Celebrities change their looks constantly to keep up with incoming and outgoing trends and keep their look fresh. Most indulge in the occasional plastic surgery, some take it too far. When someone partakes in the amount of plastic surgery someone like Lil Kim has, they are usually labeled “crazy” or “delusional” by society.
Lil Kim used to be known for shocking people by wearing odd colored wigs and crazy outfits, paving the way for artists such as Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. But now she is barely known. She has changed so much over the past few years that when the most recent photo of the beloved rapper popped up on the web, I with everyone else could not identify the woman in the photos.
Lil Kim seems to be striving for an idea of perfection perpetuated by society. Her skin has slowly gotten lighter, her nose thinner, her cheek bones more defined. Society has told Lil Kim that anything about her natural look, about being a strong black woman, is wrong. In Lil Kim’s latest look (the first picture at the top) she is completely unrecognizable. She looks like a white woman. Society has completely washed her sense of self away.
Black girls and women everywhere are constantly attacked by the media for not being white. They are constantly told that they are not blonde, they are not porcelain skinned, they are not shaped like Barbies, that they are not the pristine virginal idea of beauty. So it’s no wonder that Lil Kim felt the need to change everything about herself. And yes, it is a form of mental disorder but it’s somewhat like Stockholm syndrome: when you are held captive for such a long period of time, you start believing your attacker. And Lil Kim believes the media.
Lil Kim isn’t the only celebrity to fall victim to this train of thought. Most celebrities with too much plastic surgery are trying to fit this idea of picture perfect model. The problem is, when a white woman partakes in surgery to dawn features mostly seen on a woman of color it is not the same.
Kylie Jenner is one celebrity who is guilty of trying to look like a black woman, not realizing what harm she is doing.
Kylie Jenner has done multiple appropriating things. She has enlarged her lips, when women of color are told their lips are too big. She has done her hair in corn rows, when women of color are called names for doing so. She has attempted baby hairs, when as a white girl she would not have any. Most accuse Kylie of trying to pass as a light skin black girl. What is really happening is appropriating. It is ok for her, a non-black girl, to use black culture and black bodies to make herself popular. Men ogle over Kylie, but tell women like Lil Kim to change their entire appearance to seem white.
Society has told women of color that they are not beautiful. And Lil Kim believed them.
Published by Chelsea Hinkofer