Lizzie Velasquez was once known as “the world’s ugliest woman”, but now her name has become an inspiration. She made it this way with her own courage.
Velasquez, from Austin Texas, was born with 2 rare medical conditions – Marfan Syndrome and Lipodystrophy. She is unable to obtain weight, no matter how much she eats. She has 0% of body fat and has never weighed more than 29 kg. She remembers how classmates recoiled from her and afraid, When she started to go preschool.
One day, Velasquez, who was born in March 1988, was surfing the internet and noticed a YouTube video named “World’s Ugliest Women”. She clicked on the link. But she wasn’t prepared for what she saw. Because it was her on that 8 second video clip, what’s more there were thousands of comments about her, many of them laughing at and denigrating her.
“I was shocked,” Velasquez recalls, “but it wasn’t until I started to read the comments that my stomach really sank.”
“Why would her parents keep her?!” read one of the comments, “kill it with fire” said another. And they continued on and on. Some commentators said she should kill herself, and one said people would go blind if they saw her on the street. Velasquez couldn’t help but read every comment, and she says there were thousands.
“I cried for many nights – as a teenager I thought my life was over,” she says. “I couldn’t bring myself to talk to anybody about it, I didn’t tell any of my friends, I was just so shocked that it had happened.”
All her life she was accustomed to being browbeaten daily for the way she looks. But this was something new entirely. Most people would have crumpled under the weight of negativity but not Lizzie, she is made of stronger stuff.
Velasquez was determined to fight back. She started her own YouTube channel to let people know who the person behind the “World’s Ugliest Woman” video truly was, and to help others to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Currently she has nearing 240,500 subscribers to her channel and a TED talk she was subsequently asked to give in 2013 named “How do you define yourself?” has over 7 million views on YouTube.
Lizzie says that the community that has built up around her online presence has been strange, and she sees people posting comments who have been bullied saying she makes them feel able to look for help, speak to someone, or stand up to the bullies. She sees a positive thing from their actions and they changed her life.
She is now a motivational speaker & author. She works for those people who are neglected in the society, physically challenged, frustrated or unhappy in their life. She takes it as a challenge. She is trying to stop bullies and making awareness of these.
She changes the lives of thousands others by her blogs, her appearances and now through “A Brave Heart” an inspirational story about her life.