Wednesday, January 30, 2008

She's Madonna...

by Kate Pearce

"I love you baby, but face it she's Madonna, No man on earth could say that he don't want her"
(Robbie Williams gets it right usual)

I first heard of Madonna when I was at college back in the 'eighties'. My best friend from home wrote and told me all about her. In those days we actually wrote letters because there were no mobile phones, email or internets to help us communicate. To be honest I was in my snobby "I don't watch TV I'm an intellectual stage" so I tried to ignore the lure of Madonna, but it didn't last long.

Watching her role around on the stage in her wedding dress was a pivotal (ha ha)moment for me. Here was a woman who was sexy, dirty and not ashamed to show it. I kind of wished I could be more like her but settled for the black lace headband, gloves and black clothes.

Then for a while our paths diverged. I got into marriage and babies and she got into...well everything really. It was kind of like watching a car wreck but I couldn't look away as she pushed every boundary, challenged a few taboos and made a coffee table book that has become a classic. Of course, now days what she expressed doesn't seem half as outrageous as it did then and that's the important thing-she was a pioneer of the beauty of a woman's sexual experience and of how to get on in a still very masculine world.

She won me back with Ray of Light I actually understood what she was trying to say and I actually, god help me, empathized with her. who would've thought it? Part of my own personal philosophy for living comes straight out of a Madonna song Sky fits Heaven-how crazy is that?

Sky fits heaven so fly it
That's what the prophet said to me
Child fits mother so hold your baby tight
That's what my future could see

Fate fits karma so use it
That's what the wise man said to me
Love fits virtue so hold on to the light
That's what our future will be

And that's why I love her. She constantly re-invents herself, she's shown me it's okay to be sexy and how to demand sexual satisfaction and I thank her, I really do...
As she says herself in the song Like it or not

You can call me a sinner
You can call me a saint
Celebrate me for who I am
Dislike me for what I ain't

This is who I am
You can
Like it or not
You can
Love me or leave me
Cus I'm never gonna stop

And of course, I'm going to finish with a link to my favorite Madonna video, complete with 4 cowboys a horse and Madonna giving me that come hither look she does so well...

(all lyrics copyright Madonna and Robbie Williams)
also want to apologize for how late this post is...I had a sick 5 yr old


angell said...

I have always loved Madonna. Also doesn't hurt that we're related (but don't get excited people - remember we're Italian). She is the ultimate sex goddess in my opinion.

Thanks for this :D

Kate Pearce said...

How related is related angell??

Olivia Knight said...

Worth the wait, Kate (oh hell, that rhymes)

I remember being told once that a lot of people were gossiping in an unpleasant way about one of my friends, and that they were starting to call her a slut. It was men doing the gossiping, and her behaviour was no different to theirs - in fact, considerably more moderate, but she refused to keep the pact of silence so many women have. I was naturally very upset, but the friend who told me this then went on to add that if I wasn't careful they might start to say that about me too.

I nearly fell off my chair. He wasn't condemning the gossipers, but her! And then using their ugly talk to persuade me to toe the hypocrisy-line.

Women have vows of silence over so many things - sex, tampons, cramps, body hair - and whenever one stands up and speaks out, a) she gets a lot of flak, and b) about three thousand other women say "Oh - me too!" So pioneers are to be celebrated!

And I love your quote from Sky fits Heaven (just fired it up to play) - that one can go from innocence to experience and through the other side into a new kind of innocence. If that makes sense.

Kate Pearce said...

Double standards-blah...still alive and well. What exactly is the male equivalent of a bitch?

As always you make perfect eloquent sense, Olivia.

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Madonna really did push the envelope and open the door to women embracing their own sexuality. So many of the 80s fashions kept us looking like sexualized little girls--short skirts, maybe, but also lace bows in our hair. She took that and was still able to project Adult Woman.

I remember all the feminists being up in arms about her Boy Toy belt buckle--but they were missing the joke. Madonna was nobody's boy toy. The boys were her toys!

Kate Pearce said...

I still have the lace bow from my hair...I can't quite bear to throw it away. I did throw away my 'Frankie says Relax' T-shirt and my neon green leggings though, and my hair gel...

Not sure why some women felt so threatened back then-although I suppose not a lot has changed when I consider that some people consider what we all write as threatening :)

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

I have a pair of zebra-print Spandex leggings and my husband's spandex tuxedo jacket, black with zebra lapels and cuffs.

I loved a lot of the 80s fashions: the wide belts and peplum jackets that actually made me look like I had a waist (I have no hips, you see), the leggings that showed off my legs, the acid-washed jeans... Thank goodness bustiers are always in!

Janine Ashbless said...

So have you read her Sex Book? Any good?

I was always a bit too snobby for Madonna ... until Ray of Light, which out of the blue hit me as one of the most perfect pieces of music I'd ever heard. Got to admire her intensely as a performer (though I'm never going to be able to stay in the same room as Get Into the Groove).

Kate Pearce said...

Janine,I loved that movie-'Desperately Seeking Susan' which has that song in it. I have a vivid memory of helping out at a church disco and "Get into the Groove" came on and all these teeny little teenage girls started doing the Madonna dance it was totally amazing!

And yes "Ray of Light" Madonna actually had something to say and I think I was at the perfect age to listen to her. Still am actually :)

Portia Da Costa said...

Ah, my Madonna days...

I remember going to see Desperately Seeking Susan at the movies with my friend, and as the end titles rolled and Into The Groove played, she and I danced down the aisle, resplendent in our lace gloves, ra-ra skirts and leggings, bows in our hair, huge crucifix earrings, the whole works...

And yes, I have a copy of 'Sex'...

Anne Tourney said...

I don't think I fully appreciated Madonna -- either as an artist or as a businesswoman -- until I saw the documentary about her. When you see the way she's evolved since those very early videos through the present, always changing yet retaining her integrity and sense of self, you realize what a phenomenon she is.

Thanks, Kate, this was a great post. Oh, and I'm with you, I absolutely loved Desperately Seeking Susan.

* waltzes back to day job with "Borderline" playing in her head *

Deanna said...

Great Post. The sex book has lots of pictures and not much else in my opinion.

Janine Ashbless said...

Portia, I'd have loved to have seen that!

Portia Da Costa said...

I probably looked like a complete twit, Janine, but it'll always be a golden memory moment. :)

Madelynne Ellis said...

Did you have bilious coloured socks too, Portia?

Olivia Knight said...

I remember sitting on my sister's bedroom floor, staring in awe at her height-of-fashion outfit.
She wore... purple skin-tight leggings, a purple boob-tube, a long yellow net top, yellow sneakers, a purple headband, and huge purple plastic earrings.
Wow, man. It was amazing. I aspired to be her. By the time it was my turn, though, fashion dictated black from head to toe - which was just as well, given my penchant for tossing coffee on myself.

angell said...

Kate, my great-grandmother and her great-grandmother were sisters.

See what I mean? Italian families...

Kate Pearce said...

You Know...we'll have to do an 'eightie's fashion post-complete with photos. it would be awesome and possibly migraine inducing with all those neon colors!

Madeline Moore said...

'Watching her role around on the stage in her wedding dress was a pivotal (ha ha)moment for me. Here was a woman who was sexy, dirty and not ashamed to show it.'

I second that emotion. I knew, watching it, that something big was happening right before my eyes.

I never did get to see a copy of the Sex book, but I rented 'Truth or Dare' and loved it. Loved her on Letterman when he said'tell me something i don't know' and she said'pee on your feet in the shower and you'll never get athlete's foot'

Loved her when she took singing lessons to do 'Evita'

I even love her as Esther.

Oh, love the music, too.

Great post!