That hot feeling behind your eyes, prickling in your throat and you know in about two seconds your face is going to turn a blotchy and mottled red. You are watching a McDonalds commercial for fucks sake.
I am self admittedly a bit of a crybaby. When I’m happy, giddy, angry, sad, tired, frustrated, I get that tell-tale blurry vision. As a young woman this is impossibly annoying. My trigger-happy tear ducts have been the bane of my existence. I cry easily, perhaps because I feel intensely. Hence the sobbing into my oversized jumper sleeve, a few weeks ago when I stupidly decided to watch YouTube playlist ‘Most Emotional Commercials Ever’. For the record I held out through the animal shelter and children’s hospital adverts, but broke when the Taiwanese man accepted his gay son over a pair of McCafé iced lattes. Waterworks, I tell you.
The overwhelming frustration of women who cry easily is the automatic assumption that you’re a silly girl, that these are crocodile tears, designed to twist people with your ‘womanly wiles’, or that you’re on your period. Newsflash Brad: women don’t menstruate constantly, and I am not a Hollywood trained actress capable of crying on demand. This is why I loathe crying in public. By far the worst situation is Crying While Angry, because although you know that your watering eyes are a physical reaction to pure burning rage, others don’t. You feel like you perpetuate the stereotypes of emotional women, the same ones that fuel sexist opinions that women are incapable of holding public office, being a CEO, or commanding in the military.
What is wrong with feeling deeply? The word ‘irrational’ is thrown around to discredit perfectly capable women for the simple fact that they acknowledge their emotions. Is there anything less rational, than closing oneself off from the world? Than refusing to recognize the chemical reactions dopamine, serotonin and norephedrine produce in the brain? We feel. We laugh, smile, rage and cry. While my crybaby tendencies drive me mad, I find apathy a far more terrifying idea.
Tears are a release. Emotion filling up inside of you, cresting like a wave and then breaking. Am I passionate to the point of fault? Perhaps. But there’s a certain beauty, not in aesthetics (I am not an attractive crier, refer to the aforementioned red and blotchy face), but in substance. A piece of music that carries you away, a book that resonates down to your bones, the sense of homecoming, an embrace that anchors you back to the here and now. Or you know, just popping on The Notebook for a good chocolate-accompanied crying session.