We are absolutely blissed out in love over here! To our fans and friends all over the world, thank you for all of the prayers and well wishes throughout this time in our life! Carey is a natural, (I knew he would be) and I finally found out what love really means. Don't worry, I'm not writing an album full of sappy lullabies. Not yet, anyways?
In the interest of full disclosure: (AND BECAUSE I TELL IT LIKE I SEE IT)
Due to the unsettling, surprisingly aggressive and unsafe measures that the paparazzi seem to be willing to go to in order to secure that "first shot" of our daughter--stalking us, chasing us in cars and sitting outside of our home all day and all night, as new parents Carey and I decided that we would release personal photos of our Willow, and donate all of the money to charity.
We will be donating the money to children's' charities, among them one of our favorites, the Ronald McDonald House, an organization that houses and cares for the families of sick children so they can be together during treatment, as well as Autism Speaks.
Like any parents, we believe our little girl deserves the right to have privacy and be protected, but unfortunately, this media climate doesn't seem to provide for that. I feel so grateful that after many years of hard work, music and motorcycles have elevated both Carey and me to such a place that the public has supported us in building our life and lifestyle together. We recognize that celebrity has its upsides and downsides and do our best to manage just being people without hiring stylists and bodyguards before one of us goes to the store to buy some milk. I've seen some photos of myself that make me smile and some that make me less smiley. But you see, it's one thing to harass and stalk us, the adults, the celebrity that signed up for this life, but children should be protected and safe. There should be a clear distinction between us.
In EVERY other country that I recall, children's faces are blurred out in magazine photos. Why is USA the only country that continues to financially incentivize intrusive paparazzi behavior to capitalize on photos of babies, infants and children? Why is this acceptable to any of us? Why is this even legal? These are questions I ask myself as a new parent. Why are celebrities/public figures having to seek restraining orders to keep strange grown men with still and video cameras from sitting perched outside of their children's pre-schools and elementary schools, preying on little innocent kids? After all, if a stranger was sitting outside of a school taking photographs of random little girls and boys, wouldn't he be arrested? Or, at least in Philadelphia, he would have to face a more primal sort of recourse. But because it's the child of a celebrity, somehow it's okay? I'm just not sure what is wrong with us as a society, that we do more than tolerate this, but our appetite for it seems insatiable. We buy these pictures. We buy these magazines that publish these paparazzi pictures. WHERE DOES IT STOP?
Here's the bottom line: we don't want you to take our little girl's picture. We don't want you to one day follow our little girl home from school. We don't want our little girl's picture in a magazine or on a blog. If you take or publish her picture, it is against our wishes, and without our consent as parents, as people.
Carey and I are new parents. We know we have so much to learn in our new role and are thankful for the family and friends around us. Not a day goes by that we are not grateful to the universe and to our fans and friends who believe in us--and to our foes, too (our best teachers)--for the incredibly interesting privileged lives we get to live each day. But this is about our daughter who just got here. In the face of camera lenses as long as my arm and flashbulbs as bright as the sun, Willow is powerless. All she has to protect her is us. But that's not all she has; she has you.
To anyone out there that buys a magazine, or goes onto a website to look at pictures of other people's children, may you at least think for a second about what you may inadvertently be supporting. We are so appreciative that people are interested in seeing our daughter. We WANT to share our joys with you, but as parents (and new parents), we should be able to govern these decisions, shouldn't we? And to be clear, I'm speaking directly to these "stolen" photographs--paparazzi photos.
So when you see our middle fingers up in all of our pictures, now you know the motivation. It's all we can do to stop images of a newborn baby from being printed without our consent. Can you imagine a world where they would blur out our middle finger to protect a "consumer" over blurring out an innocent child to protect their integrity and privacy?
Thank you for letting me say my piece. Do I expect this letter to change the world? No. But if it plants a seed of awareness, if a politician or an activist or a legislator or a teacher or police officer is prompted to even think about it--let alone engage, I have done my part on behalf of my daughter. Not surprising that lesson one from me to my daughter is to let one's voice be heard.
I've never shied away from a controversial opinion because of the fear of bad press. My music and my fans and I connect year after year because I talk TO them and, man, do they so beautifully talk TO me. This is such a meaningful dialogue in my life. To all of my friends out there, I love you and I appreciate your help with this, and this happy little family cannot wait to visit your countries again and play music and rejoice in all the beauty that we share and have shared together all over the world.
We'll call it a playdate!!!!! XoxoxoxoxooxoxoxLove,
P.S. baby poop really isn't as bad as all the guys out there think. Careys' already been pooed on, and he's still breathing. Ahhhhh, ain't love grand?