Khoudia Diop: The Senegalese Model Diversifying The Beauty Industry

'I want to inspire other young women of color and empower them.'

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It's hard to fathom why anyone could even contemplate treating someone differently because of the colour of their skin.

But unfortunately for Senegalese model Khoudia Diop, racism was something she regularly faced as a child growing up in her native country of Senegal.

'I was teased a lot growing up, because of my skin tone. By other kids, and now even online sometimes, people will make comments,' the 19-year-old told Daily Mail Online.

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But rather than hide away from her bullies, Diop decided to confront their prejudices head on and accept what makes her different, makes her unique.

'As I grew, I learned to love myself more every day, and not pay attention to the negative people, which helped a lot,' she explained.

As a result, at the age of 17 she carved out a modelling career – two years after moving to France – and has been on a mission to inspire others to love themselves, ever since.

I was 17yo time goes so fast ☺ #blackgirlmagic

A post shared by Khoudia Diop (@melaniin.goddess) on

The Parisian-based university student has quickly amassed over 300,000 followers given her inspiring messages on body confidence, using hashtags on Instagram such as #BlackGirlMagic, #MelaninOnFleek, and #DarkSkin and is receiving comments from fans such as 'you're spectacularly gorgeous' and 'I am captivated by your beauty'.

Such an amazing makeup artist 😍 @bellisima81 @thecgirlinc #beauty #darkskin #makeup #melanin #melaninonfleek

A post shared by Khoudia Diop (@melaniin.goddess) on

Now a model in New York and Paris, Khoudia is working with her modelling agency, The Colored Girl Inc, to normalise the appearance of darker skinned models on the catwalk and in major fashion and beauty campaigns.

'We need more women of colour in fashion, period. I want to inspire other young women of color and empower them. I want them to know that they can do and be anything they dream of,' she says.

Woman crush of the week, anyone?

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