Over the past year we have seen one of the most successful, innovative and radical pop campaigns ever that has seen 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler become the face of Australian singer-songwriter Sia. Back in 2013 after describing fame like an “abusive mother-in-law”, Sia opted out of the fame game, removing her face from her artwork and all promotional materials.
Instead of appearing in her own music video for “Chandelier”, she cast Maddie Ziegler, who took the spotlight. The music video exploded with critical applause (not to mention more parody videos than you can poke a stick at). Its success saw the release of a second instalment for “Elastic Heart” featuring Ziegler and Shia LaBeouf, of which had its fair share of controversy. Turns out quite a few people weren’t impressed seeing a fully grown man dancing with a 12-year-old in the name of art. Personally I think they missed a valid point Sia was making. Well now the saga ends with the final video from Sia’s 1000 forms of Fear, where it comes as no surprise all eyes are on Ziegler’s face once more.
“Big Girls Cry” once more sees Daniel Askill returning to direct the final instalment of the music video trilogy, and features Ziegler staring straight into the camera, performing a series of facial expressions, gasping for hair, whipping her hair back and forth. She generally creates as much madness and magic this time with just only her head and shoulders as she did in “Chandelier” with her entire body.
The idea of women in the pop industry can only be sold completely on their image has been successfully subverted by Sia and Ziegler, and their final video together couldn’t make it any more clearer. As Sia sings “I don’t care if I don’t look pretty,” Ziegler messes up her blonde bob and throws her best ‘crazy eyes’ you will ever see. “Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking,” while Sia declares her right to show emotion when and where she feels it, in the video, Ziegler casts off typical music video traditions to enact something totally human and raw showing that this 12-year-old is well beyond her years.
While Lady GaGa may have ended up being another cog in the “machine”, Sia just came along and bulldozed it all down!