From politics to sports and everything in between, we’re living in an age of statistical conundrums and impossibilities manifested. Some of these miracles—for example, the increasing odds that we’re about to elect a resuscitated Cheeto as our commander-in-chief—read like horsemen of the apocalypse.
Others fall on the less horrifying side of the spectrum.
One such freak occurrence is the meteoric rise of Steph Curry, the basketball player who transforms every Golden State Warriors’ game into a new episode of the NBA Twilight Zone. At 28, the reigning MVP is shattering records like he’s running out of time, from most points scored in an overtime to most three-pointers in a regular season. In 2015 alone, he took home the ESPY award for Best Male Athlete, the BET award for Sportsman of the Year, and the AP Male Athlete of the Year.
Given Curry’s scorched-earth season, it’s no wonder that he and his wife Ayesha have ascended to first family status. And as the reigning queen of the NBA, Ayesha Curry is doing a whole lot more than silently supporting from the sidelines.
Back in March, Mrs. Curry became a trending topic on Twitter. Curry hadn’t written a tell-all memoir, or leaked some juicy gossip about her famous hubby. In fact, Curry was back in the spotlight for an off-the-cuff comment she had made way back in December: “Everyone’s into barely wearing clothes these days huh? Not my style. I like to keep the good stuff covered up for the one who matters.” Apparently, Curry’s demure domesticity was being dragged back into the Twittersphere as a contrast to Kim Kardashian’s latest naked selfie. An artificial opposition was quickly created between these two women—Kardashian and Curry—as men who would never have a shot in hell with either of them argued over which beautiful lady would make the better wifey.
If Steph Curry is the basketball hero all men secretly want to be, then Ayesha Curry is the adoring wife they not-so-secretly want to be with. Of course, this is a gross over-generalization; but so is the way Curry has been mass-processed and reproduced as a two-dimensional, stereotypical vision of domesticated femininity. At a time when women are kicking more ass than ever, a subset of Neanderthals is naturally left fantasizing about a world in which you could club your passive lady friend and drag her back to your cave—you know, the good old days. Reading social media comments about Ayesha Curry, one is hit with an overwhelming sense of ickiness. Tweets like, “Ayesha Curry represents the women that are lowkey, not reachin for attention, yet fine as hell and supportive of their man. Thats rare 2day” and “Yea I need me an Ayesha Curry” offer a gag-inducing one-two punch of misogyny and entitlement.
Wondering just what sort of adorable attributes are leading strange Internet dwellers to imagine Ayesha Curry as their own personal love-bot? Whether deliberate or just plain happenstance, Curry does seem to be growing into her role as wholesome bae. From showering her husband with confetti when he walks out of the locker room to tweeting about all of his accomplishments (complete with emojis), Curry takes her supportive duties as seriously as Kim Kardashian takes her selfies.
While the fetishization of Ayesha Curry is problematic, it’s impossible to deny the wholesome appeal of the Currys. Even the most liberal, hypercritical among us are powerless in the face of basketball’s first family. Steph and Ayesha’s relationship is super sweet and too good to be true, like a pecan pie recipe that Ayesha Curry might share on her adorable, faith-based lifestyle blog, “Little Lights of Mine.”
The two met in youth group at the Central Church of God in Charlotte, North Carolina, and started dating when Steph was 20 and Ayesha was just 19. After three years together, Curry decided to take it to the next level, proposing in the exact spot in his family driveway where the two had shared their first kiss. They have matching tattoos, which they both smack right before tip-off as a shared pregame ritual. When she’s not creating her own brand of olive oil or Instagramming heartfelt (but relatable!) Steph & Ayesha #content, Mrs. Curry is a mother and homemaker extraordinaire. In his MVP speech, Curry gave his wife a major shout-out, gushing:
“You’re my backbone, you allowed me to do what I do, to focus on basketball and my career, and still have a family. The sacrifices you make are unbelievable. And I can’t thank you enough for who you are as a person, how you challenge me, how you inspire me every single day. We have a beautiful daughter, and one on the way; she’s over there smiling at me. I love you so much and I can’t thank you enough for just being there for me day-in and day-out.”
Now that Mrs. Curry has popped out little Ryan, the Curry kids are bigger Internet celebrities than ever. Ryan’s older sister, Riley, captured the hearts and minds of meme-makers everywhere when she crashed her dad’s championship press conference. In the June issue of Parents magazine, Steph explained that the incident was totally organic; once Riley got in front of the cameras, “her personality shined bright.” Now “she’s the star of the family. If we go somewhere without her, the first question people ask us is, ‘where’s Riley?’”
So what could possibly be next for the Currys? In addition to potentially collaborating on a new perfect little human, Steph Curry is caught up in the Western Conference finals, Ayesha Curry is out promoting her upcoming cookbook, The Seasoned Life, and we’re all busy re-watching this adorable video of Riley Curry on the Rachael Ray Show.
While it’s impossible to imagine a more wholesome or lovable first family, it’s important to keep our Curry obsession in check. Creepily stalking Ayesha’s Instagram is one thing… policing the behavior of other women and demanding that they model themselves after Mrs. Curry is quite another. Even in light of that crucial caveat, it’s hard not to veer into hyperbole and idealization when it comes to this pretty, picturesque, All-American family.