‘Beauty is only skin deep.’ True to the words of Sir Thomas Overbury in his poem ‘A Wife,’ another remarkable story teaches us that character is more important than physical beauty and Lizzie Velasquez is here to enlighten us.
Velasquez was dubbed as ‘The World’s Ugliest Woman’ in the internet when she was 17 years old which made her an online sensation. She was born with two rare conditions, ‘Marfan syndrome’ and ‘Lipodystrophy.’ She is not able to gain weight no matter what she eats. At 26, she only weighs 60 lbs or 27 kg. She is blind in one eye while the other is visually impaired. Velasquez was 17 when she stumbled upon a YouTube video of herself named as ‘The Ugliest Woman in the World.’
‘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?!’ says one comment, ‘kill it with fire’ says another. She was devastated and cried for many nights.
‘When I was a teenager I would look in the mirror and wish I could wash away my syndrome,’ she says. ‘I hated it because it caused so much pain in my life. Being a 13-year-old girl who is constantly picked on is unbearable.’
It was these things that hurt her including the unconditional love and acceptance from her family that motivated her to keep going. She decided to make a change, made her own YouTube channel and build a career as a motivational speaker teaching others to be confident about themselves. Her TED talk in 2013 entitled ‘How do you define yourself?’ has over 7 million views as of this writing.
Check out the heartwarming video:
Credits: Lizzie Velasquez
On March 14th, she left people in awe once again as her story premiered and hit the big screen entitled, Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story. The director of the film Sara Hirsh Bordo says that ‘it is not only about Velasquez’s story but for everyone who has been bullied.’
Watch the inspiring trailer of her film:
Beyond the physical attributes of a person, Velasquez is the epitome of what real beauty means. Hats off!
Credits: The Lizzie Project
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