Ayesha Curry: Steph ‘hasn’t invested a dime in my restaurant business’

The 2017 ESPY Awards - Arrivals

Ayesha Curry has a long interview with WorkingMother.com. Ayesha is perhaps most famous for being married to Golden State Warrior Steph Curry, and she’s been doing press recently to promote her many projects. She owns several restaurants, including the just-opened International Smoke in Miami, and she runs a Homemade Meal Kits business in California. She also does cookware and she’s got several sponsorships/ad contracts. Ayesha is successful in her own right, no doubt. But I also sort of think that perhaps all of her success wouldn’t have happened so spectacularly if she wasn’t married to one of the most famous basketball players in the world, you know? It’s like the debate on who we should consider “self-made.” Ayesha did THAT and I have no doubt she’s worked very hard. But also, being married to Steph absolutely opened so many doors for her. Some highlights from this interview:

People think Steph is the reason she’s successful: “I think a lot of people do not take me seriously. They think this is something I’ve obtained because of my husband’s income. That’s not true. He hasn’t invested a dime in my restaurant business.”

People think she should just be a quiet WAG: “It’s this weird hierarchy of misogyny. When my career was starting to take off, this male reporter bashed me on live television, saying I should be more like the other [basketball] players’ wives. He literally said, ‘They sit there, they don’t cause any problems, and they look pretty.’ Why am I not allowed to have a passion and a dream and a voice? That started a fire in me. I could not be stopped, and I wanted to prove myself. Now the conversation has shifted. Stephen doesn’t get any negative [questions] about me. Especially in the Bay Area, people say to him, ‘I like her food a lot,’ and that’s been special for me.”

Her multiracial background: Her mother is Jamaican and Chinese, and her dad is Polish and African American. “Everyone was from a place other than Canada and that’s how you identified yourself, not black or white. I identified as Jamaican because that’s where my mom came from,” she says of her childhood in Toronto, where her neighbors were mostly Asian and Indian. “In the states I’m simply ‘black.’” It’s also a lesson she’s passing on to her daughters. “They’re fair in complexion, and they’ve said: ‘I’m not black; look at my skin.’ And I said: ‘No, no, no. You’re a black woman. You have melanin. It’s part of who you are. Our descendants are from Africa. This is what that means.’ It’s been a journey teaching them that, and that black comes in many different shades.”

Embracing her multiracial background: “My own community needs to embrace everyone better. Sometimes I feel like I’m too black for the white community, but I’m not black enough for my own community. That’s a hard thing to carry. That’s why my partnership with CoverGirl was special for me because I felt like I didn’t fit the mold [of a CoverGirl]. I’m not in the entertainment industry, in the traditional sense. I’m not thin; I’m 170 pounds on a good day. It’s been a journey for me, and that’s why I want my girls to understand who they are—and to love it.”

When she got a boob job: “I didn’t realize at the time, but after having Ryan, I was battling a bit of postpartum that lingered for a while. It came in the form of me being depressed about my body. So I made a rash decision. The intention was just to have them lifted, but I came out with these bigger boobs I didn’t want. I got the most botched boob job on the face of the planet. They’re worse now than they were before. I would never do anything like that again, but I’m an advocate of if something makes you happy, who cares about the judgment?”

[From Working Mother]

“He hasn’t invested a dime in my restaurant business…” Okay, but would investors met with Ayesha if she wasn’t married to Steph? I’m really asking. Again, I’m not saying she doesn’t work hard and have good ideas and run a quality restaurant – I’m saying that the Curry name has opened a lot of doors for her. Also: “That’s why my partnership with CoverGirl was special for me because I felt like I didn’t fit the mold…” Like, she’s a beautiful light-skinned woman. You know who has difficulty getting beauty contracts? Black models with darker skin. I’m not saying there isn’t a two-sided colorism within the African-American community, but let’s also point out that society as a whole has less of a “problem” with beautiful light-skinned/mixed race black women. They’re idealized within the beauty industry.

The 2017 ESPY Awards - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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44 Responses to “Ayesha Curry: Steph ‘hasn’t invested a dime in my restaurant business’”

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  1. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Im….going to step out on a limb here and say you’re missing her point. As a light skinned black woman myself I understand what she was trying to say. I am not biracial but I have seen the “you’re not black enough” argument thrown at biracial women within the black community. They even did it to Meghan Markle. So the dichotomy becomes that biracial people aren’t “white enough” for white people or black enough for black people.
    I would never argue that I don’t have light skin privilege- I certainly do. And I don’t think Ayesha is denying that either. But there seems to be this idea that if you are light skin you somehow get a pass within white spaces. And trust me – that’s not true.

    • Purrrr says:

      +1

    • Wow says:

      Colorism exists, experience is not universal in race. The point I see often missed because people on all sides get color struck is the “white opportunity” biracial people can have access to.

      For instance, I am a dark skinned black woman. Much of my life I drove to Atlanta to buy makeup dark enough for me dark. My husband is several shades lighter, but also from two black parents.

      Now let me explain even with darker skin I had access to “white opportunity” because I am a Falasha Jew. I am a first generation child of black Jewish immigrants. I had unlimited access to the Jewish community, most of which is white. We lived in a predominantly white Jewish community with good schools and a massive support system. My father was a Doctor, I am a Doctor, my brother is a dietitian and diabetes specialist. We had very very little resistance until we left our bubble to go serve and support in black communities.

      My husband however, who is lighter and branded light skinned grew up in a run down, ignored and over policed neighborhood. His father was gunned down when he was 14, he was arrested for having a joint on him at 19 and served FIVE YEARS for possession. Even after getting an engineering degree he continues to work construction because he is a black man who wears the scarlet letter of a drug offense.

      What I see is its not her light skin that is aiding her, black is black to a racist. Its her access to white opportunity because of her social standing because of her husband. No he didn’t invest in her business, but his status offered opportunity. That doesn’t diminish her work or value. It just shows that we need to get more of the “white opportunity” spread around.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Hence why I stated that I acknowledge my own light skin privilege. Because colorism most definitely exists. Im not arguing that point at all.

        And I’m also not disgreeing wirh literally anything else you are saying. It’s all true and all valid. My point was to highlight what Ayesha was saying about her OWN experience. Which is also valid. Everyone is entitled to the truth of their own experiences when it comes to being a POC in white spaces. That doesn’t invalidate anyone else’s.

        Now her access to white opportunity because of who she is married to…that has everything to do with who is married to …and less to do with her skintone. Let’s not get those two things mixed up. Even as a light skin black woman if she wasn’t married to Steph Curry she wouldn’t have access to the opportunities she does.

      • BlueOrange says:

        I think you’re right but I also think that if you’re light skinned enough, you can be white passing, which opens up a new layer of opportunity. What she said about telling her kids that they’re black bugs me a bit too, when from the sounds of it they’re very much white passing. We all have melanin, just some more than others.

        I’m mixed race and have about the same skin colour as Meghan Markle. Although I identify as mixed race (not white or black), most people think I’m white or they might think I’m hispanic. I know my skin colour is ambiguous and if I’m honest I have said that I’m white before because the majority of people usually assume that I am and then go on to comment on my tan, also assuming I must just sit in the sun all day. These things annoy me but I also know I might be treated differently if my skin were darker. If her kids look white and they’re going to spend their adult lives trying to tell everyone they’re black, they’re really going to come up against it. You can respect your heritage and identify as you present.

      • Wow says:

        @valiantlyvarnished I was just pointing out the conflation of colorism with “white opportunity” its more common for a person who has a white parent to gain access to it, but it is also available to people with money.

        Colorism is one conversation, access to white opportunity is another. Also, not all light skinned people are mixed. Its the conflation of conversation I was addressing not necessarily trying to disagree with you, just adding my layer of experience.

    • Candikat says:

      Thank you.

    • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

      Yep–I am a “white passing” black woman with dreadlocs. I was on instagram and disagreed with someone on an issue in a comment and their first response (a white woman) was to call me “white dreads karen”. I responded something along the lines of “well fuck you too, because you obviously have no argument……..and the fact that no, I am not white, I am biracial”. Five or six people responded to her comment, including the (black, medium brown skinned) owner of the account. Not one of them said anything about this person trying to throw my skin color in my face because she thought I was white. (we were talking about sex workers and what effects legalization would have)

      Or I joined a subreddit (on reddit obv) for black women…..and everyone was talking, I mentioned my experiences as a light skinned person always being not seen as “black enough” when the conversation was about how our (black) families were judging us/the younger generation (e.g. I’ve had older/extended relatives tell me to go stand out in the sun so I can match the rest of the family)…….I had one user jump all over me for only “criticizing” the black side of my family and basically tried to say I was lowkey racist or self hating….because I responded to the OP’s question.

      I would NEVER say that I have it worse than any other black person, particularly a darker skinned black person because I don’t. And I see it with my mom. People usually treat me fine or have no idea (well, white people)…….until they see my mom with me and their attitudes change. But weaponizing skin color against any light/lighter skinned person once they disagree or have a different experience needs to stop. It’s dehumanizing to have your experiences “checked” because you didn’t suffer enough.

      Like we are all black. That is what some need to learn. We are all considered black, no matter how we look the minute a white person realizes we have a black parent or grandparent. As someone living in a mostly white area, that is just the truth. For example–my mom is medium dark brown skin toned; my sister has the same skin color e.g. we are like Angelina Jolie white with our mom’s features and “black” hair. My sister’s BOSS stopped my mom in the post office and started talking to her about work (my sister’s job) and what she wanted my sister to do…….and was confused when my mom told her that she needed to talk to my sister.

      • Snowflake says:

        @VC, my husband has told me he gets better treatment because he has lighter skin tone than other family members and they give him a hard time about it. People kinda spoil him, like he’s their favorite. He doesn’t pass for white but he is mixed and his skin tone is a caramel color unless he’s been working outside a lot. He told me he often felt like he didn’t fit in anywhere. That must be tough.

  2. cherry says:

    Re: “That’s why my partnership with CoverGirl was special for me because I felt like I didn’t fit the mold…” Yes, she’s a beautiful light-skinned woman and they’re idealized within the beauty industry. But she’s not referring to her skin color here- she felt she ‘didn’t fit the mold’ because she’s ‘not thin; I’m 170 pounds on a good day.’

  3. Nicole says:

    Your comments are valid, but I do recall her having a cooking show on Food Network before Steph truly blew up. I also give her props for helping her children identify as being Black (of African Ancestry). Given her tool box, she seems to be doing reasonably well.

    I dunno. I guess I’m an apologist.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      You’re not an apologist. I agree completely.

    • NewKay says:

      @Nicole- I agree with you. Her kids aren’t that light. Plus they are young and will change with age. They have two prents who identify as Black regardless of their complexion they are Black. Black people come in all different shades and our history means we have embraced children of different hues for generations. Yes colourism exists, but the Black experience is the Black experience. I have two kids with different shades. No one is checking my daughter t say, you are light skin, let me not exhibit racism towards you. Both kids experience racism in school and I would never deferentiate one as experiencing worse than the other based on skin colour

  4. STRIPE says:

    I’m only talking about the restaurant part here -It sounds like she’s ignoring the social capital she gains from being Stephs wife. Doesn’t mean she doesn’t work hard of course – but I would argue that social capital is more valuable than dollars. It gets you in front of people and gives you opportunities.

    Kylie does this as well when she says her parents didn’t give her money so she’s self made. Maybe they didn’t give her money but the Kardashian platform is a as good as gold.

    • Mgsota says:

      Yes 100%.

    • Meg says:

      Well put-i totally agree

    • Yup, Me says:

      You know who is a perfect example of the Kardashian platform being good as gold? Kourtney. I’ve been watching her recent forays into her own business efforts (poosh and her YouTube interviews) without her sisters and she is clearly only getting views and the platform because of her name. She is boring and monotone and, in one interview, didn’t even know the ingredients of her own product (and yet decided that that was the perfect moment to list them).

      Separately, I think Aisha Curry is in the same position Steph Curry was in- his father was a basketball player. He comes from a legacy professional sports family. His name very likely opened doors for him, but he still had to prove himself once he got there. Aisha’s connection to her husband very likely got doors opened for her, but if she hadn’t had anything of substance to apply once she got her foot in, it would have shown and she would not now have multiple restaurants – it’s a notoriously difficult industry to succeed in.

    • JAC says:

      That really bugs me about all nepotism actors aswell. If you cash in on all the advantages you have more power to you, it would be stupid not to. But don’t do the “I did this on my own and I am self made”. Social capital is huge and hlgetting you foot in the door is the hardest part. It doesn’t mean they didn’t work hard.

      So well done Ayesha for capitalising and profiting on your last name, but don’t do this.

  5. MarcelMarcel says:

    I think it’s great she was open about her breast augmentation not going well. So many celebrities either deny comestic surgery or minimise how invasive & risky it is. So it’s great to see a celebrity being open about the downside of a procedure.

    Another thing that doesn’t seem to get discussed is the maintance costs ie you have your silicone or saline implants replaced every few years or it can be a health risk.

    I do think people are entitled to have surgery if they feel it will help. I just worry that normalisation of cosmetic surgery has glossed over the risks involved.

    • Wow says:

      The surgical center attached to the hospital I work in banned non reconstructive breast augmentations that involve implants because BII and cancer have been not just linked, but almost considered imminent according to some new studies.

      I would be shocked if elective silicone implants of all kinds are banned soon. It wont stop people though. I fear it will drive a dangerous black market and more people to south American “doctors” who are in my opinion dangerous and predatory.

      It also puts transgender individuals in a weird place because the hormones in general raise albeit slightly their cancer risk adding complications from essential transitioning procedures or deeming them “elective” and not reconstructive could put them completely out of reach. It’s actually something I have been thinking about a lot lately.

      • MarcelMarcel says:

        I didn’t know that silicone implants had been linked to cancer, that’s so scary.

        I watched a few videos on YouTube where women discussed removing their implants because the implants were making them sick. I’m not sure how much research has been done on it though.

        I hope that breast augmentation and other procedures remain accessible to transgender people. Hopefully the medical science HRT and plastic surgery developes so it no longer increases the risk of cancer.

  6. Jb says:

    Why are people so against admitting they had a step up above everyone else because of the success/fame/celebrity of their parent/sibling/spouse etc?! If you truly worked hard it doesn’t take away from the work you did and it acknowledges you were able to parlay your networking with the right people to your advantage. By completing ignoring the elephant is the room it gives off the impression that you truly believe you just worked that much harder than someone who’s doing the same thing but doesn’t have the network/resources you have. I like this woman but come on now.

  7. OriginalLala says:

    About her breast implants – I went to a surgeon for a reduction/lift and the first surgeon I saw recommended breast implants instead! Thankfully the next surgeon I saw told me this would likely not help my situation (shoulder and back pain) at all so i had my reduction and lift with her and it was the best decision ever. The cost was totally covered by the provincial gov’t, whereas the implants would not have been….I wonder if something like this happened to her

  8. Erin says:

    I love what she’s saying here. And of course her being married to Steph helped, but as a black woman I think she’s earned the right to give herself credit for getting that deal done HERSELF.

  9. Meg says:

    I think it’s naive of her to not acknowledge the opportunities she gets from being his wife which positively influenced her career very much. Maybe she won’t acknowledge it because she’s insecure herself and fears where she’d be without his fame and success

  10. Candikat says:

    I don’t “know” Ayesha in that we don’t exactly hang out, but I’ve had the opportunity to meet her several times. She’s the real deal. Accessible, funny, self-deprecating. Can you name another celebrity (or even celeb-adjacent) who would reveal their weight in a public forum? Or talk about disappointment with their attempts to “improve” their body? In the past she’s spoken publicly about how hard it is to be viewed as an individual when married to a superstar. That’s what she’s saying here too. Please don’t reduce her to just being “Steph Curry’s wife,” she’s much more than that in her own right.

    • JAC says:

      Admiting those things is very on brand for her. Very beautiful women being self deprecating and honest about their “flaws” is very modern right now.

      Admiting she had help getting where she is doesn’t mean she isn’t more than just his wife.

      • GirlMonday says:

        Her existence as a living, breathing, sentient being that exists separately from her husband is what means she is MORE than his wife, irrespective of what she does or doesn’t admit . . . or cook. Unfortunatley, reducing successful women who happen to be married to more successful men to “just wives” isn’t very modern. In fact, it is old and played AF.

      • JAC says:

        Those are two differetn things though. Are we pretending she got all of her success on her own? Because she didn’t. Being Steph’s wife was ahige part of her brand. It’s not reducing her to being just his wife, it’s just stating facts.

      • perplexed says:

        Jessica Biel’s restaurant failed despite being married to Justin Timberlake.

        I’m ok with her being confident in what she’s achieved, regardless of who she’s married to and what help it might have offered to her. Being married to him might be enough to open a door, but it isn’t enough to get people to eat what her restaurant is serving. At the end of the day, the restaurant will succeed or fail based on whether people actually like the product she’s serving so the success or failure of it still comes down to her. And she doesn’t sound conceited like Gwyneth Paltrow so ….eh. If she was constantly conceited like Gwyneth, I’d understand the criticism but it’s okay to say, “Yeah, I did this and I like having my own passions.”

    • JBones says:

      This is the first article that I’ve read about Ayesha. I had only recently heard her name while watching the NBA play offs, when she was referred to by commentators as Steph’s Canadian wife. Valiantly Varnised, Wow, Candikat; you’ve stated it best. I’m disappointed that the tone of this article is slightly dismissive of, instead of attentive to, her ambition, honesty, and her healthy sense of self worth. Go Ayesha!……Go Raps.

  11. GirlMonday says:

    I think being married to Steph has sometimes made it easier to “get the deal done,” if you will. I don’t think Ayesha is not acknowledging that privilege, per se, I just think she is talking about something else. In other interviews, she has spoken extensively about how blessed she is and the privileged life she leads. That can be true AND she can also work her @$$ off.
    This is what she said:
    “I think a lot of people do not take me seriously. They think this is something I’ve obtained because of my husband’s income. That’s not true. He hasn’t invested a dime in my restaurant business.”
    Steph did not buy her these chances. Some rich men do that for their wives. He did not. People don’t take her seriously at work because they think he bought her all this the way a parent would buy a child a toy to appease them. That is not what happened here. She is talking about what her lived experience as a businesswoman is currently like, she isn’t talking about the hypothetical influences on how she got there.
    I think this kind of “all lives matter” thinking—recontextualizing an idea to assume it should include, but doesn’t, something indirectly related, and therefore is contra to that which it was never addressing in the first place—is really harmful to critical thinking. Where is the both/and? She is talking about being taken seriously for the blood, sweat, and tears that she has put into her enterprises. She is smart, savvy, and works hard. Full stop. Why the need to undermine that and take it away because Steph is successful too? Is she allowed to talk about her success, trial, tribulations ONLY in the context of her husband’s unquantifiable impact on her career?

  12. Jmeow says:

    Nothing is ever good enough for you people! Every time I think I want to come back to this website my brain melts.
    What is wrong with celebrating what this woman has achieved. Maybe she will keep opening doors for other women
    Why is everything so divisive.
    And why do we need to be hyper aware of every single difference between people.
    It’s exhausting.
    I’m off to go live in the real world again.
    Bye

    • JAC says:

      People who had help not admitting they had it is actually demaging because it implies that people who didn’t make it just didn’t work hard enough, which is simply not true. And it creates this false narrative which gives excuses to people who are responsible for creating opportunities for those less privileged not to create them.

      You can celebrate her achievements AND admit she had help along the way.
      This is the same situation like with Kylie Jenner being a “self made” millionaire.

      • kerwood says:

        To use a sports metaphor, Mrs. Curry started out on third base but wants credit for hitting a home run. If she had put in the same amount of work and effort as she has but WASN’T married to Steph, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Her refusal to acknowledge her incredible good fortune is disingenuous at best.

        There seem to be a lot of young women out there who’ve had a great deal of success and made a lot of money thanks to family connections or the man they’re with. Yet these women (and their supporters) refuse to acknowledge that. In fact, they (and their fans) are ready to fight it out.

        I think it sends the message to girls that there ARE shortcuts and substitutes for hard work. Just use your family, your looks or find the right man. It’s not that easy in the real world.

  13. perplexed says:

    She sounded honest to me in this interview. I never expected her to admit she had a botched boob job — to quote Phoebe Buffet, that is “BRAND NEW INFORMATION!”

    When she was talking about her restaurant business, I thought she was simply emphasizing that she should be able to have her own passions and dreams, not just be a wife. Sounds fair enough to me. Kate Middleton has been criticized for doing the opposite (which also sounds fair enough to me too — you do you and what you like).

    Restaurants are also more likely to fail than other businesses. In this instance, I don’t think being Stephen Curry’s wife is enough to have been a success. Jessica Biel tried to open a restaurant and it failed, so….

    When she said she didn’t fit the mold, I thought she was talking about her weight. Thinness is valued for contracts. I’m surprised at the criticism of her. I feel the quotes should be read properly.

  14. sunshine gold says:

    This is the classic Gwyneth Paltrow argument – no one ever handed me anything! Your advantages don’t just come when someone gives you money, it’s the association, connections and platform that helps A LOT. No, Cover Girl is not discovering her on the streets of Toronto. There is absolutely no way she’d be where she is without her husband.

  15. Mash says:

    This may get flagged but HERE GOES lol

    Im sorry but the whole light skin tears is just like idk this prob is not the page to discuss it…but the colorist aspects are so nuanced and seem invisible to white media and gossip pages but…

    outside of childhood bullying which in itself can be deplorable —- we as black people are black no matter the shade and this whole im not black enough for the community comment coming from someone past 17 is just kinda beyond me…. a huge chunk of our most prolific civil rights and black empowerment activist and fighters were lightskin or distant multiracial-black identifying and the black community knows this and live this (many of our family members are of all complexions). (huey newton, malcolm x, louis farrakan, angie davis, kathleen cleaver, fredrick douglass, etc etc) so i feel like ayesha is really playing the tiniest of violents as far as im concerned. Biracial people can claim both of course — but (and esp if you look even one drop black) be prepared to catch continuous L’s from the real culprits of your misery (most times) white society…

  16. Cupcake says:

    I don’t know why people have such a hard time admitting that their success is a combination of hard work AND luck/connections/fill in the blank. Of course her success is a result of her marriage and what’s wrong with that? She utilized what she had (marriage to an NBA player etc.) and she ran with it. No shame in admitting that, in fact I think that would demonstrate more self-awareness, humility, and gratitude, qualities of a true queen.

  17. Laura says:

    I would’ve preferred if she would’ve admitted that being Steph’s wife gave her a lot of privilege to meet with investors and start a business. Telling people to simply “work your ass off” is very misleading and false. It certainly helps when you have the right connections and a last name that is very well-known.

    Let’s be real – she has a lot of sponsorships because she has a lot of IG followers and many people are following her because they know her husband. Again, I’m sure she’s hard-working but a lot of people started following her on social media because they knew her husband before they knew about her restaurant business (myself included).