So by now, I’m sure you all have heard about the Cameroonian-Nigerian pop singer Dencia and her new product called Whitenicious. Apparently the product is supposed to
turn your skin white remedy hyper-pigmentation and dark spots. What really saddens me about this story is the fact that this singer represents my home country of Cameroon. Skin bleaching in Cameroon is real. Just like in many other West African countries [and Africa as a whole], women are on that never-ending search to whiten their skin and will go to extreme lengths to do so.
After perusing Dencia’s twitter following the controversy, the singer made no apologies for her product. When one tweeter told her to accept how God made her she told the tweeter that God didn’t make dark spots [ZING!]
I visited Cameroon two years ago and while driving around the capital, there were billboards for bleaching creams everywhere. It’s so sad that such a thing is so out in the open. I know there is a market for skin bleaching creams here in the U.S. but bleaching creams aren’t as accessible here in America as they are overseas (Caribbean and Africa). Women of color are just now starting to learn to embrace our skin color and our unique hues but overseas it’s a different story. I think what’s most disturbing about this whole situation is that sales for Dencia’s cream have sky-rocketed; the cream sold out shortly after its release date.
This quest for whiteness will persist if we don’t teach the youth how to appreciate the beautiful uniqueness in which they were created. We need to instill in our daughters the self-esteem to accept how they were made and reject the obscure idea that white is the only right when black is oh so beautiful.