4.27.2016

The Bar Pours a Shot for Lil Kim


'Cause we feel you, girl.

Seriously...while there has been the predictable backlash of ridicule, I'm impressed by the supportive healing attitude many women have demonstrated towards Lil Kim.

Because I get it.  People of color - in general - are expected to be "strong", capable of withstanding endless abuse and torment because we're supposedly "designed" to take it.  It's bullshit, of course, but I think some of us buy into it, to an extent.  And those of us who do buy into that garbage feel let down when women like Lil Kim give into the pressures of a Eurocentric aesthetic.


The woman is human, folks.  And as humans, we can only take so much.

I'm lucky.  I'll admit that.  I'm lucky because I am mouthy and opinionated and I give zero dambs.  If someone ridiculed my appearance, I would immediately demand to know who gave them permission to exist.  I know my worth.  I know what matters to me and what makes me happy.  I am a diva.  My father once told me during childhood to never sacrifice my psychic well-being for another person, and so I never did.

I'm not saying this for praise.  Like I said, I'm lucky.

Not everybody's so lucky.  When you're a Black woman living in this world, life can be like a steady stream of abuse - abuse from our relatives, abuse from our "friends", abuse from professors and fellow students, abuse from significant others, abuse from employers and coworkers  - the list goes on and on.  Quite frankly, after looking over my life at the things I've experienced, I'm thoroughly convinced that when it comes to abusing Black women, there's no shortage of volunteers.

So in the face of that, some of us will remain strong...battered and bruised, but still resilient.  However, many of us - if not most - will succumb to that abuse at some point in our lives.  How can we not?  From the moment we step out our door, there's a long line of vile haters waiting to pile their shit on us.  And this is true for Black women on pretty much every inch of this earth.

So pull up a bar stool, Ms. Kim.  You have no haters here.  I can't change the past for any of us, but together, I think we can do a thing or two about the future.

18 comments:

  1. Wow..just when I thought that Lil Kim was going back to her old self, these pictures.What a sad state of affairs.

    Kim said that her father was her beginning of her self esteem plunge. If your family isn't there to build you up,who else will? It's sad how your flesh and blood can tear you down like that.Sometimes I have to wonder if Lil Kim's provocativeness may have something to do with her esteem issues..to make her look more sexier to men?

    I often say that the biggest myth about being "strong" is that you're not prone to feeling weak and \ or you don't need no one by your side in your time of need.Back in the day when Kim was in her hey-day,she talked about her father and I thought how much his unkindness may have affected her. I really didn't know how bad it was until now.

    I was just thinking about Beyonces recent album and how people..especially Black women..are feeling an epiphany of sorts because of it. I started to feel that way when I went to a Watch night 2016 gathering. It's like something just came over me.Don't get me wrong,I've always loved being Black and have always thought highly of my race, my epiphany just made me see how just much more being Black is.

    I don't know if she's getting it,but in case she isn't, Kim needs psychological help and I'm not saying this lightly.I'm just scared that if she keeps doing this to herself,she will pass her self hate to her child.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree. People of color, especially black women, can only take so much. We live in a world where Eurocentricity is thrust upon us everyday. We didn't make this world. We just try to survive it by any means. Some of us accept it while some of us fight it. Either way, it's a full time time job that we have to go through the rest of our lives.

    So, people shouldn't come down hard on Lil' Kim, nor should they act as if they don't know what happened to her. Her physical appearance and mental state shows that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Words cannot describe how angry I am right now. I'm not mad at Lil' Kim. I'm enraged at the people, men in particular, who caused this beautiful woman to change her God-given looks for an overrated aesthetic.
    It's these same feces-loving scumbags that talk trash about a black woman's looks, then judge her even more when she changes herself to look like someone else! They can jump over an active volcano singing "I Believe I Can Fly" as far as I'm concerned.
    I pray that God heals this beautiful woman. She deserves nothing but the best in life.

    Kristine

    ReplyDelete
  4. You know I'm starting to think that black people are bi-polar. Lil' Kim has every right to look how she wants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right,it is Lil Kim's personal right to look any kind of way she she's fit.It's one thing for her to get constant hair dyes in her hair or to get perms in her hair.It doesn't make you less Black/less or more attractive or troubled because of it. HOWEVER..it can become a psychological problem when it comes to constant plastic surgeries and skin peels..it becomes more than a fashion statement.It become s something that eventually hurt\kill you or someone else.

      That is what happened to Michael Jackson.He end up dying because of his severe insecurities with himself. It was said that Michael's problems with himself stemmed from him " not wanting to look like his dad" and missing out on his childhood.He kept on and on getting plastic surgeries until the last one..at least with the anesthesia.. end up killing him.Even if he was alive,he would probably continuing getting surgeries. It was also said that Michael had received so many surgeries until his nose literally was breaking apart.Something was terribly wrong with that.

      By lil Kim's own admission,her pops,the men she dated and entertainment..they brought down her esteem.It's a great thing that she admitted that because there are probably other Black women going through similar esteem issues and who could take it out on their own children without even knowing it.

      Also in our community,there are somethings we accept as " normal " that shouldn't be classified as normal like degrading each other with the "n" word, discussing which baby will have the lightest skin/" good" hair or downing ourselves as being " Black(fill in the derogatory name") because we may not know how it may effect that person in their latter life.

      Lil Kim has a child.Sometimes, an abused child is predisposed to doing what their parents\ environment did to them. What if she grows seeing all of this,telling her kid there nothing wrong with getting constant skin peels or call her a Black and so and so? I wouldn't want my kid growing up with self hate like that.

      Delete
    2. "...Also in our community,there are somethings we accept as " normal " that shouldn't be classified as normal like degrading each other with the "n" word, discussing which baby will have the lightest skin/" good" hair or downing ourselves as being " Black(fill in the derogatory name") because we may not know how it may effect that person in their latter life..."

      Precisely. What The Doll Test exposed with regal clarity is just how early white supremacy is internalized by black children. It isn’t so much that the white doll is judged to be prettier or better; it’s the fact that the white doll is considered Good. Conversely, the black doll is bad and therefore the child is bad and prone to failure. Lil Kim is not intimating she wants to be white necessarily, but what she seems to be suggesting through her appearance is: she wants to be Good. Nice, Blameless, Pure, Pretty: Delicate, Fragile and every other positive trait associated with whiteness.

      Which one is the good doll?” the examiner queries.
      “The White one,” the child answers.
      “And which one is bad?” he leads…
      “The Black one,” the child responds.
      “And what color are you?” he asks.
      To which the child responds: “Black.”
      “Which makes you….” submits the examiner.
      “Bad,” the child conjectures.

      Lil Kim’s pathology has been painstakingly molded from harmful descriptions ascribed solely to black skin. You’re Ugly; you’re Bad/Worthless, etc... So When Lil Kim looks at the Blonde Blue-eyed woman in the mirror, she sees only the nobler qualities associated with eurocentrism. Much in the same way the Anorexic views herself as fat.

      Delete
    3. @M,

      I heard that Michael Jackson's father used to actually put Michael down for his features as well as some of his brothers. It is no wonder many of them got nose jobs. Michael just went overboard. His skin bleaching (not buying the vitiligo excuse), hair straightening, and other surgeries only added to the madness.

      Delete
  5. This puts me in the mind of poor, poor Sarah Jane from the tragic 1959 film, Imitation of life. At such a young age Sara succumbs to the pressures of a Eurocentric society: her status as the daughter of a black woman plays out like a heartrending misadventure. Being fair-skinned she does everything she can to shake off the shackles of her race, so it’s sad to see self-hatred on this level. But then again, self-hatred on this level plays itself out in our streets every single day: oftentimes with tragic results. What does it say when you’ve come to loathe the reflection that stares back at you in the mirror?

    As Zeba Blay puts it:
    And like many, she has taken on the racism that surrounds her, and subscribed to what we're all told is the "ideal" image of beauty: the fairest skin, the blondest hair...

    And The Bluest Eye I might add. Personally, I blame her Daddy, and the countless other ‘Fathers’ who’ve abandoned their office as architects of their children’s self-esteem. Daddy is usually the first positive male role model in a young girl’s life; hence the power to build or break her inner self lies in the capacity of his tongue. As Black fathers we’ve done a terrible disservice to our girls and today we’re reeling from the effects of it. Moreover, White women age visibly well before their time, often suffering from rosacea, liver spots- blemishes of all types and colors. As society becomes browner the standard of whiteness will eventually give way to a new paradigm. Its inevitable.

    ReplyDelete
  6. How do Black people around you react to Black women (or men) bleaching their skin? Is it pretty common or not really? I'm asking because here in France I do see some (a minority of) West African women like that (and I wonder if many Carribean women do that in the islands, I havenn't witnessed it when I was there though and my family don't do that). I'm used to seeing them so I became kinda desensitized by it, like it's their brand of beauty so... even though it still sometimes bugs me a little bit like why they would still do that in 2016 knowing the toxicity of some of the products. But it's not just a trend. Eurocentrism is still here, alive and big, and we shouldn't forget that.

    As for Lil Kim, I feel sorry for her obviously, hopefully she'll gain more strenght and confidence in her feminity.

    As for me, yeah, I'm part of the weak Black women group...not the strong, very feminine and proud ones. So I've been dealing with my own self-confidence issues though I've never had to suffer from colorism in my community. My issues are not really appearance-rooted but actually deep-rooted so yeah, I'm kinda lucky on this aspect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I personally have never met anyone who has bleached their skin. Ever! I hear of women in other places doing it. I think if there were people who did it most would not care honestly. They are too busy going through their own crap.

      As for the weak/strong black woman you are neither. You are just a black woman going through the trials and tribulations of life. People do not know how damaging the whole Strong Black Woman title is.

      Delete
    2. I see. Yeah, I agree, we shouldn't put ourselves in boxes.

      Delete
  7. Myra

    The first time I've heard..or didn't understand...about Skin Tone creams was when I was kid. Im from the 70's era and along with the " Black is Beautiful" era. Growing up, I remembered there were commercials about Skin tone creams like Ambi or Esoterica. My mother used these and when I asked her about what the purpose of the creams she would tell me " to get rid of dark spots or scars on your face" and so I believed it. She also used the creams " as prescribed "...only on her spots. She was still the darker skinned brown sugar complexioned woman I knew, with a big afro or an occasional unpermed hair straightener and she's still natural 40 something years later. I also knew a girl who used skin tome creams..but she did it for cosmetic reasons..like lil Kim. She was a honey brown complexion like me and very attractive, but she was self conscious about herself to the point where she only would deal with fair complexioned Black men. People would make fun of her by calling her "Hairy scary " or " Highrise" because she had a high waistline. Even today, she still gets insecure at any woman who she feels will out do her in every way possible.

    Other than a few Black people who expressed their desire of having lighter skinned babies and the girl I've discussed, I've never came across a Black person who showed me an extreme case of self-hate. My mother hated dark spots on her skin but never self hate. On the other hand, the other girl..now woman...was a different story. Nobody questioned her Blackness or how she felt about it but people would lightly joke about her looking like a ghost or wondering about her health because she was severely anemic because of who two toned chalky appearance(Ironically, she was but she was still honey complexioned before she resorted to the skin tone cream)

    Honestly..the Black people that I encounter don't talk about lightening their skin. I rarely see skin tone commercials about skin tone creams. It's strange..I guess it depends on who you be around and/or generation but I've always been around Black people who thought better of themselves. My parents would have knocked me from Georgia to Tanzania if I would call some one " Black( fill in the derogatory name..referring to one's skin tone.) and be told "Now what color do you think you are?" I couldn't say the " N" word
    " friendly" or unfriendly...I.could.not.do.it whatsoever! I've never heard them speak ill will of other Black people whatsoever. Those were the Black people I was eventually exposed to.

    On my way back home from work, I passed by a former beauty salon. It catered to Black and other races of people. In the owner's case, the rent of her shop was the demise of it. Rent costs may have been the reason for the owner had to close her shop,but I think about Black owned salons that have met a similar fate... difference being it that their demise are stemming from the following 1) Natural hair 2) braids 3) Social media self tutorials and 4) expense At one point, it was said that Black salons competing against Black Dominican salons. I've even remarked to a friend of mine on how you don't hear about Black women talking about running to the beauty shop like they once did in the past. Instead, it has been replaced by words of Black women wanting to wear natural hair and/or going to beauty shops that do natural hair. . I was reading an article where it said like nearly 20-30 percent of Black beauty shops have closed. I've seen shops come one day..and close the next. That is almost not an exaggeration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @M-I can't see it being the Dominican shops competing against Black salons. I think it is more along the lines that a lot of black women (not all, but many) are moving towards natural hair and shops (none in my area) that cater to that desire. Old school beauty shops saw this as a fad that would pass. They did not adapt and are now being left behind. Common sense would have told them to bring in at least one stylist who is well versed in natural hair care to bring in those types of clients. Also a lot of them did not do braids. I remember my mom's hair stylist did not do braids and would not hire anyone to do them in her shop. Customers left to go elsewhere. She still operates, but not like she used to. Most of the women she services are hard core relaxer groupies.

      People do not understand that when you are in business you have to adapt to new trends or suffer.

      Delete
  8. M. Gibson.

    Wow..before I went to church, I recorded IOL. Though I wasn't around in the 1950's, it's a great classic that I get mad at and cry about. If I had an ungrateful daughter like Sarah Jane, if I could have.I would have wrote a will to tell the executor that I do not want her to see me alive or dead. I get that for many Black people, it was a survival mechanism and I have all of the sympathy for them but so Sarah..she was just all out disrespectful to her mom to the point that she was partly the cause of her death.

    I was just reading an Huffington Post article on how..now..no surprise here..researchers are now telling Black women NOT to wear extentions because it increases your chances of taking your hair out..Duh! some of the Black readers was grumbling about this article and one of the other poster..who was a Black male didn't get the gist of this "advice".

    I can't speak for Black people or Black women but I can only speak for myself about this. What I see this article as is another form of trying to keep Black women down. How? Well..it seems that every month there is some derogatory article saying that Black women will not be married, have STD's more frequently, are single parents etc..another sad article on why it's " detrimental" being Black ( yeah right!)

    Even though there is nothing "deadly" about hair extentions..I just find it funny how..with all of his Black pride that they expressing these days, all of a sudden it's " wearing extended braids is now bad for your health." I've gotten extensions before and Black women was told the same thing way before this came out,but they still get them. Why all of a sudden they want to bring it out?. Life is a risk no matter what get put in your hair. I've read about a girl who got her hair dyed and end up being hospitalized swollen up because she was allergic to a chemical in the dye. I could be allergic to my hair comb, oils, water or what ever..life is a risk and not all Black women's hair are alike. Though a Black woman did the study..it's still disappointing that she actually contributed to White society's attempts for Black people/women expressing their pride.

    Maybe I'm over analyzing the article but I just see the " researchers" dig at keeping Black women from loving their hair and themselves.The next thing you know they will tell having no hair or wearing a big afro will kill you dead as a door nail. I guarantee it. I'm just waiting for them to do it.(* looking at my watch counting down the time*)

    That's White society for you. Nobody can love themselves except them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very well written, I agree.
      As long as you people insist on preserving those cultural markers (the braids, the dreads: the afros, your unhealthy beauty standards) you’ll never be truly American. Besides, those accoutrements do more harm to you than good so why bother? Ostensibly, you’re a distraction when you take the focus off of white femininity, white fragility and white centrality. Your songs black women: your voice, in some cases your very presence is antagonistic to white cohesion.

      For the longest time, Black Women in the military were forbidden from wearing certain hairstyles even though they have been a part of the black experience for centuries. Accommodation means surrendering the very thing that makes black women unique in order to meld into a national narrative. Quit forcing your culture down our throats, for your otherness is unpleasant to us. Tone down “your features, that hair: your curvaceous silhouette,” in favor of the prevailing aesthetic. Do what you must do to make us feel comfortable around you. For in so doing, your culture will adapt to service us.

      Lil Kim will no longer pose a threat to white people with her appearance if she looks more like them: acts like them: walks and talks like them. No longer saddened by the reflection in the mirror (in her mind), she’s wholesome and beautiful (in a manner of speaking, born-again), just like every other white woman the men who rejected her laud. Sadly, it’s about capitulation whenever black women are forced to conform to an impossible benchmark.

      Delete
    2. "That's White society for you. Nobody can love themselves except them."

      And many of them suck at that as well. With the collagen lip injections, butt implants, etc. Yet, nobody is telling them this is bad. SMDH.

      Delete
  9. Lor,

    Believe it not,it did threaten Black non Dominican hair salons..some even succumbed to them because of them.I at one point,thought about going to one.

    The reasons why Black ones competed against them because of lower costs, getting out of the salon and liked the idea of a their hair being straightened without a bunch of chemicals being put in their hair. ESSENCE magazine had an article about Dominican salons and how it effected Black salons.Even with some shops,they either closed or their clientele went partly south because some of their own customers began patronizing Dominican salons. Several years ago Dominican salons opened up like weeds. Even though women aren't talking about them like they once did,one thing I seem to notice.. at least where I live.. not too many of them have suffered the same fate as much as Black non Dominican ones.

    ADAPTION

    Bingo! that is what may also be another demise in Black non natural hair care. Its ironic..I've patronized hair salons since I was 10 years old. I remembered people using the hot combs and simple cute curly styles ( for little girls..it was cute curly pony tails) ,then perm and the Jheri curl came in. Styles eventually changed. Girls began to wear those a symmetric styles and I remembered older beauticians getting intimidated by the younger beauticians because of this. Some of the older beauticians either adapted to the then styles or just dropped out of the race.

    My former beautician once remarked the she only do Black hair.While it may be her choice to do it,I also thought that she should have also learn how to do non Black hair in case a non- Black client needs their hair.Ironically, the beautician I now go to does mostly Black hair but also does non Black hair and it was it good thing that she did.Occasionally, she gets non Black clients.

    The biggest mistakes some beauticians make is to stick around with one thing..in the case with natural hair. They should always want to diversified and on top of their game.If their is a popular style\ hair method that is being talked about..hop on it.That was what happened with Dominican shops and now natural hair.Even if it is a " out of style \ method hold on to it.When people think about it,the methods and styles haven't faded.It has just evolved into something better. Same styles just looking more radical. I look at some if the styles today.A couple of them I could swear my parents wore in the 1960s on their high school photos.

    ReplyDelete
  10. And now we see poor Azealia Banks has decided to bleach her skin and her really awful social media presence has people mocking her more than anything else. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete

This blog is strictly moderated. Everyone is now able to comment again, however, all Anonymous posts will be immediately deleted. Comments on posts more than 30 days old are generally dismissed, so try to stay current with the conversations.