Anna-Leena Harkonen


Britta Pedersen/dpa/Alamy


Who’s the Queen?

Madonna is a prime example of how far resolve can take you. She is multitalented and persistent, a role model for many girls. The bold and unapologetic woman who does what she wants, no matter what others may think.

When Madonna burst onto the world stage, her message was clear: “Here I am; take it or leave it.”

At the time, I had already figured out my way of being in this world, but her example strengthened my conviction that you should not care about other people’s disapproval or condemnation.

WHEN I WAS twenty-six, I saw Madonna: Truth or Dare, and I even read the tell-all book written by her brother.

The book shed a less flattering light on her, but was so saturated with envy, bitterness, and self-pity that I simply couldn’t believe everything I read.

The autobiographical documentary revealed that Madonna is an uncompromising perfectionist and requires the same from her employees. Although the movie naturally sided with the main character, it also conveyed her relentless temperament and toughness.

Her circle of friends seemed embarrassingly ingratiating at times.

AND HER MEN? After divorcing Sean Penn, her first husband, she married Guy Ritchie, and their union seemed perfect. Her friends reportedly said Guy was a good match for Madonna: he kept her on her toes and refused to become her lapdog.

Before their breakup, I read somewhere that he had made her cry publicly at a restaurant. My first thoughts: “Can a man really make Madonna cry? Can anyone make such a strong woman cry?”

Of course. Men are widely known for their ability to make women cry, even if the woman is Madonna. And perhaps her men suffered from the same predicament: the role of the prince husband.

I WAS SURPRISED to realize that Madonna had reached her sixties—and slightly disappointed to see that even she had joined the cult of worshipping eternal youth.

I guess plastic surgery is something of an understandable choice in the entertainment business, but I would have expected Madonna to rebel against this convention in particular.

I’m convinced that organic Madonna in her sixties would look good in her cone bra bodysuit.

I STILL REMEMBER a scene from Madonna: Truth or Dare. Lying on the bed with her children, Madonna asks her son, Rocco: “Who’s the queen?”

“You are,” he replies in a slightly aggressive tone.

I would never have dared to ask my now adult child anything like that. To pose such a question, you would need to be Madonna.

© Anna-Leena Harkonen 2021

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