But the lessons have run both ways. As Madonna told Oprah in 2004, “My daughter is a daily reminder of the issues I have to work on—being too consumed with the way I look and what people think of me, feeling insecure, all that stuff.”
Lourdes was obviously born to a tough-as-nails mother, someone who’s blasted through boundaries, thumbed her nose at taboos, thrown herself into her passions head-first, and generally conducts herself in a way that, while she knows it’s going to get attention, communicates that she couldn’t care less what people thought.
There are, however, some people whose opinions do matter to Madonna, and those are her kids.
“When I was making my Sex book,” she recalled her at-the-time very scandalous 1992 coffee table book to Newsweek in 2012, “I wasn’t thinking about my kids or the reaction they would have. Now I have children, so I have to think about how things like that would impact them.”
Then again, when a 15-year-old Lourdes objected to the corset-and-fishnets look she planned to wear to a screening of W.E. one night, “I’m not going to let [being a parent] completely censor me. I say to my kids all the time, I’m an artist, this is what I do, this is what I’ve always done. And they need to learn to separate it.” (In a reverse case of “mom was right,” Madonna admitted to Newsweek she probably should’ve heeded her daughter’s advice.)