Pop icon Madonna has never been shy about appropriating fashion and trends from subcultures (Voguing, anyone?) — it’s been her career’s bread and butter, some would say. But her latest style grab, wearing the teeth jewelry known as a ‘grill’, has a lot of people wondering what she’s thinking.
A product of hip hop culture in the 1980s, grills were popularized by Dirty South rappers in the 2000s, and became mainstream at that time. But over the past 8 years, interest in grills has slowly waned — and you know for certain that something has jumped the shark when someone like Ryan Lochte wears it to the Olympics. So why would Madonna be glomming onto a hip hop fashion trend in its death throes now?
Good question. I have no idea.
But what I DO know is that, c’mon, it looks kind of ridiculous on her:
Look, Madonna is a 55 year old woman. And she looks amazing, don’t get me wrong — I’m all about looking sassy and fashionable at any age. But grills? For real? I guess I just expect more from a woman who almost single-handedly directed fashion trends in the ’80s and ’90s. And unlike some of her shrewd co-options of the past, Madonna’s appropriation of grills doesn’t seem fashion-forward or edgy to me. Frankly, it just seems like an out-of-touch middle-aged woman’s lame attempt at relevance in a culture now dominated by hip hop music and fashion, and a poorly executed one at that. It reeks of Eau de Trying Too Hard. I mean, if you’re going to poach hip hop culture in 2013, maybe poach something that didn’t peak in 2005?
Maybe I’m being too hard on her. Or maybe it’s time for Madonna to stop trying to manipulate youth culture and style to her own self-serving, self-promotional ends, and time for her to start being the composed, self-directed, I-follow-no-trend Divine Matriarch Of Culture she could be. At 55 years old, it seems she could now quit compulsively reinventing herself and her style like her career and life depended on it, settle comfortably into her own skin, and develop a wholly unique personal fashion sense divorced from fleeting trends. Couldn’t she?
What do you think of Madonna’s grills?
Image source: Instagram
Read more at MamaPop!