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People With Migraine Have a Lot to Say About Instagram's Latest 'Migraine Pose' Trend


If you get migraines, have you ever thought looking like you have a migraine is “damn flattering?” That’s the idea behind the “migraine pose,” and people with migraine are speaking up to reveal what this new modeling trend ignores about real migraines.

An Elle magazine article published Tuesday called “All the Pretty People on Instagram Are Doing the ‘Headache Pose,'” explained that the “migraine pose” is achieved by posing with one or two hands pulling your face upwards from your temples, which tightens your face, lifts the brows and makes your cheekbones more prominent. “It’s a temporary facelift for the ‘gram,” the article says. After listing a few examples of celebrities who have used the pose, the article closes with, “Anyone need Advil?”

The pose was named by makeup artist Nam Vo, who told Elle she always makes her models pose this way.

“I love it because the beauty of your hands frame the face and give it more structure,” Vo told Elle. “It’s also a great time to show off your manicure.”

????GLOWS???? upstate once ⚡️ #migrainepose

A post shared by Nam Vo ✨GLOW???? (@namvo) on

People with migraine criticized the “migraine pose” and Elle’s coverage of it using the hashtag #MigrainePose, saying it trivializes migraine by representing it as a fashion statement. Some also shared what a real “migraine pose” looks like when you actually have migraine.

Perhaps in response to criticism, it appears Elle changed “migraine” to “headache” in its headline, since the current version says “headache pose” while the version Vo shared on Instagram says “migraine pose.” However, headaches and migraine are two different conditions and cannot be used interchangeably.

Update: The American Migraine Foundation sent a formal letter to the editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, inviting the publication to use its reach and influence to demonstrate compassion and understanding for the millions of women around the world living with migraine, and educate its readers about the reality of the condition.

“We are hoping to use this as an opportunity to change the conversation about migraine and put an end to the stigma surrounding this disabling disease,” said David Dodick, chairman of the AMF.

The Mighty reached out to Vo for comment and has yet to hear back.