In an unusual twist this morning, I had the opportunity to catch a bit of The Today Show (in contrast to the usual morning ritual of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse & Jack and the Neverland Pirates). As I was brushing my teeth and trying to frantically get dressed before the Hubs left for work and the kiddos pounced, I was in my bedroom catching bits and pieces of interviews when I stopped dead in my tracks to take pause when an interview with Madonna came on. After all, it’s Madonna.
Madonna was being interviewed by NBC’s Harry Smith and in the excerpt from this interview he particularly focused on her role as a mother which intrigued me (I was also intrigued by the fact that Madonna seems to have completely lost her once-acquired British accent. Maybe Guy Ritchie got that in the divorce?). Madonna spoke of her role as a mother which reminded me of yesterday’s post as she explained that when she is at home, she is a very different person than we all see in the constant limelight. She stated the person her kids experience is the person who “comes home and says, ‘Have you done your homework?’ and ‘Why are you wearing that?’ and ‘Why did you say that?’ and ‘What are you eating that for?'” Sounds like pretty standard mom talk, right?
What really struck me though was when Madonna was questioned about a recent photo of her fifteen-year-old daughter, Lourdes, which emerged in the press showing her smoking a cigarette (poor Lourdes, her indiscretions will likely always be public fodder). When Madonna was asked about how she felt about the photo, her response was pretty representative of the way I think most mothers would likely feel. She admitted, “(I) wasn’t very happy, but honestly, I don’t think I’m as tough as I should be. I think I need to be maybe tougher. It’s hard — every day is a negotiation. But cigarette smoking I’m not very fond of — for anyone – especially my daughter.”
However, when interviewer, Harry Smith, pointed out that Madonna (and in a rather in-your-face glamorous fashion) was smoking a cigarette in her recent music video, “Girl Gone Wild,” Madonna was quick to respond with, “I don’t smoke. That’s just an accessory, Harry. There’s a difference…She didn’t get it from me.”
This left me feeling conflicted. As a mother, I know that I am far from perfect (like reaaaaaallllllllly far – think another hemisphere). However, I also know that I don’t want my children to repeat my mistakes; therefore, I try to curtail demonstrating behavior I don’t want them to replicate. I don’t always succeed – if I did that would make me perfect (and again, I’m not – I’m on that other hemisphere). I just try. So here’s my question – what do you think about Madonna’s portrayal in her music video that quite clearly glamorizes smoking (think tight shot of Madonna’s face, singing, and blowing puffs of smoke in the camera throughout the entire video). Obviously, it is a character, but does it send a mixed message based on what Madonna says about smoking? Thoughts?