Tag Archives: Madonna

#103: Don’t Act All Shocked That Madonna’s Turning 50

All around me, old people (sorry, sweetie) are marvelling that Madonna is turning 50. Can you believe it?, they say. Madonna, 50. It doesn’t seem possible.

Oh yes it does. (Cue old-people-style reminiscence): When I first heard of Madonna, I was a fashion editor at Glamour. This was in the eighties. Yes, youngsters, that long-ago time that you seem now to think was so cute, with your shoulder pads and your big hair and ironically-worn neon-striped leg warmers. MTV was new and hot back then — in fact, my fellow Glamourite Judy McGrath, who now runs the place, had recently defected there as a junior copywriter — just like Madonna. Just like me.

Anyway, somebody sent over a video of Madonna. I had a television and a VCR, both as large as steamer trunks, wheeled into the cubicle I shared with Kim Bonnell. I cued up the video. And there was this….popsy….dressed in tattered lingerie with mascara smeared around her eyes writhing on the floor and feeling herself up.

I was shocked, shocked I tell you, nearly as shocked as I am now thinking back to how innocent, how different everything was in that pre-Britney, pre-Paris era of straight-laced feministinity.

What I’m really saying: It was a long time ago. Madonna’s been famous for a quarter century now. Like many women, I love her and hate her, I admire her and I’m horrified by her. Check out Madonna’s website and groove, sistah, to that tune: “Why wait for someone else to do what you can do right now?”

If you couldn’t believe she was turning 50 on August 16th before now, if the picture here didn’t convince you, you have to admit that’s a lyric that could only have been written by a 50-year-old woman.

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#93: Stop Covering Up Your Underwear!

Confused about whether you’re old or not? Here’s a little quiz to help you find out.

If someone says it’s “snowing down south,” they’re trying to tell you:

a) A shipment of cocaine has just arrived on the south side of town.

b) Alabama is having some hella freaky weather.

c) Your slip is showing.

If you answered a, you obviously are living too wild a life to be spending any time sitting around reading this blog. If you answered b, you’re a moron. And if you answered c, yes, dearie, I’m afraid you’re old. Score double points if you own a slip, and TRIPLE points if you actually wear one.

My point, and I do have one: Underwear has entered a new era. These days, if it is worn at all, underwear is not necessarily worn UNDER anything. In fact, if you want to get all young about it, you should actually TRY to leave your bra straps hanging out from the armholes of your shirt, to let your pants ride down below your boxers, to make your slip totally show beneath your skirt.

We probably have Madonna to blame for making underwear the new outerwear. I actually remember how scandalous her bustiers-as-blouses and brazen black bra straps seemed back in the 80s. That was before little celeb sisters Paris and Britney scandalized us further by wearing no underwear at all.

Please, let’s not go there. For now, at the height of summer, it’s enough to stop worrying about your bra peeking out of your tank top and your boxers popping out of your shorts. And if someone tells you it’s snowing down south, just say thank you.

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#74: Forget the Sixties Nostalgia

So, you were at Woodstock? Ate mushrooms with Kesey, chanted with Ram Dass, wrote poetry naked with Ginsberg?

I’m sure that was all mind-blowingly groovy, but I have news for you, Grandpa (and Grandma): Reminiscing about the sixties now is like recalling Prohibition was when we were young. Cue wavering voice: “Let me tell you, sonny, we got up to some crazy shenanigans in those speakeasies.” For those of you who are mathematically challenged, it’s been 40 whole years since 1968, the same amount of time as 1968 was from 1928.

As further illustration of how long ago that all was, check out these words coined in 1928, from the Online Entymology Dictionary, a very dry name for one of the very best sites I know. Nookie with a bimbo, anyone? But words brought to you by 1968 don’t sound much more modern: unisex, dweeb, and the Fosbury Flop.

The point: The sixties are ancient history and not of great interest to anyone who wasn’t actually there. So too the seventies: We really don’t need to know who did what to whom that night you went to Plato’s Retreat (ewwww, you did?) or what you snorted with whom at Studio 54. Even the eighties, which I basically missed thanks to the joys of parenthood, are getting kind of antique.

As one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons, by Jack Ziegler, goes: “The sixties are over. The seventies are over. The eighties, for God’s sake, are over.” And now the nineties are over, and pretty soon the oughties will be over too.

Young people are allowed to have nostalgia for the decades and icons of their childhoods: early Madonna and late Kurt Cobain, leg warmers and flannel shirts. You can reminisce about where you were in Y2K.

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