The Old Madonna

Today, while belting out “Express Yourself” and getting paint everywhere, I pondered Madonna. Lately I keep hearing about how Lady Gaga’s the “next” Madonna. A few years back it was Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears. Maybe both; I forget.

I may be a biased 80’s girl at heart, but I don’t think any of ‘em has lived up to her yet. Madonna’s single-minded ambition, her fearless self-reinvention, her capacity for pissing off the Pope-- thus far, all unmatched. But we want to reincarnate her just the same, keep looking for the next woman to take on her mantle.

While change is daunting to the rest of us mere mortals, Madonna, grinning, leans against the wall as a cocky example of effortless evolution. Maybe that’s why we want the ‘next’ Madonna-- more role models of turning lives and selves upside down and sideways and emerging smiling from the other side. Yes, you too can transform from your own (probably metaphorical) fingerless-gloves-and-crucifixes to something classier, like a (still most likely metaphorical) gold cone-bra bustier!

I get putting Madge up on a pedestal for accomplishing what she has, although I myself am not a dedicated fan. I couldn’t tell you the name of her last album, or when it came out. I appreciate her in passing, and enjoy her chameleon ways. But today I realized there is something truly inspiring about Madonna.

It’s her invention, not her reinvention.

When Madonna came on the scene, I don’t remember a single person saying she was the “next” somebody else. She’s like the first critter that dragged herself out of the primordial mud on little leg buds. She built herself from scratch, not as some cardboard imitation of a preceding rock star.

This revelation is a lifeline for me. I’m scraping new dreams together from scratch these days, a phrase which previously made me think ‘sugar cookies.’ And sugar cookies -- while very nice-- are not particularly motivating. Madonna from scratch, on the other hand....

1 comment:

  1. Love this.

    She did get more than her fair share of moxie though. ;)