This Teen Was Bullied For Her Skin Tone, Now She’s A Model And Social Media Star

Khoudia Diop lived her entire life with the torment of bullies all around her. Throughout her childhood and young adult life, people would make fun of her for her dark skin tone. Now, Khoudia has turned the tables around on her ‘haters’ and has gained unimaginable success that had made her proud of her beautiful skin color.

20. Khoudia Diop

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Khoudia Diop was born in Senegal, West Africa where she was born and raised until she turned 15. At 15, Khoudia moved to Paris, France where she immediately realized that her skin tone was much different than her fellow classmates. This made her a target for bullies.

19. Teased

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I was teased a lot growing up, because of my skin tone. By other kids, and now even online sometimes, people will make comments,” Diop told the Daily Mail in an interview. “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.

18. Cruel Names

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In an interview, Diop revealed some of the cruel names that other people would call her. Some included hurtful and racist names like “darky” and “daughter of the night.” Through all of us, Khoudia remained strong and refused to let it get to her. She revealed that the mean words only made her stronger…

17. Stronger

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Bullies used to come with all kind of names thinking I’ll feel bad about my color,” she wrote on Instagram post where she revealed her true feelings. “[But] guess what? I loved them all and showed them how much I didn’t care about what they think.

16. Empowerment

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In order to take control away from the people that were hurting her, Khoudia began to post empowering posts and selfies onto her Instagram account. She nicknamed herself “Melanin Goddess” in order to show people that she was proud of her skin tone and not ashamed of herself. Then things began to turn around for her…

15. Modeling

Image: Empire Life Magazine

In 2014, modeling agencies began to actively seek out Khoudia in hopes of expanding the diversity in their agencies. She eventually made an appearance in The Colored Girl Project, which aimed to redefine beauty standards for black women of every skin color. “I started the ‘The Colored Girl’ Project because I wanted to show the different aspects of beauty as it pertains to Black women,” TCG founder Tori Elizabeth said.

14. Beauty Standards

Image: Elite Daily

I wanted to highlight and celebrate our unique beauty: our eyes, our lips, our cheekbones. I wanted women from different social and cultural backgrounds,” Elizabeth continued to explain. “I wanted women with angular eyes, women with freckles and fair skin, and women with really rich, ebony skin. It’s so important to be proud of who we are and showcase the beauty of blackness.”

13. Gaining Fame

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Thanks to the show, Khoudia became a well-known face in the modeling community. Now, she wants to use her influence to inspire other women of color.  “One of my goals is to make all my dark skinned sisters out there laugh at those [men and women] with their ‘beauty standards,’” she wrote on her Facebook page. “They’re nobody, noooobody to tell you how you should look.”

12. Diop’s Message

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Because of my dark, melanin-rich complexion and because 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.”

11. Negative Comments

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While Khoudia continues to work hard to promote a positive self-image, there are still many people who prefer to rain on her parade. One social media user commented a negative remark on one of Khoudia’s posts saying: “If I [had] this color I might triple bleach my soul because my reflection in the mirror may scare me.” Khoudia didn’t let that one slide…

10. Comeback

Image: Daily Mail

You got it wrong sis,” Khoudia wrote. “Trust me, because waking up and seeing my chocolate ass in the mirror is the first thing I do everyday and I can tell you how priceless it is to me and how bad I want to marry myself.

9. Self-Love

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Every time I see my smile in the mirror, it doesn’t scare me at all because it is who I am and I love it,” Diop wrote. “Educate yourself there’s way more than a light or dark skin tone to look or feel beautiful. Let your inner beauty shine through,” she finished.

8. Bleaching

Image: Glamour

The fact that Khoudia is taking such a bold stance with her self-love is very inspiring, especially when so many women turn to skin lightening creams. The creams are used to break down melanin in the skin to make the skin lighter. The treatment may work, but it comes with a lot of risks

7. Health Risks

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Even though it can actually be quite harmful to the body, many women indulge in the bleaching treatment. Some of the risks include scarring of the skin or the skin thinning. The worst risks include liver, nerve, or kidney damage.

6. Misconceptions

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A dermatologist from Nigeria spoke out about the phenomena and how women should not fall into the trap of believing that their skin is not beautiful. “There is a wrong belief that the light-complexioned ladies are more beautiful and acceptable to men,” explained Dr Olanrewaju Falodun, a consultant dermatologist at the National Hospital in Abuja, Nigeria.

5. Peer Pressure

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Over time ladies who are dark-complexioned, who have internalized this wrong perception, tend to lighten their skin to improve their sense of self-worth. The other reasons are ignorance and peer pressure,” Dr. Falodun continued.

4. Representation

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One of the biggest reasons for this warped sense of beauty is the lack of representation in the mainstream media of darker toned women. This underrepresentation is exactly what Khoudia is working against. Thanks to her work, Khoudia’s social media presence has only continued to grow.

3. Big Following

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Starting off with barely any followers, Khoudia has amassed a huge following of people on her social media accounts. Most notably, her Instagram account now has 554k followers currently. She is continuing to use her following to inspire more and more girls.

2. Big Dreams

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Khoudia is continuing to work on her modeling career and has stated that “the sky’s the limit” for her and her career. “I want to inspire other young women of color and empower them,” she said. “I want them to know that they can do and be anything they dream of.

1. Lucky

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Khoudia’s perseverance against her bullies is inspiring to all of us that hope to overcome the obstacles that life throws at all. Without wavering, Khoudia embraced her unique beauty and everyone followed in agreement. “If you’re lucky enough to be different, don’t ever change,” Khoudia wrote as a useful piece of advice to us all.