As a dark skin black woman, I have often been made to feel (and told to my face) I would be “prettier if I were light skinned.”
There is a lot of pressure on black women to lighten their skin with the skin lightening industry worth an estimated $10 billion dollars.
So it is refreshing to see a black model being embraced for her skin tone. Khoudia Diop was bullied growing up because of her dark skin tone.
Diop, 19, who calls herself ‘The Melanin Goddess’ has more than 450,000 followers on Instagram.
But says she was ‘teased a lot’ growing up and still gets negative comments online now – all because of the color of her skin.
Khoudia says that she used to face up to bullies by confronting them, but now prefers to ‘not pay attention’ to negativity.
The inspirational teen says she chooses to focus on learning to ‘love myself more every day’.
Khoudia was born in Senegal and moved to France when she was 15. She now lives in New York,
She said: ‘I was teased a lot growing up, because of my skin tone. By other kids, and now even online sometimes, people will make comments.’
‘They nicknamed me ‘darky’ and ‘daughter of the night.’
‘Growing up, I faced it by confronting the bullies. As I grew, I learned to love myself more every day, and not pay attention to the negative people, which helped a lot.’
Khoudia added: ‘I want to inspire young girls and let them know that we are all goddesses inside and out.’
‘The message I have for my sisters is that how you look doesn’t matter as long as you feel beautiful inside,’ she said.
Khoudia, who started modeling just two years ago when she was 17, said she wants to change the modeling industry perceptions of beauty by encouraging people to be confident in the way they look.
She wrote on Facebook: ‘One of my goals is to make all my dark-skinned sisters out there laugh at those with their “beauty standards” they’re nobody. Do not let noooobody tell you how you should look. Start glowing queen.’
‘I want to inspire other young women of color and empower them. I want them to know that they can do and be anything they dream of.’
Her management, The Colored Girl Inc, said recently said on Instagram: ‘When we “discovered” Khoudia she had less than 100 followers and maybe 10 post in total. ‘
‘She’s a rare beauty that we had to have in our campaign. In less than a month she now has almost 500k followers.’