Revisiting with Lizzie Velasquez: Q and A

“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” –William Shakespeare.

LizzieLizzie 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.

Do You Wanna Buy a Snowman?

Do you wanna buy a snowman? Now you can with the new DVD release of Frozen. Disney’s new animated feature has captured audiences internationally. Overall, Frozen earned more than 368.6 million dollars in the box office and re-released a sing-along version in theaters. Now the time has come to bring Frozen into your home.


For those who have not seen Frozen, the movie follows the story of Princess Anna of Arendalle and her sister, Queen Elsa. Elsa was born with magical icy powers. One day Elsa’s powers accidentally set off a winter storm leading Anna to brave the icy weather to save the kingdom from an eternal winter. Along the way, Anna meets Kristoff, a mountain man, and his reindeer, Sven, and an adorably hilarious snowman named Olaf. Together, they set off for a very cool adventure that you’ll be sure to enjoy.

Frozen stars Idina Menzel as Elsa and Kristen Bell as Anna. It is co-directed by Jennifer Lee who also helped write the story of Frozen. In an interview, Jennifer Lee said her perspective of being a woman at the screenwriting table helped her male co-writers see some stereotypes they were writing. Because of that, her presence at the table helped shaped two of the most independent princesses (who do not need a prince to rescue them) Disney has ever had.

If that hasn’t convinced you yet, here are five reasons why Frozen is awesome.

  1. The Princess: Anna is a fearless optimist who believes in the power of true love. Anna is a strong protagonist in the movie whose bravery is quite admirable.
  2. The Queen: Elsa is also a strong protagonist who was taught most of her life to conceal her powers out of the fear of being “too dangerous.” This twist on the cliché villain makes you think twice on why people may do certain things.
  3. The sidekick characters: As mentioned before, Kristoff and his reindeer, Sven, are great characters that provide comedic relief to the dangerous adventure. Olaf, the snowman, is also a comedy relief for the audience and has the capability of melting your heart, even if you are snowman.
  4. The Songs: Okay, the songs are awesome. You’ve probably heard the covers of “Let It Go” and “Do You Wanna Build A Snowman” over and over, but don’t be fooled. These songs are very catchy and very well-written. All the songs were written by the dynamic husband and wife duo, Bobby Lopez, three-time Tony Award Winner, and Kristen-Anderson Lopez.
  5. The Animation: The animation of Frozen is really quite remarkable if you are movie buff and know all the camera angles. Even if you are not, the animation is appealing to the eye. Some may dare to say it embodies the same essence as other famous Disney classics. The animation is listed here on the top five reasons to see Frozen because Walt Disney’s start in animation was a magical experience for audiences.

Add this new Disney classic to your collection on Tuesday March 18th, 2014.

Lizzie BeYOUtiful

Have you ever been bullied? Do you wish you could change something about yourself, like  your hair, your eyes or your nose? Better yet, what if you learned to love yourself instead? Yes, it is hard, but it is possible if you change one thing… your outlook on life. Changing your outlook on the way you look changes the way you look at life. You will find yourself to be happier and wanting to try more things.

One young girl changed her outlook and her life changed forever. She has since written two books and has been interviewed by The Today Show, The Doctors, Entertainment Tonight, and Dr. Drew. She has spoken to groups of young kids, teens, and adults on anti-bullying and the importance of learning to love yourself.

Lizzie Velasquez, 23, is your everyday American girl. She enjoys spending time with friends, shopping, and listening to music. As a student at Texas State University, Lizzie is studying Communications and English.

Courtesy from

Lizzie may just be like you or me, but she is different and unique. She was born with a rare genetic disorder that prevents her from gaining weight. She is also blind in her left eye. Lizzie had to deal with many people who called her names and stared at her funny. The bullying used to get to her but now she does not let those bullies take over her life. She is in control and she loves who she is!

Now as a motivational speaker, Lizzie is standing up against bullying and moving many people with her story.

What makes Lizzie so remarkable and how did she get to where she was? It was not always easy; in fact, it took some time for Lizzie to accept herself and it did not happen overnight. The hardest thing for Lizzie to let go was the fact that she could “never look like one of the popular girls.”  She then took the negative things in her life and turned them into positive. That is when she realized there are so many blessings in life, little things, to be grateful and happy for. She is blind in one eye and often gets frustrated with her vision, but she is still grateful that she can see through the other eye. Her advice in the journey to loving yourself is to realize your purpose and go for your dreams.

The journey to loving yourself takes time and hard work. You might find yourself bullied into thinking you cannot do it. Here’s some advice from Lizzie, “the best way to get back [at your bully] is with accomplishments and successes. It’s the foolproof way to get rid of them by turning the negative into something positive.” Her advice for someone who is bullying other people is to “take time out and look at [yourself] and ask why they are doing things to hurt others.” What if you were bullied back? Put yourself in those shoes and sees how it feels to be bullied. Most likely, it will not feel good, so treat others the way you want to be treated.

To stay motivated in this journey Lizzie turned to music. Christian/worship music is her favorite go to music if she ever has an off day. She also goes to her fan email account and reads the messages from people who share their story with her and how Lizzie’s story changed their life. Lizzie recalls one touching story from outside the country. The letter was her first email from a teenager telling her how grateful they were for sharing her story. The teenager thought about committing suicide until they saw Lizzie’s story and decided to turn their life around. Lizzie realized then that her mission to help others was way bigger than what existed around her.

Lizzie Velasquez will graduate in May 2013 from Texas State University. She hopes one day to create a business to encourage good self-esteem and provide help for those who are being bullied. Her books are available through her website at

No Name Calling

Bullying stops here. February  marks the month for the awareness of anti-bullying. As advertising and stories surface to stand against bullying, Latinitas Magazine, too, will take a stand.

In the halls of any school in America, you will find the issue of bullying. However academically challenging the school may be, bullying is an issue and it must be dealt with.

Two weeks ago, Anderson Cooper conducted a special report on his study, “Bullying: It Stops Here.” In his research, bullying has been exposed in the limelight. Bullying is no longer the issue to be thrown under the table or considered a rite of passage. With new technological advances, bullying goes further than just school grounds making it impossible for the victim to “get over”. Bullying can lead to acts of depression and cause obsessive thoughts and behavior of self-esteem issues, eat disorders, and even resulting in suicide. Robert Faris, a sociologist at UC Davis, coins the term “social combat” as reason to why so many kids are bullied. The race to climb the social ladder is the consequence of bullying. In his study he found that 56% of kids are aggressors, victims or both.

Most shockingly, 81% of these bullying incidents, which are in fact witnessed by bystanders, are never reported. And 74% of kids do not want to tell their parents for fear that their parents will not take it seriously. 

Of course, it is no surprise that Lifetime is one of the voices standing against bullying. In the new Lifetime Original movie, Girl Fight, bullying is brought to the front in a true story when a girl is brutally beaten up by a group of girls, so they can get their 15minutes of fame by posting a video of the beating online. Their mistake was filming the video in the first place as it gave the police enough evidence to prosecute them.

This story, unfortunately, is not new news. You can YouTube the words “girl fight” right now, and find videos posted online of girls fighting or being beaten up. To kids, it is entertainment, just as bullying is entertainment for the aggressors.

Why is this issue so important to Latinitas Magazine? Since Latinitas targets young girls who are going through this issue, we want to let them know that you are not alone. Latinas girls are more likely to suffer from depression and commit suicide. In fact, in the fastest growing minority, 1 in 6 Latina girls will attempt suicide. That’s why Latinitas is a magazine focused on inspiring and motivating young girls to learn more, achieve more, and aspire more. The more confidence we instill in a young girl, the more likely she will take a stand against issues in her life, whether it be bullying, SAT tests, or getting into college for the first-time; Latinitas is there supporting these young girls every day.

For those young Latinitas, we encourage you to take a stand. Believe in your future. If you see someone being bullied, stand up against them with your friends. The aggressors will back down in a group of people. Take a stand online by signing the “Bullying: It Stops Here” Campaign on Facebook. Take another stand online and report any misconduct or bullying you see on social networking sites. You can even report videos on YouTube.

Our society thrives on negativity. We have become leaches to the bad, the corrupt, and the just plain wrong. Why don’t we turn this contagious behavior and turn it into something positive? Positivity can thrive just the same way. Remember, we make up a society, so that means we are in control.