The fight against bullying has taken another positive step forward in the form of Khoudia Diop.
The 19-year-old from Senegal has been no stranger to taunts about the colour of her skin. Her skin tone meant she was the target for hurtful and even racist comments by kids as she grew up.
“I was picked on by other kids, when I was a bit younger because [of the darkness] of my skin tone,” she told The Huffington Post. “But this is something that is actually quite normal in Senegal. It’s not a nice feeling and I’ve had to learn to love myself more every day and tune out the negativity, which helps a lot!”
But the bullying has only fuelled her want to succeed in life and show people that beauty shouldn’t be defined by standards. As a result, her positive attitude and inspirational story has touched thousands of people on social media.
Khoudia’s Instagram account now has almost 350,000 followers together with thousands of Facebook fans who receive her inspirational messages and advocacy for natural beauty.
She’s working together with other wonderful women for The Colored Girl, Inc who work to celebrate women of all backgrounds and advocate the importance of self-love.
Her dreams to become a model and represent the darker tones of skin colour and bring them more into the mainstream, are also picking up the pace.
But she’s not just an amazing example of unique beauty, she’s currently studying for her degree along side her current projects.
“We have lots of new offers and amazing projects in the works and I’m excited for the future!” she told HuffPost. “I’m currently also enrolled in school, full time. So I’m pursuing my degree and am going to continue modelling as well.”
For Khoudia, it’s all about blocking out the negativity from others and making sure she lives a life where self-love and pursuing personal success is a priority – a lesson that we can all use in our lives.
“I’ve learned to ignore the negative people and just be a living example of confidence and self-love. I let my life, and success, speak for itself,” she said.