Thursday, 26 February 2015

Madonna Takes a Tumble And Ageism Goes Into Overdrive

So last night Madonna fell over during her dance routine at the Brits.
 Its always weirdly shocking when you see an artist stumble or fall during  such carefully choreographed shows and it received a lot of coverage.
As someone who falls over a lot (I am so clumsy) I know that it is often met with hilarity and this doesn't bother me in the least, I laugh at my own crapfalls too. To this end I didn't have any problem with people laughing and saying they found it funny.
I actually felt sorry for Madonna, I adore Madge and had seen her on instagram earlier saying she was nervous about the performance. It also looked like it actually hurt so yet again whilst I wasn't outraged by people replaying the video and laughing it felt a bit cruel.

Taking a tumble
What I found really unacceptable (and something I feel happens around Madonna constantly) was the casual use of  ageist sexism inherent in a lot of comments she received. 
Falling over was nothing to do with her age, Madonna is in amazing shape not just for her age, for any age. Madonna isn't a great performer for her age, she is a great performer for any age. She fell because part of her costume got caught. This wasn't anything to do with the date on her passport. The end.

Blame the cape, not her age

Yes Madonna fell over but guess what? she got up again, dusted herself off and carried on performing. 
The comments she receives every day about her appearance and age would break a lesser person and the same rhetoric just doesn't seem to be applied to male performers as they grow older. No one is telling Paul MCCartney to "grow old gracefully" as he bops around with Kanye and Rhianna and he has a good few years on Madonna and quite right too.Why should anyone stop what they love because of the year they were born. Its nuts.
Artistic freedom, the ability to sing dance, perform, love fashion, be sexual, be silly be daring doesn't just end once you hit a certain age.
Its ridiculous to say an artist who is still getting booked to perform at the Brits and no doubt outselling many of the other artists at that event (despite her "dwindling" sales) should stop, why would she? why should she?

Not just good for age, good for any age
Endlessly criticising Madonna based on her age, calling her an "old hag" who should just "give up already" fuels the idea that women past the age of 40 should just crawl into a holes and die. It promotes the notion that females past their fertility prime are no longer relevant, artistic and even if they process a magnificent body honed through years of dance, yoga and discipline should "put it way"
What should be put away once and for all is the sexist, narrow ideas surrounding Women, sexuality and age.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

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