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Gently Holds is a cursed Emoji depicting a round, yellow face with tear-filled eyes holding its palms out flat as if holding something it loves, captioned, "*gently holds.*" Although its exact origins is unconfirmed, the Emoji was first posted to Tumblr in March 2020 and gained viral spread over the following years as people photoshopped various images into its hands. The Emoji resembles another cursed Emoji by Twitter artist @okayroutt known as Powercry.
On March 6th, 2020, Tumblr user ayyyden-main commented a custom Emoji captioned "*gently holds.*" showing a yellow character crying with its palms facing upwards in front of it under a post by Tumblr user sasmeo-bisaster sharing a photo of two rats, suggesting the poster wants to gently hold the rats, garnering over 900 notes in three years (shown below, left). Sasmeo-bisaster later added another comment showing the Emoji holding the two rats (shown below, right). This is the earliest known post of the Emoji, but it is unconfirmed if ayyyden-main created it.
The Emoji spread over the following years as a reaction image and meme, often posted with a character photoshopped in its hands. On April 1st, 2020, Twitter user @baseokline posted a photoshop of the Emoji holding K-pop artist j-hope, garnering over 450 likes in three years. On December 16th, Instagram user cat.shitpost posted a version of the meme using Bingus, garnering over 22,300 likes in three years (shown below).
On February 3rd, 2021, a version of the meme was posted to /r/Kirby, garnering over 1,200 upvotes in two years. On October 14th, Redditor RollerMill posted a Genshin Impact version of the meme to /r/Genshin_Memepact, garnering over 2,000 upvotes in two years (shown below, left). It was reposted by Instagram user genshinmemes the next day, garnering over 19,000 likes. On April 25th, 2022, Instagram user frogeposting posted a version of the meme with a frog, garnering over 10,800 likes in a year (shown below, right).
On February 5th, 2023, Facebook user 𝗦 𝗵 𝗼 𝗴 𝗮 𝗻 𝗮 𝗶 な沮 posted a meme using the Emoji referencing the anime series Bungou Stray Dogs, garnering over 8,500 reactions and 1,400 shares in two months (shown below).
 Tumblr – sasmeo-bisaster
 Twitter – baseokline
 Instagram – cat.shitpost
 Reddit – Genshin_Memepact
 Instagram – genshinmemes
 Instagram – frogeposting
 Facebook – i wanna squeeze him
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