Welcome to another edition of What the Fuck is Your Excuse?, a post series designed to embarrass couch potatoes and basement dwellers into kicking life in the teeth.
The ghoulish-looking figure to the left is motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez. She reminds me of a picture the DUI lawyer who lectured my high school class on the evils of drinking and driving showed us; a woman who was horribly disfigured in a car crash, with her hair burnt off, her skin charred to a crisp, and one of her eyes missing. But unlike that poor soul, Lizzie was born looking like that:
When she was in high school, Lizzie Velasquez was dubbed “The World’s Ugliest Woman” in an 8-second-long YouTube video. Born with a medical condition so rare that just two other people in the world are thought to have it, Velasquez has no adipose tissue and cannot create muscle, store energy, or gain weight. She has zero percent body fat and weighs just 60 pounds.
Despite having a genetic disorder that should have killed her before she was twelve months old, Velasquez didn’t give up on life. Instead, she redoubled her efforts to achieve her dreams:
In the comments on YouTube, viewers called her “it” and “monster” and encouraged her to kill herself. Instead, Velasquez set four goals: To become a motivational speaker, to publish a book, to graduate college, and to build a family and a career for herself.
Now 23 years old, she’s been a motivational speaker for seven years and has given more than 200 workshops on embracing uniqueness, dealing with bullies, and overcoming obstacles. She’s a senior majoring in Communications at Texas State University in San Marcos, where she lives with her best friend. Her first book, “Lizzie Beautiful,” came out in 2010 and her second, “Be Beautiful, Be You,” was published earlier this month.
In spite of her very real problems, Velasquez has a positive attitude and real accomplishments to her name. In light of this, I ask:
What the Fuck is Your Excuse?