The Grammys have officially jumped the shark.
No, not as an award ceremony–by definition award ceremonies start out on the far side of the shark. I’m talking about its usefulness as a microcosm of society, a breeding ground for controversies that shed light on what we collectively think.
This year, there isn’t much. Ignoring the strictly musical controversies*–because they’re completely matters of taste and not subject to rational discussion–we’re left with one burning question: Is Madonna too old to be showing off her rear end?
* Sam Smith’s three wins and Kanye West’s opinion about the best album of the year, if you must know.
Really? That’s the best we can do for controversy? I despair of my fellow human beings.
Bottom line (sorry): No. Nobody is too old to flash whatever body parts they want to.
Exposing body parts is Madonna’s shtick. We would be more surprised if she didn’t flash something.
But if you read that article carefully, you’ll see that the complainers are not objecting to any specific deficiencies in Madonna’s buns. What they’re saying is that she’s too old to flash. In other words, it’s not an aesthetic debate over her appearance, it’s a strictly ageist statement that by definition a fifty-six-year-old body is offensive.
As the possessor of a body almost that old, I find the implications alarming. I have no intention of showing my butt on national television, but I doubt that anyone would be struck blind if I did. There have been no reports of a national epidemic of vision problems inspired by Madonna’s derriere.
Maybe you don’t want to look at her butt. I don’t either, honestly. But it’s got nothing to do with her age.
I’m not trying to equate flashing or public nudity to free speech–though there’s certainly an argument for that. But if Madonna is within the bounds of local law in exposing herself to the stare of the camera and the glare of the press, her age has no relevance to the question of whether she should. And the same applies to everyone else.
So please: the next time you run into Natasha Koifman, Karen Salkin, Dani Stahl, or Jeanette Settembre, strike a blow against ageism and flash your ass.