Bullies, be gone.
Khoudia Diop is a 19-year-old from Senegal who has faced bullying throughout her life simply because of the color of her skin.
“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!”
(A 2015 survey revealed between 52 and 67 percent of Senegalese women use skin lightening products, Quartz previously reported.)
Diop’s story of overcoming bullying and rising to success touched thousands. She’s now aspiring to be a model and is also working with The Colored Girl, Inc., a group that promotes self-love and celebrates women of all backgrounds.
She’s also amassed an Instagram fanbase of over 200,000 and shares words of wisdom and empowerment with her followers.
“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 modeling as well.”
This summer, she made a stunning appearance in The Colored Girl’s The Colored Girl: Rebirth campaign.
Diop turns the other way from those who try to tear her down and hurt her with cruel words.
“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.