Have you ever been called the most ugly person on the planet by more than a million people? Lizzie Velasquez is a 25 year old American from Texas. However, what really makes her so individual is a incredibly rare condition that only two other people are known to have. It is so rare that it does not even have a name. An online viral video made by an anonymous user displaying photographs of her face was titled ‘The Ugliest Woman in the World’. After this video was found by Lizzie, it had sparked something inside her that shook her life for the better. The condition which she has means that she has zero percent body fat and will never and has never weighed any more than 64 pounds. To put it simply, she is unable to gain any weight no matter what, and is required to eat many small meals throughout the day, averaging a meal every 15 minutes.
Just like any other parents, hers loved her unconditionally. Lizzie was brought up just like any other child was. Because of this, starting school was the first place that made her realise that despite her parents treating her just like everybody else, she was very different. Since school, Lizzie’s struggles and obstacles formed her into the motivational woman she is today. The same woman who expresses the fact that even with such a condition, there is aways a light in the darkness. Lizzie states ‘this condition may cause me not to see out of one eye, but I can still see out the other’… ‘I may get sick a lot, but I have really nice hair!’
Not only does this story stick out from the rest, but Lizzie describes her condition as something that she would never give back. During an attempt of following a childhood dream of becoming a motivational speaker, Lizzie gave a TEDx motivational speech in 2013 on defining yourself as a person. She explains in the speech that ‘I would never change it. All these opportunities and all these lives I am able to touch right now… I don’t think I would have been able to do if I didn’t look like this’. This talk sky rocketed to a phenomenal ten million views, reaching out to many other lives and touching millions of stories of their own. The speech not only covers her story, but why it challenged her not to let the wrong people define who she was. The negative comments that years of bullying had given her, lit a fire and motivated her to use that negativity we all have in our own life to create the most powerful and successful person inside you. She discusses how proud she is that her condition has left her able to motivate hundreds of people when working as a motivational speaker.
"What defines you?" Lizzie tells us to ask ourselves. Lizzie simply refuses to let in any negativity that life throws at her. She proves to us how easy it is to take in negativity, and spit out all the positive you can from it. If you could take every single insult that you have ever received and turn it into something you can grow by, how much happier do you think you would be? Very happy indeed. Lizzie herself laughs and mocks those who tell her that she is too skinny - simply because she is allowed to eat as much cake as she wants and they cannot. You however might laugh at those who call you 'brace frace' - simply because they will not have the smile you will in a year or twos time. It could be anything. Lizzie hears people make comments on her eyes due to being one-sighted. Do you know what she tells them?… ‘HALF PRICE CONTACT LENSES!’
Your understanding of what people say and think is completely irrelevant to your happiness. Take whatever it is that is aimed to make you feel negative, and turn it completely upside down. It will work absolute wonders for you and your life.
TEDx Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzPbY9ufnQY
Lizzie’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/lizzitachickita
Love and hugs,