When someone insults someone for their race or skin color, it not only hurts the individual, but spreads ignorance and damages us all. And yet racism is still widespread around the world even today.
Discrimination is a particularly sensitive issue right now in the United States, and African-Americans are regularly the targets of abuse and injustice. But for all the haters, burgeoning fashion icon and model Nyakim Gatwech has a message: “Black is beautiful.”
She’s known as the Queen of the Dark.
24-year old Nyakim Gatwech is originally came from South Sudan, but now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was given the nickname ‘Queen of the Dark,’ for her extremely dark skin tone. While strikingly beautiful, it has also given her a lot of unwanted attention.
“You won’t believe the kind of questions I get and the kind of looks I get for having this skin,” Gatwech wrote in an Instagram post.
Generally, people are curious, but her unique skin tone also attracts hateful rhetoric in social media. This hate is something she long had trouble dealing with.
“My skin tone has been previously judged and critiqued as ‘ugly’ and ‘undesirable,’” wrote Gatwech in an Instagram post.
Despite being a target of racism, she refuses to be a victim.
In 2016, Gatwech was confronted by an Uber driver who suggested that she bleach her skin.
Gatwech simply laughed at him, and although she was able to shrug off the incident due to the pride she has in herself, she began to understand a deeper problem with America’s perception of beauty. She began advocating against racism and for a more inclusive standard of beauty.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself,” Gatwech wrote in another Instagram post.
She uses her inner strength and pride to advocate for acceptance.
“I love me, and the color that I represent. Look at me, there is nothing like it. What you see is not an illusion. It’s a gift from GOD, don’t ever confuse it,” she wrote.
Gatwech continues to pursue her modeling career, and often advocates for the black community in Minneapolis. In her modeling, she hopes to instill pride in young black girls, and advocate that black is beautiful.
While Gatwech might be a model, her true beauty lies in her inner strength and her advocacy against racism and for tolerance and acceptance.