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In the latest “oh, no she didn’t” celebrity news, Blac Chyna announced the debut of a skin bleaching cream on her Instagram. Yes, you read that right. The product, “Whitenicious By Dencia,” is advertised as a skin care service, but as is disgustingly clear in the name, it’s nothing more than bleach cream designed to lighten overall skin tone. The reality star has partnered with the brand for her own collection product, the Diamond Illuminating & Brightening Cream, set to launch in Lagos, Nigeria this upcoming Sunday.

I can’t even begin to explain how horrifying and damaging this is. Skin lightening through the use of cosmetic bleaching products is a multi-billion dollar industry in West Africa, which makes the Lagos launch no coincidence. This company is preying on people already engulfed in a decades-long barrage of pro-light skin marketing, and Blac Chyna has signed her soul on the dotted line. To make matters worse, neither the company nor the media mogul seem willing to own up to the reality of what they’re doing. Comments are disabled under Chyna’s promotional Instagram post, as well as under all posts on the brand’s main account.

How are people still getting away with things like this? Shifty marketing would have you believe that these products are harmless; that they’re merely skin care solutions meant to target issues like acne and hyperpigmentation. However, I’m calling major bs on that one. The brand claims that Chyna’s illuminating cream “brightens [and] lightens without bleaching skin out,” but the customer photos they use to promote show shocking before and afters. On this customer photo, the caption even boasts, “when you can pull off any skintone and still look handsome.” Hashtags like “#blackorwhite” expose the company’s true intentions, and their utter disregard for the self-hatred they’re peddling is as unapologetic and conspicuous as their brand name.

Even if I did believe the products were designed solely to target dark spots and acne, the company is still blatantly dismissing the fact that Whitenicious is being used for skin bleaching. In one post featuring a client testimonial with particularly jarring before and after results, the brand gives a lazy disclaimer: “Whitenicious is for dark spot removal and unwanted hyperpigmentation, if used for other reasons by customers we can’t control that.” They can control it, but they’re choosing instead to capitalize off of a deeply engrained messaging system that profits off of colorism, insecurity, and self-hatred. The fact that Blac Chyna, a star with so much visibility and influence, would align herself with this messaging adds insult to injury.

This is not a Kardashian come-up or a secure the bag moment. Chyna is playing with people’s lives and ignoring the very real risks that come with skin-bleaching. Even steroid-free creams may cause damage we can’t predict, let alone the psychological harm that accompanies the decision to change one’s complexion. Dark spots and hyperpigmentation are in fact very real concerns for people of color, but they can be targeted with clinically effective and morally-sound alternatives. Urban Skin Rx, for example, is a clinical skincare brand with formulas developed specifically with diverse skin tones in mind. The answer is never to become another person, and the fact that Blac Chyna would cosign and collaborate with this company is frankly unconscionable. I guess, for some, it truly is money over everything.

What are your thoughts on Blac Chyna’s collaboration with Whitenicious? Let us know in the comments below.

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