As you know, for the past few months, we’ve been following the story behind the ridiculous skin-lightening cream called Whitenicious, and the woman who created it, Cameroonian singer, Dencia. Since it came out and caused controversy, so has Dencia, doing interviews with Ebony.com and taking to her Twitter to blast critics of her product and to brag about how well it’s doing. But for the first time, Dencia decided to sit down on camera to be confronted about her product, the message she sends, her past words for Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (who spoke out against Whitenicious), and the reality of whether or not Dencia bleached her own skin because she didn’t like who she was. Sitting alongside Phinnah Ikeji, the woman behind Black Role Models UK, and speaking on Channel 4 News in the UK with social affairs writer Jackie Long, here’s what a defensive Dencia had to say.
Does She Think That Looking White Is Better Than Being Dark?
“No, I don’t. Everybody has a choice as an adult to look how they want. Whitenicous is a dark-spot remover. It’s a 30 ML product…It’s for dark spots, it’s for everybody. Everybody needs Whitenicious.”
Why She Picked The Controversial Name:
“White means pure. It doesn’t mean white skin but white in general, that’s how I look at it, it means “pure.” When you have dark spots, a lot of people don’t feel confident, they don’t feel pure, they don’t feel clean with dark spots.
My product says, ‘Say goodbye to dark spots and hyperpigmentation.’ It doesn’t say ‘Buy Whitenicious and look like Dencia.’ It says ‘Say goodbye to dark spots and hyperpigmentation.'”
The Negative Message She’s Sending:
“But see that’s because the media is selling that message, that’s not the message I was selling. I say, ‘Seven days fast-acting dark spots remover.’ It didn’t say ‘Seven days fast-act dark spot bleaching your whole skin.’ People need to read, it’s called reading comprehension. If they missed that class, it’s not my fault. They need to read and comprehend.”
“I don’t know her, her story’s her story, that’s her personal life. I don’t care about it. She lied about the letter–I don’t care about her story. I’m an adult, and if I like my skin it’s my choice.
If they [people buying the product] think that their whole body is a dark spot, fine, but that’s not how I feel. Say goodbye to dark spots. If you look at most of my clients, 50 percent of my clients are African Americans. And all those girls write to me, they have dark spots, those are the pictures I have on Instagram.”
Phinnah Ikeji Explains To Dencia Why Whitenicious Is A Problem:
“The name says it…We’ve got old pictures and pictures of you now, and for young girls–that’s where I’m looking at. I’m an adult so I’ve already made my choice and I’m happy with my skin color. But we’re looking at the young girls growing up now. They see you, they love your music, they love you as a person, and they’ve seen that you were darker before and now you’re much lighter. What’s the message it’s going to be to them?
You’re a pop star, so people are looking up to you, whether you want to believe it or not.”
The Before And After Pics Of Herself And Being A Poor Role Model:
“Did I put a picture of Dencia dark, Dencia light in the media? Did I do that? No. You the media, you sold that, I didn’t sell Whitenicious like that. The media is selling my products, I never put that out. I never put out an old picture out of me.
When somebody’s your role model, pick out the good things in the person and do it. I didn’t say, to be an artist you have to be light skinned. There’s numerous dark-skinned artists out there if you want to look like them. There’s many confident women. And your skin color does not reduce or increase your confidence. But I tell you one thing, the women who buy Whitenicious for their dark spots, they tell me–I have girls calling me and crying, thanking me for Whitenicious.”
If She Was Uncomfortable With Herself When She Bleached Her Skin:
“I wasn’t. I wasn’t uncomfortable. It just happened. The same as when people bleach their hair, dye their hair. It’s the same. If you want to wear lipstick, you [points to Ikeji] could have gone natural with your lips just cracked and dark as they are.”
This is one lost lady. Check out the full interview below, including the unnecessary shot Dencia took at Ikeji about her lipstick during the conversation and share your thoughts.