The pop superstar is turning 60 on August 16 and is again breaking barriers – this time as a mature woman who is still brash, carnal and unapologetic.
Whether by brazenly injecting sex in the public sphere, adopting gay subculture for mainstream audiences or becoming the top-selling female musician of all time, Madonna has asserted an incalculable influence.
Giving new meaning to the term sexagenarian, Madonna openly dates men three decades younger, maintains a svelte figure that would be the envy of most people half her age and on her latest tour put on a characteristically provocative show that simulated most conceivable sex acts.
Many before her continue to stay active while growing older, singers as diverse as Aretha Franklin, Cher, Dolly Parton and Stevie Nicks who’ve all remained on stage way into their 70s.
But Madonna — who entered pop culture at the same time as MTV — has embodied the cult of youth like few other artists and, while others reinvented themselves or staged nostalgic comebacks, the Material Girl has never gone more than four years without an album since her blockbuster self-titled debut in 1983.
The title of a single off her latest album, “Rebel Heart,” summed up her unwavering attitude: “Bitch, I’m Madonna.”
Madonna now, even in today’s day and age, demonstrates a new kind of relevance.
“As an ageing, female popular musician who is still so much in the public eye, she is absolutely relevant.”
“Madonna stands out in a way that she always has done, in that she has always been interested in creating a stir which someone like Cher, does not, really!”
Many stars “seem to fade in and out of focus, while Madonna just doesn’t seem to fade out!”
Madonna: “To Age Is A Sin”
In a 2016 speech as she accepted an award from music magazine Billboard, Madonna said that society allowed women to be “pretty and cute and sexy” but not to share their opinions — or sexual fantasies.
“Be what men want you to be. But more importantly, be what women feel comfortable with you being around other men,” she said, describing unwritten rules of the music business.
“And finally, do not age. Because to age is a sin. You will be criticised, you will be vilified, and you will definitely not be played on the radio.” Her words most likely referring to BBC Radio 1 declining to play one of her recent singles as it pursued a younger audience.
Madonna has persisted in her political outspokenness. She delivered a fiery speech to last year’s Women’s March a day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Vowing that women would not accept “this new age of tyranny.”
Yummy Mummy Even In Her 60s
Madonna has also challenged conceptions of motherhood, adopting four children from Malawi in addition to her biological son and daughter.
Madonna, last year moved to Lisbon where one of her sons is attending a youth football academy. She’s marking her 60th birthday by encouraging fans to donate to her charity for children in Malawi.
Even as a mother, Madonna has pursued her relationships. The attention stands in contrast to the comparative societal yawn over older men who date much younger women. Still active stars Mick Jagger and Billy Joel both recently becoming fathers again.
Feminists the world over rejoice and say “Cheers To Madonna!”“If that’s her sexual taste and she’s pulling it off. She’s living a fantasy that most women either don’t want or can’t do.”
Case Studies In Hollywood That Still Don’t Match Up To Madonna
Older women have also enjoyed growing prominence in Hollywood. But their love interests — especially as depicted in films – are rarely younger men.
Leading mature actresses have played roles of rekindling romance with senior men. Diane Keaton in “Something’s Gotta Give” and Meryl Streep in “Hope Springs”.
But Madonna has her own persona of sexual outrage. And, along with ageing Hollywood stars, offers a new model for women of the baby boom generation.
“The baby boom, has always been at the edge of trying to give new definition to sex and gender. It is trying to say — you know, we’re not ready to be written off just because we’re older now.”