A photo of Madonna bearing all and smoking a cigarette is set to go up for auction. However, the photo has raised the issue over what kind of example Madonna has set for young girls throughout her career.
The previously unreleased photo in question was taken by photographer Steven Meisel for Madonna's controversial 1992 book "Sex." The picture depicts the then 34-year-old pop icon lying naked on a white bed with curly, bleached blonde hair, smoking a cigarette.
The photo is anticipated to bring in as much as $8,000 in a New York auction scheduled in May.
"This is an absolutely stunning image and it is just a beautiful tone of grey. It is not just black and white it is grey and silvery," Judith Eurich, a representative from the sales room, said. "Madonna was posing for a number of photographers at the time this was taken in the 1990s when she was in her early 30s."
Recently a picture of Madonna's daughter was leaked which depicted the 15-year-old smoking. The teenager appeared to be taking a long drag prompting some to suggest that she was no rookie to having a smoke. As a result Madonna's parenting tactics were quick to come under scrutiny.
"[I] wasn't very happy," the pop-star said on an NBC interview with Harry Smith. "But honestly, I don't think I'm as tough as I should be. I think I need to be maybe tougher."
When Smith questioned if she was setting any kind of bad example, by referring to Madonna's most recent music video "Girls Gone Wild," which depicts the pop star smoking, she insisted that was a different case.
"I don't smoke. That's just an accessory, Harry. There's a difference," Madonna rebuked. "She smoked that cigarette before I did that video, so she didn't get that from me, OK?"
However, the picture set to be auctioned has revealed that Madonna has posed as a smoker before, and set a frequent example that smoking is associated with being "sexy."
"She is a very healthy person and I'd imagine the cigarette is just a prop to make her look sexy and sultry," Eurich said of the photo up for auction.
Some suggested that Madonna had it coming, when it came to having difficulty raising her children.
"Serves her right," Debi Little Blake wrote on the USA Today blog. "When my daughter was young and she was a star, promoting a coffee table sex book, I was appalled. Young girls adored her then and she was a terrible role model."