Many thoughts entered my mind as I watched Madonna during Sunday’s halftime show at the Super Bowl. From the image she projected with her elaborate costumes, you would never guess that she is 53. I always loved her music from the time I was a young woman — Borderline was more than a song to me, it motivated and inspired me. I can still play that song today and instantly feel like a teenager singing into an imaginary microphone in front of a huge crowd.
So, as I watched, it made me nostalgic and a little sad. Don’t get me wrong, the Material girl looked great, not exactly the image that comes to mind when you hear the term “middle aged.” But then I thought about the celebrity culture and how women need to present themselves as perfect specimens, show no signs of aging what-so-ever. George Clooney has deep wrinkles etched around his eyes, but you won’t catch one of those pesky lines on Madonna’s porcelain skin. I wondered what it took for Madonna to turn back the clock. Of course she won’t reveal that she’s had work done, somehow she magically defied aging, and talking about it would only make her, well, human. While she is silent on the issue, those who specialize in cosmetic surgery say she’s had the following procedures performed: Botox, injectable fillers, a face lift, cheek implants, laser treatments, skin vein treatments, breast implants, skin tightening, a nose job, and fat taken from her butt and injected in her lips.
Some of you might ask, so, what’s wrong with that? I’m not arguing the merits of whether plastic surgery is good or bad. What I am proposing is that we we create a dialog in this country about what it means to be an older woman in our society. It seems that all too many women in their middle years are like Madonna, silent on this issue. As the producer of New Wrinkle the Movie, I will give women a voice. One of those voices is Tamara McClintock Greenberg, a San Francisco psychologist I interviewed for the film.