It’s the preg­nan­cy pho­to seen around the world. Cia­ra, hold­ing a nude Baby Future while hub­by Rus­sell Wil­son holds her preg­nant bel­ly from behind, his face hid­den for some rea­son.

Cia­ra for Harper’s Bazaar

When we first encoun­tered the pho­to we had four com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent reac­tions. Since we couldn’t decide on an angle, we’re just going to throw our thoughts out there.


I got semi-dragged for call­ing Beyonce’s mater­ni­ty pho­tos cheesy, and I might get dragged for this, but Cia­ra is doing the most with this pic­ture! But I say that with love. ‘Doing the most’ is hard­wired into the brain of many a black woman, myself includ­ed! Just last night I had my hus­band bring an exten­sion cord into the bath­room so that I could pump breast­milk while tak­ing a bub­ble bath while watch­ing Gold­en Girls on my cell phone through a clear plas­tic bag. So yeh, I’m no stranger to the extra. 

Hon­est­ly I am hap­py for Cia­ra, and she is so damn hap­py right now. I would be too if my boo was a hand­some, devot­ed black pro­fes­sion­al ath­lete. The uni­verse is clear­ly mak­ing up for the fuck­ery she endured dat­ing 50 Cent, and Bow Wow, and Amar’e Stoudemire, and Future. *Shud­ders* Give her all the pho­to­shoots, she deserves them! I must say too I am a fan of black woman celebri­ties styl­iz­ing their preg­nan­cies for the pub­lic. More of this please!


I’ve always sup­port­ed Cia­ra and Russell’s rela­tion­ship. I was ecsta­t­ic when I learned she was preg­go. I just knew she would slay her mater­ni­ty pic­tures, and I screamed “yaaassss!” as I scrolled through the Harper’s Bazaar mater­ni­ty shoot.…until I got to this pho­to. I total­ly see where Cia­ra was going with this pose…however, it wasn’t exe­cut­ed very well. I mean, you’ve got a naked tod­dler, a top­less mom­ma, and ran­dom hands hold­ing a bel­ly. Ten­der­ly hold­ing on to yes­ter­day while embrac­ing the future? Is that what we are look­ing at here? I know most aren’t into the naked mom and tod­dler pho­to thing, but I would have actu­al­ly liked this pho­to if Rus­sell was stand­ing up. Him being head­less is extreme­ly creepy and has a ‘head­less horse­man’ vibe.


I’m not going to lie … I actu­al­ly like this pho­to!! Yes, it is slight­ly weird, but I like it. There is some­thing endear­ing about it. Rus­sell con­nect­ing with his child in Ciara’s womb. Cia­ra con­nect­ing with Zahir, who is nude like an unborn baby … his unborn sib­ling. The fam­i­ly blend­ed. Moth­er, step­fa­ther, step­son, and baby soon to come. I don’t know, maybe it’s not that deep it all. Maybe I sim­ply like the pho­to because I’m team Cia­ra and her fam­i­ly. LOL!


First, I don’t think that my opin­ion of anoth­er woman’s preg­nan­cy pho­tos mat­ters in the least, but since you asked…honestly, I sim­ply think it looks strange. Per­haps it’s my lack of mater­nal nature or the fact that I don’t have any chil­dren of my own, but I’m just see­ing limbs all over the place! And I’m just not see­ing these deep analy­ses regard­ing Russell’s posi­tion — he just looks like he got lost. Regard­less, it’s her shoot and they have a love­ly fam­i­ly. So hey, if it works for them, no qualms here.

Ladies, what do you think of the pho­to?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

Leave a Reply

22 Comments on "4 BGLH Writers React to the Infamous Ciara Maternity Photo"

Notify of
P R Taylor

I tweet­ed to Cia­ra and Rus­sell that her fam­i­ly rocked the pho­to shoot.


Haha. No way to fix my typos. “tighty-whities”, “their” and “dis­tracts”.

Look­ing at this as art and not a mag­net for social com­men­tary and express­ing indi­vid­ual morals, there are three things that inter­rupt the pho­to for me. The rings; hers espe­cial­ly is chunky, the tighty-wight­ies, and the way his arms are lit. I like the rings as a sign of there bond, but the cold met­al destracts from the life of the flesh and hair; and hers is so large it acts to stop the flow. The white under­wear seems to scream, “the human body is dirty, cov­er it up.” I’m not sure of the ide­al way to han­dle it. Angling away would… Read more »

Looks like a clas­sic art pho­to to me. The only revealed face is Ciara’s, cen­ter­ing just a few of her many lay­ers; from sen­su­al­i­ty and desire to fer­til­i­ty, moth­er­hood, and nur­tur­ing. It puts moth­er­hood on a pedestal, if only for a well deserved moment. Every­one in the fam­i­ly is clear­ly and bold­ly rep­re­sent­ed, and moth­er­hood gets its moment to shine. 

Car­ing, parental hands are a major theme; as in all hands have a nur­tur­ing, bond­ing role to play hold­ing this fam­i­ly togeth­er. And togeth­er they form a seem­less land­scape.

It’s a deep and emo­tion­al pho­to.


I think its a beau­ti­ful pic­ture, it shows that even celebri­ty with plen­ty of mon­ey and wealth, can still share spe­cial fam­i­ly bonds, and they are nor­mal peo­ple.


It’s a beau­ti­ful pic­ture and all I see is pos­i­tiv­i­ty and the deep bond of fam­i­ly.


The posi­tion of the man’s hands looks like he’s hold­ing up his fam­i­ly; that they are his respon­si­bil­i­ty and he is com­mit­ted to that role and embrac­ing it.….or maybe that’s I want it to mean.


You’re on point.
Dra­mat­ic fokes always have neg­a­tive things to say about peo­ple try­ing to put their best foot for­ward.


It’s a beau­ti­ful pic­ture. She is shar­ing her­self and life with us.


It’s a nice photo…tender endear­ing. I wish the dad would have stood up and embraced them all.


These pics should have stayed in her per­son­al fam­i­ly stash. The inno­cence would have been pre­served. Any­who, Ciara’s fam­i­ly is beau­ti­ful.

Susie White

Is it just me or do peo­ple just pick on black women like a lot? It’s like we can’t just live or even be moth­ers in peace with­out a big hul­la­bal­loo being made about every­thing we do. Reminds me of how many crit­ics com­plained about Michelle Oba­ma wear­ing sleeve­less dress­es but sud­den­ly we have a first lady who posed nude & refus­es to live in the White House & crick­ets.



Erin Scott

I might be in the minor­i­ty her but I love how they are all rough­ly the same skin com­plex­ion in this pho­to it (to me) sym­bol­izes uni­ty and their skin is just so beau­ti­ful and has that gold­en glow. That was my first thought they look like a beau­ti­ful gold­en fam­i­ly :-)


There is a need for more of these images. It is appalling how many peo­ple would try to sex­u­al the black body at every turn, even when there is an expres­sion of love and devo­tion clear­ly being depict­ed in this image.


I doubt many peo­ple notice that lit­tle Future is only two years old. It would be less shock­ing to a lot of folks if they didn’t assume an age from his size because he appears old­er than his age?


The fact that her sons penis is pressed against her and her bare breasts are on him is the only thing that both­ers me to be hon­est. It makes me very uncom­fort­able. He’s a big boy now, it’s not like he’s an infant. If she had on a bra and if he had on a dia­per I would hon­est­ly love this pic­ture.

Say what you want about my opin­ion but if a man was hold­ing his naked daugh­ter who was the same size y’all would also feel uncom­fort­able. Just say­ing. She looks beau­ti­ful though!


…why are you com­ment­ing on a 2 year old penis so fierce­ly…?


This com­ment made me laugh aloud, I won­dered the same thing!


I know this is seri­ous but I burst out laugh­ing at your ques­tion. For some weird rea­son I felt like I could see the expres­sion on your face as you try to fig­ure out the answer your­self!


I under­stand you’re uncom­fort­able, but he was born May 2014, he’s almost three. I don’t think a big boy, I could under­stand if he was six, but the’s still a tod­dler. I’ve nev­er raised a boy, in fact I don’t have any chil­dren yet, but are their penis’ even devel­oped yet? he may look long, but he’s still only two.


Thank you! Peo­ple talk about these kids like they’re sup­posed to be mov­ing out soon and pay­ing tax­es! Don’t even have their adult teeth yet and talk­ing about “too old”, “big boy”.…I think it’s still the resid­ual effects of our race hav­ing to take on a lot and be bur­dened at such young ages. Let that boy be a tod­dler, and stop sex­u­al­iz­ing what is not sex­u­al­ized.

FYI, I love the pic­ture. I agree it prob­a­bly would’ve been even bet­ter had Rus­sell been stand­ing up.