South Sudanese model Nyakim Gatwech is using her platform to encourage self-love.
Growing up, she was bullied for her dark skin. She admits that at one point she wasn’t so proud of it, mainly because of the negative things that people had to say about it.
Her confidence improved over time and now she loves everything about her skin.
On Instagram, she shared a story about an experience that she had while riding an Uber: “I was [asked by] my uber driver the other day… ‘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” she wrote. “[Then] he said so [is] that a no [?] and I was like…why on earth would I ever bleach this beautiful melanin God bless[ed] with me.”
Her caption continued: “He said ‘so you look at it as a blessing?’ You won’t believe the kind of questions I get and the kind of looks I get for having this skin.”
She owns her unique nickname “Queen of the Dark”: “I was asked the other day “how do [you] feel about being nick name queen of the dark?” My answer was I actually like the name there is nothing wrong with darkness and be call queen is just Cherry on the top. 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.”
Nyakim is inspiring others: “Let’s embrace the contrast of the dark skin against any other color, let’s embody our Sun-Kissed Melanin” (Instagram).
And offers advice on how to deal with internet trolls: “Stupid comments and questions can really make someone hate themselves if you don’t have self love and confident in yourself. Always remember you are beautiful just different and unique my little dark black girls” (Instagram).