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Why Is This Nigerian Star Promoting Skin-Whitening Cream?

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dencia before

David Bloodsaw

Atlantablackstar.com reports a Nigerian-Cameroonian pop star is endorsing a bleaching creme called Whitenicious. Dencia, the former mahogany-skinned singer is causing quite a stir among Nigerian social media networks. Apparently, the product works because she is now a pale white tone.

Whitenicious is supposed to be used for dark spots and is fast acting. The website claims that it is a natural moisturizing cream with powerful natural ingredients that will nourish your skin and lighten dark knuckles, knees and elbows.

Dencia has received much criticism via twitter due to endorsing the product. She is unfazed by the detractors and continues to endorse the product and re-tweet mentions of the product. Amazingly, the product sold out within a day. Whitenicious sells for $150.00 per ml.

The World Health Organization reports that Nigeria has the most users of bleaching products in the world. 77% of Nigerian women use these types of products on a regular basis. There are a few reasons for the high use in Nigeria. So-called western standards of beauty, social mobility and seemingly better marriage prospects fuel the high use.

There is a downside to using bleaching creams. Some creams contain high levels of mercury and may contain ingredients that cause leukemia. It is also reported to cause cancer in the liver and kidneys. The skin whitening business is a huge billion dollar business.

A common thread for the real reason for the high of these creams is self hate (to some degree) and low self esteem. The BBC interviewed Congolese hairstylist Jackson Marcelle who has been using injections for 10 years to bleach his skin. He told the BBC: “I pray every day and I ask God, ‘God why did you make me black?’ I don’t like being black. I don’t like black skin.”

Many women in Africa claim to use bleaching creams for their intended purpose, which is to lighten dark spots. Dencia’s before and after pictures is alarming.