Lizzie Velasquez’s Advice To Conquer Adversity & Live With Confidence


Lizzie Velasquez is one of those girls that is going to be talked about for generations to come. She is a pioneer woman who is making heads turn for all the right reasons. But her fame was launched out of an unlikely source: internet bullying.

An 8 second Youtube video of her was uploaded in her junior year of high school called ‘The World’s Ugliest Woman’. Imagine being called that as a teen girl, AND having over 4 million people view that disgusting video?! For a while it hurt her self esteem, but as she grew up, being surrounded by a supportive family, friends and community, Lizzie decided she would be the one to determine how she would be labeled, not some cowardly cyber bully.

She wrote a booked called ‘Be Beautiful, Be You’, and started giving motivational talks though her church after high school. In December 2013 she gave an incredibly inspiring TED Talk in Texas which firmly put on the global map and enabled her story to be seen by many more people. In fact, in an awesome twist of fate, her TED Talk has over 5 million views to date, totally crushing that initial video posted about her on Youtube. Ah yes, thank you Karma!

Since then the 25 year old has appeared on the Katie Couric show, talking about her rare condition which has yet to be diagnosed by doctors. In fact she is one of only 3 people who has the disease, and despite being told her whole life that she would never be able to do a lot of things, she is serving as an inspiring to those who feel like they are constantly being told the same thing.

Lizzie recently appeared on The View and announced her latest project: a documentary about bullies and how to use social media as a means to inspire people. She is raising money through a Kickstarter fund, and the money will go toward the professional crew she has on board and will accommodate Lizzie’s health needs. Because of her condition, she gets tired really easily and they created a schedule that will enable her to bring the best on camera without compromising her health.

“We set forth to make a documentary about Lizzie’s extraordinary life and her story of adversity and proud survival. We follow her on an incredible journey to address online bullying and inspire a trending movement to change it for the better,” says the campaign page.

While we are excited to see this film and the affect it will have on even more people around the world, she continues to inspire and spread messages of confidence and solidarity to her audience.

Before appearing on The View in early May she sat down with E! Entertainment to share her advice for beating bullies, adversity and living a life that is full of confidence. It’s reassuring to know that the pop culture network is stretching its wings a little and including content that is relevant to a millennial audience.

In terms of facing adversity, she is aware that putting herself out there publicly is going to attract both the good and bad comments.

“It’s a process that I had to figure out, of how to handle negative comments. When I was younger, I would just sit there and read every single one and obviously, it was awful. There were times when I felt like people were physically putting their hands through the computer and really hurting me on purpose.”

Her advice is to not allow those bullies the power to ruin your day, or comment back.

“There’s days where I’m like, in my mind, ‘I wish I could tell this person something!’ But it’s not going to accomplish anything. It’s just going to be me sinking down to their level and a never-ending battle of hiding behind a computer screen.”

Lizzie chooses instead to acknowledge those around her and recognize we are all humans at the end of the day.

“I’m human, and if I see someone who looks different, I’m curious. And I still have the, ‘How do I act? I don’t want to offend them! What do I say?’ I’ve learned that there’s one very simply thing that every single person can do, and all it is is looking someone in the eye, acknowledging that they’re a human being just like you and me, smiling and saying hi. It opens up a world of doors that people don’t realize.”

Clearly the bullies and negative comments do not affect this vivacious young woman because she can see the humor in many situations. An example is conquering her nerves when she has to speak in front of a large crowd. Using the trick “imagine them all in their underwear” doesn’t need to be used by Lizzie.

“This is where being visually impaired really comes to play, because in my mind, I can only physically see half the room, and if it’s dark lighting I can’t even see them, period!”

The best piece of advice she has ever been given is also some wisdom that we can never hear enough of in our lives:

“Always stay true to who you are. Don’t ever change who you are to try to be popular or make friends. Stay true to who you are, be proud of who you are. Walk into a room and be confident and own your personality, your values, and everything about yourself.”

Part of her message is giving hope to others. She wants to use her journey to inspire people not to give up no matter what they are going through.

“I think the best advice I’ve ever given is to not ever give up. I feel like it’s kind of a cliché thing to say like, ‘Oh, don’t give up, it will get better.’ But honestly, getting that message across, to not give up, to keep that hope alive, is something I’m very passionate about. Because I’ve been in that place.”

To find out more about what Lizzie is doing with her Kickstarter, her appearances and everything else, head to The Lizzie Project website.

Check out her Kickstarter campaign video and hear her interesting perspective on bullies and how she intends to change the culture online:

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