According to HuffPo, Lizzie Velasquez became a celebrity on Dec. 5, 2013, when her TED Talk in Austin became a hit. In her speech, Velasquez explained that her life changed at age 17, when she saw herself on a YouTube video entitled “The world’s ugliest woman.” The video’s comments section featured comments such as, “Do the world a favor and put a gun to your head.”
“Instead of just taking shelter of my tears, I chose to be happy and realize this syndrome is not a problem but a blessing that allows me to improve myself and inspire other people,” said Velasquez.
In the years since she saw the video and comments, Velasquez graduated from college, wrote three self-help books (the third, “Choosing Happiness,” will be published in August) and gained tens of thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Velasquez credits her strength to her parents, who have always loved her the same way they love her siblings Marina and Chris, neither of whom suffer from the syndrome.
The eldest of three children born to Rita and Guadalupe Velásquez, Lizzie was born in Austin, Texas, on March 13, 1989. Born four weeks prematurely, her birth weight was only 1,219 grams (2 pounds eleven ounces).
She has spoken out in terms of her belief in God who has “blessed me with the greatest blessing of my life, which is my syndrome”.