Being 64 once pretty much meant going back down the mountain of life.
The Beatles even wrote a song about it in 1967: “Will you still need me?/Will you still feed me?/When I’m 64”.
The same song talks about knitting, gardening, grandkids on their knees and, yikes, fading away.
But 64 then and 64 now are two very different things. And nobody is a better example of that than Madonna, who hit the 64 club earlier this week.
But there was none radio times, Ovaltine and hairnet for Madge as she reached this milestone. Instead, she reportedly screamed it at a party in an 18th-century palace while vacationing in Sicily.
Her son Rocco also celebrated his birthday this week and Madonna posted several photos from their evening on her own Instagram feed.
There’s no two ways Madonna looks remarkable in these photos. She looks better than she did when she was 30. Her face is as smooth, peachy and unlined as a teenager’s. Your bone structure is more pronounced than ever.
But it has nothing to do with defying nature, everything to do with the application of science – mostly Photoshop and extreme beauty adjustments, and obviously lots of both.
That’s all well and good, of course. Madonna shows a lot of lust for life judging by her energetic Sicilian evenings. She lives exactly the way she wants and gives the naysayers a very pointed two fingers.
She is aware that her face and what she does with it is a constant topic of public fascination. Her “fans” often ask in the comments on her social media feeds why she feels the need to have a heavy airbrushed hand and multiple plastic surgery procedures.
On the other hand, Madonna is often trolled for not acting “age appropriate”. Rapper 50 Cent even joined in the fray after posting a photo of herself under the bed. “LOL. That’s Madonna under the bed trying to do Like A Virgin with 63. She’s kicked out if she can’t get her old ass up. LMFAO,” he wrote.
Did that happen to Dolly Parton or Cher, who both happily admitted to spending more than a minute in the plastic surgeon’s chair? Do Kate Bush or Joni Mitchell face the same criticism?
No, because they have “gracefully” aged. Acceptable. Why are these artists the elderly stateswomen revered for their longevity, while Madonna is often portrayed as desperately trying, and often failing, to remain relevant? Aren’t your fees already paid?
I had long believed that if Madonna had steered clear of Photoshop and let the world see her unfiltered, “unacceptably aging” face, it might have been the ultimate in female empowerment; If she had accepted the inevitable, natural aging process and turned her back on all the expectations that weigh on women.
Whichever famous arsonist sees, acknowledges, and happily turns his back on this significant societal pressure (Lizzo perhaps?) will be a true pop culture hero.
After decades of railing against misogyny, sexism, and abuse, Madonna’s timeless features may seem like a surrender to some. Others see Madonna’s youthful vigor as two fingers of her critics.
Anyhow, there’s no doubt that the power of the music industry’s misogyny is a formidable opponent for even the biggest cultural incendiaries.
I don’t miss you already, Tom
In one of the least topical showbiz stories of all time, actor Robert Linsday announced this week that he was leaving Twitter because it was “affecting his daily life, thoughts and imagination.”
“I need to detox from the stress of social media,” he told his followers. His fellow actor Tom Holland has also announced that he will withdraw from social media.
“I find Instagram and Twitter overwhelming, overwhelming.
“When I read things about myself online, I get trapped and spiral, and it ends up hurting my mental state,” he says.
It’s not just the celebs who are making a big song and dance about their decision to leave social media. Many civilians, the size of a state ambassador, are announcing their decision to leave Facebook or Instagram, obviously concerned that their 38 followers (and Aunt Mary on Facebook) will feel their absence badly.
But they won’t.
Leaving social media is a great idea, especially if it’s for mental health reasons, but there’s absolutely no need to say goodbye loudly, even if you have a 67 million-strong following like Tom Holland.
It may not feel like it at times, but everyone is on social media voluntarily and can come and go as they please.
There are many other people on social media who will distract, upset and entertain the masses whether you are there or not.
Go easy on your ex, Adele
First, we had Vogue Williams famously and tastelessly say that the idea of her marriage to Brian McFadden makes her sick.
Now Adele is gushing about her new boyfriend, Rich Paul, in the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar, while giving her former husband a light pop. “I’ve never been in love like this,” she said, which must be a thorn in the side of her ex-husband Simon Konecki, with whom she has a son, Angelo.
Being in love is great and all, but belittling a marriage, especially one that has produced children, is seldom as good an idea as you think.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/madonna-doesnt-need-to-justify-her-extreme-beauty-transformation-at-64-41919449.html Madonna doesn’t have to justify her extreme beauty transformation at 64