Lizzie Valasquez was born with a rare genetic disease which prevents the accumulation of fat beneath the skin.
By
Ben Winsor

13 Dec 2016 - 11:01 AM  UPDATED 16 Dec 2016 - 11:59 AM

You’ve probably seen what might be one of the lamest, most annoying crazes on Facebook already.

A confronting image of someone who’s disfigured or overweight is posted with text overlaid asking you to tag someone.

Hilarious right?

While getting tagged in one of these may be annoying – and probably a good indicator that you should cull your friends list – spare a thought for those actually featured in the memes.

One of those people, Lizzie Valasquez, had fired back after coming across a meme featuring her image.

“You might find it hilarious but the human in the photo is probably feeling the exact opposite,” she wrote in a post which has since gone viral.

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“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,” she said.

Ms Valasquez, who lives in Texas, is a 27-year-old author, speaker and anti-bullying activist who was born with a rare genetic disease which prevents the accumulation of fat beneath the skin called 'lipodystrophy'.

When she was just 17, she saw a YouTube video featuring her titled “World’s Ugliest Woman” along with comments recommending serious self-harm. 

Ms Valasquez now features in her own YouTube video – a viral TED talk with almost 13 million views.  

“No matter what we look like or what size we are, at the end of the day we are all human,” Ms Valasquez said in her Facebook post.

“I ask that you keep that in mind the next time you see a viral meme of a random stranger.”

 

If you are struggling with issues related to bullying, are in need of support or if this article has raised any issues that you would like to talk about with someone, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636. 

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