Madonna showed up to the Grammys on Sunday night looking like she was one Restylane injection away from becoming Marilyn Manson.
Her cheeks were puffy, her lips were as inflated as the Chinese balloon and her lashes were cartoonishly long.
Then things got even weirder.
The 64-year-old blasted anyone with 20/20 vision who commented on her altered face instead of her speech.
She blamed a “long lens camera” that would “distort anyone’s face.”
Sure, there is some distortion at play here, but it’s on her part. Her shocking appearance suggests she has some sort of body dysmorphia.
And her words suggest she has a similarly skewed view of society — and reality.
“Once again I am caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny that permeates the world we live in,” she wrote on Instagram.
“A world that refuses to celebrate women pass [sic] the age of 45 And feels the need to punish her If she continues to be strong-willed, hard-working, and adventurous.”
If she took the DeLorean back to 1983, 1993 or even 2003, there’d be some truth to this proclamation. But she couldn’t have picked a worse time than 2023 to take this self-serving stand.
Never have female performers, middle-aged or older, been more celebrated with accolades, work and visibility.
Currently, Angela Bassett and Jamie Lee Curtis, both 64, Michelle Yeoh, 60, and Cate Blanchett, 53, are all nominated for Academy Awards. Actresses such as Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez are both as relevant as ever at 53.
The hilarious “Hacks” star Jean Smart, 71, has been enjoying a rip-roaring revival that included back-to-back Golden Globe nominations and one win. And the delightful 61-year-old Jennifer Coolidge also picked up back-to-back Golden Globe nominations and a win for her turn in “The White Lotus.”
In theaters you’ll find “80 for Brady” — a big-screen celebration of enduring female friendship. The comedy features Rita Moreno, 91, Jane Fonda, 85, Lily Tomlin, 83, and Sally Field, 76 — four women who are decades past receiving their first AARP card.
And at the Grammys, Bonnie Raitt, 73, beat out Beyoncé for “Song of the Year.”
They’re making headlines for their body of work, not the work they had on their body. Sure, they may have had some nips, tucks, tweaks and weekly laser facials. But they have grown older with relative grace, mostly embracing some flaws and some wrinkles.
Madonna, whom I once adored for bucking traditional beauty standards, is a serial and skilled chameleon. She’s gone blonde, she’s gone brunette and, during her Guy Ritchie marriage, she went rogue and became a horseback-riding English rose. But in her pursuit of youth, which reportedly includes wanting to look like her early 2000s self, she had never aimed for cartoonish. Until now.
“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,” she said.
If the trail she’s blazing leads to the plastic surgeon completely renovating your face, then I’ll happily take the alternative route.
Or maybe she could be like the late, great Joan Rivers, who loved plastic surgery — but self-awareness even more.
“I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware,” she once cracked.
There’s a conversation to be had about the many “isms” that plague women and elude men.
But don’t expect an honest audit to happen with Madonna or her reverse funhouse mirror in the room. Her brand of feminism is just narcissism wrapped in plastic.