This Photo Of Tweens Clutching Bottles Of Booze Isn’t Cool Just Because Madonna Took It

Madonna posted a picture of her 13-year-old son and some of his friends clutching bottles of booze with the caption, “The party has just begun! Bring it! 2014″ to her Instagram account over the weekend. The Internet went nuts. Just in case you were wondering – you really do get many, many allowances when you are a celebrity. One of them is people defending you when you are being ridiculous.

Here’s the offending shot:

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 2.33.40 PM


From Gossip Cop:

“No one was drinking we were just having fun! Calm down and get a sense of humor!” wrote the music star.

She added, “Don’t start the year off with judgment!”

Get a sense of humor everyone! Because underage drinking is hilarious. She’s obviously an adult and was present with the kids, so maybe it’s not a big deal. But looking through her Instagram photos is pretty icky. She alternates between adorable pictures of her kids, to pictures of bongs shaped like giant dildos. What the hell? This is just weird. So, I guess Madonna doesn’t have any expectations to be responsible about drugs around kids because she’s Madonna. And if you don’t agree than you just need to “get a life” as a writer from Jezebel claimed in an article today.

Not just as a mother, but as a thinking human I understand why there would be an uproar about this. Anyone who posts a picture like this to over a million followers does, too. Madonna is acutely aware of what it is to be in the public eye. That’s why I think this was a weird decision on her part. And not weird-good – just, irresponsible. Can you imagine your teenager showing you the Instagram account of a friend’s mom and having these photos come up?  Then tell me you would let your kid over there ever again. No way.

This photo of tweens clutching bottles of booze isn’t cool just because Madonna took it. And I say this as an absolute lover of Madonna.

(photo: Instagram)

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You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • Kay_Sue

    Yeah….my kid would not be visiting the home of a mother that posted such photos, and I too don’t think Madonna should get a pass just because she is a celebrity.

    • Limsky

      She wouldnt’t get a pass from me too…she’s old

  • EX

    So I’m going to sound like a broken record because I just said this on another thread but a 13 year old is a teen not a tween, no? Of course, it’s still a totally messed up picture to post but I’m just a little confused on the rampant (can I say rampant if it was in 2 nearly consecutive articles by different authors?) misuse of the word “tween.”

    • pixie

      I think 13 year olds are on the cusp; a transitional age. There’s “teen” right in the name, but for me they can go either way depending on the kid. To me, the ones who are on the more mature side are “teens” and the ones who are less mature are “tweens” (no 13 year old is really all *that* mature, but there are some who relate more to the 14-16 age group and others who relate more to the 10-12 age group_.

    • EX

      I get that distinction between young teens and older teens – I mean 17-19 year olds can be quite mature and are still teens and are obviously worlds away from 13 year olds but I just always thought tween was pretty narrowly defined as pre-adolescent and a 13 year old is an adolescent (a young one, yes, but an adolescent nonetheless). And I have now officially spent way too much time thinking about this. I’ll let it go!

  • pixie

    Suurrree they weren’t drinking. Or at least not while she was awake.

    Ok, that’s not fair, they might possibly have not have snuck back into the liquor cabinet after Madonna went to bed and drank their share of tequila. They are probably good kids. But that doesn’t make it right to take a picture of them with bottles of alcohol. As someone who has spent so much time on public display, Madonna should know how important image is to our entire society. Not just in her career, but also as a parent, and also for these boys later on in life. It’s good to teach kids what is and is not appropriate to put online in terms of pictures.

  • Véronique Houde

    I’m sorry, her kid looks like a DIT. That’s Douchebag in Training in my vocabulary.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Just to clarify, it’s not appropriate to post pictures of 13 year olds holding bottles of alcohol (not drinking it or pouring it, just holding), but it’s appropriate to call them douchebags in training?

    • Véronique Houde


  • brebay

    Wow, she really thinks it’s okay that they were just “playing” and not really drinking. She’ll believe he was just “playing doctor,” and his girlfriend just ate a really big school lunch…

    • Tinyfaeri

      Yep. Because Madonna’s so ignorant of all things relating to misbehaving, especially about sex. She was an angel in her earlier years, and barely knows where babies come from. Never posed naked for a book of photos or sang raunchy lyrics or sang songs about teen pregnancy.

  • meteor_echo

    You know what I find really aggravating? She defends her son when he decides to booze it up with friends, but the moment her daughter starts smoking, she throws a shitfit. Either defend them both, or chastise them both.

    • Lackadaisical

      I missed that one. Apparently the annoying attitude of boys will be boys and girls need to be ladies applies to the offspring of the rich and famous too. I am a little surprised as I would have hoped that a woman who has single handedly fought to be such a big success and in control of her own career would have had more sympathy for a strong young woman being rebellious than a young man being kaddish.

    • meteor_echo <== There you go.
      Internalized sexism, it's errywhere.

    • Elizabeth Licata

      Hm. I don’t know. I mean I definitely agree with you that they shouldn’t be held to different standards based on sex, but I can’t help thinking that I’d be way more upset about smoking than posing for photos with alcohol. Even if a kid was drinking, I don’t think I’d care about that nearly as much as if it were smoking. (Unless the kid were drinking and driving, in which case I can’t even conceive of a punishment big enough to match the amount of trouble it would be in. How does one even handle that? Do you call the police? I think I might have to call the police.)
      But then I personally really hate smoking and don’t care too much about moderate drinking. The legal drinking age to buy beer, wine, or champagne is 16 here, and even that isn’t really enforced.
      I do think it is extremely hypocritical for Madonna to pretend to smoke as a “prop” in a video and then get upset at kids for smoking and talking about how much she hates smoking. If she cares about kids smoking, she shouldn’t be actively making cigarettes look cool in her videos. She’s Madonna; everything she does becomes a trend. And she has to know what she’s doing; people have been copying everything she wears and does since layered crucifixes and lace tops in 1984.

  • Elizabeth Licata

    Eh, I’m pretty sure I thought it was really cool to pose with closed liquor bottles when I was 13. Actually, I think that happened. We went to a fancy hotel and the room had like a wall of top-shelf liquor in it, so I stacked up all the bottles on the floor around me and was like, “Mom, take my picture!” We didn’t have the Internet back then, but she took the picture.

    But I also don’t really see a problematic juxtaposition between her posting cute pictures of her kids and also posting a picture of a penis-shaped bong. She’s a mom who has cute kids and also was at some point in the vicinity of a penis-shaped bong. It’s not like she posted a picture of the kids smoking out of the penis bong. There’s not even any indication that she was smoking. (Also the pictures appear to be from a trip to Belgium, where Wikipedia tells me personal marijuana consumption is OK for adults over 18.)

    • brebay

      This is a cute picture?

    • Elizabeth Licata

      I don’t particularly think the bottle picture is a cute picture, no. But there are cute pictures of her kids on the feed and Maria wrote: “She alternates between adorable pictures of her kids, to pictures of bongs shaped like giant dildos.” That’s what I was referring to.

    • Tinyfaeri

      It’s almost like people forget it’s Madonna and she’s been trying to shock and awe us all since 1984.

  • Rachel Sea

    Not cute, not funny. It makes her seem like a sad old lady trying to be “cool” with her kid and his friends.