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Keke Palmer Doesn't Have To Justify Why She's Still Dating Darius Jackson Despite Him Publicly Shaming Her

Photo: Larry Cooper | Shutterstock, Darius Jackson | Instagram 
Keke Palmer & Darius Jackson

Keke Palmer celebrated her 30th birthday on August 26, 2023. Palmer’s boyfriend, Darius Jackson, praised her on Twitter, sharing a video of her and their 6-month-old son. Yet his birthday wishes seem to have left some fans questioning Palmer over their partnership.

Fans rallied behind Palmer after Darius shamed her outfit choice.

Jackson previously publicly shamed Palmer for wearing a sheer dress, relying on the tired trope of declaring that his “standards and morals” as the “man of the family” mattered more than the autonomy Palmer has over her own body.

Some fans of the award-winning actress seem not to approve of her decision to stay with Jackson in light of the extreme display of toxic misogyny he aimed directly at Palmer when he took to Twitter to ridicule her for wearing a sheer dress to an Usher concert, exclaiming, “It’s the outfit, tho… You a mom.” 

There are many layered reasons why Jackson’s perspective and subsequent attempt at justification are so entirely problematic. Palmer is an adult, the owner of her own body. Therefore, she decides how she wants to exist in the world, which extends past what she wears, into who she chooses to be in a relationship with.

RELATED: Keke Palmer's Boyfriend Publicly Shames Her For Wearing A Sheer Dress Because She's A Mom

Fans assumed Palmer and Darius broke up after the incident.

While details of Palmer and Jackon's relationship remained pretty private both before and after the controversy, many fans assumed Palmer broke it off with him after she proudly posted photos of the "offensive" outfit on Instagram and subsequently appeared in a music video for the same artist whose concert she wore the outfit to. However, it appears Jackson recently celebrated Palmer's birthday with her.

In a celebratory tweet, Jackson announced, “Happy birthday to a one of a kind being. Hoping your 30s bring you many joys and triumphs!” He included a video of Palmer playing with their son as they lay on the couch. Palmer is smiling as she leans over to kiss their baby, one of her fingers clasped in his fist. 

Two days later, Palmer retweeted the video, stating, “I love you and Leo!”

She offered thanks to “everyone for all the birthday love,” noting, “It’s so hard to reply to everyone, but I am so grateful to you all.”

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Many fans sent out their own birthday wishes to Palmer in response, full of heart emojis and smiley faces, telling her that she deserves the best. Yet some people commented on the fact that Palmer has so far stayed with Jackson, despite the outrage he invoked by calling out her appearance earlier this summer. 

One fan relayed their disappointment in their own tweet, bemoaning, “We don’t get a public apology… we was involved in the mess but not the clean-up? Just no closure.”

While the inclusion of two laugh-cry emojis, it’s not clear if the fan truly believes that Palmer and Jackson should display the inner workings of their conflict resolution to the world. Yet the comment captures a perspective many fans maintain — that artists and entertainers owe fans an explanation for how they conduct their personal lives.

Palmer doesn't have to justify why she's still dating Jackson.

Despite the nature of fame and the blurring lines of access that social media provides, people in the public eye deserve to have a privately defined world.

A slight silver lining to Jackson’s prior Twitter outburst was the show of support Palmer’s fans offered, which functioned to outline exactly how absurd his thoughts were. Yet a major crux of the issue was that he lambasted a woman he proclaims to love so loudly, in full display of the rest of the world.

Even so, Palmer is under no obligation to leave her partner or to explain why she stayed. 

It's possible that Palmer interpreted Jackson's projected conflict as a growth moment, one in which they could realign and reestablish their relationship in ways that work for them. No matter what, Palmer is allowed to live how she wants and love who wants, even if her fans don't understand.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.