It's what we love about her. She's out there. Unapologetic. On the edge. If Madonna has taught us anything over the years, it is this: Madonna flouts the rules.
And she's flouting them on Instagram by posting a photo of her 13-year-old son and his friends holding bottles of gin and vodka. Madonna captioned the photo: "The party has just begun! Bring it! 2014."
Instagram lit up with judgmental comments about the prudence of posting the picture because this is how we respond whenever Madonna does anything.
Madonna insisted that no tweens actually ingested any alcohol. She said: "No one was drinking we were just having fun! Calm down and get a sense of humor! Don't start the year off with judgement!"
I understand that it could be funny for children to pose with adult props, like a baby with a mustache or a toddler reading the newspaper. I'm not humorless. But I don't think this photo is funny. As comedy, it doesn't work. These kids are too old for it to be ridiculous and alcohol, unlike mustaches and newspapers, isn't harmless.
Allowing for different levels in taste and sophistication, maybe some people would think this is funny. But I still find myself saying old-marm style, "Madonna, I am not amused."
And here's why: I have tweens and teens who are starting to get involved with social media. They are digital-natives, and it comes naturally to them. What doesn't come naturally to them is understanding the implications of lapses in judgment.
For example, if you think it is funny to pose with booze and you are a school teacher, you might lose your job. If you meant your racist tweets as a joke but the company you work for doesn't "get it," they will fire you. Comedy that doesn't land could land you out of work. So it doesn't help when an American icon flouts the rules by posting a picture of her own underage son with booze and dismisses it as a joke. It's an irresponsible way for a grown up to act.
There are certainly worse things you could do and I think maybe Madonna has done them (and probably Instagrammed them). But when your own kid is involved, the school marm has to come out. Even if you're Madonna.
-By Kacy Faulconer