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James Blake responds to his “problematic” sad boy label

Upon releasing his latest single Don’t Miss It last week, London-based singer-songwriter James Blake was met with many people labelling him a ‘sad boy’.

Now, Blake has shared a lengthy statement on Twitter expressing his frustrations with the label, and why it’s “unhealthy.”

“It is only ever a good thing to talk about what is on your mind”: Following the release of his latest single, James Blake has spoken out about his ‘sad boy’ label.

I’ve always found that expression to be unhealthy and problematic when used to describe men just openly talking about their feelings,” Blake says of the ‘sad boy’ term.

The full statement was accompanied by a tweet that reads: “Please read. I’ve wanted to say this for a long time, and now seemed as good a time as any.”

Read the full statement below:

“I’m overwhelmed by the lovely response to Don’t Miss It today.

But I can’t help but notice, as I do whenever I talk about my feelings in a song, that the words “sad boy” are used to describe it.

I’ve always found that expression to be unhealthy and problematic when used to describe men just openly talking about their feelings. To label it at all, when we don’t ever question women discussing the things they are struggling with, contributes to the ever disastrous historical stigmatisation of men expressing themselves emotionally.

We are already in an epidemic of male depression and suicide. We don’t need any further proof that we have hurt men with our questioning of their need to be vulnerable and open.

It is only ever a good thing to talk about what is on your mind.

Please don’t allow people who fear their own feelings to ever subliminally shame you out of getting anything off your chest, or identifying with music that helps you. There is no great victory in machismo and bravado in the end. The road to mental health and happiness, which I feel so passionately about, is paved with honesty.

Sorry for this “sad boy” letter, but I’ve seen enough friends drown in this, and almost drowned in it myself because I bottled everything up, afraid of being seen as weak or soft. I now see the great strength, and benefit for those around you in actually opening up.”

 

Via SPIN.