As a father of a teenage daughter you constantly guard against bullying and protect your daughter’s self-image.  This is why I love the above video so much.  It contains the inspirational message of Lizzie Velasquez.  Lizzie was born with a disease which prohibits her from gaining weight.

In an absolutely cruel move, online bullies voted her as the ugliest girl on the internet.  When Lizzie accidentally came across an 8-second clip of herself on YouTube giving her that title, over 4 million views had taken place with thousands and thousands of cutting comments.

Showing tremendous perspective and spiritual maturity, Lizzie responds to these attacks in a God-honoring fashion providing us a picture of what true beauty and grace looks like.

The following are 21 lessons gleaned from her speech about over-coming adversity, the value of people, and true beauty:

  1. We are often blind-sided by the attacks of others.  Lizzie discovered the picture of herself in the related videos column of YouTube while innocently watching music videos.
  2. Attacks on our self-image and self-worth are defining moments.  We should not minimize them.
  3. Bullies often create a mob mentality.  It is easy to pile on.
  4. Attacks on our appearance hurt deeply.  We try to act tough and as if words of others do not hurt us.  In reality, we are deeply wounded.  Lizzie said, “I literally felt someone was putting their hand through the computer and punching me over and over and over.”
  5. As a society, we have lost the value of human life.  She said, “People were giving me tips on how to kill myself.”
  6. Attacks on our physical appearance and self-worth often illicit an emotional response.  Lizzie confessed, “I cried my eyes out reading these comments.”
  7. Attacks on our physical appearance and self-worth destroy our confidence.
  8. Confidence can take a lifetime to build and be lost in a single moment in time.
  9. Our natural response is to respond in anger and make our attackers feel bad.
  10. However, there is immeasurable power and security that comes from a loving mother and father.  When she was tempted to respond in anger she remembered, “That’s not who I was raised to be”
  11. Loving parents can provide a foundation of love and security at an early age that will sustain you for a lifetime.  She said, “I did what my parents told me in kindergarten.  Continue to be yourself and others will see that.”
  12. Always have goals and something to shoot for.  Never give up on your dreams.  Lizzie aspired to be a speaker.  We know this because she said, “I realized when I wanted to be a speaker, I was like ‘God, I get you now.'”  Mission accomplished!
  13. It is comforting to know struggle is necessary for strength.  “You made me the girl I am for a reason.  You gave me all the struggles growing up to make me stronger.”
  14. Never let others define you.  Lizzie said, “You made me look different so I could see beauty that isn’t defined by the media.”.  She understands Psalm 139:14 which reminds us, “I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
  15. Leaders are continual learners.  She acknowledges that “Yes, I am still learning.”
  16. We are never more alive than when we are fulfilling God’s purposes in our life.  “God is working through me and telling you something is the greatest feeling in the entire world.”
  17. To find success and meaning in life, Jesus Christ must be placed in the primary position.  Lizzie confirms, “The only way I was able to accomplish all of those things and will be able to the rest of my life is with my faith, my family, and my friends.  My faith is number 1 in my life.”
  18. Lizzie now views her illness as a blessing.  She says, “I look now at what God gave me and see a bright flashing billboard that says ‘Blessing.”  And I will always see it as a blessing.”
  19. Look to God for help and confidence.  Lizzie knows “God is going to be there to help.  God is going to be there when I’m down and lift me even higher when I’m excited.”
  20. Regardless of your circumstances, always be thankful.  “When you say ‘Thank you God’, all your answers will come to you.”
  21. Jesus Christ wants to tell an amazing story through your life.  Lizzie proclaims, “God put you here for a reason and wants you to share that reason no matter what.”

If you are feeling unloved or lacking beauty, bookmark this post and re-visit Lizzie’s video as often as needed.  And never forget that because of Jesus, we all have value.  He thought enough of us to die for us.  That settles it for me.

What are your thoughts of Lizzie and her inspirational approach to life?


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