“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” –William Shakespeare.
Lizzie Velasquez is a twenty five year old fierce motivational speaker, author, and a special inspiration. What makes Lizzie so special? Well, that can be found on the outside and on the inside. On the outside, Lizzie is special because she was born with a rare genetic disorder — so rare it remains undiagnosed. The disorder prevents Lizzie from gaining any body weight at all. On the inside, Lizzie is special because she was also born with this outstanding courage that enables her to combat forces as she grows up. Of course, Lizzie would not admit to this, in fact, she will accredit her courage to her parents’ love and support (Thanks Lizzie’s parents).
When Latinitas last talked to Lizzie she was getting ready to graduate from Texas State University. Since then, Lizzie has released another successful book, appeared on a handful of popular interviews, and hosted a Ted talk — which launched her career as a public speaker to a bigger national status. She is getting recognized by YouTube’s iJustine and actresses, like Kristen Bell and Hilary Duff! Her efforts to end bullying recently extended to a (now) successful Kickstarter campaign called The Lizzie Project. As if she couldn’t be more inspiring, there are many lessons that can be taken away from this young woman’s outstanding courage.
Q: What is The Lizzie Project?
The Lizzie Project is a documentary that will give a very personal look into my life and my own experience with bullying, but also be the vehicle to address online bullying in a way that has never been done before and hopefully inspire a movement for real change and make the online community a more positive place.
Q: What message do you hope people who don’t know your story will receive?
The message I hope people who don’t know my story is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to overcoming obstacles, diversities, and hardships. My hope is that my story of inspiration will open a door to a new and positive path that is waiting for them to discover.
Q: What has been your favorite moment in this past year?
There have been multiple favorite moments of mine over the past year, but I think one that sticks out the most to me is the very first brainstorming meeting we had with my dream team in California for my documentary. Being in a room with four women I greatly admire and look up to all rallying around me and believing in my dream is something I will always cherish.
Q: Anyone you’d like to be interview by or get the chance to meet?
I would cry tears of joy, giggle out of giddiness, and jump around in pure excitement all at the same time if I was able to meet Julia Roberts. My love for her as an actress and empowering woman is something I admire beyond words. In my mind, Jules, as I like to call her, are already besties!
With the recent success of the Kickstarter campaign, Lizzie will begin shooting her documentary in June 2014 and the expected release date will be determined at a later time. Her goals for the rest of the year are to “make the most of every single minute of this new chapter in [her] life and to make it as memorable as [she] possibly can.” One thing is for sure though, Lizzie Velasquez will be a continued hero for many generations to come as The Lizzie Project takes roots in the lives of the people around her.
To read Latinitas’ previous article on Lizzie: click here.