Madonna addresses critics of her Grammys appearance: “Caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny”

"I have never apologized for any of the creative choices I have made nor the way that I look or dress"

Madonna has addressed the criticism she’s received following her recent appearance at the 2023 Grammy Awards, describing the backlash as evidence of a “world that refuses to celebrate women [past] the age of 45”. 

The singer appeared at the ceremony on Sunday (February 5) to present the performance of ‘Unholy’ by Grammy nominees Kim Petras and Sam Smith. When introducing the pair – who would go on to win Best Pop Duo/Group for the song – Madonna praised Smith and Petras for rising “above the noise, the doubt [and] the critics”.

Following the broadcast, Madonna faced an onslaught of harsh commentary about her physical appearance, with many describing her as “unrecognisable” and taking aim at her plastic surgery. The pop star hit back at critics in an Instagram post shared today (February 8), writing that she is “once again caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny [that] permeates the world we live in.”


“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,” Madonna added. The singer said that it was “a long lens camera” that “distort[ed] her face, and lamented how the backlash had outshone her otherwise-empowering speech “about giving thanks for the fearlessness of artists like Sam and Kim”.


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The post continued: “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. I have been degraded by the media since the beginning of my career but I understand that this is all a test and I am happy to do the trailblazing”.

Madonna concluded by quoting Beyoncé’s track ‘Break My Soul’, and accompanied the post with a video montage of herself with the likes of Smith, Honey Dijon and Cardi B.

Beyoncé and Harry Styles were among the big winners at this year’s Grammys, taking home trophies for Best Dance/Electronic Recording (for ‘Renaissance’) and Album Of The Year (for ‘Harry’s House’), respectively.

Other highlights from the ceremony included Viola Davis achieving EGOT status with her Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling win, and performances by LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Queen Latifah and more in celebration of 50 years of hip-hop.

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