Keke Palmer Shares Why She Was 'Misunderstood' As a Child Star
Keke Palmer may have built her own empire, but she shared that it wasn't always an easy ride to stardom.
The 27-year-old actress has been working in the entertainment industry for almost two decades, making her film debut in 2004’s Barbershop 2: Back in Business. Two years later, she had her breakout role in Akeelah and the Bee. However, as she explained in the latest episode of Ladies First with Laura Brown, she always felt "misunderstood" as a child star.
"At a young age, as a child [in the] entertainer world, your emotions are always the last thing that people care about," Palmer expressed. "I think you get really quickly into being a people-pleaser and trying to be everything that everybody wants you to be. And so I think in a lot of that, you end up being misunderstood."
"I've fought a lot of that most of my adult life, and I'm still new into my adult life," she continued. "And I think that's something that I work towards every day is to not worry about people not understanding me, because I understand myself."
Over the years, after landing her own Nickelodeon show, True Jackson, VP, and continued success in the film and television world, as well as music endeavors, Palmer said that she doesn't please "anybody but myself."
"Sometimes it's much easier because I don't have to please anybody but myself. I find so much ease with being alone because I actually like me. That's what's so crazy, is because people assume if you want to always please people or be nice, it's because you have an issue or esteem problem with yourself," Palmer stated. "But actually, no. It's y'all not knowing what y'all want and projecting that on me that's giving me the stress. Me, on my own, in my own room, I'm happy as hell."
Explaining that these days she works hard to "not worry about people not understanding," her perspective on her career has also changed.
"I think I've always been able to be more objective about acting and all these other things because they kind of just came to me without me knowing," she explained. "But music was something that at a young age I believed in myself in and throughout the industry got very challenged [doing]."
"I had to really come to that understanding that success is what you make it and what you design it to be. Everybody is not Beyoncé, and that's alright," she continued. "That doesn't mean that you're not amazing because if you're not Beyoncé, maybe you are Norah Jones."
ET spoke with Palmer back in February, where she touched on using her social media and talent to raise awareness for social issues. She also spoke about the pressure of being a role model for younger generations.
"I embrace that pressure because it reminds me or lets me know how much I care and how much it means to me," she said about using her platform for change. "Obviously everyone feels the same way or needs to feel the same way, but I think for me, growing up the way that my parents raised me and understanding that art and representation where they meet it’s always something that I wanted to make sure was a part of what I did, whether it was on camera or producing or whatever it was. So yeah, I think it’s pressure but only because I care so much."
For more on Palmer, see below.
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Inside Keke Palmer's Hollywood Journey