In case you haven’t heard, Madonna kissed Drake on Sunday at Coachella.
Thousands of tweets and plenty of headlines from the California music fest insinuate that the 56-year-old was sucking the youth out of Drake, 28, one of hip-hop’s leading young men.
But maybe Madonna was just being, well, Madonna. For a few decades now the iconic pop star has made a career out of giving the public something to talk about: stage humping in a sheer wedding dress during her “Like a Virgin” performance on the MTV Video Music Awards, kissing a black Jesus in her “Like a Prayer” video, having a three-way kiss with Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears on the VMAs.
These are just a handful of scandals on Madge’s highlight reel. She was selling sex to the masses before it was commonplace. After 30 years, is she supposed to just age out of being herself?
No one is asking Pierce Brosnan, 61, and Liam Neeson, 63, to age out of action roles. At 47, LL Cool J is still licking his lips and turning on the charm. Men can be sexy and celebrated at any age. When a woman is daring or owning her sexuality, people start saying she’s desperate.
Fine if you’re not a Madonna fan, or maybe you think that her shock factor has lost its spark. But Drake loves her. She joined him onstage for his hit “Madonna” and performed a few of her own songs, too. Then she surprised him with the kiss. And Drake was into it — the hair grab, the fist pump — he was feeling it until the very end when he looked perplexed (apparently it was her lip gloss).
Speculation aside, he gladly posted the kiss on Instagram. But the jokes about her drinking from his fountain of youth and being too old to be hot? Pack away the sexism already.
As Janelle Monae says in her new “Yoga” song, “You cannot police me so get off my areola.” On Monday, Kansas City, Kan.’s finest was also at the center of a conversation on what it means to be hot as a woman. One of her fans asked her to not be so soulful and to be more sexy. Her response: “Sit down. I’m not for male consumption.”
Ironically enough, the fan says this to her while her current hit is a party anthem about booty yoga. Go figure. She can sing about back-bending on the dance floor, but because she isn’t half-naked it’s not sensual? Women can’t win. Media and society are here to be the judge and jury of what it means to be a woman, to dictate what is sexy and who is young and thin enough to be hot.
Just last week Fox anchor Chris Wallace and radio host Mike Gallagher apologized to singer Kelly Clarkson for fat-shaming her on air.
Unfortunately, that didn’t stop trolls from coming after Pink over the weekend. Yes, Pink, the singer who often doubles as a gymnast. A photo of the star in a modest black dress somehow brought the weight patrol out. Bullies told her to lose a few pounds. Sunday night, Pink tweeted to the trolls, “I feel beautiful … please don’t worry about me. I’m not worried about me. And I’m not worried about you, either.”
She feels beautiful. And that’s what I really want to know when people are making it their business to define another woman by her outfit, her weight or whom she kisses.
Before you mind someone else’s sexy, you might want to worry about how you feel about you. Check yourself. A steady diet of sexism and Schadenfreude is bad for your health.