WOMEN

Activist Lizzie Velasquez Knows Beauty Isn't Skin Deep

After being labeled the "world's ugliest woman," she's learned to reconsider traditional beauty standards.

Lizzie Velasquez knows that being beautiful has nothing to do with what you look like on the outside.

In an interview with HuffPost Live on Sept. 24, the 26-year-old activist and motivational speaker discussed her journey to self-acceptance after a cruel online commenter dubbed her the "world's ugliest woman." 

Velasquez, who has a rare disorder that prevents her from amassing body fat and causes accelerated aging, explained that loving herself in spite of the haters has not been easy. While she's now more self-assured than ever -- the Austin native even took her message to Washington, D.C,. to lobby in favor of the Safe Schools Improvement Act -- it wasn't always that way.

"It took me many, many years to be able to like what I saw in the mirror," she told host Nancy Redd. "There are many times where I thought if I could get a face scrub and just scrub off my syndrome, then I'd do it in a heartbeat. But I really had to learn how to love myself from the inside out, and once I was able to do that, it made it a lot easier to be able to accept the body that I'm in and the skin that I'm in. But it took a while."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Lizzie Velasquez here.

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