Liz Hoggard: Don't put your daughter on the stage

What is Madonna doing thrusting 12-year-old Lourdes into the limelight?

Share
Related Topics

Oh Lourdes! What is Madonna doing? The sight of her 12-year-old daughter dragged up in full bridal outfit and red lipstick in Madge's latest video – recreating the pose from her 1985 hit song "Like A Virgin" – had me shuddering at so many levels. Never mind the hypocrisy of exploiting your daughter – Lourdes also joined her mother on stage, on the penultimate night of her Sticky & Sweet world tour in Israel – while demanding privacy for your family. Why is Madonna – the self-styled most original woman on the planet – so hell-bent on turning her daughter into a mini-me?

I don't mean to be squeamish. I happen to love the song. But for heaven's sake, Lourdes is a pre-teen. Madonna was 25 when she made the video for "Like a Virgin". Which makes all that squelchy "touched for the very first time" imagery just a bit more palatable.

Like many tactful fans, I've tried to overlook the fact that Madonna appeared to virtually bio-engineer her daughter in her own image (Lourdes's father is Madonna's one-time personal trainer Carlos Leon). I even forgave her recently plundering her daughter's schoolgirl wardrobe for a Kabbalah party in New York.

But this video is a step too far. What worries me is the effect on little "Lola" herself. It's hard enough being the daughter of a very famous woman. Child stars rarely grow up sane. Even fame by proxy makes you unpopular with other kids, who can sniff out hype and inauthenticity (I once casually mentioned to my 11-year-old friends that my mother would be our new French teacher at secondary school. Big bloody mistake: I was shunned for years for boasting).

So my heart lurched when Madonna gave an interview around her English Roses book in 2003 and admitted it was inspired by Lourdes's own experiences at school. The book is about four little girls who shun a fifth, who is beautiful and clever, out of envy.

And "Lola" actually has quite a few more problems than the average pre-teen. Her 51-year-old mother is dating a 22-year-old. That chap she rather liked, Guy, is off the scene. Her uncle Christopher sold a hilariously bitchy book on her mother. Two squealing infants have recently turned up.

And Lourdes, bless her, looks 12 going on 38. It's not her fault. When she's older, the mono-brow and bushy eyebrows will give her the dignified chic of Frida Kahlo. But she shouldn't be going round slathered in lipstick and fake beauty spots yet. Which makes you wonder: will Madonna ever be able to cede the spotlight in a natural, maternal way to her children?

I can see that the world's most famous single mother needs to make up for things a bit at the moment. She owes Lourdes. They've moved country – and schools – yet again. What 12-year-old wouldn't love to go on stage for a bit of stadium adulation?

But it's not smart – and it's not caring. This way she makes Lourdes a legitimate target for every paparazzo in the world. In her mid-20s Madonna made the calculated decision to sell her image to the highest bidder. She made a fortune – and changed the culture forever. But it was her image to sell.

lizhoggard@hotmail.com

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour's Jeremy Corbyn arrives to take part in a Labour party leadership final debate, at the Sage in Gateshead, England, Thursday, Sept. 3  

Jeremy Corbyn is here to stay and the Labour Party is never going to look the same again

Andrew Grice
Serena Williams  

As Stella Creasy and Serena Williams know, a woman's achievements are still judged on appearance

Holly Baxter
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones