What makes the perfect Instagram account? Is it style? Is it aesthetic? Is it regrammable memes and hilarious videos? A scroll through Keke Palmer's feed will tell you that it's actually a seamless blend of all of the above. Whether she's making you laugh with her signature Joanne the Scammer-esque "But The Gag Is" video series, giving you all the feels with a personal caption, or filling you with style inspiration, Palmer is officially the most relatable girl on Instagram.
It's no wonder that her social media presence covers every base because Palmer has proven herself to be able to do it all professionally, too. The 23-year-old star is a successful singer (her recently released EP Lauren is available on Apple Music), author (her book "I Don't Belong To You" tackles tough topics with refreshing honesty), actress, talk show host, and now–thanks to her new line of shoes made in collaboration with Shoedazzle–a shoe designer.
VIDEO: Keke Palmer Shares Her Beauty Favorites
Palmer interacts with her fans via Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat in a way that few celebrities do. She talks to them directly through Twitter retweets, Instagram comments, and through surprisingly poignant photo captions, which tackle everything from misogyny in the industry and gender equality to mental health issues and self-confidence (she's a big proponent of a no-makeup selfie) all while remaining entirely grounded, not judgmental. And she blends silliness with seriousness seamlessly.
InStyle caught up with Palmer to talk the benefits, downfalls, and power of social media, as well as where to find the dopest memes and the how to deal with Internet haters.
You recently posted an image that read "Social Media: Don't use it to impress people, use it to impact people." Why is it important to you to make an impact through your social channels?
I realized I had a lot of power on social media to get the message I wanted to across and also to help strip the boundaries and the kind of façade I had as an entertainer and a celebrity. Fame can get in the way of my generation being able to see themselves in my shoes, which really grinds my gears because it doesn't allow them to even conceive that they can be where I am. And so, through my social media, I can express my realities the best way I can without exploiting myself.
You are so confident and comfortable on social media (and IRL). Where does that come from?
My confidence comes from me. I realized that I could build myself up just by being nice to myself and loving and owning every single thing about myself. Once I figured out that confidence really stems from being my own number one supporter, I was unstoppable. I stopped allowing myself to value other people's opinions about me over my own opinions about me.
How has that outlook helped you professionally?
Valuing myself made me a much more creative person because I had the confidence to back it. I'm literally my biggest fan and seeing that I'm happy because of that and seeing the positive outcomes that come from that just makes me want to be an even bigger fan and push myself even more.
Social media, especially Instagram, make it easy for users to create an illusion of perfection or an ideal life, but you're social channels are very honest about the good and the bad. Why are you so open?
A huge part of social media for me is knowing the platform that I stand on and knowing how I'm perceived and it doesn't scare me, it empowers me. I feel like if I can give anything, I can give reality. And the reality is I'm not happy all the time. The reality is I'm trying my best. The reality is that I'm just like you.
Do you think we should share our opinions, particularly about important topics, on social media or keep those offline?
We have to. I think it's important to have an opinion on what you feel affected by. For me, it's like if I don't pay attention and if I don't have an opinion, then I'm not helping anyone. I have the gift of being outspoken so I use that to say my piece and speak my mind. There are things we see and we need to acknowledge them.
Social media gets a lot of flack for how it contributes to lowered self-esteem. But what do you think some of the benefits of it are?
Every human being is dealing with something. People deal with depression and anxiety and we're trying to make our own way and figure it out and we have all of these influences along the way. It does weigh heavy on us. Now we have social media and it plays a role in us comparing ourselves to others, but it also lets us say "Yo, you're not alone." We're all crazy, not just you. Through social media we can all say to one another "Hey, we're all going through this."If there's somebody that people actually want to listen to, even if it's for a silly reason, and that person can actually say something of substance, then there's real growth being done.
How do you deal with the haters?
Mostly, I do a lot of blocking and deleting. And after I do it, I just say you don't exist anymore.
Some people specifically time out their Instagrams or only post at certain times of the day. You seem to air on the side of more is more. How do you decide how much or how often to post?
Sometimes I'll be like oh my gosh I posted too much, I need to stop. But I do it on a basis of how I'm feeling. If I feel like there's a lot of fun, good content to share with the kids then I'll go ahead and go HAM. And I'll leave it for awhile and let it build up.
You post the most fire memes. Where do you find them?
I find most of my memes on Twitter. And it's like following a chain letter: one good meme leads to another good meme, leads to another...
You love a fashion moment on Instagram. How would you describe your personal style?
If I'm in a tomboy sweatsuit, it's blingy and pink and my hair will be decked out. I love to look put together but I really love being comfortable, too. My style is very Chicago. I'll call it hair-shop authentic. I want to give that aspirational aspect but it will always have that raw Chicago girl feel to it.