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Lizzie Velasquez: From the ‘World’s Ugliest Woman’ to International Inspiration

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Lizzie Velasquez was born with a rare condition which doesn’t allow her body to accumulate fat. When her interview aired, she became the target of cyberbullies who labelled her the “Ugliest Woman in The World”. Today, she is a bestselling author and of the documentary based on her life, “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story” which chronicles her life from bullying victim to motivational speaker to activist. Lizzie travels the world inspiring and education the world about the meaning of true beauty. Her story will move you, her bravery will inspire you, and you will never define yourself the same way again.

As a YouTube sensation of sorts, you have become somewhat of an icon or a celebrity on social media. How did being labeled “The Ugliest Woman In The World” impact your life?
When I first discovered the bad video in high school, I had no clue how I was going to pick myself up from feeling like I was knocked down in the worst way possible. Fast forward many years later and the bad video has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. It has given me the platform to be able to show people that no matter what anyone says, you are enough just the way you are.

Being a typical victim of bullying yourself, what golden tips and life-changing advice can you impart to teenagers and young adults alike who have to face or put up with constant bullying throughout their lives?
My biggest piece of advice would be that you are not alone. Every person on this earth has experienced bullying in one way or another. There will always be a light on the other side of being bullied. All you have to do is believe that it’s there and be brave enough to find it.

Your daily struggles and personal challenges with regard to your physical condition or syndrome have made you even stronger than before. Do you think beauty an asset or a prerequisite to emulate success?
There are many types of beauty and, quite honestly, I believe the most important kind is what’s within. Your personality, values, and beliefs is what makes you beautiful.

You have become an ambassador of sorts to average Americans. Social justice in America truly needs more people such as yourself to empower ordinary citizens regardless of their background and beliefs in society. What is the one message that you will like to share? Social activism has always been your mainstay and among the many agendas closest to your heart. If you could highlight your personal resolutions in the upcoming National Achievers Congress 2015 – what would your goals and objectives be for the participants or attendees?
I believe we all have the power to make a difference in our own lives. We all have to believe that we were put on this earth for a reason. I trusted my own purpose and that’s what has helped me overcome my adversities to get to where I am today.

What was the main inspiration behind your first book “Lizzie Beautiful?” (which was followed by two more books, “Be Beautiful, Be You” and “Choosing Happiness”) What sparked or motivated you to produce the many books you have written over the years? What inspired you to write?
“Lizzie Beautiful” was my first book I ever published. I’ve always had a passion for writing ever since I was young. It was a dream come true to be able to share my message in book form and an even bigger dream come true to be able to continue sharing my message of hope in my following two books as well.

“No matter where you’re at, no matter who you’re around, always stay true to who you are. Don’t ever change who you are to try to be popular or make friends. Stay true to who you are, be proud of who you are. Walk into a room and be confident and own your personality, your values, and everything about yourself. And everything will kind of just fall into place.” Lizzie Velasquez

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