Ellen Von UnwerthBack in 1990, Madonna was featured on Cosmopolitan magazine’s 25th anniversary cover. Now she’s back on the cover, 25 years later, for the magazine’s 50th anniversary issue. Though she’s remained as provocative as ever, the singer believes society hasn’t changed much from when she first hit the scene.

“Don’t be fooled, not much has changed — certainly not for women,” Madonna tells the mag. “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.”

If anything, says Madonna, the rise of social media has made it easier for people to pass judgment. “You can hide behind your computer or your phone and say whatever you want — you’re not known,” Madonna says. “Could you say it to my face? Would you say it to my face? I doubt it.”

But through all the criticism, sexism and ageism she’s faced, Madonna manages to stay true to herself. “Popularity comes and goes,” she says. “You need to know who you are, what you stand for, and why you’re here.”

The May issue of Cosmo features four different Madonna covers. It hits stands on April 14.

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