Daring To Be Beautiful
How can anyone label and bully someone who is diagnosed with a rare disease? Lizzie was called ‘World’s Ugliest Woman’. LCAHouston International Society News Magazine Correspondent Blaine Ochoa spoke to Lizzie Velasquez author and celebrated speaker on hope, beauty and how to rise above it all.
What does Beauty mean to you? The common perception of beauty is a perfect face, body, hair, smile, or eyes. Outward appearance is always the first thing seen and brought to attention. In today’s society, the goal to be beautiful and attain such beauty for a lifetime, is extremely prominent and highly valued.
Personally, I do love to look my best and feel beautiful on the outside, as do most women. However, I know that true beauty comes from within. True beauty is shown through the heart and displayed by kindness. Beauty that is more than just a face or figure. A real beauty is one that gives, loves, inspires, and instills in others hope and courage.
I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Bay Area Houston Woman’s Conference at Hope Village. This conference is based around creating a better you and embracing a vision of becoming “beautifully brave” – to grow in wealth, to become fearless and bold, and to always be kind. The speakers included Molly Fletcher, Dr. Katherine Walsh, Leslie Boggs, and Catherine Alford. Author and celebrated speaker, Lizzie Velasquez, ended the conference.
Lizzie spoke about beauty, her resiliency, and her inspiring story of hope, bravery, and overcoming obstacles. Lizzie was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease called Marfanoid-progeroid-lipodystrophy syndrome that affects her bones, eyes, and heart, and her ability to gain weight. Because of this she was bullied throughout her life, and labeled “World’s Ugliest Woman” in a viral video. Even a label as harsh and ignorant as this couldn’t stop Lizzie. She rose above the hurt and pain and became a motivational speaker, addressing the issue of bullying everywhere.
“Beauty is something that each of us decide on our own, it’s who you are as a person and the things you bring to this world”. We have to get back up when we get knocked down, and persevere. We have a great power within ourselves to make a difference and inspire and help others; that is what makes us beautiful. There is beauty in vulnerability and embracing who you are and loving yourself fully, for all your flaws, weaknesses, and imperfections. “Being comfortable with the uncomfortable is terrifying, but the lessons that you learn and when you get to the other side of it, is the greatest feeling in the world.”
There is beauty in confidence, and understanding yourself. Beauty in letting your heart shine through to others and beauty in living with kindness.
Lizzie’s story is one that we can all learn from. I challenge and dare you to be beautiful, to be kind, and to ultimately love each other more. “You were put on this earth for a greater purpose”, for a purpose greater than yourself.