by Akan Ido
The battle for a sizable number of young people we see in our daily interaction is the desire to lose weight, look sexy and be noticed, but for Lizzie Velasquez, its far deeper than that.
Velasquez was born with a rare disease which prevents her from gaining weight. She has no fat in her body despite having to eat every 15 minutes to keep up. Although doctors have been unable to pinpoint her syndrome, she exhibits some signs of the ageing disease progeria.
In a recent interview, the 23-year-old said: “It’s not easy, I will be the first to tell you it’s not easy.
“I may have this outer exterior of people saying, ‘She can handle everything, she’s dealt with this for so long,’ and to be honest, I’m human and of course these things are going to hurt.”
“I think the biggest things I have to deal with is constantly people staring at me as soon as I walk into a room.
“Recently, it’s been a lot of adults I’ve been having to deal with who will slowly walk in front of me and turn their heads, and look me up and down. So the stares are what I’m really dealing with in public right now.”
Now she wants people who stare at her to take some time to understand her ailment and treat her for who she is instead of judging her and calling her ugly.
“Instead of just sitting by and watching these people judge me, I’m starting to want to go up to these people and introduce myself, or give them my card, and say, ‘Maybe you should stop staring and start learning.'”
God bless you, Lizzie.