information on see on this issue.
  • Keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media outlets so you can share and respond related posts and images.

Sign the online petition:

Om started a petition to Elle on Change.org. It takes only seconds to sign it. At this point, it has nearly 1,000 signatures. Let’s see how many signatures we can help them get! Please sign the petition on Change.org.
sign the Elle Migraine pose petition

Related articles:

Especially effective hashtags:

If we all use the same hashtags, our Tweets and other social media posts will be more unified and have a bigger impact. Here are some hashtags that are being used effectively:

  • #TrueMigrainePose
  • #Migraine
  • #ChronicMigraine
  • #MigraineDisease

People and publications you may want to address or tag:

For those of you who wish to comment to the people involved in this travesty, here are some links and social media id’s for you:

  • @ELLEmagazine on Twitter or elleusa on Instagram
  • Nina Garcia, editor in chief of Elle, @ninagarcia on Twitter
  • Hearst Magazines International, publisher of Elle, @Hearst on Twitter
  • Kristina Rodulfo, senior beauty editor at Elle@kristinarodulfo on Twitter or kristinarodulfo on Instagram
  • Nam Vo, the makeup artist who started the “Migraine pose,” namvo on Instagram
  • The New York Post: @nypost on Twitter, nypost on Instagram

Wrapping it up:

I’ve been asking myself, “What in the world is wrong with people that they’d do this?” If there are answers to that question, I certainly don’t have them. What I do know is that we need to stand up for ourselves and others with Migraine disease and let everyone know that Migraine is NOT a fashion statement. It is a potentially debilitating neurological disease, and to use it to talk about a “flattering” pose or “pretend face-lift” is not acceptable. That behavior is insensitive, stigmatizing, and just plain wrong.

I hope all of you can find the time and the spoons to speak out about this and help make sure we’re heard on this important issue. Every voice, every word, every signature on the Change.org petition will help make a difference.