This incredible woman, once bullied for her looks, is now sticking up for everyone
A woman who was bullied because of her appearance from kindergarten is taking her campaign against bullying right to the top of US politics.
Lizzie Velasquez, who was born with an extremely rare syndrome which prevents her from gaining weight, wants to take her fight against bullying to Capitol Hill.
She said she was bullied in kindergarten, but because her parents had never told her she was different, she couldn’t understand why.
Despite overcoming bullying and becoming an active member of her high school’s cheerleading team and student newspaper, when Velasquez was 17, she came across something horrifying.
A video of her appeared on YouTube titled ‘The World’s Ugliest Woman’.
She read through tens of thousands of comments telling her to kill herself and saying her parents should have got rid of her, desperately trying to find one sticking up for her. She could not.
Now 26, Velasquez is the subject of a documentary ‘A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story’, she also gives motivational talks.
She plans to take her documentary right to the top, and has lobbied for a federal anti-bullying bill currently stalled in Congress.
What has changed since Velasquez was at school? She says bullying can now be “24/7” because of the internet, and that things are worse than ever.
The anti-bullying bill, which has been stalled for eight years, and is stuck at a committee stage in the House and Senate would mean schools would have to create anti-bullying policies and to publicly report incidents.
“Young girls and boys from all around the world let me know their personal story, and I can feel their smile through their words,” Velasquez told the Washington Post.
“To be able to look at those comments and just get encouragement from them and know that I am living the life that I’m supposed to is what keeps me going every day.”
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