We tip always Count on social media reaction to a celebrity event, but this time it was *cook kiss*.
Last week, Keke Palmer’s boyfriend Darius Jackson tweeted a sexist comment about a stunning outfit she wore to a recent concert where Usher serenaded her during his performance. We don’t have to go over the content of the first tweet and then the ignorant reduplication again, but it’s all here if you are curious.
And the Internet came to him immediately.
Jackson could have just been cool about what appeared to be a playful moment between two legends, and then later (much more privately) expressed his unease about it. Instead, he learned that speaking out about thoughts that turned out to be mother-shaming is a great way to get dragged across multiple social media platforms.
Palmer’s fans made it clear that we’re not here in 2023 for that behavior — especially not from a romantic partner. The backlash was enough to get everyone to deactivate their account, which Jackson did apparently done. Look, you’re not going to take anyone out of the sorority in public — let alone self-made actress, singer, TV personality and mom Keke Palmer — and hear how you screwed us up.
We’re furious about what Jackson said, but whatever happens in their relationship is their business. However, his comments reflect two widespread injustices that we need to address: surveillance of black women’s bodies and mother-shaming.
His comment “You’re a mom” is rooted in outdated gender norms that shape how we think about black women and our bodies. Unless we are subjected to an unattainable level of respectability, we are treated as mothers, seen as undesirable, and reduced to identities shaped by child bearing and raising. These arguments carry no weight in modern relationships and urgently need to be dismissed. It is time for society to catch up and realize that our bodies and identities cannot and will not be monitored.
And mom-shaming (a term usually used to emphasize the harsh judgment of mothers in their parenting decisions) is reflected here in the belief that after the birth of a child, you should cover your entire body and behave in public a chaste zombie must behave. Since becoming a mother, I have made an active choice to continue being who I was and to embrace who I am becoming.
But maintaining your confidence isn’t easy. Sometimes I waver between worrying about being too matronly and too provocative. But I have come to realize that these worries stem from external patriarchal pressures to conform and give up my authentic self. Over time I have learned that I have the right to reject this pressure and accept myself as I am.
I also have the right to choose how I use, present and experience my body. Dressing in a way that some might describe as immodest is a way for me to feel pleasure. This right does not disappear because I am a mother. This may upset some people, but that’s neither my problem nor Palmer’s. As a hard working woman, she deserved all the joy this moment brought. As journalist Ernest Owens wisely tweeted: “Men never have theirs Weaponized fatherhood when it’s fun compared to moms.”
When it comes to men preserving black motherhood, Palmer said wisely pointed out In an independent conversation with Vice President Kamala Harris, I suggest they start tweeting about the black maternal mortality rate, because that’s something to get really excited about.