A Nigerian and Cameroonian pop star who launched a skin cream called Whitenicious has defended her product after critics branded it an 'abomination' for promoting skin-bleaching.
In an interview with Ebony, Dencia claims that the skincare cream is intended to remove dark spots, and that it is out of her control if customers use it to whiten their entire skin.
Defending her own drastically altered appearance since she started using Whitenicious, the singer asserts: 'I was never that dark in real life... And guess what? I don't even care because [critics] are bringing me business.'
According to the product website, Whitenicious - which bears the slogan, 'Say goodbye to pigmentation and spots forever' - effectively lightens skin in just seven days.
Skin bleaching is a growing trend in Dencia's native West Africa, and critics are angered that it appears she is promoting it with her product.
Specifically, the pop star has been criticized for using her own changing skin tone as a marketing technique. Pictures of Dencia taken in 2011 show her with much darker pigmentation compared to the Whitenicious campaign where she appears several shades lighter.
She then elaborates by saying: 'Look at all the Africans that are successful in the world. They are as Black as Alek Wek. And if I was as Black as Alek Wek, I would never ever use anything on my skin.'
Ultimately, Dencia admits than Whitenicious can indeed be used to bleach skin, but that most women wouldn't use it this way because of its luxury price point.
'I don't see anybody spending all that money to bleach their entire skin,' she says of her product, which costs $60 for a small pot and $160 for a large one. 'I don’t see that happening.'
Without skipping a beat, though, she proceeds to contradict herself by asserting that if a customer were to bleach her entire skin, it would be beyond her control.
One person posted a tweet directed at her, writing: 'This #whitenicious cream of yours is an abomination and creating more insecurities among women all over the world.'
And another said: 'When Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "I have a dream…" The dream was not to become white.'