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So what did it mean when Gazza blubbed in front of the entire world? It was a truly iconic moment the papers threw copious amounts of ink at. The ensuing introspection might even have contributed towards a seismic shift in predetermined notions of masculinity, male vulnerability and even mental health. Were this man's extremely public tears an early indication of a borderline personality the media and public would soon learn was wracked with demons of self-doubt and addiction? Someone in desperate need of support and understanding? Was it simply the cathartic result of a monumental weight of expectation, pressure, determination and ultimately disappointment? A physically natural phenomena not solely reserved for women, babies and X-factor contestants, but even the occasional bloke??? …. Fuck that; the referee was a wanker, there were too many hot dog stands frying onions in the stadium that night and it's football, so shut up.

Surely not?! Ian Beale famously (at least as far as online memes are concerned) broke down completely on Eastenders in front of / on Phil (the half-man, halfscotch-egg symbol of peak masculinity), and it was pretty horrible to witness. Well, whilst Beale may be the poster-boy for what not to do in life, even a broken clock is right twice a day, however shit the broken clock's hair and whiny its voice. Indeed experts with far more scientifically grounded data than the proverb “A problem shared....” agree that offloading our emotions, sometimes through tears, is definitely good for us.

Media portrayals of “manliness” have great agency in our perception of what emotions we should show in the real world. If Dirty Harry's gun hand shook when he blew away some punks, we might have stopped to ask whether blowing punks away was always the best course of action. If Gordon Ramsay stopped effing and jeffing for just a minute, we might glimpse a vulnerable soul who's messed up his hollandaise and is terrified you'll notice. And if Arnie's big, massive muscles had stopped firing bazookas long enough for us to seriously question his woeful line delivery in the 80's... we might have seriously questioned his woeful line delivery in the 80's.... and then not made him Governor of California.

There are in fact three types of eyeleaks. Though the first two are involuntary – Basal defend against dryness, Reflex against onions and tear gas (or a typical night out in Lewisham) - Psychic are emotionally produced. Powerful feelings of anger, sorrow, anxiety or even love can elicit them, alongside good old fashioned physical pain. The brain's limbic system, which supports and drives a variety of functions including emotion and behaviour also has a degree of control (via the hypothalamus) over the autonomic system. The parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system controls the lacrimal glands which actually produce the tears via the nicotinic and muscarinic receptors. This is done through the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which..... right, this doesn't matter. Just next time you feel a little misty-eyed in public, blame your very human brain instead

The notion of unflinching male dominance, stemming from superior physical strength and aggression might be the reason you don't need to look left and right for mammoths when crossing the street these days but it's also culpable for centuries of bad behaviour, a whole lot of MeToo hashtags and a male suicide rate roughly three times higher than in women. Research conducted by mental health charity Mind reveals that in contrast to the majority of their female counterparts, 80% of men aged 18-34 keep schtum and put on a “brave” face when troubled. Internalising fear, sadness and anxiety is a recipe for deepening emotional isolation - nobody kills themselves without ultimately feeling very alone. But what's the alternative, guys? Like, erm, talking about our feelings and... and.. and doing crying????” (Once you're more comfortable with the concept, you can just call it “crying”)


of some imaginary dust speck and in the ensuing conversation, you might just find yourself feeling better. Even if your confidante (raised as they might be on a diet of Chuck Norris) is not particularly sympathetic, the very brain you just grassed on will tell your tear glands to secrete the natural painkiller leucine enkephalin to help regulate your emotions from going full-Beale. The cathartic, healing effect of crying is therefore not purely social, but biological too. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot to be said for stoicism, poise and grit. I'm not advocating a world where every social interaction involves the sound of violins and dudes turn to puddles on the ground each time they're asked how work's going, but a little less stigma around occasional male tears could make the world a safer, less threatening place for men and women alike.... what's more, once those X Factor contestants can't just cry to stand out from the pack, maybe they'll piss off altogether. Ian Greenland is a photographer and writer. He is also a man who, though he has no issue with it, has not personally ever cried.... ...except at the birth of his son.... and when he was hungover and saw an elderly man drop his drink right before an elderly lady tripped and bumped her head..... …..and during Masterchef, when Ping said she just wanted to make her family proud.....


Society Marbella October 2018 - Lady Gaga  

Society Marbella is the most avidly read monthly magazine on the Costa del Sol. It is not just read as a lifestyle magazine: it is used as a...

Society Marbella October 2018 - Lady Gaga  

Society Marbella is the most avidly read monthly magazine on the Costa del Sol. It is not just read as a lifestyle magazine: it is used as a...