Everyone gets self-conscious about their appearance sometimes, especially teenagers who are going through difficult years. So imagine what it was like for Lizzie Velasquez in high school, when she was named the "Ugliest Woman on YouTube" in an online video that has over 4 million hits. Velasquez is one of the 3 people in the world suffering from an undiagnosed condition that dramatically altered her appearance and was taunted for years because of it.  But now 23 years old, she's back--and she has a message for her haters.

In this incredibly inspiring video, Velasquez hides her face by holding up index cards that tell her story. Through the cards, she shares what it was like to read the hateful comments left on the video that brought her to fame. "The comments tell me to do the world a favor and put a gun to my head," she writes (seriously, WTF is wrong with people?).

Read more ¿Qué más?: Disturbing trend sweeps YouTube: Teen girls asking "Am I pretty?"

But Velasquez also says that all of the pain she went through because of her syndrome has only made her stronger. Instead of wallowing or fighting back through her own ugly words, she decided get revenge on her criticizers in a different way: "Through accomplishments and determination." Now, after graduating college, publishing a book, and becoming a motivational speaker (have I mentioned she's only 23?), Velasquez says she feels vindicated. And as she holds up a card at the end of the video saying "I won," she reveals her face --and a happy smile.

The video is perhaps one of the most moving and inspiring things I've ever seen. Knowing how cruel people can be (especially kids at a tender age, like in high school), thinking of what Velasquez must have gone through makes my heart break. But seeing how she rose above it all and is now living well and happily is simply extraordinary!

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As terrible and hateful as people were to her, I think Velasquez's video only proves that she's more powerful than all of her critics put together. She could've resorted to the same methods of all the shallow, cold-hearted people who teased her but instead, she set own goals and refused to stop living her life the way she wanted it. Her strength of character and positive spirit gives the world a much-needed reminder of what true beauty really looks like.

Also learn more about Lizzie here:

What do you think of Lizzie's story?

Image via Lizzie Velasquez/twitter

About the author

Michelle Regalado is a Staff Writer at MamásLatinas. She loves reading, travel, pop culture, and writing about anything and everything.

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Krise

wow!! what an amazing woman!

MrsErika

im so glad she was able to accomplish a lot of things that "pretty " people cant .. and it only goes to show that physical appearance DO matter , unline what people say that inly " inner beauty counts " ...

im so happy for her and feel bad of what she went thru

Angy

This chica is AMAZING she is beautiful inside and out! And to all the haters... get over yourselves! I for one am proud that she is latina and I strive to have at least half of her incredible strength!!!

theha...

Wao.  Thank you for posting this.  People are cruel and scared of anything that it's different.  They are only mean because they are insecure about themselves.  I'm glad she took a great approach.  How interesting would it be to ever meet her.  

This is a great story and one that must be shared with all but mostly with our younger generation who are the ones that will be our future.  I think we have all be guilty of judging someone without truly getting to know them, but hopefully this story will get heard by many and this can change.  May God continue to bless her in ways that only he can.  Hope some day I have the great fortune of meeting her in person and letting her know how she touched my life with her story.  God bless her and you at Mama's Latina's for publishing this.  Thank you.

Amazing Parents, fantastic family, perfect Lizzie! Symbol of beauty.
nonmember avatar
Your strength raises me up. Thank you.
You did WIN. And I for one like the rest of the world should do is be happy to know you and be your friend. And remember beauty is only skin deep, and you surpassed that by FAR.Wish much happiness to you.
nonmember avatar
A layer of flesh doesn't define anyone but the inner self. People calling her ugly are ugly themselves!
LauraF

We live in a society that defines beauty with certain parameters... Lizzie is an example of how we can all learn to be happy with what we are, for all people out there that complain about their life, their weight... She proves all of us that it doesnt matter what people thinks about you, is more important how you see yourself and have the support of your family and friends... You GO GIRL.... Congratulations to her and ehr family, what a beautiful way to show everybdy that God has a purpose for all of us...

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