Being called -the world's ugliest woman' transformed one woman's life – and inspired millions of others.
The internet can be a frightening place for adolescents and parents alike, and few have felt this more acutely than Lizzie Velasquez.
Research suggests that over 50% of kids aged 10-14 and 44% of young people aged 14-18 in Australia have experienced cyberbullying*.
Born with a rare genetic condition, Lizzie Velasquez always knew she was different, but it wasn't until she was 17 she understood what it meant to others. Browsing the internet in her bedroom one evening, she came across a viral YouTube video of herself entitled -The world's ugliest woman'. It had already been watched more than four million times, commented on by thousands of strangers. With her head spinning, she went through every single one of the comments to see who was standing up for her. Nobody was.
Seeing her mum through the bedroom door, Lizzie thought if the video was devastating for her it would absolutely crush her mum. And that was the point she decided to take action.
Using the very medium that spawned the hatred, Lizzie decided to fight back against bullies with positivity and compassion instead. She created what would become the world's most popular YouTube channel and led a TedX talk -How do you define yourself?' that has drawn tens of millions of viewers.
In this daring, revelatory and incredible book, Lizzie draws on her own experiences over a lifetime of bullying to show how we can overcome the obstacles that give rise to self-doubt, shame and cruelty. She is an extraordinarily powerful self-esteem activist, and living proof of how we can transform our fears into empathy and kindness for the good of ourselves and others.
In sharing her inspiring story, Lizzie not only shows us a path to find confidence and resilience but the tools to help transform society into a kinder, more compassionate and accepting place.
Dare to be Kind will be an invaluable resource for others facing bullying, their parents, partners and friends – and anyone who wants to make a difference.
Since Lizzie Velasquez first spoke out against cyberbullying she has become one of the world's most outspoken and influential anti-bullying campaigners.
Lizzie's TedX Talk on what defines you has received over 11 million views. Her YouTube channel has over 750,000 subscribers and millions more views. She has almost 1 million fans on her Facebook page.
Dare to be Kind
Author: Lizzie Velasquez