TikTok videos of men crying passionately give me life
On the cringe scale, these videos range somewhere between SRK in Zero and Dhinchak Pooja’s ‘music’
The strange sense of satisfaction I get reading about bullfighters getting gored in ‘sensitive’ places (see: crotch and/or bum) is probably only matched by watching men cry. It’s oddly gratifying. A twisted sense of humour or channelling the pent-up rage of all my female ancestors oppressed by the patriarchy – call it what you want. It’s difficult to look at but hard to look away. Like a blackhead extraction video. Or stumbling upon the Facebook group of Indian TikTok videos called ‘Boys who Cry passionately on Musically India [sic]’.
The lengths people have gone to create the perfect TikTok video are incredible. It takes blood, sweat and tears, literally. Men on average, especially Indian men, don’t express emotions openly and… enthusiastically, so it’s incredible to watch.
On some level, my ingrained classist thinking believed it was limited to my little liberal circle. We’re fine with everything, it’s the outside world that’s backwards and rigid. Safe to say that TikTok burst this bubble. Here are boys and men having complete and total meltdowns. They display a range of emotions I didn’t think existed for the Y chromosome.
On the cringe scale, the teary-eyed videos range somewhere between SRK in Zero and Dhinchak Pooja’s ‘music’. Some are your run-of-the-mill filmy scenes of boy meets girl, while others feature men tearing up during angry phone calls to sad songs. The more ambitious ones even feature fake blood, glycerin (or real) tears and massive amounts of sweat. They’re elaborate. Innovative costumes, makeup, DIY CGI and supporting actors included.
Whatever your feelings towards the platform, there’s no denying that it’s addictive and thoroughly entertaining. A breath of fresh moistened-by-tears air in the social media world where influencer culture has made everything picture perfect, alienating its users behind digital walls and leading to a sharp uptick in mental health issues like anxiety, depression and bullying.
In parts of the country where platforms like Instagram are still considered whitewashed and inaccessible, where you can only interact with people who accept you, literally and metaphorically, TikTok functions as a democracy. Of 200 million people and growing every day. It’s not pretty, clean or Pinterest cute, yet it offers an opportunity to broadcast creative expression to anyone with a decent 3G connection (so, not Vodafone).
It’s a chance at celebrity, for fans and followers while reenacting your favourite Bollywood songs or nailing your screen idol’s gut-wrenching dialogue. Almost like mini audition tapes for an industry that very few have access to.
TikTok’s a free outlet for all the boys and men taught to hold onto their emotions for the sake of masculinity. Whether they’re genuinely into fake crying or are secretly laughing along with the rest of us, there’s no denying this is one talented bunch. Shine on, you weepy diamonds.