For international Men’s Day, I thought I would mark the occasion by posting a few of my favourite photos from a series, Men Crying, by acclaimed film maker and photographer, Sam Taylor-Johnson.
From 2002 to 2004, after Sam had battled breast cancer, as an ‘exorcism of tears‘ she photographed actors crying, a mix of old Hollywood actors as well as young up and coming actors at the time. It was a revealing look at some actors you may not have seen cry on screen and raises questions about how masculine vulnerability is portrayed on screen, as well as how society has drummed it into men not to cry.
When I first saw the series, the most striking image to me was Michael Madsen’s. I had always known him as the tough guy, the heavy, so it was different to see him more vulnerable, even more so with his fingers splinted.
International Men’s Health Day raises awareness of issues that men face, focusing on male awareness and improving attitudes towards mental health as suicide is the largest cause of death for men under 45. Campaigns spread awareness of testicular, prostate and breast cancer as well as highlighting positive role models.
As time goes on, I hope men will find it easier to talk about their feelings, open up with their concerns about their own health and get the help they need.
Here are some links for more information, services and helplines.
The Calm Zone – Campaign Against Living Miserably
The Samaritans – Small Talk Saves Lives
Prostate Cancer UK – Stop Prostate Cancer Being A Killer
Testicular Cancer Research UK – Let’s Beat Cancer Sooner
Images sourced from Sam Taylor-Johnson’s website.