How Lizzie Velásquez Turned Her Pain Into a Platform
In the age of social media, people enjoy the freedom to express their best selves online. And as we become more active in sharing the goings-on in our lives, it’s only natural to feel insecure about the seemingly better lives of others. Who hasn’t experienced envy over engagement parties, intimate weddings, and other joyous occasions? Well, Lizzie Velásquez says we shouldn’t. Here’s her beautiful journey on self-acceptance and how she found beauty in the most unexpected places.
All About Lizzie Velásquez
Lizzie Velásquez is an American motivational speaker. Most of her talks draw upon her journey towards self-acceptance. It’s how she motivates others to find beauty within.
Lizzie was born with an extremely rare genital condition called Marfanoid–progeroid–lipodystrophy syndrome. In simpler terms, this condition made Lizzie unable to gain weight no matter how hard she tried. While Marfan syndrome is pretty common among people, Lizzie’s Marfan syndrome is quite rare. It affects her eyes, bones, and heart.
Lizzie may look like a small child, but she’s actually 32 years old. Most folks got to know her in a 2016 YouTube video. The video claimed that she was the “ugliest woman in the whole world.” Given her rare condition, Lizzie was already subject to bullying in school. But things took a turn for the worse when that video went viral. Suddenly, Lizzie was the target of cyberbullies all over the globe. However, Lizzie chose to rise above it all. She ignored the humiliation and shared her heart-rending story in front of thousands of people. Thanks to her upbeat attitude and unwavering grace, she gained a sizeable following.
Beauty from Pain
Enduring all the atrocities Lizzie went through due to her condition, she learned to search for beauty in the most painful places. Lizzie started to feel more comfortable under the spotlight. She took on speaking engagements and advocated against bullying by talking about her experiences.
She first starred in a TedxAustin Women Talk called How Do You Define Yourself in January 2014, which received a whopping 12 million views! According to people who watched her video, her optimism and hope despite her condition were a breath of fresh air, and she radiated positivity. In 2015, she hosted a social media challenge to commemorate National Bullying Prevention Month.
Making the World a Better Place
Lizzie Velásquez is also the author of bestselling books. Together with her mother, she co-authored her first-ever book entitled: Lizzie Beautiful: The Lizzie Velásquez Story. This story featured the letters that her mother gave her when she was a child. It was written both in English and Spanish.
Lizzie also wrote children’s storybooks. Her first children’s book was published in 2012, which was entitled Be Beautiful, Be You. In this book, Lizzie shares her journey and the nuggets of wisdom she acquired over the years—and the lessons aren’t just for children.
It taught life-affirming lessons, like discovering the true meaning of beauty and how to recognize unique gifts and blessings. Her second storybook, Choosing Happiness, was published in 2014. Staying true to her advocacy, the book emphasized the importance of choosing happiness when faced with adversity.
All these success stories under her belt are only testament to Lizzie Velásquez’ indomitable spirit. Today, she remains a beacon of hope, optimism, and true beauty. We hope this story has moved you as much as it did us! If you’re interested in hearing more from her and learning about her journey, you can always check out her videos on YouTube.
Wanna read more about her? Here’s another story where she tackles body shaming!