Texas native Lizzie Velasquez has some advice for online bullies who refer to her as the world’s ugliest woman: Stop staring and start learning. The 23-year-old was born with a rare disorder which prevented her from developing any adipose tissue, meaning she does not have any body fat. Despite eating 60 small meals each day, Velasquez still weighs only 58 pounds. Only two other people in the entire world are known to suffer from the ultra-rare disorder, according to the Daily Mail.
During the Dr. Drew interview, the Austin resident stated she had been ridiculed by insensitive cyber bullies. The young woman also discussed spending years mired down by self-doubt and misery but notes she can now shrug off the mean-spirited comments.
Lizzie Velasquez had this to say during her HLN TV interview with Dr. Drew:
“I’m human, of course these things are going to hurt. But, I’m not going to let those things define me. At the end of the day, these are just words. If they are so proud, then they should show their face. I feel I’m really glad I don’t look like the celebrities out there who are beautiful, because there are a lot of stereotypes attached to that.”
The brave woman just completed a second book about her struggle to be accepted and reportedly hopes it will aid others placed in a similar position. In Be Beautiful, Be You, the college senior talks about being unique and gives advice on not just making but keeping good friends. Dealing with bullies both online and in real life is also discussed in the book.
The brave Texan weighed less than three pounds when she was born four weeks premature. She had minimal amniotic fluid surrounding her in the womb; doctors reportedly had no idea how she survived. Physicians initially told her mother that the baby would never be able to talk, walk, or have a normal life and prepared the family for the worst. When she was a preschooler, she went blind in one eye.
Valesquez must consume a high-calorie meal ever 15 to 20 minutes to maintain a sufficient energy level. She is part of a genetic study at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Professor Abhimanyu Garg now believes she has a form of Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome, which causes premature aging, tissue generation, and loss of fat from the body and face.