Model Khoudia Diop, who last year became an Instagram
sensation when her photos went viral, has revealed how she grew
up feeling pressure to bleach her dark skin. 

The Senegalese rising star, 19, who lives in New York opened
up in a video for
Real Women, Real Stories, saying that she grew up surrounded by
relatives using skin bleaching products. 

‘It’s a very big problem in my country,’ she said. ‘Around 12
or 13 my own cousin started asking me why I don’t want to use
those products.’ 

She explained that in Senegal advertising for bleaching
products is everywhere and many varieties cost less than a
dollar to make them accessible to as many people as
possible. 

Horrifyingly, those who couldn’t buy them would concoct their
own to burn their skin off.  

‘Even if they can’t get those products they will use some
medications for eczema. They won’t use it the proper way. They
will use shampoo and all other kind of products and cook it
together for skin bleaching,’ she explained. 

‘They would put on pullovers and stay under the sun and that
just made their skin pull off and it’s just horrible.’ 

Senegalese rising star, Khoudia Diop, 19, who is now based in New York has opened up about the pressure she felt to bleach her skin when she was growing up 

Senegalese rising star, Khoudia Diop, 19, who is now based in
New York has opened up about the pressure she felt to bleach
her skin when she was growing up 

The model explained how some Senegalese women would cook up their own bleaching products, which would make their skin peel off 

The model explained how some Senegalese women would cook up
their own bleaching products, which would make their skin
peel off 

Thankfully, Khoudia resisted the pressure to follow suit,
explaining that her older sister would have prevented her if
she’d wanted to try.  

‘My sister wouldn’t let me use it. She would definitely fight
with me,’ she explained.

‘I felt like why would I change my skin. I didn’t have to
listen to nobody or look how anybody wanted me to look. I just
wanted to be myself and look however I want.’

The model, who refers to herself as the Melanin Goddess has
previously spoken about being bullied when she moved to Paris
at the age of 15.

The model refers to herself as the Melanin Goddess and learned to ignore people who bullied her over her skin colour 

The model refers to herself as the Melanin Goddess and
learned to ignore people who bullied her over her skin
colour 

The model said that her cousin started asking her when she was going to bleach her skin as soon as she became a teenager 

The model said that her cousin started asking her when she
was going to bleach her skin as soon as she became a
teenager 

She said: ‘I was teased a lot growing up, because of my skin
tone. By other kids, and now even online sometimes, people will
make comments.

‘Growing up, I faced it by confronting the bullies. As I grew,
I learned to love myself more every day, and not pay attention
to the negative people, which helped a lot.’

She said the reason behind her nickname, which makes reference
to the pigment that gives people their skin tone, is to
encourage people to be confident in themselves.

‘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.

‘The message I have for my sisters is that how you look doesn’t
matter as long as you feel beautiful inside,’ she said.

Despite being bullied for her skin colour Khoudia has never wanted to change how she looks and wants to be a role model for other girls 

Despite being bullied for her skin colour Khoudia has never
wanted to change how she looks and wants to be a role model
for other girls