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Nigerian-Cameroonian pop musician Dencia is quickly becoming the talk of social media networks and Nigerian blogs with the release of her “skin care” line Whitenicious. Whitenicious promises to help users rid themselves of pesky dark spots by gradually lightening the hyper-pigmented areas of their skin. However, from the looks of Dencia’s own skin, she’s been using it (or something more powerful) to transform her complexion from deep mahogany to vampire white.

According to its website, Whitenicious (priced between $50-$150) is a “fast acting, 7 day dark spot remover” that is “a moisturizing cream enriched with powerful natural ingredients that will nourish your skin and lighten dark knuckles, knees and elbows.” Some Nigerian beauty blogs display before and after photos of Whitenicious users showing their once luminous dark skin transformed to milky white.

Dencia's dramatic transformation.

Dencia’s dramatic transformation.

“Skin toning,” as it’s called in Nigeria, is big business. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 77-percent of Nigerian women, the highest percentage in the world, use skin-lightening products on a regular basis. While some lighten their skin to adhere to a Western standard of beauty, many women bleach their skin because it affords them better marriage prospects and a greater chance at social mobility.

Friend and Nigerian-American rapper Kingsley “Rukus” Okafor explains the obsession:

“It’s hard to understand until you’ve been in the streets of an African nation,” he wrote in a comment on my Facebook page. “There’s a different treatment and desirability factor in Africa for lighter skinned women, well beyond what we experience in the US. It’s an epidemic. You can’t walk a day in the streets of Lagos without seeing someone who has/is bleached. The possible benefits (more respect, increased desirability to men) outweigh the consequences, especially in a male-dominated society where women’s “independence” is frowned upon. Finding a well-to-do husband/sugar daddy is a priority and women are willing to do what they have to, to fit standards of beauty. The euphemism is “skin-toning” and although “bleaching” is banned, skin-toning is a huge money-maker that I’m sure has lined the pockets of enough politicians to allow it to keep being sold despite international outcry.”

Nigerian musician Femi Kuti, son of legendary artist Fela Kuti, says many bleach their skin because they praise Western cultures and products, while dismissing their own.

He told Al Jazeera: “An African will prefer to be called John-Philip. If you said your name was Chukwu Emeka Afongkudong they will say you are from the village. You are backward. How can you have such a name? We really look down on our culture and heritage instead of being proud of it.”

Skin-bleaching has terrible consequences. Skin burns, rashes, and permanent abrasions are commonplace. Moreover many creams contain toxic levels of mercury, and some include agents that may cause leukemia, and cancer of the liver and kidneys. Despite this, skin-bleaching has become a multibillion-dollar business around the world.

Although the practice is rampant in Africa, the industry’s popularity extends far beyond the continent.  Nearly 61-percent of skin care products in India contain bleaching agents, and 40-percent of women in China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the Republic of Korea admit to bleaching.

For her efforts Dencia has been inundated with criticism (and praise) about her skin-toning line via Twitter, but she isn’t fazed. Along with re-tweeting links to mentions of her product, she’s been taking on critics who deride her for promoting and capitalizing on self-hate.

Dencia skin bleaching

h/t Dr. Yaba Blay

  • BeanBean

    The stupidest crap I’ve ever seen! There is nothing cute about looking like you just rolled around in baby powder. I’ve noticed that many Africans are more ‘mentally enslaved’ than African-Americans ever were. Instead of trying to follow “western” standards, how about they create their own standards??? No one is FORCED to follow standards, they do it by choice. Especially in a country that is 99% black.

  • http://gravatar.com/sweetp1984 sweetp1984

    I see nothing wrong with using fade creams for scars, but to change your skin tone, is just sad. It doesn’t look natural. She looks better with her natural skin tone.

  • omfg

    self-hate is like our damn mistress. we just can’t resist her.

  • geenababe

    Is she insane? Does she really think she look better than before? I haven’t seen a person who look good after bleaching their skin away.

  • Krystal

    This is so unbelievably sad.

  • Naan

    I am just glad I have the mindset to avoid this and am around people who would not encourage this.

  • vintage3000

    I thought the Motherland is above colorism and that this is only a Black American problem. You know, since we have no pride and obsessed with racism/White people, etc.
    /sarcasm.

  • Tatum

    I wonder what the health consequences 10, 15 years from now will be. I believe she may regret this behavior down the road. It’s like she isn’t thinking about her future. And I doubt she is using her own products.

  • BeanBean

    Yes self-hate is a mistress, and unfortunately this mistress is full of deadly diseases!!!

  • Aria Wilson

    You are correct, however…

    ….the larger question is WHY does a bleached out African or Indian “look good to men”?

    What is up with these “men” that they would rather have an African woman with African features that looks like she stepped out of the pages of “Twilight: New Moon”…instead of the rich, brown tone she was born with…that looks identical to THEIR own skin?

  • http://roslynhardyholcomb.com roslynholcomb

    Seven days? This crap works in seven days? What the hell is in it? I’ve used various creams in the past for blemishes and scars and even the prescription varieties take weeks if not months! Wow!

  • Autumn Jones

    You are right. I’ve always wondered how Africans, in an overwhelmingly black country seem to want to bleach their skins?! Where is it coming from?

    This literally made me sick to my stomach.

  • BeanBean

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was full of Mercury, which most products in Africa are! Self-hate is one issue, but this stuff is truly dangerous.

  • BeanBean

    I swear, blacks are best at oppressing ourselves!! It confuses the crap out of me. Everyone is black, yet they still hate themselves??

  • eve-audrey

    well western standards of beauty permeate every coyntry/culture in the world and yes that’s sad. i live in south france and a few years ago skin bleaching was an epidemic you could see black women walking with burnt skin on the streets it was really sad. skin bleaching is freaking danferous and i wish people would acknowledge that.

  • LoveJoy02

    Only difference between African American self hate and African/Afro-Latino/Afro Caribbean self hate is they come right out n say they want to be lighter, have “good hair”, and other mixed features…

    That’s residual of slavery n colonialism for you…

    At the and time though it starts at home…

  • steve

    77%??? so 77% of 68 MILLION nigerian women bleach their skin (side eye) and you people believe this???? just put the word study behind some numbers and people will believe anything.

  • LoveJoy02

    Residual of colonialism…
    In addition to seeing their own women attempting to conform to a white/mixed black woman standard of beauty…

  • Jade

    You are silly to stereotype and make blanket statements about Africans based on this article. Nogerians still have their trsditions, langiages, and know their ancestry. Bleaching is becoming less popular, I should know, I go there. At the end of the day they are among the most brilliant minds.

  • Anthony

    As bright as the sun is in Nigeria, it is really nice to have some color in your skin. As a man, I can say that with a body like that, Denicia would get my attention no matter her complexion!

    I think that sooner or later, and probably sooner, the world will get over whiteness.

  • Jade

    Some people get so butt hurt hearing about nigerians and their success they will believe anything bad about nigeria to feel better about themselves.

  • http://gravatar.com/melissaswaghili melissaswaghili

    I don’t know if I believe that 77% of Naija girls bleach their skin. This has to be exaggerated. However I have had Nigerian friends recommend skin products to me and one even bought products for me and they all bleaching elements. One girl I know is obviously bleaching. Bleached skin never looks good. Sorry to all you bleachers out there but you just look weird. And furthermore I wish people would realize this in NOT and African epidemic. The average African girl is proud of her skin and bleaching is unfounded in most African countries. It mainly happens in certain West African countries.

  • vintage3000

    @ Jade–

    “You are silly to stereotype and make blanket statements about Africans based on this article.”

    …yes I’m stereotyping, because this is the ONLY article about African women bleaching their skin perhaps? And I have NEVER seen African women in NYC with bleached faces, and the rest of their bodies are dark, no sirree.

  • Miss.Kat

    I am Afro-Latina mixed and this whiteness needs to stop. This is gross, she looks like a freaking Nigerian ghost. She was drop dead gorgeous with her brown skin now just hideous.

    But overall many POC woman want to lighten their skin. Its the same issue in Asian were woman and men are buying skin lighting creams in droves. In Asia the lighter the skin the more people believe you are a person of wealth.

    Sorry, I am to proud of being brown to bleach my skin.

  • noirluv45

    I wonder if this mindset should be classified as a mental illness. I truly do believe it is. It’s a product of, like others have said, colonialism, and brainwashing for decades. These people can’t be comfortable in their own skin while trying to be someone else. They’ll never be White no matter how much they bleach their skin.

    It’s sad, pathetic, and not healthy. SMH.

  • http://gravatar.com/melissaswaghili melissaswaghili

    Lol. Don’t make a blanket statement about all of Africa. Skin bleaching is mainly is certain West African countries and then it is exaggerated.

  • Simone L

    Here you have me…a caramel colored female who would LOVE to be dark skinned ( but becomes a terrible dark orange when tanning too long) and these women are giving all of that up. When the side effects hit, I wonder if they will think it was worth it. Nowadays, I just have to ask “was it worth it?” when I hear people do crazy stuff. It’s just like ass injections. You’ll get attention and status now…but when your legs get amputated because of the silicone..was it worth giving up your legs for? We need to love ourselves a whole lot more.

  • Miss Smeeg

    Oh my goodness…she had a BEAUTIFUL BROWN complexion. She was gorgeous Wow. Look at the transformation. She looks odd, so unnatural.

  • Saffing C

    I think this is appalling but let’s discuss something very difficult: she looks just like Beyoncé. Now, Beyoncé did not lighten her skin but since she is considered the ultimate black beauty and shoved down every black woman and man’s throat, can we blame people for emulating what we decided was better? Beyoncé’s hair alone is lighter than her friend Gwyneth Paltrow’s like ALL the time. And Gwyneth was born blonde.

  • AnnT

    You haven’t?! I’ve seen it a lot in Florida with Haitians and Nigerians on both men and women. Latte faces and milk chocolate necks and hands.

  • Nubiahbella

    Most Africans countries have been enslaved and colonized by Arabs (for centuries) and Europeans, stripped of their culture (90% of countries have a foreign language as a national one , “civilized” by others who forced their religion on them (Christianity and Islam ) and had the most inhuman things done to them (some of these atrocious stuff have been documented for racist purposes and can be found online if you are curious).

    Please bear in mind that a lot of African countries have gained their independence from France, Belgium , Portugal, UK, Germany only in the 60s/70s right which was almost in parallel with the Civil rights movement.
    They worked like animals to build and make rich some European nations

    Many African women have been raped and it’s not uncommon at all to have a grand father/mother or great grand father/mother who is biracial.specially in west Africa in countries such as Congo & Angola.

    So yes centuries of brainwashing has resulted a lot of self hate.

    For some reasons, people only talk about slavery in America , South America etc…in Africa besides the Apartheid, Africa is always left out of the picture since many believe African sold their own although they were being enslaved themselves in their own continent.

    To get back to the above, Nigerians men complain about bleached women but chase/value more light skin/mixed/ (real or bleached) women, non black women but wonder how come dark skinned Black women may bleach their skin. I don’t know about Nigeria but I know many Women in my family wish their son to bring anything but a dark skinned Black women with kinky hair, when they are dark themselves lol!

    The White standard of beauty is very much present in many African countries and by judging how some African presidents have for wife non Black women, we can’t make that up!

    Finally they are MANY non-African ( some for centuries: Indians, some for many decades, Middle Eastern , other Asians and Europeans living on the continent ( it’s not 99.99 Black African).

  • Noise!

    how real is that success? how many senators, ceo’s, millionaires in this country are Nigerian? and even if they are, you still suffer the same fate as any other person of color. you don’t think white people are giving you a magic pass do you? lol. who has the real power in this country? skin lightening in Nigeria is a real problem. saw a documentary on this a while back and it was terrifying.

  • G

    @Aria I know several people from Nigeria (as well as people from India) , being an African American, I was truly shocked to find this UGLY FACT TO BE TRUE.

    The women I KNOW from Nigeria have told me “their men have a preference for White women or at least very fair complexioned women. The race doesn’t matter as much as the shade of the complexion.”

  • apple

    there is a vitiligo medicine that can remove all pigment safely (except sun exposure) permanently, its usually a choice given to vitiligo patients when they are at the point of no return(see michael jackson).. i’m surprised no one has stolen these meds and put them on the black market.. from all these articles/news stories/documentaries it could easily go for 10k a bottle

  • apple

    beyonce aint got nothing to do with people stupidity.. staph it now, remember who the real enemy is

  • Marisa

    The self hate and dysfunction is real out here people, and this lady original complexion was gorgeous. There is a big difference between wanting even skin and dealing with uneven skin and then there is the need to look Casket Sharp.

  • http://gravatar.com/akun88 AA

    Skin bleaching in West Africa has always been talked about. I don’t know why you are trying to make a correlation between this article and the sense of pride Africans have for where they come from. You sound like you are mad at Africans for some reason. Africans are not obsessed with Racism, because we did not grow up in an environment like the US.

  • UgoBabeeeee

    Thank you…as if? who conducted that study and amongst who? so someone saw a documentary that is the fact of the matter?? rolling my eyes….this is an over exageration….not everyone is walking around wanting to be wite or look it….not everyone is bleaching….if you take a moment to actually read comments by actual nigerians about this creme- then you will get an idea of the reception of this creme…..yes there are vestiges of colonial mentality present in nigeria….yes there are bleachers but i would dare not saythey are in the majority or 77% of the populace…..pleezzeeeeee

  • LemonNLime

    She does kinda look like Beyonce. She looked better when she was brown. If I were a betting woman, I’d say she has had a few surgeries as well.

    On another note, can we please stop blaming everything on “Western beauty standards” or “colonization”? It has become a tired excuse for everything. This is happening in Nigeria and several other countries where whites are the minority overwhelmingly. Sure they ran things before, but not anymore. If you are living in a country where the majority of people have dark skin (with a culture, music, film, media, etc. that can reflect this population) and the people there still decide that it is better to get cancer and have lighter skin, that is their fault, not “western beauty standards”.

    The reason she can sell this crap and make money is because people choose to do this and choose to follow “western beauty standards” rather than setting their own. No one can make you feel bad or ugly or less than without your permission and it seems to me, that people in these countries and cultures are handing that permission out like hotcakes.

  • Kam

    Long after the conquerors are dead, the conquering still continues.

  • Aria Wilson

    Hi G,

    I most certainly agree with you that this madness is true. The poster I was responding to has had his comment removed…he was stating that African-American women “need to realize” that women don’t control what men like, and that the African men must like it for them to be doing it.

    I responded to him by stating that while it was true that “the men must like it”, I wanted to press him further about the many reasons they “like” the bleached version of an African….

    So yes, I understand it is a sad truth…but just was trying to get the poster whose comment I was responding to…to simply THINK.

  • Mama Sunshine

    Right! And they still have the genes that made them dark in the first place. If they have children, chances are, the children will come out dark just like the are (or supposed to be, prior to bleaching). How sad is this phenomenon. I read and hear things like this and it makes me feel sorry for my race.

  • Jade

    LOL @ you accusation that Nigerian men prefer white women. If that’s true, how come the vast, vast majority of Nigerian men MARRY FELLOW Nigerian women. I’m talking about BOTH in the United States and the UK. You could get disowned for marrying “others.” Yall are straight liars.

  • Jade

    How many Asian Americans are senators and CEOs? Yet no one ever tries to downplay their success in America. Nigerian Americans have MANY millionaires and own tons of businesses for a population their size. They are not the most educated in America and many are leaving the US to go back to Naija. Please get real. People want to cast a bad light on Nigerians all of a sudden due to Tiger Mom naming Nigerians as one of the successful groups in America.

  • Aria Wilson

    Yeah, you are right…

    The WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION and UNITED NATIONS that provided those statistics…and anyone who gives credence to these well-respected organizations…. are just “butt-hurt” about the success of Nigerians. -_-

    Girl BYE.

  • Aria Wilson

    You are correct, 77% does not equal “everyone”. No one ever stated it was “everyone” either.

    You are arguing a straw man.

  • Jess-s

    “these men” that desire these “bleached women”, if they decide to have children, the babies will have their real complexion….

  • Lola

    That’s why we need more Lupita.

  • straightnochaser

    I once saw an episode of ‘Katie,’ and there was a sister on there who did have the silicone injections applied to her butt. She ended up having both arms amputated below the elbow as well as both legs below the knee. They even had to cut off her butt! So she ended up losing even more of what she desired, plus her arms and legs. All of this cosmetic/chemical altering of the body will catch up with these folks. As the body gets older, it changes, and all of this stuff is going to look flat out ridiculous.

  • Miss Minnie

    Commentators forget that they are speaking from a position of Western, hegemonic privilege. Just like the “Asian American feminists” that concerntroll the beauty standard in Korea when they don’t even understand the culture.

    The dynamics of skin tone etc are different in countries that do *not* have a long history of race mixing.

    People in Africa and Asia come in different tones and it’s not related to European blood quantum because people… are not mixed with white there.

    They want to look like a lighter African… LOL if it’s anything like in Asia the women using bleach would not even consider dating a white boy… as for the really light tones how is it different from someone going blonde?

    If Nigerians ‘hated themselves’… Why would Nigeria be one of the fastest growing economies in the world lol? Wouldn’t they be too depressed to progress… But instead, Nigeria, India and China are moving forward while the West regresses.

    Also relating someone having an English name to this is totally clueless. It’s a tonal language thing, with West Africa and Southeast Asia… note how Japanese don’t do it (non tonal language). Hell, Bruce Lee has an English name and he is the epitome of Chinese culture. In tonal languages, a difference in inflection can change total meaning of a word. Just my $.02.

  • Ugobabeeee

    I dont know where they get that foolishness from…they see one example and think that defines the whole group….Nigerians marry themselves – to the extent that some who reside outside of nigeria (rather than marry a foreigner) go back to nigeria to choose a spouse….

  • G

    And very successful COLONIALISM at that!

  • Saramel

    Hi everyone,
    Let me tell you first that not all Africans like bleached skin.The most I know make even fun of those who bleaches their skin because it shows that you are not proud of yourself and your heritage.It is really annoying to hear when other black people talk in the same ignorant manner as non-black people.Africa is a continent. This article is about a Nigerian-Cameroonian artist.So lets only refer to those countries unless there is an article about skin bleaching in the whole of Africa including the data and facts.

    I do work in a beauty supply store(in Germany) and those who tend to bleach their skin the most and extreme are in my experience women and men from:

    Nigeria
    Cameroon
    Congo

    Those who do it as well but not so extreme are women from:

    Somalia (especially faces)
    Senegal
    Ghana

    I dont know why but it seems like bleaching is more en vogue in West African countries except Somalia where they strong arab influence could be a reason for bleaching their faces (I heard that they call the Fanta-Cola girls as they faces is orange and the rest is brown…)

    I sometimes ask them why they bleach their skin but they don´t really give you an answer because they know it is wrong but keeping up with the light skinned is somehow more important to them.Its sad because very often the skin will never go back to its normal state and the skin will be destroyed forever.And to 99.99% they look worse. I think many of those who bleach their skin so extreme have mental issues like a Body dysmorphic disorder
    They don´t see reality when they look in the mirror. I am counting the minutes till the first people will come to my workplace and ask for that bullshit.

    It is so sad that we can´t use the information about what happened in the past and create a new state of mind …being proud and black can make you so weary when you read those articles.

  • Muse

    Is it me, or is this week bash Nigerians week?
    First the comments about Africans on the Tiger Mom article.
    Then the straight hair and African vs African Americans articles.
    Now, this.

    It just seems odd to me……

  • Aria Wilson

    It is you.

  • AnnT

    I don’t know what you’re getting at, but Bruce Lee’s s real name is Lee Jun-fan

  • The Other Jess

    Face makeup, body photoshopping and photo airbrushing is what she’s using, that’s all. It’s not possible to use creams in jars or chemicals to whiten your ENTIRE body. Natural whitening is only possible with skin disorders like vitiligo or albinism. Maybe she has a skin disease and is trying to hide the fact (and capitalize on it) by claiming to use skin lightener. Her way to make money.

    Either way, Nigerians have a lot of self hate. They are much worse than Black Americans and they didn’t even have the horrid slave/segregation experience that we had. They have their own country, with overwhelmingly Black majority population, but are still very hateful of their hair and skin.

  • AnnT

    She looks like a mash up of Beyonce and Kim K with a bad Nicki Minaj wig situated too far back from her edges. This can’t be physically or mentally healthy :0(

  • The Other Jess

    Not to be racist, but Nigerians are also know to be major scam artists. This is just another scam, this time under the guise of skin lightening for self haters. it’s not possible to lighten your whole body like this.

  • Chrissy

    Some of you Africans are really funny. You all sh*t on African Americans constantly. And you all try to pretend that everything is Perfect in the motherland and you all don’t have the same problems we have in America. But, when your dirty laundry is aired you have all kinds of excuses. lol.

    Pot meet kettle.

  • The Other Jess

    That’s a good point. Maybe she doesn’t want to look like white people, but instead wants to look like light-skinned Africans (i.e. Libyans, Moroccans, etc) or light-skinned blacks from the U.S., Cuba or Brazil. You make an excellent point that everything is not about white people. Heck, even the blonde wig could be about looking like Australian Aborigines! A stretch, but hey, ya never know!

    But the crazy thing about all this is that people who actually suffer from depigmentation diseases like vitiligo, leucoderma and albinism hate it and wish they could get their color back. It’s a very stressful disease for them – they stress so much about becoming lighter and whiter and wish they could have normal skin like everyone else.

    So I guess it’s just more proof that people want what they do not have and people don’t want what they do have.

  • Beautiful Mic

    I’m half-African, born outside of Africa and raised right here in the U.S. Growing up, a common phrase I’d hear my parent and other Africans say “Not in my country (or in Africa)”. “That doesn’t happen in my country.” “Oh, the people don’t do that in my country.”

    Come to find out, even within the time frame they were referencing, certain things they denied were happening right there in their country.

    My parent had a tendency, too, to claim something true of the entire continent as if they’d lived/traveled throughout the continent, “We, Africans, don’t…”, until I called them out on it, one day.

    However, that tendency did rub off on me, because I have mistakenly generalized some things trying to apply it to the entire continent.

    However, I never find myself doing that with the skin bleaching issue, because I’m still stuck on the hope and fantasy of this proud dark people image I’ve learned by growing up in the West – if that even makes sense.

  • Anthony

    Folks, remember more than 100 million people live in Nigeria. I am certain millions of women are too busy living life to lose sleep over skin lightening cream. Just as in stories about African Americans, fight the impulse to assume the worst about everyone because of the over the top actions of some people in the media.

    That said, this color crap is hurting dark people all over the world including South Asia, not just Africans and African descended people. All I can say is that no single complexion, set of facial features, or hair texture, has the market cornered on beauty.
    Black women are beautiful from the darkest to the fairest. I don’t care if the hair is a kinky fade or blonde hair blowing in the wind, my sisters are beautiful, no one needs to risk their health to look like someone they are not.

  • Beautiful Mic

    Bruce Lee was part Dutch-Jew (Caucasian)

    Bruce Lee’s maternal grandfather was a Dutchman by the name of Charles Henri Maurice Bosman (1839–1892) who married his maternal grandmother, Madame Sze, a Han Chinese woman from present-day Shenzhen.

    They procreated one of the wealthiest and most powerful clans in Hong Kong, the Ho-tungs.

    Bruce Lee did marry a Caucasian woman here in the U.S. and had children ‘biracial’ children. However, Bruce Lee, too, was of biracial ancestry.

    He may have been the epitome of Chinese culture, but he was part European. The fact that he was place in that type of idolized disposition may even be my design (white hegemony at play). How many people knew, when he was alive, that Bruce Lee was part European. He sure didn’t “look it”.

    The same type of thing, of course, plays out in Africa. White hegemony lends to the atrocity covered in this article as well as other issues Africa shares with the rest of the colonized world (despite the fervent denial -lol!).

  • Tara

    She was so pretty as a dark skinned girl. I am sad…

  • Anya

    Please do not stereotype. Places all over the world that have dark skinned people (An example is India) are affected by colorism. As a Nigerian-American, we DO have cultural PRIDE and LOVE our mother country and language.

  • Natasha

    I recoiled in shock when I saw her picture and how she looks now. She was beautiful before. And it doesn’t look natural at all.

  • Carmeliscious

    Sad, very sad that these people are going backward instead of forward. Just plain sad!!!!! The ancestors must be rolling over violently in their graves. How could they let the colonizers win in their own countries is beyond me. Self-hate is a sin!!!!

  • Anya

    I feel the same way. Ever since that “most successful” article came out…Nigerians are a target. Don’t worry. I notice it, too.

  • Anya

    No one sh*ts on African Americans. You all sh*t on others…especially Africans. Maybe the Tiger Mom article struck a nerve.

  • Ms. Vee

    Sad that self hate is at its finest! If you ever want to know what a black person looks like when dead look at a black person that bleaches. Being of west African background, the few that i have have seen that bleach look a hot mess. You don’t end up looking light skinned. You instead look like a jacked up corpse. It baffles me as to how people haven’t realized that attractiveness is dependent on your face and not complexion. I have yet to see complexion fix ugly.

  • Ebony

    If Pamela sold tanning in a bottle during her baywatch days it too would be sold out. Would there be any outcry and talk of the dangers? No. I seen whites tan to the point I thought they were black. My point is what others do to their body is their business. I use to be a size 20 years ago and im tall and love the modeling world. Soon as I became a size 8 I was accused of trying to be white as if obese white women dont exist and I still see many today. I felt real good,my feet no longer hurt, I felt beautiful. I then became a size 4. Its my body and whites are not the only ones who can be pale white its a popular trend and it doesnt help men who are black then lust after them like nicki manji lightened her skin that even in the after noon no lightening or bright lights as a excuse is still pale light yet I heard countless black men lust after her. Again her body and you should live how you want to not for others. One life.

  • Muse

    All I’m saying is that I’ve noticed a lot of hostility towards africans (especially Nigerians- No one even acknowledged the fact that Dencia is half Camaroonian) and anyone who speaks up about it in the comment section this week. It’s concerning.

    And, no. I am not Nigerian.

  • GT

    This is not just in Nigeria but all over Africa unfortunately. If you scroll through a list of African presidents, most are married to white/light skinned women and they themselves is black as coal often time. Its very strange. I have no issue with interracial relationships as I grew up internationally tho my fam is from west AFrica, and am more used to interracial relationships internationally. My issue is the mentality i have noticed since moving to the US and also when I travel to West Africa. I think the Clutch had a piece on Akon when he went to Ghana and only cast light skinned women. Why not include all women? and in Ghana, we are pretty dark so he probably had to search for while to get the “look” he wanted. Its very unfortunate the mentality many black men carry. I do hope with forums like this it opens their eyes so they realize the damage they do to women who because of this become insecure in their beautiful skin and to tranform their minds and not their skin on how they look at what constitutes black beauty.

  • Carmeliscious

    People in India bleach also. It is very popular there also. The ones here in America also bleach. It is not just an African thing..

  • AnnT

    If you’re gonna be a bigot, at least be a correct one. Nigeria is a country, not a race.

  • GT

    You know, you are soo right tho, I don’t know many who marry white. They may toy with it but honestly those that do are mostly those who have lost their identity and want to appear more “western” than others. Those that are probably too influenced by pop culture or are in politics. But its not very not very common at all to find within the country. Maybe if they have grown up as an expat but there is great pride in Nigerian culture and community of themselves. All of my Nigerian friends are married to Nigerians.

  • MISS EMCEE

    When I look at her all I think about is chopping her up and selling ki’s of coke to choke heads in Hollywood.

  • http://gravatar.com/tellmesumtingood TajMarie

    Even after a documentary showing the after effects (and side effects) of skin bleaching, there will still be people purchasing this product.

  • Muse

    The fact this comment got any likes is sad. You sound like what the KKK is to the Jews.

    When did Africans become the enemy?? I don’t remember any Africans “sh*tting on African Americans” growing up. However, I do remember Africans getting jumped and being called names like tar baby, blackie, and my favorite, African booty scratcher. Not to mention the endless ignorant questions. Gangs like Zoe Pound were formed because Haitians in Miami were getting jumped everyday by their brothers and sisters of the diaspora.

    It goes both ways.

  • Mari

    I think it definitely could be classified as such when done in the extreme. I think it would fall into the same category as excessive plastic surgery. I see pictures of people with extremely bleached skin or features that are nip/tucked to the point where they look disfigured, and I wonder if there is some kind of body dysmorphic disorder going on. Not in every case though, but maybe in some.

  • Jenna

    Ebony, you epitomize self hate

  • http://gravatar.com/heavenleiblu heavenleiblu

    You missed her sarcasm there, LOL

  • Muse

    “Nigerians are worse than African Americans”

    *sigh*

    You do know that Nigerians, like many African nations, were victims of colonization, right? The effects of that are still evident today. Stop trying determine who was the bigger victim. We all are. Example? The effects of slavery and segregation are evident in the African American version of the sad woman in the article:
    Lil Kim

  • RJ

    I don’t know if that is true Apple. I just saw a clip of Ciara on The View and she was definitely imitating Beyonce in every way, all the way down to announcing her pregnancy in the same manner as Beyonce (opening her coat and rubbing her belly).

    Beyonce went all in on whiteness (and yes she is using a lighter foundation to make her skin look lighter in her videos, you can see the demarcation line) and it paid off big time for her. It is not a coincidence that almost every black female singer is sporting blond hair. They have hedged their bets that this will let them into the beauty game and the world of acceptance.

    If that were not the case, why does Beyonce never keep her hair it’s natural color for more than a second.

    She is not personally responsible for other people’s stupidity but she sure is part of the image problem.

  • bubbleyumgirl

    Can someone answer a serious question? What do these women do about their parts “down there?” I mean there’s no way to bleach every single part of the body right? I can only imaging coming home to a woman who is baby powder white but then takes her pants off and in between her buttcheeks and vajajay are dark as coal! I don’t mean to be crass but I’m curious.

  • Muse

    Well then I guess it’s fair for the rest of the world to stereotype Black Americans based on the images portrayed in our music and videos.

    Bye, Felicia

  • vintage3000

    The comments you are referring to were direct replies to the “Black Americans are lazy/uneducated/etc.” peanut gallery.It appears you missed those.

  • vintage3000

    When you see Black Americans moving to Africa and claiming the Africans are lazy, unmotivated, etc, you can stereotype all you wish.

    I don’t know (nor care) who Felicia is

  • Dalili

    Yes!!

  • Muse

    46 likes for this bullsh*t comment, tho? Smh

  • vintage3000

    Sounds like a few nerves were touched.

    Even a lot of African press has written about this plague of skin lightening. No one is saying ALL of Africa engages in this practice, but apparently it is an issue with a lot of African women.

    But it’s ok, you can read Tiger Mom’s list again to make yourselves feel warm and fuzzy-lol!

  • http://TDeninWilliams.com Denin

    “and in between her buttcheeks and vajajay are dark as coal” I don’t agree with or like the idea of bleaching or “toning” skin. However, you clearly are not Black, have never been with a Black woman, and/or really really want to as this comment is ignorant, distasteful and desperate.

  • MommieDearest

    “I have yet to see complexion fix ugly.”

    Priceless!!

  • K

    wait that the same person?? i know i may sound silly im simply in shock/awe at that brown on the left to the twilight on the right.. i mean that amazing… im not saying this is good, im just like really??? there is stuff out there that will transform skin like this im just wow…i mean that seriously doesnt even look like the same person

  • Muse

    “When you see Black Americans moving to Africa and claiming the Africans are lazy, unmotivated, etc, you can stereotype all you wish. ”

    You make no sense. Does that justify Black Americans claiming Africans are dirty, booty scratchers, bleach crazed, etc?

    “I don’t know (nor care) who Felicia is”

    Exactly. Bye, Felicia

  • K

    another question does your skin go back if you stop using it?? im so confused this is crazy

  • Muse

    This is sad….

    AFRICAN Americans endured so much suffering at the hands of white people for centuries and are still allowed to hold their heads high. And they should! AFRICAN Americans have every right to be proud because despite their painful history, they overcame adversity and are still doing it today.

    But let an African display any pride in their heritage and they’re perceived as arrogant. All an African can do IS hold their head high especially when African Americans make the most hurtful comments about their features, culture, etc. It’s hypocritical. African Americans held they heads high during the civil rights movement when their own country deemed them less then.Why can’t Africans do the same when their countries are going through their own struggle?

    Do not confuse their sense of pride with arrogance because it isn’t. That’s like someone reminding African Americans of slavery every time they say “I’m black and I’m proud”. Or reminding someone that they’re from the projects if they “rep their hood”. It’s stupid. Stop

  • Keepingitreal

    Wow, where to begin. She’s obviously caving into the notion that lighter is better. In the US, it’s amazing how many of today’s African American celebrities were “counseled” to alter their black features if they wanted to be successful.
    Men need to appreciate the beauty of different types of women, when men put certain women on pedestals it doesn’t help.

  • joe

    Just one more reason why Lupta Nyong’o is so very important.

  • vintage3000

    @ Muse–I do not care if Africans of any nationality assert pride in their culture, and I am guessing no one else has a problem with that, either.

    But when it’s done at the EXPENSE of Black Americans is what I am addressing. Go check out that Tiger Mom article here on Clutch. The ish storm started when several Nigerians piped up with ‘well no wonder Black Americans are not on this list, look at how blah blah they are…” As if all of Black America is a monolith, and that ratchet Africans in America and Africa don’t exist. Folks are going to shut that mess down. We are not moving to Africa and talking smack about the natives as a whole- comprende?

    I can talk about how proud I am of what Black America has achieved without once mentioning Africa. On the flip, you will often read where Black Americans are discussing what needs a lot of work in our communities, and where we are succeeding. Look at how often we discuss how colorism is a problem with us, or slave mentalities, etc. My original comment is referring to the umpteen times I have heard remarks from Africans chiming in with ‘why are you Black Americans so concerned with racism, we’re not obsessed with it here in Africa, etc.’ (I have heard this online and irl) And the topic of the article proves otherwise, if not for the entire continent (and no one here has stated that) then it’s certainly a problem for a significant number of African women. And it appears to be a sore spot for several of the Africans posting here.

  • Deal-n-Truth

    I just hope that her handlers don’t make the mistake by encouraging her to change the way she looks in order to be accepted by the masses. The majority of people who admire her have accepted her just the way she is.

  • Deal-n-Truth

    Stop deflecting and stop denying they there are some people who bleach their skin due to the effects of colonialism and western culture. We’re not talking about South East Asians.

  • Deal-n-Truth

    …and Danai Gurira, Adepero Oduye, among other beauties who obscured by the others. It’s our place to promote them when no one else will, to include the black media.

  • Shirl

    She looks like she glows in the dark.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    but ask any woman on clutch magazine and they’ll say ” there is nothing wrong with plastic surgery” smh

  • Saramel

    As I said the problem is not in all African countries.I do work in a Beauty Supply store so I deal with these customers first hand.It means a lot to me as I am myself an African and was shocked about how naturally they use that stuff.The skin won´t revert in its normal state and becomes thinner till it is like paper…I was invited to a Congolese wedding one day and everyone was bleached except me ,my boyfriend(Carribean) and his best friend(Cameroon).We were so shocked about these orange faces we were speechless.That was the first time when I realized that lighter skin is also desired by the men which was strange to me.However, as I am African and we are all Black I do not care about Asians and their problem with bleaching.We have to focus on ourselves.I was in China (Shanghai) last October for 10 days and yes they bleach, too. They are much more darker than we think some even had the similar skin colour like my mum who is lighter skinned(a bit darker than Beyonce).I have to admit I never got so many compliments for my skin colour as in China.I am brown skinned /caramel (it depends how you define it;)) similar to Kerry Washington’s skin colour and the people LOVED it.Strange that they still bleach themselves when they obviously love dark skin. However, we have to focus on ourselves first as they don´t care what we do also. I could write so much about it as I see this EVERYDAY.Maybe when I have more time one day ;)

    PS: I don´t want to put down West African countries.But by denying it that there is a problem we don´t come further.We only talk about one problem not about the whole traditions and customs of those countries so don´t feel offended when you happen to be from these countries.Other African countries have other issues which I am convinced will be soon written about as well, one thing at a time;)

  • Paige

    no i think it’s permanent..so sad

  • Wanda

    I swear that at first glimpse I thought that it was an ad featuring Beyonce.

  • Jade

    Do you know how they acquired those statistics? I actually looked into the study to see how they came up with that number (you know, what intelligent people do). Basically they interviewed a few women in the city of LAGOS and extrapolated to the whole country from there. The study was inaccurate and not scientifically sound. But of course, yall will believe any ol’ statistic without considering the source.

    Second of all, the singer in the article is NOT even half Nigerian. She is a Cameroonian singer who claims her great-great grandparent was from Nigeria. She is Cameroonian, but of course, no one pays attention to that country.

  • Jade

    And yall didn’t even investigate how these organizations acquired these numbers? They can claim 80% of Nigerian men eat babies and you inferior feeling lot would believe it.

  • Jade

    “Nigerians in the Diaspora, including in Britain and the United States, have become well known for their educational prowess, as exemplified by the academic accomplishments of those such as Paula and Petter Imafidon, nine-year-old twins who are the youngest students ever to be admitted to high school in England. The “Wonder Twins” and other members of their family have accomplished incredible rare feats, passing advanced examinations and being accepted into institutions with students twice their age.[10] Similar to England, there exists a large percentage of degree holders among Nigerian Americans. According to census data, almost 40% of Nigerian Americans hold bachelor’s degrees, 17% hold master’s degrees, and 4% hold doctorate. Estimates indicate that a disproportionate percentage of black students at elite universities are immigrants or children of immigrants”

    This is what Nigerians are obsessed about: education and intelligence. While others wanna speak about skin tone ad naseum.

  • Jade

    Dont you know? Black Americans can ONLY be the victims.

  • onelove

    i think this topic is not as simple as some is making out as most nigerians are refusly proud of being black and nigerian. we hav dark skin beauty icons that the people love that are typically african in looks….in many families marrying non nigerians incuding non black is frown upon even a mother that bleaches can be totally against her child marrying non black / non nigerian so its not a simple case of nigerian/black self hatred. but one other thing nigerian is obessed with is presidge and fashion and because of the lack of distribution of wealth in nigeria and that ‘popular culture’ ismore developed from europe and america…when the people are looking to emulate fashion and prestidge they look outside of themselves….black american has a large part in this as well….i would say that most nigerian would look at the likes of beyonce and other top black american people and want to emulate their beauty

  • Jade

    And show me where it was Nigerians in particular saying those things.

  • Jade

    Genevieve Nnaji, the most popular and celebrated celebrity in Nigeria is dark skinned, yet people want to claim a country of 170 million are all obsessed with being light? Especially based on a CAMEROONIAN singer? (Dencia has no Nigerian ancestry).

  • http://areyouondrugs.com AreYouOnDrugs

    Clearly, she thought her black skin was one big blemish. It’s really sad to see this epidemic take root and grow legs in Nigeria (my home country) and all across the world. I lived in Cambodia for a couple of years and everything from body soup to lotion had a lightening agent. The struggle to stay clean and moisturized was so real in the streets of Asia!

    These women (and some men) can bleach their skin all they want. But until someone comes up with a product to bleach their minds, they’ll never be right within.

    This is definitely the “SMH” story of the year.

  • http://gravatar.com/designdiva40 paintgurl40

    What saddens me the most is some of these women looked absolutely beautiful before and after plastic surgeries and whatever, these women start to look hideous. This singer Denecia looked fantastic in the before picture. Now she looks like a ghost. She’s whiter than white people. Just really sad

  • UgoBabeeeeee

    I AGREE…i noticed when that dumb article about the hair being a status symbol came out….that was closed before i could comment….and i wonder why the “fascination” all of a sudden

  • UgoBabeeeee

    BTW…like someone commented- DENCIA is not Nigerian…….please get that straight….

  • UgoBabeeee

    @the other jess….you’re very stupid to make this statement…..because you know every nigerian walking on this earth- you feel you can make a statement like that? then you will cry and complain when hateful comments are made about your people…..

  • UgoBabeeeee

    you are being raist and disclaiming it doesn’t make it less true…..if Nigerians are known to be major scam artists just like black women are known to be welfare queens who birth thug children….should we continue with the foolishness?

  • UgoBabeeeee

    sorry alot of typos-

    you are being racist and disclaiming it doesn’t make it less true…..if Nigerians are known to be major scam artists then lets not hide behind black women being known to be welfare queens who birth thug children….should we continue with the foolishness?

  • Jade

    I read all the comments in that tiger mom article and the people stereotyping Black Americans as lazy and unproductive didn’t even indicate they were Nigerian. In fact, many were Caribbean who couldn’t understand why they weren’t on the list. But of course, your insecurities WANTED them to be Nigerian in order to go in on them despite that fact the author of the list isn’t even Black. Face it, many Black Americans have always viewed themselves as superior to Africans and thus are feeling some type of way seeing Africans successful and prideful of themselves. IN Africa and OUTSIDE.

  • The Other Jess

    not being racist, and yes black americans have just as many problems as nigerians do. i’ll never deny that.

  • The Other Jess

    oh please. there was nothing KKK-ish about that comment. just the truth. many nigerians do have bad attitudes towards black americans. but i think both groups should learn to work together and understand each other’s unique histories to end any bias. i admit to being guilty of having a bias against nigerians based on so may that i met who seemed to have such self-hatred even though at the same time having such arrogance towards black americans. i apologize if i was inflammatory and am glad to hear that not all nigerians fit their stereotype, just as not all black americans fit ours. i take back my assumptions, and accept it if some deemed my comments as biased.I hope to have a better understanding (and meet a more proud group of nigerians ) in the future.

  • kiki

    I don’t know why, but I’m optimistic about this trend. 50 years ago no one would’ve batted an eye at this atrocity. Now, at least a healthy percentage of us are shocked and disgusted.

    I think we like ourselves more now than ever before — 1000 years of white dominiation doesn’t disappear overnight.

  • MimiLuvs

    When will these bleachers learn that their features, in particular their facial features, does not look “cute/normal/attractive” when it’s been whitened two shades lighter than the average albino’s skin tone?
    This young woman looks very odd, in my opinion.
    I’ve read a few comments that are shifting most of the blame towards the men for this bleaching craze. In my opinion, it is an unfair to throw all of the blame on the men. I believe that this seed was implanted, when these women were little girls and inside of their households.

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    Someone ask this but I would also know what does someone like this woman, Vybz Kartel, Sammy Sosa, or anyone else who does this stuff do with their private region. I know you can’t put this powerful cream anywhere near those areas.

  • Mr Man

    Ladies of Clutch, this thing this Artist is doing is not that deep, it’s all about one thing, MONEY and lots of it.
    This women and her team are simply capitalizing on a single West African issue in a very business savvy way. It appears (aside from possible airbrushing and photoshop) she have advanced Vitiligo, look at the part in her hair, the scalp is also white, notice the other details i.e. folds of her skin etc. Only advanced stages of vitiligo and it’s accompanied medicine can accomplish this level of thoroughness over the whole body. My sister has advanced vitiligo and was darker than this woman and is currently devoid of any pigmentation whatsoever. My sister also have a string of unbelievable before and after pictures (think Michael Jackson). Now, I’m of the opinion that she’s simply masking her skin disease to sell and market a skin lighting product. She and her people stand to make millions off this.

    Dencia, I see what you did there. Hmm, dealing with your critics is just part of the business plan.

  • Right

    @BeanBean

    You do realize that there are light-skinned Blacks in Africa, right? You do realize that many Africans clown white people for their complexion? What makes you think they’re doing it to look white, as opposed to doing it to look lighter?

    Your assumption that they are doing it to appear white is the actual result of mental slavery. This phenomenon may be stupid, but your ignorance is outstanding.

  • bubbleyumgirl

    Simmer down. I am a black woman and it was an honest question. I was just wondering what happens. Honestly if you are putting this stuff on your skin it must burn like hell. So obviously you would burn your private parts if you tried to bleach those too right? It would make sex really awkward to I would think. If anybody can answer the question without getting offended I would appreciate it.

  • GlowBelle

    This is insane as it is extremely heartbreaking. Colorism, self-hate, it’s a plague and needs to be thought of as a mental illness by now. She had beautiful brown skin before and now she looks like she’s near death. How is this attractive? This is what Nigerian men are going for? Once again no man is worth making yourself look like you’re inches away from rising out of a casket when the sun goes down. It’s unnatural.

    Also if these people are planning to have children if they think they are going to come out light bright and damn near White, they are sorely mistaken. You can’t bleach genetics. DNA can’t be dyed. That ish is permanent. So I don’t even know what they are trying to prove in the long haul with this mess. We need to start loving ourselves, and be happy with what we’re blessed with. Slapping chemicals like this on the outside isn’t going to solve problems that are occurring on the inside. Plus over time as your body changes, all this bleaching will be damaging and be made to look worse. They’ll regret doing this and then they won’t be able to reverse when the mistake is realized. I’m also disgusted that this singer is supporting a product and a lifestyle like this, when she should be using her public figure status to be uplifting her people and culture, and not feeding into self-hate and lining her pockets with it.

  • SinceNoOneElseWillTellYou

    Annnnnnnd she still aint cute. You tried.

  • SinceNoOneElseWillTellYou

    I feel so bad for here future child.What if the baby comes out dark-skinned? It’s sad really, skin dark or light does not make you a better person.

  • Anya

    When African American women are being bashed by the media, their men, etc…I’m just gonna sit back and laugh. I used to defend, but since there seems to be some sort of animosity towards Nigerian (Africans in general) there is no point. Most of the negative things said about “black women” (especially on youtube) are usually, if not always, directed at African American women. I despise how they hate to be stereotyped and bashed, but will be quick to do it to another group of people without even having enough facts to back anything up. The woman is Cameroonian…and she bleaches her skin. So did lil Kim and nicki minaj seems to be doing it as well. Many famous African American women have bleached their skin but we don’t say African Americans have the most self hate of all…???
    Many of them claim that African women are rude/have nasty attitudes towards them. This may be true…but no African American can deny the fact that they have always looked down on Africans (I know from my own Nigerian-American childhood). It’s funny how this article comes out not too long after celebrating the success of Immigrants…Most countries with dark skinned people (including places like India) bleach. Nigerians do NOT skin bleach in high numbers. Period. This article was annoying.

  • Beautiful Mic

    It’s interesting. I’ve read many comments indicating that she’s actually NOT Nigerian, and only Cameroonian. However, I’ve also read that the singer, herself, claims to be part Nigerian. Seriously, if you look at her old photos from way before she made her transformation, she looks straight up-and-down like the late singer Nina Simone.

    This child is so young, and I fear that we will soon see a trend of early deaths among skin bleachers within her age range.

    I’ve noticed a few, recent, pre-mature deaths of notable Africans who bleached their skin. The media and families never specify what the cause of death was. But if they’ve been bleaching, IMO, 9 times out of 10 that’s the cause of death.

  • http://areyouondrugs.com AreYouOnDrugs

    *soap*

  • Jade

    Dencia is NOT Nigerian. She is 100% Cameroonian. when Denicia first started out as a singer she was lying saying that she was Nigerian. She was so desperate in getting into the Nigerian scene/culture and then when she was outed as a Cameroonian she finally started telling the truth about her origins LOL. SHe claims a very distance great-great grandparent was Nigerian, yet we know she is lying. So in essence, people are using a Cameroonian singer to claim Nigeria is obsessed with bleaching. Wonder why people don’t analyze Cameroon.

  • simplyme

    ““Skin toning,” as it’s called in Nigeria, is big business. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 77-percent of Nigerian women, the highest percentage in the world use skin-lightening products on a regular basis. While some lighten their skin to adhere to a Western standard of beauty, many women bleach their skin because it affords them better marriage prospects and a greater chance at social mobility.”

    This is pretty irresponsible. Sorry, but I’m not buying that a whopping 77% of Nigerian women are bleaching their skin. To quote an anecdote and place next to a statistic like that is misleading. I’m pretty sure skin toning/lightening creams are most common in Nigeria because Black people tend to suffer from hyperpigmentation most. Are people lightening their skin? Yes. But how many of that 77% is for spot correcting? Probably the vast majority.

  • WhatIThink

    Unfortunately, most of this crap is being promoted by the music, fashion and entertainment industry. These same forces control the beauty and fashion industry, where black models are forced to adopt straight hair in order to “fit in”. This same industry is also in charge in America, the Pacific, Asia and Europe. This industry has always promoted Africans as “black Europeans”, from the female groups in the 50s and 60s wearing wigs for white women to the males getting their hair straightened so they could be like Sammy Davis or Nat King Cole. And today Beyonce is a spokeswoman for Loreal which means she isn’t just wearing blonde hair just because “she’s worth it”. No, she is getting paid for it.

    In Africa there is a push to produce the most ratchet behaviors imitating American black folks as possible. It is like they are taking American ratchetness to new levels. Look at Big Brother Africa if you aren’t sure what I am referring to. Bollywood even though run by Africans is more ratchet than anything. And there have been quite a few African female entertainers who have had their skin lightened. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Now as some have said, this woman may not be Nigerian, but there was a Nigerian entertainer named Goldie Harvey who passed away last year who was well known for having bleached skin and blonde hair. There are also other entertainers across Africa who are doing this as well. It isn’t just West Africa.

    This is being pushed and it is part of an agenda and unfortunately there are far too many who are willing to do these things in order to get fame and fortune. And of course by them doing it a lot of the masses will follow.

    A recent film was made in Britain by Africans there on the exact same topic.
    The film is called “beauty is” and there is a trailer for it on youtube.

  • Olinda

    This woman went to the extreme–Yes. However there some people who lighten only 1 or 2-3 shades not 5 or 7 like this chick unfortunately did. I actually think the in between image of her in the article was very pretty The middle one).

    The third one –the current one where she looks like a ghost is obviously weird looking. Again the middle image– the one where it is light caramel suited and enhanced her features.

    Im simply giving an honest non judgmental observation.

    I actually knew a Haitian girl back at my high-school who did lighten her skin (she was 1 shade darker than Jennifer hudson’s shade without lighting from camera and makeup) to 3 shades lighter and it actually suited her features.(especially her eye shape). And yes people did notice this.

    Believe it or not she actually did receive A LOT of compliments from both male and females but mainly males. I noticed the girls at our school would secretly say negative things but then would admit “she does look good with it though”. I at least applaud their honesty.

    Funny thing is that when she discontinued the use of the products and didnt wear as much sunscreen (she got darker) ALL of the girls who were pissed at her decision were now saying she looked like she downgraded, and were actually glad that she was less pretty now,–Their words not mine.

    These insecure hypocrites were first upset she decided to lighten her skin because they KNEW she looked better with it, but now she got darker they are calling her all sorts of bad names towards her appearance. How the hell are you gonna get mad at the girl for lightening her skin but then when she gets back darker you actually go back to calling her ugly and now you are happy that she is no longer a really pretty
    “threat”?

    Phony assses

    Interestingly in a sad way, she also received less attention form the boys.

    Regarding the comments about bad skin reactions form skin lightening products. she had no bad physical reaction because she actually did use natural based products (YES those do exist contrary to what biased sources tell you). Not all skin lightening products are mercury filled, poison filled etc.

    People spread that myth because it suits their own personal agenda, and they are simply offended by what another individual is doing with their own body that they consider wrong for themselves personally.

    To those who say that EVERYONE looks bad when they lighten their skin–
    That is actually extremely dishonest.

    You are simply offended at what they did thus you are not casting away that personal side bias to make an HONEST observation. Just because it pisses you off they did that action doesn’t mean you have to make a blinded non NEUTRAL observation.

    I do STRONGLY AGREE though, that some people look bad when they lighten their skin. It doesn’t suit everyone. However, there are some people who do look very nice or even better when they lighten their skin.–That makes you uncomfortable so it is automatically untrue?? Smh. That is not how reality works.

    By by the way I also STRONGLY AGREE that some people look waaayyy better dark or very dark skin. But that Haitian girl back at my high school that I mentioned was not one of them.

  • http://darkanddusky.tumblr.com KissOfDanger

    In defense of some of the points Olinda has made. She has made alot of good points in her post. Can we be real a stop being so quick to take offense to listen to what she’s actually saying? There are alot of people who bleached but you wouldn’t even know it becuase it looks so natural.There are alot of “whitening” products out there that are harmless, and is just filled with VitaC, or niacinimide NOT mercury. How many AMerican products have we tested for mercury? We would be shocked at the results. The average woman eats 2lbs of lipstick, gloss, balm, etc. in her lifetime and most lipsticks have had way more than the “safe” amount of mercury in it. Where is the outrage about that!? Don’t get me started on the creams that are actually harful. We know all about that. Nigerians don’t bleach they “tone”. LOL!!!!!! (psst. It’s the same thing. There is a cream over there that is huge with the upper class called MEGATONER, along with glutathione injections) Buyer beware! If you are mature enough to understand, and take the risks then good luck. Just don’t come back crying when you get burned!

    We love to say that black comes in all shades, and colors. Then why are we offended when someone wants to be a lighter shade of “black”? Black is black right? Our hair comes in ALL textures right? If wanting to be lighter is a remant of colonialism then what are we really saying about light skinned blacks? We refuse to admit that THEY are remnants of colonialism and not a “natural” occurence for the black “race”. This is why all this hoopla about bleaching and perming fascinates me, becuase people are quick to shame others using arguments that don’t make sense. Colorism is real. Denica is real. She is a real person with real experiences who felt like lighter skin would get her “in”. Calling her a liar would be deliberately casting a blind eye to COLORISM. Denica is a grown ass woman. She can sell her cream with it’s ignorant ass name all day long. However I caution us to think twice why we love to roast these people, but go back to acting the same way as before. Some people here are mad becuase they could never bleach their skin and get away with it so they take it out on Denica. Some people genuinely feel that black IS beautiful and that she shouldn’t cave into pressure. However the latter is more common.

    I think it’s sad that we live in a world that a woman is forced to conform or suffer horrible consequences. Then when she does conform she is called fake, and is never treated as well as the “real thing”. YOU CAN’T WIN. I hope both sides realize this and get out of this awful judgemental pattern of ourselves and other people.

    Do you Denica. DO YOU!

  • http://darkanddusky.tumblr.com KissOfDanger

    I already see the thumbs down which means that people still aren’t getting it. We as humans have the right to bodiliy autonomy. We are treading on dangerous territory telling people what to do on BOTH sides.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    welcome to the post-racial planet earth.

  • http://livefromthematrix.tumblr.com TAE

    The cold thing about Kiss of Danger and Olinda’s point of view is that as much as I’d like to find fault I can’t. I mean you could argue that it’s about not being happy in the skin that you were born with and that what drives the motivation to bleach( to be more attractive, to be more acceptable)and how those things have been separated from dark skin (in the the realm of the mainstream) is the problem but it all comes down to the “bodily autonomy” KOD is talking about. We have every right to bleach our hair blonde, shape our noses, get butt injections, wear hazel contacts, and lighten our skin, the degree of condemnation varying. And as Olinda says the young lady who lightened received more attention. I remember I saw this experiment on tv where they put a woman on the corner in a dress, high heels, and makeup and she had to pretend to drop her purse and every time she did, some man ran over to help her. Same woman on the corner, same scenario, just in sweats and a baseball cap this time and maybe once or twice out of the 10 times she dropped her purse did she get the same response. At this point it is what it is, through the teacher of lived experience, some folks have come to the conclusion that lighter is and always will be better. There is nothing that can be said, no amount of texts shared, or lectures and presentations attended to convince them otherwise, thought there’s a part of me that refuses to believe that ain’t true. If you woke, be grateful.

  • WhatIThink

    This isn’t about bodily autonomy. You can chop your own arm off or dip your feet in acid if you want. That is perfectly your call. But that doesn’t make it sensible and certainly doesn’t mean it should be promoted to anyone else.

    If Dencia is just promoting bodily autonomy, then why is she promoting and selling a product to other people? That goes beyond the autonomy of her own body doesn’t it? And do you think this product is really her own and not being manufactured by a foreign company? Seriously?

    The problem I have with these people who talk about how “free” black people are is that they never say we are simply free to be black with no additives, alterations or adjustments. Just plain old black the way nature made me black. They try and crouch their logic in the idea that some alterations and adjustments are still within the range of blackness. But going down this slippery slope only leads to silicone injected Ronald Mcdonald technicolor look likes, which they will still claim is “black”. Seriously? We need to stop with this nonsense.

    And to put it into proper context, considering that white people have spent the last 500 years or more trying to wipe all the diverse black features off the face of the earth, I don’t see why they don’t value those features as opposed to trying to alter them.

    Remember, once black people are gone there is no coming back.

  • http://livefromthematrix.tumblr.com TAE

    @WhatIThink

    I’m not sure if you were addressing me but I’m going to respond anyway, purely in the spirit of dialogue.

    I feel you, I truly do, but as you say this is a slippery slope, and that’s the point, there’s no easy way to traverse a slippery slope. It’s a troubling and extremely complex issue but I do believe that the bottom line, beneath the socio-historical context and pathology, is bodily autonomy and we don’t give enough credence to that.

    Of course there’s other factors in play leading to the decision to undergo dramatic cosmetic changes but at the end of the day if a grown woman decides that she wants to chop of her arm or dip her feet in acid she’s going to do it and most folks who feel like their way is the right way usually attempt to convince others to join them, I think that’s just human nature, to convert others to our point of view.

    There’s a several subcultures dedicated to different types of extreme body modification and I’m beginning to see skin lightening in the same vein, thought I’m fully aware of the conditions that makes it possible for something like that to exist. When you say that folk who talk about free black people never say that black people are free to be who they are without additives or alterations, I can’t say that I agree and if you perceived that from my statement it wasn’t my intention. The point I meant to make was that to be free and black looks different for different people. To some folks being free and black means all natural everything while for others it means a lacefront and silicone. So what I’m wondering is at what point does a black person loose their blackness through altering their physical appearance? Was Michael Jackson still black despite what he decided to do to himself? What about Lil Kim? And that’s where it get slippery. Personally I’ve been trying to expand my understanding and compassion for members of the diaspora that do things or have pov’s that I find repulsive or hard to comprehend, which made me look at this particular subject a little differently.

  • http://darkanddusky.tumblr.com KissOfDanger

    “If Dencia is just promoting bodily autonomy, then why is she promoting and selling a product to other people?”

    That is like saying if we believe in bodily autonomy then why do we sell soap, toothpaste, and deodorant to people. Or better yet why do we sell combs and brushes. No one HAS to buy the cream. (I advise against it) That is the beauty of it. Denica is not shoving this down anyone’s throat like some street vendor. Her cream sold out. PEOPLE WANT THAT SHIT! Deal with it!

    By the way. Africa’s poulation has recently reached one BILLION. That does not include the diapora, melanesians, and other “blacks”. We will be just motherfuckin fine.

  • Ishtar

    The girl above is not even Nigerian in any way. She should be sued by the Nigerian government for false impersonation lol.

    The average Nigerian comes in many different shades and at least half of the country is “fair-skinned”. The people who actually do bleach in Nigeria (which is a small percentage by the way) are usually those who are already light in complexion. This article is heavily biased, and I can see that people are still bitter over the book and list compiled by Tiger Mom which stated that Nigerians were highly successful people. No need to remain angry with us.

  • Really,hun?

    One question Ishtar, how did this subject of Dencia’s skin color equate to Tiger mom’s book?

    You completely went of the subject. This is a story about a young woman who is being criticized for changed her skin tone and the people who are infuriated with it. You assumed that the people criticizing her thought that there are no lighter skin Africans. So not what these people are implying. They are upset because this girl is giving the wrong message to Black people all over the world.

  • Talle

    I simply cannot believe in this. I’ve seen several stories like this, and I’m calling it for Photoshop. I have severe acne scarring with hyperpigmentation and have been using hydroquinone products, prescription strength and non, for years now, and while my scars lighten, my base skin tone has not changed one whit. Nor have the scarred areas EVER gotten lighter than my surrounding base skin tone. (For which I am happy.) These people are either doing something else entirely or are taking the piss out of all of us with strategic Adobe use.

  • Talle

    Apparently some of the men are bleaching too.

  • Talle

    Those meds work on vitiligo patients because their melanin is already weak. If you go to providers of the medication, however, they will tell you on their websites, in their literature and so on that it does not work on healthy dark skin — it leaves uneven permanent streaks and spots and is just horrible. I’ve spoken to my dermatologist about scar/birthmark removal, and one of the major problems is that on dark skin many of these methods — creams, lasers in particular (very unreliable, they can leave you with either too light spots or make hyperpigmentation worse), but especially that vitiligo medication — are not reliable — they remove too much pigment, unevenly. So I can see why the vitiligo medication would not take off. Better to just put a quality, well-matched foundation over the scars…

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