i love madonna.
if you know me, you are not going to be surprised by the statement that i love madonna. a steven klein portrait of a confessions-era madonna (clothed in head to toe hermes/gaultier riding gear ), riding crop in hand, looks over my studio with command. this is spirit with which madonna has traversed her career: an emboldened confidence based on a lovely combination of instinct, hard work and a dash of fake-it-till-you-make-it blind ambition. basically, madonna is disciplined chutzpah to the stylish core.
recently, i’ve just noticed a lot of hate posted on facebook and twitter about her age, her looks and her apparent need to retire. i have heard this chatter since i began following her career in 1982, so usually i roll my eyes at these naysayers since their eternal presence and incorrect soothsaying has rendered themselves moot.
frankly it is time for those who appreciate, understand and support madonna, to speak up. even if you don’t love all her choices, songs or outfits, that shouldn’t frighten you off from sticking up for madonna for giving us “into the groove” at the very least. beyond the endless achivements and acccolades i could list, i just adore her for that patented fearlessness, committment to the discipline of perfectionism and mastercrafting the visual medium as a storytelling device.
oh and don’t forget she killed it in evita.
additionally, her male peers seem to glide by unscathed while she is held to a higher standard just because she is at least TRYING to keep herself together as she ages. if she let herself get fat, would she be shown some love? i doubt it. does a woman have to be seen as an absolute lack of threat in order to be appreciated? nobody bothers to tell mick jagger or bruce springsteen to go away. it strikes me as odd that many seem to be withholding their true respect for her as an artist, simply because she is still in the game. if she were to retire, she would be a beloved legend, but since she is still working and evolving, she will die without permanently winning over the masses. thankfully, that isn’t her goal and dumbing herself down to pacify loudmouth pedestrian cowards on twitter and facebook isn’t on her agenda.
love her or hate her, i hope at least you respect her. she doesn’t get the credit she deserves (at least not in this lifetime) for her 30 year career of artistic contributions or for a lifetime of pushing conversational taboos forward towards the horizon of an evolving societal landscape we see today. gay rights. not allowing men (or other women) to limit what can be dreamed in your professional career. encouraging artists to have a point of view and most importantly, not be afraid to express it. madonna’s own words say it best, listen to her views on ageism as well as how she sees her own role throughout her life.
madonna is a true leader. she knows that creating change and voicing an unfamiliar position breeds contempt and can often be a lonely game. pioneers have always been solitary in the end, but luckily that doesn’t scare her from discovering what’s next. for some reason, she isn’t given the respect an artist that has achieved as much as she has… sadly, that’s probably the reason why. so i for one, am going to speak about my appreciation for her openly and loudly. not as a celebrity, diva or any other trite accolade, but as an artist who works hard as hell, challenges herself constantly, and isn’t afraid to fall, get back up, and live the exact kind of life that she intends. hashtag fuckyall