She was called the ‘World’s Ugliest Woman.’ Now, she has a message

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She has been called the “world’s ugliest woman.” Now, she has a message.

Yahoo Parenting reported that 26-year-old Lizzie Velasquez credits a life of bullying for making her the empowered motivational speaker she is today.

Velasquez was called the “world’s ugliest person” in a viral YouTube video back when she was 17. The bullying behavior she received reportedly became a powerful motivator for her to find her life’s purpose.

“If I ever see that person [who made the video] I would jump on them and give them the biggest hug in the world and tell them, ‘Thank you for bringing the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life,’ ” Velasquez, 26, told People magazine this week. “That video changed everything and it has given me the platform that I have now to be the voice for anyone who’s ever been bullied — and not just myself.”

Velasquez suffers from a rare congenital disease which, among other symptoms, impedes her from accumulating body fat.

“A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story” was released earlier this month.

Read more: Yahoo Parenting