Lizzie Velasquez has spent years urging society to accept people as they are regardless of their appearance. Born with a rare congenital disease, making it impossible for her to gain weight, Lizzie knows firsthand what it's like to be bullied for the way you look.
She was labeled the 'ugliest woman in the world' in a viral YouTube video when she was just 17. But a decade later, those hateful and humiliating comments have motivated her to become a renowned anti-bullying activist, motivational speaker, author, and documentary filmmaker. (You go girl!)
Unfortunately, despite her hard-earned success and popularity, Lizzie still isn't immune to haters making fun of her appearance. In fact, she recently came across a meme of herself, that has made its way across the internet, and it's extremely degrading.
Rather than ignoring it, the 27-year-old decided to share it with her 100,000 Facebook followers to make a very important point.
"I've seen a ton of memes like this all over Facebook recently," she wrote. "I'm writing this post not as someone who is a victim but as someone who is using their voice."
"Yes, it's very late at night as I type this..." she continued. "...but I do so as a reminder that the innocent people that are being put in these memes are probably up just as late scrolling through Facebook and feeling something that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy."
Lizzie's meme is just one of many in a recent upcropping of Facebook posts by so-called "humor" sites targeting images of people who don't conform to society's ideal beauty standard. Though it may seem like harmless fun, the photos depict real people who are maliciously being made fun of.
"No matter what we look like or what size we are, at the end of the day we are all human," Lizzie says. "I ask that you keep that in mind the next time you see a viral meme of a random stranger."
"At the time you might find it hilarious but the human in the photo is probably feeling the exact opposite. Spread love not hurtful words via a screen." Preach.