Sudanese model Nyakim Gatwech was bullied for her dark skin growing up, but now she's become an international sensation thanks to her stunning look and teachings about self-love.
The 24-year-old first made headlines back in March after she revealed an Uber driver offered her $10,000 to bleach her skin, insinuating that her complexion was something to be ashamed of. While most would be enraged by this, Gatwech simply laughed it off.
"Why on earth would I ever bleach this beautiful melanin God [blessed] me with," she shared on Instagram. "You won't believe the kind of questions I get and the kind of looks I get for having this skin."
SOUTH SUDAN🇸🇸🇸🇸 A country with people so dark you won't believe your eyes.. skin so rich and teeth so bright. Gosh how I love my country my people and everything that come with it.. I was ask my uber driver the other day he said, don't take this offensive but if you were given 10 thousand dollars 💵 would you bleach your skin for that amount? I couldn't even respond I started laughing so hard. Than he said so that a no and I was like hell to the f*king yeah that a no, why on earth would I ever bleach this beautiful melanin God bless with me. Than he said so you look at it as a blessing? I just 🤦♂️ you won't believe the kind of questions I get and the kind of looks I get for having this skin. On that note #melaninmonday🍫🍫 ||different melanin|| 📸 @piokky 👗 @isaacwest Models: @moliesha95 @odur @chudes0212 @queenkim_nyakim
Since then, Gatwech has been dubbed the "Queen of Dark" by her fans and has been owning both her look and her new nickname.
"I actually like the name there is nothing wrong with darkness and [being called a] queen is just Cherry on the top," the model revealed to her 191,000 followers on Instagram on Wednesday. "Black is not a color of sadness or death or evil its just the way it has been portray for so many years. So I am the queen of the dark who bring light and love to those around me."
Gatwech is also using her platform to preach self-love and self-acceptance and redefine conventional beauty ideals with her dark skin. Thanks to her stunning modelling shots, the Sudanese model is proving that black is beautiful, too.
"MY EBONY SKIN STAY GLOWING," she wrote on Instagram. "I AM BLACK WITHOUT APOLOGY!!"
In another post, she shared: "We've come a long way but we still have a long way to go. My hope is that this post can remind you everyday of why you should be proud of your melanin. Why you should be proud of your heritage regardless of how light or dark your skin is. Stop comparing your skin [to] anyone. Change can only happen once you can truthfully look in the mirror and love that Deep Chocolate, Cinnamon, Mocha, or Caramel complexion."
In many places around the world, darker skin is seen as undesirable due to longtime biases and prejudices. And it doesn't help that women of colour, especially those with darker skin, are severely underrepresented in TV, movies, magazines and runways.
That's why Gatwech's positive attitude towards her complexion is so empowering. Not only is she redefining what beauty is, but she doesn't care what the haters say.
"Beauty is in the beholder," she wrote on Instagram. "My chocolate is elegant. So is what I represent. I represent a nation of warriors. You can see it in my presentation. MaMa Africa. My roots run deep!"
Beauty is in the beholder. My chocolate is elegant. So is what I represent. I represent a nation of warriors. You can see it in my presentation. MaMa Africa. My roots run deep! 👸🏿🇸🇸🍫 📸 @piokky 👙 @miss__aude @audeswim 💄 @queenkim_nyakim Model @queenkim_nyakim #africanqueen👸🏿 #confideniskey❤️ #southsudanesebeauty🇸🇸🇸🇸😍😍🙌🏿 #melaninpoppin🍫❤️✨ #melaningoddess👑🍫 #chocolate🍫 #darkchocolate #darkofdarkness👸🏿🖤
Watch the video above to hear more about the Queen of Dark.
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