Why You Look Ugly When You Cry

Whenever you see someone crying, you probably notice that the person looks less attractive than normal. Why do we look ugly when we cry? Join Laci as she explains what's happening in your body when you tear up!

It's a fairly popular assumption that men and women express their emotions differently and this is especially true when it comes to crying. Research shows major gaps in how often men and women cry. A recent study found women cry 47 times per year while men, on average, reported only crying 7 times per year.

Where does this disparity come from? Well, societal pressures and cultural norms are likely at play here. American culture, for instance, has a long history of encouraging men to release their anger and emotions through physical aggression. Women, on the other hand, tend to be stereotyped as overly emotional and criticized for crying too much.

Still, why the ugly cry face? When we cry, our lacrimal glands have to produce tear fluid, a process supported by increased blood flow to our eyes. That's why your eyes get bloodshot and your pupils dilate. Our eyes also tend to puff up when we cry. The salt in tears leads to water retention and swelling around our eyes. More blood is also flowing to the whole facial region, causing a strained, red, puffy face-the same physiological reaction that comes with the "Fight or Flight" instinct.

Do you have an especially good and ugly cry face? Tell us (or even show us?) in the comments below.

Read More:
Why do my eyes get puffy and red after crying? (via United Academics)
"We all enjoy a good cry every now and then. Statistically, women tear up at least 47 times a year, while men tear up about seven times annually."

This Is Why You're Ugly When You Cry (via io9)
"Do you feel horrible? Well, if you felt wretched enough to cry, you probably look horrible, too. Here is why tears, especially emotional tears, come along with puffy red eyes and a puffy red face."

Why Your Eyes Get Puffy When You Cry (via Indiana Public Media)
"When your eyes water, the tears that you see are the very same ones that keep our eyes moist and comfortable, and wash out bits of dust and debris. Those basic tear secretions are produced in the conjunctiva, the membrane that coats the entire surface of the eye."

Watch More:
In Defense of a Good Cry
What Ancient Wine Tasted Like
Why Do We Blush?

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