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perspective Madonna’s upcoming tour will defy society’s restrictions on female pop stars

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Madonna has announced the North American and European dates of her concert tour, during which she will perform some of her most popular, era-defining songs. It’s 40 years worth of club dancing, provocative shapeshifting and sex-positive proselytizing. Madonna was one of the leading female artists of the MTV dance pop genre, and this tour will be a testament to that legacy and a test of cultural boundaries. On “Madonna: The Celebration Tour,” the performer will push back against time-worn assumptions about gender and age at a time when the public conversation can be too bleak and too unforgiving on those topics. Godspeed, Madonna.

He announced his intentions in a video on social media that featured a game of Truth or Dare — a reference to his 1991 film of the same name — with a circle of friends including Jack Black, Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow and Lil Wayne. The video is mostly shot in black and white and looks out of focus at times. Everyone looks a little disheveled and like they’ve had a long night. Impact is a video that’s raw and self-consciously, joyfully transgressive, the kind of story Madonna loves to tell.

At the height of her fame and influence in the 1980s and ’90s, Madonna was able to offend anyone who considered herself part of the establishment or who believed herself charged with setting moral codes and defining social acceptance. He ranked the sensitivity of the Catholic Church, the Moral Majority and the Missionaries. He made a career out of poking fun at the powerful and privileged. He stood by the outsiders. And for that – and his danceable beats and keen sense of aesthetics – he was beloved. He was particularly vocal in speaking out for the LGBTQ community and celebrating elements of their culture, including ballroom and drag.

Much of what made Madonna such a compelling cultural figure now becomes a test, a challenge, a question. When she incorporated ballroom culture into her video for “Vogue,” she was praised for shining a spotlight on this dance style developed within the black and Latino LGBTQ community. Now, there are conversations about cultural appropriation and whether he did enough to promote entrepreneurship.

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As a performer, he was always on the move, always looking for something outside the mainstream. She changes her look to mark each new chapter, and her audience appreciates her. But culture is unlikely to appreciate the looks of a 64-year-old woman, unless she somehow defies the march of time or treats aging gracefully — which means walking quietly into the sunset in expensive cashmere and sensible shoes.

And Madonna didn’t shut up. He recently caused a kerfuffle on social media to note how his 1992 book “Sex” paved the way for performers like Cardi B and Miley Cyrus to freely sing about their sexuality; He is credited with wearing the traditional clothing of North Africans; She likes to make social media videos of herself in extreme close-ups that make her look haunted and imperfect rather than glamorous and flawless. He continued to provoke. Her admirers applaud her for maintaining the same irreverent sensibility in her 20s. He is still admonished for such bravery. Madonna hasn’t changed, and the culture is conflicted about it.

It will be quite something when Madonna takes the stage and starts playing all the familiar beats. Fans won’t come to see him stand behind a microphone and sing a ballad. Performance, in all its sweaty and sexy athleticism, has always been the draw: vogue, bullet bras and, of course, looks. She was the club-hopping ragamuffin, the Marilyn Monroe doppelganger, the black-haired heretic, the platinum sex goddess. Her appearance has always said something about how her audience views gender and sexuality at a given moment. Her body made a statement about the politics of sexuality.

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How will it feel now in the sixth decade of his life? Sure, it can be amazing and engaging and enticing. But it can be difficult to understand popular culture. When the 50-something actresses returned to the “Sex and the City” revival with all the familiar costumes and melodramatic storylines, they were praised for having the nerve to actually grow old.

Society is horribly reprimanding women as they age. Each milestone brings new rules and restrictions regarding appearance. At 30, women are expected to be feminine rather than feminine. At 50, they aim for sophistication or elegance. After 65, there are no rules because women are basically just heads in an invisible body – exceptions are few.

Madonna is the MTV godmother bringing her personal playlists and bump-and-grind aesthetic back to stadium crowds. There is something both exciting and alarming about the prospect of this high-wattage video star returning to the stage with such boldness. Her brand of exhibitionist feminism placed the female body directly in the spotlight and became fundamental to her public identity. If he goes back and performs his catalog now, how will the music change? When she sings “Beauty’s where you find it” from “Vogue,” will it resonate differently?

One wishes he was as dynamic as he was decades ago. After all, there is a lot of nostalgia in this tour. But the reality is that no performer can ever back down. (Probably not wanting.) The excitement isn’t in the repeated performance of “indulgence” or “like a prayer.” The thrill lies in the possibilities of what those songs could become.

The anticipation isn’t just in hearing a new take on an old tune. This is the exuberance of this Madonna, yet disruptive and stylish. Just by stepping onto the stage, she gave popular culture a new chapter in women’s stories.

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