As soon as Lizzie Velásquez went to kindergarten, she realized that she was different.
And it was also the first time she was bullied.
When she was born in 1989, Lizzie Velásquez weighed only 2 pounds 11 ounces (1.2 kg) and her face looked different than the other babies in the maternity ward.
Her doctors diagnosed her with an extremely rare genetic disorder called Marfan syndrome, which only a few people around the world have. The condition prevents Lizzie from accumulating body fat or gaining weight, it causes her to age faster than people without the disorder, and it left her blind in one eye.
In kindergarten, Lizzie started getting bullied, and throughout her childhood, she was told that her face was “disgusting.”
“At the time, I thought everyone looked like me. I didn’t recognize or tell that they didn’t look like me,” she told
But Lizzie suffered her worst case of bullying when she was 16. One day, she was online and came across a horrible video on YouTube. Some despicable person had made a video about her and put it online. In the video, which quickly racked up millions of views, the person dubbed her “the world’s ugliest woman.”
Terrible words for a person to hear.
Lizzie says what her world collapsed around her when she saw the video. She read all the comments and not even one person had a single nice thing to say.
It’s crazy to think about how thousands of people could sit behind their computers and bully a 16-year-old girl suffering from a severe illness. How could those people sleep at night?
Stronger than her haters
For most people, all this hatred would have been tough to endure. But Lizzie isn’t most people. She showed all her haters how strong she is.
Today, she is 28 years old and is a successful business woman. She travels the world lecturing on her illness and her life. She has her own YouTube channel with over 700,000 followers and she uses her platform to fight bullying.
“This is my purpose. This is what I’m meant to do for the rest of my life. I like to think that I’m not only telling my story, I’m telling everyone’s story,” Lizzie told them.
All the bullies and haters who wrote bad things about Lizzie have failed to keep her down. Because Lizzie showed them that she is stronger than them — and she’s much more successful today than they will ever be.
Lizzie has written a best-selling book about her life, she’s graduated from university and she has a family and a successful career.