Madonna’s Photo Is Bad, But The Reactions Are Worse [Opinion]

Theo WargoGetty Images

“Why can’t this dinosaur go extinct already! Go away madonnasaurus!” screams Pa Blo, a man whose Facebook page is dedicated to Janet Jackson.

“Grandma needs to chill on the opiates,” says James Jones.

Those were just some of the nicer comments made after Madonna posted an unflattering picture with a Louis Vuitton bag and her breasts out on Facebook. The comments after the same post on Instagram were just as inflammatory.

“Your lips look terrible,” mentions Strapantales.

“You look fu***ng ridiculous. Time to grow up and stop being a w**re monger,” says Morrrob.

To be fair, this isn’t a beautiful, sexy, and artistic photo of Madonna that people are ripping on. Actually, the photo is very unflattering. And what about those grillz Madonna keeps wearing? And the expression on her face. Let’s not mention the fact that, as some of the commenters noticed, she really does look like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.

However, in a day and age when “selfies” are photoshopped to death to the point they don’t even resemble the person, a picture like this is fascinating. In a day when women are shamed for being fun and sexy after 30, this picture is welcome, even if it’s not very fun or sexy. And in Madonna’s case, where she has often been accused of trying to control her image way too much, the photo is hilarious.

Surely, Madonna knows all of this, which is why she chose to post it. She’s not desperate to be sexy and young. Whether it’s good for her career or not, Madonna is intent on constantly clapping back at her haters. It’s actually been like that her whole career. Lately, the more Madonna is told that she is “too old” and should just “cover up,” she comes back, refuses to act her age, and uncovers. She constantly reveals society’s hypocrisy and double standards.

Madonna Defiant
Madonna doesn't seem to care what people think about her. Featured image credit: Kevin WinterGetty Images

However, it’s true that Madonna is being criticized by some of her own fans, and it has nothing to do with ageism or sexism.

“This is not the icon who helped me though coming out and being positive. Sad times,” says Martin P. Burns under the Facebook post.

“Lol – I don’t care about you having your t**s out. Let’s face it we’ve all seen them at one time or another… it’s just an unflattering photo M – you have more style than this,” argues Warren J. Sage, Jr.

However, there are others who argue that Madonna is the same person she has been throughout her career — one who challenges notions of what’s acceptable. In the 1980s, people criticized Madonna for being too sleazy for wearing sexy clothes. In the 1990s, the term “slut” was used more to describe the Queen of Pop than any other woman. In 2018, women can be comfortable wearing what they want and being sexy. They can be comfortable “wanting to get laid” and talking about it. Much of this is because of the doors Madonna opened.

In ten years, we will likely see more older female stars refuse to “age gracefully,” wearing and saying what they want. Will they also post unflattering pictures of themselves? Perhaps not, but then again — Madonna is always way ahead of her time.