At the 2023 Grammy Awards, celebs showed up and out when it came to beauty, fashion, and on-stage performances. The show was nothing short of spectacular, and after becoming the first trans woman to win a Grammy in a major category, Kim Petras performed her song "Unholy" alongside Sam Smith. Noted queer icon Madonna set the stage for the duo, introducing their flame-filled performance.
It was a groundbreaking show, but for some reason, Madonna's face became the most discussed topic of the night. From speculation about plastic surgery to putting her aging over the years under a microscope, Twitter was rife with discussion regarding what it means to "age gracefully."
Never one to let the trolls get to her, Madonna responded to the criticism on Instagram. "Once again, I am caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny that permeates the world we live in," she said in the caption of her post. "A world that refuses to celebrate women past the age of 45 and feels the need to punish her if she continues to be strong-willed, hard-working, and adventurous."
"I have never apologized for any of the creative choices I have made nor the way that I look or dress, and I’m not going to start," continued the singer. "I have been degraded by the media since the beginning of my career...and I am happy to do the trailblazing so that all the women behind me can have an easier time in the years to come. In the words of Beyoncé, 'You won’t break my soul.'"
"I look forward to many more years of subversive behavior, pushing boundaries, standing up to the patriarchy, and most of all, enjoying my life," she finished.
Madonna gets at something every woman knows: "Aging gracefully" is a lie. You're damned if you do, damed if you don't when it comes to injectables and procedures. Go "too far" and you'll be perceived as fake, do "too little" and you'll be admonished for letting yourself go.
Instead, why not do as Madonna does? Opt out entirely. Do whatever feels right and ignore anyone who thinks differently. It's your face.