Sia’s video for “Elastic Heart” featuring Shia LaBeouf and Maddie Ziegler went viral soon after its release. Within minutes, people were pointing fingers and shouting pedophilia in regards to the age difference between Ziegler, 12 and LaBeouf, 28.
In the video, Ziegler is clad in a flesh toned leotard and blonde wig, reprising her role as Sia’s inner self from “Chandelier.” The public starts getting nasty when LaBeouf comes in the picture, wearing nothing but a pair of flesh toned boy shorts, rolling on the ground and crawling around.
When I first heard these remarks, like the other half of the world who had not seen the music video, I ran online and YouTubed the sensational work. Upon watching it though, I was irritated and disappointed in the ridiculous media and the public, who time and again take something beautiful and warp it sexually, twisting it until they are satisfied with the carnage.
Elastic Heart is a deep, fantastic representation of two opposing sides of the mind, soul and heart. Sia herself called it a portrayal of “the two sides of Sia.”
Yes, the dancers are wearing nude dance clothing, but that’s because any brightly colored costumes or loose fitting clothes would simply not fit the situation. This is a video about Sia once her outer shield and defenses are stripped away. This is about the very core of being.
We see the two dancers battling it out in a cage, trapped by conventions and inhibitions. These two sides, the mind and the heart, for instance, are torn. Innately connected, yet going in different directions, one managing to slip out of that cage, desperately trying to pull her other half through, standing there helpless as she watches him fade.
Honestly, all this over-sexualizing is getting on my nerves. This is art, something beautiful. If y’all had a problem with Maddie Ziegler’s flesh toned leotard, why did I hear no complaints when Chandelier came out?
The only difference this time is that there is a man involved, which of course automatically means that sexy stuff might be going on, right? Wrong. Too often is the male-female relationship relegated to sexual attraction. In “Elastic Heart,” it’s about the two sides of Sia and the relationship between them is raw, animalistic and primitive in nature.
The girl is a wild animal almost and she slips in and out of the cage easily, running around and chasing the man with childlike pleasure. He tries taming her, holding his hand out for her to sniff like one would when trying to gain the trust of a dog.
The two fight, claw, climb and hit each other, battling it out. She brings him to his knees, cunning and clever, she plays dead for a moment before she’s up and at it again, hitting him, even as he holds her.
There is an undeniable connection and spark of chemistry between Ziegler and LaBeouf, but if you are familiar at all with dance, you know that you must have chemistry with your partner or the choreography falls flat.
The chemistry between the two is more fraternal, as she mounts his back and he cradles her, even as she hits him. The tenderness he has towards her shows the emotional connection between those two warring sides and that even while you strive to separate those two sides, they are innately bound, no matter what.
Honestly, there are so few pieces of really deep fantastic artwork out there. People should stop over-sexualizing, over-analyzing and over-thinking, and just enjoy the sensation of the work washing over them. Seriously y’all, you want pedophilia? Take a flashback to the ‘80s and listen to the lyrics of George Michael’s “Father Figure” next time you want to gripe about “Elastic Heart.”