Madonna Has Always Made Things About Her

Madonna Has Always Made Things About Her

I vowed to never watch the VMAs unless Beyoncé is performing. My followers’ live tweets tell me what I need to know about the night — who won awards, who performed, who looked a mess, and who embarrassed themselves — but no one can perfectly summarize a performance from the queen Bey.

But this year, when Madonna became the number one worldwide trend on Twitter, I assumed Madonna had used the n-word. I would not have been surprised — in 2014, the pop star caught fire for using it on Instagram. She captioned a photo of her son’s boxing training: “No one messes with dirty soap! Mama said knock you out! #DisNigga.” She responded to the backlash by saying, “There’s no way to defend the use of the word. It was all about intention. It was used as a term of endearment toward my son who is white. I appreciate that it’s a provocative word and I apologize if it gave people the wrong impression. Forgive me.”

During the VMAs, my timeline exploded with angry tweets about the pop star. While some of my followers reposted Madonna’s picture, accusing her of appropriating Amazigh culture, many of my followers expressed annoyance at her so-called Aretha Franklin tribute. In a less than a two-minute tribute, Madonna mentioned herself over 70 times and the late Aretha Franklin only four.

This is typical of Madonna, and imagining otherwise means you live under a rock or have not paid attention to her incessant antics. Here is a comprehensive list of five times Madonna made something, which had nothing to do with her, about herself:

Madonna’s message to LGBTQ people during pride month

This past Pride month, Madonna wrote a brief statement. She showed solidarity to the LGBTQ community by — SHOCKINGLY — talking about herself, her upcoming music, her experience navigating New York City, and how she bows down to all the gay men who helped her with self-love and with her career.  

On Instagram, the pop star expressed gratitude to the LGBTQ community. She captioned the video:

“Until I can share my music, I’m sending love from Lisbon! Missing NY and the fierceness of the LGBT community that gave me life from the moment I landed there. For me, Pride Month is every month! This [queen] bows down to every gay boy that taught me a new dance, how to dress, how to drag, [and] how to slay; to stand tall in the face of adversity, not to give up hope, to own my inner bitch and to love my flaws.”

“Learning from the master…….. lol”

On Instagram, the pop star posted a photoshopped picture of Beyoncé and Jay-Z — screen captured from the Carter’s Apesh*t Music Video — staring at cover art from her past albums, making their latest single about her. She captioned the photo, “Learning from the master…….lol #art #equals #freedom.”

While her intentions were most likely pure, she struck the nerve of many Beyoncé fans. Some accused Madonna of being racist. I doubt that Madonna is purposefully racist; however, I do believe that Madonna is incapable of not making everything about her, even the success of her counterparts.

Madonna Makes Racism and Homophobia about Her

During an interview with Rolling Stone, Madonna compared her experience with ageism to racism and homophobia, though she has never experienced racism or homophobia. “No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black or dare to say a degrading remark on Instagram about someone being gay. But my age — anybody and everybody would say something degrading to me. And I always think to myself, why is that accepted? What’s the difference between that and racism, or any discrimination? They’re judging me by my age. I don’t understand. I’m trying to get my head around it,” she said.

Madonna’s self-serving comparison is dangerous for multiple reasons. For one thing, she’s speaking about racism and homophobia like it’s a dinosaur fossil — like it is a relic from the past. Secondly, Madonna has never experienced racism or homophobia; therefore, she cannot make those forms of systemic bigotry about her.

Madonna Makes the Civil Rights Movement About Her

Madonna’s 13th studio album, Rebel Heart, arrived with a mess of a rollout. The pop star posted a photoshopped picture of Dr. Martin Luther King, with wires across his face — similar to the wires she had on her face, in her cover art. People immediately took offense, stating that Madonna had compared herself to the late Dr. King. The pop star replied to the backlash on Facebook, writing: “”I’m sorry I’m not comparing my self to anyone. I’m admiring and acknowledging [their] Rebel Hearts. This is neither a crime or an insult or racist!” the 56-year-old wrote. “Also, did it with Michael Jackson and Frida Khalo and Marilyn Monroe. Am I saying I am them NO. I’m saying they are Rebel Hearts too.” In other words, she’s comparing their ‘rebellious hearts’ to hers… Which is, in fact, comparing them to her… But OK!

Madonna Makes Black Culture About Her, and Tells Us to Fuck Off  Because She’s Just Doing Her Job

Less than a year after Madonna apologized for using the N-word, people continued calling the pop star out for cultural appropriation. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Madonna told the critics to kiss her ass. “I’m not appropriating anything. I’m inspired and I’m referencing other cultures. That is my right as an artist. They said Elvis Presley stole African-American culture. That’s our job as artists, to turn the world upside down and make everyone feel bewildered and have to rethink everything.” In other words: “Your culture is mine to colonize whenever I want – because that’s my job.”


Arkee E.

Arkee E. is a writer based in the Bronx.

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