An Artistic Crisis

Sia Furler, but simply known as Sia, is an Australian musical artist who’s been making music since 1996. She’s has won 15 different awards for her music and has written hit songs for Rihanna, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, and many others. But as of late, she’s been coming under scrutiny because of the music video’s she’s been releasing for her album “1000 Forms of Fear.” The artistic views are being labeled as something that they’re not.

The first music video she made was for her song “Chandelier” and it featured Maddie Ziegler, a 12-year-old dancer who stared in Lifetime’s TV show “Dance Moms”. In the music video, it has Ziegler dancing around in a run down house wearing a blonde wig and a skin colored leotard. Now the first thing that people started criticizing was the skin colored leotard. Do to the clothing being flesh toned, some people thought the she was dancing around naked at first. That pedophiles from around the world would be saving this video to their computers. Others saying that the parents should have never let their kid do this. Lisa Suhay wrote about this on her blog titled “Maddie Ziegler in Sia Video: Right choice for an 11-year-old?” on csmonitor.com writing

“Wallace has taught dance for 30 years and both her children, now ages 17 and 22, have made dance and theater their professions. “Maddie is a role model for the girls I teach,” Wallace adds. “It’s a shame her mother isn’t teaching Maddie to think like a role model because that kind of thinking will get her farther and help her avoid the transition problems other talented young girls like Miley Cyrus had.”

Suhay also states “The song ‘Chandelier’ is Sia’s poignant cry for help.” as she sings about forgetting her problems through alcohol.

The bashing gets some added heat when Sia released her second video for “Elastic Heart” which had Ziegler in the same outfit, but with the addition of Shia LaBeouf in skin colored dance shorts playfully fighting with her in a huge birdcage. This actually had Sia apologizing on her twitter account to anyone who felt offended by the video. She wrote “I anticipated some ‘pedophelia!!!’ Cries for this video. All I can say is Maddie and Shia are two of the only actors I felt could play” I believe that people tend to complain about things just for the sake of complaining. Like how musical artist “Earl Sweatshirt” wrote on his twitter about Taylor Swift’s music video “Shake It Off” saying “haven’t watched the taylor swift video and I don’t need to watch it to tell you that it’s inherently offensive and ultimately harmful” and continued with “perpetuating black stereotypes to the same demographic of white girls who hide their prejudice by proclaiming their love of the culture”. How can you judge a video for being racist when you state that you haven’t even watched said video?

This entire situation is a prime example of the reinforcement theory. You have an artist doing something that she loves to do but people take it for something else. They were taught, whether it be friends, family, religion, that what they watched is something bad. The site “csmonitor.com” stands for “The Christian Science Monitor”. So Suhay’s reaction and response is influenced by outside sources. And the main reason for her reviewing this video is because her son Quin was watching it saying “I opted not to let Quin watch Maddie’s video because I know the song lyrics and overall message of the video would open a can of worms so big that we would fish for a week for answers to his questions.”

The one thing I’m afraid of is artists holding back there artist views because of them possibly offending a group of people. People commented saying Sia could have easily done the  video having Maddie dressed in a black leotard, in a not so run down house. But that’s not how Sia saw her music video. People need to have an open mind to things and judge things for themselves and not have others judge things for them.

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