Culture

Get a Box of Tissues Before You Read This Woman’s Brave Fight Against Bullying

Bullying
@littlelizziev / Instagram

This is Lizzie Velasquez…

She is 26 years old and a FIERCE anti-bullying activist.

And this is her amazing family.

One of the many reasons why I love my family!! @abraveheartfilm

A photo posted by Lizzie Velasquez (@littlelizziev) on

You may have seen Velasquez in a viral Ted Talk about bullying and self-esteem.

LizzieTedTalk
Credit: Lizzie Velasquez / YouTube

The video has garnered more than 8 million views since it was posted.

Velasquez was born with lipodystrophy and Marfan Syndrome.

#MarfanFoundation #WalkForVictory #RIPUncleDuggie #RaiseAwareness #SaveLives #KeepCalmAndKnowTheSigns

A photo posted by Brittany Love (@loveatfirstbiteatl) on

Lipodystrophy is a condition that prevents those affected from gaining and maintaining body fat. Marfan Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the heart, eyes, and bones.

Velasquez spent her childhood thinking she wasn’t any different from other kids.

DidntThinkIWasDifferent
Credit: Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YouTube

Her family always made it a point to treat her like any other family member and never discussed her condition as something that was different.

“At the time I thought that everyone looked like me. I couldn’t recognize or tell that they didn’t look like me,” Velasquez recalls.

That all changed when Velasquez was 17.

TheVideo
Credit: Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YouTube

One afternoon, while looking for music on YouTube, Velasquez came across a video titled The World’s Ugliest Woman, which showed her during an TV interview.

Strangers on the Internet were telling Velasquez to kill herself.

Comments
Credit: Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YouTube

But she didn’t let the hateful comments defeat her.

Velasquez decided to confront the bullying.

So Velasquez became an anti-bullying advocate, speaking all over the world, using her story as inspiration.

Velasquez has taken her fight all the way to Capitol Hill.

Morning of Day 2 on Capitol Hill. #endbullyingssia

A photo posted by Lizzie Velasquez (@littlelizziev) on

Velasquez pushed Congress to pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act to fight against bullying in public schools.

Filmmaker Sara Hirsch Bordo followed Velasquez and documented her story.

Big Lizzie, Little Sara!

A photo posted by Lizzie Velasquez (@littlelizziev) on

Bordo, who hosted the Ted Talk in Austin where she first met Velasquez, created a documentary titled A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story.  It follows Velasquez as she travels the world speaking to hundreds of people about her experience.

Check out the full trailer below (You’re going to need a box of tissues):

Are you inspired by Lizzie Velasquez’s story? mitú wants to know. Tell us in the comments below!

A Mexican-American Mother Was Beaten Until She Was Unconscious By Her Son’s Racist School Bully

Things That Matter

A Mexican-American Mother Was Beaten Until She Was Unconscious By Her Son’s Racist School Bully

2degreesofalie / Twitter

We’re pretty sure this latest incident is our country’s newest low.

According to The New York Post, a 35-year-old New Jersey woman by the name of Beronica Ruiz was beaten until she was unconscious by a 13-year old boy who bullied her son.

According to reports, the day before the beating, Ruiz had filed a former complaint about her son’s tormenter and his alleged harassment of her son.

Her son, whose name is being kept private because he is a minor, claimed that he was bullied by the 13-year-old on June 18. At the time, Ruiz’s son said that the bully and a few other boys had chanted “Mexicans should go back behind the wall” to him other boys in the cafeteria.

In response, the Ruiz family’s lawyer, Daniel Santiago, says that her son replied: “We all come from immigrants.”

When Ruiz’s son received further threats from the students, he became fearful for his safety and reported the incident to a teacher who sequestered him from the other boys.

Attempts to notify Ruiz’s parents about the incident did not happen.

Santiago says that she did not find out about the incident until her son came home and he told her that he was too afraid to go to school the next day.

According to the Washington Post Ruiz and her husband returned to the school that evening and complained to the school’s assistant vice principal that they had not been alerted of the events. Santiago says that the vice principle replied that he had simply forgotten to call them.

“That’s a woefully inadequate response,” Santiago said. “’My bad’ is not a good excuse for not calling (the parents), not telling them.”

Ruiz picked up her son from school the day after the incident in the cafeteria happened.

She walked him home while pushing her 1-year-old daughter in a stroller. When they were just a few blocks away from the school, Ruiz’s son alerted his mother that they were being followed by the boys who had bullied him the previous day in the cafeteria. Soon after, the 13-year-old boy allegedly attacked Ruiz and her son. First, he punched Ruiz’s son in the face and then when the mother attempted to intervene he punched and “threw her to the ground” which caused her to lose consciousness.

This was a brutal hate crime, and it was committed by a 13-year-old,” Santiago said. “I don’t know what circumstances could give rise to a 13-year-old boy having such hate in his heart that he would commit this brutal attack and leave a woman essentially to die in front of her children without any remorse or any twinge of conscience.”

Ruiz was hospitalized for two days after the alleged attack.

Pictures of Ruiz’s face are brutal. In a photo circulating online, Ruiz’s face is marked with bruises and her eye is visible injured. She reportedly suffered from facial fractures and a concussion.

Earlier this week, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office announced that the 13-year-old bully, who fled the scene, had been arrested. He has been charged and faces one count of aggravated assault and one count of simple assault.

According to Santiago, the 13-year-old returned to the school the day after the attack.

Meanwhile, Ruiz and her husband are Mexican and in the United States awaiting green cards while holding work permits. Both of their children were born here and are American citizens.

Santiago says that he doesn’t “know that a child is able to fully understand and comprehend the implications of his words and saying things like ‘You should go back to Mexico… But this was clearly generated from hatred, and clearly, this young man has a great deal of anger in his heart, and that’s sad for a whole other list of reasons.”

These Body Positive Latina Instagrammers Will Give Your Feed All Of The Love And Light You Need

Entertainment

These Body Positive Latina Instagrammers Will Give Your Feed All Of The Love And Light You Need

@thebigbad.co / Instagram

Social media can be a Gemini-like platform like no other. While all at once managing to tear us down, its the same platform that can lift us up and teach us how to love ourselves.

Still, one of the worst offenses social media has created has been perpetuating a false idea that all women look, or rather should look one way. But this is an idea that most of us know can’t be farther from the truth: each individual’s body is different, and our curves are shaped by genetics, habits, life experience and the inevitable passing of time. And all of are beautiful. There is nothing more empowering than a woman that knows who she is, who wears her wrinkles as a trophy and a sign of a life well lived.

Yet, we know, there is this expectation that we all should look like 20-something supermodels. But like America Ferrara discovered in one of her early roles, real women have curves! Yes, small, big, uneven curves. Luckily, along with the judgmental influencers who populate Instagram and other platforms, there is an increasing number of women who have joined the body positivity movement. Body positivity is loving oneself as the first and most important step towards acceptance and change. Body positivity doesn’t mean that you have to be complacent if you have health issues or you could improve your daily habits: it is about acknowledging who you are, knowing your body and therefore knowing what it needs. It is also about being sexy in our own skin, knowing that sensuality does not derive from stupid ideas around acceptable and unacceptable body types, but around attitude.

Here are some Latina women who have embraced the body positivity philosophy and have decided to share the wisdom.

Read, reflect and smile.

This queen who silenced haters and called for bravery

Credit: Instagram. @slendertanes

Enough is enough! Basta! We have lived long enough trying, or being forced to satisfy an unreal, and frankly stupid ideal, of what the female body should look like. To them, we say: calladito te ves más bonito. In short: shut up and don’t project your insecurities on our gorgeous curves.

This lady who showed us that our bodies can be beautiful landscapes

Credit: Instagram. @sus_y_drlecter

The caption for this amazing black and white caption is empowering and honest. “I want to steer away from what is beautiful and be myself. I am what I am without worrying about how others see me. This makes me very happy”. And we are happy with you, reina hermosa. 

This mami that teaches her kid the value of self-love

Credit: Instagram. @kikilawyer10 via @goodbyeflaca

This Panamanian queen is showing her little boy the real value of appreciating and loving one’s body. We can’t stress this enough: we have to talk to our chiquitos about what their wonderful bodies are capable of, how to take care of them and how to face the unavoidable doubts that all of them will face during their teenage years (or even before then, as some studies have shown recently).

This superstar that strikes a pose and tells the world: “I am sure you like what you are seeing”

Credit: Instagram. @camychocolate

Her gaze just hypnotizes us. This is a woman who is sure of herself, that wears her curves with pride and who faces the world con una actitud chingona

This super flexible mujer de primera

Credit: Instagram. @transforma_coach

This woman knows that every body type can get fit, and fitness not always means estar flaca como un palo. The message is clear: “Self-love is important in the process of bettering our relationship with our eating habits”. If you love yourself, you will kick ass, hermana, plain and simple.

This future mom who slays pregnancy

Credit: Instagram. @neniyah

Pregnancy is one of the most transformative life events a woman can go through, not only emotionally but also physically. This post sends us a really clear message: cellulite is nothing, especially when a life is growing inside you. Awwwww. Ternura por todos lados.

This body positivity advocate who has a message for all of us: be proud of your scars

Credit: Instagram. @thebigbad.co

If you don’t already, you should follow this body positivity advocate who takes the best photoshoots and delivers empowering messages. La moraleja de hoy: let your scars be part of you, don’t hide them, they tell the story of who you are and where you’ve been.

This muchacha who found inspiration in Dumplin’

Credit: Instagram. @flo.madera

Among their original productions, Netflix really le dio al clavo with Dumpling, a movie about body positivity in the world of beauty pageants. We love this quote from the movie, user Flo Madera made it her own. Yes, queen!

This amazing battle cry

Credit: Instagram. @nutricion_001

We love this illustration by @deditodesalchicha. It says: “No one should be at war with their own body”. Need we say more? If you have been at war with your cuerpecito, just stop, it makes no good.

This woman who celebrated her dignified muffin tops!

Credit: Instagram. @ara_mcallister

This photo tells the story of this woman, who met an old lady that told her she was very skinny when she was 7-years-old and commented on how “fat” she is now. Her F-U is well deserved.

This Dominicana who reminded us our bodies are amazing and do wonderful things

Credit: Instagram. @liztaveras_oficial

We often forget that by simply keeping us alive out bodies are already doing wonderful things. Come to think about it, our bodies are well-oiled machines that put thousands of chemical processes in motion and keep a balance that makes us who we are. That is nothing short of miraculous. “Love your body not because of how you look, but because what it is capable of doing”, is this wonderful woman’s motto.

And she serves us some more body positivity wisdom!

Credit: Instagram. @liztaveras_oficial

She says: “Do not change so you can fit fashion, make fashion fit YOU”. Easier said than done, but we promise we will try, querida.

This awesome young woman who decided to give the finger to society. Good on her!

Credit: Instagram. @dian_261

Body positivity sometimes comes with a bit of rage. After all, it is society’s unspoken rules that lead women (as well as men and non-binary individuals) to feel inadequate in their own skin. This woman’s declaration of independence is awesome: “I started feeling free when I realized that I would never fit the cookie cutter mold that society had reserved for me”. En otras palabras, everyone please mind your own business.

This woman who acknowledges that the body changes and we need to feel at home in it

Credit: Instagram. @alejandrared

Alejandra knows, like many of us, that bodily changes can be terrifying. She takes this at face value and then gives us a pearl of wisdom: bodies change because they want to protect us. We need to be grateful, love our bodies like a comforting, cozy home

And this beautiful illustration by @Pattysupercool

Credit: Instagram. @divinamujer_catalinapaz

We just want to shed a happy tear looking at this cute illustration. The motto: “You look so gorgeous since you love yourself”. And that is what body positivity is all about, amarte siempre y sin pretextos.

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