Lizzie Velasquez, the beautiful woman in the picture above is uniquely, irrefutably, unquestionably, categorically and conclusively REMARKABLE and INCREDIBLE. Reading her story, had me glued to my chair. She is a beautiful woman with an undiagnosed condition that makes it impossible for her to gain weight and this show in her physical appearance.

I can imagine all the many hardships she had to put up with – the unfriendly stares, unpleasant comments etc. Her condition got her bullied in her childhood and early youth. I guess the last straw was when someone put up a YouTube video of her and termed her “THE UGLIEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD”.

I can only imagine how those first few seconds for her were like…… I can only imagine how she must have felt her world crumbling down with the blast from those 6 vile and insufferable words. Those are such cruel, hateful words to say to another human being. As if that wasn’t enough, the comments that followed were heartbreaking “Ewww what a monster!!!” “Kill it with fire” “Why didn’t her parents just abort her?!” “Do everyone a favour and just kill yourself” “Why would her parents keep her?” “Put a bag over your head when you go out” …………and it goes on.

How cruel can we be to our fellow humans?

And social media for what it is had the video spiral unendingly to about a 7-figure view count… You can imagine your life literally made bare in the eyes of the whole world and not in a pleasant way. Such words are so horrible and despicable that they can literally break anyone and kill someone’s spirit. Really, how would you feel if such hateful words were said to you? Heartbroken? Furious? Superbly angry? I guess most of us would have become suicidal just to put an end to it all.

But not Lizzie……. She isn’t one to go down without a fight. She isn’t one to let the challenges of life outlive her. She isn’t one to let bullies off the hook just like that. She fought back and still fights back. She went for the biggest payback ever that would hurt bullies world over – SHE MADE HER LIFE AN INSPIRATION TO THE WORLD. She is having the last laugh. Can you beat that?

She was done with the crying and hurting and she faced life squarely in the face, coming to terms with the reality of the cruelty of the world. But in all of this, she got something amazing….. She discovered her life’s purpose.

She said, “…….people are going to be saying these things and it’s horrible but we are going to have to just move on and we are going to just have to show these people that you can keep making these websites, you can keep commenting on them, you can keep saying how ugly I am and look at what I am doing now. I am not ugly. I am not the world’s ugliest woman. So they can keep doing what they want…keep doing it ….because I’m just going to keep doing what I want and become a better person than they ever will……”

Now, how about that?

Those are words of strength! Those are words of courage! Those are words of determination! Those are words of inspiration! ………..Ahhhh! I could go on and on.

Life threw her a “challenge”.
Society termed her “abnormal”.
The world called her “ugly”.

But she would accept none of that. She fights back not with violence or anger or even hatred. She fights back with the strongest weapons against evil – courage, compassion and love. She speaks up to defend not just herself but for victims of bullying all over the world…… And has made that her sole purpose – to use her story to change the world… she says, “…she is not only telling her story but telling everyone’s story”.

Today, she is a motivational speaker and author. This is really a woman with a brave heart and she has a movie made to this effect.

She has a face. She has a voice. I am guessing all the haters are all hidden under the veil of anonymity thinking bullying others is a great way to make them feel good about themselves. Uh uh! There they are wrong. It is them just displaying their insecurities and immaturity and now to their discredit, she turned out superbly awesome.

The social media that was once the bane of her existence is now her greatest tool in changing the world. Lizzie further gives meaning to what I always say, “Your status doesn’t define you. You define your status”. This is a woman who isn’t just existing but living a great life.

As a woman, how many of us can say as much about ourselves? Life throws us a couple of punches and we fall flat on our backs and refuse to get up or even try again. We wallow in self-pity, lose our heads in low self-esteem and trample on our dignity. We forget we have a responsibility to ourselves – LIVE AND BE HAPPY.

Really, life is too short to be “ordinary”. In your own way, you can live a simple, wonderful, happy and extraordinary life by just being who you are born to be….by living out your purpose. Stop trying to adhere to the so-called norms of the society. Break free of these rules and be happy. Stand out from the crowd. Hans F. Hansen once said, “It takes nothing to join the crowd. It takes everything to stand out”.

Go out there and live a little….naaaaaa…Scrap that……LIVE MUCH. You deserve it. We all do. This is your life. Be the star in it and not the sidekick, supporting player or understudy. You are your own person and you are accountable for all your actions – good or bad. The highest anyone can do is to impose their will on you but you have your own free will to break loose of their hold and say, “Enough!”

Follow your dreams. Live out your passions. Utilise your talents.

Take a cue from Lizzie and let your life be an inspiration to others. You are responsible for your own happiness irrespective of the blows life throws at you. Turn those blows around and use them to your advantage.

PHOTO CREDIT: Everything Inspirational

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