Lizzie Velasquez is an incredible, young motivational speaker that campaigns against bullying, and for good reason.
Born with an extremely rare disorder called Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome, Lizzie has never been able to gain weight and has maintained 0% body fat since birth, despite her current diet of 5,000 to 8,000 calories each day. The disorder also causes other issues, such as premature aging and blindness in one of her eyes.
As a child, Lizzie struggled with gawking and stares from children and adults alike. In school, she was subject to teasing, taunts, jeers, and was sometimes downright ignored because of her appearance. Through the support of her friends and family, Lizzie gained enough confidence to branch out and become a staff writer for the newspaper, photographer for the yearbook, and even a cheerleader.
However, one evening while she was putting off homework, she came across a YouTube clip of herself being called the ugliest woman in the world. In addition to the video, the comments were even worse. Some demanded she wear a bag over her head, others called for her to end her life. All because of the way she looks.
“We can either decide to feel sorry for ourselves and throw the biggest pity party in the world and just be stuck in it – or there’s this whole other side with everything that we do have in our lives. We can say I do have this and I do have that, instead of I wish I had that or comparing yourself to other people. Because where does that leave you?“ - Lizzie Velasquez
Lizzie’s experiences became a driving force for her career. She decided to become a motivational speaker and make anti-bullying her platform. She seeks to make a difference for people that are victims of the same fear and hatefulness that has been misdirected towards her over the years.