Can syndrome change a woman’s life so positively? Is it actually a set of signs and symptoms that appear together and characterize a disease or medical condition that can end anyone’s life so easily?
A woman who was bullied for the way she looks is the focus of a new film that premieres at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas on Saturday.
What started as a search for music online – purely homework procrastination – would change Lizzie Velasquez’s life.
She was only 17 when she stumbled across a YouTube video entitled “The World’s Ugliest Woman”. What she didn’t expect was that the woman featured in the video would be her. It was an eight-second clip and had been watched over four million times.
She didn’t realize it was her until it started playing. Velasquez said, “I was shocked,”, “but it wasn’t until I started to read the comments that my stomach really sank.”
“Why would her parents keep her?!” read one of the comments, “kill it with fire” said another. And they continued on and on. Some commentators said she should kill herself, and one said people would go blind if they saw her on the street. These comments really killed her in herself.
“As a teenager I thought my life was over, I cried for many nights”, she says. Velasquez was already used to being bullied daily for the way she looks.
She lacks energy at times because of her conditions, and takes a long time to fight off infections such as bronchitis.
“When I was a teenager I would look in the mirror and wish I could wash away my syndrome,” she says.
And finally, Velasquez decided she could try to make a change. She started her own YouTube channel to let people know who the person behind the “World’s Ugliest Woman” video really was, and to teach others they, too, could be confident in their own skin.
According to the recent reports, she currently has about 240,000 subscribers to her channel. She community that has built up around her online presence has been amazing
Yes, Velasquez has proved that she is not going to be a victim; but she is going to make a change.
By Farah Jamil