Lil Kim’s Plastic Surgery Nearly Ruined Her Career

Before Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, there was Lil Kim. Kimberly Denise Jones was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up to become one of the pioneers of female rap. The star reigned supreme in the ’90s and early 2000s in a field dominated mostly by men.

Lil Kim / Lil Kim / Lil Kim / Lil Kim, Biggie.
Source: Getty Images

With a string of successful albums to her name (Hard Core has been tagged as the greatest rap record of all time), she’s mentored many others who came after her. Lately, though, her name has been surfacing due to reasons unrelated to music. Namely, her face.

Her Dramatic Plastic Surgery

As the years went by, Lil Kim began appearing on red carpets and in interviews with lighter skin, higher cheeks, a smaller nose, and additional drastic alterations. It was clear as daylight – the rapper was spending half of her time in the recording studio, and the other half in the plastic surgeon’s clinic.

A before surgery photo / A picture of Lil Kim today.
Photo by KMazur, WireImage, Getty Images / Gilbert Carrasquillo, GC Images, Getty Images

In an interview in 2005, Lil Kim finally admitted to getting several nose jobs done after suffering a broken nose caused by none other than her former, abusive boyfriend, Biggie. However, she denied the claims that any other work was done.

It’s Evident That Her Skin Has Been Bleached

While the rapper often dismissed surgery claims, medical experts (and regular people) strongly disagree. “It’s clear that there has been some skin bleaching,” said plastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Levine (she hasn’t treated the rapper).

Lil Kim attends an event.
Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

“She’s probably used chemicals, which contain very high doses of acids, on her face, combined with high-acid creams to lighten her skin,” Dr. Levine added. So, why did the rapper decide to undergo such dramatic procedures?

She Was Often Told She Wasn’t Pretty Enough

One tragic reason the rapper may have gotten so much work is that she’s trying really hard to keep up with the impossible beauty standards the world keeps advertising and pushing for. The men in her life also play a major role in her insecurity.

A picture of The Notorious B.I.G., Sean
Photo by Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

According to the rapper: “Men have always told me I’m not pretty enough. Even the men I was dating. And I’d be like, ‘Well, why are you with me, then?'” she sighed. “It’s always been men putting me down, just like my dad.”

Her Surgeries May Have Caused Nerve Damage

Not only is Lil Kim talented, but she was also naturally beautiful. It’s evident that between the pressure she felt to look a certain way, and her tough upbringing (she was kicked out of her house at a young age), Lil Kim was suffering and looking for ways to feel better about herself.

Lil Kim poses for the press.
Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

According to several sources, it’s been reported that Lil Kim’s surgeries might have caused some “nerve damage,” which has negatively impacted the way the public perceives her. This is, sadly, exactly the opposite of what she intended.

“Everything About Me Was Wrong”

In an interview with Newsweek in which the rapper spoke about her father and the tough childhood she had to live through, she revealed: “It was like I could do nothing right. Everything about me was wrong — my hair, my clothes, just me.”

A mugshot of Lil Kim.
Photo courtesy Bureau of Prisons/Getty Images

Tragically, Lil Kim kept believing that if only she would change this specific part about her, or this specific part about her, then the love for herself would improve. However, that’s not the way things work. Self-love has little to do with our appearance.

She Wanted to Cover Up Her Scars

It seems like the rapper has been fighting off criticisms and judgment about her appearance since the start of her career. In 2005, Lil Kim explained that Biggie had broken her nose during one of their physical altercations. She went on to say that the relationship left her with:

A photo of Lil Kim during an event.
Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images

“A broken nose, black eyes, all that stuff.” She revealed that whenever she would fix her nose, her boyfriend would hit her again, and then send her straight back to her self-loathing and insecurities. Apparently, she had to do several MRIs because “he beat me up so bad I couldn’t even move.”

She Pretended They Were an Allergic Reaction

Lil Kim also suffered from blood clots all over her body and lied about them being just “allergic reactions.” After a while, she decided she couldn’t pretend anymore. She decided that instead of burying herself in makeup, she would get professional work.

Lil Kim performs on stage.
Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images

Kim hoped that professional work would help wipe away those purple bruises and broken parts once and for all. “I kinda prayed the whole time,” she admitted. “It’s been times I was in the car with my ex-boyfriend, and he punched me in my face, and [I was] bleeding all over the car. The doctor had to fix my nose [because] it was almost shattered.”

Lil ‘Kim Cares

Kim’s traumatic experiences led her to form her own charitable organization called Lil’ Kim Cares. Kim’s organization does an incredible job at raising awareness and money for topics such as child neglect, homelessness, and violence against women.

A photo of Lil Kim during a concert.
Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

The rapper has also been eager to show that just because she’s a celebrity, doesn’t mean she doesn’t go through the same misery anyone else suffering from abuse goes through. Like other abuse survivors, she had to muster up loads of courage to leave the toxic environment.

She “Cheated” With Plastic Surgery

Ever since she released herself from the chains of her toxic relationships, it’s been an uphill battle for the rapper to love herself again. Finally, though, she’s at a point in her life where she can do what she pleases. But it took her a long time to get there.

Lil Kim attends an event.
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

When the initial plastic surgeries began, they were due to violent altercations. However, Kim got somewhat addicted to the knife and started getting surgeries unrelated to her injuries. She fixed up her features as she pleased.

She Was Cheated On With European Looking Women

Back at the turn of the century, Lil Kim revealed that she had felt insecure for as long as she could remember. According to the rapper, her boyfriends, despite telling her how much they cared for her, kept going behind her back with “European-looking” women.

A dated photo of Lil Kim.
Photo by KMazur/WireImage/Getty Images

“You know, the long-hair type,” she added. Kim said she couldn’t feel complete as just a “regular Black girl,” and felt like no matter what she did, as long as she looked the way she looked, she would “never be good enough.”

No Choice but Cosmetic Surgery

To this day, when someone tells Lil Kim she’s cute, she can’t see it. “I don’t see it no matter what anybody says,” the rapper revealed. Years of abuse have left her with a distorted self-image. These insecurities were drilled inside her mind from a very young age.

Lil Kim poses for the press.
Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images

If only Lil Kim knew of different ways to improve her self-esteem… Unfortunately, the rapper felt like going under the knife was the only choice she had if she ever wanted to be happy. There’s nothing inherently wrong with plastic surgeries, but in Lil Kim’s case, I doubt they made her feel any better.

She Let Her Fans Down

Apart from going under the knife, Lil Kim has let some of her fans down in other ways. In the early 2000s, Lil Kim got into some serious trouble with the law. In the spring of 2005, she was convicted of conspiracy (three counts) and one count of perjury.

An image of Lil Kim arriving at the courthouse.
Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage/Getty Images

She had been caught red-handed after lying to a grand jury about not having seen her friends at a 2001 gun shooting scene. Her testimony was proven false via a video surveillance camera. She served 12 months in prison as a result.

Inside Lil Kim and Biggies’ Relationship

Back in the 1990s, Lil Kim and Biggie were two of Brooklyn’s finest rappers. The two musicians launched their careers at around the same time and stuck together for years, not only musically, but romantically as well.

Lil Kim poses for a picture with Biggie while smiling and snuggling.
Source: Pinterest

Lil Kim first met him when she was a young teen. He heard her rapping in their neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant and instantly knew she was going to be a star. He quickly asked her to join his group – Junior M.A.F.I.A.

She Launched a Solo Career

Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s debut album, Conspiracy, was released in 1995 and featured hit singles like “Player’s Anthem” and “Get Money.” The success of their album led Lil Kim to launch her own solo career.

A dated portrait of the band during a party.
Source: YouTube

She quickly started working on her debut album, Hard Core, which she released a year later in 1996. From that point on, she established herself as a force to be reckoned with within the male-dominated rap field.

They Struck Up a Romantic Relationship on the Side

Biggie was married to singer Faith Evans when he formed Junior M.A.F.I.A. He married her in 1994 after just eight short days of knowing each other. Then, when Lil Kim and Biggie started creating music together, they began a romantic relationship on the side.

A photo of Biggie and Lil Kim during a party.
Source: YouTube

“[Biggie] became my friend, my lover, my everything. I was his biggest fan,” Kim told E! News back in 2016. “He knew I would be the biggest female rapper. I think I inspired him to want to do different things and be different. We were a match made in heaven, like Sonny and Cher or Ashford and Simpson.”

She Was Pregnant With His Child

While Lil Kim was busy recording Hard Core, she found out that she was pregnant with Biggie’s child. But instead of having the baby, she chose to have an abortion. “I already knew the kind of relationship that Biggie and I had,” Kim told The Source magazine, “and I knew that [having a child] was something that couldn’t take place.”

A portrait of Biggie.
Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

She admitted that things were quite messy behind the scenes. “We did have a very violent relationship,” she reported, confirming the story that Biggie pulled a gun on her one time in the studio. “I hate that, for a while, that was all I attracted to – violent men.”

Lil Kim and Faith Evans Are Like Sisters

Faith Evans knew what was going on behind the scenes of her marriage. But any resentment she felt toward Kim completely disappeared after Biggie’s startling death by drive-by shooting back in 1997. Since the tragic event, both female artists have said time and again that there’s no bad blood between them.

Faith Evans and Lil Kim perform together on stage.
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

“I’ve always adored Kim,” Faith Evans told Fat Joe in a 2020 Instagram Live with the rapper: “When I first met Kim, I had no inkling of anything going on with her and Big. I didn’t meet her in the vein of ‘I’m this man’s wife and I know you’re f—ing him.’”

Lil’ Kim Was Once Banned From Making Music

In a 2012 interview, Lil’ Kim revealed that she was once “banned” from releasing music following several pending lawsuits. After her release from prison, she tried to get off her original label (Atlantic Records) but couldn’t do it and was ordered to pay them instead.

A dated picture of Lil Kim arriving at an event.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Track Masters allegedly paid the $200K Kim needed to get her out of her Atlantic contract and put forward another $240K to help the rapper record a new project. Sadly, the deal went south as well, and a lawsuit followed.

It Took Years for the Lawsuit to Be Resolved

In a 2012 interview, Lil Kim revealed the details following her release from prison, saying: “Legally, I wasn’t allowed or able to do music. And ’til this day, I’m not going to say I’m glad that the lawsuit happened with Track Masters, but it made me more of a businesswoman.”

A photo of Lil Kim outside court.
Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage/Getty Images

Despite all the ugly and uncomfortable legal issues she dealt with throughout her career, she never gave up. Later, Lil’ Kim released her Black Friday mixtape, even though she wasn’t able to profit from it. It took a few years for all her lawsuits to resolve.

The Naked Truth Made History

On September 25, 2006, while she was in jail, Lil’ Kim released her fourth studio album called The Naked Truth. She released it one week into her prison sentence. The album peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 chart and sold over 100K copies during its first week.

A photo from the album cover.
Source: Pinterest

But the true honor came at the hands of a rap music publication called The Source, which gave the album an esteemed 5-mic rating. Lil Kim was the first woman to receive such an honor. She later celebrated, saying, “Some women probably feel like, ‘I’m not even gonna try to get five mics, I know I ain’t getting five mics, so women [will] be like, ‘Now I know I can get five mics.”

She Wears a Variety of Different Colored Contact Lenses

By now, we believe we’ve made it clear – Lil Kim is one crazy firecracker. From drastic plastic surgeries to time in prison, the rapper is unstoppable. Among her many wacky habits, Lil Kim enjoys playing around with her eye color.

A picture of Lil Kim talking to the press.
Photo by Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagic/Getty Images

It seems like Kim is pleased to hide parts of herself here and there in various ways, as though longing to present a different image while still maintaining herself. The idea of applying colored lenses is obviously not in order to see better, but probably just for fun and to freak people out a bit.

She Has Over 800 Wigs

Once again, the criticism surrounding Kim about not being content with who she is is pretty valid. Not only does Lil Kim apply wacky colored contact lenses, but she also owns nearly 1,000 wigs in her closet. Different colors, different haircuts.

Lil Kim poses for the press / Lil Kim attends an event.
Photo by RJ Capak, WireImage, Getty Images / Jeff Kravitz, FilmMagic, Inc, Getty Images

While there isn’t anything inherently bad in wanting to change things up a bit, we believe that Kim is constantly seeking to look like someone else because she’s deeply unsatisfied with who she is and how she looks. We hope things will get better.

Back to Plastic Surgeries…

Needless to say, Lil Kim isn’t the only one in Hollywood who has gone under the knife. Show business is booming with plastic surgeries, and with people who are willing to get it. Time to look at some of the weirdest ones, starting with – Sharon Osbourne.

Lil Kim speaks on stage.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Nowadays, Sharon Osbourne looks completely different than she used to, and not because of her age. Back then, she looked very much like your next-door neighbor, a normal-looking suburban mom. But now, after getting a facelift, she looks different. “[The plastic surgeon] lifted everything up,” she revealed.

She Agrees That Women Don’t Look Good After Surgeries

Despite getting one herself, Sharon Osbourne admitted that in her opinion, women don’t look nearly as pretty after surgery. “Do you know what it is?” she told Jimmy Kimmel. “It’s just that it’s so popular now for men and women to get facelifts that there’s, you know, very few really good surgeons and there are so many people wanting to have it done that, you know, odds are you’re going to get a dud.”

Sharon Osbourne attends an event.
Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage/Getty Images

Osbourne clearly isn’t afraid of the knife, as she didn’t stop with just facial surgeries. During an interview she did on The Graham Norton Show, she was asked about her most painful plastic surgery, to which she answered: “Having my vagina tightened.”

Ashlee Simpson’s New Nose

Let’s be honest, we’ve seen a ton of celebrity nose jobs go wrong, but miraculously, Ashlee Simpson’s rhinoplasty transformed her look for the better. In 2006, the singer and younger sister of Jessica Simpson stunned everybody when she debuted a slightly altered appearance.

Ashley Simpson attends an event.
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

When asked about her nose, she played it cool. “Everybody’s already saying it, so I just don’t talk about it. I’m like, OK, whatever. It doesn’t bother me,” the singer told the Associated Press. Later on, though, Ashlee’s nose job got her into some trouble…

They Called Her a Hypocrite

According to The New York Times, Ashley Simpson graced the cover of Marie Claire magazine in the summer of 2006, sporting her old nose. In the article, she said it was best to appreciate the body and face one was born with.

A photo of Ashley Simpson before surgery.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

After the nose job, the magazine got thousands of letters from disappointed readers accusing Ashley Simpson of hypocrisy. In their August issue of 2006, they printed out some letters that read: “We’re dazed and confused — and disappointed — by her choice, too!”

For Heidi Montag, the 10th Time Was the Charm

Heidi Montag’s surgery pics still shock us. At the peak of her career on MTV’s show The Hills, she admitted to having done 10 plastic surgeries. All these plastic touch-ups turned her into a completely different person.

Heidi Montag attends an event.
Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

At the time, The Hills’ actress was open and even enthusiastic about her surgeries. At the young age of 23, she got a brow lift, a nose job, a chin reduction, and neck liposuction. She told People Magazine: “It was so worth it! I see an upgraded version of me … I feel like almost all of the things I didn’t want to be and who I turned into kind of got chiseled away.”

But the Journey Wasn’t Easy

At the age of 32, Heidi looked back at her younger years and said that she wouldn’t recommend it. “I wish I had waited and not made a decision so young because I have long-term health complications,” the former actress told Cosmopolitan.

A dated picture of Brody Jenner, Heidi Montag, and Lauren Conrad during an event.
Photo by M. Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Montag’s husband, Spencer Pratt, also admitted that the pressures of being in show business had a devastating effect. “Everything [Heidi] did came from people criticizing her in the comments on US Weekly and People magazine,” he told Cosmopolitan.

Teen Mom Farrah Abraham’s Startling Transformation

After teen mom Farrah Abraham got her first plastic surgery, she never stopped. However, against all odds, and despite how dangerous multiple surgeries can be, these have actually seemed to work in her favor.

Farrah Abraham attends an event.
Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Farrah was once quoted saying that she would support her daughter (who was 8 years old at the time) if she wanted to get plastic surgery. “If she validly wants something that’s not outlandish, and she envisions herself that way,” she continued. “Hopefully, by that time, I’ll have like 15 years or so, I’ll be out with my Ph.D. and my doctorate, and I will be able to help her clinically and personally. So, I’m supportive in that.”

No Dad Bod for Ronnie Ortiz-Magro

Guys, just because you’re about to become dad doesn’t mean you have to give up on your looks. Take, for example, Jersey Shore’s Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, who had no problem revealing the work he got done. He got lipo on his midsection, and let’s just say, it doesn’t look half bad.

Ronnie Ortiz-Magro poses for the press.
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

While Ortiz-Magro once claimed on an episode of The Doctors that he’s a “workout fanatic,” he revealed that staying in shape became harder after his daughter was born. “One year ago, my life completely changed. I had a little baby girl. She’s like my guardian angel, and now, I can’t spend two to three hours every day in the gym like I used to.”

Cher’s Multiple Procedures

Beginning with Sonny and Cher in the 1960s and 1970s, the singer came onto the scene and blew everyone away. She then launched a solo career and became one of the most appreciated and adored singers in the entire world.

Cher poses for the press.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Now in her 70s, the rocking lady looks years younger than her actual age, thanks to some procedures that altered her appearance. Among Cher’s surgeries: Neck lift, multiple facelifts, cheek implants, Botox, liposuction, lasers, and more.

Cardi B’s Bodak Plastic

Cardi B burst onto the rap scene several years ago with songs like “Bodak Yellow” and “Money.” She’s outspoken, funny, and lovable. Recently, the singer has also tried her hand in acting, starring in a role in Jennifer Lopez’s new movie called “Hustlers.”

A picture of Cardi B during an event.
Photo by Jose Devillegas/Getty Images

Cardi B has always been extremely open about plastic surgeries. She’s never been ashamed of the work she has done. Right after the birth of her first child, the rapper got liposuction. She’s also done a breast augmentation and butt implants.

Dolly Parton Believed She Wasn’t Pretty

The blonde and famously busty Dolly Parton has been in the public eye for five decades. Now in her 70s, she’s just as vibrant and youthful looking as ever. According to the singer, it’s all thanks to the procedures she has done over the years.

Dolly Parton poses for the press.
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The reason the country singer loves plastic surgery so much is that she admitted that she “wasn’t so pretty as a child,” and the surgeries allowed her to change her appearance. Among the procedures Dolly has done are brow lift, breast augmentation, and an eye lift.

Ozzy Osbourne’s Facelift

After months of speculation, rocker Ozzy Osbourne finally confessed to the public to having cosmetic surgery done on his face. The former Black Sabbath frontman admitted to getting a nose job and a facelift.

Ozzy Osbourne attends an event.
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

As it turns out, Ozzy made the decision to go under the knife after seeing all the positive comments his wife Sharon received after getting her procedures. “It boosted my confidence no end. I’ve had a face job and a new nose,” Ozzy proudly told the celebrity magazine Reveal.