African pop singer Dencia defends her skin whitening cream

whiteniciousCameroonian/Nigerian pop singer Dencia has defended her ‘Whitenicious’ skin care cream claiming that it is not a skin-bleaching cream but only meant to cover blemishes.

In a Channel 4 News interview, Dencia defended the name of her product ‘Whitenicious’ saying that “White means pure, not necessarily skin, but in general.”

She went on to say that “A lot of people don’t feel confident, they don’t feel pure, they don’t feel clean with dark spots.”

There is however, a conflict between what Dencia said and an advertising campaign showing her entire body appearing lighter than she was some years ago.

She seems to be sending out a controversial message that having a lighter skin means being more beautiful.

Skin-lightening has become a common practice in many African countries. No wonder critics have termed ‘Whitenicious’ an “abomination” saying it risks making black girls ashamed of their skin.

Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o is one of those who are out to discourage young black girls from using bleaching products.

Asked to comment on Lupita’s point, Dencia said: “I don’t accept that. I don’t care about her story. I don’t know her”.

She added: “I’m an adult and if I lighten my skin then that’s my choice, the same as bleaching my hair.”

Phinniah Ikeji, the founder of Black Role Models UK, said the young girls risked getting the wrong message from the pop singer’s campaign. “They see you, they love your music, they love you as a person and they have seen that you were darker before and now you’re much lighter, what’s the message going to be to them? They’re going to think, OK I want to be like her as well and then that affects their self-esteem. And that’s where we are coming from. We don’t want to have lots of young girls who have low self-esteem because this low self-esteem leads to other things.”

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