Outraged sufferers accuse the ‘migraine pose’ trivialising diseases

The REAL migraine pose: Sufferers share photos showing the painful reality of their condition – after make-up artist says ‘touching the temples’ can make you look better in photos

  • Migraine pose trend has seen Instagram users pose with hands to their heads
  • Make-up artist Nam Vo told Elle magazine the pose lifted the skin in images
  • But real migraine sufferers have slammed the fad, calling it ‘disease shaming’
  • One critic on Twitter said chronic migraine disease has ‘taken 14 years of my life’ 

Migraine sufferers have reacted angrily to the last Instagram craze – the migraine pose, which a make-up artist claims helps people look better in photos.

The pose has been sweeping Instagram in recent weeks, and sees people – including stars – posing with their hand to their head in a ‘headache-like’ position.

Stars including Rita Ora and Kylie Jenner have shared selfies in line with the trend, which was originally given the name by celebrity make-up artist Nam Vo.

‘I love it because the beauty of your hands frame the face and give it more structure. I always make my models pose this way,’ she originally said in an interview with Elle magazine.  

However outraged migraine sufferers have slammed the term in a viral Twitter backlash, claiming it mocks those who suffer from the condition and posting their own versions of the ‘True Migraine Pose’. 

Kylie Jenner pictured doing the on-trend migraine pose created by make-up artist Nam Vo; real sufferers of migraine have slammed the Instagram craze as ‘disease shaming’

Angry social media users have slammed the ‘migraine pose’ trend, accusing the movement of trivialising the condition and sharing images of themselves mid attack

Outraged migraine sufferers have hit back at the term on Twitter, claiming it mocks those who suffer from the condition

Leading the backlash against the fad, an angry sufferer wrote: ‘There’s nothing glamorous about migraine’, sharing a photo of them mid attack.

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Celebrity make-up expert Nam Vo (pictured) came up with the term ‘Migraine pose’ – where a hand is placed on the temples to ‘lift skin’

Agreeing, another added: ‘I’ve lived with migraine for 31 years. I’ve experienced just about all of those symptoms listed in the second graphic. There is definitely nothing pretty about migraine.’

Another tweeted: ‘I want to know if you were battling a disease that is invisible to others but has ruined your life how you would feel if others were mocking it?’

Some even accused the term of ‘disease shaming’, writing: ‘What’s next…Cancer Pose? Parkinson’s Pose? Diabetes Pose? Heart Disease Pose? Lupus Pose? 

‘Disease shaming millions of people whose lives have been shattered is WRONG!’

Another wrote: ‘This is a True Migraine Pose, not glamorous, nor am I worried about my manicure. This is trivializing & stigmatizing Migraine disease. It’s a genetic neurological disease w no cure, w debilitating symptoms. [sic].’

And one user explained: ‘Millions suffer with migraine. This is a debilitating neurological disease NOT a fashion trend. You should be ashamed. Spread awareness, break the stigma.’ 


A migraine is a moderate or severe headache felt as a throbbing pain on one side

They affect around one in every five women and one in every 15 men in the UK.

Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or noise

They’re thought to be caused by temporary changes in the chemicals, nerves and blood vessels in the brain

Genetics may also play a role, as well as stress, tiredness and certain foods and drinks

There is no cure

Treatments include painkillers and anti-nausea medication

Source: NHS 

‘My disease is not your beauty trend. Way to support and lift up women’, another user wrote, sharing a picture of her battle with the condition

Another user shared the reality of the ‘migraine pose’, clutching her hand to her head as she proved that it was far from glamorous

‘Stop belittling chronic illness!’ one sufferer wrote as she posed with her head in her hands during a migraine

‘Is this glamorous? This is a debilitating neurological disease not a fashion trend’, another user wrote online

‘Break the stigma’, one user added on social media as she posed for her own ‘truemigrainepose’ selfie on Twitter

Another sufferer squinted at the light as she proved that suffering from a migraine was far from glamorous

‘This is what a true migraine pose looks like’, a woman in shaded glasses wrote as she praised the migraine community for coming together

‘Migraine’s aren’t trivial!’ another user added as she frowned unhappily at the camera for the Twitter backlash

‘Apparently ‘migraine pose’ makes models looks super hot on instagram. Here I am during an actual migraine,’ another wrote

Others pointed out that it was Migraine Awareness Month, tweeting: ‘It is Migraine Awareness Month. Please don’t trivialize this illness that is devastating for so many of us.’

‘Migraines are devastating; the stigma chronic migraineurs face daily is devastating,’ another added. 

However others admitted that they weren’t angry at the pose but pointed out that it wasn’t something to be taken lightly. 

‘I’m not really mad at the Migraine Pose thing, but please remember that a migraine isn’t a normal headache. This is the start of a Hemiplegic Migraine, looks fun doesn’t it?’ a user wrote.  

Others pointed out that it was Migraine Awareness Month, tweeting: ‘It is Migraine Awareness Month. Please don’t trivialize this illness that is devastating for so many of us.’

Taking to Instagram following the backlash, make-up artist Nam Vo wrote: ‘EDIT- Hi my Dewey Dumplings, my apologies. This wasn’t meant to be offensive or hurt anyone’s feelings. I am touched by the personal stories that you have all shared.

‘I love all my Dumplings and want you all to be happy and healthy! Its all about the LOVE.’

MailOnline has contacted Nam and Elle for comment. 

Rita Ora (pictured) seen posing with her hands to her head in what’s been dubbed the ‘migraine pose’

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