Following her Sunday night presentation at the Grammy Awards, Madonna received a barrage of criticism over her appearance.

The multi-award-winning singer expressed her outrage at being “caught in the spotlight of ageism and misogyny that permeates the world we live in” in her most recent Instagram post on a close-up shot of her face that went viral online.

A post shared by Madonna (@madonna)

The picture was taken while Madonna introduced the performance of “Unholy” by Kim Petras and Sam Smith. “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 said, calling it a “history making moment.” She continued, “Instead of focusing on what I said in my speech which was about giving thanks for the fearlessness of artists like Sam and Kim!”

Related: Piers Morgan Mocks Madonna Following Her Unrecognizable Grammys Performance

Comments on Madonna’s post poured in, calling her terrifying, unrecognizably changing, and criticizing her alleged “obsession with plastic surgery.” However, the artist has never openly responded to claims of cosmetic modifications in public. Madonna retaliated, claiming that the online community, particularly Instagram, “refuses to recognize women past the age of 45.”

It’s part of the job description, therefore Madonna has faced this situation before. But this starts a much wider discussion about the inflated beauty standards that social networking sites promote. Instagram presents users’ lives as a highlight reel, and the platform’s culture has little room for reality, including the effects of aging naturally.

A post shared by Madonna (@madonna)

Madonna is no stranger to critical judgment on the aesthetics of her appearance. She stated in the article, “I have never apologized for any of the creative decisions I have made, nor the way that I appear or dress, and I’m not going to start. “I’ve been treated poorly by the media since the beginning of my career, but I realize that this is all a test, and I’m pleased to blaze the route so that all the women who come after me can live more comfortably in the future.”


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