My Anti-Fame Manifesto (By Sia Furler)

Emily Berl


If anyone besides famous people knew what it was like to be a famous person, they would never want to be famous. Imagine the stereotypical highly opinionated, completely uninformed mother-in-law character and apply it to every teenager with a computer in the entire world. Then add in all bored people, as well as people whose job it is to report on celebrities. Then, picture that creature, that force, criticizing you for an hour straight once a day, every day, day after day.

That's what it's like, even the smallest bit of it. Of course, that's if you even allow yourself to stay in touch with the world using public media. If I were famous, I wouldn't.

If I were famous, I might want to see what is happening on the news channel, or on But I couldn't. Because I would know that I might run into that mother-in-law there, sharp-tongued and lying in wait for my self-esteem. And she's not just making cracks about dying before I give her some grandkids, she's asking me if I'm barren. She's asking me whether I'm "so unattractive under those clothes that her son/daughter doesn't want to fuck me anymore," or if I'm "so dumb I don't know what a dick is and how to use it."

She questions everything there is to question. Even things I had never thought to question. Things I had never dreamed of feeling insecure about prior to meeting her.

I've never been very famous, but I've worked with a lot of famous people and I've seen a lot of their mothers-in-law. And I can tell from what I've seen that I don't want one of my own. I've worked with a lot of artists who have mothers-in-law, and on occasion I've inherited their family. Even that is not something I'm interested in. I have a family I love. They tend to say, "Great job!" Or "You work really hard! Good for you!" Or "You look nice today!" Or "Don't be ridiculous, order the fries!" Or "You are hilarious."

That's all the family I need.

So me and fame will never be married.