Social media has always been a place where good things can happen, and Anok Yai a South-Sudanese student is the latest testament to the positive power of social media. Anok is a student at Plymouth State University, in the US, and she shot into limelight after her picture went viral on Instagram.
Within minutes of posting the picture, her phone was buzzing with Instagram notifications, likes and comments, something she didn’t expect as she felt the picture was an average image. Currently studying Biochemistry, Yai moved to the US when she was two years old.
Yai who is a Sudanese was born in Egypt, and she has beautiful dark skin. She caught the attention of Steve Hall, a photographer whose Instagram handle is @thesunk. He saw her at the Howard University homecoming party and wrote, “saw her right at the end of the Yardfest.”
What started as a hesitant trip to Howard University ended up as a pleasant surprise for Yai. Three modelling agencies contacted her before the end of the day, with her pictures still circulating the internet.
The picture of the 19 year-old currently has 38,295 likes on her Instagram page. With only 11 posts on her page, just one picture has brought her fame and fortune.
Yai who many people are seeing as a source of inspiration for other dark girls said “Honestly, I think that people get so used to seeing themselves that people don’t see their own beauty because they see it everyday.”
At a time when Dove and Nivea have found themselves in controversy over their advertisements depicting light skinned women in a better light than dark skinned women, Yai’s picture is a message of positivity and attests to the beauty of the dark skin.
Yai has been signed to Next Models. In a post on her Instagram page she said, “Excited to announce that I am now signed with @nextmodels. Thank you to everyone that’s supported me along the way; hope you follow me on this journey #TheNextNext”
Yai had 150 followers with an average of 30 like. After her picture went viral she now has over 62,000 followers. More congratulatory messages continue to pour in. Yai told Yahoo “It makes me feel honored to be a South Sudanese woman. It shows that the standards of beauty are slowly evolving.”