Soon she will be celebrating her 60th birthday. And she isn't finished. Maybe, like Clint Eastwood in film and Rupert Murdoch in empire-building, her influence will go on and on into her 80s and beyond.
In The Guardian, Barbara Ellen chronicles how she has already reshaped global pop culture.
Madonna did that, primarily through continually transforming herself. There had been a Madonna of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and beyond.
Among the personas were the young woman who was imbued with Catholic memes, the musician who wore underwear as outerwear and simulated the movements of sexual intercourse on stage, and the earth mother.
That presence so dominated that it was difficult for it not to seep into her acting roles. Never could she fully portray a character the way Edie Falco gave us Carmela Soprano.
In her aging, she could be the one who pulls off totally overhauling the image of what "old" is.
Given her transformational powers she could reset how the world perceives the aging.
As with those becoming 13 in the post-war era, she can cook up a whole new category of those who should be watched, analyzed, feared, and imitated.
Back then, that emerging demographic was labeled "teenager." Thanks to them, Elvis, the record industry, television, the drive-in where in pre-pill days it didn't go beyond petting, rebellion, and going to college caught fire.
Our 60-and-over demographic could become the prevailing model for professional success on your own terms.
Many who already analyze us, such as psychotherapist Thomas Moore, observe aging tends to soften us and we become calm about many aspects of life. Instead of one-dimensionally chasing after our individual success to pile up material rewards, we embrace an other-directed purpose. Younger generations sense this and head toward us as mentors. Moore's brisk-selling book is "Ageless Soul."
In addition, other thought leaders such as journalist Dan Lyons note how resilient we are becoming in the face of age discrimination. His book is "Disrupted."
Frequently that takes the form of getting the boot because we are at a high salary. At age 52, at Newsweek, Lyons received what has become known as the "tap on the shoulder." Soon enough he got it that supporting his family meant continually scrambling to find work.
In this 600-unit rental complex in Eastern Ohio, about 40% are over-60.
We have created an informal network about where the work is and the savvy way to apply for it.
A 64-year-old told us not to work at X retailer, whose branding is all warm and fuzzy, because it, when sales receipts aren't meeting quota, sends workers home. No it doesn't ask if they want to leave early. It tells them to go.
When I let it be known I was hunting for retirees to interview for a book I'm assisting with, two volunteered. With grace and humor, they described a life they hadn't expected: Retirement which demands part-time jobs to financially survive.
In a sense, we have all taken on the brash confidence and experimentation of Madonna. And, hahaha, like her we are shocking.
Colleagues were bug-eyed when I took a vow of poverty after my mind, enterprise, and nest egg blew into a million pieces in 2003. I had been one of those with the This Old House on the Gold Coast of Connecticut and a getaway at an EastCoast beach. Currently my lifestyle is that of a medieval monk.
Takeaway: Allow our inner Madonna to point us to our emerging purpose in work and our personal lives.
Contact Jane Genova firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Over-50: Outsmarting Your Comfort Zone” https://over-50.typepad.com/over-50/2018/05/outsmarting-your-comfort-zone-free-book.html
“Over-50: The Four Monsters in the Mind” https://over-50.typepad.com/over-50/2018/04/ageism-bites-.html