Today, I would like to share a truly inspirational story about a young girl who at one time , on YouTube, was called the Ugliest Woman in the World. Lizzie Velasquez has been suffering from a disorder so rare, that only 3 people in the world including herself have it currently. As a consequence of this disorder, she is unable to gain weight. At age 23, she only weighs about 60 lbs and has an overall body fat percentage of zero. She is blind in one eye and also has limited vision in the other. Doctors think Velasquez has neonatal progeroid syndrome, a condition that causes fat loss in the face and body, aged facial appearance, sparse hair, and a prominent scalp amongst other things. Yet despite being saddled with a label that would scar and dehumanise the rest of us for possibly an entire lifetime, Lizzie has gone on to become a motivational speaker and writer. She has become someone that we can all admire, respect and emulate for the grace with which she has conducted herself, and for the way, through her story, she informs the rest of the world, what the concept of real beauty is all about. To read Lizzie’s story, please refer to the link http://shine.yahoo.com/beauty/lessons-worlds-ugliest-woman-stop-staring-start-learning-184400606.html as featured in today’s Shine From Yahoo.
What do you feel when you look at Lizzie’s picture in this post. Do you feel she deserved to be called The World’s Ugliest Woman. Is it right for anyone to be making a judgement on someone just because in their eyes she looks unacceptable. What kind of person would go so far as to call someone ugly, especially someone whose looks are a result of a rare illness. How would you feel if someone called you the Ugliest Person in the World.
The truth is that our concepts of beauty are not really our own. From the time we are young we are bombarded with images of cosmetic beauty which most of the men and women living in the real world do not really match up to. We see on the television, in the movies, and in the magazines perfect compositions of demi god like males and females with impossibly perfect bodies and made for the camera good looks. In actuality, many of these models really do not look as perfect in real life. With similar lighting, and airbrushing even we’d look like stars. Beauty apparently means confirming to certain size specifications and aesthetic qualities and a lot of us find ourselves disappointed when we do not look remotely “beautiful” in this sense of the word. In addition to this, the cosmetic beauty industry, where most of our concepts of perfection come from, operates a multi billion dollar empire feeding off of our desire to emulate what they purport as beauty perfection.
Think about it.
We are fed constantly streaming images of what we should look like. Then we are fed images of products that can help us achieve the advertised look. And for maximum impact, it is implied that should we buy xxx product and become truly beautiful, we really can be happy, find the perfect man, get rich and be successful forever.
What kind of world have we created where beauty is all about looking a certain way. Should we be spending all our time priming and primping ourselves to fit a notion of aesthetic beauty that aside from making a lot of people with vested interests rich, really does nothing to elevate us as human beings. Beauty is more that skin deep. It is a reflection of all that is true and beautiful in a person. When we can really look at someone and see the qualities of humanity that shine out from them and love them for who they are, that’s when we’ve truly arrived as a race. And when we can step out into the world , truly respecting our bodies for they way they serve us and for the way they look in the here and the now, that’s when we can really say we are truly beautiful.
Far from cowering with shame at being called the World’s Ugliest Woman, Lizzie has made it her life’s mission to spread the important messages of developing your self esteem, overcoming obstacles and finding and realising the beauty that is inside of you. If you’re the one, amongst many, struggling with body confidence issues today, know this.
You are an incredible creation wrought by the hands of God. If you only knew how truly beautiful you are in the eyes of the One who made you , you will never have reason to call yourself anything but beautiful ever again. When God loves you just the way you are, you deserve to love yourself and others too.
© Irene Lopez and An Urban Mystic’s Blog, 2012.