Lizzie Velásquez

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Elizabeth Ann Velásquez
Born (1989-03-13) March 13, 1989 (age 25)
Austin, Texas, US
Nationality American
Other names Lizzie Velásquez
Alma mater Texas State University
Occupation Motivational speaker
Known for Public speaking, anti-bullying activism, public appearances, and book authorship
Religion Roman Catholic
Parents Rita Velásquez
Guadalupe Velásquez

Elizabeth Ann "Lizzie" Velásquez (born March 13, 1989) is an American woman with zero body fat. Her extremely rare medical condition has led her to become an author and motivational speaker.

Early life and background[edit]

The eldest of three children born to Rita and Guadalupe Velásquez,[1] Lizzie was born in Austin, Texas, on March 13, 1989.[2] Born four weeks prematurely, her birth weight was only 1,219 grams (2 pounds eleven ounces).[3][4] Her age was reported as 23 in September 2012, a time when she was nearing graduation from Texas State University[3] majoring in communication studies.[5] She is a Roman Catholic, and she has spoken out in terms of her belief in God who has "blessed me with the greatest blessing of my life, which is my syndrome".[6]


Velásquez has a condition that is so rare that only two other people are known to have it.[7] She has zero percent body fat and has never weighed more than 29 kg (64 pounds).[8] Although Velásquez does not have anorexia nervosa, she is unable to gain weight[9] and is required to eat many small meals and snacks throughout the day.[10] Her daily energy intake of about 5,000 calories[9] compares with the US average of 3,770.[11] She is blind in her right eye, which began to cloud over when she was four years of age,[12] and has limited vision in the other.[7] She has a weak immune system.[13] Her condition is similar to many other conditions, especially progeria. However, her condition is not terminal. Involved medical researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have expressed the opinion that it may be a form of neonatal progeroid syndrome, which at least has spared her healthy bones, organs, and teeth.

Appearance and message[edit]

She has some progeroid physical characteristics, such as a pointed nose and already aging skin, but she has additional problems beyond that diagnostic classification. Lizzie Velásquez has spoken out against bullying.[14][15]


Her first published work was her co-authored and self-published autobiography released in 2010 in English and Spanish.[citation needed]

Her second book, Be Beautiful, Be You (2012), advocates informing people that appearance doesn't matter and that one should love oneself for who one is.[16] It was published by a Redemptorist publishing house, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

There is also an upcoming movie that is about Lizzie herself.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ‘Ugliest woman in the world’ teaches about true beauty (September 19, 2012 by Paloma Corredor; published on
  2. ^ Texas Birth Record search for Elizabeth Velasquez
  3. ^ a b Texas Woman Can't Gain Weight, Bullied Over Looks ABC News, September 14, 2012
  4. ^ 'People should stop staring and start learning': World's ‘ugliest woman’ gives courageous interview by Amy Oliver, Daily Mail online, September 13, 2012
  5. ^ Q & A: Lizzie Velasquez
  6. ^ Young Catholic woman with rare syndrome speaks on true beauty Catholic News Agency of Austin, Texas; May 30, 2012
  7. ^ a b Velasquez, Lizzie. "About Lizzie". 
  8. ^ How Do YOU Define Yourself Lizzie Velasquez at TEDxAustinWomen 
  9. ^ a b Meet woman who can’t gain weight: At 21, she’s 60 pounds Today Health at, July 6, 2010
  10. ^ Young Catholic woman with rare syndrome speaks on true beauty Catholic News Agency, May 30, 2012
  11. ^ Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations 2005–07 Food Security Statistics
  12. ^ Lessons from the 'World's Ugliest Woman': 'Stop Staring and Start Learning' by Lylah M. Alphonse of Yahoo! Shine, September 13, 2012
  13. ^ Hartenstein, Meena. "Lizzie Velasquez, 21-year-old with undiagnosed genetic disorder, must eat 60 times a day to survive". New York: NewYork Daily. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Lizzie Velasquez's Lifelong Struggle With Bullying Revealed". Entertainment Tonight. February 1, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Lizzie Velasquez, Born Without Adipose Tissue: 'Maybe You Should Stop Staring And Start Learning'". Huffington Post. September 13, 2012. 
  16. ^ Velasquez, Lizzie. "Lizzie's books". 

External links[edit]