- Khoudia Diop has shared stunning photos of herself to mark her country's independence
- The 20-year-old model from Senegal has taken the international modeling circuit by storm
- She overcame bullying over her dark skin to achieve international success
Senegalese model Khoudia Diop has shared stunning photos of herself to mark her country's 57th independence anniversary, which was on April 4.
The 20-year-old model, who is popularly known as "Melanin Goddess," has taken the international modeling circuit by storm over the past couple of years.
She shared the photos on her popular Instagram page with the following message: "Senegal Independence means a lot to me. We’re freed from certain restrictions placed on us, and can do what we dreamed about as a people, and most importantly really express and be ourselves."
Diop is known for her beautiful dark skin and has become a symbol of being comfortable in one's skin.
She graces major circuits, including Paris and New York, where she is now based. She is also hugely popular on social media, with more than 440,000 Instagram followers.
However, her immense success didn't come easily. In a recent interview, she said she suffered so much bullying because of her dark skin that she stopped going to at school, adding: "I was so ashamed of it that I would spend hours in the shower crying and trying to wash my skin off."
Furthermore, many doubted her ambitions to become a model. She said: "Where I grew up, we had light skinned models, but not dark. Every time I would talk about being a model with my friends, they would start laughing out loud."
However, Diop never gave up, and now, the sky is her limit. She is nevertheless down to earth and has not forgotten her roots, hence the photos in traditional Senegalese attires.
She said she also hopes to inspire young girls to believe in themselves, adding: "I really want to be an inspiration for young girls. I don't want anybody to feel the way I felt when I was younger."
Watch Diop share her experience in the video below.