Sia Furler is the Australian singer and songwriter whose name is behind some of the biggest hits in music, including songs by Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Britney Spears.
Known for her lyrical talents and versatile vocal styling, Sia is an influential powerhouse in the music industry who not only enjoys experimenting musically but also experiments with her anonymity in a world driven by the spotlight.
From music videos, awards shows, interviews, and live performances, the 40-year-old singer chooses to be seen in the public eye from only her mouth down, since she typically hides behind her bangs that cover the majority of her face.
In an open editorial post written for Billboard in 2013, Sia addressed her anti-fame perspective that alludes to her anonymous appearance. Her decision to remain anonymous stemmed from her own vulnerability to fame.
She wrote: ‘If anyone besides famous people knew what it was like to be a famous person, they would never want to be famous.’
She also added: ‘Imagine the stereotypical highly opinionated, completely uninformed mother-in-law character and apply it to every teenager with a computer in the entire world.’
On top of that, Sia describes the scrutiny from the media and the ‘bored’ critics, and how she believes that together they create a ‘creature’ that’s judging you every day.
Using exaggerated bangs, bows, and wigs as protective shields, Sia created her own way to cope with the fame by leading a less public life.
’I don’t want to be famous, or recognizable,’ she told Chris Connelly on Nightline in 2014. ‘I don’t want to be critiqued about the way that I look on the internet.’
She also added: ‘I’ve been writing pop songs for stars now for a couple of years and I’ve become friends with them and see what their life is like and that’s not something I want.’
Despite her efforts to shy away from the lights, the cameras, and the public lifestyle that naturally comes with fame and fortune, Sia can be seen without her over-the-eye bangs every once in awhile.
You’d probably never recognize her even if she was standing right in front of you. ‘I was at Target the other day buying a hose and nobody recognized me and my song was on the radio,’ the singer told Connelly, ‘And I thought, ‘Okay, this experiment is working’
Additionally, Sia once unmasked herself to four ‘American Idol’ finalists during rehearsals that left them in shock to finally see the face of the musical genius.
In spite of her anonymity (or perhaps because of it) Sia has opened up about the many hardships she’s endured. Some of her songs deal with incredibly personal topics.
In an interview with OK! Magazine, Sia admitted that she was struggling with depression, alcoholism, and substance abuse. Her song, Chandelier, is a reflection on those dark times.
So why hide her face while at the same time exposing her vulnerability to the world? Besides the fact that Sia doesn’t want to be criticized for her looks, experts offer their own theories.
Los Angeles-based cultural critic Kate Durbin believes that we aim a lot of violence towards celebrities, free of consequences. This is Sia’s response to that trend.
‘Turning your back to the audience is kind of like giving them the finger,’ she told the Washington Post, ‘like ‘You’re not going to do that to me. You’re not going to destroy me.’’
But it’s not a final decision on Sia’s part. During an interview with Ellen Degeneres, Sia revealed that one day she’ll drop the wig completely. For now, she’s enjoying the anonymity with her music.