Madonna covers the latest issue of British Vogue to promote her latest album, Madame X. Madge chose to be brunette for this editorial, and I definitely prefer it. I’ve always preferred Madonna as a brunette – the darker color really brings out her best features and softens her, I find. These days, Madonna has had so much face work done, there’s no really “softening” though. As for the interview, Madonna says some interesting stuff about feminism, ageism and ladies supporting ladies. Some highlights:
People tried to silence her: “People have always been trying to silence me for one reason or another, whether it’s that I’m not pretty enough, I don’t sing well enough, I’m not talented enough, I’m not married enough, and now it’s that I’m not young enough. So they just keep trying to find a hook to hang their beef about me being alive on. Now I’m fighting ageism, now I’m being punished for turning 60.”
On Lady Gaga: “People got very excited about [the thought of Lady Gaga and myself as] enemies, when we never were enemies.”
Whether women supported her: Madonna has not felt particularly supported by women throughout her career. She is grateful for the artists who worked against all odds and defied convention before her, such as Frida Kahlo. “There are no living role models for me. Because nobody does what I do. And that’s kind of scary. I can look back at women who I think were great and amazing – freedom fighters, like Simone de Beauvoir or Angela Davis – but they didn’t have kids. Being a single parent of six children, I continue to be creative and be an artist and be politically active, to have a voice, to do all the things that I do. So I mean, there isn’t anybody in my position.”
She doesn’t allow 13-year-old son David to have a phone yet. “I’m going to stick that one out for as long as possible, because I made a mistake when I gave my older children phones when they were 13. It ended my relationship with them, really. Not completely, but it became a very, very big part of their lives. They became too inundated with imagery and started to compare themselves to other people, and that’s really bad for self-growth.”
She sees herself in her son David. “What he has more than anything is focus and determination. I’m pretty sure he got it from me. He’s the one I have the most in common with. I feel like he gets me; he has more of my DNA than any of my children so far. Let’s see what happens – it’s still early days for everyone.”
On her firstborn, Lola: She “is insanely talented. I’m green with envy because she’s incredible at everything she does – she’s an incredible dancer, she’s a great actress, she plays the piano beautifully, she’s way better than me in the talent department. But she doesn’t have the same drive, and again, I feel social media plagues her and makes her feel like, ‘People are going to give me things because I’m her daughter.’ I try to give her examples of other children of celebrities like Zoë Kravitz, for instance, who have to work through that ‘Oh yeah, you’re the daughter of…’ – and then eventually you are taken seriously for what you do. You just have to keep going. But does she have the same drive that I have? No. But she also has a mother, and I didn’t. She grew up with money, and I didn’t. So everything is going to be different. But what can I do? I can’t fixate on it. I just have to do my best.”
A psychiatrist would have a field day with all of these quotes, my lord. I think those quotes about Lola are difficult to read because… well, Lola clearly doesn’t want to BE anything like her mom, and it’s driving Madonna crazy because Madonna knows Lola could be even bigger than her. It drives her crazy that she, the most ambitious hustler in music, raised a daughter who doesn’t share any sense of those ambitions.
As for there being no one else in her position, as a single mom of six kids… um, Angelina Jolie says hi. Angelina has a better claim to “women don’t support me” too. Women have always supported Madonna, let’s be real. Not ALL women, but millions of women.
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“There are no living role models for me. Because nobody does what I do. And that’s kind of scary.” Cover star #Madonna sits down with Decca Aitkenhead in the June 2019 issue of #BritishVogue, on newsstands Friday 10 May. @Madonna photographed by @MertAlas and @MacPiggott, styled by @BenjaminBruno_, hair by @AndyLecompte, make-up by @IsamayaFfrench, nails by @JennyNails, set design by @EmmaRoachStudio.
Photos courtesy of British Vogue.