Rather than shrink away after seeing a mountain of social media chatter about her physical appearance on the Grammy Awards Sunday night, Madonna has confronted it head-on, writing a lengthy social media post saying “ageism and misogyny” are behind the commentary — not to mention “close-up photos of me taken with a long lens camera by a press photographer that would distort anyone’s face!!”
Unbowed and far from bloody after being the talk of Twitter for two days, Madonna ended her missive with a command: “Bow down, bitches!”
She also borrowed the words of the ceremony’s leading winner, Beyonce, writing: “You won’t break my soul.”
The pop superstar said that she believes criticism of her look is rooted far less in her appearance than longstanding historical resistance to her brazen attitude — combined with a desire to push back at women just for refusing to step outside of the limelight as they age. “A world that refuses to celebrate women past the age of 45 and feels the need to punish her If she continues to be strong willed, hard-working and adventurous,” she wrote.
A backstage video montage she posted along with the message included shots of her French-kissing with the not-so-tongue-tied artist Jozzy and otherwise happily cavorting with Sam Smith, Cardi B, Ab-Soul and DJ Honey Dijon.
Madonna’s full Instagram statement [with minor fixes made for punctuation and capitalization peculiarities]:
“It was an honor for me to Introduce Kim Petras and Sam Smith at the Grammys. I wanted to give the last award which was Album of the Year, but I thought it was more important that I present the first trans- woman performing at the Grammys — a history-making moment!! And on top of that she won a Grammy!!
“Instead of focusing on what I said in my speech, which was about giving thanks for the fearlessness of artists like Sam and Kim, many people chose to only talk about close-up photos of me taken with a long lens camera by a press photographer that would distort anyone’s face!!
“Once again I am caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny that permeates the world we live in.
A world that refuses to celebrate women past the age of 45 and feels the need to punish her If she continues to be strong-willed, hard-working and adventurous.
“I have never apologized for any of the creative choices I have made nor the way that I look or dress and I’m not going to start. I have been degraded by the media since the beginning of my career, but I understand that this is all a test, and I am happy to do the trailblazing so that all the women behind me can have an easier time in the years to come.
“In the words of Beyonce, ‘You won’t break my soul.’
“I look forward to many more years of subversive behavior — pushing boundaries, standing up to the patriarchy and most of all enjoying my life.
“Bow down bitches!”