Ok, I’m a woman who grew up in the 80s, and yes, my first music purchase was Like a Virgin on vinyl. Being the museum obsessed person that I am, I still have her records and tapes in my collection. I recall many hours listening to Madonna, learning all her lyrics with friends and dressing and making up dance moves for hours on end.

One Christmas my Aunty brought me a Madonna tee-shirt with the Like a Virgin album cover on the front. This was my favourite item of clothing for many years; I wore it everywhere, even to bed, until it became so tatty that it had to transition into its next phase of life‚ Mum’s rag bag.

I was fascinated with Madonna. She projected such a strong image, was so sure of herself, and was a strong feminine presence in popular culture presented in a way that many would have considered outrageous. She appeared sexy, defiant, and sassy, but to me she was so in control of her own destiny, it didn’t seem to matter what anyone thought of her, and I loved that.

I think it is her strength of character, style, and rocking fashion that made her a strong heroine in my life, someone who stands out in my early memories. Madonna was so different from those around me, especially in my little Gizzy world. She showed me that being different wasn’t a bad thing, in fact it paid off. She in many ways has taught me to be strong minded, sure of myself, and that women can be and should be in control of their destiny.

-Sally A.

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