8th February, 2014
Dencia, the Nigerian and Cameroonian pop star who launched a skin cream called Whitenicious has defended her product after critics branded it an ‘abomination’ for promoting skin-bleaching.
In an interview with Ebony, Dencia claims that the skincare cream is intended to remove dark spots, and that it is out of her control if customers use it to whiten their entire skin.
Defending her own drastically altered appearance since she started using Whitenicious, the singer asserts: ‘I was never that dark in real life… And guess what? I don’t even care because [critics] are bringing me business.’
Specifically, the pop star has been criticized for using her own changing skin tone as a marketing technique. Pictures of Dencia taken in 2011 show her with much darker pigmentation compared to the Whitenicious campaign where she appears several shades lighter.
‘When you take that picture and you put a picture of Dencia darker, this is what you’re telling people – the product really works. And guess what? People really want to buy it. It’s what it is. I don’t really care,’ the singer admitted.
Still, she refutes the idea that she is glorifying lighter skin, claiming it is for removing dark spots only and that she came up with the name because it’s symbolic for ‘fresh beginnings’ and ‘purification’.
‘These girls are not trying to bleach their skin, they’re just trying to get rid of things that are making them feel uncomfortable’
In another attempt at justification, Dencia explains that the majority of her customers are African-Americans, not Africans, ‘because the White man doesn’t even like the light Africans. They like the Black Africans.’
She then elaborates by saying: ‘Look at all the Africans that are successful in the world. They are as Black as Alek Wek. And if I was as Black as Alek Wek, I would never ever use anything on my skin.’
Ultimately, Dencia admits than Whitenicious can indeed be used to bleach skin, but that most women wouldn’t use it this way because of its luxury price point.
‘I don’t see anybody spending all that money to bleach their entire skin,’ she says of her product, which costs $60 for a small pot and $160 for a large one. ‘I don’t see that happening.’
Without skipping a beat, though, she proceeds to contradict herself by asserting that if a customer were to bleach her entire skin, it would be beyond her control.
‘Do I have customers who come and buy stuff for over $2,000? Yes, I do. Do I ask them what they want to do with it? No, I don’t,’ she says.
‘Do I know what they want to do with it? No, I don’t care because it’s their money, it’s how they want to spend it.’
Finally, when Dencia is warned that skin-lightening cream has been proven to cause cancer, she counters: ‘But guess what? The air you breathe outside causes you cancer. Everything in the world causes cancer.’
When Dencia launched Whitenicious in January and saw it sell out within 24 hours, critics took to Twitter to voice their outrage that she would promote a phenomenon that has come to symbolize self-hatred among dark-skinned women.
One person posted a tweet directed at her, writing: ‘This #whitenicious cream of yours is an abomination and creating more insecurities among women all over the world.’
And another said: ‘When Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I have a dream…” The dream was not to become white.’
.Reported by Mail Online