Keke Palmer defines beauty on her own terms

People magazine gives a sneak peek at its 2023 Beautiful Issue featuring Keke Palmer, Lizzo, Rihanna, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Angela Bassett, and others.

Keke Palmer has some sound advice for new moms. 

In PEOPLE’s 2023 Beautiful Issue, which drops May 8, Palmer, who welcomed her first child with partner Darius Jackson in February, gets candid about self-esteem post-baby, the pressure to “bounce back” after pregnancy, and even offers some sage words to other new moms. 

One of the first things the actress and R&B singer makes clear to new moms is that they shouldn’t compare their journey to that of a celebrity.  

“Anytime you see a celebrity doing a snap back or whatever like that, it’s part of the damn gig,” she said. “A part of our jobs is to look good and to look the part. So don’t think it’s this thing where it’s like, ‘We doing it because we got it like that.’ No, the job is on the line.”

Even still, Palmer said if someone truly wants to get into a different shape following a pregnancy, they should embrace that. 

Keke Palmer on motherhood, People magazine's Beautiful Issue 2023, Black beauty, Black style, Black fashion,
Keke Palmer attends the Time100 Next on Oct. 25, 2022, at Second in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

“If it’s important to you, then hell yeah put in the work miss girl,” she said. “Get you whatever diet you want to do or whatever workout regimen that works for you. And if that’s not what you’re worried about, then don’t worry about it.”

Ultimately, Palmer said it’s about going “at your own pace,” especially in the beginning stages of welcoming a new baby. Palmer said, in the beginning, she hardly wanted to do anything, not even talk to others. 

“Then I was like, ‘I need to talk to somebody. I need to do something,’” she said. “Then I was like, ‘Now I want to get active.’ It changes, so go at your own pace.”

Palmer’s interview is expanded in a video accompanying the profile in which she discusses what it was like to get glammed up for the Beauty Issue’s Pretty in Pink portfolio. The millennial mom also gives fans a sneak peek of her upcoming album and musical narrative film, “Big Boss,” which she said chronicles her experience in the music industry as an independent artist. 

“It’s my journey of discovering what it means to validate yourself and what it means to go where the love is, and that you are always going to create the best work from those that already support you,” she said. “You don’t have to convince anyone.”

While Palmer’s is among the first of the Beauty Issue profiles to drop, this year’s lineup also includes Rihanna musing over how grateful she is, Sheryl Lee Ralph gushing over her daughter’s sense of style, Lizzo reveling in being the beauty standard, Angela Bassett defying ageist stereotypes and more.

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