Lizzie Velasquez is inspiring people around the world to treat each other with kindness and understanding. Born with a rare condition leaving her unable to gain body fat, Lizzie has never weighed more than 64 pounds, and began to lose her vision at the age of four. Throughout her childhood she was bullied constantly, and says that she “felt like some sort of monster” around other children. The bullying did not end in elementary school, and at 17 Lizzie was shocked to discover she had gone viral in a YouTube video dubbing her “The World’s Ugliest Woman”. She states “When I saw it my whole world just felt like it crashed at that moment, I thought, how in the world can I ever pick myself up from this?

However, she was more than able to pick herself up and used her struggles as motivation. Graduating with a degree in communications,  Lizzie worked diligently towards her goal of becoming a motivational speaker and anti-bullying activist. She is now well known for her own YouTube channel, showcasing videos such as the one of her speaking at TEDxAustin in 2013 (which you can watch below) that has garnered over 8 million views.

 

She has also written three books, starred in a documentary, and is raising awareness for The Safe Schools ImprA-Brave-Heart-Posterovement Act. Lizzie’s film A Brave Heart details her experience being bullied, and choosing to let these actions inspire her instead of dragging her down; to “fight back in a different way”. The film premiered at South by Southwest this year, winning the Audience award, and will be released as widely as possible, including both theater and online release.

Lizzie, along with the director of her film are now promoting support of The Safe Schools Improvement Act in the US, which would work to define bullying and harassment as violence, and to ensure schools track bullying incidents. Through the hashtag #ImWithLizzie, and her website ImWithLizzie.com Lizzie encourages others to show their support of the act, and highlights how to contact their government to push the act forward.

Find where and how to see A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story here, and  follow Lizzie on social media to learn more about her amazing life!

On Instagram: @littlelizziev

On Twitter: @littlelizziev

On Youtube: Lizzie Velasquez


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