Madonna blames ‘ageism,’ ‘misogyny’ for remarks about her face; some fans don’t agree

A woman with skinny braids and a black suit holds a microphone in one hand and a riding crop in the other at an awards show
Madonna, who spoke at the Grammys on Sunday, is blaming “ageism,” “misogyny” and a “press photographer” for a slew of negative comments about her face.
(Kevin Winter / Getty Images for the Recording Academy)

Madonna is clapping back at people who criticized her appearance at the 2023 Grammys on Sunday.

In an Instagram post shared Tuesday evening, the “Material Girl” singer said some fans paid more attention to her face than to her efforts to celebrate trailblazing LGBTQ artists like Kim Petras, who is transgender, and Sam Smith, who is gay. The duo performed “Unholy” and the song made Grammys history.

“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!!” she wrote. “Once again I am caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny That permeates the world we live in.”


Kim Petras and Sam Smith won the 2023 Grammy Award for pop duo/group performance for their hit collaboration, ‘Unholy.’

Feb. 5, 2023

On Sunday, some Twitter fans weighed in on the singer’s face, which they say has changed in recent years. Actor Damon Gonzalez tweeted that Madge’s “hair, makeup & eyebrows make her only look worse.” Another Twitter user said she wished “Madonna never touched her face,” considering “she’s always been beautiful.”

Madonna, 64, didn’t take too kindly to the negative comments, dubbing them the result of “a world that refuses to celebrate women pass [sic] the age of 45.”

Ever since she started her career in the 1980s, Madonna has faced criticism and controversy over her appearance, sexuality and more. Most recently the singer was accused of “queerbaiting” for a cryptic TikTok in October in which she seemingly came out as gay.

In recent years we’ve seen a rise in body acceptance and fat inclusivity, but thinness has remained a goal for women.

Jan. 17, 2023

The “Like a Virgin” singer knows what critics have to say, but she said she’s not caving in to their negativity anytime soon.

“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,” she wrote. “In the words of Beyonce ‘You-won’t break my soul.”

She continued: “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 b—!”


Madonna opens her strong new album with “Living for Love,” a jubilant house jam about moving beyond a debilitating breakup.

March 10, 2015

In the comments, fans shared mixed reactions to her statement. Some followers, including “Bros” star Billy Eichner, were supportive. But others doubled down on their sentiments against plastic surgery.

“Madonna, by changing your facial appearance to the extent that you have, you are the main perpetrator of your own ageist agenda,” one follower wrote. “I’m a fan, but I need to call you out on this.”

“If you want people to take you serious maybe don’t get such awful plastic surgery that isn’t making you appear younger at all,” wrote another.

“I’m a huge fan but just stop the plastic surgeries please,” a third follower commented.