When Madonna first burst on the scene, I was a horny zygote in need of release. She provided that and then some. Don’t get me wrong, I dug her tunes…the wistful melody of “Borderline,” the slapback beat of “Lucky Star,” but mostly, I just had the hots for her. I’d even go as far as to say, she brought on my puberty – gratified my central nervous system with her electric sex appeal. Madonna was the ultimate ‘boy toy’ and she worked it to platinum success. I remember, when those hirsute shots of her came out in Playboy, I was memsmerized. All that glorious hair – my body ached for her.
As I grew older, I began to lose interest. I’m not sure why. The songs were still well constructed, melodic and eminently listenable, but there was something about her that irritated me. Maybe it was her craven ambition to rule the world. Maybe it was her pitbull focus on pushing the barriers of sexual expression. I mean, sure, I was still an oversexed teenager, but in a hopelessly repressed sort of a way. I guess, I felt her overblown persona subsumed her music, so I just tuned out.
It’s funny though, nowadays I really appreciate what she did and what she stood for…what she continues to stand for. She’s not afraid to speak her mind politically. She doesn’t give a shit whether her views are divisive, hell, she thrives on it. Madonna, is a badass – and always will be. What I realize now is, she was not gratuitous in the way she portrayed herself…she was purposeful. She advocated for gay rights, she empowered women to own their sexuality. In point of fact, she was a hero to millions…she walked the walk.
I wonder what she must think of today’s female pop stars?
Not to sound like some old crank, but it’s quite clear that the female ‘artists’ of today are largely egocentric. Sure, they may give lip service, on occasion, to issues like body acceptance, online bullying, and ‘slut shaming,’ but it’s usually in response to something some troll wrote about them on Twitter. By and large, it’s all about the product. There are no boundaries being pushed, socially, politically – and certainly not musically.
Take Taylor Swift, for instance. Here’s someone that is about as solipsistic as they come. Her music is generic as is her Barbie doll persona. In 2016, she stayed completely out of the presidential campaign. With the platform she had and the millions of fans hanging on her every word, she chose to stay silent. Who knows what sort of influence she may have had. She’s a useless, middling talent – a total drag. I don’t see how she engenders so much devotion.
And what about Lady Gaga? Her entire career has been a half-assed rip off of Madonna. For Christ’s sake, she’s even stolen her melodies – “Born This Way” is “Express Yourself”…period! The main difference is, Lady Gaga is a self-obsessed bore, cranking out her predictable pablum to an audience that has become tin-eared and obtuse after years of being force-fed sonic dreck.
People are starving out there…starving for something real. Kids need substance, not product.
Madonna, by the way, was not afraid to speak out in 2016. Nor is she afraid to call out the inherent misogyny in our society. Remember the Women’s March?
Yeah. I’m proud Madonna was the female icon of my generation. It took years for me to appreciate her again, but better late than never. Next year, she turns 60…Madonna – a sexagenarian! Hard to believe, but she still looks great…and she’ll forever be a badass.
Editor’s note — Z Reader, Mike, brought to our attention that Lady Gaga did actually speak out during the 2016 elections, so we apologize for that mistake and have amended that bit in the piece. We should point out, however, that she could have gone a lot further to speak out politically in her new documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two.