August 11, 2017 16:50 GMT by dailymail.co.uk

'World's ugliest woman' from Texas says label changed her

Lizzie Velasquez, 28, from Austin, Texas, found a video on YouTube when she was 17 in which someone made the hurtful comment, but said she's come to see it as a 'blessing'.

A motivational speaker dubbed 'the world's ugliest woman' has revealed how the person who she'd love to give the person who labelled her 'a big hug'. 

Lizzie Velasquez, 28, from Austin, Texas, found a video on YouTube when she was 17 in which someone made the hurtful comment, but said she's come to see it as a 'blessing'.

'It was so hard, looking back on that time I probably blocked a lot of it out because I was so hurt and devastated but if I found out who that person was I'd probably give them a big hug for giving me one of the biggest unknown blessings I could have ever asked for,' she told today's Good Morning Britain. 

'We're all put on this Earth for a reason. I've realised we're all put on this earth for a reason. Luckily I was able to take the path of positivity and turn my awful situation into something that was a lot nicer.'

The activist has rare Marfanoid–progeroid–lipodystrophy syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that gives her an aged appearance. It affects her face, muscle tone, brain, heart, eyes, and bones, and also prevents her from gaining body fat - meaning she weighs just 63lbs.

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When she was 17, a YouTuber made a video dubbing Lizzie Velasquez, now 28, the 'ugliest woman in the world', but she's managed to turn the experience into a positive 

When she was 17, a YouTuber made a video dubbing Lizzie Velasquez, now 28, the 'ugliest woman in the world', but she's managed to turn the experience into a positive 

Lizzie has a rare syndrome that means she looked prematurely aged and can't put on weight 

Lizzie has a rare syndrome that means she looked prematurely aged and can't put on weight 

Her TED Talk, How Do You Define Yourself, has had more than 54 million views, and she's made a documentary about her life and success as a motivational speaker. 

But she admitted that as a teenager, she was initially she was deeply hurt by the video. 

When I found that video I was 17 and a high school student trying to figure out what I was going to do when I graduated. 

'It was completely devastating and crushing,' she explained. 

'I think if anyone were to put themselves in my shoes, whether you have a condition or not, if you are told that you're disgusting and ugly and you should end your life, you would immediately know what I was feeling at that time. 

'Luckily I was able to take the path of positivity and turn my awful situation into something that was a lot nicer. 

'Now being able to look back and realise no matter what horrible thing has happened, I'm not going to let that define me. I'm going to find a way to turn it round. 

Initially, Lizzie was 'crushed' by cruel comments, but now she's realised that people only hurt others because they're struggling themselves 

Initially, Lizzie was 'crushed' by cruel comments, but now she's realised that people only hurt others because they're struggling themselves 

Charlotte Hawkins and Ben Shepard were hugely impressed by Lizzie's positivity 

Charlotte Hawkins and Ben Shepard were hugely impressed by Lizzie's positivity 

One of the biggest lessons I've learned is realising that people hurt other people because they're hurting themselves. Hurt people hurt people. 

'They might not have the tools to express themselves in a positive way. Unfortunately, they're hurting other people whether it's online or in person and getting that instant gratification of feeling of, "I got to them".

Hosts Charlotte Hawkins and Ben Shepard were noitcably impressed by Lizzie's incredible positivity, calling her an 'inspiration'. 

Lizzie's TED Talk on having a positive self image has been viewed more than 54 million times 

Lizzie's TED Talk on having a positive self image has been viewed more than 54 million times 

 

  

 

 

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