Madonna’s global influence as a role model, author, singer and actress, is beyond limits. The young college girl once known as Madonna Louise Ciccone, posed nude for a photographer Herman Kulkens in 1977.
Image taken in 1979 shows Madonna brushing the hair of an unidentified woman.
Aged 18 at that time, she was paid $10 an hour for the gig. But sadly, the pictures which were taken while she was a dance student at the University of Michigan surfaced online 10 years later.
She’s now one of the world’s biggest stars with a net worth estimated to be above $550 million in 2016.
“Since I started, I’ve had people giving me a hard time because they didn’t think you could be sexual or have sexuality or sensuality in your work and be intelligent at the same time,” she said in a 2015 interview with the Cosmopolitan.
“For me, the fight has never ended.”
The 58-year-old was recently recognized by Guinness World Records after selling more than 300 million records globally.
Madonna is officially, the best-selling female recording artist of all time.
During her speech at Billboard’s 2016 Women In Music, Madonna aroused controversies with her sexist statements.
“I feel better with something hard between my legs,” she said in readiness for the bombshell that was about to come.
“…People were dying of AIDS everywhere. It wasn’t safe to be gay, it wasn’t cool to be associated with the gay community,” Madonna said before revealing a painful incident in her life.
The mother-of-four said she was raped at gunpoint on a rooftop, many years ago.
“It was 1979 and New York was a very scary place. In the first year I was held at gunpoint, raped on a rooftop with a knife digging into my throat and I had my apartment broken into and robbed so many times I stopped locking the door.
“In the years that followed, I lost almost every friend I had to AIDS or drugs or gunshots.”
Talking from a wealth of experience, the pop icon told the Women In Music crowd that she learnt one good lesson from everything that has happened around her.
Vital lesson: “In life there is no real safety except for self-belief.”
“…There are no rules — if you’re a boy. There are rules if you’re a girl,” Madonna said.
“For instance,” she explained to the crowd saying: “If you’re a girl, you have to play the game. You’re allowed to be pretty and cute and sexy. But don’t act too smart. Don’t have an opinion that’s out of line with the status quo. You are allowed to be objectified by men and dress like a slut, but don’t own your sluttiness. And do not, I repeat do not, share your own sexual fantasies with the world. Be what men want you to be, but more importantly, be what women feel comfortable with you being around other men. And finally, do not age. Because to age is a sin. You will be criticized and vilified and definitely not played on the radio.”
Just when the crowd thought she was done with her feminist rants, Madonna stirred things up again. The “Frozen” singer revealed how she once felt like the most hated woman on earth.
In her words: “Eventually I was left alone because I married Sean Penn, and not only would he would bust a cap in your ass, but I was off the market.
“For a while I was not considered a threat. Years later, divorced and single — sorry Sean — I made my Erotica album and my Sex book was released.
“I remember being the headline of every newspaper and magazine. Everything I read about myself was damning. I was called a whore and a witch.
“One headline compared me to Satan. I said, ‘Wait a minute, isn’t Prince running around with fishnets and high heels and lipstick with his butt hanging out?’ Yes, he was. But he was a man.
“This was the first time I truly understood women do not have the same freedom as men,” she said.
“I remember wishing I had a female peer I could look to for support. Camille Paglia, the famous feminist writer, said I set women back by objectifying myself sexually. So I thought, ‘oh, if you’re a feminist, you don’t have sexuality, you deny it.’ So I said ‘fuck it. I’m a different kind of feminist. I’m a bad feminist.’
“What I would like to say to all women here today is this: Women have been so oppressed for so long they believe what men have to say about them. They believe they have to back a man to get the job done. And there are some very good men worth backing, but not because they’re men — because they’re worthy.
“As women, we have to start appreciating our own worth and each other’s worth. Seek out strong women to befriend, to align yourself with, to learn from, to collaborate with, to be inspired by, to support, and enlightened by,” she urged.
“It’s not so much about receiving this award as it is having this opportunity to stand before you and say thank you,” Madonna said as a closing remark.
“Not only to the people who have loved and supported me along the way, you have no idea…you have no idea how much your support means,” she said in tears. “But to the doubters and naysayers and everyone who gave me hell and said I could not, that I would not or I must not — your resistance made me stronger, made me push harder, made me the fighter that I am today. It made me the woman that I am today. So thank you.”