Ciara addressed the negative reaction her nude dress received. Why did it make people so angry?

Ciara did a humorous TikTok addressing criticism of her nude dress. (Photo: Leon Bennett/FilmMagic)

Ciara clapped back at critics who slammed her dress choice at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

The 37-year-old wore a strapless, backless, crystal-encrusted sheer gown designed by Peter Dundas.

As images of the barely-there dress surfaced around the internet, social media users wasted no time in sharing their thoughts on the allegedly immodest outfit choice some found it particularly offensive because she is a wife and mother.

The shaming has been called misogynistic by culture writers Tiwa Adebayo. In part because it tied Ciara’s worth to her role as a wife, even though her Denver Broncos quarterback husband Russell Wilson, who accompanied her to the celebrations, snapped photos with her on the red carpet. It was also unfair. Models Emily Ratajkowski and Alessandra Ambrosio, and actress Hunter Schafer all wore similarly revealing dresses, but their wardrobe choices didn’t seem to cause the same excitement.

Left to right: Emily Ratajkowski, Alessandra Ambrosio, Sabrina Carpenter and Hunter Schafer at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.  (Photo: Getty Images)

Left to right: Emily Ratajkowski, Alessandra Ambrosio, Sabrina Carpenter and Hunter Schafer at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. (Photo: Getty Images)

Ciara addressed the one-page replies in a humorous TikTok on Wednesday, wearing a long sheet while strutting down the red carpet to an audio of her. The caption read “selective outrage” and received over 100,000 likes.

But why was Ciara hated so much for her outfit choice?

adebayo, who has dissected black women’s general policing during awards shows, tells Yahoo Life that much of the vitriol aimed at Ciara exists at the sharp intersection of misogyny and racism, sometimes referred to as misogynoir.

“It seems like the biggest group criticizing them, especially on Twitter, are actually black men,” Adebayo says, explaining that many people probably project their own preconceived ideas about how a woman and a mother present themselves should.

“It speaks to the politics of respectability, especially since they extrapolated the transparency of their dress and perceived ‘sloppiness’,” she adds. “And they took that and applied it to her husband, Russell Wilson, which means he has no control over his wife in a rather damaging way.”

And though Russell seemed to admire his wife’s display treats, Experts say it’s important to remember that Ciara has the right to choose what she wears, regardless.

“Some might think mentioning that her husband seemed ok with it is a show of solidarity, but we have to remember that Ciara’s body is hers. She can choose how to dress and adorn this body. her husband, it is her partner, not her owner”, Donna Oriowo, a race, sex and gender therapisttells Yahoo Life.

“Too often we equate love with possession and manhood with dominance over a woman. When we see things in a real partnership, we stop pretending that her choice of dress was meant to embarrass her husband, but a decision that she most likely made for herself,” Oriowo explains.

This also applies to her role as a mother.

“Some people believe that a mother’s body also belongs to her children. The person who is a woman before being a wife or mother doesn’t matter anymore, so we expect her to dress only according to her role as a mother or wife – the systems of power have defined it,” adds Oriowo.

Regarding selective outrage, Adebayo says that once the internet hits a target for the day, there seems to be a cumulative effect, and black women often hit the mark at exacerbated rates.

“With the algorithm feature, it very easily becomes an echo chamber and you hear people start to agree with you and that reinforces your perspective. As for black women, if women in general are often the subject of hate online today, it’s going to happen to black women a lot quicker,” she says.

Ultimately, Adebayo says, the dialogue surrounding Ciara’s dress is a smaller part of a larger conversation about the general surveillance of women’s bodies.

“Having conflicting high standards for black women is symptomatic of a broader trend,” says Adebayo.

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