“Melanin Goddess” Khoudia Diop Talks About Her Ongoing Process Of Self-Love

November 2, 2016  |  

You’ve likely seen Khoudia Diop’s face pop up in your Instagram feed a time or two and were struck by her luminous black skin and that beaming smile which bares a perfect set of bright white teeth. Diop is a strikingly beautiful sight to behold, which is why we’re not surprised the 19 year old is a model. But, sadly, not everyone sees the beauty in her dark skin.

It wasn’t until the Senegalese native left her home and moved to New York City that she began to be teased for her complexion. She told People of her experience in the United States, “At first I confronted the bullies, but eventually I learned to stay positive, tune out the negativity and love myself more each day. This helped tremendously.”

Diop also gave herself a fitting nickname, “Melanin Goddess.”

“[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,” she told the mag. “The message I have for my sisters is that how you look doesn’t matter as long as you feel beautiful inside.”

The message is one Diop has to constantly remind herself of, even with all the fanfare she’s received as of late. Featured in The “C” Girl, Inc.‘s The Colored Girl: Rebirth campaign  — a celebration of the Black woman in her own skin — Diop said she knew she wanted to be a model at 17 because she “wanted to be a living example of inspiration for other women and girls.”

Part of living up to that desire is making sure she remains okay with the woman she sees in the mirror.

“Self-love is an ongoing process and practice,” Diop said. “I’ve had to sit with myself, learn myself, find the things I like about myself, and celebrate them. This is how I’ve recovered from the aggressive negativity sent my way.”

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