Lawyer Teaches Men The Critical Difference Between Boundaries And Preferences After Keke Palmer & Jonah Hill Relationship Incidents

And why disguising preferences as boundaries is problematic.

jonah hill, keke palmer, what are boundaries tweet Parisa Michelle and Denis Makarenko via Shutterstock / Derenic Byrd via Twitter / Lars Kappler via Canva

Elica Le Bon is a lawyer using her TikTok platform to address a wide range of topics, from Supreme Court decisions to the film industry. She recently took on the issue of what constitutes a boundary, amidst recent conversation on that subject following separate incidents in Keke Palmer's and Jonah Hill's respective relationships.

Le Bon delineated the difference between preferences and boundaries in relationships.

She posted the video in response to a tweet from a man asking how men should set boundaries. “Keke Palmer’s baby daddy tried to set boundaries publicly— he’s wrong. Jonah Hill tried to set boundaries privately— he’s wrong," the man, named Derenic Byrd, stated, asking "How should men set boundaries ladies, we’re listening.”


derenic byrd what are boundaries in relationships tweetPhoto: @derenicbyrd / Twitter

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LeBon gave background information on what occurred between Keke Palmer and her partner, Darius Jackson, who publicly shamed her for wearing a sheer outfit. She defined the term boundary, stating, “‘Personal boundaries are the limits and rules we set for ourselves in relationships.’”


She further explained that boundaries “are generally connected to things that we are willing to accept, behaviors that we are willing to receive from other people and do for other people," and clarified that a “boundary is distinct from a preference. A preference is the type of person that we’re looking for, right, from hair color to eye color to race to religion to politics.” 



“A boundary is typically something that is considered quite sacred; it is something that we are required to honor,” Le Bon said. “So, when you elevate a preference to a boundary, you’re basically weaponizing the boundary because you know that there is a degree of authority or respect that comes with the boundary and you’re requiring somebody to obey that preference… as though it is a boundary.”

She highlighted how weaponizing boundaries can be used to hold women down.  

Le Bon clarified that “everyone is entitled to have whatever preference they want,” but emphasized that Jackson ‘communicated [his] preference publicly, so [he] made your private family business a public spectacle, and that in itself is a betrayal.”   


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“The second thing is whether you’re expressing your preference as a deal breaker or as a form of control… Now, when you express your preference as a form of control, what you do is you try to shame that person for what they’re doing or what they have done,” Le Bon said. “For example by saying, ‘You’re a mom.’ For example, by saying, ‘I have standards and morals,’ what you’re inadvertently saying is that you don’t have standards and morals. So, you’re shaming that person so that they conform to your preference. That is a form of control.” 

In a separate post, Le Bon further discussed the issue of weaponizing boundaries raised by Jonah Hill’s ex, Sarah Brady. She responded to the initial tweet stating that Hill communicated his boundary in private and broke down exactly what the problem was.

“First of all, it’s not a boundary. It is a preference. Again, that is super important because when you’re framing something as a boundary, you are sacredizing that thing. So that desire for the person that you’re dating to not be a model, not surf, not post pictures of themselves in a bathing suit, that is not a boundary. That is a preference.” 




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“When Jonah Hill met Sarah Brady, she was a model and she was a surf instructor, so clearly that was not a deal breaker for him in terms of his preference. And so the intention was for him and her to start dating and that eventually, when she formed this attachment to him, he may be able to change her to get her to stop doing those things." 

In Le Bon’s assessment, Hill “attempted to weaponize the attachment, because when you’re in love, you do anything to make it work. So he wanted to make it work with somebody who did not meet his preferences, by falling in love with her, getting her to fall in love with him, and then changing who she is, and that is a problem.”


As she sees it, “When you invoke shame in the expression of that preference, you are not actually trying to assert your preference. What you’re trying to do is to emotionally manipulate that person to conform to your preference, and that is a form of control.'

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Le Bon explained the connection between Jackson’s statement on standards and morals and Hill’s exclamation for Brady to “Take some accountability and operate with respect.”

elica le bon boundaries tiktokPhoto: elica_in_america / TikTok


She explained that “Being a model, surfing, doing all of those things, that has nothing to do with respect. It has nothing to do with standards. It has nothing to do with morals.”

“When you use these passive words, like standards, respect, morals, what you’re trying to do is show that person who they are is fundamentally wrong, when really it’s just that that person is incompatible with you,” she concluded. 

As Le Bon made clear, Hill and Jackson twisted certain language, like “boundaries” and “standards,” to control how their partners presented themselves in the world. Le Bon’s posts are hugely important, in that she clearly explains how conflating a boundary and a preference harms women.

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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.