Lizzie Velasquez was born with a rare disease that makes it impossible for her to gain weight. A few years ago so discovered that internet bullies cruelly voted her the “ugliest on the Internet.” Rising above her tormentors she has gone on to succeed greatly in life.

From Catholic News Agency

Due to a rare condition, Lizzie Velasquez is unable to gain weight and her appearance made her the target of mockery from her schoolmates who called her “the ugliest woman in the world” in a YouTube video.

The 23-year-old, however, is confident she has been greatly blessed by God, and has become an author and motivational speaker on true beauty.

“God is the number one reason why I am here,” she told CNA. “He blessed me with the greatest blessing of my life, which is my syndrome.”

The YouTube video received over 4 million hits, with some commenters referring to Lizzie as “it” and suggesting she “do the world a favor” and kill herself. Although Lizzie deeply suffered from the mockery, she decided to respond to the cruelty with courage and determination.

With the unconditional love of her family and her profound faith, Lizzie set herself a series of goals, including becoming a motivational speaker, and has been meeting each one. Two months ago, she posted a response video on YouTube sharing her story.

Lizzie was born into a Catholic family in Austin, Texas, and she remains active in her community and parish. Despite her condition being difficult – only a handful of people worldwide are known to have it – she says she has decided to embrace it with integrity.

“To this day the doctors have no idea what it is or what to call it. It remains undiagnosed to this day.”

“Even though this is hard, God has been at my side every step of the way. My faith, my family and my friends are the three things that have made me who I am.”

The main symptom of her condition is that she cannot gain weight. “I eat almost all day long, but I still cannot gain weight. Besides this, I really don’t have any other health issues,” Lizzie explained.

She dismissed as a “dumb rumor” reports that she has to eat every fifteen minutes. “I don’t have a specific diet. The truth is that I eat a lot of small meals throughout the day.”

“I get full very quickly, and so I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner regularly. The only difference is that between meals, I tend to eat much more than the average person probably would,” Lizzie said.

She said her faith has been the most important aspect in meeting the challenges of her life. “Besides my family and my friends, my faith is everything to me. When I have a bad day, I know the only thing I have to do is put it in God’s hands, and I know he will help me overcome anything.”

She said the first place people need to look to find true beauty is within themselves. “Beauty is not defined only by external appearances. True beauty is who you are inside, and who God made you to be.”

In order to find this beauty, Lizzie said, “The first step you have to take is to learn to accept who you are. Accept your imperfections, your good qualities, your personality, everything!”

“Once you can completely accept and love yourself, your true beauty will shine brighter than you if every thought it could.”

To learn more about Lizzie visit:

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  1. Like a shining lamp in the night, you have been surrounded by bugs and pests and bloodsuckers. But off in the distant are the lost, and they will find a way home to safety by Your light. Keep strong!! The pests will eventually fall away, but the light of Christ that burns within you will truly bring the lost closer to Him. God bless you and continue to give you comfort and strength!!

  2. Physical beauty doesn’t last forever! What remains in this life and in the afterlife is the real and true beauty of who we are, who “God made us to be” (as Lizzie puts it). After death, we won’t take with us anything of and from this world. Everything is going to stay here, even our bodies. The only thing we’ll keep after we depart this world is our spirit that never dies, and the spirit’s beauty is what makes us beautiful in this life.

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  4. She’s beautiful because the Light of Christ shines through her! Praise God for the graces He gives her to be courageous and tell people to live by faith (live in Love) and not by sight!

  5. You are amazing. Thank you for your courage and for your grace. That is true beauty. You inspire me. Hugs, from Malaysia.

  6. Your ability to pick yourself up after such a terrible blow to the spirit is inspiring to me. You can teach others, like me, that it’s okay to acceptance change in one’s life and that everything will work itself out. Thank you for having the strength to speak out for others to hear.

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