I came across a powerful story today and I just had to share this with you as I feel it can help women with poor self esteem or those that still suffer from the effects of bullying.
Lizzie Velasquez has been bullied basically most of her life. It started at the age of 5 when she attended kindergarden and came to a head when she was 17 years old and was named the ugliest woman alive in a Youtube video. Comments on that video were beyond cruel.Born with a rare disease Lizzie is unable to gain any weight. Not only has this affected her appearance, she also gets ill quite quickly and has very poor eye sight. However, instead of letting all this and the severe bullying get to her, she decided instead to defy the bullies and show them that she is a force to be reckoned with.
In this inspiring TED talk Lizzie outlines her strategy of defiance and her plans to make a difference. “Would I let being called a monster define me? No,” she says. “I’m going to let my goals, my success and my accomplishments define me. Not my outer appearance or that I’m visually impaired, nor that I have a syndrome that nobody understands. I had to use those negative things and turn them upside down. And I did. I used them as a ladder to climb towards my goals.”
I have been subjected to bullies throughout my youth and know how cruel people can be. I also know that the bullying has shaped me as a person. It has made me tougher and perhaps more determined but it also left plenty of scars.
I feel it is so important to make people aware of the effects bullying has on others. Both children and adults alike need to understand that bullying of any kind, wether carried out in person or online is very harmful to people.
Lizzie is well on her way to do something about this. Her talks inspire many to defy the bullies and turn any negativity into a positive.
She has already written 2 books with a third on the way, but is now also planning to create a film based on her story which aims to create a more positive online world. She has started a Kickstarter project that has already raised the $180,000 needed to create the film. Any further funds will help to finish the movie and aid with distribution. I was very happy to contribute as well. There are still 2 days left to donate if you also like to help.
Have you ever been bullied? Were you inspired by this TED talk?
Feature image by littlelizziev