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Women In History Essay Winner: 3rd Place, 7th Grade

Ruby Wissinger from Butler Catholic wrote her essay about activist and influencer Elizabeth "Lizzy" Velasquez

Elizabeth Anne Velasquez, also known as Lizzie, is an American motivational speaker, activist, author, and YouTuber. She was born with a rare congenital disease called Marfanoid-progeroid-lipodystrophy syndrome which prevents her from gaining weight and body fat. Because of her condition, she was bullied all through her childhood. She was also vision-impaired in one eye which only added to the challenges she faced.

She was born four weeks premature and weighed 2 pounds 11 ounces. She was born in Austin, Texas. All through her childhood she was bullied for her looks. She had said about her Roman Catholic faith: " It's been my rock through everything, just having the time to be alone and pray and talk to God and know that He's there for me."

When she was 17, she came across a video that was posted by an unauthorized photographer with a picture of her with the caption the "World's Ugliest Woman." Watching the video shattered her self-confidence and she couldn't stop crying for a very long time. After that awful video, she became inspired to create her own YouTube channel with an anti-bullying message, it became extremely popular. She then decided to go to Texas State University and major in Communication studies. This helped her develop her skills to become an excellent motivational speaker.

This is why she inspires me because she doesn't let people get her down. She has also inspired me to speak up when there is a problem. She inspires me to not let what people say about me define me because who cares what people think of me, it is my life and God made me me!

She is one of my role models because she shows power to people who may have disabilities, deformities, being bullied for their beliefs or don't have the confidence to stand up for themselves. She is such a great role model for so many people. She shows us that if someone makes fun of us or our friends, then we need to do something about it. I am inspired to follow in her footsteps and help all of God's children feel loved and cherished in their lives whether they are at home, school, or eventually their workplace. We as a community need to strive to end bullying.

Photo by Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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