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Artwork from here.
It’s 1992 all over again.
Have we all reached a level of absolute complete numbness that the only way we feel alive is by recreating moments from the past? By perpetuating notions and ideals that were long destroyed? The media surely thinks so.
Madonna was “over” and “desperate” when she showed her titties on the catwalk in a Jean Paul Gaultier fashion show in 1992.
The media also called her “desperate” and “over” when she showed her titties (and her vagina) in her SEX book that year too.
She was also “desperate for attention” when she posed with one tit out for Esquire magazine in 1994 - back when her career was already “over” and she was already “old” and “irrelevant”.
And now, 20 years after Madonna became “old”, “desperate” and “irrelevant” for the very first time, she’s still making headlines for flashing the same boob. Too much attention for someone whose career’s been said to be “dead” for so long.
Madonna has been a true catalyzer for the western media’s misogyny, sexism and ageism. But more than changing its core structure, she exposes its backwardness more than anything else:
Is it truly a scandal when a woman purposely flashes her nipple on stage in 2012?
Is Madonna showing her nipple in 2012 a real scandal?
The media seems to think it is. At least, they put a lot of effort to make people think it is still a taboo for a woman to do whatever she wants with her body and her sexuality.
The public figures who decided to talk about the Madonna-nipple-flashing tragedy are the best part of it: the ever interesting and poignant Piers Morgan (insert sarcasm here) called her “desperate”. And even Howard Stern called her “desperate”.
I understand Piers Morgan calling Madonna “desperate”. That man says she is desperate even when she avoids being in the public eye. But Howard Stern is the icing on the cake. The man who puts naked women on his show for ratings, the man who objectifies women, the man who flashed his ass on MTV thinks that Madonna is “desperate” because she flashed her nipple in her own show.
Howard Stern as Fartman at the 1992 VMAs.
In all honesty, flashing your ass and faux-farting butt-naked at an award show under the direction of someone else SCREAMS desperation. Madonna’s recent boob-flash seems genuinely irreverent. And she did it because SHE WANTED TO - not because she was directed by MTV to do so.
You can see it in her face that it was not part of a grand plan for publicity. The crowd was wild and the context in which it happened (within the show) was right.
Madonna and her irreverent moment.
There are many people who could feel insulted by Madonna’s boob-flash. Howard Stern certainly is not one of those.
Stern comes off as a dog that barks but never bites. He was spot on when he criticized Lady Gaga’s HBO special (which failed to beat Madonna’s HBO ratings). All the comments he made were right and funny. But as soon as he was face-to-face with Gaga, he was a different person. And obviously, there was no mentioning of her HBO special - Oh! The things a contract will do for you. Well, that’s how he rolls: he barks loud, but as soon as you’re around, he will even do a trick for a cookie. He does it all the time, with everybody.
But hey, leave it to the man who objectifies women on his show to judge a woman that shows her nipple when she wants to:
The Strongest Nude Woman contest on Howard TV
At the end of the day, Madonna is the one exposing this retrograde media. She is the one doing what she wants to do, and she is the one owning up to it:
Every single time we saw her nipple, it was done on purpose. Whether she had an agenda behind it or not, she showed us her body and owned up to her actions. We can’t say the same about other celebrities:
Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Janet Jackson, and so many others, we have all seen their “privates”, but they all used “wardrobe malfunction” as an excuse. They don’t even own up to it like Madonna does.
At the end of the day, Madonna still is the woman with the biggest balls in showbiz.
So let the media make you believe that an active 53-year-old woman showing her nipple and exhibiting an incredibly health-conscious lifestyle is a bad thing. The same media will make you believe that a young singer bleeding on stage on MTV in 2009 is “groundbreaking” and “flesh” (cut to underground electroclash queen Peaches doing the same in 2005).
We definitely are living in the age of perpetuating habits: the good and the bad ones.
Beware, Madonna, this man is judging you!