The Queen of Dark: More Than Just A Pretty Face
The fashion industry is no stranger to diverse, head-turning looks and one model is using her platform to raise awareness about what is going on in her country. Nyakim Gatwech is a model from Sudan who has been nicknamed the “Queen of Dark” due to her highly pigmented skin which has caught the attention of the modeling industry and numerous media outlets. With all eyes on Gatwech she has decided to defy traditional beauty standards and share her story.
In a war-prone country, Gatwech’s mother fled Sudan when Gatwech was fifteen and relocated to Minnesota to turmoil war brings. As Gatwech was growing up in the United States, she experienced severe racism and was isolated from her peers because she had a different skin color. Although hurting from the words and phrases spoken to her, Gatwech decided to participate in a local fashion show as a young teen, which ignited her passion for modeling and the fashion industry. What fueled her fire were the multitudes of bullies, and an Uber driver who asked if she would bleach her skin if given a large sum of money, but Gatwech wanted to prove them, and to herself, that every skin type, no matter how light or dark, is beautiful.
While the road to the top is difficult for many dark skinned beauties, Gatwech continues to pursue modeling in hopes of starting a revolution in an industry that is supposed to celebrate different skin tones and the unique looks each model can bring to the table. Nyakim Gatwech’s hope is to create beauty products for people with a similar complexion to hers so they do not have a hard time finding beauty products in the near future and so Nyakim Gatwech can retire the black eye shadow she has to use to contour her face.
While Getwech’s story may be vastly different from the stories of others, racism is at the core of her hardships because people still do not realize that black is beautiful, but Getwech and many others are taking steps to help the various industries realize anybody with a darker complexion is special and they deserve respect.
Article by Tess Hanson