Despite being bullied for the darkness of her skin, Khoudia Diop has embraced her difference. You can certainly say that her incredible strength to stand up to bullies has paid off. The 19-year-old student and gorgeous model from Senegal (a country on Africa’s west coast) has become an Internet sensation who has inspired many to love themselves just the way they are.
Diop’s inspiring story has touched thousands around the Web. She is currently working with a group called The Colored Girl. The group aims at empowering, celebrating and uniting women from all walks of life. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Diop said she has learned to love herself more every day. When she hears any negativity about her skin tone, she just ignores it.
In addition to the massive exposure Diop has recently had, she has gotten new offers. Although she is pursuing a degree in Paris, it is no surprise that she has chosen to continue modeling.
Diop’s Exploding Instagram Fan Base
Diop sure has grown a huge following on Instagram. If you take a look at various articles online, you will likely notice that the number of followers is growing extremely fast. On 10/25/2016, The Huffington Post had her at over 200,000 followers. Not even a week later, the number has nearly doubled to 400,000. Khoudia Diop’s Instagram account is under the name “Melanin Goddess.”
In Senegalese, Skin Rich In Melanin Is Very Common
According to Diop, her type of skin tone is actually quite normal in her native country. The picture above shows several students from Senegal. If you take a look at the woman to the right, you see skin color that is similar to Diop’s. If you go to Google Images and search for “Senegalese People,” you will see that there are also many others who have her skin color.
An interesting study in 2000 revealed that 67.2% of Senegalese women use skin bleaching cosmetics. There were 600 women from 15 to 55 years old who participated in the study.
Skin Color In Early Humans
This is a head model of an adult female Homo erectus. The reconstruction is based on fossils that date back around 1.5 million years. Based on various theories, scientists believe that 1.5 million years is the estimated time for the emergence of skin pigmentation in early humans.
Here is a head model by American artist John Gurche. It is based on the Shanidar 1 fossil, which was a Neanderthal male fossil believed to date back around 70,000 years. Some Neanderthal populations are believed to have developed light skin by 40,000 years ago. According to Science Daily, ancient DNA has revealed that some Neanderthals were actually redheads with pale skin.
Due to the darkness of her skin tone, Diop grew up getting bullied. Instead of trying to change the color of her skin to help her fit in, she stayed strong and did not accept the abuse. Although she still faces offensive comments online, it doesn’t bother her in the slightest. Khoudia Diop is a stunningly beautiful woman with a difference that just might diversify the beauty industry.