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Madonna was her usual confrontational self at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, saluting all the “rebels” and “troublemakers” — but it was her own age-defying rebellion that got the most attention.
A source told The Post that the singer’s puffy face is a result of an obsession with her cheeks, adding: “She doesn’t realize that it’s making her look a bit like a caricature of herself.”
During the Grammys, social media was immediately ablaze with people saying they didn’t recognize the 64-year-old.
Piers Morgan caused fury among the Material Girl’s fans when he posted a photo of her on Twitter and dryly asked: “I thought Halloween was in October?” And Pete Burns — the 1980s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” singer who spent so much money on plastic surgery he went bankrupt — was trending on Twitter as people compared Madonna’s face to his.
A source close to Madonna told The Post that part of the problem is that singer doesn’t want to look any different from her heyday — but in trying to stop nature’s progress, she’s making herself almost unrecognizable.
“She wants to look like ‘2000s Madonna’ and refers to herself in the third person,” said a source close to the legendary singer. “She’s very aware that her face is one of the most recognizable on the planet so … she doesn’t want to be a cartoon version of herself.
“But she also wants the higher cheekbones she was famous for — and the best way to achieve those are with fillers.”
The source said that Madonna’s cheeks have become a bit of a preoccupation for her.
“[She heard] that puffy cheeks hide the aging lines, and she’s become obsessed with the notion,” the source said. “So the cheeks will be puffy even if people on the outside think they make her look either odd or chubby.”
The singer also has a team on “skin watch,” the source added. “There is a makeup artist and a facialist who are on hand for a constant cycle of creams and facials to keep her skin
The Post has reached out to Madonna’s rep for comment.
Madonna has never addressed the rumors of plastic surgery, saying in 2012, “I am certainly not against plastic surgery. However, I am absolutely against having to discuss it.”
But one celebrity plastic surgeon, Dr. Leslie Stevens of the Lasky Clinic in Beverly Hills, thinks she has had work done.
“The most obvious thing is the increase in fullness in her cheeks and jawline, almost to a grotesque amount. This is likely not surgically induced but rather from fillers or possibly her own fat,” Dr. Stevens, who has not treated Madonna, told The Post. “I think she has had her lateral brows elevated, and it looks like a lip lift was performed along with lip fillers.
“It is sad to see a natural beauty become so unnatural,” added Stevens, whose clients have included Sharon Osbourne. “This could be a perfect example of when a practitioner goes against their ethics and better judgement to retain a celebrity client.”
Friends say Madonna, who has long been known for her clean-living and healthy lifestyle, is likely to be heartbroken by all the criticism of her appearance because, more than anything else, she wants to be attractive.
“She just wants to look good for her age,” said the source. “While she likes surrounding herself with young people because she likes feeding off their positivity and creative energy, she is aware of her age. She’s had issues with her leg and hip and her main focus is on being healthy and looking good. She has a grueling tour coming up and she knows it will be taxing – she’s deliberately spaced it out so there will be time to recuperate between dates.”
Tickets for Madonna’s recently-announced “Celebration” greatest hits tour sold out in minutes for 35 dates.
“The tour is a celebration of her incredible career and that is what she is concentrating most on,” said the source.