Lizzie Velazquez suffers from a very rare non-terminal genetic disorder that doesn’t allow her to gain weight. But, strangely her extraordinarily small body has not affected her dreams. This article focuses on the severe social stigma that she faces every day.
The early life of Lizzie Velazquez
Lizzie was born on March 13, 1989, in Austin, Texas. She was born four weeks prematurely and weighed less than 2 pounds 11 ounces. She had Marfan lipodystrophy syndrome. In this illness, she is medically unable to gain weight. However, she has some other complications also affecting her eyes, bones, and heart.
This has made her blind in the right eye and vision-impaired in the left eye. She never weighed more than 29 kg with almost 0% body fat. Moreover, she requires many small meals and snacks throughout the day.
When Lizzie Velazquez realized that she was different?
In childhood, she actually never knew about others’ perceptions of her. She lived a very normal life. After all, how could she know at that age, that she was different? At home, her family treated her just like everyone else. She says that her parents were a source of support, and raised her to be optimistic and confident. When her schooling started, then only she started realizing the difference for the first time.
“I didn’t become aware of it until I started kindergarden, because I was now entering this other world where I had to face the reality that ‘I do not look like everybody else’” – Lizzie Velasquez
The Traumatic day that changed her life
As years passed on, the little girl accepted the reality and perhaps other students also got mentally adjusted to her condition. As Velasquez reached high school, she gained a better understanding of the situation. This new level of self-acceptance inspired Velasquez to make new friends, join motivational groups, and write for the school newspaper. She had started to feel gratitude for what she had accomplished, but the worse had to come.
The World’s Ugliest Woman
In 2006, a YouTube video shook her to the core. When she was just 17, she found a video going viral on Youtube. It named her “The World’s Ugliest Woman”. It was the most difficult period for her. She had somehow come to terms with reality and it totally jolted her. It took a long time for the young girl to come out of it.
The dreams of Lizzie Velazquez
She doesn’t have an ordinary physical condition, but her dreams of love and marriage are the same as those of any other ordinary girl. The woman sitting inside that body has a normal mindset. Life has given her a very difficult role and finding a partner, who can fit into this typical scenario, would be really challenging for both of them.
People’s perception of her can never be normal, it’s a bitter truth. I read her Tweets and she thinks that “someday she will become confident enough to face people’s reactions”. The looks of people, their eyes, their elbow hitting each other on seeing her must have always been traumatic for her. One can just imagine the social stigma she faces every day! And in this entire situation, there is no mistake of her. It’s just destiny.
Is the world really so bad?
Is the world really so bad? The answer is No & Yes. Actually, most people do not know “how they form a particular opinion about someone”. It’s not that they just saw her and formed the opinion, NO. One may think that people jumped to a conclusion within a second or two, but it’s not like that.
It may sound strange, but people actually start making concepts in their childhood, especially the concept of beauty. That’s why different people have different opinions about THE SAME PERSON. After growing up, they just react within a second of watching anybody.
Only a few maybe there who hurt the TARGET intentionally. Otherwise, most people just REACT as per their mindset and move on. They may not even realize that they had hurt somebody.
It’s a new world daily!
Do you think we move into the same world daily? No, it’s a new world daily! Worldwide DAILY lakhs of people take birth and die. Suppose, through awareness and educational programs, you somehow convince a few batches of people to behave more rationally towards others. Even then, a new batch ie. a new generation filled with rubbish may be coming soon.
Nowadays social media has a worldwide reach. A person sitting in another corner of the world may start mischief and hurt such a person. Even a small child’s way of looking, mocking, or laughing at her may hurt.
It’s a continuous struggle for her. She is trying hard to adjust, become strong, remain unaffected, and accept things as they are. But, the problem is that after a certain age, you expect some respect from others, especially the next generation. But given her physical condition, it would always remain a big challenge.
She is known for her optimism. I read her tweets on Twitter and find her enjoying her life as well as fighting her problems.
- Featured Pic Credit: Yahoo.com