“Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There’s no crying! THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!”
So goes the infamous line from A League of Their Own (1992), but there is something very wrong with this statement: shaming crying.
In her article titled “The Stigma of Being an Emotional Woman,” Joyce DuBoise writes, “Growing up I never cried in front of anyone. In fact, I still find it difficult to show someone my tears. I have always viewed it as a sign of weakness, I guess.”
Why is there such a stigma attached to the act of crying? A mere drop of a tear warrants the concept of being perceived by others as “weak.”
According to an article in Psychology Today, “Popular culture often portrays emotionally strong people as quiet, stoic types who never complain and whose emotional expression during crises is limited to jaw-squaring, fist-clenching, and silent dramatic stares into the horizon.”
The article goes on to say that we cannot confuse emotional strength with one instance of an emotional response at one specific point in time. Emotional strength, thereby, comes from what an individual does after an emotionally stressing or trying situation, not what they do during. “Many of us judge ourselves incorrectly…If we react emotionally or tearfully to challenging situations, we chastise ourselves for being ‘weak,’ even though we intend to persist and move forward, or even when we believe we will eventually succeed.”
If you are stressed and you cry, you are far from weak. You are strong because you pick yourself back up again, and you are even stronger for bravely showing your emotions in a world that has such awful stigmas attached to them.
Repressing your emotions due to a need/want to conform to impossible societal standards can negatively impact your health. An article from The Atlantic titled “How to Get Better at Expressing Emotions” stated, “Some studies have linked the repression of negative emotions to increased stress…And in a study of people who lived to be 100 years old, emotional expression was found to be a common trait…”
Society already negatively impacts you by controlling how you want your appearance to be- whether it is through beauty standards or body image –and just as it is a time to put an end to what it says about your appearance, it is also time to put an end to what society says about your emotions. We should not have to hide our emotions; there is nothing wrong with having emotions or expressing them in a healthy and safe manner. It is time we remember that emotions are what make us unique individuals, just like our actions.
Instead of clamping down and repressing our emotions, we should let them run free. They are beautiful, and after all, they are what makes you, you.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter