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Blac Chyna
courtesy of Instagram/@whitenicious

Why is Blac Chyna releasing a skin lightening cream?

TextAlex Peters

Blac Chyna is collaborating with a skincare brand called Whitenicious and the internet is not impressed

Blac Chyna announced on her Instagram today that she has partnered with skincare brand Whitenicious to release a new “illuminating and lightening” cream. To launch the cream, which retails for $250 and comes in a Swarovski crystal-studded jar, Chyna is hosting an event in Lagos this Sunday.

The news is not sitting well with many on the internet, however. Although comments for the announcement post itself have been turned off (usually a bad sign), people have taken to Twitter to express their anger and disappointment.

With this “lightening” cream, Chyna has tapped into a historically fraught subject. Beauty products have long been used to reinforce and spread white beauty ideals. The whitening creams of the 1880s and 1890s reportedly promised to “turn the skin of a black person five or skin shades lighter” so “the Negro need not complain any longer of black skin,” and while Whitenicious states their cream brightens and lightens “without bleaching skin” many people are not impressed; the product is still a skin lightener and being launched in Nigeria where 77% of women use skin whitening products, as the World Health Organization reports.

Blac Chyna is not the first celebrity to release skin lightening products. In 2011 dancehall artist Vybz Kartel faced criticism for launching his own range of skin bleaching products. 

The former stripper and Keeping Up With The Kardashians star has yet to respond to criticism, however her people reportedly told TMZ: "Blac Chyna has been using Whitenicious dark spot corrector for a few years to deal with her hyperpigmentation. She felt this was a good deal for her because a lot of women of colour suffer from skin issues.”

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