When performing in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 7, Madonna performed an onstage striptease for 55,000 fans, culminating in the 53-year-old pop star giving the crowd a full flash of her right nipple during "Human Nature."
Although I'm a stalwart Madonna fan, when I first saw those headlines my initial reaction was similar to most of the Internet. Some articles derided it as "Clearly designed to titillate, but we're over it," while another called it, "Just kinda sad." (Naturally, anti-Madonna advocate Piers Morgan wasted no time in asking if this was the "most embarrassing, cringe-worthy, desperate moment in the history of music.")
But I have to say, after watching the NSFW video, I don't really think it's desperate, disgusting or out of line. What changed my mind is Madonna's face at the 0:30 mark on this video. She owns that, "Yeah, I just did that, whatever" attitude, which makes me totally on board with this.
She didn't coquettishly feign surprise, she didn't seductively leer—she just did it and moved on. In fact, there's a casual quality to the performance that borders on lackadaisical, which I find completely appropriate. She knows it's just a human body, and she knows most people who would pay the substantial fee to see Madonna live have probably seen her naked before, numerous times.
And ultimately, this flash was for those fans. As you can tell from the video, they loved it. So if Madonna at 53 (or 63, or 83) wants to slip a nip now and then for people who know and love her history of cabaret lecherousness (and pay plenty to see it onstage), why is that so strange? Not to mention, the song "Human Nature" is explicitly about her shoving her sexuality in her critics' face.
What do you think? Unnecessary? Awesome? Sad? Gross? Tell us below.