The truth is, the darker someone’s skin tone, the more often they experience racism, hatred and bullying. When someone with dark skin posts a photo of themselves — especially one celebrating their body and their race — we live in a world where they may be subjected to intense hate for their skin color alone. Model Khoudia Diop knows this all too well, but she’s hoping her presence online and in the modeling world might change that.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Khoudia opened up about the racism she’s experienced, and exactly what it means for her future.

“I was teased a lot growing up, because of my skin tone,” Khoudia, who was born in Senegal and moved to France, said. “By other kids, and now even online sometimes, people will make comments.”

Instead of listening to the haters, Khoudia celebrates her skin tone all the time. Her Instagram handle @melaniin.goddess is a nod to her gorgeous complexion, and she tags all her photos with celebratory sayings like #blackgirlmagic, #blackgirlsrock, #melaninonfleek, and of course #flawless. By being proud about her skin, Khoudia told the Daily Mail she hopes other young girls will use her as a role model.

“Because of my dark, melanin rich complexion and because I want to inspire young girls and let them know that we are all goddesses inside and out,” she said. “The message I have for my sisters is that how you look doesn’t matter as long as you feel beautiful inside.”

This is so important, especially since there are so many messages out there telling young black girls that light skin is more beautiful. From things like makeup brands not making tones for dark skin to more drastic messages like skin bleach advertisements, there are so many things telling black girls that having a lighter skin tone is ideal. That’s not true, though, it’s just one of so many silly ideas society pushes. What’s most beautiful is being and loving yourself as you are. Khoudia is a great example of someone not listening to bullies by staying true to herself.

“Growing up, I faced it by confronting the bullies. As I grew, I learned to love myself more every day, and not pay attention to the negative people, which helped a lot,” she said.

That’s definitely easier said than done, but take Khoudia as your inspiration.

This post was originally published on Teen Vogue.