Critics slam pop singer’s skin-bleaching cream
Pop singer Dencia has made headlines for releasing Whitenicious, a "dark spot remover" that doubles as a whitening agent.
Her transformation from a chocolate-coloured beauty to a vanilla belle has left many bewildered. Now, the reason for Nigerian/Cameroonian singer Dencia’s dramatic transformation has been revealed.
She owes her considerably lighter complexion to a skin cream of her own creation called Whitenicious, which is described as a dark spot remover. It states on the product’s website that the lotion evens out dark skin tones.
The cream can apparently be used for dark spots, acne scars and hyper pigmentation. It is being pitched as a suitable alternative to international cosmetic creams that do not cater for Africa skin.
“The continued marginalisation of African-descended men and women in the world market of cosmetics led to the inspiration of pop singer Dencia who later partnered with a renowned chemist to establish the highly innovative Whitenicious line. Whitenicious products adhere to the highest quality standards and undergo intense scientific and technical scrutiny, resulting in a luxurious skin product made from high-quality ingredients and natural plant extracts,” states the website.
However, Dencia has come under fire for producing and promoting a skin lotion that is actually a skin lightener. In Dencia’s home country of Nigeria, skin lightening or toning as it is widely known, is immensely popular and practised by 77% of the population. That society’s ideal of beauty is heavily steeped in the stereotype that light is better.
Dencia has defended her production of the cream, posting on her Twitter timeline that it is a much-needed product. The musician has widely promoted Whitenicious on social media, using Instagram and Facebook as marketing tools. Publicity for the product has been so widespread that it has even sold out at times.
“What just happened? Whitenicious just sold out. Wow, restocking and will have more products by January 10th but you can place orders,” tweeted Dencia recently.
Skin bleaching is popular across the continent despite its serious side-effects, which include rashes and extreme skin sensitivity.
Local musician Nomasonto “Mshoza” Mnisi, made headlines two years ago when she revealed she had begun bleaching her skin. At the time, Mshoza said she wanted to be lighter to boost her self esteem. ”I’ve been black and dark-skinned for many years, I wanted to see the other side. I wanted to see what it would be like to be white and I’m happy. Yes, part of it is a self-esteem issue and I have addressed that and I am happy now. I’m not white inside, I’m not really fluent in English, I have black kids. I’m a township girl, I’ve just changed the way I look on the outside,” she told BBC.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 77 percent of women in Nigeria use skin-lightening products, it is the highest percentage in the world. Followed by 59 percent in Togo, and 27 percent in Senegal. I would imagine the numbers evidenced in Jamaica would be similarly high.
Recently Nigerian-Cameroonian pop musician Dencia launched a line of skin lightening products, Whitenicious. The Whitenicious website touts a “7 Day Fast Acting Dark Spot Remover”. Denica is referred to on some websites as “pop star and skin lightening entrepreneur”. We believe there is massive potential for Denica to profit “handsomely” from this venture.
Whitenicious sells for $50 for 30ml and up.
Possibly Denica perceived her entire body as a dark spot that needed removing because not only small patches of skin have been lightened but her entire body has become a ghostly pale shade.
The formerly brown-skinned beauty has no doubt tapped into a cash cow as skin bleaching is a phenomenon among darker and brown-skinned people who all seem to associate fairness with beauty, success and desirability to the opposite sex.