Madonna fights to defy sexism
Madonna has to "fight" to prove she can be sexy and intelligent.
The 56-year-old singer insists society is still "very sexist" and she has faced a tough battle to defy expectations to be the person she wants to be.
She said: "Don't be fooled, not much has changed -- certainly not for women. We still live in a very sexist society that wants to limit people.
"Since I started, I've had people giving me a hard time because they didn't think you could be sexual or have sexuality or sensuality in your work and be intelligent at the same time. For me, the fight has never ended."
The 'Living For Love' singer believes the key to her four-decade career is her strong sense of self.
In an interview accompanying her appearance on the cover of America's Cosmopolitan magazine's 50th anniversary issue - 25 years after she graced the front page for their 25th anniversary - she said: "Popularity comes and goes. You need to know who you are, what you stand for, and why you're here."
Madonna - who raises children Lourdes, 18, Rocco, 14, David, nine, and Mercy, also nine - doesn't worry about criticism she receives via social media because she knows the online bullies wouldn't be brave enough to make their remarks in person.
She said: "You can hide behind your computer or your phone and say whatever you want -- you're not known. Could you say it to my face? Would you say it to my face? I doubt it."