Today I woke up to a couple people in my inbox asking me if PCOS makes me grow a beard because of a recent post they’d seen on social media. It made to stop to thing… who is the face of PCOS?
REcent Media Attention
I want to start this post by saying that I absolutely love all the media attention that PCOS has been receiving lately. BlackDoctor released an interview with Chrisette Michele, the popular R&B singer, about her PCOS, NecoleBitchie published an article about Harnaam Kaur, a runway model, and her decision to allow her facial hair to grow into a full beard, and TLC has the TV show, My Big Fat Fabulous life, which chronicles the experiences of Whitney Thor, a woman with PCOS.
Shouts out to all these media platforms for putting POCS on the map and raising PCOS awareness. I love that discussions are being forced right now. I’m talking to people about PCOS in a way that I never would have before. I’m educating and and raising awareness on a daily basis. I’ve seriously had so many teaching moments that I could share my knowledge with others recently. Media attention is taking PCOS out of our locked bathroom doors and onto our timelines and televisions.
The face of PCOS
With all of this media attention, I have to stop and think that as PCOS receives more media attention the face of PCOS is being painted to the public. We are treading in shallow waters here (is that the saying?). There are many women that suffer from PCOS and not all of our stories are the same. We don’t all rock full beards, we don’t all have our ovaries removed, and not all cysters gain 200lbs. PCOS is a mean little bitch that effects us all in so many different ways. It is so important to paint a clear picture of the different challenges that women face because of PCOS. It is also important to highlight the women taking matters into their own hands and taking control of their bodies.
Remember when it was public opinion that gay men were the faces of HIV? It just wasn’t true and it was unfair to gay men and others that were suffering from HIV. At one point, people thought that having unprotected sex and sharing drug needles were the only ways that someone could contract HIV. Now we know the stories of breast milk and blood transplant infections. What I’m saying is that people had to share their story with HIV in order for the public to truly understand. Once they did, clear pictures of all different types of people with HIV were painted.
We have to take control of the media attention that is surrounding PCOS and we have to share our stories and paint our own pictures. For so long, PCOS has just been ours. We’ve hidden it and only discussed it in closed forums on the faceless internet. Those day’s are over, cysters. Like I said before, PCOS is being taken out of our locked bathroom doors and placed on our timelines and televisions. Lets make sure we keep control of our disorder and how it is presented to the public.
We are THE FACE of PCOS
I want to highlight photographs of all different types of women with PCOS. I’m asking that all of you send me photographs of yourself (selfies, full bodies, active photos, photos with your children, photos with your pets, curvy women, lean women, same sex couples, black women, white women, asian women, tall women, short women, older women, younger women, I want everything!) so that I can post them and share with the world. Email: Chris@HelloPCOS.com
PCOS Awareness is great. Women that are strong enough to share their stories is even greater. It’s up to us to make sure that a clear picture of the face of PCOS is painted. Not every woman is at the point in her life that she can handle the text messages that I received this morning. I can only imagine what type of turmoil a woman struggling with self-esteem, depression, anxiety, social anxiety, or confidence in her femininity would have experienced if she had multiple people coming up to her and asking her personal questions about her PCOS. Please remember to share my post, Explaining PCOS to Family and Friends, so that women can be prepared for these conversations.
So what do you think?
How you do feel about the recent media attention? How do you handle people coming up and asking you about your PCOS?
Please, please, please send me your photographs for the campaign to Chris@HelloPCOS.com
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