Keke Palmer is not one for comparisons. In a recent interview with Porter, the booked and busy Hollywood darling reflected on being compared to Zendaya, colorism in the industry and her meme-queen status.
“I think it’s really sweet and cool that people see me that way,” Palmer said of her rise to the heights of internet humor through various video clips turned into memes.
As funny as the viral phrases have been, Palmer says she is honestly just being herself — and it just so happens that the internet can't get enough.
“A meme is a meme because you relate to it. And, sometimes, I have experiences in my life when I don’t feel like people can relate to me, because I’m an entertainer, or they have a certain idea of what my life is like. So I love the idea that, when someone’s looking at one of my memes, they’re just seeing me as a normal person,” she said.
A not-so-fun side of the internet for her comes by way of comparisons. Earlier this year, Palmer found herself in the middle of a well-intentioned but ultimately upsetting fan-fueled comparison between herself and fellow actress Zendaya.
I'd like someone to do a deep-drive on the similarities and differences between Keke Palmer and Zendaya's careers. This may be one of the clearest examples of how colorism plays out in Hollywood. They were both child-stars, but their mainstream popularity is very different. https://t.co/Cmy1CXGQeI pic.twitter.com/etO27HVN0Y
— Melinda (@NBAgladiator) July 23, 2022
Various tweets claimed that the only reason Zendaya has achieved more career “success” was because of her lighter complexion, citing colorism in the industry.
Palmer quickly nipped the dialogue in the bud with a tweet of her own, shutting down all suggestions that she is in competition with anyone — of any shade.
“A great example of colorism is to believe I can be compared to anyone,” she tweeted.
A great example of colorism is to believe I can be compared to anyone. I’m the youngest talk show host ever. The first Black woman to star in her own show on Nickelodeon, & the youngest & first Black Cinderella on broadway. I’m an incomparable talent. Baby, THIS, is Keke Palmer.
— Keke Palmer (@KekePalmer) July 24, 2022
However, this does not mean Palmer is naive to the realities of colorism. She says that many undiscussed biases are taking place behind the scenes.
“A lot of time, those topics are a lot more intricate, with regards to access and resources,” she said. “I think the lack of information we get on the industry contributes to that.”
But as her successes have shown, Palmer believes there is no limit to what young Black girls can accomplish.
“In my position, the biggest thing I want to tell all little girls is to never carry the weight of being Black, or being dark-skinned, as something that’s going to hold you back,” she said.
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