The So-Called ‘World’s Ugliest Woman’ Has Just Trounced All Her Trolls

Lizzie Velasquez’s inspirational TED Talk has now been watched by 7.2 million people, oh, and a documentary about her just played at SXSW...


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

**UPDATE: A year after we brought you this piece, a documentary about Lizzie, called A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story, has premiered at SXSW. Here's the trailer: **

Oh, and Lizzie's TED talk has been viewed 7.2 million times.

Lizzie Velazquez has glossy hair, a strong speaking voice and travels the world giving motivational speeches. She is also the world’s ugliest woman, according to vile online trolls who uploaded a photo of her to YouTube under the heading ‘WORLD’S UGLIEST WOMAN’ in 2008. The video got 4 million views. But instead of wallowing in self pity and hatred, Lizzie, who has a rare, incurable condition called progeria, flipped the negatives around and did not let them define her. And that's how she ended up doing the motivational speeches.

And just how motivational are they? Well, along with accumulating 96,607 YouTube subscribers at the time of writing, the video of her Austin Women’s TED Talk entitled ‘How Do YOU Define Yourself?’ has got 4.6 million views in less than two months.

Considering that the original video – in which she talks about her condition on a US talk show, aged just 11 – has been taken down from YouTube, this means that Lizzie’s pretty much got her own back.

And she didn't do it by battering down the doors of each of the haters and the faux-curious punters who thought they were just watching the eight-second-clip innocently. Trying to explain to each one of them that she’s a human being, she’s got feelings, looks don’t matter (but if you really insist, isn’t her hair great? And, um… what the heck are you doing trying to qualify an 11-year-old girl on a talk show as attractive, you low-life creep?) would have been a colossal waste of time. And it probably would have just generated extra hate, too. No, instead of going after the people who made the video, Lizzie’s countered all of their negativity with positivity.

And though it might seem a little bit, well, American – after all, they’re the people who say ‘have a nice day’ instead of ‘goodbye’ – maybe there's something we can learn from that . So, put in your earplugs and watch Lizzie’s fantastic TED Talk now.

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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Photograph: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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