After starting off looking at the History of Controversial Women, I decided to look at modern celebrity personas and exposing how they have used their USP’s to climb to the top. Starting off with a true Bad Girl and the Queen of Pop, Madonna’s image is on the naughty side of the richter scale purely in terms of using her art to stoke controversy.
Bad Girl USP – Fearless | Provocative | Rule-Breaking | Fashion Rebel | Chameleon
Famous Quotes: ‘What are you looking at?’ Madonna, Vogue, 1990.
A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.‘ Madonna, Sex, 1992.
The Queen of Pop is an apt title for Madonna. Born Madonna Louise Ciccone she now only needs the one name. A trailblazing, fearless act she is a fashion icon, a defining figure with her ra ra skirts and fingerless gloves in the 80s to her cone bras in the 90s and low waisted jeans in the noughties. It is her stage performances and music videos that sparked controversy from her use of the burning cross in Like A Prayer, her rebellious messages about sex and abortion in Like A Virgin and Papa Don’t Preach, her coffee table book simply entitled ‘Sex’ but her agenda right on the table in the 90s, her x rated video violent video ‘What it Feels Like for a Girl,’ then let’s not forget kissing her young pretenders Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the 2003 MTV awards. At 55 the icon shows no signs of slowing down, she recently controversially flashed her nipples on tour and named her album after an ingredient in the drug ecstasy – MDNA, oh and she fit in cavorting around with Justin Timberlake into the schedule who is 20 years her junior.
Madonna’s strength is her ability to be a chameleon, to reinvent herself and very often lead a serious step change in fashion, hair and beauty. She overthrows it and usurps her previous image from the virginal bride one minute to her jet black wig and body art in Frozen to the diametrically opposed Austin Powers low rise tailored trousers. Her body has changed in relation to the times from curvaceous in the 90s to the sculpted leotard wearing dancer we know today. Her impact on pop culture is already assured.
It’s not like she’s not had her ups and downs, for every high point there’s been scandal. Away from her day job, her every move is scrutinised, and she’s tackled racism, sexism and now takes ageism head on, posting selfies with hairy armpits on Instagram. From the headlines surrounding her adoption in Malawi to her recent fall from grace when she was whipped down a staircase at the Brits 2015 by her own backing dancer, she still has the ability to dominate a front page like no other demonstrating the most important characterstic of any Bad Girl; resilience. Go Madge!