Even the title of this post is jarring me.
Soooo... initially I didn't want to write on this but gosh darn it, it hit a nerve and now here I am at my computer typing.
I feel like everyone already knows what this blog is going to be about but if you don't, let me give you some of the deets. Basically there was a video of the infamous Keke Palmer (American Actress, Artist and TV personality) at an Usher concert. In the video, she was being serenaded by THE USHER himself (in his arms), whilst wearing a sheer black midi dress with a thong bodysuit underneath. She looked like she was having a ball of a time (I mean... it is USHER), even sang some of the lyrics to his songs. Anyway, her boyfriend/father of her child Darius had something to say in the comments section of the video - "It's the outfit tho... You a Mom". Well, the internet exploded. Darius received so much backlash, he deleted all his social media accounts.
Now, as someone who went through the whole pregnancy thing, along with birthing a child and everything else that came with it (that beautiful postpartum experience), his comment made my eye twitch one too many times! Women's bodies go through so many changes between pregnancy and postpartum, the last thing we need, especially during postpartum, is our partner (someone who is supposed to be supporting us unconditionally during this time), publicly posting their disapproval of something we're wearing (especially if we actually feel comfortable enough to wear it outside of our home).
In my opinion, this whole situation stemmed from expectations (openly discussing it in your relationship and managing it) as well as (you guessed it) improper communication. None of this would have happened if they had openly communicated about these things before.
I promise I won't go too deep into this (although I can say alot!) but here's my take on it.
Once you have a child, society automatically expects you to go into a hermit phase where it's just you, partner and baby... and you're perceived solely as a mom - nothing else. That is, until you make up your mind that you're much more than that and break out of that shell and define who you are outside of being a mother. It happened to me when Xaryah was born and Brinnelle4M came out of that. I literally had to reintroduce myself like Hey! I'm not only a mother, I'm also a Master, A Wife and a Student of Life! But although it worked in my favour, altering my path into now living in my purpose, its not the same for everyone.
For someone like Keke who is in the Hollywood life, where her visibility is a requirement to stay relevant, especially if she has work happening (like a movie/tv show to promote), she may not have that same privilege. She has her separate identity to keep up with. To be honest, I think she's been doing a damn good job with her "Mom" identity as well as her "Keke" identity. I've seen her share about motherhood in interviews as well as discuss how it has changed her outlook on life. On top of that, she got the hot mom bounce-back body, which increased her sex appeal, which has garnered her a lot more attention than usual (something that worked in her favour professionally).
Now on to Darius!
People have claimed that Darius' issue was jealousy over how Usher was looking at Keke and how close they were. However, I don't think that's it. I think Darius expected Keke to continue working and be visible postpartum. From his interactions on social media, it seems like he expected a traditional lifestyle from a "not-so-traditional" woman and relationship. So he definitely didn't expect the attention she's getting, he didn't expect her to be going out alot and he definitely didn't expect her to be wearing revealing outfits a mere couple of months after their son was born. On top of that, he's in a relationship with someone whose career has out-shadowed his own for a long time so maybe there was also the expectation that during her postpartum, the roles would be more equal - where he would have the opportunity to "wear the pants" in the relationship a bit - and was greatly disappointed by what actually took place. He's unsure of how to deal with this "untraditional" phase of liberation and did not properly manage his expectations, leading him to "act out"... by, you know, making negative comments publicly about his girlfriend/mother of his child when they should be a private discussion.
It also seems like they didn't have a discussion about this previously, prompting my second point.
Communication is Important.
Now you guys know I love to preach about communication - after all, it is the foundation to having a long, loving relationship with your partner. Communication takes out the guesswork out of your relationship and your partner and ensures you both are on the same page with everything or if you're not, you understand why you're not. There's this quote I once read on one of those quote pages on Instagram - it said
"Don't assume your partner knows everything you expect in a relationship... A relationship should be based on communication, not assumption"
Ok now let's get back to the Keke and Darius situation!
Let's be real. Darius' tweet/comment should've been a discussion behind closed doors. His disapproval of her outfit could have been voiced to Keke in-person, over the phone, via text message, DM, bird carrier, etc. In my opinion, it was very distasteful of him to publicly post his disgust on social media where everyone can view and give their own opinions. The last thing anyone needs are millions of people giving their input on your relationship (including me).
I'm hoping that this entire situation opened the doors for meaningful discussions not only between Keke and Darius but also for the rest of us in relationships. There's is definitely no time limit to have these discussions but of course, the earlier the better - it can save a lot of heartache. If there's one thing I've learned from this situation is that open communication on expectations (especially on roles, behaviour and even how to communicate) is very important in a relationship. If no discussions are had, it leaves alot of guessing, disappointment and chaos.
"Communication to a relationship is like oxygen to life; without it, it dies" - Tony Gaskins.