Looking different from your peers can make you the target for unwanted attention. It’s something that many struggle with, but 19-year-old Khoudia Diop has learned to ignore the haters and focus on the positivity in her own life. Once bullied because of her skin color, the Senegalese model has adopted an optimistic attitude (and title) as a self-proclaimed “Melanin Goddess” who is now taking the internet by storm with her stunning beauty.
Diop moved to France when she was 15 and faced scrutiny from others. “I was teased a lot growing up, because of my skin tone,” she recalled to Daily Mail. “By other kids, and now even online sometimes, people will make comments.” Diop used to confront her bullies, but she eventually learned not to pay attention to these negative people—this simple shift “helped a lot.” She then created her nickname to encourage and empower both herself and others to feel good in their own skin. “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.”
Diop started her modeling career at the age of 17, and with a newfound virtual fame—her Instagram has skyrocketed to over 250,000 followers—hopes to continue to inspire others. She writes, “If you’re lucky enough to be different, don’t ever change.” Agreed!