Kylie Jenner’s Instagram account gave the reality star a place to speak out in support of anti-bullying activist Lizzie Velasquez. On Friday, Kylie shared a photo of Velasquez, accompanied by a long post about the activist and bullying in her own life. Velasquez suffers from Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome, a rare condition that means her body can’t produce fat.
Simon Delott, writing for Fishwrapper, points out that in our thin-obsessed world, no one should wish to have “that problem, even as a joke.” The condition has “dramatically” affected Lizzie’s appearance so that someone thought it would be a joke to make fun of her on YouTube by posting videos calling her the “world’s ugliest woman.” Velasquez responded by becoming a motivational speaker and posting her own inspiring videos.
— AmyPoehlerSmartGirls (@smrtgrls) September 3, 2015
Lizzie has been making waves with her own brand of beauty and she’s gathering fans. Twitter users describe her as “art” and “straight out of a painting.”
so i finally got the deets on the Lizzie Velasquez story. damn. she isn’t even ugly, she looks like art.
— mae skadoodles (@paulinemae__) September 5, 2015
i love Lizzie Velasquez not only bc she looks straight out of a painting but bc she is so strong and positive. 💕
— mae skadoodles (@paulinemae__) September 5, 2015
Kylie responded to Lizzie’s struggles, saying, “I’m getting a little more personal… It is so unacceptable to treat people like this.” Lizzie told Kylie what the key messages are that she wants to communicate to people.
“Most importantly I try to convey that all you need to have is a brave heart to accomplish whatever you want to achieve. Let the negative build you up instead of knocking you down. You are enough no matter what; you were put on this earth for a reason.”
#Day4 - I'm getting a little more personal... When Lizzie Velasquez (@LittleLizzieV) was 17 years old, someone posted a video of her on YouTube calling her the world’s ugliest woman. “By the time I saw the video, it had 4 million views.” Now 26 years old, Lizzie’s condition was diagnosed last summer. Lizzie suffers from a rare congenital disease that less than 10 people in the world are known to have. The disease impedes her from accumulating body fat; she literally has zero percent body fat and has never weighed more than 64 pounds, however though it is not terminal. Throughout her entire life, this condition has resulted in a lot of #bullying. It is so unacceptable to treat people like this. People are so quick to say horrible things about me everyday over and over and sometimes I can't take it. Even I at times get affected by it, I breakdown, I hide, I cry. It's resulted in a lot of anxiety for me that I've never had to deal with before ever. My every move has been documented for the whole world and its been a nightmare trying to find myself through all of this. And I've absolutely lost apart of myself. Lizzie, you are so strong and I admire you so so much. Lizzie has taken that negative energy and has turned it around by traveling around the world doing motivational speeches. When I asked her what the key messages were of her speeches, she told me that “Most importantly I try to convey that all you need to have is a brave heart to accomplish whatever you want to achieve. Let the negative build you up instead of knocking you down. You are enough no matter what; you were put on this earth for a reason” Soon you’ll be able to see her story on the big screen in the documentary film @ABraveHeartFilm in theaters on September 25th. Check out Lizzie’s Instagram @LittleLizzieV - she’s taking a lifetime full of bullying to help teach the world #IAmMoreThan the names they call me. #ImWithLizzie and Lizzie taught me #IAmMoreThan who I think I am. For me, this is expected it comes with the territory. But Lizzie, you should of not had to go through that. Let's change this together. I love you Lizzie! I'll see you soon.
Kylie decided the Instagram post was a good opportunity to share something about her own experiences with bullying.
“People are so quick to say horrible things about me everyday over and over and sometimes I can’t take it. Even I at times get affected by it, I breakdown, I hide, I cry.”
Jenner said that the bullying she’s experienced has “resulted in a lot of anxiety” as her “every move has been documented for the whole world.” She went on to say that her life has “been a nightmare trying to find myself through all of this,” and that she’s “lost apart [sic] of myself.”
“I breakdown, I hide, I cry.”
Public response to Kylie getting “personal” was mixed. Some fans think she’s taking advantage of Lizzie’s predicament and turning the spotlight on herself. Fishwrapper admitted that it’s “the thought that counts,” but admonished Jenner, “please don’t make it all about you.” One Twitter user wasn’t sure if Kylie’s comparison of herself to Lizzie Velasquez was legit.
I’m not sure if Kylie’s comparison to Lizzie Velasquez is legit, but I guess I somewhat see where she’s coming from.
— Kelechi Okoro (@kelechi125) September 5, 2015
Velasquez’s story is being told in the documentary film A Brave Heart, which is being released on Sept. 25.
[Image via Michael Buckner / Getty]