The idea of being light skinned is the idea of Beauty to me.
I want to go back in time and tell my younger self to embrace my beautiful dark skin. You are beautiful whatever color of skin you may have.L
Khoudia Diop was born in December 1996. Growing up in Senegal, she was bullied for he darker skin tone. It went to a point that she stopped going to school.
She was so ashamed of her skin color that she spend long hours in the shower, crying and trying to wash her skin off.
Her mom left the country when she was only three years old. K
They moved to Paris France when she was 15. She had to go and live with her to keep her company. Her aunt would always tell her not to change her skin color. It is beautiful, unique and she needs to love it.
After two years living in Paris Khoudia decided to go live with her family in New York. The Co-founder and founder of Colored Girls contacted her via Instagram and the pictures went viral from there.
Growing up she saw her friends and relatives using skin bleaching products. The World Health Organization says that a quarter of Senegalese women use skin bleaching products regularly.
The products, even those claiming to have so called natural components can contain mercury, hydroquinone or caustic agents like sodium hydroxide. These are dangerous ingredients that can cause cancer and are potentially disfiguring.
Skin bleaching is a big problem in her country. Her own cousins at the age of 13 started to ask her why she is not using those products.
The products that they are using are very cheap, like creams and some of them cost less than a dollar. That is how accessible they made those products for Senegalese women.
Even if they can’t get those products they will use medications for eczema and put some shampoo and other products and cook it all together.
They rub those products to their skin and put pullovers and stay out under the sun. Those products just made their skin peel off and it looks horrible.
7 out of 10 women will use skin bleaching products.You will see different kinds of skin bleaching products that are sold in large amounts in every Senegal streets.
Being young and black means everything . It means freedom because she you can be your authentic self and do what you love and inspire young generations.
Beauty is just being yourself and celebrate yourself without having to worry about what other people are going to think about you. Khoudia Diop (@melaniin.goddess)wants to show women that beauty comes in all colors.