Madonna said she has been “caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny” following criticism over her appearance at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.
The 64-year-old Queen of Pop presented the award for best pop duo/group performance to Sam Smith and Kim Petras, for their hit Unholy, during Sunday night’s ceremony at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Wearing a black tuxedo with her eyebrows bleached blonde, the Material Girl singer praised “the rebels out there” while brandishing a whip.
Her appearance prompted scrutiny and speculation on social media and in the press, which she responded to in a lengthy post on Instagram.
Alongside a montage of clips from backstage at the awards show, she wrote: “It was an honor for me to Introduce 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!!
“Once again I am caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny That permeates the world we live in. 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!”
During her acceptance speech, Petras said: “I don’t think I could be here without Madonna.”
Madonna is set to embark on a global tour in the summer, which will see her perform her greatest hits from across four decades in shows across North America and Europe.