Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Maureen Coleman: Almost 50, but for a material girl, Madonna wears it well

Our Madge: capable of juggling motherhood and a showbiz career — and still managing to look good

She’s the world’s most successful female recording artist, a mother of three and a style chameleon. As Madonna approaches a milestone birthday this weekend, Showbiz Correspondent Maureen Coleman says the superstar is still fab at 50

It’s hard to believe that Madonna, the ultimate Material Girl, turns 50 on Saturday. With her perfectly toned body and sculpted limbs, she looks like a woman in her 30s.

In a recent sexy video in which she is paired up with Justin Timberlake, she gives him a run for his money as they show off their provocative moves. Justin, at 27, may be almost half her age, but no one could ever mistake her as a woman old enough to be his mother.

We live in a society obsessed by age and beauty, where the two are inextricably linked and where older women, quite often, get a raw deal.

While Sting and Mick Jagger are hailed as rock legends and George Clooney and Harrison Ford are still considered sex symbols, women are expected to age gracefully. Not Madonna. Always one to push the boundaries of convention, the Queen of Re-Invention is determined to stay at the top of her game, both mentally and physically.

And that is why so many women admire Madonna. Yes she’s had her controversies, including the adoption of a baby boy in Malawi in 2006, and her overtly sexual image has undoubtedly caused offence. But there’s no other artist as driven and determined and for that, she should be commended. In an age where stars like Amy Winehouse and Britney Spears too easily succumb to the pressures of fame, Madonna is a much more preferable role model. Here we have a woman juggling motherhood and a career and who still manages to look as amazing as she does.

Madonna is living proof that hard work and a desire to succeed can reap rewards.

Her killer work ethic has got her to where she is today — the top earning female singer in the world, worth an estimated £200m. This same work ethic has helped her achieve the body she now has — one that would put many women in their 20s to shame.

But if there was one piece of advice I’d love to give Madonna as she approaches this major milestone, it would be to let go just a little and learn to enjoy life a bit more.

Recent reports that her marriage to Guy Ritchie is in trouble combined with her gruelling exercise regime, have taken their toll on her.

She’s been pictured looking drawn and haggard, with her skinny frame only lending to emphasise her trademark muscles. Madonna pushes herself to the limit and has given herself up to a strict regime as she prepares for her forthcoming Sticky and Sweet tour.

Maybe now, as her big birthday looms, the record-breaking popstar needs to slow down and relax. She should forego the macrobiotic diet, leave off the Ashtanga yoga and crack open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate in style.

It’s all very well being superwoman, but even Madonna needs to let off a little steam sometimes.

She’ll still be fab at 50 when she wakes up the following day.

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