How she beat bullying & became one of the most successful speakers in the world!
Lizzie Velasquez was just 17 years old when she stumbled upon a YouTube video titled “The World’s Ugliest Woman.” You can only imagine the pain she felt after realizing the video was about her. But instead of suffering in silence, Lizzie found the strength to rise above it. “You are the one who decides what defines you,” she says. “I’m going to let my goals and my success and my accomplishments be the things that define me.” Preach!
See, Lizzie was born with Neonatal progeroid sydrome, a rare condition that affects the heart, eyes and bones, and prevents her from gaining weight and seeing out of her right eye. “I had to deal with a lot of bullying when I was younger because I obviously looked different from other kids,” she shares. “My biggest piece of advice would be to know you’re not alone. You have to have confidence in knowing that there is a light on the other side of being bullied.”
And Lizzie is living proof of that light. Ten years after seeing that fateful YouTube vid, Lizzie has emerged as one of the most influential advocates and inspirational speakers in the world! She stars in the documentary, A Brave Heart, and even penned an autobiography, set to be released in June 2017!
This month, Lizzie teamed up with Secret to launch the #StandUpWithSecret campaign. “We all have different ways we can help each other and we really want to encourage girls to take the pledge to either stand up for themselves or for others,” she says.
You can take the pledge now – Follow Lizzie on Twitter to see how!
And watch Lizzie’s incredible TedXTalk below. Get ready to be inspired – there’s a reason why it’s got over 10 million views!