A model who was asked by an Uber driver if she’d bleach her body for £10,000 is rapidly becoming an icon for celebrating the beauty of black skin.
Nyakim Gatwech, 24, from South Sudan – who has earned the nickname Queen of the Dark – said she laughed so hard she couldn’t initially speak, before asking him: ‘Why on earth would I ever bleach this beautiful melanin?’
Nyakim, who now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, uses her Instagram account not only to show off her sultry modelling poses, but to advocate diversity and stand up for those who don’t have a voice.
Writing on Instagram, she said: Dear my moonshine dark skin, sun-kissed complexion, burn skin or whatever they might call you: You are beyond beautiful and the love I have for is unconditional because you are me.
I was ask by yahoo "what is your favorite thing about your skin?" My answer was, Besides the fact that no matter how much coconut oil I have to put on my skin, I'm still ashy 😂 . I love every apart it, I love the fact my skin is unique and that my whole skin is one tone, and finally how soft my skin is. How can you not love putting on coconut oil on your skin every couple hours lol #chocolate🍫 #nubianqueen👸🏿 #melaninpoppin🍫✨ #southsudanesebeauty🇸🇸🇸🇸 📸 @iamtberry 💄 @sumaya_keynan 👙 @miss__aude
‘You represent me and I represent you and let show the world how beautiful and intelligent we are apart from just being dark skin.
‘Because we are more than what this society think of our dark skin let stand up for those who can’t. Let’s speak up those who can’t. And stay beautiful while doing it.’
NOTHING MORE ATTRACTIVE THAN A WOMAN WHO IS COMFORTABLE IN HER OWN SKIN👌🏿👌🏿🙌🏿🙌🏿 nothing more attractive than a woman who have confidence😍😍 📸 @piokky 💄 @queenkim_nyakim #lovewhoyouare😍 #nubianqueen👸🏿 #skinflawless❤️ #sleflove #myblackisbeautiful💋 #blackgirlmagic✨ #wearenilotic #nuergirlbeauty💁🏿💁🏿 #southsudanessbeauty🇸🇸🇸🇸 #melaninpoping🍫✨ #chocolate🍫🍫🍫#faahion #queenkim_nyakim #goddess
In another post she wrote: ‘Black is bold, black is beautiful, black is gold.
‘Don’t let American standards damage your African soul. Love the skin you live in, no matter what colour or shade it may be.’
However, it’s taken time for Nyakim to embrace the love she now has for her own skin after being bullied while she was growing up.
Cruel comments such as, ‘You black as hell, take a shower’, left her contemplating drastic action.
‘There was a time in my life where I considered bleaching myself to avoid the dirty looks, the laughter, and for boys to find me attractive, she told Yahoo! Beauty.
But thanks to the support of her social media followers, who number 154,000 on Instagram alone, she’s found her confidence.
And her sister also helped to boost her self-esteem by advising her: ‘The most satisfying feeling is when you are comfortable in your own skin and when you accept your beautiful dark, dark melanin.’