He’s shed tears of happiness while hugging many a trophy but today he cried when announcing plans to retire soon from competitive tennis due to an ongoing hip injury.
This is monstrously bad news – both for him and fans of the game in general.
But the fact he cried on the telly again, so in front of millions of people, is brilliant and it’ll certainly gain him a few more female admirers (sorry, Kim).
Masculinity in 2019, however, is a tricky business. There’s no longer a straightforward accepted model of "manliness".
Men are being told they need to be more open emotionally, yet are simultaneously ordered to shut-up by entrenched cultural associations that still expect them to "man up" and "grow some balls".
It’s a minefield as Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist Claire Luchford explains.
“The expectation that men shouldn’t show their emotions is still very much a problem,” Claire says.
“If you’re not ‘allowed’ to show emotion, you shut off and don’t even acknowledge to yourself how you’re feeling.
"It then gets internalised which has a big impact on your mental and physical health, or externalised where you find yourself lashing out without explanation.”
Mental health charity Mind found that four in five 18-34-year-old men would rather pretend everything’s top-drawer than admit they’re anxious about anything.
The study also found that a fifth of men felt showing their emotions was a sign of weakness, and that they’re half as likely as women to chat to their mates about problems.
All of which goes to show why men crying in public is a good thing and why famous folk leading the way is so positive.
“It’s brilliant,” Claire says, “because we often look up to public figures in modelling how to be so showing emotion and being okay with vulnerability is a positive lesson in breaking down the ‘boys don’t cry’ attitude.”
And this is the thing – men who show strong emotions show that they’re dealing with their s**t.
That they’re in touch with what’s happening in their heads.
That they’re not pretending they don’t have hopes and dreams and aspirations that can be both realised (cue tears of happiness and relief) or thwarted (cue tears of frustration and sadness).
And, I don’t know about you, but I think that’s HOT.
It shows a strength that’s far more powerful than whatever number of KG they can bench-press in the gym.
And hopefully attitudes are changing.
When Mark Wright cried with relief after being saved from elimination on Dancing on Ice in 2014, he was actually mocked for it by emotionally repressed men and women on social media.
Did they mock female dancers for doing the same? No.
However, when Chris Hughes burst into tears three years later on 2017’s Love Island while looking after a toy baby, the response was overwhelmingly positive, with women across the land collectively staring at his ripped chest while holding their throbbing ovaries.
In a survey by Elite Singles only five per cent of women answered "no" to the question "do you think women prefer men who are open with their emotions?" while one in six men believed women find emotional men less attractive.
Well, it simply isn’t true.
“I think most people would want to be in a relationship where you can be honest about your emotions and for someone to say, ‘I hear you’,” Claire says.
“Women are generally much more comfortable with this and are starting to expect it from a partner, but we have to support men in having these discussions in the first place.
If our idols are doing it then hopefully this can only be a good thing for the future.”
So, prepare to release the tear ducts, dudes. It’s time.
Jo Usmar is a journalist and the author of eight wellbeing books, www.jousmar.com
Earlier this week, we told you the three steps to check your balls for testicular cancer – after Chris Hughes reveals brother’s battle.
We also revealed Friends fans freak out after realising Rachel Green’s daughter Emma is 18 next year.
And we showed you how to help your friends and family if they are suffering from anxiety.
Source: Read Full Article