Online Community Connects Women with Chronic Illnesses
New online platform Superbloom provides a space for women with chronic illnesses to connect, give advice, and share their stories. Launched in October, it reflects the wider social shift towards recognising and challenging the misconceptions and taboos surrounding female pain – as we explore in What Women Want.
Users create a profile on the US-based website, detailing their experiences and health journeys. Once signed up, they can search for guidance and support within the Superbloom community, searching by symptom, diagnosis or treatment. They can also browse forums, ask questions and chat with individuals facing similar challenges within a safe space.
The platform also offers a line of merchandise, including T-shirts featuring slogans such as ‘Cooling Down My Flare-Up’, ‘But You Don’t Look Sick’ and ‘So Tired of Being So Tired’ to empower women to share their illnesses – and the frustrations that come with them. In the US, 20% of women aged 18-64 have two or more chronic illnesses (Commonwealth Fund, 2018).
Superbloom’s launch reflects a broader attitudinal change, which challenges the stigma and gendered bias that often come with women’s health conditions. Invisible Women by Caroline Criado-Perez and Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick by Maya Dusenbery – both published in 2019 – describe the work that needs to done to bust the taboos of female pain, and create more equitable healthcare systems.
Empowering Future Patients details how today's emboldened health consumers (particularly younger women) are seeking stronger support with and validation of their experiences. For more on brands destigmatising women’s health, see The Brief. You can find our latest reporting on healthcare here.