Shades of Beauty

Lets face it, Lil’ Kim looks nothing like she used to. And for years we’ve seemingly dealt with that.

However, this past weekend the Brooklyn rapper posted a series of alarming selfies showing her noticeably lighter skin.

 lilkimThe heavy hitter set-off a few alarms on social media and left fans questioning her appearance. Many, even left distasteful comments under the Queen Bee’s post– which criticized her for wanting to look white.

I was deeply saddened when I saw the pictures, but in the same moment I understood her struggle.

People of color have suffered years of torment and backlash for simply having darker skin. We’ve been programmed to think that fairer skin is better than darker skin, due to patterns of racism and prejudice felt throughout many generations.

There has never been any exclusive “club” or platform that welcomed our beauty. We were ostracized from society and painted with words of disgust and filth.

So it should come as no surprise, that many would rather change their appearance, than accept the skin they’re in.

However, as a woman of color, I won’t and will never accept Eurocentric standards as the ‘default’ of beauty. It doesn’t define me, nor is it even close to anything I am made of.

I’m simply a carefree black girl, who loves the curvature of my nose, lips and body. All while choosing to embrace my wonderful caramel brown skin and kinky hair.

This process of loving myself hasn’t come easy, but I’ve accepted and unchained myself from a self-hate mentality that is taking a toll on so many others.

I’m not aware of Lil’ Kim’s background story, but I do see someone who is struggling deeply define her own standard of beauty. I would hope that she learns to accept herself, especially since she is now a mother to a baby girl.

Every child, no matter the race, should grow up in an environment where they are taught the importance of love and acceptance. Because as famed author Tony Morrison stated, “the function of freedom is to free somebody else.” So lets let this younger generation be free.

Have you dealt with complexion issues?




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Published by

Charde' LaRoche


5 thoughts on “Shades of Beauty”

  1. “I’m simply a carefree black girl, who loves the curvature of my nose, lips and body. All while choosing to embrace my wonderful caramel brown skin and kinky hair.”
    Love this! I look forward to reading more 🙂

  2. When I first saw the picture she posted I didn’t recognize her. In fact, I thought she posted a picture of a white woman! My jaw dropped. I was so disappointed but more so heartbroken. More conversations of colorism, self-esteem, and self-love are being conducted and I’m happy, but we still have a long way to go. I pray she stops and embraces what she has been blessed with. She is a queen. Just hurt is all. Great post!!

  3. My initial reaction was to criticize her for changing such a fundamental aspect of herself. But I cannot in good conscience ridicule a woman who likely feels a deep-rooted self-loathing. I can’t imagine what she must have felt and experience throughout her life for her to think changing her appearance to look white would fix her problems.

    Colorism is poisonous and vile. I wish it didn’t exist. It’s especially saddening when people of color propagate the very same ideas that white supremacy has used for centuries.

    I am troubled by what Kim has done, but wish her no ill will. I hope she is happy and has a good life.

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