Fame and Mental Health: The Faceless Sia Interview

Image via NPR
Image via NPR

If you’ve paid any attention in the past couple of years, you’ve heard of Sia; and, if you haven’t heard of her, you’ve definitely heard her. With monster hits she voiced — like “Titanium” (available on the radio or a Pitch Perfect re-watch near you) — or monster hits she wrote — like Rihanna’s “Diamonds” or Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts” — Sia has been all over the pop charts of the middling 2000s.

The Australian-born singer is semi-recognizable from the platinum bob she sports, but something that has made her very different from the other pop singers out there is that, lately, she refuses to show her face to the media. To some, this may seem like an attention-grabbing gimmick, but to others (and according to Sia herself in a summer Nightline interview), it’s to provide some relief in the paparazzi-filled insanity that is pop super-stardom.

In this interview (below) with Chris Connelly, Sia describes the journey that ultimately forced her to the decision not to show her face publicly. The main reason that she cites? Her mental health.

According to Sia, fame became a crippling, hyper-realistic microcosm that sent her spiraling into a severe depression. By refusing to have her face shown on camera, she effectively removes herself from the public eye while being able to retain popularity and support an extremely successful career. While pictures and videos of her face obviously exist for anyone with a WiFi connection to find, there is now a very real distance placed between her and global consumers of media. Because her face isn’t constantly cropping up on screens all across the world, she isn’t consistently on people’s radars and can pass virtually undetected in the streets.

There really is something to be said about the courage it takes to reveal the fame-induced depression that drove her to contemplate suicide, especially considering psychological disorders are considered taboo topics. Just look at the cultural conversations about depression that occurred when Robin Williams (RIP) committed suicide this past August.  By being open about this topic, Sia is teaching a generation of young people that it’s okay to be honest about your mental health and that self-care (which in Sia’s case included removing herself from the spotlight) is valuable.

Check out the interview below, which is not only cool for all the reasons listed above, but is also cool because the pop-powerhouse gives a demonstration of her song-writing prowess that is truly impressive.

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4DMk9BJyY4″ width=”480″ height=”300″][su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH-Veei0jQM” width=”540″ height=”320″][su_youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G1PFLuTrgM” height=”480″][/su_youtube]

Leave a Reply