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Lil' Kim Draws Criticism Over Her Selfies

Lil Kim performs at HOT 97's Chances are you have not heard of Lil' Kim. You may have heard of Little Debbie, the delicious snack treats that bring abounding joy and bulging waistlines to the world. But Lil' Kim, no relation to Debbie, is a hip hop artist who has performed audibly delectable and somewhat raunchy sounds to her audience for years. Though, as of the late, she is in the news for other reasons.

The forty-one-year-old rapper, also known as Kimberly Denise Jones, posted a collage of selfies on Instagram and Facebook over the weekend. She simply captioned the images: "Miami heat," and later shared a video of her hanging with friends at a hotel in Miami, Florida. Not long after the pictures were posted, fans started accusing Lil' Kim of bleaching her skin and getting more plastic surgery.

"It's really so sad that Lil Kim didn't realize how beautiful she was without all of the surgery & bleaching," one Twitter user commented. "Dark skinned Lil' Kim was perfection . . . I don't know who this woman is anymore," added another. But perhaps the most stinging: "You destroyed you natural beauty Black Is Beautiful . . .you made yourself to a doll. Shame you didn't love yourself enough but I won't judge just pray for you," wrote one user."

One can expect criticism and unsolicited feedback from social media, but Page Six took it another step further when they offered this headline: "WTF is going on with Lil' Kim's face?" It is at the very least fascinating and probably more accurate to say hypocritical of Page Six to offer this comment, seeing as how they were more supportive than a mom of Caitlyn Jenner. But nevertheless, Kim did not let the criticism go unanswered.

In more vivid language than is appropriate to the Denison Forum site, Kim told critics that they can kiss her rear end. These new photos join others that started back in January depicting Kim's new and transitional look. Over the course of a few months, Kim has been transforming before her fans eyes—with some offering comparisons to Michael Jackson.

Why would Lil' Kim change?

"Guys always cheated on me with women who were European-looking," she told the Newsweek magazine. "You know, the long-hair type. Really beautiful women that left me thinking, 'How I can I compete with that?' Being a regular black girl wasn't good enough."

So Kim did and is doing what she thinks will be good enough to live the life she wants to live. And in doing this, she is experiencing a level of criticism that is unique to others who have gone before her.

Consider Caitlyn Jenner, former known as the Olympic medalist Bruce Jenner. She also wanted to be true to herself and live. No longer wanting to struggle, she transitioned from being a man to a woman. Why? In her words, "I'm not doing this to be interesting. I'm doing this to live."

What was the response that Caitlyn received?

She adorned the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox offered this: "Many have commented on how gorgeous Caitlyn looks in her photos, how she is 'slaying for the gods.' I must echo these comments in the vernacular, Yasss Gawd! Werk Caitlyn! Get it!'" Page Six didn't offer a lewd acronym but adamant support for Caitlyn.

While it appears contradictory to celebrate one person changing and lambaste the other, it is unfortunately normative in our day and age. We champion tolerance, but are intolerant of those who do not share our beliefs. We are absolutely sure there are no absolutes. We exercise our free speech but want to silence the speech that does not echo our own. We demand transparency from every one, but vigilantly fight for our privacy.

And in this individualistic, relativistic world, the Lil' Kims are hurt.

Why?

Because she is looking to others for approval and validation. People are a great source of encouragement but a horrible barometer of our worth. Our world is loud and our God is often quiet. But in the quiet, he speaks words of healing, affirmation, and hope to those who listen for his voice.

Guys may have cheated on her, but her God was faithful to her. He doesn't leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:8). He is faithful when you are faithless (2 Timothy 2:13). His great faithfulness reaches to the clouds (Psalm 36:5) and is new every morning (Lamentations 3:23).

And the beautiful truth about our God is that he doesn't require you to change to receive his love (Romans 5:8). Rather, you are changed by his love (2 Corinthians 5:17). As Tim Keller writes:

"To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us."

Including criticism.

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