If there's anyone in the celeb-uverse who's well equipped to discuss the ongoing controversy over Miley Cyrus' Internet and Vanity Fair photos, it's Madonna.
After all, over the course of her 25 years in the spotlight, she's seemingly delighted in rankling the general public with her music, her videos and, of course, her coffee table book. You could probably argue that Maddy — who, just in case you've been living under a rock, released her 11th studio album, Hard Candy earlier this week — is the greatest pop culture icon of our generation, flitting between personas, tackling taboos and basically playing the media like a maestro. Simply put, she knows the ins and outs of the game, because she pretty much invented it.
So when MTV News caught up with her backstage at New York's Roseland Ballroom Wednesday night, where she and special guest Justin Timberlake had just delighted a standing-room-only crowd of superfans with a taught, hit-packed set, we decided to get her two cents on "Mileygate."
"I just want to go on record and say everyone should just leave her alone. I never represented anything wholesome in America ... I only had one way to go," she laughed. "People are just bored. Leave the poor girl alone! She's going to grow up soon, she's going to probably show her knees next — watch out!"
(Plenty of others have weighed in on the Cyrus photos, including Hilary Duff, Nick Cannon, actors from "The Hills," the Jonas Brothers, media types speculating on their effect on Cyrus' career and lots of fans and parents.)
And Madonna can view the controversy from both sides of the spectrum. Not only has she been through what Cyrus is going through, she's also the mother of 11-year-old Lourdes, who — like seemingly every other 11-year-old girl on the planet — is a huge Hannah Montana fan. So while the entertainer clearly doesn't have a problem with Cyrus's Vanity Fair photos, does the mother?
"[Lourdes] is a fan, and I don't think she really cares [about the photo,]" Madonna said. "It's not a big deal. What is a big deal? Let's talk about something that's a big deal."
Hey, a Material Girl can dream, can't she?