Madonna taught us to face fears: of the consequences of blooming sexuality, independence, anger, eccentricity and unconventionality. Of being women who don't do as they are told.
But not so much the fear of ageing. I can't help but wish, as brilliant British author Caitlin Moran said to me in an interview recently, that Madonna would just let herself become a smart, defiant, old woman: "If Madonna could just hag up now and just look like a wizard and just grow long, grey hair down to her knees and start using a stick and shouting at people in a really angry way, that would be amazing."
It would, wouldn't it? Ageing is an art form few know how to master. We value youth, but we used to also admire wisdom.
...excerpt from Julia Baird's bloody good opinion piece about Madonna, ageing and female role models on Stuff.co.nz