"I look at them artistically," says Dina Lohan of her daughter's Marilyn-inspired nudes
Credit: Clark Samuels/Startraks

Lindsay Lohan‘s nude pictorial in the current issue of New York magazine has received the stamp of approval from her manager-mom Dina.

“It was very tastefully done,” Dina tells PEOPLE of the photos, a recreation of Marilyn Monroe’s legendary 1962 photo shoot shot by Bert Stern. “I respect the photographer as an artist, so I look at them artistically. For him to call Lindsay 46 years later and to say can you recreate these photos is an honor. I looked at it as art, and as Lindsay doing a character. So I don’t look at them like it’s Playboy; she was being a character. So if you look at it that way, you can look at it as a mother.”

And Dina adds that had the photos been inappropriate, Lindsay’s sister Ali would not have visited the set. “Trust me,” Dina tells PEOPLE, “I wouldn’t have sent my 14-year-old to the set [if the shoot was in bad taste]. And obviously Lindsay wouldn’t do anything with her sister there, that was risqué.”

Lindsay, 21, also viewed the shoot as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Dina tells PEOPLE.

“Lindsay was very excited when she first got the phone call,” says Dina, 45. “Of course we talked about how they would be done. Lindsay said, ‘Mommy, I’m never going to get this opportunity to do it again.’ She was very thankful she was asked.”

And being a Monroe fan, only made Lohan even more determined to do the shoot.

“She’s always loved Marilyn,” Dina says. “For Christmas, my girlfriends even gave her a Marilyn cookie jar. I think there’s a sadness that Lindsay feels for Marilyn. Lindsay really saw it as a gift back to someone.”

But Lindsay made sure she was in tip-top shape for the shoot. “Lindsay did 250 crunches before because she was nervous since she had never done anything like that before,” Dina says.

As for Lindsay’s other projects, Dina says Lindsay is busy recording her third album. “I’ve heard a couple of tracks,” Dina says. “They were amazing!”