Life can be very cruel a lot of the time. You know sometimes it seems like when it rains, it pours and never stops. But I am a firm believer a lot of life is about your attitude and your perspective when challenging events happen to you. You are only given one life to live and it is crucial to make the very best of it. You may have heard about a unique woman known as Lizzie Velasquez. She has a rare syndrome which prevents her body from gaining weight. And to top off the trials she faces with that, she was labeled ‘The Ugliest Woman Alive’. Can you imagine receiving that horrific title and the pain and depression you would feel? Most people would sink to a low and never be able to gain confidence again, but not Lizzie, she is out to prove to the world who she is.
Lizzie was born with an undiagnosed condition. She was born on March 13, 1989 weighing only 2 pounds 11 ounces. She was born with a condition that is so rare that only two other people in the world are known to have it. The condition actually creates a very weak immune system and prevents her from ever gaining weight.
While this sounds like something many women would be very envious of, it has shaped Lizzie’s life all together. She has been bullied her entire life due to her condition. She is required to eat roughly 5,000 calories each day and cannot gain a pound. Her condition has given her a very weak immune system causing her to lose her vision in her right eye at the age of 4.
Lizzie has limited vision in her right eye as well. Her condition is not terminal, but she does need to stay on top of it to be as healthy as possible.
Lizzie found a youtube video that some cyberbullies posted of her walking around labeled as “the ugliest woman in the world”. This crushed her along with the comments that followed. People saying things like, “kill it with fire”, “Do the world a favor and put a gun to your head”. Not many people would be able to overcome this kind of torment but Lizzie Velasquez is a special woman. She is a strong, proud, beautiful woman who cherishes each and every day. She is on a mission to bring awareness to bullying and teach people to enjoy life without judging others.
Lizzie has a YouTube channel where she expresses her lifestyle and her attitude. She is there to motivate people and show them that no matter what challenges life throws at us, we can overcome them and enjoy our days. Lizzie has become a motivational speaker and an inspiration to all. She has published a few motivational books that show her journey in finding out what makes us beautiful.
In 2013, Lizzie was an inspirational speaker at the TEDxAustinWomen talk. She is a huge advocate for anti-bullying and works to help spread a message of love and kindness.
Only 26 years old, Lizzie has been through a lot. It started with cruel playground taunts, strangers sneering on the sidewalk, commenters on a YouTube video telling her to do unspeakable things, and calling her unrepeatable names.
Lizzie is taking a stand, instead of retreating into herself, she has taken full ownership of her own story and turned it into a force for good. She also released a documentary, stating “How in the world can I forgive the people who told me to kill myself?” But the documentary gives us the ability to take a closer look.
Here is the full empowering trailer.
There are 5 things Lizzie says that will help you walk through the world with confidence:
1. Be Yourself. According to Lizzie, “You have to be fully aware and confident that you are enough just being you,”
2. Roll With The Punches – Sometimes life throws you lemons, do the best you can.
3. Love Yourself – Lizzie says, “A few years ago I did this thing that I now call the Love Yourself List, where I wrote down everything that I love about myself, whether it’s physically or my personality.”
4. Fake it until you make it.
5. It’s okay to have bad days and you SHOULD have bad days.
Lizzie is an inspiration to people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, races, and religions. She proves just because you are ‘different’ does not mean your life is over. A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story is a a story that chronicles her life and her impact on the world.