Keke Palmer: I feel related to all of the Americans in the Americas

At the very same time that Keke Palmer’s (former?) partner was slut-shaming her about what she wore to Usher’s Las Vegas show, Keke was hanging out with an interviewer from The Cut. In her place, I would have let emotions get the better of me and put Darius Jackson on blast, on the record and in print. Keke did not. Keke side-stepped all of those questions like a pro, like someone who doesn’t want her personal business out there either way. I hope she dumped him, I really do. Anyway, Keke covers The Cut and the interview is heartwarming and nice, because she’s a nice person. Some highlights:

The moms hyping her online: “Do you, new moms. Do you. Girl, if there’s one person on this earth that loves you for sure, it’s that baby. Be happy, because there’s no love like it. Somebody loving you like that, hell, who cares?

Her dream podcast guest: “I absolutely would love to talk to Taylor Swift. And Nicki Minaj. Both for similar reasons. I would totally do it at the same time because it would be a big boss conversation, Ms. Lady. I think they’re both Sagittariuses and I’m a Sag moon. They’re not afraid to talk about the business, the music industry, and the things that people don’t understand. Nicki Minaj has spoken to the things that she’s trying to overcome and how they’re able to get in certain rooms or awards or conversations, etc. She’s very much so wanting to gun for some old ways of things being done. And it’s the same thing with Taylor Swift when it was coming to owning her masters and just … I’ve also talked a lot about my experience in the music industry, but I just think it’s really cool when you can sit down with your peers and you can discuss the real deal that goes on behind the scenes with the industry.

Her headspace as a new mom: “After having my baby, I’ve just gotten so much more powerful. I’m just so strengthened in a crazy way. Strutting my stuff, enjoying. I’ll be honest, I think before I even had the baby, I was really actually quite self-conscious. In a way that you would expect, considering the kind of work that I do as a public figure…After having the baby, my body got so much bigger and I started getting fluff in areas I never had before….We’re going to lean into this new body. That is the whole aura of what’s happening with me in this big boss era as I come into my 30s and I have my baby boy. I’m just continuing to spread my wings as a young woman.”

Whether she wishes she had more anonymity: “Sometimes I feel like I would love a little bit of more anonymity, or at least a version that wasn’t so chaotic. We live in a particular generation where the fame thing is a little bit too much. The way that celebrities are idolized. Popularity to some degree is fine. It’s normal. It could be expected, especially if you’re a public servant or someone that’s a public figure. But now it’s the desire and the goal as opposed to being the aftereffect of being good at something or being known for something. It’s just being known to be known. Fame used to be a little bit more mayorlike, and now it’s almost gone to some type of godlike vibe. That can be quite dangerous and a lot of pressure. I don’t think any human should be that adored.”

She doesn’t want her business out there: “There is such a thing as privacy. I’m not showing y’all my ass at night. I’m a human being. I have things that make me just a normal person. I’m flawed. I definitely try to put my best foot forward. But again, because I don’t like the idealism and I don’t like the kind of era that we are in with fame, I definitely self-deprecate, point to my flaws, constantly say I’m not perfect because I really don’t want people putting me to this unbelievable standard. I don’t live to be a celebrity.”

Whether she considers herself to be America’s sweetheart: “Girl, that is crazy as hell. If that is what the people think, I’m truly gagged and gooped because, wow. I don’t even know what that entails, truly, what that really means. But, by golly, if you all feel like I’m America’s sweetheart, I’m f–king here for that sh-it all day and night. I appreciate it because it feels like a term of endearment. But what do I think? If I were to declare myself, I do feel like America’s little sister, little cousin. I feel very much so related to everybody. I don’t even care what background they are, Black, white, otherwise. I feel related to all of the Americans in the Americas. I feel very much so like we grew up together. You know, we went to college together. We went to school together. It feels very familial to me. A lot of the people that I meet, even though I don’t know them, they know me. It kind of ends up feeling like I’m that adjacent second cousin that you see every two years at the family reunion.

[From The Cut]

Someone on Twitter pointed out that Darius Jackson thought he could shame Keke’s outfit and a small community of mostly men would just agree with him and back up his toxicity. While that happened, what also happened was that everyone else took Keke’s side, because Darius underestimated how famous Keke is. Even more than that, he underestimated how well-liked she is, that she’s popular for a reason, because people feel like they know her, that she seems like everyone’s fun cousin. I wish Keke every success in her Big Boss Era and I hope she takes care of herself and her little boy.

Cover & IG courtesy of The Cut.

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