But since that night, the internet hasn't been buzzing about the performance, which included her 1989 classic "Like A Prayer," or the speech she gave on stage, which focused on queer rights. The internet has been obsessing over Madonna's backside.
In videos and photos from the night that have been spread wide and far, the legendary singer appeared to have a fuller derrière. And, thanks to the power of Twitter to turn everything it touches into rubbish, it's led to butt implant rumors and all-out body shaming, with people on Twitter writing messages mocking Madonna.
"Desperately seeking no one's approval," Madonna wrote on Instagram, an obvious nod to her 1985 film Desperately Seeking Susan. "And entitled to free agency over my body like everyone else!" She then wrote out a few pointed hashtags: #respect, #nofear, and #nodiscrimination.
But while Madonna remains unbothered, the conversation around her body this time does feel particularly disheartening, largely because the night, as many people on Twitter have noted, was definitely not about her body. The unannounced, no-frills NYE celebration was supposed to be a rallying cry against hate, and a plea for the acceptance of LGBTQ communities, of which has been a longtime supporter. She went to Stonewall, after all, which is a national historic landmark as the site of the 1969 riots that helped launch the gay rights movement, and she was recently named the venue's ambassador for its landmark 50th anniversary and planned Pride celebrations. Standing alongside her son David Banda (who played guitar for the performance), she offered a speech about the importance of kindness, saying things like, "If we truly take the time to get to know one another, we would find that we all bleed the same color, and we all need to love and be loved," before she sang a single note.
And yet, all anyone left talking about that night was her body.
This is, sadly, the world we live in, where a talented, hugely successful woman can do a good and harmless thing and end up getting criticized. It happens to plenty of women in the spotlight. They dare to do whatever they want with their bodies — like Amandla Stenberg showing her armpit hair on a red carpet or Lourdes Leon, Madonna's daughter, stepping out with unshaved legs and underarms — and get swiftly torn down by the internet because some people don't approve of their choices.
As she's argued in a huge catalog of groundbreaking songs and videos over the past 35 years, Madonna is entitled to do what she wants with her body without fear of public commentary – just like anyone else. But since many people clearly can't understand this premise, we propose a maybe-a-little-late New Year's resolution: Let's leave the comments about women's bodies in 2018, shall we?