Anyone who knows me knows that I love my music. I have been told in the past I have an eclectic taste in music. My ability to be able to tell you the artist and title of a song from just the first two seconds of a song has never really gotten me very far (except for the Odd Fellows pub quiz Sunday night, now that’s a different story!) Anyway, I was recently listening to a single from the artist, Sia and I started to think about why she hides her face. It also made me think that we all have the right to have an identity and a voice but this can be achieved in unconventional ways.
From reading articles online it seems Sia wants to hide her face as she doesn’t want to be recognisably famous. She performed on stage at the 57th Grammy awards ceremony hiding her face by wearing a gigantic, blonde, wig which only showed her mouth (she used a guide throughout the evening) and had her back to the audience when performing. I wonder what effect this has with building a rapport with her fans? Whilst I am sure her hard-core fans know what she looks like (she actually revealed her face backstage at the Grammy awards and before she became really famous she would show her face). However, for someone like me who likes her music but might want to know a bit more about her, if I watched her at a concert and just had her back to me for the entire time, I can’t help but think I wouldn’t be able to build much of a connection. When I am in a conversation with someone and they are looking away whilst talking to me, or looking at other things, like their phone, I would consider this not only rude but also distracting, ultimately causing a breakdown in communication.
That said, we should all have the right to have a voice – and that shouldn’t be dictated by ’the norm’. Whilst I might find Sia’s decision to mask her face alien to what I do daily – to read a person’s facial expression in order to understand the meaning they are conveying -I do think it shows that we live in a time where people are making statements about their beliefs and feelings in unusual ways. In Sia’s case, we don’t see her face but we can hear her voice. Another example of this was London fashion week where it is clear that what people wear can make bold statements. In this clip from London Fashion week http://www.londonfashionweek.co.uk/ Gareth Pugh (an English fashion designer) says that “It’s about connecting with your audience in a different way”. To an extent, this has always been true with fashion. Do you remember the PETA advert “we’d rather go naked than wear fur” where some of the most famous models in the 1990s posed naked to make this statement? What is perhaps more important now is about being ‘heard’ in different ways. In this day and age there are so many channels of communication such as Facebook and Twitter that I don’t even need to type anything but just upload a photo or show I have signed a petition for you to know my beliefs and likes/dislikes. A person’s voice can be heard whether through an interpreter, or what I choose to wear, or my display on Facebook. This is communication! And, is there not a certain amount of equality in this? A person could be hearing, deaf, blind, black, white, etc. but they can all make a statement in so many different ways other than by using their voice…and wanting to be heard is not asking too much is it?
Image: Labelled for reuse -http://www.biancaalysse.com/music-2/grammys-2015-sia-performs-chandelier-with-kristen-wig/