Australian pop singer Sia is famous for her world-class vocals on songs like ‘Chandelier’, but her chosen attire gains her just as much attention: she chooses to only appear in public when wearing a wig that covers her face.
Her wig acts as a veil, concealing herself from her fans and allowing her to maintain an aura of privacy and mystery. She has expressed her dislike regarding the destabilising nature of fame, and the wigs give her a sound excuse to place herself out of the limelight. However, is she being deceptive, and creating mystery in order to sell albums? She said herself to James Corden in a Carpool Karaoke episode when discussing her wig, “I thought what doesn’t exist in pop music today? And it was mystery!”
Her Twitter bio does little to demystify the life of singer: “i am sia i was born from the bumhole of a unicorn named steve.” The majority of her tweets are signed off by ‘Team Sia’ rather than herself, and her profile picture is a photo of a young girl named Maddie Ziegler, who regularly appears in place of Sia at press events and in her music videos.
Her Instagram page, arguably the most personal of all the social media platforms, contains no photos of that morning’s brunch or cute dog snaps, but instead features mainly album promotion images. In a social media-obsessed era, this level of secrecy is unusual for a celebrity, who usually has to open themselves up to the public to connect with fans.
At 42 years old, Sia isn’t the typical young female pop star. Her wig could also be a clever marketing ploy to deceive people’s expectations and place an older woman in a predominantly younger genre, appealing to the audience by presenting her as faceless and letting her voice and talent speak for itself.
So what will happen next? Perhaps she will slowly unveil herself, creating a narrative of intrigue and letting her fans get to know her. However, once the wig has gone, the mystery will disappear and thus one of the main marketing features of her brand will have vanished. In an age where information is so readily available, an air of mystery and deception may be vital in order to survive.