Dear Internet: All The Snickering About Madonna's Age Is Getting Real Old

Madonna-MDNA-AlbumBLOG.jpg
This week Madonna's 12th studio album and dive into the deep end of the EDM pool, MDNA, came out. I didn't like it very much. But what I like even less is the sexism-tinged age-baiting that the record seems to be inspiring in so many critics. Forbes was likely the worst offender of the bunch, going so far as to call MDNA "Madonna's Mighty Menopausal Comeback." (Uh, was that claim fact-checked, "straight woman half her age" who wrote that piece?)

Unsurprisingly, the pick-a-little-talk-a-lot gossipsphere is the worst aggregate offender in this case, with VH1-clip-show-cutting-room-floor "jokes" about her looks and extreme-to-the-max close-ups of her imperfections. (I count the always-ready-for-linkbaiting Daily Mail, which mocked Madonna's fishnets-and-shorts outfit at Ultra by reminiscing about the days when "she had a dancer's buttocks and thighs but, most importantly, she was only 32 years old," among the offenders here.) But the regular press has been just as disappointing. Take the National Post, which engaged in a little bit of meta-enabling by putting down gossip bloggers and agreeing with them in the same breath:

It's easy to take carping about an old woman acting young as snide dismissal, but the problems with Madonna's attempt here go well beyond some Perez Hilton snickering. For starters, it is just an affront to the few comforts we can take in getting older for someone who so thoroughly captured the thrill of youth's transgressions to just straight-up deny that it's happening. Madonna could have brought some kind of no-nonsense perspective to her maturation. In fact, that kind of seems what she's trying to do on a song like 'I Don't Give A,' when she sings "I'm gonna be okay / I don't care what the people say / I'm gonna be alright / Gonna live fast, gonna gonna live right." Screw you, hater: I am owning who I am.

Except, of course, she's not.

Nice trick there. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, meanwhile, sneers:

On the single 'Give Me All Your Luvin'' -- which is nowhere near as good as the ZZ Top song and which you surely heard during her gaudy Super Bowl halftime spectacle -- she sings, "Don't play the stupid game, 'cause I'm a different kind of girl/ Every record sounds the same, you gotta step into my world."

And that would be ... what exactly? A 53-year-old sophisticate sounding like Avril Lavigne doing Toni Basil?

And the Tampa Bay Times chimes in:

Madonna is no longer the belle of the pop ball, but the 53-year-old giddily believes she can still hang with all the Cinderellas. That's where the trouble starts on the new MDNA, an awkward midlife-crisis album. Madge makes like the Fairy Godmother of clubland, and guess who's up for a bibbidi-bobbidi-booty call.

Cute Cinderella imagery there, but I hope that 53-year-old men who believe that they can "hang with the Cinderellas" get the same scrutiny from this writer. Or is that okay because that relationship reinforces the traditional power norms?

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36 comments
Rachel
Rachel

Amen to this article. The ageism thing is old - no pun intended. Her concerts are sold out around the world - enough proof that she is still relevant and enough proof that she has a legendary status and people want to see her. I love the way people feel the need to step in and offer their "advice" to someone who has been one of the most successful artists to ever walk the planet and she is still setting records. Really? The people handing out "advice" are the ones who need their heads examined. Secondly - everyone gets to choose their own path as long as they aren't harming anyone. Maybe you all should think about getting a life and living it.

Por And Para
Por And Para

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Discounted Madonna Tickets
Discounted Madonna Tickets

I am a big fan of Madonna and i feel sorry for all those people who don't have sense to see the great talent and if you guys are talking about her age and Dressing so let me told you that her dressing and age is perfectly matched .

Lady Antebellum Tickets
Lady Antebellum Tickets

Madonna's doing the same music she has always done. People only have an issue because she's older now. If you listen to MDNA it's really just old Madonna mixed with the new. The only song that sounds "try-hard" is "Give Me All Your Luvin'" and I never cared for that song, it sounds like a song for a commercial.

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

Funniest thing I ever heard said of Madonna, and I don't know where it comes from, but someone, somewhere in my memory once said Madge is looking more and more like a sack of shellfish - just a weird looking bag of muscles.

Sam Parker
Sam Parker

There are plenty of reasons not to like Madonna, and her new album is just one of them. I found it interesting that the author forget to mention a key Madonna incident that recently occurred and has spurned on most of the criticism of her age and trying to appeal to a younger demo, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.... Madonna is a public figure who has used her image to market products, all musicians are subject to mockery from something or another, and when you make money on how you look you should expect people to comment. Madonna used a known drug reference to try and connect with a younger demographic, thus opening up herself to all sorts of hate.  If you don't want your name smeared keep it to yourself and remain a private figure. When you enter the public arena, expect this kind of stuff to happen. If you don't want people to make fun of the way you dress, look, dance, whatever, then don't market your image.

Some food for thought about her image: (The second one also criticizes Elton John for you all)

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyl...

http://themoscownews.com/russi...

Clarifications: Someone posted that her album was topping the charts. I don't know what charts you are looking at but the Bilboard charts say different. Her album was #20 debut and none of the singles are currently on the top 100. Also, the album has met with lukewarm reviews, rolling stone gave it a 3.5.

Enuf Istoomuch
Enuf Istoomuch

Never was a fan of Madonna, but I respect what she does as a business person and artist. The woman is absolutely what she presents herself to be, a brilliant marketer of herself. The reinvention act is what her fans want, she gives it to them. That's honest and obviously marketable as hell.

More generally the trend towards insulting women of all ages is a weird constant among us men. I have never understood this. We want to see them naked, we want them to be curvy, or athletic, or both. We want to at least get a little titty action if at all possible. We do not know why we feel this way, few of us would ever stop to think about it anyway.

If we get any of that, and it is not for us personally and privately, many men disparage the women for giving us what we want.

"Show is your tits!"

"Cheap slut is flashing her tits"

Huge servings of Hypocrisy for everyone!

As for the age thing, we all age. Picking on anyone for getting older is a pretty absurd thing to do. It's being mean for the sake of Mean.

So long as she presents what she is and her fans like it, I say the critics can all go pound sand.

md
md

In the past, Madonna created a "stir" by trading in sex and controversy. Now that she's older, it doesn't wear so well.

I just watched "Girl Gone Wild." She looks like she's in great shape, although it seems clear it's shot in high-contrast black and white to hide signs of age in her facial features.

My impression: It's the same type of crap that Jennifer Lopez puts out.

She's regressed instead of maturing as an artist.

Gwen
Gwen

plus she said  some really idiotic things(I've also said stupid things but  I've owned up to them and  are just harsh.  i 've also said some mean things but then realized they were mean.(e.g. referring to her a few years ago as emotionally  r---.  you should not use that word towards a person. (againt inanimate objects is different. e.g my phone is retarded).  but  I don't like that words towarda a person for the most part(because   in Canada it  can be a disrespectful words  to some who has learning challengers or is differently abled aka a disablility). to people in the united states and possibly other places, let's find a different word to use ok?

Gwen
Gwen

I like Madonna and  I like some of her new stuff but she is trying to act  like a 20 year old (not all 20 years old act like this or  act like it all the time.) but some of her stuff she's doing, like seriously?  she can still  have a good time and drinks and whatever and ( she ever gets married aigan, have an an active sex life) but the woman at times is a cougar.  not sexy

Cris Hendrix
Cris Hendrix

The article seems to miss the point though. Madonna's trying to act like she's 20 but she looks like she's 53.

If I saw some 53 year old dude walking around wearing tight hipster jeans with his butt hanging out and dressing like Justin Bieber and talking about "swag" I would point and laugh just the same, regardless of his pop star status.

Mick Jagger though he may still dance around and sing with younger people sometimes doesn't seem to be acting out of character imo, I'm not sure how it's even remotely a valid comparison? He's not trying to make hip hop or club music and sell it to 20 year olds, he knows his audience and his age and acts like an old guy that likes to have fun.

Del Martinis
Del Martinis

I think you're the only one who doesn't see the sexism that's rampant in your comments! Somehow you found a way to excuse Jagger...cause he plays to his own people!  Madonna continues to perform and write the club music she's always been known for, no change there. It's an audience she's always had, who sell out her concerts and buy her records. I mean, how dare she?

Wordb
Wordb

Nice. I'm glad someone is calling out the rampant sexism. I just find is humorous that Madonna can still create such a stir after decades. I didn't think it would be so easy in the 21st century. Guess I was incorrect!

Jecha
Jecha

Why does she need to conform to what anyone else feels she should be?  She has always pushed the limits and laughs all the way to the bank doing it.  It's who she is and who she always will be.  I hope to have the energy and drive she does when I'm her age.  Good for her!

Del Martinis
Del Martinis

What part is sad?  Does she need to put on a granny dress and drink tea?

Del Martinis
Del Martinis

Thanks for standing out and making the point I've been trying to make for years now!  She's older and so?  Are there rules for Madonna that don't apply to other aging artists such as Mick Jagger or Elton John who just turned 65?  And when was 53 old?  Performers from my parents generation kept belting it out till they died.  

Evan
Evan

People didn't call Mick Jagger old at the Super Bowl? Really?

I guess I get the point behind the article, but if the album sucks independent of how old she is, then why bother further publicizing an irrelevant pop album? I mean, this is a music blog, right?

Drozdovich
Drozdovich

Look who is talking shit about Madonna! F-ING Dallas observer as if they understand the trends and what and who looks good. Sorry but nobody gives a shit about your opinions because they are not objective. Travel the world , live in Europe or new York, visit cool clubs and then we will talk about Madonna. MDNA is the album of a decade and Madonna has not lost it a bit. The one and only Queen of pop.

md
md

In its second week out, sales of "the album of the decade" fell 86.7 percent, from 359,000 to 48,000. That is the biggest second-week percentage drop for a No. 1 album since 1991, when Billboard began using precise data from Nielsen SoundScan to compile its charts. (Before that, its charts were put together from retailer reports — far from a scientific approach.)...The new low set by “MDNA,” with its 86.7 percent drop, tops Lady Gaga’s second-week loss for “Born This Way” last year...While “MDNA” falls to No. 8 this week, and “Born This Way” sits at No. 161 in its 46th week out, the biggest contrary example of this trend is sitting pretty at No. 2 — Adele’s “21” (XL/Columbia) had no extraordinary marketing when it came out last year, and no sales gimmicks, but it has barely budged from the Top 5. This week, its 59th week out, it sold 153,000 copies — up 26 percent from the week before. (NYT)

md
md

In the "cool clubs" they care about trends and who looks good. They're objective in making these assessments too. So when they say MDNA is "the album of a decade" despite sounding like it was named after a telethon, we should listen.

My assessment is it's been a dire decade thus far in the cool clubs.

Texasdave60
Texasdave60

So, you're sitting in the airport lounge between legs of your journey, reading this blog out of boredom?   You care enough about the DO's opinion to post, so thanks for playing!

Casandria Snipe
Casandria Snipe

Hmmm...Well I don't know what you call Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Brett Michaels, and Steve Tyler from Aerosmith then. They act and look (with the help of plastic surgery in some cases) just as they did in the 80s and its just as sad. The difference - at least when Madonna puts out an album the world pays attention, good or bad.

Audra Schroeder
Audra Schroeder

Truth. Steven Tyler's still twirling around in his gypsy scarves on stage, but no one really calls him out for being old and washed up. When he takes off his clothes on American Idol and leers at teenage contestants, it's funny, right? That's just Steven Tyler for ya!

just sayin'
just sayin'

Actually, Steven Tyler has been ridiculed for looking like an old woman. Do a google search and find that pic that made the rounds a year or so ago that a fan took of him at the store. Funny stuff.

Madonna has always used sex to market herself. So its only natural to expect backlash when she is still doing it as a fucking AARP member. Nobody wants to see grandma in fishnets and tights. Except for maybe the old queens that still worship her.

therrick
therrick

 I dunno there is quite a bit of GILF porn out there.

Steve
Steve

She's still hot as Hell and could dance/sing/perform/cardio/fuck circles around the fat cunts (male and female) who criticize her.

I don't even really listen to her, but judging by the fatasses in the DO club slideshows, motherfuckers best shut their fat little mouths.

Fat emo pussy.

Gwen
Gwen

That's not cool to diss someone who   might not like the same artists as you (ok so you don't listen to her but stil) you wouldn't want someone to diss you  for liking your tastes do  (I know some people like stuff I don't like an vice versa, but they don't diss me perosnally although they might question why i like it) and i'm not fat either. i'm slim. and really emo pussy? ( I like emo kids and sometimes like to make fun of the emos who are mopey) but come on dude. oh i'm preppy just to let you know. personally I'd think you're being an idiot.

Storm_71
Storm_71

That's a nice use of profanity there Steve. I give you a B+. Would have been an A+ if you could have somehow shoe horned "cock" or "dick" in there.

ThreeOranges
ThreeOranges

Madonna: Better than fat people.

That's quite a selling point. I can't wait to shell out a hundred bucks to see her in an oversized arena so I can watch her lip synch and dance a little better than people who don't dance.

ThreeOranges
ThreeOranges

If she were actually performing well, nobody would say a thing. But she's not. So is it OK if we just say "Madonna sucks now," as long as we don't point out that she didn't always and that the time when she didn't was quite a long time ago?

bplenc
bplenc

 her album is currently #1 around the world. this on the anniversary of her 30th year in pop music.

no one else has done that. ever. and with the way music sales are now a days in general, no one ever will.

just sayin'
just sayin'

Madonna is fair game for this kind of treatment because her old ass is still dressing like she is in her 20's and is still pandering to the club kids. She looks like some out of touch grandmother. You don't see Robert Plant onstage these days in skin tight blue jeans and an unbuttoned shirt. And his english accent is real.

Lance_Lester
Lance_Lester

I think you're missing the greater point in all these pieces.  Madonna is make music, and acting like, she's still part of club culture.  No one wants to see that, it's just sad.

bplenc
bplenc

 or the whole world does. currently the #1 album in the world.

Lance_Lester
Lance_Lester

I should've been more clear (more clearer?).  Her music is really good, no doubt.  But, it's a little sad when you see her trying to dress and act the part.

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