There must be a reason Madonna’s been able to maintain a flawless music career, releasing albums since 1983 (and still going). She’s able to teach us about life through her songs in ways that are often overlooked because of her antics. Really though, she’s more valuable than she’s often given credit for these days.
She perfected the art of being yourself.
“Express yourself, don’t repress yourself.” (“Human Nature”)
“I’m breaking all the rules I didn’t make.” (“Human Nature”)
She’s never afraid of taking a chance.
“I’m not afraid of what I’ll face, but I’m afraid to stay.” (“Jump”)
She always challenges beauty standards.
“Should I lose some weight? Am I gonna be a star?” (“American Life”)
“Beauty’s where you find it, not just where you bump and grind it.” (“Vogue”)
She didn’t let her gender stop her from saying what she wanted.
“Would it sound better if I were a man?” (“Human Nature”)

She also mastered the kiss-off long before Beyoncé directed men “to the left, to the left.”
“Does it make you feel good to see me cry? I think it does. That’s why it’s time to say bye bye.” (“Bye Bye Baby”)
“The next time you want p***y, just look in the mirror, baby.” (“Waiting”)

She understands that disappointment in love is not her fault.
“It was so easy in the beginning, when you didn’t feel like running from your feelings. What happened? What do I remind you of? Your past, your dreams, or some part of yourself that you just can’t love?” (“Waiting”)

She won’t let anyone else boss her around.
“Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another.” (“Justify My Love”)
She doesn’t let other women intimidate her.
“Here she comes, little Susie ho-maker, thinks she’ll get respect if she screws it.” (“Thief of Hearts”)
“She’s not me, she doesn’t have my name; she’ll never have what I have.” (“She’s Not Me”)
She speaks of social injustices and problems in loving and accepting ways.
“Brothers, sisters, why can’t we learn to accept that we’re different before it’s too late?” (“Why’s It So Hard?”)
“He was like a father to me, nothing in the world he wouldn’t do; taught me to respect myself, said we’re all made of flesh and blood. Why should he be treated differently? Shouldn’t matter who you choose to love.” (“In This Life”)

She’s never willing to settle.
“Second best is never enough, you’ll do much better, baby, on your own.” (“Express Yourself”)

She knows exactly what’s important when looking for a lover.
“‘Cause the boy with the cold hard cash is always Mister Right.” (“Material Girl”)
Even the Queen knows a thing or two about unrequited love.
“I don’t know what I mean to you. The only thing I know is I dream of you.” (“I’d Rather Be Your Lover”)
She always manages to see the silver lining.
“Who needs the sun when the rain’s so full of life?” (“Sanctuary”)
She encourages people to love themselves (as much as she loves herself).
“Until I learned to love myself, I was never ever lovin’ anybody else.” (“Secret”)

She values her experiences and has no regrets about her past.
“I have no regrets, there’s nothing to forget. All the pain was worth it.” (“I Deserve It”)
“You could take all this, take it away. I’d still have it all.” (“Nothing Fails”)

( by Cory Mahoney)