Please Sia, don't show us your face - world stories


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Please Sia, don't show us your face

Why do we need to know what Australian singing sensation Sia really looks like under that blonde mop? Sometimes, ignorance is more than just bliss

Please Sia, don’t show us your face.
It’s not because I don’t want to see Sia’s face that I make this impolite request. It’s just that I’d prefer to enjoy Sia’s music uninhibited by how sexy she is or isn’t, by how beautiful she may or may not be, by whether she has a big nose or thin lips. I don’t need to know any of this to be totally captivated by her voice, to get goosebumps watching her videos, to cry again and again while listening to Chandelier.
Sia – who since her meteoric rise to fame hasn’t shown her face in public – has been on Ellen wearing the trademark blonde wig that covers most of her face. The marketing geniuses behind the show have released a clip ahead of the episode being aired that shows Ellen asking Sia to remove it.

 Would you please, when you’re performing, take your wig off and let people see you because you’re beautiful and I want people to see what you look like.”
But what if Sia wasn’t beautiful, Ellen, would you still encourage her to show her face in front of the world? Would you still be her friend?
I love Ellen. In fact, up to now, I actually thought it impossible for Ellen to do anything wrong, ever. But when I saw this clip I was furious. Why should Sia be pressured to show her face when she performs? Why should she have to show all of herself in order to be accepted? Why should she have to subject herself to all the ridicule and judgment that every woman in the public eye – and even those who aren’t – has to deal with?
Has Ellen ever demanded that Daft Punk reveal their faces “because they’re beautiful?” I haven’t checked but I don’t think I need to.
I have admired Sia’s determination to save something of herself from us. Of course, she has shown her face: before she shot to global stardom, she was already a successful musician, and has written many hit songs for other global stars including Beyonce, Rhianna and Britney Spears. It’s easy enough to find full frontal photos of her face with a quick internet search.
But I’ve never looked myself because Sia’s explanation is enough for me, which she outlined in a column for Billboard:
If anyone besides famous people knew what it was like to be a famous person, they would never want to be famous. Imagine the stereotypical highly opinionated, completely uninformed mother-in-law character and apply it to every teenager with a computer in the entire world. Then add in all bored people, as well as people whose job it is to report on celebrities. Then, picture that creature, that force, criticizing you for an hour straight once a day, every day, day after day.
I’ve always interpreted her decision, in the face of global superstardom, not to show her face as a device to train attention on her music rather than her looks. And for me, it has worked.

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