Meet Khoudia Diop, a Strikingly Dark-Skinned Model Who Turned Negativity Into Inspiration to Celebrate Her Unique Beauty

11 months ago

You might draw unwelcome attention if you happen to look different than your peers. Khoudia Diop is a Senegalese fashion model who endured criticism because of her deep dark skin color for a long time. However, she learned how to turn negativity into inspiration and now shares powerful advice on how to love yourself.

She suffered teasing.

Khoudia Diop was born in Senegal in 1996. Her mother moved to New York when she was 2 years old, so she was raised by her aunt back home. Diop was told by cousins to lighten her skin with beauty products, but she always refused, saying, “Skin bleaching products are very, very cheap creams, some of them cost less than a dollar. That’s how accessible they make them for women in my country.”

“I never tried it, but I’m not going to lie, I wanted to be lighter,” Diop continued. “There were times I wouldn’t leave my room for weeks and sometimes missed school because I hated how people would look at me. I really felt ashamed. But my older sister helped me find the positive.”

Diop has faced prejudice since she was a little kid. She remembers when kids would regularly call her names and make fun of her because of her deep, rich skin tone. She claimed that they nicknamed her things like “midnight” or “mother of stars.” Diop discovered how to accept both her inner and outer attractiveness and not pay attention to the criticism.

Melanin goddess

She has given herself the nickname, “melanin goddess.” She later explained, “[I gave myself the nickname] 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 model continued, “The message I have for my sisters is that how you look doesn’t matter as long as you feel beautiful inside.”

Later, she joined Instagram with the @BlackBarbie handle, which was something her friends used to call her growing up. But soon after, she decided to come up with something that would mean something to other dark-skinned girls. That’s how @melaniin.goddess came to be. “I wanted to show girls that it’s not something bad to be dark, that different is beautiful. It makes me proud to help girls realize that they don’t have to change who they are,” she later explained.

She started modeling at 17.

Diop moved to Paris at the age of 15. While attending a high school there, some photographers wanted her photos and she was constantly asked if she was interested in modeling. At first, she didn’t know what to do, but later, she decided to take the chance. “So I did it because I wanted to inspire girls,” said Diop.

Social media

She made the decision to pursue modeling at the age of 17. Diop was featured in The Colored Girl Project, a black beauty campaign that went viral in the summer of 2016. A few weeks later, she went from 300 followers on Instagram to more than 300,000.

Diop’s special skin tone has altered Instagram. She has more than 450,000 followers as of right now. Embracing the beauty of dark skin, self-esteem, and African culture are some of the topics she discusses on Instagram.

What are some beauty standards that should be kicked out of the fashion industry for good?


I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. ...
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