jakub | March 8, 2023

Keira Knightley says Madonna row shows there is no “right” way for women to age


Keira Knightley has voiced her support for Madonna after the pop icon was forced to respond to critics of her appearance.

Last month, Madonna addressed the criticism she received after her appearance at the 2023 Grammy Awards, with harsh commentators claiming that she looked “unrecognisable” while also speculating about various cosmetic surgeries.

The singer described the backlash as evidence of a “world that refuses to celebrate women [past] the age of 45”, though later joked that the “swelling from surgery” had gone down.

Knightley, 37, has now weighed in on the row, telling Harper’s Bazaar: “Change is always tricky. We’re taught that it’s bad. We’re taught that we don’t want grey hair.”

She went on: “You’ve got Madonna on the one hand – and we’re told that’s not the right thing. Then you have someone else, where we’re told, ‘They looked better 20 years ago’. How are we, culturally, meant to age?”

The actor followed up her rhetorical question by citing Helen Mirren as a “terribly good” example.

“She ages in the most sensational manner. She’s fabulous in every way. You look at her and think, ‘God, you’re having so much fun. You’re enjoying life so much.'”

Madonna continued in her social media post after the Grammys:  “Instead of focusing on what I said in my speech which was about giving thanks for the fearlessness of artists like Sam [Smith] and Kim [Petras], 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.”

She added that the worlds “feels the need to punish [a woman] if she continues to be strong-willed, hard-working, and adventurous”.

She added that she’s 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”.

Madonna concluded by quoting Beyoncé’s track ‘Break My Soul’, and accompanied the post with a video montage of herself with acts including Sam SmithHoney Dijon and Cardi B.





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