Model Khoudia Diop is opening up about the pressure that exists for many women in Senegal to lighten their skin.
In a video for Real Women, Real Stories, the model, 20, who now lives in New York City, spoke out about skin bleaching, a common practice in her native country.
“It’s a very big problem,” explained Diop, who says she grew up with “a lot” of her family members using skin bleaching products. “Around 12, 13 my own cousin started asking me why I don’t want to use those products.”
Known as “Melaniin Goddess” on Instagram — she is also a face of Make Up For Ever’s #BlendInStandOut campaign and The Colored Girl campaigns — Diop said skin bleaching products are advertised “everywhere” in Senegal and estimates 7 of 10 women use the products. (The video caption explained that even products claiming to be ‘natural’ can include “dangerous ingredients” like mercury, hydroquinone or sodium hydroxide, which “can cause cancer and are potentially disfiguring.”)
Read more: http://people.com/bodies/model-khoudia-diop-skin-bleaching/