Early in July 2023, Keke Palmer’s then-boyfriend and father of her child, Darius Daulton, came under fire for body-shaming Palmer. In a quote reply to Palmer dancing on stage with Usher, Daulton stated Palmer was dressed and behaving poorly for a mother. The internet was not impressed. Some people sided with Daulton, saying it’s understandable that someone can be uncomfortable with how their partner dresses and behaves. But that’s something that should be discussed privately. By inviting all of Twitter to an intimate moment, Daulton received ire from everyone, including those agreeing with him. However, Palmer is an artist, actor, and performer who is no stranger to dressing confidently. Why would Daulton expect her to change once she became a mother?
Why do men try to change baddies?
When men meet a confident woman who isn’t afraid to show her body, whether due to their career or personality, that’s probably what attracts them to their partner. However, if their partners keep dressing and acting the same way, they believe that behaviour is attracting other male attention.
A similar accusation occurred with actor Jonah Hill. His ex-girlfriend, surfer Sarah Brady, shared screenshots of texts between her and Hill where he made demands regarding her pictures in bathing suits as she surfs. The internet accused Hill of weaponizing therapy speak to manipulate Brady into behaving the way he wants her to.
Some agreed with Hill, saying he had every right to say what made him uncomfortable and establish his boundaries. While others said that you enforce boundaries on yourself, not others. Hill also notably met Brady when she was already surfing. So, it’s not unreasonable to conclude that he assumes that Brady was still receiving the attention Hill gave her. If she was receiving it, Hill should have trusted her not to be receptive to it.
When coming face to face with that reality, men then choose to tell women to tone down what it was they found attractive about them. A baddie is a highly confident woman who can hold her own. A man who can’t match that energy or feels insecure will ask her to tone it down. They should leave their job where they encounter a lot of men because it would be “inappropriate.” They should stop dressing to show skin because they’re a mother now.
Daulton also came under fire for suggesting that the sheer black number Palmer was wearing was for “others.” This indicates that men believe a baddie dresses for the male gaze. While some women dress for attention, as is their right, some dress a specific way because it displays their confidence. It’s what makes them feel let their inner beauty shine.
What should you do if a man tries to change you?
No one can speak with any certainty when it comes to the inner workings of what happens between Daulton and Palmer. Many couples have their understanding regarding how they expect their partners to behave. No one can make definitive statements regarding Daulton and Palmer or Hill and Brady. But what should you do if you are a baddie and find your man trying to make you change?
It can be jarring when your man wants you to stop being yourself when you had the same personality when you fell in love. Some suggest the only way to handle a man who wants to change you is to get a different man. Even if you spend the first few years of your relationship adapting to be the timid version of a woman he prefers, you could spend the next 20 regretting it.
It’s important to remember that you may enter a relationship because of your similarities and separate because of your differences. It could also be that you entered a relationship when you had a more understated personality, after which life changes happen that turn you into a baddie. Research shows that when women gain more experience, they gain more confidence.
Some changes can be reasonable, such as tidying habits, going to bed with food, or overdrinking when you go out. However, if your partner tells you to quit your job, change your hair, get breast implants, lose weight, or stop being outgoing, there may be a problem. You may need to accept that just as you’re unwilling to change, he is also unlikely to. He won’t stop making these demands.
When such a request is made in the privacy of your home, tell your partner that you hear their opinion and will consider it. This isn’t a capitulation on your part but a way to respectfully disagree. However, making such demands should be regarded as a red flag. When someone starts dating you, it should be because they like you, not because they can mould you into what they prefer.
You can also see it as a sign to leave if a man wants to change you because you’re now a wife or a mother when you’ve always been a baddie. It may be because they care or don’t want to lose you. But it’s not up to you to decipher their intentions. At worst, they could be a narcissist; at best, they’re ignorant or have antiquated ideas. If they can’t accept you entirely as you are, then maybe it was never meant to be.
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