Madonna often makes headlines for what she does on-stage, but it was her physical appearance at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards last Sunday that had people talking. When the Queen of Pop came out to introduce a similarly newsworthy satan-inspired performance by Sam Smith and Kim Petras, many viewers took to social media to comment that she looked unrecognizable.
Madonna’s ‘New Face’
With puffy and distorted facial features, the Material Girl songstress did not look like herself as she reflected on her career in music: “Here’s what I’ve learned after four decades in music: If they call you shocking, scandalous, troublesome, problematic, provocative, or dangerous, you’re definitely onto something.”
During an interview with The Fifth Column hosts last week, Megyn echoed many of the Grammy winner’s fans when she expressed concern about what was going on with the artist. “I’m sorry but this is a sickness,” she said. “This is an unwell person who we featured at the Grammys the other night, and I don’t know if it says more about her, about our society, or about celebrity, but it’s disturbing me at the core.”
While Madonna has always pushed boundaries with her clothes and makeup, this was reflective of something more troubling in Megyn’s mind. “I’m fine if she doesn’t want to age gracefully… but this has crossed over,” she explained. “I’d like to think when I’m 64 [like Madonna], I’m not going to give a shit what people think about the way I look or my age.”
Madonna Claps Back
It didn’t take long for Madonna to respond to her critics. Calling the comments “misogynistic” and “ageist,” the singer blamed the photographer and a long lens camera for distorting her appearance. “It’s not ‘misogyny’ or ‘ageism,’” Megyn declared during Wednesday’s episode in Las Vegas, where she was joined by her friends Joelle Cosentino and Yael Denbo. “She’s the one who’s ageist. She’s refusing to accept what a 64-year-old person actually looks like.”
Cosentino pointed out that it is also important to consider who may be enabling the star. “Who is doing this work? You’re taking one of the most iconic faces of all time and this is what you’re doing to it,” she asked. “I mean she’s obviously not injecting herself. Whoever is doing that, that’s a problem.”
Aging Gracefully in America
Though Megyn didn’t agree with Madonna that the conversations about her appearance were inherently “ageist” or “misogynistic,” they are in sync on a larger point. “I will say this, she made another comment about how the American media has tried to tear her down for years… there is something about America and older women,” Megyn said. “It’s like you’re not allowed to age on camera in America in a graceful way.”
As she explained, “there’s an expectation that when you get to a certain age, you’re just going to keep holding on to your youthful glow or else.” The result? “We’re running out of faces that look their age.” While Megyn admitted that “we’re all conscious of our appearance” and like to “keep ourselves looking good,” she wondered what it would be like to live in a culture that didn’t put that pressure on women. “I’m not saying I’m above this; I’m definitely in this,” she said. “But wouldn’t it be nice if it was still okay to just age and not have to feel self-conscious about it?”
You can check out Megyn’s full conversation with Cosentino and Denbo by tuning in to episode 494 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.