Keke Palmer’s Boyfriend Criticizes Her Outfit Because She’s a Mom – and We’re Not Having It

Getty / Juan Ocampo

Keke Palmer is once again trending in the news cycle. And this time it’s not because she said something hilarious or opened up about new motherhood. Instead, it’s because her boyfriend and the father of her son, Darius Jackson, publicly shamed her for an outfit that she wore to an Usher concert.

In a clip circulating on Twitter of Usher serenading Palmer at the concert, Jackson criticizes the “Nope” actress for wearing a see-through black bodysuit.

“It’s the outfit tho.. you a mom,” Jackson tweeted from a since deleted account, per USA Today. Of course, the internet quickly ran to Palmer’s defense.

“Shaming yo own partner online because they wore an attractive outfit is high levels of insecurity,” one tweet read. “The moment men start seeing woman as mother figures they forget that they have any duality outside of that and thing they can’t be multifaceted,” said another.

Despite those trying to help Jackson see the error of his ways, the man actually doubled down on his critique, defending his “standards and morals.”

“We live in a generation where a man of the family doesn’t want the wife & mother to his kids to showcase booty cheeks to please others & he gets told how much of a hater he is,” he subsequently wrote on Twitter, USA Today notes. “This is my family & my representation. I have standards & morals to what I believe. I rest my case.”

Related: Yes, We Saw Keke Palmer’s Dress At Usher, but Did You See Her Nails?

Besides the fact that, as far as the public knows, Jackson and Palmer are not actually married, suggesting that one’s husband has a right to dictate what his wife wears or how they portray themselves in the first place is flat-out wrong. What’s more, Jackson stating this is about standards and morals, and that Palmer’s outfit is somehow a negative representation of him and his family, is disgusting. That kind of thinking is a prime example of toxic masculinity and dismisses Palmer’s existence as anything more than just a mother to his child.

And this last one may be petty, but I’m simply not sure what “representation” he’s referring to – because without Keke Palmer most people wouldn’t know who Darius Jackson is. If anything, he’s a reflection of her, not the other way around. In other words, she’s Barbie, he’s just Ken.

Unfortunately, this is far from the first time someone’s fashion choices have been criticized as inappropriate “for a mom.” In 2017, Jenna Dewan came under fire for posting an Instagram of herself in a bodysuit despite . . . having a child. In March of this year, Ciara’s Vanity Fair Oscars party dress – a beautiful, sheer Peter Dundas gown – became a topic of similar ignorant conversation. “Ciara is a married woman with kids. Sit this one out Ciara,” one Instagram commenter wrote.

In Ciara’s case, commenters also came after her relationship, stating that partner Russell Wilson is “obviously . . . not the head of the household.” That sort of remark is horrible enough, but the comments levied against Palmer are all the more infuriating because they weren’t coming from anonymous internet trolls, but from her own partner.

This sort of backwards, shaming discourse can be leveled at any mom, but it has to be said that women of color are especially likely to be told that what they wear and how they behave is disrespectful, inappropriate, or shameful. As Natasha Marsh previously wrote in her POPSUGAR article about Ciara’s naked dress, “Really, this viral debate is about who’s allowed to show and feel empowered in their body. Hypersexualized, disrespected, deemed outside of their lane, and all other outcomes prove that Black women are not allowed to own their sexuality, no matter what their body looks like.”

Since Jackson’s tweets, Palmer has not responded directly to him on social media. But the two have reportedly unfollowed each other on Instagram (although it appears that Jackson has deleted his Instagram and Twitter, so it’s hard to say which happened first). Palmer also posted a series of photos from the concert hours after Jackson’s tweets were posted, writing, “I wish I had taken more pictures but we were running late!” – which feels like a subtle, yet effective comeback.

“Keke said ‘so anyways'” one person said in the comments. Another wrote, “She’s Mothering,” a fitting comment because while they probably meant it figuratively, being a mother, does not come with a designated wardrobe or set of rules. And it certainly doesn’t mean shrinking yourself to appease your partner. Palmer is mothering – and doing it well – despite Darius Jackson, or anyone else, thinking otherwise.

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