Blac Chyna comes under fire for promoting skin bleaching cream on Instagram

The product claims to 'brighten and lighten' skin

Sarah Young
Wednesday 21 November 2018 10:16
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Blac Chyna appears in skin whitening advert

Blac Chyna has come under fire for promoting a skin bleaching cream on social media.

The Instagram star has partnered with Whitenicious by Dencia to create a $250 (£195) skin-brightening lotion housed in a Swarovski crystal-coated jar.

According to the brand’s website, the Whitenicious x Black Chyna Diamond Illuminating & Lightening Cream “gives a brightening glow for younger-looking skin” and “brightens and lightens without bleaching skin out”.

The 30-year-old mother-of-two has endorsed the cream with numerous social media posts including one on Instagram that announced she would be launching the product with an upcoming appearance in Nigeria.

“Lagos Nigeria, join me at the first official launch of my face cream this Sunday November 25th at the Whitenicious store from 1-5PM. Everyone is invited,” Chyna wrote.

People were quick to call out the star for promoting European beauty standards, taking particular issue with her plans to plug the cream in Nigeria - where 77 per cent of women use skin lightening products on a regular basis.

“Why’s #BlacChyna coming to Lagos to launch and promote her bleaching cream? We’re fighting for self love here and she’s literally spitting on our faces. I’m beyond disgusted at this point” one person wrote on Twitter.

Another person added: “Blac Chyna is having a skin bleaching party in Nigeria. How very problematic!”

A third person wrote: “Bleaching creams are not cool”.

Others came to Chyna’s defence stating: “Skin lightening didn’t start with Blac Chyna.

“I know for some of you, she may be an easy target, but we need to get to the root of the problem… how darker skinned black people have been conditioned to hate their complexion”.

In response to the backlash a spokesperson for Chyna told TMZ: “Blac Chyna's been using Whitenicious dark spot corrector for a few years to deal with her hyperpigmentation.

“We're told Chyna felt this was a good deal for her because a lot of women of colour suffer from skin issues”.

But Chyna isn't the first to promote skin bleaching. Last year, a Nivea advert that featured a black woman using one of the company’s skin lightening products with the tagline ‘visibly lightens’ was branded racist by social media users.

In fact, while we often hear of skin bleaching predominantly happening in Africa, it’s widely practised everywhere, including the US, Southeast Asia and India.

Previously speaking to The Independent, Dr Sujata Chandrappa, a Bengaluru-based dermatologist said that clients often visit her clinic wanting the skin tone of their favourite celebrity.

“There’s a pressure on men and women, among themselves,” she said.

“They have some role model in their head and they want to get there no matter what. That’s the wrong concept.

“If I encourage them too much, I get the sense that I’m promoting racism.”

Today, these types of products are illegal in the UK but a recent BBC undercover investigation revealed that illegal skin-whitening creams are still being sold all over the British high street.

What's more, many were found to contain ingredients such as hydroquinone, which can damage the liver and nervous system. Trading Standards officials said there was “no excuse” for selling the creams.

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