“When you are having a rough day or weekend remember Qai Qai has a arm and leg cast,” Serena Williams wrote on Instagram this past Thursday night of her doll granddaughter, the Instagram celebrity Qai Qai. The often-injured Qai Qai, clothed unvaryingly in a white bunny onesie with a soft pink collar, plus a pink behearted jumper (for warmth) and a sky-blue tutu (for style), has quickly and effortlessly taken Instagram by storm.
Since her first post on August 22, the young doll, under the ownership of her mother, Serena Williams’s and Alexis Ohanian’s 1-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., has earned over 22,000 followers. But who is she? We’ve put together a quick guide for the uninitiated.
Her name is Qai Qai.
She is all ages and ageless; she is static and forever. She is plastic and she is flesh. She is a baby doll and she is maybe a few months old.
While the abundance of images portraying Qai Qai lying face down on the ground may present as evidence of emotional issues, Qai Qai is, in fact, strong, stoic, and doing just fine. Not physically, of course. Physically, as Serena Williams mentioned, she is, at the moment, in an arm and a leg cast and also on crutches.
Mentally, however, she is bulletproof. Whether her mother is dropping her on her head, carrying her upside down, or dropping her and ultimately abandoning her while she toddles away, Qai Qai knows she is loved and, more than that, she knows it is her ultimate duty to love — unconditionally.
Her mama, life, love, providing joy and asking nothing in return. Lying face-down in the crack of the couch. Lying on the carpet, lying on stainless steel. Lying on a different carpet. Lying on various woods. Instagram. Connecting with her community of followers.
Some have accused Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. of doll mistreatment, and, sadly, Serena Williams has confirmed that it is an issue. In a Cincinnati press conference this past August, she explained that she, as Qai Qai’s grandmother, has had to take on most of the responsibilities related to raising Qai Qai.
So, that’s Qai Qai. To know her is to love her; to love her is to accept the joy of the universe into your heart, radiating it toward those around you, making our collective stay here on Earth just a little bit lighter. Pray for her quick recovery but do know she doesn’t need it; she is very powerful.