Model Khoudia Diop, who last year became an Instagram sensation when her photos went viral, has revealed how she grew up feeling pressure to bleach her dark skin.
‘It’s a very big problem in my country,’ she said. ‘Around 12 or 13 my own cousin started asking me why I don’t want to use those products.’
She explained that in Senegal advertising for bleaching products is everywhere and many varieties cost less than a dollar to make them accessible to as many people as possible.
Horrifyingly, those who couldn’t buy them would concoct their own to burn their skin off.
‘Even if they can’t get those products they will use some medications for eczema. They won’t use it the proper way. They will use shampoo and all other kind of products and cook it together for skin bleaching,’ she explained.
‘They would put on pullovers and stay under the sun and that just made their skin pull off and it’s just horrible.’
Thankfully, Khoudia resisted the pressure to follow suit, explaining that her older sister would have prevented her if she’d wanted to try.
‘My sister wouldn’t let me use it. She would definitely fight with me,’ she explained.