In Brave New World (1934) Aldous Huxley imagines a highly technological dystopian world in which not only reproduction is controlled and emancipated by sex, but citizens also live in a protracted adolescence between constant entertainment, euphoric substances capable of eliminating any unpleasant emotion and periodic rejuvenating blood transfusions. Does it remind you of anything?

Less than a century later, we can say we live in one society obsessed with youth. Maturity? Desolate land limited to octogenarians, minimum. Many define themselves as young inside or otherwise young by creating infamous mental places. The philosopher Susan Neimanin an essay released for Penguin in 2016 Why grow up?, defined our age the infantile age. (If we want to be masochists, we could add it to Hughes’ whining culture and Lasch’s culture of narcissism. Infantile, whining and narcissistic. It’s up to you to decide how true that is.)

Neiman argues that the absence of captivating models of maturity is no accident: by defining youth as the golden age and life after thirty as a downward process, we prepare for a world of Peter Pan.
Juvenile influence pervaded all media, which have progressively lost their original pedagogical and cultural depth in favor of fun and entertainment. The contemporary youth culture we have created and nurture keeps us there. We will never grow up.
Social networks are the highest definition mirror of our infantile culture. Neighbors or celebrity middle-aged struggling with ballets and hysterical smiles that imitate their 13-year-old competitors, or the expert nutritionist, neo-influencer, who explains by points, elementary vocabulary and forced smile (if you can breathe the embarrassment) as if in front of a class of seven years old. What about the no-longer-teen friend who continues to post bunny-eared selfies, adding a dozen faces and emoticons? The list could be endless.
The Anglo-Saxons know how much they like neologisms, and here comes terms like i kidultsthe adultchildren And adultcents to define the citizens of this childhood age of ours.

But you know it’s not just a matter of content, but also of appearance. On social media, especially we women, we can falsify ourselves and give ourselves to the world intact and fresh like teenagers, even if the births signal many more decades. Makeup, filters, and Photoshop go where surgery still doesn’t (and are undoubtedly cheaper). The effects? If you go too far, cartoons and transhumans.

Madonna
https://www.instagram.com/madonna/

That’s what’s happening to Madonnathe matron of pop, but no longer the only queen, whom many fans can no longer recognize in her latest Lolita performances of an imprecise age.
Silky skin like a baby’s buttocks, face framed by extension platinum blonde, plump mouth Jessica Rabbit, body wrapped in mini-shorts and a super sexy leather top. It has lost its original connotations and appears as creature transhuman, aided by technological innovation. Added to this are twerking and sexually playful and even a little weird statements, we believe with the intent to provoke and upset but which, even to us very little respectable and moralists, leave us a little dumbfounded. In short, we are not sure we understand what we have just seen.
In recent times, his images and performances are often judged by fans, journalists and commentators and other VIPs such as Fifty Cents as out of time, if not excessively retouched. The trait d’union of the criticisms? That Madonna is trying too hard to appear what she is no longer: very young. «It’s like watching my grandmother attempt to be hot»Reads a comment under one of his nightclub videos.

And this is not too much of our interest. “Live and let live” is a mantra. Let Madonna do what she wants. More compelling, if anything, and exemplary of our times are her responses, very piqued, to these criticisms. For a few years Lady Ciccone launches, in Pavlovian way, the triple accusation: misogyny, sexism and ageism (in Italian we could define it discrimination against the elderly).

Madonna
https://www.instagram.com/madonna/

Significant is the accusation of ageism. At the Billboard Women in Music in 2016 in her long acceptance speech for the award as “Woman of the Year” she complained, among countless other things, a different treatment between men and women in the world of music, adding “The age is a sin” .
Of course, our society, as we have seen, lives in the youth cult. The world of pop music is the emblem of Lolithism, but it is also true that stars like Kyle Minogue, Cher or Jennifer Lopez continue to be there, although not in the same way they attended their beginnings.
With more interest, we ask ourselves how we can fight the supposed ageism appearing smoother than a tiktokernata in 2010 with daring and waddling displays that mimic those of younger pop stars who excel like Dua Lipa or Cardi B.
Wanting to be bold, we could say that Madonna is ended up in the self-defeating stratagem of our age. That is to give the younger generations sovereignty over the image and culture. In short, if once she Madonna anticipated and dictated the rules, now she seems to have adapted to the aesthetics and tastes of Generation Z.

In 1990 the contrarian feminist Camille Paglia came out with an article in the New York Times, a true panegyric, in which he defined Madonna “a real feminist», For its ability to promote a female figure that is liberated but nonetheless a friend of the male. She was a dominatrix far from the sexophobic and puritan American feminism in vogue at the time. Her stated mission of hers had always been to provoke and upset. For years she has performed her acrobatics, managing to make them become cultural and social references.
After almost thirty years, Paglia herself no longer recognizes the same emancipatory, ambitious and energetic force in her figure. The reason is not only in her inability to evolve (“in her efforts to remain relevant, Madonna demeaned herself with pitifully inept adolescent Instagram images,” she writes) but also in the self-indulgent, victimized statements, as in that long speech for the Millboard.

Madonna was a cultural figure. However, in recent years she no longer seems to be thinking of herself as an important artist. She appears more interested in becoming a trend topic and provoking at any cost, competing with young people.
But mind you, Madonna gets angry not only because pop music favors water lilies but also because women after fifty are not seen as sexual animals. Evolutionary biologists might argue that there is a reason why fashion, advertising, and the entertainment world focus on images of women of reproductive age and men at their physical peak. However, these fields are never covered. One of the great oversights promoted by feminism à la page henceforth it is to make women believe that everything they do not have and is against them is the fault of society and culture. The nature? Never contemplated.

A while ago I read an old interview with actress Laura Morante. Asked if she was afraid of getting old she replied, “My mother, who was a beautiful woman, said, ‘I can’t wait to get old so I can finally sit at the bar and people watch.”
I remembered that sentence because it acted as a motivational balm whenever I was taken by the despondency of my decadence and the least admiring glances (yes, I admit it. I like them). This simple concept sounds like a warning in this society, amplified by social networks, in which we all want to be protagonists and forever young.
Nowadays who is willing to step back, sit down and change the perspective? Let’s just think of the Hollywood actresses who complain about not being considered “as it used to” after fifty. Of course, it is fair to ask for less youthful and adolescent entertainment. However, it is one thing to require mature roles for a mature audience, it is quite another to claim, as actress Kristin Scott Thomas did, to “feel transparent on the red carpet. “. In short, the lady at the time was fifty-nine years old. There comes a time when we need to leave space for the youngest. If, on the other hand, we are talking about irony, self-irony, conscience and wisdom? Here, the carampane can always win. They have the experience on their side.

Another controversial feminist, Germaine Greerin 2006 he came out with an essay The Change: Women, Aging and the Menopause, in which she hoped for a chance for women to live consciously the change that involves no longer being of reproductive age: «women should develop better strategies to manage such a difficult transition. How? Not experiencing it as a denial or postponement of change, but as an acceleration of change. We can go back to what we were before we became a sexual and reproductive tool, ”she says.
In short, one could experience no longer being a sexy lolitas as a form of liberation, a bit like Morante’s mother wished. Why not?

Madonna

An adult, Neiman writes again in Why grow up?, “He knows how the world should be without ever losing sight of what it is.” We women, perhaps more than men, are called to deal with an all too adverse biology. It would be great to stay smooth, firm and young for life, but we know what it is: it will never happen.

The myth of youth, filters and technology make us believe we can still compete with girls. But it is an illusion, as well as merciless towards the new generations. In doing so, paradoxically, in claiming independence from social dogmas to combatageismon the other hand, the social dogmas themselves are reaffirmed.
In short, is Madonna’s transhuman and adolescent transformation a way to combat discrimination against the elderly? As the subtitle of an article by Spencer Kornhaber onAtlantic, “Maybe she’s fighting ageism. But maybe she she’s making it worse “.
Madonna does not fight theageismif anything, it celebrates youth.
The triumph of an eternal youth.


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