International Fashion model and activist Nykhor Paul via her instagram page penned a touching gratitude message celebrating her 12 year long modeling career and being on the front page of Elle Magazine;

“South Africa🇿🇦 My attitude of gratitude have made all the difference in my modeling career no matter how many times people try to sabotage me because I believe in my vision of change since I was 16 years old after facing discrimination and racism. I can only do what I have been divinely empowered to do and so I am content with my gifts and my calling. I am what I am. Being dark skin is not a trend just like being African is not a trend. As an African model I learned to take risks in the 12 years of my modeling career for my people to have more opportunities in fashion and beauty because I know the feeling of not being included in the European beauty standards. Instead of hiding in shame or bleaching my skin to meet the industry demands, I decided to open up and tell my truth in hope to encourage others to speak their truth to liberate themselves from self hate. Be empowered while empowering others. Have a genuine curiosity. Believe in yourself and you will create miracles. Your power is infinite, embrace it and be the best you can be. I believe I can do anything and so I went out there fearlessly and do it like I want to even with the naysayers. Don’t give up. Be brave. Be you unapologetically!”

Nykhor is Of Nuer ethnicity, born in what is now South Sudan. Owing to civil conflict, Nykhor escaped with her family to Ethiopia, where she grew up as a refugee. In 1998 she moved to the United States. 

Based in New York, she has modeled for Vivienne Westwood, Rick Owens, Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga.


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