Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here


Leaving Website

You are now leaving and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

Madonna Speaks Out About Ageism and Misogyny After Grammys Appearance

The icon says she plans to keep ‘trailblazing’ a path for all women

spinner image Madonna holding a microphone onstage as she presents an award at the 65th Grammy Awards
Madonna speaks onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on Feb. 5, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Madonna is once again calling out ageism and misogyny after the negative comments that have swirled around her since her appearance at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 5.

The music icon took to social media to blast critics who concentrated on her changing looks rather than the context of her Grammys speech, in which she introduced Sam Smith and Kim Petras before their “Unholy” performance and praised “all the rebels out there, forging a new path and taking the heat for all of it.”

spinner image Image Alt Attribute

AARP Membership— $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.

Join Now

On Instagram, she addressed speculation about cosmetic surgery: “Many people chose to only talk about Close-up photos of me Taken with a long lens camera By a press photographer that Would distort anyone’s face!!”

​“Once again I am 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, 64, on Instagram

This isn’t the singer’s first time calling out double standards in the music industry and society. In 2016, when she received the Woman of the Year Award from Billboard magazine, she brought attention to the issue.

“I think the most controversial thing I have ever done is to stick around. … As women, we have to start appreciating our own worth and each other’s worth,” she said in her speech. “Seek out strong women to befriend, to align yourself with, to learn from, to collaborate with, to be inspired by, to support and [be] enlightened by.

“Do not age,” she added. “Because to age is a sin.”

As to her recent style transformation? The Material Girl is not backing down.

“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,” she said in her Instagram post. “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 so that all the women behind me can have an easier time in the years to come. In the words of Beyonce ‘You-won’t break my soul.’ ”

Discover AARP Members Only Access

Join AARP to Continue

Already a Member?