In 2013, singer-songwriter Sia wrote a piece for Billboard called “My Anti-Fame Manifesto,” in which she discussed the difficult, prying nature of fame. Since then, she’s stuck pretty firmly to her relative anti-fame stance, only appearing in public with a wig obscuring most of her face. It’s to Sia’s credit that this has somehow never really felt like a gimmick, and the reason she’s in the news now is light-hearted in the same vein.
On Monday, she said via Twitter that, “Someone is apparently trying to sell naked photos of me to my fans.” She then posted the picture herself, continuing, “Save your money, here it is for free. Everyday is Christmas!” The last line, while also a joke, refers to her upcoming holiday album, Everyday is Christmas, set for release on Nov. 17. (Maddie Ziegler’s face covers the album instead of Sia’s.)
It’s one heck of a power move insomuch as celebrities have never really posted their own nude photos in this fashion before. Usually these photos are either planned out—thirst traps to skirt around Twitter and Instagram guidelines (or in Kim Kardashian’s case, a way to bump her book)—or prickly matters like the 2014 leak, in which the personal images of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton were released after an iCloud hack.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lawrence called it a violation, and marveled that anyone could think it was an appropriate thing to do in order to make a profit. That profit, however, seems to be dwindling. Sia publishing her own photo means that it’s no longer an exclusive—which is exactly the element that makes the paparazzi photo wheel turn. In keeping with her manifesto, “[she] and fame will never be married,” and part of that is taking the power that these kinds of photos purport to have back into her own hands.