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Rapper Lil' Kim shocked and even upset some fans Sunday after posting pictures of her dramatic transformation on Instagram: The artist appeared to have used bleach cream on her skin and dyed her hair blond.
The musician also posted a video of herself, showcasing her new aesthetic.
Trolls and distressed fans alike emerged from the social media woodwork and had criticism at the ready, calling Lil' Kim out for perpetuating racism by choosing to become more fair-skinned.
However, others remained more supportive, arguing Lil' Kim is a victim of low self-esteem and society's oppressive beauty standards for women.
Other black artists, such as Michael Jackson, have come under similar heat in the past for becoming increasingly Caucasian in their appearance (though in Jackson's case he cited vitiligo, a skin condition, as responsible for his transformation). Nonetheless, body dysmorphia has plagued a number of celebrities, prompting dramatic plastic surgery in some cases. And given the complex psychological underpinnings for such decisions, the issue is far from black and white.