Khoudia Diop was born in Senegal 19 years ago, and she has spent the majority of her life dealing with something that many people don’t have to even think about. She was born with incredibly dark, melanin rick skin that is not only beautiful, but unique. Her uniqueness drew a lot of unwanted attention when she was younger, and it continues to do so to this day, only on a much smaller scale. Khoudia has since flipped the situation and now draws widespread praise and admiration for her beauty and her individuality.
The 19-year-old Khoudia is now a professional model, and she has stormed social media platforms like Instagram with her stunning photos. Her initial photoshoot was for The “Colored” Girl Campaign, which was originally envisioned as a way for different skin tones to be celebrated in the fashion industry. Khoudia was instantly praised for her rick, dark skin, and she has since started to pave a path into the fashion industry for herself.
Her journey has not been an easy one. When she was a child, she often experienced bullying and teasing as a result of her unusual skin tone. Children would chide her for the darkness of her skin, presumably for no other reason than she was different from the majority. The young woman now spends her time living in Paris and New York City, but she admits that even with her newfound celebrity status, she still receives untoward comments from people online. The vast majority of comments are positive, but she still receives more negatives comments overall than she ever did before, simply because of the ease of dissemination thanks to social media.
Khoudia now has more than 250,000 followers on Instagram, but she wasn’t always so lucky. As a child, her only way to deal with bullies was to stand up to them, and that strength has since allowed her to stand up against those who don’t believe in her. She knew that the secret to happiness wasn’t in the opinions of others, but in her opinion of herself. She started focusing on loving herself more and more everyday, despite any perceived differences that were shoved in her face by others.
Soon she realized she no longer cared about the negativity, and instead she gravitated toward positive situations and people. That wherewithal and personal strength pushed her to work toward a way she could share her story, and her first photoshoot seemed like the perfect opportunity. Her goal was to show other young women that outer appearances are unimportant compared to the feeling of internal beauty. Her message to young women is based on the idea that individuality and uniqueness is what makes humanity great. She believes in embracing these differences instead of trying to conform to the populace.
There is no reason for society to tell women like Khoudia that she isn’t beautiful, or that she can’t do whatever she works toward. Childhood bullies are a problem in just about every area of society all over the world. Children must be raised to understand the differences between them should be sources of celebration and not division. This often takes a lot of work on the part of the parents, and the unfortunate truth is that being a parent doesn’t automatically make you a responsible individual. Many parents refuse to teach their children that others should be respected, most likely because those parents don’t respect others in the first place.
Breaking the bullying cycle takes the efforts of those who are most closely affected by it. Khoudia Diop is doing an excellent job spreading the truth of the situation to young women everywhere.