Tags: lizzie velasquez | documentary | worlds | ugliest | woman

Lizzie Velasquez: Documentary by 'Ugliest Woman' Shows True Beauty

Image: Lizzie Velasquez: Documentary by 'Ugliest Woman' Shows True Beauty
In this September 5, 2014 file photo, US writer and motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez delivers a speech during a conference at the National Auditorium in Mexico City. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 08:02 PM

A documentary by Lizzie Velasquez, once called the "world's ugliest woman," debuted at South by Southwest this week. "A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story" chronicles her rise from cyber-bullied teenager to anti-bullying activist.

The 78-minute film depicts Velasquez's emotional and physical journey through her life, and charts her efforts to lobby the U.S. government for the first federal anti-bullying bill.

"Her experience of triumphing adversity and making it to the other side of a painful experience is universal," Sara Hirsch Bordo, the film's director, told BBC News. "As soon as Lizzie became more open and honest — whether it was her TED talk or her YouTube videos — it was clear that people were thirsty for a story where somebody stands up and says 'I'm not going to be a victim, I'm going to make a change.'"

Born with Marfan syndrome and lipodystrophy, which affects how fat is distributed in the body, the now 26-year-old Velasquez is 5-foot-2 and weighs 60 pounds. As a 17-year-old procrastinating on the Internet, she found a video of herself that dubbed her the "world's ugliest woman."

The comments, which included, "Why would her parents keep her?!" and "kill it with fire," inflicted more pain.

"Calling me a monster or asking why my parents didn't abort me ... how in the world can I forgive the people who told me to kill myself?" she told the Daily Mail.

Her film fights back at the faceless trolls, and premiered last week at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Her YouTube channel now has more than 314,000 subscribers.

'This is my purpose," Velasquez told the Daily Mail. "This is what I'm meant to do for the rest of my life. I like to think that I'm not only telling my story, I'm telling everyone's story.'

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A documentary by Lizzie Velasquez, once called the "world's ugliest woman," debuted at South by Southwest this week. "A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story" chronicles her rise from cyber-bullied teenager to anti-bullying activist.
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2015-02-18
Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 08:02 PM
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