2 March, 2017

International Women’s Day Countdown: MADONNA

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017 with the theme of #BeBoldForChange, Bijoux Indiscrets has created a countdown of exceptional women who have all effected change in their own right. We are proud to present our carefully curated list of women who were not only bold for change, but achieved it.  As Bijoux Indiscrets is a brand founded by, designed for, and primarily run by women, we want to acknowledge everyone who has paved the way for us and continues to inspire us. The list is not exhaustive: we recognise that there are far too many outstanding women for us to choose from! But here are a few that give us daily inspiration, and remind us to keep doing what we do. First up…



Madonna, the queen of pop, is one of the best known feminist icons of all time. In the early 90’s, Madonna released the album Erotica and book Sex, both containing highly erotic and provocative content. These were a clear statement that Madonna was disassociating herself from the sexual taboos that had persecuted women for such a long time. They also served to raise awareness about sexually transmitted diseases – Madonna had lost to friends to AIDS and some of the songs on Erotica touched on this.

Erotica was generally well received but Sex was heavily criticised by the media, and Madonna herself was lambasted for being sexually liberated. Despite this, the queen of pop continued to defy a world that wanted to bring her, and women like her, down. She ignored those who tried to tell her what to do with her body, and challenged norms of the time by boldly and loudly expressing her sexuality and right to pleasure.

Madonna is still a warrior 25 years later, as demonstrated by her speech upon receiving the Woman of the Year award at the Billboard gala in 2016. Give Madonna a microphone and you can be sure to start a revolution, as she dares to do and say what so many won’t. In her speech she stated, “Thank you for acknowledging my ability to continue my career for 34 years in the face of blatant sexism and misogyny and constant bullying and relentless abuse.” At 58 years old she continues reinventing herself and making music, despite working in an industry which punishes those – well, women – who get older. In the speech, she adds, “I think the most controversial thing I’ve done is to stay here.”

Madonna is still the queen. Not just of pop, however, but also due to her lifelong commitment of prising open the eyes of society whenever it seems to be falling asleep.

“If you’re a girl, you have to play the game. You’re allowed to be pretty and cute and sexy. But don’t act too smart. Don’t have an opinion that’s out of line with the status quo. You are allowed to be objectified by men and dress like a slut, but don’t own your sluttiness. And do not, I repeat do not, share your own sexual fantasies with the world. Be what men want you to be, but more importantly, be what women feel comfortable with you being around other men. And finally, do not age. Because to age is a sin.”

Watch the full speech HERE:

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