Inspiration: World's Ugliest
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Lizzie Velasquez is an Austin, Texas girl who
must eat every 15 minutes to stay alive. Her photo would give the impression
that she is anorexic, but she's not. In fact, her medical condition is a
mystery. She is unable to gain weight or store fat in her body.
Lizzie Velasquez, 21-years-old, stands 4 foot 2 inches tall and weighs just
60-pounds. She wears a size triple zero clothes even though she eats between
5,000 and 8,000 calories every day. Her body does not store fat so she has to
eat that much, at least every 15 minutes, just to stay alive and healthy. She
says she weights herself constantly and is ecstatic if she's gained even a
fraction of a pound.
When she was born she weighted just 2 pounds, 10 ounces and had very little
amniotic fluid protecting her in her mother's womb. Her skin was translucent and
her parents, Guadeloupe and Rita Velasquez had to dress her in doll clothes. Her
mother said that doctors had no idea how she survived. She has been part of
genetic studies and fascinated scientists throughout her life.
Article: Lessons from the
'World's Ugliest Woman': 'Stop Staring and Start Learning'
By Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo!
Shine | Secrets to Your Success : When she was in high school, Lizzie Velasquez
was dubbed "The World's Ugliest Woman" in an 8-second-long YouTube video. Born
with a medical condition so rare that just two other people in the world are
thought to have it, Velasquez has no adipose tissue and cannot create muscle,
store energy, or gain weight. She has zero percent body fat and weighs just 60
In the comments on YouTube, viewers called her "it" and "monster" and encouraged
her to kill herself. Instead, Velasquez set four goals: To become a motivational
speaker, to publish a book, to graduate college, and to build a family and a
career for herself.
Now 23 years old, she's been a motivational speaker for seven years and has
given more than 200 workshops on embracing uniqueness, dealing with bullies, and
overcoming obstacles. She's a senior majoring in Communications at Texas State
University in San Marcos, where she lives with her best friend. Her first book,
"Lizzie Beautiful," came out in 2010 and her second, "Be Beautiful, Be You," was
published earlier this month.
"The stares are what I'm really dealing with in public right now," she told Dr.
Drew Pinsky in an interview on CNN's Headline News this week. "But I think I'm
getting to the point where… instead of sitting by and watching people judge me,
I'm starting to want to go up to these people and introduce myself or give them
my card and say, 'Hi, I'm Lizzie. Maybe you should stop staring and start
Velasquez was born in San Antonio, Texas; she was four weeks premature and
weighed just 2 pounds, 10 ounces. "They told us they had no idea how she could
have survived," her mother, Rita, 45, told the Daily Mail. "We had to buy doll's
clothes from the toy store because baby clothes were too big." Doctors warned
Rita and her husband, Lupe, that their oldest child would never be able to walk
or talk, let alone live a normal life. (Her two younger siblings were not
affected by the syndrome.)
Instead, she has thrived. Her internal organs, brain, and bones developed
normally, though her body is tiny. Since she has no fatty tissue in which to
store nutrients, she has to eat every 15 to 20 minutes to have enough energy to
get through the day. One brown eye started clouding over when she was 4 years
old, and now she's blind in that eye and has only limited sight in the other.
"Some days life doesn't make sense," she writes in "Be Beautiful, Be You." "You
just have to change what you can, ask for help and pray about the rest."
She notes her triumphs and posts inspirational messages on Tumblr, and says that
she's learned to embrace the things that make her unique. Instead of trying to
retaliate against people who have made her feel badly, she sets goals for
herself and pushes herself to succeed in spite of the haters. She's even
reclaimed YouTube, video blogging about everything from bullying to hair-styling
tips to staying positive.
"I feel really glad that I don't look like the celebrities out there that are so
beautiful," she told Dr. Drew. "There's a lot of stereotypes attached to that."
Not looking like a supermodel "gives people the opportunity to know you
personally," she explains. "If they're willing to take that extra step they'll
get to know the person you really are."
Of course, the horrible comments left on that old YouTube video stung (the video
has since been removed, but Velasquez says she read every single comment). Now,
she says, she understands that they're "just words."
"I'm human, and of course these things are going to hurt," she said. "Their
judgements of me isn't who I am, and I'm not going to let these things define
"I didn't sink down to their level," she said in a follow-up video on YouTube
last year. "Instead, I got my revenge through my accomplishments and
determination. In the battle between the 'World's Ugliest Woman' video vs. me, I
think I won."
See Video about Lizzie Velasquez : :
lizzie velasquez: Girl Must Eat Every 15 Minutes - Inspirational Story