27-year-old model Nyakim Gatwech labeled “Queen of the Dark”, who has broken down the barriers of conventional beauty and encouraged others to do the same, now has a net worth of $4 million.
Gatwech’s willpower and her beautiful flawless dark skin tone have earned her endorsements and brand ambassador deals with major companies like Fashion Nova. Confident with her skin color, the South Sudanese model said people of African stock get stunned by her dark hue.
“I was fine with my self-esteem and I started being torn down by society, and I started looking at myself,” she told CBS News. “Do I blend in with what the society considered to be beautiful?”
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She recalled times when photographers would try to boost her complexion and make it lighter, but she insisted that she wanted to stay true to her natural look.
Although bullied, scorned and disparaged for her rare looks, the South Sudan native whose parents had to flee the civil war to Kenya and then to the U.S. is living her best life. This is a far cry from days she and her folks dwelt in refugee camps in the East African state.
The St. Cloud State University graduate, who made entry to the U.S at the age of 14, was later dubbed ‘Queen of the Dark’, a reference to her deep melanin.
The Fenty beauty model recently shared on Instagram an encounter she had with an Uber driver who advised her to bleach her skin. “I was [asked by] my Uber driver the other day, he said, ‘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. Then he said, ‘So that a no’ and I was like hell to the f*king yeah [that’s] no. Why on earth would I ever bleach this beautiful melanin God [blessed] me with,” she added.
Through the years, she’s amassed a heavy following on social media with over 689,000 Instagram followers and attracted attention from cosmetic brands who engage her to promote their products.
Her hue, which was a source of worry, is opening up doors for her now.
These days, Gatwech has chosen to be an inspiration to young girls all over the world. Emerging as an advocate for diversity in the fashion industry, Gatwech proclaims “Black is bold, black is beautiful, black is gold… Don’t let American standards damage your African soul.”