Sia’s SNL Mime and Sign Language in Pop Music
Sia recently starred as the guest musician on Saturday Night Live where she sang her hit song “Chandelier,” accompanied by a man with his face painted like a mime. He used both ASL along with other interpretative gestures to sign along with Sia giving life to her words. While Sia likely had good intentions, there is the danger in the way in which ASL was presented in the deaf/mute stereotype. However she has used ASL before in her music, like in 2008 in her video for “Soon We’ll Be Found.” She said, “I’ve always been obsessed with the beauty of sign language…the real beauty is the communication hidden within these perfect shapes.” When represented with the respect and in the way it deserves, ASL representations in pop culture can lead to larger cultural consciousness.
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