Madonna responded Tuesday to fans and critics who were surprised by her appearance at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards last weekend.
Photos of the 64-year-old pop star quickly went viral as social media users said Madonna looked “unrecognizable” at the show. They speculated that she had extensive plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures, though none of those rumors have been confirmed.
“Madonna looks good for her age… if her age is 2,700 year old vampire who eats babies and small animals alive,” comedian Tim Young wrote in a popular tweet.
Now the “Like a Prayer” singer has issued a response to all the questions in a lengthy Instagram post.
“Instead of focusing on what I said in my speech which was about giving thanks for the fearlessness of artists like Sam and Kim — many people chose to only talk about close-up photos of me taken with a long lens camera By a press photographer that would distort anyone’s face!!” she began, referencing how she introduced singers Sam Smith and Kim Petras preceding their controversial, Satanic-themed performance of their song “Unholy.”
“Once again I am caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny that permeates the world we live in. A world that refuses to celebrate women pass [sic] the age of 45 And feels the need to punish her If she continues to be strong-willed, hard-working, and adventurous,” Madonna went on.
She claimed to have “never apologized for any of the creative choices” she’s made during her career, including the way she dresses and looks.
“I have been degraded by the media since the beginning of my career but I understand that this is all a test and I am happy to do the trailblazing so that all the women behind me can have an easier time in the years to come,” the singer continued.
Madonna concluded by quoting the Beyoncé song “Break My Soul” and saying, “I look forward to many more years of subversive behavior — pushing boundaries — standing up to the patriarchy — and most of all enjoying my life.”