I blame Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Every since Madonna contributed “Beautiful Stranger” to the second installment in Mike Myers’s increasingly terrible spy spoof film series, it’s all been downhill. The “American Pie” cover. The string of uninspiring albums, from 2000′s Music to 2012′s MDNA. The dating of Alex Rodriguez. The fake British accent. The getting upstaged by M.I.A. The weird naked tributes. What happened?
Fat Bastard, that’s what happened. But today, on Madonna’s 55th birthday, let’s pay tribute to what she once was (one of the most inspiring, creative, brilliant icons in pop music), and not what she is today (Kate Winslet, if Kate Winslet owned a BDSM dungeon and pumped weights during breaks). Here are 12 of her finest GIFs.