Stealing Is the New Stealing
Nuh-uh, Gwen Stefani, that is not your shit. At least, according to Madonna, it isn't. The never-hard-up-for-material girl recently told USA Today that Gwen has ripped her off. "We work with a lot of the same people. She married a Brit, she's got blond hair, and she likes fashion," says Madonna.
Since Madonna is always about two steps behind on the path to self-awareness, here's an addendum to her observation: Gwen is stealing from a thief. Madonna has built her career out of cultural mining, expressing herself via the sights and sounds of others.
Madonna and Gwen occasionally dine on other cultures at the same table.
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Madonna's take: In her four-and-a-half-minute after-school special, 1986's "Papa Don't Preach," Madonna played the role of a knocked-up teen with a conscience.
Gwen's take: "Hollaback Girl" found Gwen at her most appropriately annoying, playing a punk-ass teen ready to take down a shit-talker behind the bleachers.
It's a good look for: Gwen. Nurse-office drama is exciting for the nurses, while nothing tops a good catfight. In this case, half-Italians do it better.
Source Material: Old Hollywood
Madonna's take: In 1990's gayer-than-gay "Vogue" (it was inspired by the drag balls of Paris Is Burning, for God's sake!), Madonna pulled out a sixteen-bar rundown of those who helped the Hollywood's Golden Age sparkle.
Gwen's take: A two-line cameo in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator found Gwen in the role of Jean Harlow.
It's a good look for: Madonna. Her dramatic and precise phrasing bespoke an understanding of ways gone by. Meanwhile Gwen gave good face. But that's it.
Source Material: Disco
Madonna's take: Madonna's most recent stroll to the Seventies finds her hustling like John Travolta on her Abba-does-Italo, Stuart Price-produced current single, "Hung Up."
Gwen's take: The remix of her debut solo single, "What You Waiting For," is a throwback to the early Eighties hi-NRG that kept the spirit of disco alive when many were convinced it sucked. Price produced that one too.
It's a good look for: Gwen. Without even having to reduce herself to a camel-toe-prone leotard, she fit right into the role of disco's bitch.
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