Really ELLE? Really Cosmopolitain? #MigrainePose? Really?
You want to feature a recently coined modelling “trend” and show me a bunch of impossibly beautiful, impeccably symmetrical, totally neutral glowed up faces pouting gracefully and reference migraine? Really?
This would be funny if it were making fun of every unrealistic photo shoot for a snake oil migraine product that ever existed.
It would be less offensive if society at large had a clear understanding of migraine as a sometimes highly disabling neurological disease with no cure and seemingly endless misinformation, judgment, sexist stigma, and inadequately trained doctors standing between patients and small stack of pretty unreliable treatments.
It would be astute if you were drawing attention to the fact that migraine — like its best buds anxiety and depression — is an invisible illness, and that people disabled by migraine are often disbelieved, dismissed and denied proper care and support in their families and workplaces.
It would be worthwhile if you were showing how people with chronic migraine who get Botox injections for pain must use their finger in order to move their paralyzed eyebrows. (Yes, Botox, because we’ll try anything, even strange and expensive things for a shot at a 50% pain reduction.)
But guess what!? (I think you already guessed.) It’s not funny or even a little bit accurate, because a lot of people still think migraine is just a little thing when it’s actually A REALLY BIG THING. It pulled the carpet right out from under my hardworking, well-meaning, health-insured, middleclass, supposedly healthy feet for five years, and it affects approximately THIRTEEN percent of adults in North America, a significant number of whom have more days of severe disability than not.
So instead of #migrainepose, or even your back peddle to #headachepose (because headaches suck too and how is that hot? I don’t get it), I would like to suggest the following alternatives*:
BLIND ZIT ON MY TEMPLE POSE
LOST MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT POSE
OMG TRUMP’S LATEST TWEET POSE
DID I FORGET TO CONDITION POSE
ON THE VERGE OF HANGRY POSE
MANSPLAINER ALERT POSE
IS MY UNDERWEAR ON BACKWARDS POSE
COFFEE OR SOMEBODY DIES POSE
CHECK OUT MY HAND AND MY FACE AT THE SAME TIME POSE
I WISH I WERE VULCAN POSE
MIGRAINE IS KIND OF A BIG DEAL POSE
…or literally, anything else. Please. Because actual migraine attacks are the opposite of beautiful. They’re more like the flu, but where every physical sensation turns into straight-up pain, and you wonder if you are even human at all anymore!
And you know what would be even better than an apology? If you joined our cause and made a concerted effort to help educate people about the realities of migraine.
C’mon. You owe us.
*Directly inspired by Susan Harlan’s Alternatives to Resting Bitch Face.
**Not pictured: pile of soggy tissues, medication I don’t want to take, side effects of medication, expensive and mostly useless medical devices, abandoned career, guilt, fear, depleted sense of self worth, calendar full of appointments, dietary restrictions, early bedtimes, inability to travel, financial strife, therapy.