Madonna: I was a hairy high school outcast
November 11th, 2011
03:33 PM ET

Madonna: I was a hairy high school outcast

Like many celebs, Madonna says she didn’t fit in as a teenager. The 53-year-old pop icon tells Harper’s Bazaar that her refusal to conform didn't go over well with her peers.

"I saw how popular girls had to behave to get the boys," she recalls in the magazine’s December issue. "I knew I couldn't fit into that. So I decided to do the opposite. I refused to wear makeup, to have a hairstyle. I refused to shave. I had hairy armpits."

As a result, young Madge’s hirsute state drew insults like “hairy monster” from students at her Midwest high school, where she says she was “tortured.” “The boys in my school would make fun of me,” she says.

Though she grew up to become a sexual icon, Madonna says that when she was young, “straight men did not find me attractive.” But she now knows why: “I think they were scared of me because I was different.”

Although she didn’t let the taunting stop her from succeeding in life, Madonna says that adolescent trauma is still with her. "For some reason, I feel like I never left high school, because I still feel that if you don't fit in, you're going to get your ass kicked," she says. "That hasn't really changed for me. I've always been acutely aware of differences and the way you are supposed to act if you want to be popular."

Read the full interview in the December issue of Harper's Bazaar, on newsstands November 29.

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Jake

    All I can say is, I wish I had her money...because she can sit back and say "F" you all...You made me rich by buying my music and going to my concerts..

    November 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gem

      not totally jake...she gets annoyed that we don't bow to her like before....

      November 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. teddy

    She's afraid of growing old and becoming the hag she will be-

    Madonna has already reached that point, along with that other 80's whack job–George Michael!
    Two performers I loved, but their lives are just messes! And it's starting to reflect in their music....

    Madonna's a pathetic couger always dating foriegn guys–and her fatal attraction, I mean "friendship" with Britney was out of desperation for her career and to look "hip". George Michael just goes around smoking pot and crashes cars....Now, he goes on stage singing songs and crying about that hick he was dating from Texas.

    I liked when the two of them were actually artists and concentrated on their craft, not being headline embarrrassments!

    November 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • gina

      her career was fizzling out that's why she latched on to britney spears(who cannot carry a note either but can dance).
      lady gaga could care less about madonna. hopefully gaga will blow her off...

      November 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marina

    i think i'll send her some hydreaneas for the holiday ....jerk

    November 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • teddy

      Men just loath women with hairy armpits. I guess Madonna didn't know that.......

      November 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jake

    Madonna is a legend. She opened the door for the likes of GaGa and Britney and Christina. I agree she is not a good actress, but if you have seen her live, you know she is one hell of a performer and for 50+ she still has some damn good moves. And, to have a career in a cut throat industry, she has made it and doesn't have to give a flying rat's ass what any of you think of her or how she spends "her money". As far as high school, it's a crock of crap, everyone wants the same jeans and fancy shoes and to be popular, but you graduate and no one gives a damn what you wear and those kids whom were popular grow up to be fat lazy asses, whom probably still live in the same town you went to High School in and still get a handout from mommy and daddy. Learn your own style and what makes you happy, be yourself and love whom you love, because that is all that matters in life.

    November 15, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. jack

    if some of the most beautiful people in the world look like monsters when they age, Farrah Fawcet for example, what chance does a troll like Madonna have. None. Thank God she has money to buy the young boys attention till oneday she insists they make love with lights on and then its over.

    November 15, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. jack

    None of you can add. Hairy Monster is thirty years older than Gaga.

    November 15, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Moon River

    Madonna throws out any story just to stay in the news. She's afraid of growing old and becoming the hag she will because nobody is going to give a crap about her. She's a fake and always has been and treats people like dirt.

    November 15, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. BB

    Loved her since i first heard 'Borderline' in 1983, but she is unrecognizable today with all those fillers and crap in her face. and it wouldn't hurt her to ease up on the exercising. Too skinny for her age; makes her look much older.

    November 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • TM

      holiday was dumb song..the only song i felt she put her heart into was crazy for you..even though she cannot carry a tune, she put all she had in crazy for makes me cringe, live to tell is like 3 hours long and can make you fall asleep, Music makes the people come together with those cowboy clothes!!! Lord have Mercy on that one too!!!!!

      November 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JJ

    i don't understand why people who don't like Madonna even read the article. Go read an article on a topic you know something about...I love Madonna. Her music has helped me through some rough and happy times. I cant wait for the new CD to come out!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cookie

    Madge still looks great! Luv Her!!!

    November 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      nobody looks that good in their 50's...airbrushed and botoxed...get lost

      November 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mel

    Kids, Madonna is a living and breathing legend whether you like it or not, and surely she was influenced by other divas before her and she has influenced some of the pop starlets of today as declared by themselves. Now go to bed!

    November 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • gina

      she may a legend but she could never sing..sorry that's the way it is

      November 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    GaGa can sing..but sorry she can't dance....sorry.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. Joey

    no face procedures and 50 means looking good for your age...grow up people...and she can't carry a tune for God Sakes

    November 14, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Margaret

    i agree with Mark looking great for your age is when you have not done any work to your face and your in your 50's and are still beautiful–

    November 14, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. mark

    Air Brushed and Botox...

    November 14, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  16. gina

    Madonna does look good for a woman in her 50's...however in terms of her talent...she can't sing and her acting is awful.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  17. sheri

    She a lady of her times .very special girlworld like different.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |


    November 14, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |

    Idk , my opinion – never liked her . And that's the name of that tune .

    November 14, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  20. dionne carter

    all you in this generation are total idiots lady gaga dont have nothing on madonna! lady gaga was a sparkle in her momma's eye while madonna was doing her thing! since you guys have all this technology google madonna and you want see lady gaga in that info!

    November 14, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  21. Peter- New Jersey

    Be natural, be true to yourself and kind to others and you will be ok. When school is over you will be free of teenage angst... and unkind junveniles... and you move on. Find a good friend or two or three... and never let them go. Be true and kind and you will be happy... As for Madonna and Gaga, just a couple more multi millionaires...

    November 14, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  22. Gaga gag me

    For all those ignorant posters who don't know pop culture history, Lady Gaga would not even exist if Madonna didn't start the trend. All you have to do is look back as early as the 80's to see who copied who. Morons!

    November 14, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  23. Jessica

    Bravo Madonna for being a role model for all of us "different" girls in high school. I have been teased so many times because of a scar I have on my face from an accident. Your words have inspired me to not pay attention to their words and focus my time and energy on learning and being a great student. Thank you.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  24. Celine

    Madonna looks very beautiful and youthful in person. The so called "pre-photo shop" pics you see online have all been photo shopped to make her look bad because she refuses to pay the paparazzi and media off. Anyone who has seen her in person will tell you the same

    November 14, 2011 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  25. Greg

    Remember that silly incident not long ago, where Katy Perry ridiculed her old high school classmate for chosing another girl over her ?

    He coulda been rich and famous now !

    He said he still prefers the other girl.

    So the question the world is asking now is, did Katy Perry have hairy armpits too ?

    It's all a matter of personal taste. After all, the legendary Casanova claimed he liked the smell of the sweat of the women he slept with.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  26. Tiffany

    I'm a high school student and was very impressed with Madonna after reading the article. I wish there were more girls like her at my high school. I always thought I needed to act a certain way to get the attention of the boys in my class but to be honest I'm more interested in learning and earning good grades so that I may one day be as successful as Madonna. Thank you for being a role model for all of us intellectuals.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  27. MiMi

    Madonna is who she is and will always be.I came face to face with her in Detroit one night in a bar she had on a long blonde wig and was with her girl friends .She spoke and said hello.She has always fascinated me.She just wasn't afraid to be different that is part of her quality.She looks great glammed up.If that is her daughter she also is a beauty.

    November 13, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  28. tess139

    Cyber-bullying is still bullying .... I suppose some never leave high school ... ask yourself BEFORE you post ... would you want your child to repeat your mean spirited cyber-bullying or be a recipient of it ... if you can't say yes .. then don't be a bully yourself

    November 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  29. MashaSobaka

    I ran the gauntlet pretty much every day in middle school and high school. One day one of my teachers looked me in the eye and said "They torture you because they're afraid of you." I took her at her word. She was right. They stopped torturing me but they're still afraid of me. I kind of relish it.

    November 13, 2011 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
    • manny

      this sounds like something madonna would say...girl you can't sing mashasobaka or madonna whoever you are.

      November 18, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Peachy

    That is one airbrushed photo. Ever see Madona when she isn't airbrushed. WOW!!!

    November 13, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  31. mememe

    I like em hairy : )

    November 12, 2011 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  32. Sokman

    I can believe Madonna was a hairy high school outcast, but are we supposed to feel sorry for a woman rich enough to travel the world buying babies?

    November 11, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Peace

    LOL @ Evel! I'll take your word for it! LOL!!!

    November 11, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • N. Armiento

      Does anyone know who the black haired girl next to Madonna is? Daughter – Lourdes?

      November 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Magnifying the screen reveals the name to be Andrea Riseborough.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  34. Lori

    It wasn't part of her culture, it wasn't part of her faith, it wasn't that her parents didn't let her look like the other girls... she CHOSE it. so she really should be quiet. I am not saying she should have been bullied or anything, but when you choose to go out of your way to look that different, then don't expect everyone (especially hormonal teenagers) to always accept you. She was looking for attention then just like she is now... it is just something she can't seem to get enough of.

    November 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • SometimesEllaDC

      Gawd I hope you're not a parent. What a terrible way to raise children – "Just conform and be like everyone else! See those other kids, do exactly what they're doing – that's how to make people like you!"

      November 13, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • doesitmatter

      I was going to make a comment, but SometimesEllaDC said it perfectly. Those who make a difference in this world aren't the ones who just follow the leader, they are the leaders. They think for themselves and they know themselves far better than anyone who just follows the crowd. As for her looking for attention, whenever you're different, you naturally stick out. It's not about looking for attention, it's just about being a brighter color in a sea of grey. Maybe you should try it sometime, it's liberating.

      November 14, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  35. Frank

    OK as far as not being liked by straight guys, ah I'm straight and Madonna was and still is hot as f-- , so what if she was "different", thats what made her even hotter, yeah I saw her Playboy issue, nothing wrong with a little hair everywhere lol. Bottom we are talking about a Pop Icon I personally think Lady goo gobs doesn't belong in the same conversation as Modonna, or whatever his name is lol. In closing if Madonna should by any chance read this you just keep on doing what you been doing girl, and keep being the good Mother you are,that above all makes you a Icon in my eyes take care God be with all.

    November 11, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Beautiful Vixen


    November 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  37. boocat

    And now she's just a no talent slag....

    November 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • om

      i would not say slag...she can't sing...when i hear her on the radio i just flip the station...i don't even own any of her cd's

      November 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Shane s

    Wow lol

    November 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  39. melissa

    Isnt she that old gal that pretends to be Lady GaGa ?

    November 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • MadCityBabe

      only a punk would make such a comment

      November 11, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hayley

      Again, how can she copy someone when her music career started 20 years before Gaga. Who, btw has openly confessed to being influenced by MADONNA.

      November 12, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it.

      November 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  40. laqwanda

    She is still very gross and disgusting. Just a Lady GaGa immitator.

    November 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • MadCityBabe

      you're such a dooooosh......Madonna is the original – Lady Gagme does not own an original thought

      November 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • anneks

      Lady Gaga....Madonna....both have their place, but the original rule breaker was Cher.

      November 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • hayley

      Yeah... Madonna was about 20 years before Lady Gaga. Totally didn't copy... Someone isn't too smart ... 😛

      November 12, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • SometimesEllaDC

      The original is Cher?? I'm pretty sure Mae West was doing this before ANY of them.

      November 13, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • K

      Madonna came way before Lady Gaga. Therefore Lady Gaga is the imitator.

      November 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pamalmadingdon

      Umm Madonna has been doing this since before Lady Gaga was born.

      November 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • algray

      I love how people don't get jokes.

      November 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • LADY DI


      November 14, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • teddy

      Um, Madonna has been around like 25 years before Gaga.....I can't see how Madonna is a Gaga immitator.....

      Madonna has got to go, though...I loved her for years, but her time is over....She's now just a cougar that doesn't appreciated her fans or flowers..

      November 15, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • joey

      she's not gross..she just can't carry a tune

      November 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Your ignorance is abysmal.

      November 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |

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