For the first time in months, the world got to see the face of Blue Ivy, the 6-month-old child of pop culture power couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Outside of her “debut” to the world via newborn pics on Tumblr, the public hasn’t seen much of Blue — just dangling feet or her mass of curly hair. Previous to this seemingly surreptitious photo (surely someone got fired) of adorable Blue being held by her blonde-braided mom, Blue’s face has always been strategically hidden behind blankets or carriers. For some, it is reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s youngest son “Blanket,” who as a baby was shielded from prying paparazzi cameras by a blanket draped over his head.
Since everything Beyoncé does is picked apart and analyzed, there has of course been much internet chatter about whether or not baby Blue is going to have a “normal” childhood and if she is literally getting enough air since she’s smothered in blankets in most of her pictures. I don’t know how “normal” of a childhood you can have as the kid of multi-millionaire superstar parents and no one will really know the long-term impact of these decisions until years from now, but in the meantime, the gossip bloggers will have plenty of things to make up about it.
As far as fresh air…come on. The photographs that we see plastered on every blog are taken within the number of seconds it takes for Beyoncé to walk from her car to the door of a building and vice versa. We’re talking seconds, people. Beyoncé may be a first time mom, but I’m sure she knows that humans, even the baby kind, need oxygen. We can all rest assured that baby Blue has air.
Other celebrities, like Halle Berry, have taken the opposite approach. Berry takes her child to the park, the beach, restaurants and wherever else without hiding the child’s face. Incidentally, she’s also trying to move to France, partly to get away from what she feels are overly aggressive paparazzi.
It’s understandable that Jay and Bey would want to protect Blue. Bright flashes of light and loud (often rude) questions are typical parts of a paparazzi hoard. No parent would want to subject a child to that. The notoriously private couple has security and personal safety issues that are far beyond what the average parent has to consider, and all of that is on top of nurturing and caring for a child that they hope to be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.
Only time and a sit-down with Oprah can tell us how all this media attention will affect Blue. This is a new era of celebrity. Michael Jackson’s son Blanket was born before celebrity blogs became a central part of pop culture. Blue has a different set of challenges. The baby who debuted on Tumblr and had a chart-topping song before she was a week old will likely be one of the most photographed children on earth if she is allowed to frequent public spaces. One way or another, we will see Blue grow up, and in the process I have a feeling her parents will continue to deal with public and the paparazzi on their terms.
Follow Demetria Irwin on Twitter at @Love_Is_Dope.