Lizzie Velasquez once called ‘The World’s Ugliest Woman‘ is now inspiring millions with her motivational speeches and showing everyone what real beauty means.
LIZZIE VELASQUEZ – COMPLETELY IMPRESSIVE LIFE STORY
EARLY LIFE OF LIZZIE VELASQUEZ
Lizzie Velasquez was born on March 13, 1989, in Austin, Texas, to couple Rita and Guadalupe Velasquez. Born four weeks prematurely, she was diagnosed with a Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome (NPS).
NPS is an extremely rare genetic disorder that causes premature ageing and prevents the body from gaining weight. Further, it also weakens the bone and affects face, eyes, muscle tone, heart, and brain.
As a result, she has zero percent body fat and has never weighed more than 64 pounds, even if she eats 60 times a day. She has to eat many small meals for every 20 minutes or so.
When Lizzie was born she was just 2 pounds and 10 ounces. Her parents were told that she might not survive.
Doctors even told that she would never be able to walk, speak, think or do anything by herself. But Lizzie survived and proved them all wrong by doing everything by herself.
A SUBJECT OF BULLYING
Not a surprise, Lizzie has been a subject of bullying throughout her life because of her physical appearance.
As a kid, she was first bullied by her classmates. Then was mocked by strangers on streets. Later, online as well which changed her life forever.
Lizzie Velasquez who was 17 then, logged onto YouTube in search of a Taylor Swift song. While searching she stumbled across a YouTube video entitled ‘The World’s Ugliest Woman’ – only to discover that the video featured her.
She didn’t realize that it was her until the video started playing.
It was an eight-second video that showed a single picture of her taken from a TV show, she had appeared a few years back. The video had over 4 million views with hundreds of negative comments.
YouTube has now removed the video on the grounds of violating YouTube’s policy of harassment and bullying.
WHEN LIFE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN
Lizzie Velasquez was shaken. She recalls,
I had no idea when I opened that video that it would make all the confidence I had to go back down to non-existent — to dirt. I was shocked, 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, “just go get a gun, put it to your head and take yourself out of the world. It will be a much better place,” said another. And one said, “put a bag over your head because when people see your face they’re going to go blind.”
Velasquez couldn’t help but read every comment, and she says
I sat there and read through the comments, and I was so desperate to find someone who had said something positive, but I didn’t see even single positive comment. I was crushed and ripped apart.
Lizzie was badly broken.
She locked herself in the room and cried for many nights. She even refused to talk to her parents and friends for few days.
As she says,
I cried for many nights – as a teenager I thought my life was over. 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.
But after wallowing for a while, she realized she needed an outlet for her feelings.
Her parents did their best to make her feel normal. With unconditional support of her family and friends, she slowly gained confidence.
Lizzie converted all those negative comments to her positive strength and emerged out as an emotionally strong woman.
THE TURNING POINT
Lizzie Velasquez decided to fight back. The only way for that is to become highly successful.
Thus, she set herself some goals and decided to work on it. For the next few years, she worked her butt off.
Lizzie went to college and earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas State University in San Macros.
She wanted to prove those online bullies wrong and make a change. So, she created her own YouTube channel, filming herself to let people know who the person behind the “World’s Ugliest Woman” video really was.
Over time her videos gained popularity with positive responses.
She received encouraging comments from the viewers who also shared their own stories of being bullied in their lives.
THE TRANSFORMATION TO MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER
Now, Lizzie was overwhelmed by positive responses and supports from the viewers.
It made her realize that she had the power to positively impact the lives of others. Hence, she decided to become a motivational speaker.
From there, she started researching how to become a motivational speaker.
Very soon, she established herself as a much sought-after motivational speaker.
Lizzie shared her story at churches, colleges, and conferences nationwide.
She offered speeches of motivation at more than 200 workshops and received the standing ovation from the crows which she rightly deserved.
Going further, she also started an anti-bullying campaign to protect young girls and women from the cruelty of bullying.
LIZZIE VELASQUEZ TED TALK
In 2013, Sara Bordo, the producer of TedX Austin Women talk invited Lizzie Velasquez to give a speech on her show.
This is where Lizzie became an overnight sensation when she delivered a rousing TED Talk that inspired millions. Her TED talk, ‘How Do You Define Yourself?’ went viral and garnered over 11 million views.
LIZZIE VELASQUEZ- AN INSPIRATION
Today Lizzie Velasquez is a global motivational speaker, anti-bullying activist and a social media personality.
Here are the Amazon links to the three books:
Her story has been featured in a documentary film – ‘A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story’ premiered at SXSW on March 14, 2015. Here is the link to the Documentary.
LIZZIE VELASQUEZ’S COMPLETE LIFE STORY IN VIDEO
Lizzie Velasquez shows us how to accept and embrace ourselves.
Imperfections add beauty to good.
Life is imperfect at best, so learn to accept your imperfections and be victorious in your life.