So often in our lives, one interaction can become a defining moment. We’ve all had a situation happen that took us off guard, followed by a choice to make. Do we let what happened eat away at us? Or do we push past and move on? It is what we do afterwards that can lead to our greatest opportunity for strength. One woman, courageous beyond measure will give you and your daughter strength to reframe any situation.
Life Lessons From The Ugliest Woman In The World
Lizzie Velasquez is a remarkable young woman suffering from a rare congenital disease that only two people in the entire world have (and she is one of them!) There isn’t much known about her syndrome, except that along with a host of issues, she cannot gain weight. As you might imagine, her condition attracted the attention of bullies in her childhood — and even still today.
Despite this, Velasquez is the type of person who chooses to see the glass more than full not just half full! In her Ted Talk, she discusses the upside to her condition, things like reading glasses at half off because she can only see through one eye and if someone is being rude, having them stand on her right side where she can’t see them; “It’s like they aren’t even there,” she says
Her rare condition of not being able to gain any fat put her at the center of one of the cruelest public bullying online posts called “the ugliest woman in the world.” Comments came in like “Please, why don’t you do the world a favor and put a gun to your head and kill yourself.” There were four million views to an 8-second silent video of her face.
Happiness Is A Choice
At the time that this happened, Velasquez decided she had two choices. She could let that incident define her, or she could define who she is and be in control. In her talk, she asked “What defines you? Who are you? Is it where you come from, your background, is it your friends, what is it, what defines who you are as a person?” She went on to discuss how initially she allowed her outer appearance to define who she was until she realized that her life was in her hands. “You are in the front seat of your car; you decide to drive down a good path or a bad path.”
As parents, we have the opportunity to learn from this young woman who after being publicly bullied decided to become a motivational speaker. We can choose to be lifted up, but also to lift up those around us — like our families, daughters, mothers, sisters and friends. Velasquez concludes her Ted Talk with these words: “Use that negativity to make your life better, because I guarantee you, you will win. Ask yourselves, what defines you, and remember, bold starts here.”
Has an incident of bullying in your past made you stronger? How about your daughter? We’d love to hear from you either in the comments or over in our Girl Talk forum. Let us know what you (or your daughter) did to move past the negativity and come out stronger!
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