Reimagining Masculinity & What We Can Learn From Pharrell’s Tears on Oprah

Watching this video of Pharrell brings up a lot of different thoughts for me. The first, is that it flies in the face of this notion that men aren’t supposed to cry, and definitely, men aren’t supposed to cry in public. I imagine all of the little boys that are told to “suck it up,” and “stop crying.” I think back on my childhood, and the many instances that boys were told that crying “was for sissies” and that they were somehow NOT men because of their tears.  Even Pharrell questions himself “What am I doing, crying on Oprah?”

Then, on another level, I see a man, so moved by the impact of his passion that he can’t help BUT cry. We’ve all had those moments, where miraculous things happen. When something beyond our wildest dreams becomes tangible. When we reach the peak and see how far we’ve climbed, or we reach the valley and and gain perspective. As I watch the video, and see Pharrell taking in the magnitude of those who’ve “taken ownership” of the song AROUND THE GLOBE, I see him overwhelmed with joy.

Oprah nails it when she says “it’s being used for something greater than yourself.” Pharrell responds with “it’s overwhelming, because I love what I do… ” and then he talks about the people who have believed in him from this point. Williams FIRST single, was writing on a 1992 hit called “Rump Shaker.” While the Neptunes have made numerous hits, I would definitely say that 2014 is Pharrell’s year, with “Happy” making him a pop phenomenon, being featured on the cover of Fast Company and winning 4 Grammy Awards. It’s been 22 years since he released that first single.

“I so now get why it’s so infectious, because it came from such a clear space that the energy was absolutely so uninterrupted by anything other than allowing it to flow from heart to heart.” No matter what we do, how many times does the energy get interrupted by our fears, by our shame, by our expectations? How much of our work comes from a murky, muddy or cloudy space? What do we need to do, to make sure that our work – whatever it is, flows from heart to heart? I’d like to thank Pharrell (and his tears) for that little reminder, and I wish him continued success because it is clear that music is both his passion and his purpose…

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3 Comments

Filed under Inspiration

3 responses to “Reimagining Masculinity & What We Can Learn From Pharrell’s Tears on Oprah

  1. Great post Donnie. Heck he had me crying LOL And it was so good to see how much it moved him, because it truly is a great song that lifts people’s spirits up. Men who are not afraid of their emotions and don’t try to mask them are the definition of masculinity to me for sure.

  2. I couldn’t help but cry along with Pharrell watching this. Just imagining seeing your vision come alive and the entire world uniting from it is indescribable. In my opinion this puts him up there with Michael Jackson. I’ve been following Pharrells career since I was a kid. With him having 22 years in the industry (and me being 22 myself) I’ve gotta say I’m very proud of him!

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