Weirdly, Madonna’s ‘Madame X’ persona actually isn’t the worst thing?

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I haven’t devoted any time or brainspace to Madonna’s latest incarnation, which is “Madame X.” She dropped a new single, with an album forthcoming, and she’s showing off her latest Spanish and Portuguese influences, because she lives in Portugal now and she can’t help but appropriate. That being said, she’s Madonna. She is legitimately an icon and she still fills stadiums and she still puts in the work. I’m not going to mock her for being 60 years old and still trying. So imagine my surprise when I watched Madge’s Billboard Music Awards performance and I didn’t really hate it? She performed with Maluma – they did their single “Medellín.” She also performed with holograms of herself, because of course.

Is it the best performance ever? No. Is the the song a partial knockoff of Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill In Ibiza”? Yes. Is this autotuned to a ridiculous level? Yes. Do I hate it? No. I really don’t. I actually sort of like this incarnation, weirdly.

All that being said, can we stop with the “Madonna looks so great for her age” stuff? One, that’s probably ageist. Two, she does not look great. She looks like a 60 year old women who has undergone extensive plastic surgery and has so much Botox and fillers in her face, it’s a wonder she can even blink.

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Photos courtesy of Getty.

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39 Responses to “Weirdly, Madonna’s ‘Madame X’ persona actually isn’t the worst thing?”

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  1. Kateeeee says:

    I will put my ignorance out there: why is it ageist to say she looks good for her age? Just referencing her age? She does look pretty good for a 60 year old, albeit a bit muppet, but for a 20 year old, she looks like 10 kinds of meth. To me, this is not the same as saying “she’s too old, she shouldn’t dance like that” or “she can’t wear that at her age” like Helena Christensen got the other day. But I’m happy to learn. (sincerely)

    • Kateeeee says:

      I guess I am thinking about it too small, that this particular question is ageist, when the issue is focusing on her age at all.

      Now I feel like a Good Boy… where’s my award. 🤦‍♀️

    • joanne says:

      My take on that would be that women don’t look good as they age. The implication is a woman only looks good if she is young or perceived as young. She looks good for her age is a back handed compliment that implies older women don’t look good. There is so much value placed on youth, older women are valued less.
      Women like Christine Baranski ( a goddess ), Helen Mirren and Jane Fonda are told they look good for their age, no, they look great because of who they are. They look good because they look good, there shouldn’t be a qualifier needed.
      That’s just my thoughts on it.

    • buensenso says:

      don’t worry about that. people shouldn’t get offended that easily.
      I love madonna, she’s the most creative and interesting performer ever. this song isn’t the best thing she’s done, but it’s kind of cute, I like the rhythm. also, I love the holograms, that’s the concept,that she’s all those women. and the appropriation thing is out of question here. what would she sing if she didn’t get influenced by different experiences? as an american from detroit she could sing only about detroit. because even to be inspired by california would be appropriation because she’s not from there. that’s a very limited way of looking at things. she lives in portugal, she has had new experiences, it would be stupid not to use that and not to expand.

    • Emby says:

      Because “for her age” is a qualifying statement. The implication being that she doesn’t look good by the usual metric because lol she’s not young.

    • Brandy Alexander says:

      I thought it was because she has clearly had a lot of work done, so it’s not how she would naturally look at her age.

  2. Nev says:


  3. Char says:

    Can we talk about Madonna without mentioning her age AT ALL?

    The music isn’t great, but the performance was nice and since she has done so much in her carreer, it’s ok to expect a little more.

  4. Erinn says:

    Are we watching the same thing? Because I found this whole mess embarrassing. She SOUNDS good. But the lyrics and the imagery… it’s bad. I don’t care if you’re an icon – this is BAD.

    Do you remember the Crazy Town song Butterfly? Because this whole show had JUST as lame visuals as that video did. But at least Butterfly was done in ’99 – it’s 20 years later, you’d think it’d be … better?

    I actually laughed out loud when she was standing there flapping her legs whisper singing “one two cha cha cha”. THIS COULD BE A PARODY.

    “I took a pill and had a dream (Yo también)
    I went back to my 17 year”
    “We built a cartel just for love”
    “Sipping my pain just like champagne”


    • minime says:

      I couldn’t even watch the full video…horrible music, singing, dancing, nothing new. And I do think Madonna could do way better!
      I’m pretty sure this album will not only be full of cultural appropriation but also intellectual. She has surrounded herself with prolific Portuguese artists and even though she says that she was inspired by them, almost none appears till now in the credits of the album. The album also lists a song (Faz Gostoso) from a Portuguese/Brasilian singer (Blaya) and she just seem to have replaced her with a bigger Brasilian artist and herself of course… Just some weeks ago it was said that she wanted to leave Portugal because some mayor didn’t allow her to enter with a horse in a century-old palace for some videoclip shooting. Apparently she complained about how ungrateful the portuguese people are, since she was doing so much for Portugal and everyone should be in awe for having such a superstar among them. I don’t know, but if this is true, there’s no much to admire. Let’s see if the rest of the album sounds at least better than this.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I really like Madonna, always have, but her new stuff is no where near the quality of her old stuff. Stuff = music & videos & fashion. She is an icon but she will never be an icon at the level of Cher or Dolly.

    • Case says:

      It was a terrible performance. And she was lip synching the entire time.

  5. Lenn says:

    This was an awful performance. The lack of real singing, the lack of dancing, the quality of the song, the lack of energy, everything.

    • Karey says:

      Agreed! It stunk! I felt sad watching bc she used to be so vibrant and energetic, it actually seemed as if she was moving deliberately and sluggish. I thought it was painful to watch. She had that skirt longer in the back to cover the horrific butchery of her once really nice toned rear end .. butt implants seriously Madonna!? I never wouldve thought shed be that ridiculous but age does things to people.
      As for age, unfortunately the truth is youth makes the world go round, youth is beautiful, nature is built that way on purpose. You cannot deny a young face looks better than an old face..period.

  6. Ali says:

    I think age is relevant. My MIL lives with me and she just turned sixty and she can barely walk up the stairs. Madonna doing what she does at 60 is IMPRESSIVE.

  7. Cleo23 says:

    No comment on Madonna, but Maluma is fiiiiiiine

    • Serpentinefire says:

      That’s all I got to. Homeboy is definitely top shelf.

    • Deb says:

      I didn’t even notice Madonna. Maluma set my iPad on fire.

      • Victoria says:

        Yaaaas Maluma 🔥🔥🔥 so she picked a hot dude to collaborate with what’s wrong with that? I put the video on mute though

  8. AnnaKist says:

    Meh. Nothing too original here. I mean, how many Madam X’s have there been now? Has every major city had one at some point? We had a very famous one here in Sydney some time ago. Now, there was an icon…

  9. sommolierlady says:

    Don’t care what her age is (I’m 3 years older), I just never got her. The woman can’t sing and her “reinventions” have always seem phoney and disingenuous. I do give her big props for her business sense and somehow still having a career and relevance coming from such mediocre talent. As far as the way she dresses or acts on stage, that’s her job.

    Ali- I’m older than you MIL and walk 10 miles a day in my job. Staying strong and eating right is a life choice. I know 70 year olds still rock climbing.

    • Ali says:

      It is a life choice and one that you have to make with more and more determination as you get older. A 70 year old rock climber is equally IMPRESSIVE imo

    • Cobalt says:

      Her move on the table brought me Suzanne Somers Thighmaster vibes

  10. Babadook says:

    I would actually love to see Madonna perform a medley with holograms of all her past iterations. But the good stuff, not this.

  11. tmbg says:

    I really liked the performance. Her face looks much better than it has been looking (hopefully she’s found a doc that is very careful with the fillers) and she is in fantastic shape. The song isn’t fast enough for me, but she was very entertaining.

  12. ME says:

    I heard she spent $5 million dollars on that performance. That money would have been better used somewhere else.

    • enike says:

      are you a socialist-communist? they always know the best how to use someone else´s money

  13. Cobalt says:

    I’m latinx, and maybe I’m racist, but she’s not and you can tell-? I think we just move different- regardless of age.

  14. Snowslow says:

    Cultural tourism at its best.

  15. Candikat says:

    I haven’t been following her recently but the melody (and auto tune, yes) reminded me of her classic late 80s sound. So for nostalgia’s sake I liked it. Not sure how the holograms went over in real life but on my tiny phone screen they looked cool.

  16. blinkers says:

    Honestly, this is the first time I’ve liked what she’s doing. It has the pop sound of her earliest work, and she’s clearly enjoying it. The younger men, the eye patch! the cha cha refrain… I’m liking the Joy and theatrics of it. Seems like a persona she really feels in sync with

  17. Originaluna says:

    My mom is 65 and although quite young, her feet wouldnt allow her to do half the stuff Madonna does.
    Also. I didn’t even want to watch the official music video when it came out but I saw it once and I actually was impressed? She did something cool there – albeit not for all tastes. But at least she’s not trying to mumble rap or sing songs that sound like they are meant for a 22 year old you know? she’s 60 and doing her thing and her die-hard fans will enjoy it . I guess I can appreciate that she’s not trying to reach a demographic that couldn’t care less.

  18. Lucia says:

    I’m really over Madonna but it has nothing to do with age. I lost a lot of respect for Madonna during her custody battle over Rocco. The poor boy clearly was not happy being on tour with her and she was so insistent that he get dragged around rather than allow him some stability and time with his father. Her actions were more about her than what was in his best interest. I kind of like Medellín though. It reminds me of my 20s spent on that side of the world.

  19. Yes Doubtful says:

    I think the performance was good, but I hate hate hate the autotune used on her voice in the song. It’s so bad. I wish women would realize that pumping their face full of botox does not make them look better or younger. The huge botox cheeks that Gwen, Cher, Madonna and others sport are awful.

  20. Az says:

    She moves like an older lady right? Like, she is physically cautious. I’ve seen her doing this since the Superbowl performance when Lainey Gossip pointed it out and I have never been able to unsee it since. It is really overt in this performance.

  21. JanetFerber says:

    Yes, dude is hot. And Madonna is a queen.

  22. TK says:

    I hate her clothes, all her clothes, so so so much. AWFUL

  23. ikki says:

    maluma is HOT. Madonna was super weird – I have nothing else to say about her…