Rapper Lil Kim is an icon of music, fashion, and culture. Kim rose to fame in the ’90s alongside Diddy, The Notorious B.I.G, and a crop of legendary female MCs Like Missy Elliot, Lauryn Hill, and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. While most people associated with Kim have seen their legacies focused on their music and achievements, Kim’s is often associated exclusively with her image and evolving look. The pint-size pop star recently took to social media to unveil the latest iteration of her face, with some fans thinking she is looking more like her old self.
Lil Kim was a trailblazer for females in urban music. She pushed the envelope of sexuality and crossed over into fashion in a major way with iconic looks in her videos and on the red carpet. All the while, she was praised for her lyricism and prowess on records. Even today, female rappers are mimicking her style from sound to fashions.
As her star rose, so did mounting pressures to be able to compete with the leading women in pop. Many of which did not look like Kim. Not to mention personal gripe with former beau Biggie, who left her after years of dating to marry Faith Evans, an R&B singer with fairer skin and blonde hair.
Kim quickly began to transform before our very eyes, looking less like the hip-hop divas of the time and more like the pop culture icons of the moment. More Pamala Anderson and less Salt N Pepa, she was embraced by the mainstream and became a go-to for fashion designers like Donatella Versace and photographers like David LaChapelle. With the newfound hype came bigger breasts, a smaller nose, and a lighter complexion.
In 2005, Lil Kim opened up to Angie Martinez about being in an abusive relationship that resulted in her sustaining a broken nose and black eyes. Kim says this led to her initially getting her nose “fixed,” but she had to get a second procedure to repair it after he broke it. Angie acknowledged that Kim was one of the first women to discuss her work openly. At the time, she said it didn’t bother her, and she felt “beautiful.” “People think I did it because I had low self-esteem. I think I did it because I was too vain. There’s certain things I [still] have to fix. Sometimes less is more, but more is great,” she joked.
And more she had done. Lil Kim is not unrecognizable to many, but the star does not shy away from her modifications. Kill continues to flaunt form-fitting outfits to show off her augmented hourglass frame and extreme make-up to accentuate her new facial features. This includes a tiny nose, plumped lips, and strong cheekbones.
In a new series of photos from a collaboration with Mackage clothing brand, fans celebrated Kim for continuing to be a trendsetter in fashion and pop culture. “You are EATTING 😲😲😲😲 literally STUNNING!,” said one fan. “The original 1and only Queen 👑 Bee 🐝” said another.
Kim continues to be a reference for her hip-hop offspring and was recently channeled by Cardi B in her “Hot Sh*t” photoshoot.