I started writing about the reaction to Ayesha Curry’s controversial(?) Red Table Talk comments from a completely different lens: As a (former) young mom + partner to a guy whose career has taken precedence over mine, I saw nothing wrong with Ayesha’s comments on wanting to feel desirable to men, especially in comparison to the looks her husband’s getting on a daily basis.
But instead, I wanted to focus on the undercurrent of the conversation:
Why would she say that publicly?
For wives, there’s a policy of keeping things private. You are not supposed to do or say or think anything that might be embarrassing to your spouse or your union.
You must be conscious of this fact at all times, and if you need space to speak your mind, do it privately. But don’t do it with a close family member (because they won’t forgive when you’ve moved on and are happy again) and don’t do it with your married friends (because they aren’t sharing their business either) and don’t do it with your single friends (because they don’t get it).
So where can you speak your mind?
Yes, you can speak with your partner. That’s usually where it does the most good. Because sometimes they can’t help you because it’s not a problem they are equipped to solve. So where do you go then?
Part of the reason I do the work that I do is because I want us to have those conversations. I want us to talk, openly, about the things we struggle with. It’s Mental Health Awareness Month for a reason, y’all. The more we keep things contained, the harder it is to keep up with the facade, the harder it is for people to know the real you.
While some people would have been critical of Ayesha no matter what she said or how she worded it, I’m happy that she said what she said. (Insert Nene Leakes gif here.) Because that’s her truth. She said she was struggling. She said it was her insecurity.
I don’t pretend I know Ayesha, but back when I was doing my young mom blog, I reached out to her (this was maybe when Steph was a sophomore or third year player) to do an interview. We never managed to get something on the schedule, but we emailed back and forth for a couple of months. I remember she was very sweet, but she was also VERY overwhelmed with the logistics of how to be an NBA wife. She seemed like she was getting swallowed up.
But she was determined to do her YouTube thing and carve out space for herself. I respected that. (And she’s been very vocal about it this whole time. I recall an interview where she asked, “When are people going to refer to him as Ayesha Curry’s husband?”)
You see, because she said what she did, the internet is all a flutter (until the next story, of course), having conversations about desirability both in and out of marriage, insecurities, anxiety, sexuality, religion, marriage at a young age, etc. Some say it’s the worst feature of the internet but I say it’s the best.
Let’s have those conversations. Let’s talk. Let’s be more open.
“But still…she’s making her husband look bad. He’s in the playoffs. He needs to focus on that, not on folks making fun of them.”
(First, let me say that I don’t think the Currys are going to have any long-term damage from her comment. They’ll be fine.)
However, with vulnerability comes criticism, absolutely. We have to be aware and open to that as well. THAT is what most of us are afraid of. That if we open up and say what we truly think, the truth will be beaten back by the criticism and judgment. And we don’t want to be judged.
But the truth is…we already are. So I figure it’s better to be judged for what we actually think, what we actually say, who we actually are.
So yes, Ayesha wants to be SEEN. For her beauty, but also for her accomplishments. For her personality. Her character. Her work ethic. She wants to be noticed. And I’m glad she was vulnerable enough to say it publicly.