18 Photos Of Men Crying That Challenge Gender Norms


Maud Fernhout
started her “What Real Men Cry Like” photo series just one year
into her photography career. She wanted to develop a project
that would subvert gender stereotypes. With her
“What Real Women Laugh Like” series finished, Fernhout
decided to continue the theme and set out to capture the
emotions of young men.

“The idea of laughing girls as a series then led to the thought
of having different series with different ‘real’ emotions, all
opposing the one-dimensional way women are portrayed in media,”
Fernhout, who’s based in the Netherlands, tells BuzzFeed. “But
when I thought of a counter-project based on crying, at some
point the puzzle pieces just fell together and it made a lot of
sense to do that with men instead; taking it away a bit from
media portrayal but rather towards gender stereotypes in
general (which of course are also visible in media).”

Aditya, 19

Aditya, 19

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“I used to see myself as strong
because I did not cry; now I feel weak because I cannot
cry.” – Aditya. Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9312788

“The reason that they are all about the same age, and the
reason for any possible lack of diversity in my project, is
really just my model pool,” Fernhout tells BuzzFeed. “Almost
all the people in both projects live on my campus, or otherwise
are close friends that didn’t mind traveling. I’d never
expected the project to get this big – I’m just a broke student
with a mission, whose friends and fellow students were more
than happy to join in. Though more diversity is something I
would have definitely considered had I had the
opportunity.”

Arfor, 19

Arfor, 19

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“Some people laugh, some people
cry. What’s wrong with doing what feels right?” –
Arfor Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9312848

“Some (if not all) of these guys obviously also feel these
stereotypes and could therefore have trouble crying themselves
in general, let alone in front of a camera and a relative
stranger,” Fernhout says. “So first I’d try to calm the nerves
by giving them a cup of tea and just talking with them for a
while – about the project, about whether they thought about
ways to cry, whether they had questions, etc, but also just
about school or other unrelated topics.”

Bram, 19

Bram, 19

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“Big boys do cry. I mean, we
were all born crying. Why be afraid of crying during the
rest of our lives?” – Bram Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319258

Buckminster, 19

Buckminster, 19

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“Whenever I cry, I can’t help
but smile soon afterward because it brings to awareness the
level of genuine emotion and compassion that is constantly
available to us. It’s a catharsis, a purge, a spontaneous
recognition of something deeply connected to whatever
constitutes our self-concept. It’s nothing short of
beautiful.” – Buckminster Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319274

“Every shoot was different, but general techniques to at least
get serious and emotional were listening to music, watching
videos, just sitting in silence, or talking about emotional
things in their lives,” Fernhout tells BuzzFeed. “I tried to
follow them as much as possible and just kept reassuring them
that they could take their time (since it’s obviously a lot
harder to push tears out if you’re trying to do so within the
time frame of a certain song, for example).”

Florian, 19

Florian, 19

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“I personally don’t see the
point in crying. I understand it can be a relief. But I
would rather tackle” – Florian Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319286

Franco, 19

Franco, 19

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“Crying is a human right,
whether man or woman.” – Franco Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319289

Gijs, 19

Gijs, 19

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“Crying is one of the most
beautiful emotional manifestations that we are capable of,
so do not be afraid to cry. However, do it scarcely, to
preserve its beauty.” – Gijs Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319296

Jip, 20

Jip, 20

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“Emotional crying is one of the
few things that differentiate us from animals. Ironically,
so is the urge to suppress our nature because of social
constructs.” – Jip Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319301

Job, 18

Job, 18

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“For me, crying is not showing
your weakness. When I cry, I can accept my feelings and I’m
able to continue. It makes me stronger.” – Job
Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319305

Jochem, 23

Jochem, 23

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“Showing yourself is no sign of
weakness, but one of immense power.” – Jochem
Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319307

Kevin, 19

Kevin, 19

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“Crying of laughter and
laughing of crying: These two forms of emotional expression
are so closely related that it almost scares me. As if
people need this balance between sadness and happiness to
be able to live. Each individual deals with it. The world
is filled with sadness, pain, and joy. It’s satisfying that
an outlet like crying exists to be able to move on in life.
And people should be able to experience that feeling in
their own way.” – Kevin Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319310

Louis, 19

Louis, 19

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“I don’t think crying is
anything to be ashamed of. No one should have to suppress
their emotions so that they may fit within the stereotype
assigned to them. I think it was the thought of my
statistics exam that brought me to tears in the end.” –
Louis Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319331

Maurits, 19

Maurits, 19

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“The only quote that I have
ever had on my wall is one from my favorite TV-show:
Q: ‘Does it hurt’?
A: ‘Yes, beautifully.’
This two-sentence conversation shows me that crying is not
at all a show of weakness, but rather a moment where
someone embraces their emotions, which, if anything, is a
sign of strength and should be celebrated.” –
Maurits Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319342

Milos, 20

Milos, 20

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“How water purifies the body,
tears purify the soul.” – Milos Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319349

Pavlo, 20

Pavlo, 20

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“It breaks me down, passing
through the chest, putting strain on the throat. It crushes
me, twists me, puts me on my knees! I hate it, and I’m
madly trying to return everything.
If this feeling is just an explosion of endorphin, why does
it hurt so much? Why can’t I cry?” – Pavlo
Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319354

Pieter, 18

Pieter, 18

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“If you think about it, it’s
weird that we often suppress our tears. Because it’s such a
fascinating human phenomenon.” – Pieter Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319358

Stefano, 19

Stefano, 19

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“It is magical to think how in
one tear, one single drop coming out from our eyes, a whole
world of sensations, emotions, and reasons is concentrated.
It’s almost as if one tear was really the filtered essence
of our existence…” – Stefano Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319362

Tobias, 18

Tobias, 18

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“People stereotype crying as
the only expression of sadness, disregarding other forms. I
personally have never thought that crying as a man is a
source of shame or a problem, until I did the two-hour
photoshoot where I was able to pose in a sad and serious
manner for eight minutes and was laughing the remaining
112.” – Tobias Maud
Fernhout

ID: 9319366



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