Woman bullied online for rare condition speaks out
Technology has given us ways to communicate like never before, but it has also been an avenue for hate and cruel depictions.
Motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez has been a victim of cyber bullying due to a rare, inherited condition that hinders her body from storing fat.
Her unusual appearance has been the subject of unpleasant photos online, popularly known as memes, which often mock her physical disability.
On her official Instagram account, Velasquez posted an unflattering meme of herself to remind users that the subjects of cruel memes are also human beings.
I’ve seen a ton of memes like this all over @facebook recently. 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 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. No matter what we look like or what size we are, at the end of the day we are all human. 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. Xoxo Lizzie
Usually, these images urge social media users to tag their friends in the comments section of the post, so they can laugh at the idea of their friend being romantically linked to someone peculiar-looking.
“No matter what we look like or what size we are, at the end of the day we are all human. I ask that you keep that in mind the next time you see a viral meme of a random stranger,” she wrote.
“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,” she added.
Her brave stand was admired by thousands of netizens online, who commended her for her speaking out.
In a separate video message on Instagram, Velasquez thanked everyone for their support and reminded users to ‘think before they tweet’.
A video posted by Lizzie Velasquez (@littlelizziev) on
“When you see something online, remember that there is a human who is being affected by it,” she said.
“It might be funny at the time, but there’s probably someone who’s not feeling that it’s that funny. So just think before you tweet, think before you share, think before you like, because we just want to be accepted, and that’s it.” Khristian Ibarrola
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