Aspiring model Ronis Aba’s journey to self-love did not come overnight. She recalls the hatred she received while growing up simply because of the color of her skin. However, In a recent Tweet, she expressed that looking back, she “can’t believe she ever hated” her skin color.
Born in South Sudan, Aba moved to Egypt before her family finally settled in Arizona when she was in the fifth grade. Although the move was a culture shock for her, she noticed that there was something in common between the United States and her native land: there was racism towards her skin tone.
Aba opens up to Yahoo Lifestyle regarding the bullying she endured while growing up. “One time I was given bleach by a family member to brighten my skin so I can be considered beautiful,” she recalls. “When I moved to America I would get called ‘dirty’ and all the boys I liked would say things like ‘Ew, she’s black as night, dude.'”
Now 22 years old, she says she grew up wanting to look different in order to be accepted and not bullied by others. She felt this way until her second year in college.
“Insecurity comes from within but your environment can have an influence or impact it,” she says, “If your whole life you were told you were ugly you’re going to believe that you are ugly. That’s what happened to me. ”
Aba turned to her dreams as a way to finding herself. She began modeling.
“I’ve always wanted to model but was always too afraid to,” she says. ” I’ve been modeling for a couple of months and my only regret is not starting sooner.”
The way that chocolate looks against this yellow. Can't believe I ever hated this skin pic.twitter.com/fwVScPuSHw
— (@simplyronis) September 16, 2017
Aba now wants to use her social media platform to help others, “I want to let people know they are not alone. Whether dealing with our outer beauty struggles or being broke, you’re not alone. ” Her recent post about self-love got nearly 11,000 likes and has received the support of many.
You look so beautiful ⭐️️⭐️️
— Geri/嘉燕 (@chinesechica) September 16, 2017
mainstream media taught us to hate ourselves but im happy that we learned to love ourselves
— SAD CHINA (@svnnyc) September 17, 2017
Baby , omg the love you got on this post makes me want to cry. Your so beautiful and deserving ✨
— El Sõl ❂ (@_elsol) September 17, 2017
On what her advice is to other people struggling to love themselves, Aba says, “seek happiness from within. Remember that your whole life there will be people rooting for you and against you so really it’s all about how you go about these things. If you want something go for it. The only one in the way of your happiness is you.”
So what’s next for the aspiring model? She has hopes to be signed by a prominent modeling agency. “I believe in myself and I won’t stop till I make that happen,” she says.
Professional photographer Natasha Wilson who was the creative behind Aba’s gorgeous pictures is helping her make her dreams of thriving in the fashion industry a reality.
Wilson tells Yahoo Lifestyle about the inspiration behind the shoot. “I think it was color theory and mixing deep and vibrant hues together,” she says.
Wilson also shares that Aba is full of high energy and great to work with. “It was really fun, she says ‘yes’ to any crazy suggestion I have pose-wise.”
We can’t wait to follow Aba’s journey to achieving her dreams.
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