When Lizzie Velasquez was 17, she found a video on YouTube with her photo calling her “the world’s ugliest woman.” With over 4 million views, Lizzie, who suffers from a rare disease called Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome, combed through every single one of the video’s thousands of terrible comments “because I was so desperate to find one person that was standing up for me. And I never found it,” she says.
Her condition effects her eyes, her bones, and her heart, and causes her to be unable to gain weight. When she was born, doctors brought her parents a polaroid of their new baby because they thought they would be afraid of her. Her parents demanded doctors bring them their actual baby, saying, “she’s our daughter no matter what size she is.”
Raised with acceptance, love, and pride from day one has helped shape her into the strong, confident woman she is today, despite the extreme bullying and xenophobia she’s experienced.
“I knew if that video crushed me as much as it did, I couldn’t imagine what it would do to [my mother],” Velasquez says.
She decided she wasn’t going to let the internet’s terrible words become the definition of who she is.
Well, to us, Velasquez looks exactly like the incredible beauty she is, inside and out.