The baby that don't smile

Submitted on Jul 13, 2023 by  Ci Ci

So, I don't know if you know

That I've been at this social media, advocacy thing for a little minute now.

Probably bout, what, like 4 or 5 years or something like that?

However long ago it was, I found social media at a time that my body only knew one human as child...

My Zion

And I, somehow, had just began realizing the power of my voice.

Well, from some time over there –

To the moment that I write this.

SO much has happened.

I mean, I done spoke on a few national and international stages...

Done sat in rooms that that motherfucker Imposta told me I didn't belong in...

Hell, one time I even met Angela Davis and Al Sharpton just off GP.

Nah, for real, I was hype cus those are the type of power and names that you only get to see on TV.

I was in awe.

But what I ain't NEEEEEVVVAA did was went viral on social media!

Until, I fucked around and had a video do a couple numbers on the internet.

Now, why would I go and do that you ask?

I ain't mean it.

I was just there posting (or not posting) to social media like I had done in the previous years.

Same drill.

I make a video with the intent of helping someone else.


My 4K+ followers watch (or don't watch).

And we keep it moving.

Well ... not on this one particular, damn day!

See, what had happened was...

It sound like some bullshit don't it?

But, nah for real! LOL

My ole, millennial, non-TikToking, can't name a rapper past Little Wayne, big, bold, self –

Kept seeing the cutest little trend on social media!

It was something about hitting somebody with a "blick".

A real simple walk in and walk out of the camera number.


I had seen kids doing the trend...


Best friends...

I think I even saw two dogs do it one time...

Like, literally all different types of people captioning the video about how you couldn't do something.

And then flexing cus they was standing in their truth.

One I saw was like, "You not bringing your mom with you are you?"

And then, the kid and their mom join in on the intergenerational post.

So, cool.

I gather all of my children.

I got two kids, yall.

And we press record on the phone, with the song playing in the background.

We laugh and mess up.

We mess up and start over.

Probably bout 7 times.

But that's all it took.

Lucky number 7 was about to become part of my video collection that I have been building for almost 5 years.

So the video gets posted with my caption reading something like, "You can't have kids if you are living with HIV".

And then you see me march up, on beat, and my two children march behind me.

That's it.

At first, the reaction was what I am accustomed to on my social media.

That's cus the audience that I have been talking to since 2018 gets it.

They already know I have HIV. We past that point.

They know I be doing "the nasty". I got kids.

And they also know my children are HIV-negative.

We talked about that already.

So, this video wasn't nothing out of the ordinary.

Or at least, I didn't think so.

But then something happened.

Something CRAZY happened.

All of a damn sudden I started getting comments.

A lot of comments.

And views.

Lots of them.

And with each new view, came the propensity that the person on the other end of the device had:

* .01% knowledge of HIV,

* the audacity to type out whatever came to their mind, whether it was cruel or not,

* a PhD in women's sexuality, or

* a large stigma and bias against people living with HIV.

Sometimes it wasn't a propensity, rather a fact, that the commentor was all of the above.

Packaged all pretty in the form of an anonymous, private profile with no followers.

*cough, cough* punk *cough*

I don't want to take away from all of the love and support that I did receive from so many new people that I had not had a chance to meet yet.

And for that, I am grateful.

But to be honest, it's not the good comments that always stick in my head.

Those aren't the ones that I find myself questioning.

Instead, it was the dumb ones, like this one:

"That's why your baby don't smile cus you breastfed her [that infected-ass-dirty-ass- HIV contaminated-ass breastmilk]."

Now, doesn't that sound crazy?!

But what's crazier is that I still remember that one.

The fact that I had allowed that thought to be entertained by too many other thoughts.

And the fact that I remember it enough to tell you about it.

Was it because I had already considered that to be a fact?

Did my Zuri think that I made the wrong choice?

Is she going to be mad with me when she gets older?

How come so many people are upset that I have kids?

I'm selfish?

Is that a throw up emoji?


And this went on for weeks.

Whew, that shit is not for the faint of heart.

And especially not for a person who can't stay out of their own comment section.

Tip: All of the old heads and folks with common sense say ignore the comments. Smart.

But you see me?

The fuck you mean my baby not smiling because I breastfed her?

Nah, she ain't smiling cus she doesn't like you, trick.

Ole dusty ass wench.

She doesn't like your edges.

Or your mother.

Zuri said that she can smell your breath through the comment section.

She gone ask me why you always looking like that?

And I was like, "like what?"

And she was like, "like this -"

Unnnh huuuunh.

Zuri wanted to know if your father approves of how you are representing him in public?

Cus, even at her little age, she knew this didn't make sense.

But you know what she also told me?

That she loved my milk.


If her pleased burps and the collected photo evidence of milk drunk nights wasn't enough to prove it –

Her monthly negative HIV tests affirmed that I made the right decision.

And she learned from her mama how to fight for herself, even when other people tell her not to.

What not to do: Don't internalize the misery of others.


And Zion?

He thinks the people on the internet are crazy.

Lol, he made his own social media clap back.

"... for one, you're dumb..." ~ Zion C.


Now, look at that.

The person may have been right.

My baby DOESN'T smile.

She laughs.




Alongside her brother and me.

And she told me to tell you don't worry bout us.

Mommy got this.

+Ci Ci+


Ci Ci with her children, Zion and Zuri.

This blog was originally posted on Healing is Voluntary.

Submitted by Red40something

Listen. This a word. Several in fact. It's the audacity for me. The ignorance. The bullying! ((smh emoji))

Them folks can kiss my whole.... ((peach emoji))

Nevermind. *le sigh

You are dope. Full of articulate flowing magic. Liquid gold type magic. ((wink emoji))

Eff them folks. Especially the dusty a$$ broad. ((side eye emoji))

Xoxo. ((power fist emoji))

Submitted by Marig2016

i mean after Bridgettes comment what else can i say beside you dope, they not, they mad casue they now lmao let me now. Anyways KEEP living ya best life, fk the imposta thing and anyone who got somthing dumb, stupid, sick or twisted to say. Jst remember misery loves company but it aint the company you gotta keep. I love me some CZZ!

Submitted by KatieAdsila

This was powerful and I feel like I can relate a little, my kids were babies when I was diagnosed and had to live with my stigma their whole childhood. Thank you so much for sharing.

Submitted by MariaHIVMejia

sis, I also have been doing this on social media for a long long time, and I don't even look at my youtube comment! In years actually...we put the info out there and let them go at it. I am proud of you and all you have done and continue to do! I love you and respect you, and your baby is beautiful, and your son is extremely handsome, your baby will not hate you at all. She will be proud you stood up for those that don't have the courage yet.

much love and light


Submitted by boseolotu

Yes CiCi you are one of the strongest minded person I have ever meet.

And super...super encouraging mentor and mother.

Keep the light shining sister!!

Submitted by HEROconnor

I love you, mama and I'm so damn proud of you and happy for you. You're doing great!

Submitted by Escalice

You are a badass and so inspiring. I’m so glad you chose to breastfeed your beautiful Zuri. Your family is beautiful and thriving. Someone dumb is always gonna have something to say but as always, you continue to handle it like a boss

Ci Ci 's recent blog posts


Members of The Well Project community at USCHA 2022.

Become a Member

Join our community and become a member to find support and connect to other women living with HIV.

Join now >


Do you get our newsletter?

¿Recibe nuestro boletín?

Sign up for our monthly Newsletter and get the latest info in your inbox.

Suscríbase a nuestro boletín mensual y reciba la información más reciente en su bandeja de entrada.

Browse Blogs by Theme

Recent Blog Posts

Our Bloggers