Anti-bullying activist Lizzie Velasquez has begged parents to stop the insensitive TikTok prank showing their kids pictures of her face to scare them, emphasizing that ‘being nice to each other starts at home’.
The 31-year-old from Austin, Texas, who was cruelly labeled the ‘ugliest woman in the world’ when she was just a teenager, convicted the new TikTok trend that has put her and others who look different in the butt of cruel jokes.
“TikTok, I need your help,” Velasquez began. ‘This trend where you pretend you’re FaceTime to someone who’s disabled or a baby, or there’s a crazy mugshot and you show it to someone to get their response and say,’ Oh hey, talk to this one person ‘, just for a quick laugh – this is no joke. ‘
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Insensitive: Anti-bullying activist Lizzie Velasquez has condemned the TikTok trend where parents show their kids pictures of people who don’t look like them to scare them
Hurtful: The 31-year-old from Austin, Texas, revealed that her face has been used in the pranks, stressing that ‘being nice to each other starts at home’
The motivational speaker was born with Marfanoid-progeroid-lipodystrophy syndrome, an extremely rare congenital condition that prevents her from gaining body fat, among other things.
Plea: ‘Please don’t teach them that being afraid of someone who doesn’t look is okay,’ Velasquez said
Velasquez explained that in one of the videos a mother showed her young son her photo and said it was his teacher for the new school year to scare him.
“If you’re an adult who has a young person in your life, don’t teach him that it’s okay to be afraid of someone who doesn’t look good,” she said.
‘Please. Everything these kids need to know about empathy and being nice to one another starts at home.
“This isn’t okay,” she added. “This is a trend that has to stop because we are people and have feelings, so please keep that in mind.”
Velasquez’s video has been viewed more than 10 million times on her social media platforms and received thousands of supportive comments.
‘Thanks for reporting !! This behavior is so normalized in society and we need to change that and teach everyone to be empathetic, ” wrote one TikTok user.
‘I’ve already shared this! I’m so sorry I did this with my daughter too. I immediately removed it, ”commented another. “I feel bad and will tell.”
Using her voice: Velasquez’s video has been viewed over 10 million times on her social media platforms and received thousands of supportive responses
“I knew this was wrong, but just wiped it off because everyone was laughing,” admitted someone else. “But now I know where I am and I am with you!”
In addition to her TikTok plea, she also posted one of the videos in which a mother used a picture of her face to scare her baby boy.
‘I knew this was coming. When I saw this trend start, I knew it was coming, ” she wrote on Instagram. Some of them have been cute and funny, but then it starts to cross the line. Showing your kids a picture of someone who looks different in the hope that they will get a scared reaction is mean.
“I’ve seen this trend happen in people with disabilities and I’ve seen this trend happen in BABIES with Down syndrome,” she continued.
Diagnosis: Velasquez was born with Marfanoid-progeroid-lipodystrophy syndrome, an extremely rare congenital condition that prevents her from gaining body fat
‘They don’t have the stage to talk about this, but I do and I know I have an army of positive people next to me. I’ll say this over and over. The people you put in photos or videos are people !!
“We have feelings and we have something that we work on every day that we call self-confidence. Please don’t teach your kids that it’s funny to be afraid of someone who doesn’t look like them, ‘she added.
When adults are angry their kids are bullied, this is the perfect example of how to start teaching kindness and acceptance AT HOME. Just be nice to each other. We need it now more than ever !! ‘
Velasquez has battled bullying all her life, and when she was 17 years old, she came across a video of herself on YouTube describing her as the ‘ugliest woman in the world’.
Hit back: In 2014, she used her platform to convict online bullies after her face was used in a hurtful internet memo
Changing the world: Velasquez’s experiences with bullying led her to become an anti-bullying activist and motivational speaker
Her experiences led her to become an anti-bullying activist and motivational speaker. She has more than 860,000 YouTuber subscribers and hundreds of thousands of followers on her social media pages.
In 2014, she used her platform to convict online bullies after her face was used in an hurtful Internet memo that cast her as a woman waiting for a date that would never show up.
“ It’s very late as a type of this, but I’m doing it as a reminder that the innocent people who get put into these memes are probably scrolling through Facebook just as late and feeling something that I wouldn’t wish for my worst enemy, ” she wrote.
‘It doesn’t matter what we look like or how big we are, at the end of the day we are all human. I ask you to keep that in mind the next time you see a viral meme of a random stranger. ‘