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‘Ageism and misogyny’: Madonna responds to criticisms over her GRAMMYs 2023 appearance

By Brooke Villanueva Published Feb 08, 2023 12:08 pm

Madonna has responded to criticisms about her GRAMMYs 2023 appearance, saying that she is once again “caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny that permeates the world we live in.”

On Wednesday, Feb. 8, the singer began her lengthy Instagram post by expressing her frustration about how people decided to focus on her “new face” instead of the “history-making moment” where she introduced Kim Petras—the first trans woman to sing at the prestigious awards ceremony—and Sam Smith before their viral performance of their hit song Unholy.

“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,” she wrote. 

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Madonna pointed out how people overlooked the things she said in her speech and shifted their focus to the wrong thing. “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,” she added.

“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, hardworking, and adventurous,” said Madonna.

Unapologetic as ever, the singer said she never apologized for her “creative choices” nor the way she looks—and she still has no plans of doing so. “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 continued.

“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,” she concluded.

Madonna made the rounds on social media at the 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Monday, Feb. 6 (Philippine time), where fans noticed a significant change in her appearance as she kept her hair back and left some dangling braids on the sides of her face. Some Internet users were left "confused," saying that she should have received the award for "Best New Face" at the GRAMMYs. Others, meanwhile, pointed out how beautiful she looked.