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Images of Madonna in Vanity Fair

Madonna Has More Than Four Minutes to Save the World

The cover of Vanity Fair's Green Issue shows Madonna with the whole world in her hands, and inside the issue she continues to show off her strength. The release of her upcoming album proves that she's an international force with no signs of slowing down, even if that includes some bad ideas (see after the jump). In the article she confidently talks about her life — past, present, and future. Here are highlights about Malawi, her album, and how she views the world:


  • On her decision to help in Malawi: “If you have children, you know you’re responsible for somebody. You realize you are being imitated; your belief systems and priorities have a direct influence on these children, who are like flowers in a garden. So you start to second-guess everything you value, and the suffering of other children becomes much more intolerable.”
  • On the music industry: “Well, there’s one thing you can’t download and that’s a live performance. And I know how to put on a show, and enjoy performing, and I’ll always have that.”
  • On making Hard Candy: “I didn’t have any idea what kind of music I wanted to make. I just knew I wanted to collaborate with Pharrell and Justin. I needed to be inspired and thought, well, who’s making records I like? So I went, ‘I like that guy and I like that guy.’ It’s not like we hit it off right away. Writing is very intimate. You have to be vulnerable and it’s hard to do that with strangers. I had ups and downs before everybody got comfortable, but I grew very fond of Pharrell and Justin.”

To see what else Madonna had to say about religion and what she was like as a teenager, just read more

  • On her beliefs: “Ultimately everything’s good. Even bad is good, because bad is there to help you resist it. You need to have that resistance to be good, and, let’s face it, the worst things that happen are always the best things that happen. If you look back at your life and say, Well, what did you learn? What happened that changed your life, that made you strong, that made you grow, it’s always things you perceived as bad."
  • On her high school experience: “I wasn’t a hippie or a stoner, so I ended up being the weirdo. I was interested in classical ballet and music, and the kids were quite mean if you were different. I was one of those people that people were mean to. When that happened, instead of being a doormat, I decided to emphasize my differences. I didn’t shave my legs. I had hair growing under my arms. I refused to wear makeup, or fit the ideal of what a conventionally pretty girl would look like. So of course I was tortured even more, and that further validated my superiority, and helped me to survive and say, ‘I’m getting out of here, and everyone is a heathen in this school—you don’t even know who Mahler is!’"

Love her or hate her, Madonna is a source of inspiration and a cultural icon, perhaps now more than ever. She may have her share of bad ideas (the latest being a remake of Casblanca), but it can't be denied that she's dedicated her life to making the world a better place for all of us.

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