Imagine you're one of the most famous singers in the world. Think of the fame, the performances, night after night, the loss of privacy.
Now imagine you're dealing with all this while suffering from instense social anxiety.
Welcome to Sia's life.
The Australian singer/songwriter, 40, is currently being sued by a group of dissatisfied concertgoers after a show in Tel Aviv, Israel on August 11th. The class action lawsuit claims Sia didn't perform for long enough, didn't speak enough, didn't move around enough.
Sia "never once addressed the crowd, mentioned what it was like to be in Tel Aviv, or bantered in any way," writes Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post.
And as well as being upset about failed on-screen footage (which, let's be clear, has more to do with the venue rather than the artist), fans were upset Sia "hid in the back" so they couldn't get the full view of her wig-covered face.
But the $2.1 million question (the amount Sia's being sued for, and the collective cost of the tickets sold at the concert) is, so what?
Sia's fans are basically suing her for having social anxiety. And it's the worst thing they could be doing— shaming her for something that she's been so public about.
It's very well-known that the artist struggles with fame. She's addressed it many times, most famously in a 2014 New York Times interview.
The piece, 'Sia Furler, the Socially Phobic Pop Star', tells you all you need to know in the title, but Sia goes on to explain her actions in detail.
"It's horrible," she tells writer Steve Knopper. "I just wanted to have a private life. Once, as my friend was telling me they had cancer, someone came up and asked, in the middle of the conversation, if they could take a photograph with me. You get me? That’s enough, right?'"
It is enough. Pair this anecdote with Sia's past struggles with addiction and mental health, and you get a pretty clear picture of who she is.
It's understandable, then, that she stood at the back in Tel Aviv; that she didn't make small talk with the crowd; and that she only played a 65-minute set. Fans should know, from previous performances if nothing else, Sia's not going to put on a Beyoncé-style spectacular.
Mental health is not something to sue over. Sia performed her hits. She still put on a show, whatever length it was (and for what it's worth, a lot of artists play sets under an hour). She showed up. And for any of us coping with anxiety, that's often the hardest part.
If you're a fan of someone who struggles with mental health issues, keep that in mind if you feel like they're letting you down. They're trying, just like all of us. Sia doesn't deserve to be sued, she deserves to be applauded.