Sia: ‘Elastic Heart’ and ‘Big Girls Cry’

In Praise and Defense of Sia and Maddie

Grammy's 2015
Grammy’s 2015
Grammy's 2015 Closeup
Grammy’s 2015 Closeup

I am a huge fan of Sia and her videos. I made a blog post last year about her music video for her hit single, “Chandelier”. Since then, I’ve been an avid fan of Sia’s videos with Maddie. Maddie Ziegler is also a star on the reality TV show “Dance Moms” which I started watching after seeing how amazing dance moves in the “Chandelier” music video.

Sia’s music video for “Elastic Heart” was hit with ‘controversy’ when some narrow-minded people saw a little girl dancing with an older man and concluded that it was pedophilia. Of course, there’s no such thing as bad publicity and the views on the video sky rocketed. The comments flooded with people disgusted that it could ever be seen as pedophilia. Obviously it wasn’t. I saw nothing sexual at all in the video or the dance. Some people made the very good point that if anybody saw anything sexual in it, then THEY were the problem.

I saw the video as pure art. Maddie and Shia were absolutely enthralling together. They told the story of a battle between two selves: the capricious, childish, ‘free’, wild self and the grounded, adult, ‘restrained’, mindful self. The childish self teases the more adult self and it ends with the adult self being stuck in the mental ‘cage’ of inhibition while the childish self can escape the ‘cage’ and be free. It was deeply emotional and one of the most profound music videos I have ever seen. Utterly beautiful.

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Sia’s music video for “Big Girls Cry” took a drastic turn from her last two videos in that there was no dancing involved. Instead, Maddie delivered a heartfelt performance using just her face and her hands. It was breathtaking for me to watch the raw emotion pour out of her. My interpretation of it is that it tells a story of a young girl who wants so badly to say how she really feels inside but is kept muffled by society and has to restrain herself from spilling her feelings out. She masks herself using make up and tries to pretend like everything is okay. However, its killing her on the inside to not let her emotions out and eventually she bursts. I never cease to be amazed by Maddie’s talent and the video always moves me tears. Powerfully touching.

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I think that Maddie Ziegler coupled with Sia makes for a sizzling, electric pair. Sia’s masterful language and searing vocals combined with Maddie’s enrapturing talent and brilliant moves produce top class music videos. Their videos are a passionate trilogy. I’ll be sure to follow Maddie on Dance Moms and continue watching Sia’s videos.

And to anyone who has a problem with their videos: “Art is meant to disturb the comforted and comfort the disturbed.”