The video for Big Girls Cry by Sia is astounding

By now, you may well have seen the beautiful, affecting final video from Sia’s 1000 Forms of Fear. The album’s three videos – Chandelier, Elastic Heart and Big Girls Cry – have all featured the talented 12 year old dancer, Maddie Ziegler who has in turn become the defacto ‘face’ of Sia, and I guess it’s appropriate, then, that this final video focuses solely on facial expressions.

Undoubtedly the most innovative campaign in pop that I’ve seen in my adult life (it bumps Lady Gaga’s identity formation but perhaps not the pseudo-not-pseudo-feminism of the Spice Girls), I’ve been waving the flag for the Sia/Ziegler identity throughout the steady release of videos, and this video epitomises my reasoning.

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There’s a lot of personality in the kind of woman who was so good at being a musical ghostwriter that she ended up being dragged, albeit backwards (as she never faces the audience during televised performances), into the spotlight. Having made her public identity through a highly personal, emotional act – songwriting – she has chosen Ziegler as the vehicle through which to visually communicate the same thoughts.

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The back-and-forth internal battle of a turbo-introvert being forced to live an extrovert’s life appeals to a voyeur like me, and the Sia team have served it up on a plate with Big Girls Cry. Every possible emotion you’d feel as a shy person at the centre of attention is passed from Sia to little Maddie Ziegler and it’s fvcking astounding how well she portrays it when you consider her age and the fact that her background is an all-smiles dance world.

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Chandelier showcased incredible choreography; Elastic Heart added to that facial expressions; and in the last instalment of this triptych, the choreography is all but stripped away and focused on the face. And oddly, she’s managed to ‘dance’ more emotively just with her face.

Watch all three videos, in chronological order, below.

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