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Model Khoudia Diop: 'I was pressured to use skin bleaching products'

In a week-long collaboration with Real Women Real Stories, we publish a series of videos in which women share their personal tales of trauma; from rape to sex trafficking and racist bullying. Some of the stories are painful. But all of them need to be heard.


Khoudia Diop, 20, was bullied and made to feel ashamed for the colour of her skin. The Senegalese model, who has 540,000 followers on Instagram, calls herself the 'melanin goddess' and started modelling aged 17.

Last year, Khoudia went viral after speaking out against racist bullying - a subject on which she campaigns. 

Here, she talks honestly about the culture of skin bleaching in her home country.
Khoudia was first pressured to start using the bleaching products by her cousins, aged 12 or 13. She calls them a "big problem" and says: "the products are creams and they are very, very cheap, often as little as a dollar. That's how accessible they are for the women in my country.

"Of every 10 women, seven will use skin bleaching products. That's how popular they are."

The World Health Organization estimates that a quarter of Senegalese women use skin-bleaching products.

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