“‘Girls Gone Wild’ works for you when you’re 22 — it doesn’t work for you at 50,” Star Jones said on the Today show this morning. She was sitting in her usual spot on the “Today’s Professionals” panel, which was discussing Madonna’s purposeful nip slip at a concert in Istanbul this week. The show includes a strip tease dance sequence in which Madonna strips down from a cone bra corset, to a white shirt and pants, to a black lace bra. For whatever reason, she took it one step further at that Istanbul show and pulled down the bra’s right cup, flashing her right breast. Now, all anyone can talk about is how she’s “too old” to show her boob at a concert packed with screaming fans who paid good money for Madonna’s signature showmanship — including her unpredictability.
“What works for a 22-year-old woman or a man is not appropriate, very often, for a 53-year-old,” Donny Deutsch opined next to Jones on Today. At his side was Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who echoed his sentiments. “Not special,” she said. “Not a special breast, not worth doing.” Oh. OKAY THEN.
(Sorry, but this is Madonna we’re talking about. Love her or hate her, she’s a whole lot more special than many of us.)
Over in the Daily Mail, Liz Jones wrote, “Bluntly, nudity at the age of 53 is not just gratuitous, it’s gruesome. Should I have written that last sentence? Probably not.”
And Fox News’s take: “It smacked of a pathetic attention grab by an artist with little current relevance — and who just four months ago blasted such antics.”
Prior to her Super Bowl performance, Jay Leno interviewed Madonna about the show. He asked if there was anything she wasn’t supposed to do. “Well, for sure no nipples,” she kidded. “I wasn’t going to go there. I mean, I don’t like to repeat myself … or do what other people have done before me.”
Of course she’s not going to flash the entire Super Bowl halftime show audience after Janet Jackson’s huge scandal. But her own concert? For which her fans bought tickets? She can flash a boob if she wants. Frankly, anyone who’s seen her Sex book or Googled “Madonna nude” or some variation thereof has seen a lot more than that.
Criticize her vulgarity, her gratuity, her self-objectification — but don’t criticize her age. It sends a very archaic message: See woman. See woman age. Must cover gross old woman to hide gross old woman parts.
Women have enough superficial pressures to worry about: dieting so we don’t get fat, wearing makeup so we don’t look ugly, getting Botox so we don’t get wrinkly, dressing sexy without being labeled slutty. So apparently now when that inevitable thing called aging happens, we also have to worry about covering up enough so that we don’t look “desperate” but probably also not covering up too much so that we don’t look dowdy. Also, since we’re so not sexy when we get old, we better not do anything to show we love our bodies or are still interested in sex or being sexy. Heavens! Women who are 53 still have breasts and… sex drives!
Should I have written that last sentence? According to the media, probably not.