October 12, 2008

Madonna's Principles

How awesome is Madonna?!?!

I was at her "Sticky & Sweet Tour" concert last night and I had a great time!

Ok, so this post is not about my rocking Saturday night, but it will definitely be about Madonna.

See, I've always been a fan, not a crazy-weird-walk-around-dressed-in-lace kind of fan, but still a fan.

I've always liked her music and I've never been afraid to admit it, and so I've gotten into fights with "rock 'n roll" and "educated" music fans over her music. And with pretty much every straight man out there, because rule number one in the Straight Man Handbook says: "Always choose death over admitting that you like Madonna's music!"

But going back to Madonna, I was so pleasantly surprised by her performance, because lately in some pictures she's starting to show her age and I wasn't sure what kind of energy and attitude to expect from her.

And while Madonna has already "guest posted" on NY Spender before, to thank her for a great concert, today we'll review some of her life and style philosophy and we'll see if we can apply these principles for our own benefit:

1) Never get old.
Madonna is 50! Sure she can't stop the signs of time from appearing on her face but her spirit is still young and full of life. Her love for the latest trends makes it so that she always surrounds herself with young people. That in turn keeps her young. While I'm not suggesting that you change your circle of friends, do lend an ear to younger crowds anytime you have the opportunity.

2) Take care of yourself.
Diet and exercise are a big part of Madonna's life. She watches what she eats and she has a very fit body. I mean, do you ever recall Madonna fat? Or even a bit overweight? And it's not just about having the money to pay for a fitness instructor and a personal chef, because if that were the case how do you explain Janet Jackson? You really need to be 100% committed to your health and to your body to see permanent results.

3) Don't be afraid of style changes.
Can you name any other show biz personality that has changed her image as much as Madonna? Even if the results were not always great she never let negative comments stop her. And change brings along "new" and "open mind" which help you satisfy point no. 1.

4) Don't be afraid to try new things.
The things Madonna can do best are singing and dancing. She doesn't need to do anything else and she would still be loved and famous until the end. But since she is not afraid of trying new things, she has also tried other paths, like acting, even if with much less success. But fear of failure never paralyzes her and last night at the concert she performed a lot of songs while playing her guitar (a new skill she has acquired in the last few years). So while she could just keep singing and dancing, here is a woman that wants to constantly re-new and improve herself, and picks up a new skill even if she doesn't have to. So don't be afraid: learn something new, be curious, explore the world and your backyard, never stop trying.

5) Be a strong and driven woman.
There are no doubts that Madonna is a very strong and driven woman. By that I mean that she is someone that always knew what she wanted and that has done everything in her power to achieve it. Take this as a clue that you need to be driven and passionate about your dreams, if you ever want to achieve them.

6) Don't forget to have fun.
This point ties in with point no. 1 and point no. 4: even if she's worked hard to get to where she is at today, Madonna always looked like she was having a lot of fun. Nobody can look at her and say that she has had a boring life. Be like her, and try to keep "fun" in your life, and if at any point you feel that you haven't had fun in a very long time, stop and think about what you can do to change that. Who said that life has to be all work and no play???

7) You can have a successful career and a family, too.
Ok, maybe this is the part where her money has helped her, but it's interesting to notice that a fulfilling career was not enough for Madonna and she planned her first child even if she knew she wasn't going to be with the father. I understand that people's opinion will differ on this point, but if you always wanted to have a family and your career is in the way, think about finding a compromise, but don't sacrifice one for the other. I know a woman who has worked her whole life, never married, and is now retired, completely lonely and full of regrets.

8) Find peace within.
A lot of people criticize Madonna's Kabbalah conversion, but she is not different from the old lady praying in church, or from the young kid exploring Buddhism... the scope is the same: to find ourselves and peace within. Spirituality is very important. As we grow older, with the increasing pressure and responsibilities, the need for an internal peace also increases. Do whatever it takes to help you get to this more serene place where you can really connect with yourself.

Many of Madonna's detractors will say that this list only focuses on the positives and ignores the negatives, and they are right. Here at NY Spender we only pursue what's good and pretty and makes us feel better, so there! ;)


Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what you said, she's a living legend. Some people just don't get it.

magickat said...

I was at the concert last night - she is AMAZING. She seriously did not stop moving for the whole two hours. I loved every minute of it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for a very thoughtful post. Two, four, six, seven and eight are especially meaningful. You've caused me to pause and consider the woman in different ways, beyond her charisma and celebrity.