Today in Madonna History: December 28, 1992

meisel-sex-people-magazine-1992

On December 28 1992, Madonna was named one of the 25 Most Intriguing People In The World For 1992 by People magazine.

Here’s what People had to say about Madonna in 1992:

The Movies! The Album! The Naughty Pictures! Once Again Madonna Was Everywhere, Shouting, “Look at Me—Every Inch of Me!”

Intriguing: suggests an air of mystery. Madonna: does everything in public but floss her teeth.

Intriguing: wrapped in enigma. Madonna: not wrapped in anything.

Intriguing: means doesn’t appear on-camera in romantic encounters with Evian water bottles. Madonna: does.

OK—so what’s so intriguing about somebody who lets you know that her lovers require a five-cent deposit?

For one thing, she made ya look. Consider Sex, the photo book in which she had her picture taken doing everything but blushing. Besides proving that a naked Madonna could arch backward over a pinball machine without mussing her hair, it also pushed the envelope out to the size of a circus tent. And when the crowds came pouring in, there she was at center ring, cracking her whip.

It only served her purposes that Sex earned sniffy reviews like “The Empress Has No Clothes” and that it was banned in places such as Japan and Ireland. Coming on the heels of her summer film hit, A League of Their Own, the fuss over her book helped to launch her new album, Erotica, and primed the movie audience for her next assault on their sensibilities, Body of Evidence. Her success at getting the world to subsidize her sexual preoccupations—to say nothing of her mammoth self-absorption—is what makes her worth the $60 million deal she cut this year with Time Warner (the parent company of PEOPLE). Madonna is not the first star to find the bucks in buck nakedness. But no one before her has capitalized so well on human willingness to have our fears and desires repackaged and sold back to us.

Yet this most public of women still strains to be a mystery. This year she went through more faces than Lon Chaney—one minute in Baby Jane pigtails, a cupcake from hell; the next in sour milkmaid gear, Heidi with a mean streak. Her changing gallery of faces is one reason that she’s a sex symbol who inspires a lot of heavy breathing from intellectuals. One landmark of the 1992 publishing list—The Madonna Connection: Representational Politics, Sub-cultural Identities and Cultural Theory. You didn’t get this sort of thing for Petula Clark.

But does she really throw such a mysterious light on our culture? More likely it’s just the glinting gears of a giant publicity machine. Yet the sheer magnitude of her achievement in that regard is, well, intriguing. And the grinding of those gears is surely too loud to be ignored. “I’m a revolutionary,” she once sighed. “And yes. it’s a burden.”

Sometimes it’s a burden for her, we sigh in return, and sometimes for us.

Madonna was a busy woman in 1992! What did you enjoy most? A League Of Their Own? This Used To Be My Playground? Erotica? Sex? Body Of Evidence? 

3 responses

  1. I loved A League of Their Own and “This Used To Be My Playground.” Madonna was first rate in that film–a natural comedian! To be honest, I got kind of overloaded on Madonna in the last half of 1992 and really tuned her out. I didn’t jump back on the Madonna Fan Bandwagon until the Bedtime Stories album. I’d say in the last decade, I’ve re-evaluated Erotica (the album and the era) and have come to appreciate it more than I did at the time.

  2. Body of Evidence came in 1993. Erotica didn’t really talk about sex so much as it did Romance and Fantasy to the comment above.

    Deeper and Deeper was the last single of the year in 1992. I enjoyed her SEX booklet. I thought it was brilliant, and i liked the fact it pissed off conservative outlets. Madonna again was ahead of the times being a woman talking about Fantasies in a world with Aids. It was something to get peoples minds to open, however, it didn’t work. With all the controversy though little attention was put on the album. Now, 30 years later, people are talking about what a gem that musical piece is. The same thing happened 11 years later with American Life. Her music is what shaped the world, and Erotica had at least twelve great tunes with the exception of Did you do It?. My favourites are Secret Garden, Words, Bad Girl, Deeper and Deeper, Erotica, Rain, and In this Life.

Leave a Reply to Leo Rauh Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: