Local News

‘I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy’: Nasty viral meme victim hits back

She was once cruelly dubbed the "World's Ugliest Woman" but now Lizzie Velasquez is fighting back against the trolls.
Loading the player...

A woman who became the butt of online jokes has spoken out about the internet’s nasty meme culture, slamming the way it mocks innocent people whose images are being used without their consent.

When she was just 17, Lizzie Velasquez discovered a YouTube video featuring her face – it was titled “World’s Ugliest Woman”. The video went for eight seconds and there was no sound but somehow it managed to garner millions of views and thousands of nasty comments, many telling the then-teenager to self-harm.

Instead of being broken by the experience Lizzie, who was born with ‘lipodystrophy’, a rare genetic disease that inhibits the growth of fat beneath the skin, took her hurt and channelled it into becoming an anti-bullying activist.

Now 27, the author and motivational speaker from Texas has amassed a strong following – her Ted talk on bullying has more than 13 million views. But she recently shared the horrible things she still reads about herself online with her network of supporters.

“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,” Lizze wrote under the image above.

“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.”

Lizzie continued to try and spread her message of hope, and to remind people to put their humanity ahead of a cheap laugh.

“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.”

She signed off: “Spread love not hurtful words via a screen. Xoxo Lizzie”

The inspirational post has been inundated with hundreds of kind comments.

Of the news that the support might have helped shut down a Facebook page known for promoting mean viral memes, Lizzie took the Facebook saying she was “over the moon with gratitude!”

“Positive change is possible when we all work together!!!” she wrote.

If you or anyone you know is having any issues with bullying or mental health contact Lifeline on 0800 543 354

Related stories

Get your favourite magazines home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.