“The World’s Ugliest Woman” becomes the most beautiful

What would you do if you saw a video titled “World’s Ugliest Woman” and saw yourself in it? 17-year-old Lizzie Velasquez was in for quite a shock when she saw this 8-second video.
Elizabeth Ann “Lizzie” Velasquez has a rare congenital disease called neonatal progeroid syndrome. She is medically unable to gain weight and has never weighed more than 64 pounds. Quite small for a 5’2” girl!

When Lizzie was born, her parents were told that her chances of survival would be small and that she could never do the regular activities other children do. Despite knowing the consequences, her parents refused to abort her and brought her up as an average girl. It wasn’t until she went to school that she realised that she was “different”.
"World's Ugliest Woman"

Being the cool kid she was, Lizzie tried to be friends with everyone but was repaid with severe bullying. She eventually got over the bitter experience but was devastated when she stumbled across the video depicting her as the world’s ugliest woman at the age of 17. Harsh comments were labelling her as a monster, asking her to shoot herself or set herself on fire.

From that moment, life took a new turn. Lizzie realised that instead of grieving, she could use all the negative criticism to better herself. She wielded all adverse comments as a ladder to derive inspiration and reach her goals.

Velasquez desired to be a motivational speaker, and that is exactly what she is today. In January 2014 she gave a TEDxAustinWomen Talk titled ‘How Do YOU Define Yourself’, and her YouTube videos have received over 54 million views. For National Bullying Prevention Month in 2015, Lizzie hosted a social media challenge for Bystander Revolution’s Month of Action. She has a major in communication studies from Texas State University and three books to her credit. Through her documentary film titled A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velásquez Story, she wishes to reach out to those who have faced similar unpleasant experiences and also encourages others to put themselves in her shoes.A simple girl, Velasquez stands for courage and endurance at its best. Unlike several others, the qualities that define her are her goals, success, and accomplishments; not her outer appearance. Velasquez radiates positivity and is the source of inspiration for many. She urges everyone to stop bullying which does a massive amount of damage while influencing the victims to rise above and be unperturbed and productive.

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