03 Mar Girl Crush Alert: Interview with Keke Palmer
We caught up with Keke Palmer at her book launch in L.A. We talked depression, social media, beauty standards, and self-love.
Unlike many girls trying to make it in Hollywood, Keke Palmer strikes me as one who came to LA not just to “make it” but to “make herself”. I mean, I might be projecting… I don’t know her, but when I attended her book launch and witnessed her kind-natured good-humored personality, it became evident, that she’s in it for more than the money and the lifestyle.
There she was; this normal girl with a banging body and impeccable nails –if you know me well enough, you’ll know that perfect mani-bearers are my soul mates.
Her laugh is wild and her train of thought is indecipherable –probably because she was too excited/nervous. Girl, I can relate… she could 100% be my friend.
We know Keke from her Scream Queens days, and as a Nickelodeon alum. But this girl is much more than the chick that called out Trey Songz for using her. Now she’s all grown up, she wrote a book, and is working on her own music career.
Keke’s book “I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice”, treats issues like identity, pressure, self-worth, heartbreak… basically stuff that all young women wrestle with. Yes, she’s made it in the industry, but under that success, she has grappled with the same things we all have.
Full of revealing experiences and stories, Keke’s book navigates through twelve topics; sexuality, race, success, anxiety, bullying and body image, to name a few. She tackles these issues with her signature hilarity and refreshing honesty.
When asked about depression and anxiety and how she’s overcome it she sits back and takes a minute to think. You know what?, she says; “I don’t know if there’s such thing a overcoming depression. It’s a constant battle.”
Keke explains how she believes that all these issues that trouble us are rooted in “labeling”. For her, the problem lies with wearing the badge of one illness or the other. “There really is no difference between you, and a person labeled as a schizophrenic, because we all do the same things everyday in our own heads. We think; “OMG What is he wearing? …or What the hell? Go away”, we all have those thoughts in our minds all the time, but we just don’t say them out loud”.
On why she wrote a book and what her inspiration was, she said; “My newfound confidence is what did it”.
“I know what it’s like to have the material things. From a young age, I received financial success and it did not make me happy.”
She told us about her struggle with work, expectations, having to look a certain way and fulfilling a certain image.
“I remember when I came to the industry, all I wore was braids. And then some people tried to tell me that I couldn’t wear braids anymore. But that’s what made me, me. I was the little black girl with them braids. And I loved that about me and it’s still me”. At MDMflow, we think that ultimately, beauty, is wearing what makes you feel comfortable. That’s what will make you look the most beautiful. And Keke agrees:
“Embrace who you are” she says, “and you bring that to the forefront, because there are so many other people like you. They are thinking like you are. So if they can see you, then they can know that there’s someone else there”, and don’t we all like feeling like we belong?
That’s why Keke is my kind of girl. She not only didn’t take her braids out. She rocked them till they became her signature look. She stood up to sexual intimidation even when she was battling anxiety and depression. She called out a man for his sexist behaviour, even when they were supposed to be friends.
“It all starts with self-esteem. how we feel about ourselves. And that’s why the book was so important for me to write. My message isn’t so much saying, “we need to help one another”, but we have to LOVE ourselves”.
Yes, we all have our beauty hacks and tips, but for Ms. Palmer, it ain’t about copying those youtube tutorials and stacking up on false lashes. It’s about finding what makes you, you. Find what makes you stand out and werk it! 💃🏼
“Don’t ever feel bad about your uniqueness. Your uniqueness is why you’re here. It’s what makes you different.”
We discussed social media, Instagram, inspo and just how darn beautiful all those famous girls on it are! “I love social media. It’s helped me stay connected with buddies. On Instagram I see all these friends that I haven’t seen in years!”, Keke told us. And that’s what, she thinks, should be the purpose of social media.
For the Scream Queen, social media is a creative outlet and a means of communication. “Sometimes we’re blinded, looking for outside validation”, she says, “Social media really makes you feel like you need other people to tell you that you’re great, and really that’s just not how it is”. 👎
Really, it isn’t.
So before you sink into a 40-minute vortex of scrolling through IG, remember the wise words of Keke Palmer: “Stop shaming yourself”.
“We have to stop being hurtful and ruthless to ourselves. We have to truly be able to look in the mirror and say “I love you!” Because it’s all you’ve got.”
So without further ado, we commend you to head over to your nearest bookshop or website and; Buy👏 That👏 Book👏 This girl’s got some golden advice to give.