Canaries and Wonder Woman used to raise endometriosis awareness
- Credit: Niki Etheridge
A Norfolk-based makeup artist put her talents to good use with a social media-powered drive to raise awareness of common but "under-discussed" condition affecting millions of women.
Niki Etheridge, from Attleborough, set herself a face painting challenge for March, coinciding with Endometriosis Awareness Month.
Every day throughout the month she gave herself a new facial look all involving the colour yellow, using visual-led social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to catch people's attention.
Along with the photos and videos, she posted facts and myths about endometriosis to inform people about the condition.
Mrs Etheridge, who moved to Norfolk from Brighton around three years ago, said her own personal experiences had made her passionate about the subject.
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She said: "It can be genetic – my mum had it, my cousin has it and I have it. I was diagnosed about seven years ago when I had a cyst on my ovary. I went into surgery to get it removed and they found endometriosis.
"It affects you daily, and I have flare-ups most weeks. It's quite common but not many people know about it."
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Endometriosis is a long-term condition where tissue from the womb starts to grow in places like the ovaries or fallopian tubes, often causing significant pain and leading to difficulties getting pregnant.
One in 10 UK women are affected, but it can often take several years to diagnose.
Mrs Etheridge is the latest to tell her story in a bid to raise awareness, after Wymondham mum Susie Childerhouse spoke about her battle to have a baby and Chloe Kidd, from Hethersett, told of how the condition has had her doubled up in pain.
To capture attention on social media, Mrs Etheridge's interactive face painting choices have included a lemon-themed look, homages to comic book characters Bumblebee and Wonder Woman and a nod to Norwich City.
"I've been working on models for years but throughout lockdown I've been practicing on myself," she said.
"I wanted to raise awareness of the issue, by doing something I love and something which would capture people's attention.
"I've had women with teenage girls get in touch who have never heard of the condition, and lots of people asking questions about it, which was exactly what I wanted."
• To find out more about endometriosis, visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/endometriosis/.