Okay, so I just had to get this off my chest and ask WHY is everyone so damn touchy these days?? It seems that almost everything sets people off into some sort of uproar lately! I don’t read much with regards to the entertainment industry but it seems that a lot of celebs are somehow upsetting people without even realising that they are, let alone actually intending to cause upset.
Not sure what I’m getting at? Okay let’s take a look at that music video released by Sia for her hit ‘Elastic Heart’:
We see 28 year old ‘Transformers’ actor Shia LaBeouf dancing in a cage with 12 year old ‘Dance Moms’ dancing star Maddie Ziegler in nude clothing; without listening to the song or trying to understand the content of the choreography, there was an explosion of outrage that branded the video ‘paedophilic’. This video somehow managed to create so much offence upon its release, even to Maddie’s own mother; whilst I can understand that the majority of these people are parents themselves who would deem this as unacceptable material, it’s a shame that they did not at least try to understand the meaning behind the video or why Sia herself chose those that featured.
Sia apologised for any offence that was caused by the video, but stated that she was only attempting to create “emotional content, not to upset anybody“. I’ve read up on the meaning of the video and come to the conclusion that [they] are supposed to represent two different states of the same mind, suggested as being Sia’s mind or possibly Shia’s as mentioned that she identified with his personality and that Sia thought it “would be interesting if Shia was working with Maddie as if she’s one of his self states, maybe his inner child or maybe one of his demons“.
However those watching the video who are not aware of its meaning are bound to jump to their own conclusion by what they can see visually, and that’s a grown man and a child in nude clothing dancing together; but they seem to miss the vital detail that could change one’s view on how the dance is supposed to be perceived – they are both covered in dirt. I think that this instantly removes the idea of a sexual image and it becomes more wild, like animals stuck in a cage together, fighting. Maddie herself described her character in the dance as a ‘werewolf’ – “I’m supposed to be portraying a werewolf and pretty much Shia and I have been just living in the cage for a year and I’m the strong one and I’m pretty much trying to kill him.” With regards to the nude clothing, I believe that this is supposed to strip the ‘mind states’ raw, bare and vulnerable to each other as if one was exposed and, in a sense, naked – but not in a sexual way; hand-in-hand with being covered in dirt and portraying very wild mannerisms, it helps to show the more animalistic and ‘natural’ side of the dance, like how humans were in ancient times when life was raw in reality and about survival, which these two mind states are trying to achieve against one another. If more people took a step back and viewed the dance as being animalistic rather than supposedly sexual then it takes on a whole different meaning.
When I watched it myself I saw two people, regardless of age, fighting and disagreeing in a cage just like animals; I did not see Shia approaching Maddie in a sexual or predatory way at all, in fact he approaches her with the intention of trying to comfort and understand her. Of course he gets angry and frustrated with her as it does not go to plan, she bites him and then escapes their imprisonment, taunting him from the other side; she feels sorry for him and accepts his attempts at trying to interact with her where he carries her before she tries to lead him out. Carrying Maddie in a protective and caring manner whilst trying to make her laugh with funny faces seemed like something a father would do, it reminded me of the days when me and my father would fight like cat and dog, and he would be at his wits end at trying to understand me and how I worked, yet despite us always arguing would always be there for me and protect me. I know this isn’t what the video is trying to portray but I did read other people’s views and this is a view that others shared.
This video was shown on the music channel the other day and I asked my dad, who had never seen the video nor knew of the meaning behind it, what he thought about it; he told me that he saw it as being very animalistic but that he saw a male going after his mate. He said that male animals, be it today’s four-legged or our ancient ancestors, would go after a female regardless of her age if she ‘smelled right’, he said that he saw no sexual content and didn’t even realise that the girl was so young since dancers are extremely slim and her costume covered her age. He said that many people probably only saw the age difference because they knew who the actors were, that Shia was a 28 year old man and that Maddie was a 12 year old dancer. He said that had they not used famous people and perhaps a younger male (or older female dancer), that the content would be looked at in an entirely different light; he pointed out that if I had been dressed in the same attire as Maddie then people would probably mistake me for being a young girl too despite being 23.
Kudos to my daddy, he picked up on the animalistic side and despite viewing the dance as one between potential ‘mates’, he agreed that he could not see any sexual or paedophilic content. So it is possible for someone who is a parent and one of a daughter to view this video as being anything other than paedophilic material on the first viewing. When I explained the meaning behind the choreography to him, he understood and agreed that if people knew the meaning behind it then it does change the view.
Back to the reason for this blog post, people were instantly quick to judge the content and jump at it for being something that it wasn’t; tbh that is probably to do with the recent outbreak of paedophiles in the entertainment industry (especially in the UK with Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris) and everyone is being extra sensitive about it. People seem to forget that these people do not go out of their way creating content with the intention of it being offensive, especially something as serious as paedophilia, and going back to Sia’s choice for Maddie as the main dancer, people also seem to forget that this girl is a professional dancer not just a young girl.
You’re probably still wondering why I am ranting about something that occurred ages ago, well it’s partly because of the conversation with my dad and partly because I came across an article on the news earlier with regards to Kylie Jenner being slammed for her most recent photos which are being compared to ‘blackfacing’. Neon hair, blue contacts and a body full of glitter under neon and blacklights created photos which to me had a futuristic alien feel to them but she was criticised for being ‘blacked up’. She retorted that the photos were created with black and neon light, and that people should “calm down”; I think she’s right, once again people have jumped at someone as if they purposely went out of their way to be super offensive whilst knowing full well that a topic like ‘blackface’ is incredibly sensitive to a vast amount of people.
It’s just a shame that people these days need to have an explanation for everything and anything that they say or do, especially if they are in the public eye or a frequent user of social media. People are so sensitive these days and someone is always getting offended by some sort of content and causing a massive fuss without considering whether the person behind the content actually intended offence in the first place.
I totally understand that you can’t please everyone, as they saying goes ‘you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who hates peaches’, but COME ON people!! Know when to actually take offence when it is intended to be given, and think before you speak!