When Khoudia Diop was growing up, she like many other kids around the world was bullied and picked on for looking different.
Diop’s heritage is Senegalese, but she grew up in New York. Growing up, she endured regular racist taunts about her very dark skin. Kids would call her cruel namessimply because of the color of her skin.
Although this awful behavior might beat some people down, Diop decided to keep her head up and embrace how she looked. And now, working as a fashion model at just 19 years old, she’s also inspiring others to love the skin they’re in.
In a world where we have to confront racism and how it affects the way we see beauty, it’s important to have role models like Diop, as well as other kids who are working to make the world a better and more peaceful place.
Today, Diop is a rising international fashion model, with a huge following on Facebook and Instagram, and she’s showing that, while people can be intolerant, ignorant, and downright mean, you can still love yourself and the world.
And that’s really beautiful.
[H/T: BoredPanda, Daily Mail, Design You Trust]
When Khoudia Diop was growing up, she was teased and bullied mercilessly for her very dark, melanin-rich skin.
But Diop never let the mean names get to her, and at 17, she started modeling professionally.
“I was teased a lot growing up because of my skin tone,” Diop says. “And now, even online sometimes, people will make comments.”
But she was never one to simply take the abuse. “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.”
She’s even come up with a nickname for herself that reflects her beautiful skin tone: Melanin Goddess.
She says the nickname is to inspire others to take pride in the color of their skin.
“[It’s] 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.”
Today, she’s blowing up the Internet and the modeling scene in Paris, where she now lives, and has been featured in many different campaigns and photo shoots.
And she wants to inspire and encourage other young girls to love and embrace their natural beauty with each photo, whether it’s a polished, professional shot…
or a casual snapshot at the beach.
“Bullies used to come up with all kinds of names, thinking I’dfeel bad about my color, but guess what? I loved them all and showed them how much I didn’t care about what they thought,” Diop says.
She also does work showcasing the beauty of all skin tones, ethnicities, sizes, and shapes, and is part of an ever-growing movement to make fashion and media more inclusive for all.
And Diop sums it up pretty beautifully herself: “If you’re lucky enough to be born different, don’t ever change.”
If you agree that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and skin tones, be sure toSHARE her story to inspire everyone to love their own unique beauty!
Read more: http://littlethings.com/