This Model Is Fighting Stigma And Proving That Dark Complexions Are Goddamn Beautiful

by Rosa Schwartzburg


Khoudia Diop is a nineteen-year-old model working out of New York City and Paris who is revolutionizing what it means to look “high fashion.” Originally from Senegal (a country where between 52 and 67 percent of women use skin lightening products), Khoudia spent her childhood being bullied for her dark complexion. “I was picked on by other kids, when I was a bit younger because [of the darkness] of my skin tone,” she told The Huffington Post. “But this is something that is actually quite normal in Senegal. It’s not a nice feeling and I’ve had to learn to love myself more every day and tune out the negativity, which helps a lot!”

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Khoudia, who began modeling at seventeen and has over 287,000 followers on Instagram under the handle melaniin.goddess, says, “Even online sometimes, people will make comments.” Khoudia has demonstrated her strength and resilience, saying, “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.” Khoudia is pushing for everyone, particularly young girls of color to embrace their beauty, writing, “If you’re lucky enough to be different, don’t ever change.” 

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Khoudia has starred in a campaign for Colored Girl, Inc., an organization that strives to “shatter stereotypes, challenge industry standards, and disrupt the accepted ‘norms.’ Women from all walks of life; age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion will be highlighted through controversial and creative initiatives.”

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In addition to being a model, an anti-bullying advocate, and a crusader against anti-blackness stigma, Khoudia is also a university student. She works around the world, modeling and fighting for revolution in the fashion industry, as well as in society at large. When asked about the bullying and discrimination that she has faced, Khoudia says, “I’ve learned to ignore the negative people and just be a living example of confidence and self-love. I let my life, and success, speak for itself.”

All Photographs Courtesy of Diop’s Instagram 

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