Keke Palmer said that becoming a mom to son Leodis has given her a “sense of freedom” after her baby daddy Darius Jackson shamed her for wearing a sexy ensemble.
“I was really always preoccupied on the low key of my body and then after I had a baby, it kind of freed me in a way where I just didn’t care as much,” Palmer, 29, shared during a panel discussion at the “Big Boss: Empowering Yourself to Create the Life You Want” event in Washington, DC, on Thursday (via People.)
“And so the fact that I didn’t care, it made me just have an ease and a comfortability and a love for myself in a way that I didn’t have before,” she added.
The “Hustlers” actress said that welcoming her son with Jackson, 29, in February made her bolder and more accepting of who she is.
“It just gave me a sense of freedom that I can’t describe, where I’m not afraid, because it’s like, this is what I have, this is who I am,” she said.
Palmer admitted she was surprised by how much self-worth she found in herself after having a baby.
“I never would have imagined that my son would have given me such a deep confidence and empowerment to just really be like, ‘Yo, we about to do this,’” she shared. “And it made me feel so strong because after having a baby you are kind of beat down a little bit.
“But with the love that I feel at home I just say, ‘girl, we about to make this work.’ It transformed me into someone else.”
The “Nope” star added that being a mom is “exceptional.”
“I mean, for anybody that doesn’t want it, your life is fabulous if that’s not what you want and if you do want it, get ready for a ride because it is a blessing beyond a blessing,” she said, joking, “I’m probably going to have about 12 kids, don’t play with it now.”
While Palmer found empowerment through being a parent, the father of her child didn’t seem to be a contributing factor after he roasted her for wearing a risqué outfit to an Usher concert last week.
In the video, Palmer was seen rocking a Givenchy sheer black skin-tight gown over a black thong bodysuit that flaunted her buttcheeks.
The football player was immediately hit with backlash from online critics who dubbed Jackson “insecure” and called his comments unwarranted.
“lets be real the real reason why ur mad is because usher just serenaded your gf,” one person wrote on social media.
“Telling a grown ass woman what she can and can’t wear such corny behavior,” another agreed.
“All you gotta do is sit there and shut up and you can’t even do that. Insecure ass,” a third said.
But Jackson doubled down on his criticism, tweeting that he has “standards & 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 added amid the onslaught of backlash.
Palmer responded by posting several photos of herself in the controversial outfit, writing in a cheeky caption, “I wish I had taken more pictures but we were running late.”
Palmer’s supporters continued to rip Jackson to shreds and he promptly deleted his Twitter and Instagram accounts. He was back on social media the next day but deleted his photos with the “Bottoms Up” singer.
While Palmer has not directly addressed Jackson’s antics, she has sent several sly messages expressing her disapproval.
Last week she shared a cryptic message on TikTok when she mouthed the words, “You ain’t stopping what’s going on with me, sweetheart. So, if you about to act up, I’m ’bout to link up.”
She also started selling merch that appeared to take aim at the drama.
Palmer shared in an interview with The Cut published last week that she isn’t going to let her postpartum body change how she dresses and wants to embrace her new figure.
“After having my baby, I’ve just gotten so much more powerful. I’m just so strengthened in a crazy way,” she said. “Strutting my stuff, enjoying. I’ll be honest, I think before I even had the baby, I was really actually quite self-conscious.”
She added that even though she noticed some “extra fluff” on her body, she would continue to “embrace” her curves and “not hide.”
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“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,” she said. I’m just continuing to spread my wings as a young woman.”
It’s unclear where Palmer’s relationship with Jackson stands at the moment. The duo secretly dated for months before taking their love public in November 2021.
The “Jump In!” alum confirmed she was having a baby with Jackson a day after revealing her pregnancy while hosting “Saturday Night Live” in December 2022.
The pair welcomed their son, who they call Leo, on Feb. 25, 2023.