Olivier Douliery/Getty Images
Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

Who is Ciara?

You ever watch Step Up or any other movie made in the last decade featuring unrealistically competitive street dance tournaments? You know, the movies where dance-offs inexplicability result in stabbings, shootings, and random appearances from a seasoned Omarion? Well, there’s an 87% chance Ciara was somehow featured on the songs the people in the movie danced to.


Who is Russell Wilson?

Do you know who Joel Osteen is?


Imagine if Joel Osteen was a 27-year-old NFL quarterback. And Black.

Ok, well why are they in the news now?

Ciara and Russell Wilson were dating each other for over a year. And then, last week, Wilson proposed to her. And she accepted. So now they’re (presumably) going to get married.


Oh. That’s great news. Congrats to them! Still, though, it doesn’t explain why this relationship seems to get talked about so much. At least on Twitter, Facebook, and at my barbershop; basically every mostly Black place I frequent. I don’t think White people care very much.

Well, this relationship has upset quite a few people. And by “quite a few people” I mean “people — mostly men — who live in their aunt’s basements and write their names on milk cartons in their aunt’s fridge so no one will touch Antwan’s milk.” Because Ciara, who has been famous and (presumably) rich since she was a teenager, has done what rich and famous people tend to do. Date other rich and famous people. She’s been romantically linked to Bow Wow, 50 Cent, Amare Stoudamire, and superstar word marbler Future. She also had a child with Future; which is another thing adults in relationships tend to do. Have children. She also happened to be engaged with him at some point.

The relationship ended, however. And she moved on, and began dating Wilson.

So…? Am I missing something? I still don’t get why anyone would be upset about any of this.


Because of her high profile relationships and her child with Future, Ciara has been branded by them as damaged goods. Therefore, she is someone who is not worthy of the type of love and respect Wilson has apparently been giving her. She, in their minds, is the girl who wanted thugs and ignored “good guys” until she was past her prime and all used up. Which, in turn, makes Russell Wilson a simp. Or something. Also, they’re reportedly celibate. Which is insult to injury, because “What’s the point of even dating a single mom,” they also say, “if you aint fucking?

Wait…a 30-year-old woman with a Victoria Secret’s Supermodel’s body (and several millions in her bank account) is “used up” because she had a child? This makes no sense.


I didn’t say it was going to make any sense. I’m just explaining why the audacity-to-put-your-name-on-the-milk-carton-even-though-you-don't-pay-any-bills-here crowd is so upset by this.

Also, it has to be said that they’re not specifically mad at Ciara. She’s receiving the attention right now, but she’s just a proxy for their larger frustrations with women. (Black women, specifically.) In their minds, this is what most Black women tend to do. Be attracted to the athletes and thugs and ignore the “good guys” while they’re young. And then, after they’ve been “ran through,” they finally want the “good guys.” Their reactions to Ciara and Russell Wilson are just manifestations of frustrations boiling since the final season of The Fresh Prince.


Why do you keep putting “good guys” in quotation marks?

Because their definition of what makes a man a “good guy” is arbitrary and shifts to fit whichever narrative they’re attempting to push. In this instance, a “good guy” is ultimately a “guy who pines over beautiful women and expects the women to want to be with him, despite him bringing nothing to the table except that entitlement.” These are the guys who, for whatever reason, weren’t able to date the homecoming queens in high school and college, so they’ve carried that resentment with them through adulthood. Now, any time a pretty woman — or any woman, really — receives some form of comeuppance (which, in this case, was Ciara having a child with a man who wasn’t devoted to her) it becomes a source of vindication and validation. A “Ha ha!” moment for them.


Russell Wilson, a super rich and famous and attractive and (presumably) “nice guy” professional athlete, treating her like he wants to spend the rest of his life with her — and also apparently enjoys spending time with her son — ruins that moment for them.

Also, you can’t dismiss the intra-racial element here. I wonder if Wilson would have received the same type of criticism if he happened to date and propose to Taylor Swift or Katy Perry or Ariana Grande or any other famous and non-Black woman who’s been romantically linked to other famous men. But Ciara is a Black woman. And Black women have to be perfect. (Or, more specifically, have to fit their conveniently arbitrary standards of “perfection.”)


So what happens next?

Ciara and Russell Wilson will get married. And the guys upset that Ciara and Russell Wilson are getting married will be at Office Max, looking for new dry erase markers because the fridge condensation keeps melting their names off the milk.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for GQ.com, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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