When Lizzie Velasquez was born, the doctors told her parents that she would likely never walk, talk, or do much of anything on her own. 24 years later, she is a college graduate, a popular motivational speaker and a published author three times over. Lizzie’s ability to defy the odds is nothing short of remarkable, but her toughest battle was having to go up against bullies.
Lizzie was born with a rare genetic disorder that currently affects only two other people in the world. The disorder, which is so rare that doctors can’t even definitively pinpoint a name, left her blind in her right eye, and without the ability to gain weight. She eats upwards of 60 small meals a day, but has never weighed more than 64 pounds. Her unique appearance has led to a lifetime of unwanted stares, and hurtful words; even requests for her to kill herself. The lowest point though, was when she discovered a YouTube clip titled “World’s Ugliest Woman” that she unknowingly featured in.
As easy as it would have been to want to retaliate after coming upon such a hurtful gesture, Lizzie ultimately took the high road. She thought long and hard about what defined her as a person, and decided it would not be her outer appearance, but rather her accomplishments, and successes. She took those despicable comments and turned them into the fire that motivated her to get to the point that she is at today. During her moving TED Talk, she acknowledges that she “had a really difficult life, but that’s OK,” because she believes that there is an upside to every bad situation. She doesn’t dwell on what could have been; she creates her own path.
Lizzie’s wonderful outlook on life gives new meaning to what it is to be a beautiful human being.
“I could be grateful and open my eyes and realise the things that I do have, and make those the things that define me. I can’t see out of one eye, but I can see out of the other. I might get sick a lot, but I have really nice hair.”
“Am I going to let the people who called me a monster define me? No. I’m going to let my goals and my success and my accomplishments be the things that define me.”
Source: The Loop