July 27, 2009

Madonna: Stay the Hell Out of the Gym

Now, before I get into this rant, let me open by saying, I acknowledge that Madonna is a pop music icon and she really is unrivaled in pop music in terms of longevity for a female artist. And she gets full credit for successfully re-inventing herself and re-positioning herself and re-branding herself in order to do that. I give her even more credit when you factor in that she can't really sing very well and doesn't appear to have much musical talent at all.

But for the love of god, look at this picture! What the hell is going on here? For someone as iconic as her, and someone who's clearly been a trend-setter and an inadvertent role model for women and girls, this really isn't sending the right message. She's been obsessed with working out for years and years, but this just looks awful.

Madonna's arrival on the popculture scene was around the time I turned 12. Needless to say, seeing her rolling around on the stage in wedding dress with her lacy bra and stocking tops clearly visible was burned into my brain.

I had posters of Madonna, pictures from crappy music magazines and watched her videos with ... particular interest. It was not lost on my parents that I only ever seemed to have a passing interest in her music. I remember, when word came out that Madonna was going to appear in Playboy magazine, my 12 year old brain almost melted. I'm not sure where I got the idea that this was an acceptable thing to do, but I went and asked my mother if she would purchase the magazine for me. Amazingly, she agreed to do so, and my first 'smut' mag was in my hands, courtesy my impossibly cool mother. Well, you can imagine my surprise when I furiously flipped through the magazine only to find black and white pictures of Madonna, with black hair and armpits that could be described as "European." But, unquestionably, the curvy physique she had was undeniably female and clearly quite appealing. Now she appears to be an extra from The Nightmare Before Christmas and it's hard to believe shes gone from sex symbol to coat rack. Sad.

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