The real issue with elastic heart.

My first reaction to the video was to feel uncomfortable.
Elastic Heart Shia LeBeouf Maddie Zieggler Dance Controvertial Sexual Violence.png-002
From a purely creative view point, the video is nothing more than two interpretive dancers performing a well choreographed, rather animalistic routine. Who knew Shia LeBeouf could dance? The issue comes because Maddie Ziegler, the dancer performing opposite him, is only 12 years old which has caused a lot of uneducated labelling of ‘pedophile’ towards Shia.
With a striped back style, the performers wear dirty, nude outfits and perform inside of a cage. If you haven’t seen the video yet, you can click HERE to watch it.
Shia LeBeouf not a pedophile Maddie Sia Elastic Heart.png
Shia is clearly not a pedophile, just because he has danced with a child. Performance arts like acting and dance require us to take on a character. I can’t say for certain but I’m pretty sure Shia LeBeouf doesn’t spend his time outside of work frolicking around cages with little girls. Calling him a pedophile is calling Maddie a victim, both of which are incorrect. They are professional actors and she is never in danger. The only thing really threatened is Shia’s career (or as much as it can be after Transformers 3). The interpretive choreography shows Maddie and Shia fighting for dominance (and Maddie does a pretty good job) whilst Sia sings about losing trust, not being able to sleep at night and refusing to be broken by what ‘you’ did. This is where the real issue shows itself.
Elastic Heart Shia LeBeouf Maddie Zieggler Dance Controvertial Sexual Violence.png
The parts where Shia acts as a predator, climbing on top of Maddie and trying to drag her back into the cage, were clearly not intended to be sexual. Unfortunately, we live in a culture of victim blaming and where rape is normalised and joked about. It’s estimated one in five woman experience some form of sexual violence during their life and with so many people (women and men) having suffered, videos like the can act as an emotional trigger. I’m not saying the video incites rape or sexual violence, but is does have very strong interpretive themes and it would be easy for someone to see it that way.
Elastic Heart Shia LeBeouf Maddie Zieggler Dance Controvertial Sexual Violence.png-001
So what do we do?
Personally, as a female in the culture that we live it, I can understand peoples sensitivity towards it but that doesn’t mean creativity should be censored, just that perhaps it should come with a trigger warning. I’m a huge believer in freedom of speech and expression. The video is a piece of art and it’s really well shot. But it is unavoidable. Not only have I seen tones of articles on the video and been told to watch it by numerous friends, I’ve also had little choice on the matter thanks to adverts on youtube that I did not have the option to skip. Art is not ubiquitous. We all have different opinions and feelings; it’s subjective, that’s the point. But we should have a choice whether we watch it, especially for the sake of the people that face horrendous memories and feeling triggered by this video.
Shia LeBeouf not a pedophile Maddie Sia Elastic Heart.png-001
Calling him a pedophile is like calling her a victim, both of which are untrue, however I don’t think that is the main concern. We should have freedom of expression but we should also have freedom of choice.

The last forty something seconds after the music stops though… that’s just creepy.
What do you guys think about it? I’ve seen lots of opinions and I’d love to know yours!

Love Lucinda xx
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28 Comments on “The real issue with elastic heart.

  1. I really enjoyed this! I totally agree with you, he is not a pedophile, she is not a victim. That’s an unfair label. You make excellent points, I’ll be sharing this all over social media!

  2. I’m with you on this. I don’t like the video, I just think it’s weird, it’s not my taste and that’s fine, but I don’t quite get where these sexual connotations have come from, I am more than prepared to hear the argument but I just don’t see it at all myself.

    http://noranoraa.blogspot.co.uk/

  3. I’m a little uncomfortable with it due to the age of the girl and state of perceived undress. I think with two dancers of a similar age the controversy could be avoided.

    #UKBloggers

  4. I honestly didn’t spot the sexual aspect until people had commented about it and so I’m only spotting it now because the media has told me that is how to interpret this video. I personally do not see this as a sexual piece, especially as we’ve seen Maddie dances which are far more sexual. This is earthy and real. If it is sexual, it’s a beautiful and raw type of sexual and it would be wrong to judge the piece just due to the ages of the dancers/actors. The age difference between Shia and Maddie has nothing to do with their talent and ability to play the roles in this video… so therefore I don’t think it’s worthwhile commenting on! 😛

  5. I honestly didn’t spot the sexual aspect until people had commented about it and so I’m only spotting it now because the media has told me that is how to interpret this video. I personally do not see this as a sexual piece, especially as we’ve seen Maddie dances which are far more sexual. This is earthy and real. If it is sexual, it’s a beautiful and raw type of sexual and it would be wrong to judge the piece just due to the ages of the dancers/actors. The age difference between Shia and Maddie has nothing to do with their talent and ability to play the roles in this video… so therefore I don’t think it’s worthwhile commenting on! 😛

  6. Before I’d even had chance to watch the video I’d read so much about this video and I was expecting something completely different the first time I did watch it. I completely agree with you, but the video is just weird, I get the whole male dominance thing but there is just something about it I can’t quite put my finger on..

    But what really annoys me is how easily people throw the word paedophile around in a situation that the word is nothing to do with.

    Beka. xo
    littleworldofbeka.blogspot.co.uk

    • I know what you mean, especially the first time I saw it, it made me feel uncomfortable.

      Completely agree, Shia has done nothing but his job and unfortunately labels (however misconstrued) stick! xx

  7. I have to say I love her songs and the dancer , the thing is watching this for the first time the other day did bring attention that it was all about abuse and control , predatorising as you say , its the way it is interpreted and understand that this is to be addressed and made aware to those who dont know much about these situations but to me this was very disturbing to watch as a victim myself and to me the dancing andvideo has took it a step too far for my liking ,

    • I think people who are saying it’s fine and there’s nothing wrong with it haven’t considered it from another perspective. People should not be made to watch it!
      Send lots of love your way xx

  8. I’d not seen the video to this until I read your piece… I really like Sia’s videos, and the girl Maddie was in her Chandelier video and played a similar erratic character. There’s this element to them that the more you watch the more you notice and ‘pick up’. When I first saw it, I thought it was depicting emotional abuse but from the female towards the male. You said he tries to pull her into the cage at the end, but if you look closely she tries to get him out of the cage, but he wont fit. He gets upset and doesn’t want to let her go. I can see where the comments are coming from, about it being inappropriate etc. I honestly didn’t think it was, but you’re right, it should have a warning in case it does trigger as I can see the parts you can associate with those thoughts. 🙂

  9. To call him a Paedophile because of a dance he does in the video is to say all those actors that have played Paedophile roles in films actually have those feeling in real life.
    I agree that from watching this I didn’t think it was sexual at first. Well not on Shia way of dance. I certainly wouldn’t have put the word victim to maddie for it either.

    I do agree that it’s a bit weird though but is also beautiful. I don’t understand the last bit when the music stops either.

    Nikki x

  10. to me it looks like a pernte having a fight with there child. maby like when a child gose throw pubaty and the pernt has to lern how to let go and the child of them has to lern how to as well but then at times thay both need each other.

    I get how it could be interpeted in a sexsual way but i dont think the vido is achly that sexual. i agree with you its moor that we live in a sosity that is so filed with sexual asult and there is a lot of sexuliation of childen we end up seeing things that way.

  11. Wow…All these stuff make me sad.

    I can only wonder how many trigger warnings would be necessary if Disney’s “Jungle Book” were to be made today.

    You’ve got to be really sick to see sexual subtext in that video, or to think Shia Labeouf finally fighting back against Maddie Ziegler after getting his ass kicked for the first half of the song, and getting mad at her from inside the cage is the sign of him trying to entrap her.

    Everyone is entitled to his opinion and interpretation sure, but people should reaaally start to question their interpretations BEFORE turning against a singer or a clip maker.

    It’s almost as stupid as asking for a TW on a Rorshach’s test because of what you see in the ink spills.

    • I can understand your point of view but it is interpretive dance and there are different ways to interpret it. The issue is that the video has been forced on people. Rorshach’s test isn’t forced on people. xx

  12. Really enjoyed reading this piece, Lucinda. You make some very valid points. I cannot believe for a second that Shia is a paedophile and there’s no way that Maddie is a victim either. I totally get that this is interpretative art, and can see where people connect the dots in the wrong way, but I completely agree, we should have a choice whether we watch this or not, which is the real point. x

  13. Pingback: Weekly Links Jan 23rd - Charlotte Steggz

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