Is the act of ‘becoming’ the artist a truly independent one? Is Madonna allowed to reflect a shift in her own perceived identity by ‘dressing’ as the artist, as the diva or as the dominatrix – as she is clearly presenting here. John Turner seems to believe that as an individual, with an understanding of social constructs, Madonna can present herself as anything she wants to be. He says, “Identity is shaped by self categorisation”. Therefore, if you choose your clothes, you choose a category for yourself.

Entwistle, however, seems to believe that “Practices of dress…drawing attention to differences…that might otherwise be obscured”. So therefore, your expression of self can represent/define you more than your actual being. As a body, you are more susceptible to fluid identity. Once you choose to ‘dress’ as one identity, it becomes much more fixed. So you are allowed to make a music video as an artist, if you dress and act as an artist. But only when you ‘dress’ yourself as a dominatrix, as a nun or as a man does the identity become an issue - just like Madonna does here. As Mercer says, “Identity is only an issue when in crisis.”

Extract from my paper : Autonomy in Reinvention - Can Madonna be an artist?