December 16, 2016

Watch Madonna’s Powerful 2016 Billboard Woman of the Year Speech.


She hasn’t died out; she has only gotten stronger.

I grew up making homemade music videos to Madonna. My friends and I would spend hours lip-synching to her words and choreographing dance moves.

She wasn’t just a pop icon to us; she was a lifestyle—the one that we wanted.

We saw on stage a woman who was fierce and sexy, who didn’t back down, who didn’t let gender norms limit her.

We hadn’t seen that before.

Madonna was the beginning of a revolution—for women, and for gender.

She became a light for young people who wanted change. For those of us who weren’t happy sticking to (or in) certain societal roles.

She was exactly what I wanted to be as a woman. As she speaks about in her acceptance speech (below), she represented a melding of the feminine and masculine as one. We don’t often see this, nor are we taught that it is okay as women to be strong, rough, sexual, brazen and outspoken.

No, we are often taught to be nice, soft, sweet, considerate and good listeners. To me, the 30-plus years of Madonna’s success demonstrate that we have had enough of this.

Women no longer want to worship the idol of nice or sweet. We want to be ourselves.

Listening to her acceptance speech, I got chills. It made me remember that it’s not easy to show up as a powerful female in our world. We are still up against a lot; even, and perhaps especially, a woman as successful as Madonna got there despite massive adversity.

Let’s be proud of ourselves today, because as the queen of pop mentions, “There are no rules—if you’re a boy. There are rules if you’re a girl.”

These are the very rules we have had to courageously break through to shine.

May Madonna’s speech move us to keep rockin’ what we got—to be fearless despite the odds.

“In life there is no real safety except self-belief.” ~ Madonna



Author: Sarah Norrad

Image: YouTube

Editor: Toby Israel


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