The woman was… a living collect-them-all doll collection…. from Jellybean Benitez Madonna to Madonna of the Boy Toy Belt, Unshaved Leaked Photos Madonna, Madonna masturbating on a wedding cake, bouncing beside the waves in “Cherish,” dancing with the little boy in “Open Your Heart,” Who’s That Girl Eyebrows Madonna, Ideal Brunette Madonna (my favorite) saving Black Jesus in that incredible slip, Banned by the Pope! Madonna, “Vogue” Madonna, Fritz Lang Madonna, Wrapped-Plastic Sex-Book Madonna, Shame-Free BDSM Madonna, Sandra Bernhard–BFF Madonna, Bratty Letterman-Taunting Madonna, Self-Mocking Wayne’s World Madonna, the Madonna Who Ate Your Exotic Culture (“Vogue,” “Rain,” “La Isla Bonita”), Abused Sean Penn Madonna of the Helicopters, Contrarian I’m Gonna Keep My Baby Teen-Slut Madonna, Secretly Pregnant While Filming Evita Madonna, Underappreciated Dick Tracy/Sondheim Madonna, Water-Bottle-Fellating Truth or Dare Madonna (with Warren Beatty accessory), Bad Actress Madonna (Wax-Coated/Mamet), Momma Madonna, Kabbalah Esther, British Madge, and on and on….
But soon the bad Madonnas were pouring out in a rush: Lady of the Countryside Madonna, Tone-Deaf Antiwar Madonna, and particularly Hard Body and Plastic Surgery Madonna of the Purple Bodysuit…. There was Never Grow Old Madonna, turning 50. There was Healthy Yoga Madonna, which I couldn’t trust, because she was hard to distinguish from Baby-Cheeks Botox Madonna…
But while other female icons fade, fold, or fossilize into camp, for better or worse, Madonna seems determined to do something unsettling and new: spin to the center of the dance floor, till the end.
– Emily Nussbaum in her fantastic New York article, “Justify My Love,” about her love/hate relationship with Madonna. Keep reading »