No one wants to hear the negative things people say about them, but what if someone made a YouTube video naming you the “the world’s ugliest woman?”
Lizzie Velasquez was born with a rare genetic defect called neonatal progeroid syndrome. Neonatal progeroid syndrome affects her heart, eyes, and even prevents her from gaining weight.
Velasquez stumbled across the YouTube video when she was only 17-years-old, and in the ten years since that moment, she has used the hatred of others to motivate those who are bullied on a daily basis.
“When I started speaking I realized I could connect with every single person because we all know what it’s like to be bullied and feel insecure,” Lizzie said. “In that moment, I had never felt so confident in my own skin.”
Today, she is one of the most sought after public speakers amongst young people, and is even the subject of a new Lifetime film titled “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story.”
In honor of National Bully Prevention Month, Lizzie teamed up with the company Secret to encourage young women and girls to use the hashtag #StandUpWithSecret to take an anti-bullying pledge.
“I was able to get on the other side of bullying, and if I was able to do that, then you can absolutely get there as well,” Lizzie said.
Lizzie Velasquez serves as an inspiration to people all over the world. Her message is simple: you’re not alone and can overcome it!