I have a Facebook page which I keep just for close friends and family, where last week I asked a question about Madonna. What I had been observing in reactions to her (much publicised) fall at The Brit Awards really baffled and struck me.
The public reactions revealed far more about our own judgmental natures, than anything to do with a woman who fell in public but immediately got back up again, and continued with her purpose.
I wrote this post because I wanted to see what the people I knew truly felt about the whole thing, and their answers were diverse and fascinating.
So I'm now opening the exact same post out to all of you, so we can discuss and explore it together. You could see my post as purely focused on Madonna. Or, you can see it is an energy discussion about how we react to women, age, sexuality and those who fall.
When did Madonna-Bashing become a sport?
I saw the above vid of her falling at the Brits and it looked painful. My first instinct was concern for her. She fell quite a long way backwards, down several steps, and said to the interviewer Jonathan Ross she had whiplash following the fall.
Yet laughing at it seems to be the norm among a lot of people.
The thing is, I was 8 years old when I first was a fan, and now 30 years later (especially when other 80's superstars Michael Jackson and Whitney we lost to drugs) I am just full of admiration for the balls and stamina it takes to show up and do what she does.
I have several friends who either 'hate her' or think 'she needs to dress her age' or 'she's not a talented singer or songwriter' or 'she's had it and should just shuffle off to a dark corner'. And the level of vitriol she provokes baffles me.
While I respect that we don't all need to like her, her music or her choices, I find it sad that everyone wants to bash on her. I know for a fact that if she was a man, she wouldn't get even 20% of the stick she gets now. A lot of this smacks of sexism and ageism to me, both of which I am against, for each of them are divisive and unhealthy for our society.
For me, there's something mighty reassuring about a multi-millionaire (who certainly doesn't need the money), still wanting to do the job she has done for over 30 years. Especially when she knows that while yes, she has fans, she will also get the public judgement she gets. And quite honestly, if the woman wanted to dress up in a fluorescent hippo outfit at the age of 70, I would still find her journey and choices interesting to observe.
Because I remember she has been part of our lives and our culture for a long time, and there is a value in that for me. Those who live in tribes value their elders and I don't think we do in modern western society. And we are ALL going to be older. It's a universal destination.
When she is dead, people will look back and realise there was no-one like her. And many of those who criticised her will change their tune, because she will no longer be here provoking reactions in others that makes them feel they should judge her for their internal reactions. I hope we as a society in the future evolve beyond the judgement protocol we are so willing to run with now.
Let's talk about this people, in the comments below, as it is a bizarre thing.
And no, I don't need anyone to like her. I'm just a bit alarmed by how many people vent their spleen using her as a symbol…. and I'd really love to hear your comments on it.