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.

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.)


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.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

iOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 12:02 PM Here It Is: The Flimsiest Campaign Attack Ad of 2014, Which Won’t Stop Running
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 17 2014 1:46 PM A Salute to Defiant Scots on the Eve of Their Possible Secession
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 1:26 PM Hey CBS, Rihanna Is Exactly Who I Want to See on My TV Before NFL Football Games
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 1:01 PM A Rare, Very Unusual Interview With Michael Jackson, Animated
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 12:35 PM IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.