One of my favorite former students, Evan O’Lear, emailed me a link to a TEDx Austin Women Talk delivered by “The World’s Ugliest Woman,” Lizzie Velasquez. Lizzie turns this terrible label on its head and urges her audience – and us at home – to reconsider how we define ourselves. Does physical appearance matter so much that a strong, intelligent, funny, powerful woman with an exceptional medical condition must resign to a life of taunting and bullying? And why are we so afraid of people who don’t look exactly the same way we do?
I guarantee that while watching this Talk, you will feel feelings. Check it out below:
The Huffington Post calls Lizzie’s Talk “a lesson in acceptance and self love” (Source). The International Business Times says Lizzie’s goal is “to help diminish the hate that comes her way by overriding it with an inspirational message of love and acceptance” (Source).
Even though I’ve seen thousands of presentations, after watching Lizzie’s TEDx Talk, I find myself in awe at the power of words. A great speech can transform the way we look at someone – can make someone labeled “a monster” by cyberbullies into a beautiful human being, a hero and champion for women. A great speech can make us feel deep empathy and compassion for others. A great speech can change our perspective and can change the way we view the world. A great speech can make us move from apathy to hope and optimism. Lizzie’s presentation was masterful, and she makes her audience feel like we are better people for having watched her speak.
What is your reaction to Lizzie’s TEDx Talk? Please share your thoughts in the “Comments” section!