Lizzie Velasquez is a twenty six years old Texan. She was born with a rare congenital condition that amongst other symptoms severely restricts her ability to acquire body fat. She currently weighs about sixty pounds and you can imagine that her life thus far has been filled with struggle and never-ending hospital visits. Intellectually she is not impaired and has become quite a feisty young woman in spite of everything.
This weekend the BBC news website has highlighted Lizzie's story. And what really caught my attention was the torment that she suffered a few years back while surfing the net. Within YouTube she discovered an eight second video clip that had received four million hits. It was titled "The World's Ugliest Woman". Out of curiosity she clicked on further and was horrified to discover that she herself was subject of this gratuitous amateur film clip.
That would have been bad enough but then she went on to read the the thousands of comments that had attached themselves to the clip like barnacles around a sewage pipe. Most of them were horrible - suggesting that someone should put Lizzie down, "kill it with fire" and "Why did her parents keep her?" Terrible, heartless words when what Lizzie genuinely deserved was praise and admiration. It beggars belief.
Fortunately, with the passage of time those cruel, inhuman comments appear to have spurred Lizzie on instead of defeating her. She was always secure about the love of her family and friends - people who actually knew her. Now she has become a motivational speaker and a campaigner for the rights of the disabled and those who suffer from congenital diseases. You might say that she speaks for beauty while those who took pleasure in mocking her represent the real ugliness in our midst.
She said this:-
"I've learned that there's one very simple thing that every single person can do, and all it is is looking someone in the eye, acknowledging that they're a human being just like you and me, smiling and saying hi. It opens up a world of doors that people don't realize."
Eye contact ~ so important ~ establishes the connection between people. How sad and tragic for this young lady and thank God she had the support of family and friends to rise above it all.ReplyDelete
Eye contact that is non-judgmental - that says we are equal.Delete
You've picked a good cause to promote.ReplyDelete
Yes Red. Lizzie's story deserves re-telling.Delete
The world has always had its percentage of arseholes. Back then, one hardly noticed and if one did surface, a quick smack in the mouth usually sorted them. Now, unfortunately, there is social media and it is a lot harder to ignore them or give them the kick in the teeth they deserve.ReplyDelete
They hide behind their anonymity and the confidence that they will not be outed.Delete
Poor wee lass. I am full of admiration for her bravery.ReplyDelete
Life can be hard but how much harder when "God" has dealt you a hand like that .Delete
I've not heard this story until now. There is a desease with similar effects (maybe it's the same one, I only know its name in German) which makes even young children look like very old people. Admittedly, it can look scary at first, but so do the orange-tinted, over-made-up, eyebrow-less and pumped-up-lipped girls and women who think they are oh so beautiful (as the one you showed on your make-up post not that long ago).ReplyDelete
Instead of ridiculing (or worse) such people, we should be supportive in person (if we know someone who suffers, or has a sufferer in their family) and grateful for what health (and beauty) we have ourselves.
I agree Miss A. Sometimes I shake my head - as if I somehow ended up on an alien planet - such is my disgust about those whose reactions and responses appear so cruel.Delete
Some people in this world are cowards...they hide behind anonymity. They haven't got the guts....they are the ugly ones.ReplyDelete
They are like people who scribble on toilet doors - impossible to track down.Delete
You have just underlined the positive power of the internet!ReplyDelete
Both positive and negative John. For good or for ill.Delete
People never cease to amaze me....her for her spirit and sagacity and the idiots for their ignorance.ReplyDelete
The feeling is mutual Libby.Delete
I Samuel 16:7 says, in essence, that man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart. I guess it's been a problem since the beginning, though much quicker easier for evil to be spread around now. It's not easy to love the unlovely and we are so apt to judge by apppearance that we hardly take the time to get past the outward. Good lessons for us all, I think.ReplyDelete
I think that Samuel must have been reading The Gospel According to St Pudding!Delete
I've come across Lizzie's motivational messages before and I think she is to be admired greatly. I believe that you've really hit the nail on the head when you said that those who took pleasure in mocking her represent the real ugliness in our midst.ReplyDelete