I cannot spend another minute looking at Riley Curry’s adorable little face.
I am done with her charming press conference interruptions. I am done with her dancing, her singing, her furtive, all-knowing looks. I am done with her pure, unbridled delight. I am done with Riley Curry, and I will not be sorry about it.
I understand that this is an unpopular opinion, and if Riley still makes you happy, great! There was a time once, before my cold, cruel, Twitter-addled heart froze over, when her antics brought me joy, too. She grabbed Steph’s mic! She sang Drake lyrics! She hid in a curtain! She offered chewed-up gum to an Oracle Arena employee! More GIFs, more Vines, more Riley, I begged.
Somewhere around her Whip/Nae Nae lesson with Jeremy Lin, though, Riley reached a saturation point. Her toothy grin began to make me shiver.
Does this make me a monster? If monsters don’t have to watch joyous 3-year-olds skip, wink, and leave gibbering pools of basketball fans in their wake, then yes. I guess it does. My perception has likely been warped by spending too much time online — don’t do this! — but if that’s the case, I can’t be the only one, and I can only offer my story as a cautionary tale.
For the record: Someplace just outside of Oakland, beneath 10,000 layers of internet smog, there is a real and perfectly lovely 3-year-old. She seems happy. Good! But somewhere around the bajillionth retweet, a different Riley spun out, a social media abstraction that has very little to do with the actual child who, probably, is learning to read and eating Cheerios and living her life. The other Riley — the more sinister version — is optimized for the web, a meme in tiny leggings.
It would be hard to overstate the greater internet’s affection for the daughter of the 2015 and ’16 league MVP. “Stephen Curry’s daughter once again stole the show after huge Game 7 win,” the headlines read. “Stephen Curry’s Daughter Is Cooler Than You’ll Ever Be.” “Riley Curry Is the Real MVP.” “LeBron? Steph? Doesn’t matter. Riley Curry will repeat as the people’s champion.”
But remember: Matilda’s Miss Trunchbull reached the peak of her villainy when she forced a poor, hapless, overweight child to eat an entire chocolate cake in front of his classmates. The cake looked delicious — who doesn’t like cake? who doesn’t want more? — but anyone watching the scene understood. Too much cake is bad. It is terrible.
Riley Curry is objectively an Extremely Cute Child. She is cuter, almost certainly, than whatever benchmark of cuteness usually passes through your feed: your cousin’s baby, your friend’s French bulldog, your cat. It is not wrong to enjoy a side of sassy toddler with your basketball.
Still, the internet has a way of finding a good thing and hammering it into the ground, and then into the Earth’s core, and then up through the other side and into space. So if you love Riley, keep your distance. And please don’t make me watch another adorable Vine.