19 year old Senegalese Model, Khoudia Diop was once bullied for her skin tone, which can be described as a darker shade of black. This is not a blemish; rather, her unique skin tone makes Khoudia one of the few individuals on the planet with extreme skin tones. But the world would mock her for looking so different. They bullied and harassed her, but Khoudia was undeterred and fought back!
Khoudia was teased a lot as a child because of her skin tone. School mates would mock and bully her. Passerby would drop disturbed glances at her way, as if she was a demonic doppelganger of the devil himself.
Some of the nicknames which people bestowed upon her include 'darky' and 'daughter of the night'. These reprehensible nicknames were designed to depress the young girl into a state of perpetual misery. Khoudia however was just a child and felt vulnerable.
Pushed to the edge by her harassers, Khoudia decided to try skin bleaching products - her attempt to address this unique skin pigmentation. Thankfully it had little effect, but at the time it depressed Khoudia to no end.
Khoudia grew around relatives who desperately relied on skin products to make their skin look 'fair'. These women would sometimes end up cooking their own products which would end up burning their own flesh off. It's disturbing how women put their own bodies on the line.
It eventually dawned on Khoudia, why should she feel depressed about the world's warped definition of beauty? Why should she become victimized for something which she obviously has no control over? As a teen, she began to filter out the criticism.
What was the best means of Khoudia to silence the naysayers? Becoming a model. Something which her critics chalked up to an oxymoron actually turned out to be a viable gig! Khoudia soon garnered more than 500 thousand followers on Instagram.
The best part about it is how Khoudia is using her own haters as an inspirational tool to motivate herself to state of success. Khoudia is actually on a mission to prove to the world that how you look doesn't matter.
Khoudia's message is that women should feel beautiful inside and not fret over society's definition of what constitutes to be beauty. She wants all girls - especially those who feel victimized due to their dark color - to feel beautiful!
Khoudia wants to enact new beauty standards in society. One in which black girls are seen as the main event, and not just something shoved on the screen for 'racial diversity'. A noble goal which will require her to challenge stereotypes.
When society sees something different than what is considered mainstream, they seek to restore normality to what they consider is the norm. This is actually true in black communities as well, where white people are sometimes criticized for their skin tone.
Some people prefer white skin, some dark. That preference however has nothing to with ugliness or beauty. We believe that a person who uses the term 'ugly' is describing their own self and is in need of psychiatric evaluation!
"Because of my own dark, melanin rich complexion and because I want to inspire young girls worldwide, to let them know that we are all 'goddesses' inside out". That's the noble message Khoudia wants to lend other girls out there.
Thanks to her deep chocolaty skin, Khoudia has recently featured in "The "Colored" Girl Project", a diversity campaign designed to create awareness about body shaming and racism. The campaign went viral and she now has over 500,000 followers on her Instagram page.
Khoudia has also appeared in French cosmetics brand 'Make Up For Ever". They use her flawless skin as the a canvas for just about any makeup they want. This includes using gold lipstick, silver eye shadows which standout for their noticeable contrasts.
Khoudia is now appreciated by people from the world over. They all praise her looks as beautiful. However, amidst the millions of inspirational comments, a few handful do manage to sneak in every now and then - but Khoudia filters out the noise.