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Expressing Herself Essay

1367 words - 6 pages

The year was 1982, Reagan was the President of the United States, E.T. was playing in movie theaters, break dance was taking to the streets and the 24 years old Madonna Louise Ciccone released her first single “Everybody”. It would go on to top the dance charts and dominate the nightclub floors, effectively launching what would be one of the most successful musical careers of all time. In an interview for Harpers Bazaar in 2013 she would say about her life and career, “if I can't be daring in my work or the way I live my life, then I don't really see the point of being on this planet.” Zeitgeist means the spirit of the age, or of the time, and no one, other than Madonna, could better represent the pop culture zeitgeist. She should be considered the leader of America's pop culture zeitgeist because she is a paragon of female empowerment, makes niche culture become mainstream and is able to seamlessly navigate several trends.
Those who oppose Madonna as a leader of the American pop culture zeitgeist could argue that she is no longer relevant in the pop culture scene, has lost her instinct for performance, is straining for effect and tries too hard to be hip. But by looking at some facts we can refute that. Her performance at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show in 2012 became the most watched halftime performance in history attracting 114 million viewers, a number higher than that of those that watched the game itself, showing that her appeal as an artist and her performance skills remain as strong as ever. Her recent album MDNA debuted at number one in the Billboard 200 and one of its singles “Give Me All Your Luvin’” gave her a record-extending 38th entry into the top-ten hit list of the Billboard Hot 100, demonstrating that she is still in high demand as an artist and that she retains her ability to deliver top song hits. The tour that accompanied the album was hailed as the highest-grossing tour of 2012 by Billboard and featured 88 sold-out shows performed worldwide becoming the ninth highest grossing tour of all time, clear evidence that the public still connects with her art and that she can draw big crowds. By constantly collaborating with different artists, such as Justin Timberlake, Cee Lo Green, Timbaland and M.I.A., Madonna managed to stay relevant and current, embracing different styles of the pop culture spectrum to keep her art relevant.
Madonna should be considered the leader of America's pop culture zeitgeist because she is a paragon of female empowerment. And she does that by rallying women to stand up for themselves and go after what they want. In her fourth album she released the song “Express Yourself” urging women to never go for second-best and to always express their feelings. With its gender equality lyrics this song would go on to become a hymn of freedom and encouragement to all women. She showed, through her performances and songs, that women didn’t have to conform to the role of sex objects or virginal wives; they could...

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