This is the face of true beauty. Her name is Lizzie Velasquez and she is somewhat of an internet sensation, but not necessarily in a good way. The 24 year old from Texas is a motivational speaker, telling women (and men) that true beauty is not defined by your physical appearance, but what is within you. Her goal is to enable people to see their true worth and value according to the way God made them.
She was born with a rare medical condition, so rare that even doctors don’t know what it is. There are only three people in the world that they know of who has this condition, where she can never put on weight. Lizzie says she has never weighed over 64 pounds her entire life! The condition also makes her visually impaired, and she is only able to see out of one eye.
The doctors told her parents she would never be able to walk, talk, think or do anything normally when she was born. What a testament to the strength and determination of the human spirit, as they probably never factored in willpower. If only they could see her now…
In her junior year of high school she discovered a video on her on Youtube, posted by some major ignoramus with no life (clearly!) who labeled her ‘The World’s Ugliest Woman’ and it went viral. Over 4 million people saw the 8 second video of Lizzie who was from then on known by that awful name.
Lizzie’s parents attempted to get the YouTube video taken off, but the unidentified figure who posted it professed he would never remove it. What a coward. But it wasn’t him who would have the last laugh. In fact, his cowardly act was the very thing that catapulted Lizzie into her destiny and made her the inspirational speaker she is today. Oh, and her story of tragedy and triumph is more viral than that original Youtube video ever will be. And we refuse to even post a link to it, because we don’t want to be responsible for any more views on something so negative.
During school and college Lizzie learned to challenge the bullies who taunted her, and used her Christian faith to help her through the rough times. She refused to become depressed or allow the bullies to get the better of her. She discovered her true value as a young woman was not defined by what people say and write on the internet, but by the way God made her and loves her, which is what she talks about in her motivational seminars.
Soon her story began to reach new heights, propelled by her determination to fight the negativity, and she appeared on many TV shows to talk about her condition, her journey, and how to rise above bullying. After college she wrote a book called ‘Be Beautiful, Be You‘ where she uses anecdotes and exercises to teach readers to recognize their own unique gifts and blessings, talk to God in their own words, deal with disappointment, make and maintain healthy friendships, and set realistic goals.
Her story continues to set fire to many lives on the internet and in person, and change the way people deal with difficult situations. Watch her TEDx talk from December, 2013 below and see what a beautiful, courageous and strong young woman she is. Who knew that all the ugliness that was thrown her way from such a young age would be the very thing that was used to help and empower millions of people around the world.
Who reacts this way to such cruelty? Lizze Velasquez the world’s most BEAUTIFUL woman, that’s who! If you are struggling with something in your life right now, whether it be body image, self esteem, relational issues or anything else, we hope Lizzie’s words will enable you to take a different approach and be a conqueror in everything.
“In a time when beauty is defined by supermodels, success is defined by wealth, and fame is deified by how many followers you have on social media, Lizzie Velasquez asks the question how do you define yourself?” it says on her Youtube channel. “Once labeled, ‘The Worlds Ugliest Woman,’ Lizzie decided to turn things around and create her own definitions of what she defines as beauty and happiness.”
Will you choose love, determination and a positive attitude in the face of adversity?