When the news was announced last week through Cameroonian, Nigerian-raised pop star Dencia’s social media page for her beauty range whitenicious, our editors needed a moment. If you haven’t heard by now, we are speaking of the partnership that US celebrity Blac Chyna, known for her rocky relationship with the Kardashians, entered into with the controversial Whitenicious brand, which as its name suggests, is a skin-lightening range of beauty products.
The announcement sparked a social media outrage, where many were calling out the audacity of the US star to endorse a skin-bleaching brand when so many women struggle with historically ingrained low self-esteem stemming from having dark skin, in a world that puts white or light skin on a pedestal. For years, dark women have been pressured to use harmful products in efforts to lighten their skin for acceptability, an unfortunate phenomenon that plagues a majority of African women, leaving them susceptible to damaging their skin and contracting skin diseases.
The outrage didn’t seem to phase both Dencia and Blac Chyna however, as they went ahead with plans to launch the Whitenicious X Blac Chyna range in Lagos, Nigeria this weekend wearing matching sunglasses and calmly defending their decision to venture into this truthfully lucrative industry. “We are now sisters” Chyna said when asked about the partnership and what it means, as they dropped another announcement about Dencia’s upcoming involvement in Blac Chyna’s eyelash brand, Lashed.
So back to why the GA Editors had to take a moment… Our WhatsApp group is one place you will generally find us debating certain topics, especially those pertaining to women in Africa. And while the recent movement to promoting self-love has been one close to our hearts, as evident in our #BeyondBeauty edition (only on shelves for 4 more weeks!), personal fulfillment came into play.
In a press interview you will find on the Whitenicious website that Dencia had with FoxDC three years ago, she brings up a very valid point when grilled about why she would still promote skin-bleaching products, knowing how harmful they are to the physical and mental well-being of black woman. She responds by referring to how people do not get concerned with skin- tanning or how black women use harmful chemicals that burn their sculps to straighten their hair.
Watch the interview below:
Do you think the issues are the same? would you put waist-trainers, hair relaxers and weaves as the same thing in regards to ‘beauty enhancers’? What’s your opinion on skin-lightening? Comment below.