When model Nyadak “Duckie” Thot posted a picture of herself on social media recently, the internet went a little crazy. Many said that she looked like a Barbie doll. Some insisted that she was a doll. Ultimately, Duckie is an exquisite beauty that outshines any doll.
Duckie has South Sudanese heritage but she was born and raised in Australia. After her older sister found success as a model in New York, 17-year-old Duckie auditioned for Australia’s Next Top Model. She came in third on the reality competition show and gained a lot of fans. She is now based in New York and walks runways around the world.
Although her time on the show undeniably helped launch her successful modeling career, Duckie has recently talked about the challenges she faced. Specifically, on more than one occasion, the professional hair stylists on the show didn’t know how to deal with her natural hair. In an honest post on social media where she shared this story, she said, “I’ve never really had a good experience with my natural hair and modeling in Australia before.”
Since leaving Australia, her experiences seem to have been much more positive. At the recent BET Awards, Duckie stunned in a red gown. She took to Instagram to write to BET with gratitude: “Black on black business support is so important. Thank you BET for giving us that platform.”
The recent doll-like picture that got the internet worked up into a frenzy has also inspired some positive online dialogue about race, beauty, and inspirational role models for young women. Duckie also used the attention to show she has a good sense of humor and a playful side. Probably after reading the thousandth tweet about looking like Barbie, she tweeted, “Yeah… we need a Duckie barbie doll.” She even tagged Mattel in the post. Later, she tweeted another picture, this time a disheveled “selfie” of an actual Barbie doll.
The viral attention to this real-life Barbie also sent an outpouring of gratitude Duckie’s way. One mother wrote in to thank the model for inspiring her daughter who hated her dark skin. Showing her daughter Duckie’s page helped her to realize that black is beautiful.
In addition to helping on that individual level, Duckie’s success as a model is also important because the fashion industry has such poor representation overall. Less than 10 percent of fashion models are black.
What’s next for Duckie? More runways and photo shoots, but she has also hinted about having more stories to tell and doing some writing.
Photo Credits: Nyadak Thot, Instagram @duckieofficial/