I am late to the game, again. It might be a symptom of my age that I get around to commenting on things too late. Another blog post could be on how the internet has made it impossible to stop, ruminate and listen. Even that reference is an old one.
Madonna fell off a stage but didn’t break a hip. That has a lot of bloggers and TV pundits talking about her age – I even made allusions to her taking Boniva that kept her bones strong. There’s no denying that she’s a powerhouse, one of the hardest working artists in the music business. She takes her work (sometimes too) seriously. In an interview with Jonathan Ross, Madge attributed her lack of blue and black bruises to knowing how to fall and good core strength.
By all accounts, she has improved with age: stronger, healthier, better vocal health, better vocal quality. All those qualities any performer and singer would hope to maintain well into their 60s or even 70s.
Yet, people have to hate.
Say what you will about her cloying for attention, because of her age we criticize her for it. The media both benefits from and critiques the attention-seeking antics of a certain family, but here’s why criticizing Madonna is ageist.
In many comments and commentaries, people are asking that Madonna take a step back to age with grace. That translates to: shut up and sit down, now, we’re done hearing from you, already.
Madonna has long been expressive of her sexuality – it’s as much part of her artistry as it is her perfectionism. That will never go away. She stands in a long line of women who’ve capitalized on sex to provoke – Joan Rivers, Betsey Johnson are two that come to mind. This is just who they are. Some people make drastic changes around certain points in their age – they become grouchier or sunnier. Others change imperceptibly but still have the same personality. I have no doubt in my mind that Madonna is a natural provocateur. If we’re really appalled, maybe we should look at the things that still shock us. We’re talking about the woman who gave us Erotica the book and LP in 1992 – 23 years ago.
I draw a lot of my inspiration from older women – the comedic forces on Golden Girls, Angela Lansbury in anything, Betty White, Leontyne Price who blew everyone away on in October of 2001, Ming Na taking an army of men down, and all of the women who have helped me along the way.
All that to say: you shut up. Let the woman flaunt her ass if she wants to.