Since the beginning of her career, Lil Kim has chosen to consistently and aggressively alter her face and body. In the 90s, Kim praised for those choices. The Queen Bey embodied the role of rap sex symbol at her height. Then something changed. It's hard to pin point exactly where tables turned for Kim-where the adulation turned to ridicule. But here we are. Kim's face is an easy punchline.
Kim recently struck back against, what she says are, manipulated images, but we've all seen enough moving and still pictures of Kimberly Jones to draw our own conclusions. That, however, shouldn't mean we all get a free pass to throw stones at Kim. Those of us who reside in pristine glass houses should tread particularly lightly.
Add talk show host Wendy Williams to that list. Williams' comments on Kim's current aesthetic are puzzling. Nevermind the fact that we're all trying to keep from being crushed under the, sometimes, unbearable weight of Eurocentric beauty standards. Wendy, herself, admits to having gone under the knife numerous times. I certainly won't go into the ways her appearance has been attacked here but they are numerous and varied.
Black women, well women in general, seem to feel particularly entitled to pick each other apart. We pick, prod, and joke, but that's simply to conceal an ugly fact few of us care to admit. We all know women who, had they the money and opportunity, would obtain just as many cosmetic "enhancements" as Lil Kim. There are women in our lives who can't stand the sight of themselves. They simple don't have the means to hide in plain sight. We, of course, ridicule them too.
Lil Kim shouldn't come as a surprise. Of course women will go to extremes in a society that says a woman's worth lies in her beauty. We're all culpable for the culture that tells women that what they have isn't enough then tears them down for responding.
Take a look at the would-be Kim's in your life, and show some compassion.
Kimberly Foster is the Founder and Editor of COLOURES. Email or Follow @KimberlyNFoster