In a world of influence and short lived fame, only a few can hold the status/title of a legend or icon.
Nowadays, we see so many people wanting to live in a world that involves having “clout” or a large following simply to hold the title of ‘influencer’ but they lack actual influence. We rarely see someone come in the game of their respected craft and create a lasting impact, one that goes beyond a link click, a retweet, or a few thousand likes.
For my 25th birthday this year, I wanted to pay homage to a true legend, Lil’ Kim. For my birthday shoot, I decided to recreate two looks from her and honor another Cancer (because let’s face it, Cancers are amazing). But, the homage went beyond the blue ‘Crush on You’ wig and it went beyond posing in a towel channeling my inner sexy. I gravitated towards Kim because .. our birthdays are two days apart but also there was a time in my life when I didn’t love myself completely and it took a while to really look at my skin (literally, my skin) and realize, “damn, this brown is beautiful.”
I always wish that Kim had people around her to let her know that she was beautiful the way she was, that it was okay to have low moments but that didn’t mean she had to change a damn thing about herself. There are so many missing links to her story that people won’t ever know about simply because they don’t take the time out to read the actual interviews, read her story, or fully take in the words that come from her mouth when she speaks on what she’s been through or the things that influenced the decisions she’s made in life.
Nevermind a blog, a headline, or some “jokes flying on Twitter” under a picture .. she’s a woman who needed love and affirming and didn’t get much of it.
Now, this isn’t a sob story or a pity party for Kim because she’s definitely left her mark in the world of music, entertainment, and fashion. But, the more I looked into her pictures, her looks, the outfits, details .. I realized, “damn, I want this”. TO CREATE AN IMPACT. And to be able to do it effortlessly and authentically.
Year after year, women (both celebrities and every day women) rush to recreate her iconic looks ..the wigs she wore, the raunchiness and sexiness she served. Even me, I scattered trying to order the best blue wig I could find to pull off her 90s look. Even if internally, she wasn’t feeling like the queen she really is, one thing she was .. was unapologetic. Unafraid to make people uncomfortable because she was a woman who talked about sex, who kicked shit like a nigga, and hustled by any means necessary before getting on as a rapper. Even as a rapper, she was down, she was cool, a girl’s girl, she was sexy. She embodied so many elements and never was afraid to be herself or push the envelope.
I think it took me sometime to really come into my own .. more time than I would have liked but I’m glad to be in this space now. I think she’s finally in that space too and regardless of the enhancements and changes she’s made, you can’t help but to love a woman who knows who the fuck she is and what she brings to any table she sits at.
So, it was an honor to pay homage with my #OdeToKim and I can only hope to have a lasting impact with the content I create as she does time and time again. Influence fades but Kim’s icon status is forever.
Happy birthday Kimberly and thank you.