Health

This Photo of Lil Kim Is Sparking a Conversation About Colorism

Lil Kim posted a photo and a video on her Facebook page that shows a very different look for the female rapper. It's not only led to a freakout from fans, but to renewed conversations about the touchy subject of colorism.

The comments are not kind about Kim's new look.

Comments on her Facebook video are much of the same.

Most of these comments point out that Kim, a black woman, now looks like a white woman:

This is what Kim used to look like.

Kim posted a throwback photo on her Facebook page that shows how different she used to look:

Lil Kim throw back pic

Over the past few years, it seems apparent that Kim has undergone various cosmetic surgery procedures, though the rapper has always denied the claim. In 2013, after website Media Takeout commented on her face, Kim's rep told E! news

We would like to inform fans, the media, and the general public that this is nothing more than a blog site doing its best to conjure up much-needed publicity. What better way to do so than to take an American music icon and create a fictitious platform in which to disrespect and humiliate. We at Team Lil' Kim are not taking this lying down and are taking this very seriously.

As of writing, Lil Kim and her reps have not commented on allegations that Kim bleached her skin for a lighter look.

Skin bleaching, or skin whitening, is a societal pressure that many women of color face.

One woman, Takara Allen, shared her frustrations on Facebook when a Tinder match apparently took it upon himself to suggest she bleach her skin because, "You'd look so pretty if you were whiter!"

"I've grown up hearing 'You'd be prettier if you were lighter' and 'You're pretty for a black girl,' as if black women are just generally unattractive, and so it's a surprise when one of us is," Allen explains. She goes on to add,

"People are always complaining that I post too many things talking down about white people (a.k.a. Pointing out systematic racism and ignorance that they seem to take personally for some reason) but none of you realise that this is the shit that myself and other black women have to deal with on a daily fucking basis."

When actress Zoe Saldana accepted the role of singer Nina Simone, the backlash was heavy, as Saldana is a light-skin black Latina and reportedly had to wear a wider prosthetic nose and darken her skin in order to resemble Simone. Many wondered why the role didn't go to an actress who, like Simone, had dark skin.

We don't know why or how Lil Kim changed her look, but we do know that it has people talking. On her Facebook page, Lil Kim is offering the chance for fans to enter a contest to meet Kim. Says one fan, "Meet who? The real Lil Kim died some years ago!! Idk who they got playing her now, cause she ain't the Lil Kim I know."

Watch ATTN:'s video on the topic of skin bleaching below: