A triumph for all women rang out the headline in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Daily Life section last week. Just what did this triumph entail you may or may not be curious to ask. A narrowing of the gender pay gap? A reduction in domestic violence? Affordable childcare? NUP. Madonna flopped her tits out – again.
Madonna recently posed for a provocative photo spread in Interview magazine (I’ve heard of that publication which in itself blunts any cutting edge it may lay claim to). The material girl is seen gyrating about in classy lingerie, fetish gear and in one shot bares her breasts. The triumph referred to in the headline lies in the fact that at age 56 Madonna actually looks good.
As you know Mumabulous is far from prudish. The sight of Madonna’s boobies does not shock me. Mind you western society has had over 30 years to acclimatize to Madonna’s breasts. Their shock value has diminished somewhat. Ironically she’s often praised as being the queen of re-invention but here she is in her late 50s dishing out the same old schtick. Bondage gear be soo 1992.
This latest addition to Madonna’s (ahem) body of work has me oscillating like Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard. I’m all “Yeh but, Nah but, Yeh but, Nah but”
On one hand I am genuinely pleased that an older woman (at 56 Madonna certainly qualifies) can be considered attractive and sexual. On the other I am more than a little irritated that women feel they need to whip their tits out to be viewed as valuable and relevant to society. Where does it end? Will Madonna be slapping her fun bags against her gold plated Versace zimmer frame as she totters triumphantly into the the nursing home.
The wonderful Caitlin Moran has provided a very simple litmus test for what she calls “patriarchal bullshit”.
“You can tell whether some misogynistic societal pressure is being exerted on women by calmly enquiring, ‘And are the men doing this, as well?’ If they aren’t, chances are you’re dealing with what we strident feminists refer to as ‘some total fucking bullshit’.”
Overwhelmingly successful middle aged men are NOT undressing to garner attention and demonstrate their worth. Why then should Madonna feel compelled to? Madonna is sitting on the very pin prick of the pinnacle of success. According to Wealth X she recently upsurped Sir Paul McCartney as the world’s richest living recording artist with a net worth of approximately US 800m. Now there’s some bodacious assets!
Surely all Madge needs to do is flash her bank statements to prove a point. Meanwhile Sir Paul, despite being an A-grade crumpet in his day, is not known for his edgy naked photo shoots. (Believe me I looked hard for them ). Madonna’s male peers – think George Michael, Bono, Prince, Bruce Springsteen etc are keeping their clothes well and truly on. This is a blessing in the case of Prince* but I’d be happy to see The Boss lose his classic white T-shirt. An outstanding (really really outstanding) exception to this is Jon Bon Jovi. The photo below is indeed a triumph for women of all ages.
If anything, when an aging gentlemen in possession of a large fortune wants to prove he’s still “got it”, he keeps his gear on and poses with a scantily clad young lassie. I point to Exhibit A below in support of my case and apologize profoundly for any retinal damage caused.
To my (albeit warped) way of thinking true gender equality wont be achieved until we’re copping sights like this on Instagram.
I think we’ll be waiting for quite some time. Meanwhile the voice of reason came from my husband when he said ” What kind of messed up society are we living in when flopping out your tits is a triumph? That’s a terrible message to women – telling them that the most important thing they can do is get naked”. Whoa – Go Dadabs! Nikolaj Coster-Waldau I insist that you take this shirt off and hand it to my husband immediately. Win / Win!
So what do you think? Is Madonna posing in her underwear at this late stage of the game a triumph for women? Or is it merely more evidence that women are valued by their looks above everything else? Doesn’t she look fab though?
* I am a BIG fan of Prince’s music. The Little Red Corvette is one of my fav songs of all time. BUT I’d prefer he didn’t nude up.
** Nikolaj Coster Waldau plays Jamie Lannister on Game of Thrones – just one of several reasons why YOU SHOULD WATCH IT!