Images have surfaced of Lil’ Kim’s whiter complexion and fans are stunned, though Black devotees have noticed the change for years. The rapper has been lightening her skin and sculpting her features within the last decade. The continuing makeovers led some to speculate the singer struggles from poor self-esteem and issues with self-image.
Yahoo reports the star comes from a Black and Native American background, but that’s not obvious from the new selfies Kim posted on Instagram.
The collage of images is captioned simply: “Miami Heat.”
It is just the most recent example of her transformation. Older selfies show Kim’s face has been white for years. Back in February, the singer posted two versions of the same photo. She was noticeably pale in the first image, but in the second version, she applied a filter that brightened her so much that she was barely visible. She captioned the image, “ITS IG PPL ! Not a photography reality contestant show LIGHTEN UP !”
Also on Instagram, Kim has celebrated wearing her hair in long, blonde locks. On April 11, she thanked celebrity hairstylists Maurice Cornell and Tiger of Hermaur Hair for updating her ‘do. Donning blonde wigs and extensions isn’t new to Black fans. But an interview the star did with Newsweek in 2000 provides insight into her rapidly evolving looks.
“All my life men have told me I wasn’t pretty enough – even the men I was dating. And I’d be like, ‘Well, why are you with me, then?’ She told the magazine. “It’s always been men putting me down just like my dad. To this day when someone says I’m cute, I can’t see it. I don’t see it no matter what anybody says.”
Though she goes on to say Biggie Smalls told her she was “too cute to be able to rap,” that hasn’t stopped her from questioning her beauty.
“I have low self-esteem and I always have,” she said to Newsweek. “Guys always cheated on me with women who were European-looking. You know, the long-hair type. Really beautiful women that left me thinking, ‘How I can I compete with that?’ Being a regular black girl wasn’t good enough.”
Concerned fans took to Twitter to express their support for the Bad Boy Records rapper.
I hope Lil Kim finds someone that teaches her true beauty and self love. The mind is a scary place.
— OXTAIL GAWD (@ThatDudeMCFLY) April 25, 2016
Why are y'all making fun of Lil Kim? Obviously she needs love and support not ppl attacking her all of you are disgusting
— girl wonder (@fatalitiess) April 24, 2016
I feel bad for Lil Kim, honestly. Not everyone is strong enough to weather the hatred against them. Shamed before and shamed after. Sad.
— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) April 25, 2016
Lil Kim & Azealia Banks are perfect examples of what colorism does & how harmful it can be to ones self esteem.
— Lé Cocoapuff (@RespectTheAfro_) April 24, 2016
I really hope Lil Kim gets the help she needs concerning her body issues
— Fola (@Folakunmi_A) April 25, 2016