A few years ago, there was a video that went viral, called “The Ugliest Woman in the World”.
The woman in the video was Lizzie Velasquez and today she is a motivational speaker, author and a social media figure.
Lizzie Velasquez suffers from a rare disorder called Marfanoid-progeroid-lypodystrophy syndrome, the main symptom of which, is the inability to gain weight. Due to this, she faced bullying all throughout her life, before finally turning things around and becoming a motivational speaker and an anti-bullying activist.
Lizzie was born on the 13th of March 1989 to loving parents who were distraught to learn about their daughter’s condition, but they always supported her and taught her to love herself fiercely, and that beauty is not about what she looks like on the outside.
Lizzie grew up with these values but was shattered when she had become viral for being “ugly” on the internet. But what is truly admirable about her is that she did not spend too much time wallowing in self pity. She took up a cause: getting rid of bullying and spreading the message of body positivity.
She started her YouTube channel to talk about these issues and also started delivering talks, trying to spread awareness about her condition and to make the world a better, a more accepting place.
One of the biggest achievements in Lizzie’s life was her enormously popular TedxAustinWomen Talk, called “How do YOU define yourself”, which amassed fifty-four million views on YouTube.
In the talk, Lizzie shares her deepest thoughts, the heartbreak that her initial “viral” video caused and her fight against it all, to just love herself and teach everyone in the world to be kind.
She believes that it is upon us, as a family, to break the society’s standards of beauty because there cannot be just one definition of the same. It is also put forth in her talks that we as a society should focus all our energies in bringing each other up instead of putting each other down.
Miss Velasquez is the author of three books, the first one called Lizzie Beautiful: The Lizzie Velasquez Story that she wrote with her mother, Rita Velasquez. It is an autobiography that features all the letters that Rita wrote to her daughter as well.
Her other books are written keeping the teens in mind, called Be Beautiful, Be you that came out in 2012 and Choosing Happiness that came out in 2014. The former talks about how there is beauty within all of us, in our quirks and our hearts, while the latter is a record of her own struggles in her path to be happy.
Lizzie Velasquez stands for faith, courage and acceptance. She is a true torch bearer of body positivity.
Bullying is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone so the onus is upon all of us, to be kinder and better people, to accept people as they are, and to understand that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and forms.
Visit Lizzie’s Facebook Page and support this beautiful woman!