Sia’s New Song Will Make Women Cry. And That’s the Point.

Slate's Culture Blog
June 25 2014 6:03 PM

Sia’s New Song Will Make Women Cry. And That’s the Point.

Was8729583
Big girls don't cry? Not according to Sia.

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Australian singer Sia set the bar high earlier this year with the release of “Chandelier”—which still has one of the best videos of 2014 to date—from her upcoming album 1000 Forms of Fear, and its follow-up, “Eye of the Needle,” a beautiful ballad that fell mostly under the radar. Her latest, “Big Girls Cry,” is similar to the latter song, a midtempo tune about love—but it also works simultaneously as a powerful takedown of the old saying, "big girls don't cry."

That phrase has made frequent appearances in popular culture, perhaps most notably in the 1962 Four Seasons hit of the same name. (Some millennials, though, may recognize it from Fergie’s 2006 song of the same name—or maybe even from 1992’s Big Girls Don’t Cry… They Get Even.)

Advertisement

The idea that women should keep a “tough girl” facade no matter the circumstances has been challenged before, but not quite like Sia’s “Big Girls Cry.” In it, she completely removes any shame in being emotionally honest with yourself, even when it means having a public breakdown: “I may cry ruining my makeup,” she sings confidently. “I don’t care if I don’t look pretty/ Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking.” It’s a refreshing and long-overdue perspective.

Dee Lockett is Slate's editorial assistant for culture.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.