By Lilly Workneh (Article originally published on theGrio.com)
Lupita Nyong’o may have many admirers — but one person in particular doesn’t seem to be a fan of the Oscar-winning actress or the pride she has in her dark-skinned complexion.
In several social media rants, Nigerian-Cameroonian pop star Dencia — who is also the creator of a controversialskin-whitening cream called Whitenicious — has repeatedly criticized the 12 Years a Slave star after the actress name-checked her company during an acceptance speech.
Nyong’o described a letter she’d received from a young girl who had been contemplating using Whitenicious at the Essence Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon in February. The actress said the girl cited her as an inspiration not to go through with lightening her skin.
“My heart bled a little when I read those words,” said Nyong’o in her widely praised remarks.
Nyong’o’s speech shed light on the inferiority she once felt as a child because of her dark skin color. Now, the Hollywood ‘It’ girl exudes nothing but pride in her skin tone and encourages all girls to do the same.
However, Dencia was unimpressed with Nyong’o’s message and took to Twitter to mock her statements and the acclaim the actress has earned thus far.
“Every year the Oscars use 1 black scape goat 2 fool blacks 2 support them,this is ur year,next year another black person get over urselves[sic],” one of Dencia’s awards season tweets read.
“& oh @Lupita_Nyongo cln’t talk abt the bleaching creams white people (Companies) make cuz the white man pays her,they own her!![sic]” she later said.
Last week, Nyong’o signed a lucrative deal with Lancôme, establishing herself as the beauty brand’s first black ambassador.
This new development sparked yet another broadside from Dencia.
The cream Dencia may be referring to is Lancome’s Blanc Expert, which is described on the company’s website as “the latest brightening technology designed to regulate melanin production and awaken the luminosity of the skin.”
Meawhile, Dencia’s Whitenicious promises similar results, however the product has been slammed for ads that depict the pop star with extremely light skin which do not accurately reflect her real appearance.
In a recent sit-down interview with Britain’s Channel 4, Dencia defended the use of skin-lightening products and weighed in on Nyong’o’s rejection of the use of creams like Whitenicious.
“I don’t know her, her story is her story, that’s her personal life,” Dencia told Channel 4. “I dont care about her story. I’m an adult, if I lighten my skin, it’s my choice.”
Watch the clip from her appearance below: