clapping back

Madonna Clapped Back Hard At All Those Comments About Her Face

Her Grammys appearance was supposed to be a joyful and historic moment, but viewers could only focus on one thing.

Madonna speaks on stage at the 65th Grammy Awards, held at the Arena on February 5, 2023....
Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

After Madonna introduced singers Sam Smith and Kim Petras at the 2023 Grammy Awards, the internet was sent ablaze over her appearance. The 64-year-old music icon was the subject of much criticism over her face, many remarking that she was unrecognizable, others remarking that plastic surgery had distorted her looks.

The Hung Up singer doesn’t seem to be bothered by the negative remarks — although she is bothered by the sexism and ageism that they suggest. She addressed her critics in an Instagram post, and shared videos of her night out after the music award show. First, though, Madonna focused on what an honor it was for her to be the one to introduce Smith and Petras ahead of their “Unholy” performance.

“It was an honor for me to Introduce. Kim Petras and Sam Smith at the GRAMMYs. I wanted to give the last award which was Album of the Year, but I thought it was more important that I present the first trans- woman performing at the GRAMMYs— a History making moment!! And on top of that she won a Grammy!! ♥️,” she wrote.

Then, she directed her caption to those who seem very bothered by what she looked like that evening, noting that the photos of her going around the internet were taken with a “long lens camera” that can “distort” someone’s face.

“Instead of focusing on what I said in my speech which was about giving thanks for the fearlessness of artists like Sam and Kim- 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!!”

The mother of six added that this attack on her appearance is coated in ageism and sexism that “permeates” a world that wants to “punish” a women who “continues to be strong willed, hard-working and adventurous.”

Further commenting on her appearance, Madonna noted, “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 so that all the women behind me can have an easier time in the years to come. In the words of Beyoncé, ‘You-won’t break my soul.’”

She concluded the post with a promise to keep “pushing boundaries” and wrote, "I look forward to many more years of subversive behavior -pushing boundaries-Standing up to the patriarchy -and Most of all enjoying my life. Bow down bitches! 💃🏼🪩🎤💄🎼👠"

Petras commented on the post with three heart Emojis.

Her caption is not dissimilar to her speech when introducing Smith and Petras in that now-infamous appearance.

“Here’s what I’ve learned after four decades in music: If they call you shocking, scandalous problematic, provocative or dangerous, you are definitely on to something,” said “Like A Virgin” singer.

“I am here to give thanks to all the rebels out here forging a new path and taking the heat for all of it. You guys need to know – all you troublemakers out there – you need to know that your fearlessness does not go unnoticed,” Madonna continued. “You are seen. You are heard and most of all, you are appreciated.”

Here’s hoping more over 40 women, like Madonna, continue to speak up and speak out against ageism and sexism — and that they keep looking exactly how they want to look.