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.
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 aboutlizzie.com