Today's post comes to you compliments of guest blogger and fellow modern feminist, Jesse, over at FashionLimbo.
I confess: I have been a Madonna fan since the age of five. I have all the albums, singles, calendars, posters and books. I troubled my parents and made my conservative aunts blush covering my walls with her Erotica pictures when I was only 10. I learnt about love, sex and life from her, and she remains my role model.
Madonna began with nothing. She is an icon of the 80s, the 90s, and she is still an idol today. She has sold millions of records, topped the charts more times than Elvis, received dozens of awards. She created her own record and production company, and has written books and a directed a film. Her latest album is a global hit, and her upcoming world tour is selling out as I write.
She is the ultimate businesswoman, has defended femininity and girl power worldwide, telling women to take control of their lives, live their dreams and ignore male-imposed principles. Yet, all the headlines are saying right now is that she is 50, young no more, and really: isn’t it time she stopped? And who does she think she is walking around in skimpy underwear for her latest video? And what about all the surgery she has had done?
Relationships and motherhood proved to be two more battle grounds of principles for our Queen of Pop. Madonna has not only been portrayed as a sperm shopper, but also recently as baby snatcher for falling in love with a Malawian boy at an orphanage. She is portrayed as an unfaithful wife because she keeps working, travelling abroad, networking and leaving her husband to do his own thing. Her latest offence? Turning 50 and releasing a raunchy album, daring to dance alongside young Justin Timberlake. The media is covering the milestone over and over again: just Google “Madonna turns 50” and you will see what I mean. It is everywhere.
My question is this: when Brad Pitt turns 50 (he is 45), will we all make the fuss we do today? Will we be debating whether he should start toning it down and covering up, will we question his ability to do his job?
Why is it that women have an expiry date to their career, their femininity or motherhood? Why is it that beauty products still use teenagers to sell anti-wrinkle products, and apart from Dove (and Jane Fonda), older female models have yet to enter the media and marketing landscape. We still live in a world that teaches us every day: “if you are a woman and wrinkled, cover up, because nobody wants to see it”.
The purpose of this post? To congratulate my idol on her beautifully successful existence. To tell women out there that we owe her a lot, that we still need her to remind this world of the need for change, and to publicly proclaim that she is the sexiest woman on this planet at 50, 55 or 65. This post is for all those women who are turning 50, or who are 60 and older and still feel sexy and refuse to slow down.
And last but not least: this one is for Madonna…For contributing to who I am, for opening the worlds’ eyes to erotica, female sexuality without guilt, music and artistic integrity, in the 80s, 90s, noughties and beyond.
Happy birthday Madonna.