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I was about to write a blog entry on Madonna’s half-time performance and then I realized, what is there more to say that I haven’t said before?

Here’s a piece I wrote for the paper on celebrating Madonna and her influence on girls of my generation.

Celebrating Madonna

When I told my mother I was going to celebrate my 30th birthday in New York City to watch Madonna in concert, all she could do was shake her head and say, “Madonna ruined your life and stole your money.”

I remember the very first time I saw the video of Lucky Star, I was so intrigued by Madonna that I took note of all her videos and dance moves from then on.

I also recall my Tito Eli taking my brother and I to a matinee screening of Desperately Seeking Susan in Manhattan. I was completely blown away, not from the movie’s plot but by Madonna. I was young and impressionable. And I was hooked.

Like most girls of my generation, I was mesmerized by Madonna’s unconventional style: the fingerless gloves, the navel-baring shirts, the armful of bracelets, the forbidden cross—and awed by her unabashed defiance of gender roles. She dressed like a tramp and owned it.

Never have I seen a woman who was powerful, sassy and perverse all at the same time. Madonna made me think that even as a five-year-old I could be any kind of woman I wanted to be.

Unlike her contemporary Michael Jackson whose image was of vulnerability, Madonna’s was of pure control. At 19, she walked away from a prestigious dance scholarship at the University of Michigan and hopped on a plane to New York City. Legend has it, she got in a cab, told the driver to bring her to “where the action is” and was taken to Times Square.

Madonna taunted the world by dancing and singing her way, to proclaiming “You can do anything and be anything. You go, girl!” She predated the notion of girl power and girls gone wild.

Does anyone remember that scene in Desperately Seeking Susan where she washed herself in the restroom at Port Authority and dried her hair and armpits with the wall dryer?

That was badass. She was badass. And part of us, even if we don’t admit to it, wanted to be just like her.

Fans and non-fans alike will agree on one thing, Madonna’s talent is not her singing; it is her ability reinvent herself all these years. I have my personal favorites. I loved her Vogue and Ray of Light phases, and I also have my least favored ones. I felt isolated when she moved to England, put on an accent and wrote children’s books.

Was this Madonna’s way of proving you can have it all—the accent, the husband, the children, the plastic surgery? Her life during that time wasn’t exactly the Madonna I fell in love with when I was five. It was difficult to defend her pretentiousness and audacity to strangers, which I successfully did so (I like to think) even through the “Sex book” phase. Even the Malawian baby-saving Madonna was a turn-off.

The seemingly selfless Madonna hardly inspired feminist fire in me.

Not badass at all.

But on one crisp autumn evening in New York City, watching Madonna live on stage and hearing the roar of the faithful brought me back into the fold again — just like the first time I saw her 25 years ago.

She has been called a bitch, slut, dominatrix, tease, cougar, maneater — almost every degrading insult thrown at a woman. But rather than being swallowed by these harsh words, she simply plays the part with much gusto. The more Madonna evolves and the more she defies age, the more she invokes a feeling of protectiveness and unequivocal loyalty.

As other divas folded, flopped and fizzled, there really is nobody else like Madonna out there. There was Britney, there was Christina and yes, there is Lady Gaga. But if anybody saw that SNL You Tube clip of Madonna vs. Lady Gaga, we all knew who won that catfight.

At 51, Madonna is determined to be a sharp businesswoman with an unsettling yearning to provoke and stay on top.

And contrary to what my mom thinks, Madonna put that spunk in me and I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.

original article posted here.

Written by divasoria

February 7th, 2012 at 8:54 am

Posted in music,pop culture

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