So, what was it really like growing up with Madonna as a mother? Lourdes Leon is giving her fans the inside scoop.
The 25-year-old opens up about her relationship with her famous mom in a new feature for Interview magazine and shares some of the life lessons the superstar singer taught her. For instance, she learned early on that she had to work hard for what she wanted.
“We don’t get any handouts in my family. Obviously, I grew up with extreme privilege. There’s no denying that. But I think my mom saw all these other kids of famous people, and she was like, ‘My kids are not going to be like this,'” she explained after actor Debi Mazar (her interviewer) said she’d read that Leon had paid for her own college tuition and apartment.
The model said she’s OK with being financially independent since it certainly has its own set of perks.
“Also, I feel like if your parents pay for things, then it gives them leverage over you. My mom is such a control freak, and she has controlled me my whole life. I needed to be completely independent from her as soon as I graduated high school,” she said.
The mother-daughter duo have a pretty tight bond and Leon admitted that she’s fiercely protective of Madonna. Mazar even recalled one story when she saw a woman ask Leon, “Oh my god, are you the daughter of Madonna?” to which she replied with, “What’s your mother’s name?”
“It’s really funny to me. People are always really taken aback when I say that, because it’s like, ‘B—, don’t talk about my mom if you don’t want me to talk about your mom. You want to call my mom a whore? Okay, your mom is a whore.’ If you feel like you have the right to comment on my mother, then I’m going to do the same to you,” Leon said.
In the end, Leon has learned a lot from her somewhat strict upbringing and said there’s one piece of advice Madonna shared with her that has really touched her.
“She said something to me recently that has really stuck with me. I’ve been so concerned with making a decent living, and wanting to live more luxuriously than I was when I first graduated and wasn’t earning a lot of money,” she explained.
“She was like, ‘Remember, this s— is not real. It’s not about the money or your face or how hot you look. It’s about what you’re bringing into the world and what you’re going to leave behind.’ That always shakes me awake when I get too caught up in everything,” she continued.
Leon has been building an impressive modeling career over the last few years and was the face of Marc Jacobs’ ad campaign in February. She’s also walked the runway and collaborated with other major brands including Adidas by Stella McCartney and Parade x Juicy Couture.
While chatting with Mazar, Leon also shared what she does when she’s out and happens to hear one of her mom’s hit songs.
“My experience with my mom’s music has changed so much as I’ve gotten older, because I’m increasingly able to recognize how influential and amazing this woman is, and how empowering to other women and ahead of her time she has always been,” she revealed. “I didn’t fully comprehend that until I realized the importance of empowerment and what it means to be a woman. She’s probably the hardest worker I’ve ever seen,” she added.