Madonna: Old but gold

Madonna: Old but gold
SHE’S NO SISSY: Madonna performing at the recent Brit Awards.

Madonna is an old woman.

At the age of 56, she's been chilling on planet Earth longer than buffalo wings, GI Joe, the computer mouse, lava lamps, The X-Men, Lamborghinis, Doctor Who and the nation of Zambia.

For goodness' sake, she's older than Russell Crowe, who looks as old as the hills.

If Madonna were a normal woman, her age would already be considered advanced.

Considering she's a pop star - a female pop star - you'd have to describe her as ancient.

Madonna being Madonna, she's pretty cool with it.

What she's not cool with is the fact that so many others aren't cool with it.

In the upcoming March issue of Rolling Stone magazine, she has a lot to say about age and ageists.

"It's still the one area where you can totally discriminate against somebody and talk s***," she said.

"Only females, though. Not males. So in that respect, we still live in a very sexist society."

While I agree with Madonna that discrimination against the elderly is a problem, I don't really see it as a feminist issue.

JUDGED

These days, men are judged on their appearance as much as women.

Stars like David Bowie, 68, and Paul McCartney, 72, are rumoured to have undergone cosmetic surgery to maintain an illusion of youth.

Male entertainers have the same problems that female entertainers do as time takes its toll.

As a DJ on Kiss92, I've become painfully aware of my age.

You'd think I'd be safe, as a DJ has to use only his voice, but the problem is all those pesky promotional pictures that they use to sell me and my show, Maddy, Jason and Arnold in the Morning.

I worry about my tummy.

I worry about my chin.

I worry about my hair.

I was never an Adonis, but I used to look reasonably cool given the proper lighting.

Now I just look old, and it makes me feel vulnerable.

But I think I'm going to follow Madonna's example.

During the recent Brit Awards, she had a terrible fall down a flight of stairs while performing her latest single Living For Love.

It's the sort of mishap that might have killed an ordinary 56-year-old woman, but Madonna continued on with her performance like a champ, and came away with nothing more than a bit of whiplash.

The late, great Bette Davis once said: "Old age ain't no place for sissies."

Say what you will about Madonna, she's no sissy.

Neither, hopefully, am I.

jjohnson@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on March 04, 2015.
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