Justin Bieber films himself crying on Instagram: why do stars indulge in “crying selfies”?

Justin Bieber films himself crying on Instagram: why do stars indulge in “crying selfies”?

A few days ago, Justin Bieber posted photos on Instagram that show him with tears in his eyes. He is not the only one. Anonymous and celebrities are succumbing to this new trend, where we show ourselves on social networks when we are not doing well too. How to explain this phenomenon ? TipsForWomens interviewed psychologist Amélie Boukhobza.

Justin Bieber, but before him Bella Hadid or even the singer Adele: stars no longer hesitate to appear with swollen eyes or faces bathed in tears, in tears on their social networks. A new trend adopted also by the most famous TikTokers but also by anonymous ones, in a quest for sincerity towards their subscribers. But is it really selfless?

A cry for help or a search for empathy

According to psychologist Amélie Boukhobza, the question deserves to be asked. “I noticed this new trend of selfies showing emotions – tears or sadness – on social media, and maybe that's a good thing.” she states first of all.

Should this be seen from the angle of 'performative vulnerability'? This would mean that individuals choose to show themselves in moments of weakness or emotional pain, in order to share their reality more authentically, to break the stereotype of constant perfection or the illusion of a perfect life – particularly on social networks – or to raise awareness of issues of Mental Health ? I dare to hope that yes” relates the expert. A way of calling out to their community, like a cry for help or a search for support and empathy, in a way.

No longer wanting to only show perfection

This trend would also illustrate a turning point in Instagram publications, which would follow a new trend which would like us to show ourselves in a less ideal, less perfect light than what the platform is used to conveying.

It's a way of agreeing to show less idealized aspects of life.” explains the psychologist again. “The taboo of always having to present yourself in your best light is indeed changing. People, including celebrities, are increasingly showing off their 'not so good moments', paving the way for more open and honest discussions about mental health and emotional wellbeing. This could help destigmatize mental struggles and encourage others to speak openly about their own experiences“.

A trend that has its limits and its faults

Unfortunately, this tendency could also hide a search for attention that is not necessarily sincere, but which could turn into business, which we call “sadfishing” or “sad fishing”.

In the hyperconnected world of social media, where attention is a valuable currency, some people may use vulnerability as a tool to generate buzz and attract even more attention. denounces the expert at the same time. This is illustrated by the example of Krys Jenner who published a photo on Instagram in 2019, talking about Kendall Jenner, her “courageous” daughter who was going to reveal a “heavy secret”. There was general panic among the model's fans, before learning that this secret was ultimately an acne problem, Kendall Jenner taking advantage of this bad “buzz” to promote a product against pimples, via a sponsored post.

“Sadfishing” is therefore a way of using your subscribers by capitalizing on suffering, in order to manipulate their emotions and strengthen their commitment to generate commercial gains. Amélie Boukhobza therefore recalls that discernment is essential, for “distinguish authentic shares, which aim to normalize discussions around mental health and offer support from those which may seem exploited for personal marketing or branding purposes, because the line between authenticity and showmanship can sometimes be very blurred on social platforms.