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Pop Star Sia's Video Being Called "Inappropriate," But No

It's Sia, not lolita

The Australian singer Sia was compelled to say sorry following complaints that her video for "Elastic Heart," featuring Shia LaBeouf and 12-year-old Maggie Ziegler, comes across as vaguely pedophiliac (my word). The only thing for which Sia should perhaps apologize is some weird choreography in her latest single.

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Sia, who is notoriously camera-shy, has used platinum wig-wearing Ziegler as a kind of mini-me in past videos, including one in which she dances alongside a woman. The big—or only—difference I can see between 'Chandelier' and this latest track is the inclusion of a male counterpoint: Shia LaBeouf. 

In matching, nude-coloured leotards, the pair is seen frolicking and prancing around Cirque de Soleil-style inside a giant cage.

In Sia's own words, the video contains "some emotional content.” What it doesn't contain, though, is sexual content or even insinuations of sexual content. In fact, nothing really struck me as offensive about the video, except maybe for the fact that people in nude leotards are dancing inside a cage. (Did I mention I'm not a fan of modern dance?)

At once playful and intense, the exchange is meant to be artsy and edgy. Yet there is no subtext here that I can see. The only crime seems to be in throwing a man and a young girl together in the same space. Is it testament to our own paranoia that we see abuse and violation everywhere?

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When a photo of this celebrity's daughter went viral, authorities and the media were quick to shout foul play, even though by her own parents' admission nothing seedy was going on. 

While Sia's video may not float my creative boat, that's not to say it's necessarily exploitive.
It's a sad day when a man and a girl can't perform together without arousing suspicion, especially when that girl is as talented as Maggie Ziegler.    

Image Source: WikiCommons