Lizzie Velasquez has used her facial appearance to inspire millions across the world through her viral video. Now, the young woman will combat online bullying, launching a Kickstarter campaign to produce a documentary to spread her message around the world.
The Texas native was diagnosed shortly after birth with a rare syndrome that affected her skin, vision, and ability to gain weight. Today, at 25 years old, Velasquez weighs a mere 64 pounds.
While Velasquez says her family encouraged her to live a normal life. However, despite being surrounded by support, she found herself the victim of online bullying.
Velasquez recalls stumbling upon a popular 8 second video on YouTube titled "The World's Ugliest Woman." Upon clicking the thumbnail, she discovered that the clip was about her.
While the cruel video upset her, Velasquez refused to let the bullying destroy her self worth.
"Am I gonna let people who said "kill it with fire" define me?" she asks. "No. I am going to let my goals and successes and accomplishments be the things that define me."
After graduating from Texas State University with high honors, Velasquez became an internet sensation with her "How Do You Define Yourself?" speech at TEDxAustinWomen . Now, having earned a college degree a successful career, the woman wants to inspire others from an even larger platform.
"I want people to get to know me more as a person, not just from the 15-minute TEDxAustinWomen talk," Velasquez told Yahoo!. "I have this sincere passion to make the Internet a more positive place, across all social media.
"I look at the documentary as kind of a little car," she continued. "I want people to come into my car with me and get to know me, and then I want to take them on this big adventure with me to help tackle an issue that all of us have been affected by."
Velasquez says if she can encourage even a single girl struggling with self-image issues, she will view her documentary as a success.
"It's kind of like the starfish story," she explained. "There's a little boy by the beach, who was picking up the starfish one by one, putting them into the ocean. An old man came up to him and said, 'It's going to take you forever to do this. Why are you doing that?' And he said, 'I made a difference for that one starfish.'"
The fundraising goal to complete the documentary is $180,000. Velasquez says she hopes to have received enough donations to begin production by June 1st.