People are sexualizing the image of a black family hugging. Why are they sexualizing a black toddler being embraced by his pregnant mother and stepfather?

Whenever Ciara breathes, a Future stan who still lives with his parents and thinks the clitoris is a myth types furiously into Twitter to say that she deserves to die for being happy. Ciara and Future have been separated for more than two years, but there’s always a batch of crusty, ashy men waiting to project their own insecurities onto a woman who has never even heard of their Twitter handle.

Related: Future Needs to Leave Ciara the F*ck Alone

Ciara pregnant Harper's BazaarOn Tuesday, Ciara released a preview of a photoshoot that she did with Harper’s Bazaar with her family and it’s beautiful. Like, I don’t know her personally, but I would frame those photos and use one as the background on my phone. Ciara, is hugging her son above her baby bump, and her husband Russell Wilson is barely visible but for his arms around her as he cups her bump. It’s a beautiful photo, so warm, so loving.

Future stans were furious at this display of familial closeness and apparent happiness. How dare they embrace each other while not wearing hazmat suits? How dare they do this Future? Does Ciara know that she must remain miserable for all eternity so that Future fans can sleep well under mildewy, unwashed sheets covered in old cum stains and cheeto dust?

Misogynoir runs so deep, it is truly the only explanation for people’s anger towards Ciara. When a black woman thrives, and does so despite adversity or heartbreak, misogynists feel the need to project their own unhappiness and need to control women, especially black women.

Angry hordes of fans rushed to deem the photographs inappropriate because they weren’t fully clothed. Apparently hugging your naked toddler isn’t OK? That’s news to me. What isn’t news to me, however, is how these audiences sexualized the pictures without even second-guessing why they felt this way.

Ciara pregnant Harper's BazaarWhat needs to be addressed is why people are sexualizing the image of a black family hugging. Why are they sexualizing a black toddler being embraced by his pregnant mother and stepfather?

Beyond the historical context of racism and the hypersexualization of black people lies a more simple explanation: people who hate black women will reach for any excuse to blame them for being bad mothers, bad wives, bad ex-girlfriends, bad colleagues and bad friends. It’s less of a reach to say that people who criticize every move Ciara makes simply hate black women and black mothers.

This was apparent when people were up in arms over Beyonce’s maternity shoot. Apparently, black women aren’t allowed to celebrate maternity; apparently that’s a realm of happiness reserved for white women who name their children Quinoa or Apple.

Ciara is happy. Ciara deserves to be happy. Ciara doesn’t give a fuck about you, your opinion, your thoughts on child nudity or her happiness. Perhaps you should change your sheets, work on finding some inner peace or a better cause — perhaps dismantling misogynoir. I don’t know, do anything, because I’m tired of y’all.

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