Lizzie Velasquez was dubbed “World’s Ugliest Woman” on YouTube when she was in high school; now, at 23, she’s probably the most inspiring person we’ve seen in a long, long time.
Velasquez was born with an extremely rare, undiagnosed syndrome that prevents her from developing any adipose tissue (which basically means that she has 0% body fat and has trouble generating muscle and connective tissue). As a result, she has a tiny frame, abnormally low body weight, and limited vision. But despite the alienation she’s experienced her whole life, she’s set big goals for herself, not only to rise above the cruelty she’s faced, but use it to inspire others as a motivational speaker and make big achievements, like publishing her own book.
So far, she’s two for two.
She’s also been a motivational speaker for seven years, and regularly posts positive messages to her Tumblr for fans (including brutally honest storiesabout the stares and bullying she receives). But her new book, “Be Beautiful, Be You,” which highlights her story to provide inspirational advice for other young adults struggling with self-esteem, has been getting her media appearances left and right, including a spot on Dr. Drew earlier this week…and she’s blowing everyone’s mind.
Most of us can’t even imagine the kind of treatment she receives, let alone have the tools to deal with it. But she decided when she was young to pursue the goals of inspiring others, going to school, and starting her own career and family, and continues to power through the difficulties she faces every day. She told Dr. Drew:
I think the biggest things I have to deal with is constantly people staring at me as soon as I walk into a room. Recently, it’s been a lot of adults I’ve been having to deal with who will slowly walk in front of me and turn their heads, and look me up and down. So the stares are what I’m really dealing with in public right now.
..Instead of just sitting by and watching these people judge me, I’m starting to want to go up to these people and introduce myself, or give them my card, and say, “Maybe you should stop staring and start learning.”
Photo: Lizzie Velasquez