Madonna had the honor of introducing Sam Smith and Kim Petras at the 65th Grammy Awards before their performance and shouted out all the rebels and troublemakers in the music industry. To recap, on Sunday, February 5, the 2023 Grammys premiered. Petras, who is trans, and Smith, who came out as nonbinary in 2019, made history as they took home an award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance in addition to a fiery performance of their song “Unholy.” Unfortunately, the focus of conversations on social media and elsewhere has been on her appearance. Some folks have insinuated that she has altered her face with plastic surgery or other procedures. Not all the criticism was negative, as some empathized with Madonna and pointed out the pressures of being in the limelight for as long as she has.

But Madonna didn’t take this criticism lightly. In fact, on February 7, the pop icon shared some choice words in an Instagram video featuring several folks including Smith, Petras, Cardi B, and more. The video showed Madonna interacting with the different stars, but it’s her lengthy caption where all the meat resides. 

She started by expressing how she initially wanted to present the award for Album of the Year but thought it would be more meaningful to introduce Petras and Smith’s duo performance. She noted that folks should have been more invested in her speech rather than zooming in on her face, adding that most folks would look distorted if a photographer took similar images of them, captioning her video, “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 didn’t hesitate to directly state that the critiques of her appearance were a result of ageism and misogyny and that there is truly no winning for women as they age. “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,” the caption reads.

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