The ‘Melaniin Goddess’: Meet the model whose skin tone made her a social media sensation

She calls herself the ‘Melaniin Goddess,’ but years before Khoudia Diop came to celebrate her strikingly dark skin, the 19-year-old model struggled with bullying over her complexion.
Today, it’s not only her proudest asset, it has made her an overnight social media sensation.
After partnering with The Colored Girl on a recent campaign to promote diversity, images of Diop went viral online. The Colored Girl is a creative agency dedicated to celebrating beauty in women of color.

As a full-time model who first made her mark in Paris before moving to New York, Diop’s sudden online fame — she went from 300 to 350,000 followers on Instagram in a matter of days — is perhaps a hopeful sign for an industry often criticized for its lack of diversity.

Only around a quarter of the women that strut the catwalks of the industry’s largest events — including New York Fashion Week — are models of color, according to a diversity report by The Fashion Spot.

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