Lizzie Velasquez speaks out against #FacetimePrank on TikTok
Motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez rings the bell after a viral TikTok video featuring her image was used as part of a #FacetimePrank. The video films a mom showing her son a photo of Velasquez claiming that this is his new school teacher, to which the boy responds with awe.
In his TikTok post in responseVelasquez denounced the farce, saying it is up to parents to teach children to accept people who are not like them.
“If you are an adult who has a young human in your life, please don’t teach him that being afraid of someone who is not like him is OK,” she said. “Everything these kids need to know about empathy and kindness for one another starts at home. “
Velasquez, who is on TikTok as “LittleLizzieA” has nearly 12,000 comments and over 300,000 likes on his video response.
A fan responded to his comments on Twitter saying, “It touched me so much. Those of us who are fighting for #disability rights fight the stigma in our lives every day. Thank you for reminding people. A TikTok user by the name of heavy_metal_learning said, “Thanks for bringing this to light. We can do better #Respect.
Vélasquez, 31 years old was born with a congenital disease that prevents him from gaining weight. The condition is called progeroid marfanoid lipodystrophy syndrome and is caused by a mutation of the FBN1 gene. At the age of four, she also lost her sight in her right eye, and doctors still don’t know why. She became world famous after an interview with a local TV station that went viral titled “The Ugly Woman in the World”. She was only 17 years old.
In one Facebook post, Velasquez shared that she wasn’t entirely surprised to find her photo used as part of TikTok’s latest prank. “I knew it was going to happen. When I saw this trend start, I knew it was going to happen, Velasquez said. “I’ve seen this trend with people with disabilities and I’ve seen this trend with BABIES who have Down syndrome. They don’t have the platform to speak out about it, but I do and I know I have an army of positive people right next to me.
Velasquez is a staunch advocate of bullying and has published several books on self-image and kindness.
“When adults are upset their children are bullied, it is a perfect example that teaching kindness and acceptance begins AT HOME.”
The activist said it’s up to us to make a difference.
“Just be nice to each other. We need it more than ever!