K. Michelle burst onto the scenes as the very direct vocal powerhouse on VH1’s Love & Hop: Atlana. Viewers were able to get a glimpse of the Memphis native, who was unapologetic about who she was and her life experiences. A lot has changed since those days. The bubbly K.Michelle has transitioned from reality star and artist an entertainer whose talent has ventured into film and television.
She sat down with Shadow and Act recently to talk about her Lifetime docuseries My Killer Body, as well as acting in the Lifetime film Single Black Female opposite Amber Riley and Raven Goodwin.
You’ve been really transparent with your procedures. In My Killer Body, you mention you almost died. What was the “aha” moment for you to say to yourself I need to stop what I’m doing and go fix this?
The surgeries that I’ve had within the past three years, those surgeries have been to remove silicone. It’s been 13 of those. The procedure for me that caused all the different situation was the silicone, the illegal silicone injections. I did that probably over six, seven years ago. One moment I was in my house, minding my business and the next moment my legs gave out and I hit the ground. And no one knew what was wrong. They told me that I had lupus and I walked around for weeks thinking that I was gonna have to deal with lupus. And then they did a full panel, and [then said I didn’t have Lupus], but no one knew what it was. I never even thought that it could be these silicone shots that I had done years and years ago because I wasn’t affected by it. I was just minding my business and enjoying life. And I thought like, ‘Wait a minute.’ They said, there’s a foreign substance in your body. And I said, ‘Oh my God, this is what this is.’ There’s nothing else that I’ve put in my body that this could be. So I was right. And we started to proceed to remove it. And that took me about three years. And what I really want people to know is you will never get silicone outta your body. It’s like a disease. Like you’ll be stuck with it for the rest of your life. You can remove it out to the point where you might not have as many symptoms, but it’s a free floating substance. It’s not a bag that you could remove, you know, or take out of your implant or anything like that. It is free [and] floating within your body.
What are your thoughts on doing the show My Killer Body in an era and time where women are feeling pressured to look a certain way?
I feel like it’s social media. I’m probably one of the most honest and I still get attacked when I’m telling the truth. It’s just really crazy. But it is something that I put myself out there in front of. My Killer Body is going to remove the veil off of what’s covered up. Like people like to kind of stay on the fence on what it is and how it is. My Killer Body tells the truth about the surgery from silicone injections all the way down to mommy makeovers.
Being on social media, you can use Photoshop and do all of these type of things to make yourself have that desired look. But that is not what it’s about. The thing is, we had women and trans women and trans men and just everyone looking at their favorites. And I know those favorites, they don’t look like that…that is Photoshop. So then, what it creates is a false hope and I’m just not with that. And when people look at me, I love the compliments. Who doesn’t wanna be told they’re beautiful? ‘You’re beautiful.’ OK. ‘You look good.’ Yeah, I look good. But I have had some work. I’ve had some bad work and I had some good work and that is mine to own. And with my platform and with this show, they’re gonna see that it could go all good and it could go all bad.
What do you want your viewers to take away from it?
Truth. I want them to take that away. It’s okay to have surgery. If that’s what you want. I’m not against surgery. I’m against illegal procedures and I’m against you not doing your research. I’m against you not understanding that it might not go the way you want. I want people to be able to make an informed decision as to what they want to do with their body.
Most of us were introduced to you through reality television on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop. Do you think that reality TV has affected or contributed to you career in any manner?
I feel like it’s been a part of my life. I feel like I collect bags. I do what, you know, [I’m] supposed to do. I feel like I’m great TV and honestly, reality TV is a job for me. I never take it outside of what I’m supposed to be doing in that moment. Like if that’s how I feel when I’m there, that’s just how I feel. And that’s just what it is. And when I go home, I don’t lose any sleep. I spend my money and go on about my life. So people can say, ‘Oh, reality [TV] wasn’t good for you.’ Or it wasn’t maybe mentally [good] having to go to work and fight every day. Who wants to do that? But that’s a part of my growth and that is a part of my life.
As of right now, I probably will never do reality [TV] again, because now I’m understanding the difference in the bags. Everything isn’t about a check. I’ve had to fight for everything and I’ve been brought up to fight and take every dime that I am offered in order to provide for my family. Everyone does not have the option to turn down hundreds of thousands of dollars. Everyone does not have that option. I have made a significant amount of money and reality TV and been able to take it and do great things from it. The jury is still out on my complete feelings on reality TV. But, I can say that as of right now, I know my triggers and I don’t know if I need to mentally plan that type of money in that situation again…it’s about the peace. And I think the older you get it, when you almost lose your life, you start [to] think of things differently. Like money is important, but you also like are like begging for some peace.
Jumping into your new album that’s on the way, it seems to be a bit of self reflection going on, judging by the title, “I’m The Problem.”
Yeah, I would say it’s more self reflecting rather than pointing the finger. And I don’t know if I completely point the finger, but I do know that in past albums and things, I might have told the story from the level of understanding and I was at at that time.
There is definitely growth there. Where did this new level of understanding arise from?
This might be crazy to say, but I don’t know if I believe in all that self-work with all those books and stuff like that. I live in facts, like when you watch this show, like My Killer Body…that’s facts. [You] see that person on that table. You see what happened to them. I don’t really do well in people sitting up there playing God with me and reading, ‘This is how you become whole.’ I believe you have to deal in self and self is self worth. Actual self-work is action. Day to day living. I don’t think it’s a class or course or book. So when it comes to what I’ve done for myself, life happened, fear happened. Embarrassment has happened. Things have happened and I had no choice but to change the direction or the course.
What can we expect from Single Black Female?
Bebe is my character and just like me, Bebe loves her friend and does not play about her friends. And her family does not play one bit. You’re not gonna play with her about her best friend. And that’s her sister. She loves hard. She can see through people, mess and she sees immediately through the mess of this assistant. And you’ll see in this movie, she’s ready to take it to the playground about her best friend. So you will see the dedication from Bebe is looking for love and all the wrong places. Bebe is fly, Bebe dresses down to the T and it was exciting for me to bring this character to light on screen.
My Killer Body airs weekly on Lifetime and Single Black Female premieres Feb 5. on the network.