It’s common to see an entertainer transform along with their music. That’s how they keep their ever-changing image up with the times. However, we can’t help but wonder what goes on in the mind of a public figure who gets permanent facial alterations to the point where they become unrecognizable.

As a fan, I used to think that Lil Kim was one of those celebrities who likes to artistically express themselves through their appearance. When her 2nd album dropped, I was surprised by the new look.

lilkimnk

 

The blonde hair, blue eyes, and lighter skin totally threw me off. But then I thought, ‘Well, she is an artist who likes to change her looks. Prince did it, Michael Jackson did it, so why not Kim?’

Then over the next few years, Kim’s appearance became ever-changing, to the point that fans and critics, alike became concerned.

Kim went from here

lilkim

to here…

lilkim2

I think it’s safe to say that this transformation is more than just a unique makeup & lighting technique

 

Lil Kim is the perfect example of an artist who has drastically changed her appearance. While she’s known for “clap-backin'” at folks on social media for expressing that, it’s obvious that it’s more than just Kim keeping up with the times as an artist. She’s Kimberly Jones, a black woman who has allowed self-hatred to manifest inside her spirit.

I don’t know Ms. Jones personally and I’m sure a lot of her fans can say the same thing, but we don’t have to know her personally to know that her ever-changing extreme appearance over the years are signs of lack of self-acceptance.

In a 2000 interview withNewsweek’, Jones was quoted as having low self-esteem caused by experiences with the men in her life. Check out a part of that interview below.

“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 winces. “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.”

The interview continues…

After Biggie made his deal with Bad Boy Records, she began recording with his Junior M.A.F.I.A. posse, and transforming herself from girl in the ‘hood into blue-eyed blonde.

So what was up with that? According to Kim, just what you’d think. “I have low self-esteem and I always have,” she says. “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.” And the implants? “That surgery was the most pain I’ve ever been in my life,” says Kim. “But people made such a big deal about it. White women get them every day. It was to make me look the way I wanted to look. It’s my body.” Read the entire interview here.

 

Struggling with self-acceptance is problematic for ANY woman, but for black women, it’s like fighting a double-edged sword.

In the black communities, we also deal with light skin vs. dark skin and body image, which is unfortunate. I’m convinced that it’s a lot of pressure for black women in the entertainment industry to look a certain way, so Lil Kim is fighting a few double-edged swords, for sure! That includes maintaining her spot in such a male-dominated field!

 

This is an excerpt from one of my earlier blogs that breaks down what I’m trying to convey in this piece

 

As young girls of color growing up in the black communities, the influence of the so-called beauty industry has brainwashed them into thinking they’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or light enough, or dark enough, or skinny enough, or even thick enough. It’s no wonder there are so many horror stories of women becoming disfigured or worse…dying from illegal butt injections, breast implants, etc. Black women are bleaching their skin to make their ebony dark skin lighter, so they can be “prettier”.

That’s why it’s so important to tell our little girls how beautiful they are the moment they come out of the womb. They are a part of a world that is constantly telling then that they aren’t. From the beauty industry to mainstream media, even music and television, they are constantly bombarded with images that will blatantly downplay and disregard Black Beauty. Read entire piece here

 

As a black woman and a fan of Lil Kim, I won’t disrespect her by calling her names, or mocking her looks. I will, in fact, pray for her in hopes that one day, she can fully accept Kimberly Jones for who she was as opposed to how she felt…a beautiful woman. Kimberly,unfortunately, let the men in her lives change her perception about the way she looked. Now, we have rap artist Lil Kim, who has permanently changed herself into the woman who the men in her life desired.

That’s why it’s so important to love how God created us, especially black women.

Society does a good job of trying to undervalue us, so why undervalue ourselves? It’s important that we educate ourselves and our daughters about self-love and self-acceptance regardless of skin color, facial appearance, size, hair type, etc. because one day, they can meet the very person who has enough power to convince them that they aren’t good enough.

We have so many “Kimberlys” in this world and what they face everyday fester when they are constantly exposed to negative imagery and surrounded by people who undermines women who look like them.

 

 

 

My eyes ain’t used to these rays
I’m feeling exposed, but I hide no more
I can’t hide
As the sun shines on all of my glory
My flaws don’t look so bad at all
What was I so afraid of?

Every part of me is a vision of a portrait
Of Mona, of Mona Lisa
Every part of me is beautiful
And I finally see I’m a work of art
A masterpiece

 

Those are just a few of the lyrics from Jazmine Sullivan’s “Mona Lisa”, her newest single from her album, ‘Reality Show’.

 

Watching Jazmine perform the beautiful song during last night’s Black Girl’s Rock event, I felt a different kind of beautiful. I not only listened to the lyrics Jazmine was singing, but I watched her in all of confidence and in her pride. Her outer beauty radiated, reflecting from her inner beauty, as she and her flawless backup dancers showed America that we are all uniquely beautiful, regardless of size, skin color, height, etc. That’s the kind of beautiful that I felt, watching her performance.

The entire performance perfectly illustrated the fierceness that women and young girls should have about themselves. Unfortunately, we’re all not that confident.

It’s not easy living in a society where women with extra curves &/or unique skin color, etc., is undermined and undervalued, because they don’t fit the beauty standard.

Well, this performance says that we are not the standard, but the exception!

We are a “Mona Lisa”…a MASTERPIECE!

I am so here for this single to be the anthem for every little girl, young lady, and woman who thinks they aren’t good enough.

Like Jazmine says…every part of you is a vision of a portrait.

Don’t let society and mainstream media tell you any different!

Press play below for Jazmine’s epic and powerful performance!

 

The dehydration is real in these internet streets

As an active social media user, I’ve seen my fair share of MEN who post, at least, one ‘thirst trap’ a day.

What is a ‘thirst trap’, you ask?

Basically, it’s any image or statement posted to receive attention or to seek validation from others. The image could be of the person who is half-naked, and the statement could come off as if the person is auctioning off their heart, or even sex organ, to the highest bidder of the opposite sex with the best reaction. People, in general, would consider this behavior as something only a woman would do, but chile’, let me tell you! If I was given a dollar for every screenshot opportunity, I’d be rich!

thegame

From “Average Joe” the Facebook friend to public figures, it seems like men these days are just as needy for validation as some of our ladies, if not MORE needy. Social media have definitely unleashed a new breed of men who thinks that posting numerous videos of themselves working out with no shirt on, with his chest freshly coated with baby oil is a great way to network. We already know you’re cut up, so cut it out! Unless you’re a fitness trainer promoting your stuff, I don’t see the point, other than to see how many likes you’ll get from your fan base.

OR…how about those guys who makes it his mission to post images of his material possessions, failing to realize he’s overcompensating for something he’s lacking in?

OR…how about those guys who posts status updates, which obviously screams loneliness and proves he need a woman?

toosexy

 

You guys’ peculiar ways of showing the world that you’re good-looking and boyfriend material is a BIG RED INSECURITY FLAG. Trust me when I say the right woman will already see that way beyond what you post on social media. If you have a great personality, you’re already #winning.

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Public figures, on the other hand, will use their bodies in particular to promote their work, so I’ll give a FEW of them the benefit of the doubt. The rest simply get swelled heads every time a fan expresses their “appreciation”. They ALL love the attention.

Overall, posting attention-seeking messages and images for the obvious reason is not a good look. To a lot of us, we’ll think you’re either lonely or you’re just an extreme narcissist.

 

Someone using their sexy to provoke the opposite sex is like fishing for the biggest fish to fry, but be careful because you can also attract sharks. Not all attention is good attention. Crazy come in all ages, sexes and races.

Before you post your next “workout” video with your oily chest, your car, or a status update confessing why a woman would be lucky to have you, ask yourself who you’re really trying to convince. Your fan base or yourself?

 

This isn’t about being super cocky or downright conceited. In fact, being your own cheerleader has absolutely nothing to do with vanity, but everything to do with elevating your confidence and self-esteem. We all need a little encouragement whenever we feel doubtful. It’s when that inevitable fear of failure creeps in is when we need to push ourselves the most.

Not everyone can cheer as loud as you can, so why not rely on yourself to get motivated? You know how capable you are. You know your strengths, your weaknesses, and your drive. Although, it doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with like-minded people who could help push you to achievement, but knowing that you can beat the odds can without a doubt, enhance the greatness of you.

It’s time for you to highlight the best things about you!

Use your shortcomings as motivation to become better by pushing yourself to be the best version

of (insert name here).

Get rid of those negative thoughts!

Don’t sell yourself short!

There’s nothing wrong with relying on support from others, but being your own cheerleader guarantees you 100% genuine support that you cannot get from anyone else.

 

 

This is my daughter

As I watch her grow into a young lady, I stay mindful to not use insensitive words that will make her question her choice in attire or how she wears her hair.

My daughter is beautiful and she expresses her individuality with her fashion sense. I’ve acknowledged that she’s at an age where her looks and impressing others are important to her. So as her mother, I encourage her to continue to express her individuality, but it’s also important for me to tell her as much as I can remember that she’s beautiful.

When I took this photo of her, I had to plead with her to “show her teeth” because she has  lovely smile. She didn’t want to because, in her words, she doesn’t like her teeth. I consider her inability to form a bigger smile as a small sign of being self-conscious. She worries about what others make think of her smile when in fact, there’s nothing wrong with it.  I now worry that her being self-conscious will become deeper as she gets older. I’m convinced she’ll pressure herself to keep up with popular trends with her friends.

There’s also the influence of the so-called beauty industry and the young girls who soak up all the beauty standard garbage, brainwashing them into thinking they’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or light enough, or dark enough, or skinny enough, or even thick enough. It’s no wonder there are so many horror stories of women becoming disfigured or worse…dying from illegal butt injections, breast implants, etc. Black women are bleaching their skin to make their ebony dark skin lighter, so they can be “prettier”.  According to The Wip, in Nigeria 77% of women are reported to use skin lightening products on a regular basis, the highest amount in Africa. According to The Huffington Post, Dr. Margaret Hunter, head of the Sociology Department at Mills College, has seen the popularity of bleaching creams surge in recent years. “Skin bleaching is a growing phenomenon around the world and it’s becoming a bigger business,” she says. “Now it’s a multi-billion dollar business and all the biggest cosmetic companies sell products that are supposed to lighten your skin.” While you won’t find many products in the U.S. that blatantly promise to bleach or whiten skin, Dr. Hunter says they are commonplace in other parts of the world. “They’re popular throughout many African countries, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, India, Philippines, and Japan.

That’s why it’s so important to tell our little girls how beautiful they are the moment they come out of the womb. They are a part of a world that is constantly telling then that they aren’t. From the beauty industry to mainstream media, even music and television, they are constantly bombarded with images that will blatantly downplay and disregard Black Beauty. That’s why I’m thankful for publications like Ebony and Essence that’ll remind us that we are indeed beautiful in any shade and shape. I appreciate documentaries like Dark Girls that sheds light on the self-hate our girls develop which is a seemingly common issue in the black communities. Kudos to the authors who specialize in writing about the importance of loving ourselves and embracing our uniqueness.

Tell your little girl she’s beautiful today.

 

I’ve been using my Facebook page long enough to see that social media can leave a huge impact on people…myself included. I used to always wonder why I read down my timeline and find posts that feel like someone need to invest in a diary, or someone is beefing with a family member, instead of calling that person, or the chick posting 1000 selfies a day, or the guy posting his money after cashing his refund check.

It all makes sense that these people are using social media like Facebook and Instagram to boost their self-esteem.

Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter can give a lot of social media users a false sense of belonging. We’re oblivious to what we’re doing because we’re too focused on trying to impress people we’ve never met with pictures, status updates, and a micro-blog with a 140 character limit. It becomes a problem when it becomes a daily habit, especially when there’s no connection with others in the real world.

Then there are those who envy what others post. I’ll use myself as an example because I do this often. When I see a picture of a beautiful couple (perhaps a wedding photo or one of their many “bae-cation” snapshots), my first thought is “I wish it was me”. It makes me realize where I fall short in my life. Leaving me “in my feelings”, if you will. I’ve ended up comparing myself to others in such a short amount of time. Imagine being on social media all day, admiring the people’s lives from the outside, looking in. If you often measure your success by others, it’ll definitely lower your spirit.

It happens to a lot of us but with different scenarios. We forget that everyone’s life looks perfect, but we’re only seeing a snapshot of their reality. We’re always going to see the “happier” moments of people posted on social media.

Social media has the power to affect our mood, turn us into attention-craving narcissists, and change what we think of ourselves. Social media make it hard for us to interact with others in real life.

How do we get rid of this unhealthy virtual habit?

Log off

And if that may be hard to do, limit the time you spend on social media by engaging in real-life events. Spend more time outdoors (without checking Facebook every two minutes). Make sure to get into an activity so enjoyable, that you’ll be too preoccupied and enlightened to even check your phone. Read that book that you’ve wanted to read, or dive into some volunteer work at your local community center.

How you feel about yourself is important, as well. There’s no need to envy the lives &/or success of other because we are all blessed during different times in our lives. I remind myself daily. Be comfortable in your own skin. The more you love yourself, the less you’ll have to convince that on social media with endless selfies. We know you’re beautiful..cut that out. What matters is that you know you’re beautiful without validation from others.

In conclusion, it’s really important for everyone to understand that social media is not the real world. It’s a whole nother world where everybody can be anything they want to be…even happy. We’ll never know if someone’s virtual world matches their real world unless we live in the same household. So remember, don’t let your harmless habit of browsing social media negatively impact your self-worth.

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