Madonna Called Out the "Ageism and Misogyny" She Experienced Following Grammys Appearance

Tell 'em, queen!

Madonna at the 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Arena on February 5, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
(Image credit: Photo by Christopher Polk / Getty)

Women, it seems, can never catch a break.

At Sunday's Grammys, the legend Madonna presented the award for Best Pop Duo/Group performance to Sam Smith and Kim Petras, which meant she also presented the first Grammy ever to go to a trans female artist.

This should have been an incredibly cool moment for everybody involved, but instead, trolls (and tabloids) decided to focus their attention on Madonna's appearance.

Thankfully, Madonna isn't one to take criticism lying down, and she fought back via a strongly worded Instagram post, featuring footage of her having a ball at the Grammys backstage.

"It was an honor for me to Introduce," she wrote.

"Kim Petras and Sam Smith at the Grammys. I wanted to give the last award which was Album of the year, but I thought it was more important that I present the first trans- woman performing at the Grammys— a History making moment!! And on top of that she won a Grammy!!

"Instead of focusing on what I said in my speech which was about giving thanks for the fearlessness of artists like Sam and Kim- 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!!"

Madonna speaks onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

(Image credit: Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty)

Madonna was upset—but not surprised—by this turn of events.

"Once again I am caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny That permeates the world we live in," she wrote.

"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.

"I have never apologized for any of the creative choices I have made nor the way that I look or dress and I’m not going to start. I have been degraded by the media since the beginning of my career but I understand that this is all a test and I am happy to do the trailblazing so that all the women behind me can have an easier time in the years to come.

"In the words of Beyonce 'You-won’t break my soul',

"I look forward to many more years of subversive behavior -pushing boundaries-Standing up to the patriarchy -and Most of all enjoying my life.

"Bow down bitches!"

Consider the mic effectively drop—Madonna's famous friends certainly did.

Supermodel Barbara Fialho wrote, "Yessssss queen! Shhhhhhhhhhh… Silence the queen spoke soooo much and y’all didn’t even hear it!"

DJ Honey Dijon added, "What an honor and a blessing it is to be in your presence. You are such a force and I have so much love and respect for you."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.