As eternal gay icon Madonna prepares to launch her new album Rebel Heart, she’s on a promotional trail that includes interviews and performances at events such as the Grammy’s and the upcoming BRIT Awards. I’m looking forward to the new album and will no doubt mince along to the shops to buy it when it’s out, but I’m also finding myself becoming increasingly annoyed that it seems to be en vogue to hold ageist attitudes about Madonna.
The great lady probably doesn’t care that people are being ageist towards her (B**ch, she’s Madonna), but from my point of view, it’s quite disgusting. I haven’t managed to watch Madonna’s recent Grammy’s performance, but when looking on Facebook I saw lots of statuses and comments about Madonna needing to ‘put it away’ and act her age. To be honest I’m not really sure how a 56-year-old should be acting. Surely as long as Madonna is happy and not doing any harm, she can behave however she wants to. In fact, I applaud Madonna for being so carefree and doing what she wants. I hope I’m just as ballsy when I reach 56.
The latest act of ageism comes in the form of a story from the Daily Mail that Radio 1 has banned Madonna songs from their station. Radio 1 has since denied the accusations, stating that they individual songs on their merit and relevance to the station’s target audience. The Radio 1 spokesperson also stated that they do include older artists on their playlist and gave Paul McCartney currently being featured as an example.
While I understand the statement that Radio 1 made, I would like to ask them whether they can give an example of an older female who is currently on their playlist or has been in recent times. I can’t think of any and the Paul McCartney example is pretty much void as he is only on the playlist because he features on a Rihanna song. If Paul McCartney was releasing a song that only he features on, I don’t think he would even be considered for the Radio 1 playlist.
Although the Radio One refutes the Daily Mail story, it does raise questions about the prevalence of ageism and sexism. Ageism remains a big issue in society and is often coupled with sexism when you consider a number of women who are mocked for ‘looking old’ or not ‘acting their age’. I can’t think of any males who face the same treatment.
When it comes to Madonna being a victim of ageism, I doubt she cares, but I think Shirley Manson from Garbage summed it up best when she said the following in a 2012 interview with Bullet Media:
“The tabloids complain about Madonna looking old, and people laugh at her for that. Then Madonna goes and fixes her face, and they laugh at her for that. Even though they begrudgingly say she looks amazing, they’ll still laugh at her for trying to look young. Then she steps out, looking amazing, and the tabloids go and blow up a picture of her aging hand. Nobody’s doing that to George Clooney, blowing up pictures of his hands! I look at these magazines, and I want to say to them, ‘What’s your point? That she’s aged? Does that surprise you? Or is your ‘point’ an attempt to undercut what she’s achieved?’ I think it is, even if it’s on a subconscious level. … And you probably wouldn’t turn down those hands if they were grabbing you under the table, you f**king idiots!”
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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.