Chances are, you’ve seen it before. Someone wearing a mask, with tears streaming down their face, as if they’re in the midst of an emotional meltdown. But why? What does this meme mean and where did it come from? Let’s examine the crying behind mask meme and its significance to our current social climate.
The “crying behind a mask” meme has been around for over a decade, but it wasn’t until 2020 that it took on new meaning in light of the pandemic. This is especially true since masks have become mandatory for many public places and social settings due to COVID-19 health concerns. As such, these images have become more poignant in recent months because everyone is dealing with a new set of challenges when it comes to how we express ourselves emotionally while still keeping ourselves safe and healthy.
At its core, this meme speaks to something we can all relate to—the feeling of being overwhelmed and not sure how to express your emotions without making yourself vulnerable or putting yourself at risk. It also serves as a reminder that no matter what you are feeling, there are others out there who understand what you’re going through and can sympathize with your plight. It gives us permission to feel what we want without having to put on a brave face or bottle up our feelings just because other people may not approve.
While the crying behind a mask meme is widely used as an expression of vulnerability and understanding, many people have also commented on its potential uses for humor or sarcasm. By depicting someone crying behind a mask, even if they’re not actually sad or emotional about anything in particular, some people use this image as an outlet for comedic relief from difficult situations or conversations. This can be especially helpful in uncomfortable scenarios where emotions are running high but appropriate expressions of emotion may be limited by circumstance or etiquette.
The crying behind mask meme is one way that we can express our emotions during trying times like these—even if those emotions don’t always match up with what’s actually happening around us. It reminds us that we’re not alone in our struggles and allows us to find solace in knowing that others out there understand how we feel even when we may not be able to express it openly due to circumstances beyond our control. Whether you’re using this meme as an expression of your true feelings or just looking for a humorous way out of an awkward situation, know that it has become an important part of our cultural lexicon during these unprecedented times—and will likely remain so long after the pandemic has ended.