Madonna has recently come under intense scrutiny after the release of ‘unfiltered’ paparazzi photos which showthe 63-year-old queen of pop looking different from what was seen in the singer’s recent Instagram photos.
As the photos made their way to the tabloids, reporters commented on her drastically different physical appearance, adding to continued and problematic rhetoric surrounding Madonna’s appearance.
Madonna has been battling ageism for decades — and it’s no different than before.
Madonna posts regularly on Instagram but rarely escapes teasing.
On almost every Instagram post where you can see a clear image of her face, worried fans wonder why she feels the need to use filters and photoshop herself.
“Why do we act like it’s normal that she edits her photos so much?” reads a comment on one of his posts from a few weeks ago. “It seems beyond f—ing weird and uncomfortable.”
Some fans are unconvinced that the photos are being edited and simply stated that her appearance was the work of the plastic surgery, but some of the photos are undeniably edited, which even led fans to say that she looked like a teenager.
“Who is this 17-year-old girl? and “Who is this 14-year-old boy?” What have you done with Madonna?? are just two of the comments Madonna has received for her recent antics and photo retouching.
Fans can be seen in her comment sections waging war over her appearance, torn between “she’s allowed to do whatever she wants” and “she shouldn’t feel the need to.”
Yet there is an inherent hypocracy in these comments as the singer was also targeted for not “acting her age”.
Often reviled for being overtly sexual and refusing to subscribe to societal expectations, Madonna is not allowed to embrace youth or age as she would like.
Last year, 46-year-old rapper 50 Cent joined in the ageism directed at Madonna, mocking a photo she posted of herself lying under a bed and showing off her legs.
“LOL. This is Madonna under the bed trying to act like a virgin at 63. She shot herself, if she doesn’t get her old ass up. LMFAO,” he wrote.
50 Cent, as a man in the entertainment industry, would of course have no idea what it’s like to be hit with these kinds of cruel comments.
And while he received a lot of backlash from Madonna and her friends, his comments reflect a broader culture of shaming women and denying older women their right to their sexuality.
Madonna has always pushed against ageism.
After a risque photo shoot she did last month was taken down from Instagram, Madonna once addressed the many people who condemned her looks.
“It’s still amazing to me that we live in a culture that allows every inch of a woman’s body to be shown except for a nipple,” she wrote. “Like it’s the only part of a woman’s anatomy that can be sexualized.”
The photos she originally posted were taken down because of her exposed nipple, but she digs a little deeper into the larger issue.
“Thankful for managing to maintain my sanity through four decades of censorship……sexism……ageism and misogyny,” she wrote, revealing that she suffered from all of these things during her years of stardom. and that she could continue to suffer. of them.
Women in the public eye suffer a lot from social pressure, and as one Twitter user put it, it looks like Madonna has been under a lot more of that pressure.
Speaking to other women in pop culture who are considerably older and equally beloved, she writes “just wondering why Madonna’s 63 is so much more offensive to people than someone else’s 75 or 82. artist”.
Women like Dolly Parton and Cher, both older than Madonna, don’t seem to get the same kind of criticism the pop singer has. Maybe because they’ve aged in a way that for some reason is deemed acceptable.
After being voted Woman of the Year at the 2016 Billboard Women in Music Awards, Madonna gave a speech in which she talks about her struggles with all the things listed above, and most importantly gives a word about her age and ageism.
“And finally, don’t grow old,” she said toward the end of her speech. “Because aging is a sin. You will be criticized, you will be vilified and you will certainly not be on the radio.
Over the years, she’s spoken about how she was treated unfairly for her aging as well as her persistence in staying relevant and popular, which could be a big part of why she behaves the way she does now. .
“People say I’m controversial,” she said in her speech. “But I think the most controversial thing I’ve ever done is stick around.”
Ultimately, Madonna is likely to keep doing what she wants without letting anything slow her down.
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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and current affairs, social justice and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.