Transforming from the tortured tones of Breathe Me, all the way to empowering anthems such as Titanium, nobody has done a greater 360 than artist and songwriter, Sia. After years in the public eye, Sia suffered from the pressures of constant exposure. The limelight had taken away her control, leaving her open to media and public exploitation. So, rather than forfeiting the fame game entirely, Sia, much like other artists such as Madonna and Lady Gaga, cultivated a trademark look. The famous blonde wig. Since 2013, the artist has not shown her face in public, yet still managed to soar to the top of the charts with her record hit Chandelier.
Do not mistake this post for a Sia biography. I just find her approach to control original, and quite relatable. Whilst she has been accused of hiding, or having an extreme case of stage fright, the wig acts as a curtain between exploitation and self-preservation. Only she can decide how she is portrayed, rather than leaving it open to critiques of the masses. Therefore, when less is known about you, there is little ammunition that can be used against you. And you know what, this method works.
Generation Y perplexes me with its excessive over-sharing. Whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion it makes people vulnerable. By putting yourselves out there, you’re giving the world the option to criticise you. That said other methods have proven effective.
This woman is probably one of the most identifiable person in the game; she is known as ‘the Queen,’ and rightfully so. Beyoncé has become the poster girl for female empowerment, cultivating an image based on female sexuality and equality. She discloses everything – her family, her opinions, and political orientation, even her body. This raw, unhindered image directly opposes Sia’s, but is equally as effective. The media could write whatever they like about Beyoncé, but literally nothing they say could tarnish her reputation. After decades of cultivation, Beyoncé has complete control over her image. She is the trendsetter.
We all exert control in different ways, creating profiles for ourselves that we want the world to see. I am 100% a Sia. My Facebook settings are so airtight; anything that is posted about me has to be approved first. I usually dress conservatively, and act pretty asexual most of the time; that way I feel in control of my body and wellbeing. Basically, I have to sign off on everything that is known in the public sphere in order to feel safe and in control of my world.
Whereas, some of my closest friends find control in the Beyoncé way. They are actively present on social media, dress somewhat provocatively and are open about their sexuality. No matter what happens, they don’t give a fuck about what others comment on, because only they have the final say about who they are.
Control is one of those incredibly personal things. We all crave it, but find it in different places. However, as I’m constantly reminded, “you can’t control everything.” But, I really wish I could.