A woman with a rare congenital disease has spoken out in an emotional video and pleaded with parents to stop using her photos and pictures of people with disabilities to scare their kids.
Elizabeth Anne Velásquez is an inspirational American activist, speaker, and YouTuber who was born with a rare congenital disease known as Marfanoid–progeroid–lipodystrophy syndrome.
Among other symptoms, the rare condition prevents Velásquez from gaining weight and storing body fat.
Throughout the years, the 31-year-old Austin-based author has often become a target of bullies who at one point branded her “world’s ugliest woman.”
Now, some parents are allegedly also using Velásquez’s photos to scare their children as a part of the new ‘shock’ challenge that has been sweeping over TikTok.
Begging the people to stop using pictures of disabled people to scare their kids, Velásquez said:
“TikTok I need your help. This trend where you are pretending to FaceTime someone who is disabled or is a baby or there’s some crazy mugshot and you’re showing it to someone to get their reaction and say, ‘Oh hey, talk to this person,’ just to get a quick laugh — this is not a joke.
“If you are an adult who has a young human in your life, please do not teach them that being scared of someone who doesn’t look like them is okay.
“Please. Everything that these kids need to know about having empathy and being kind to one another starts at home.”
As the activist suggested, people who use photos of disabled people for fun should keep in mind that the individuals they’re making fun of are also human and have feelings.
Following the emotional plea, Elizabeth’s video has been viewed over ten million times with tons of people expressing their support and commending her for staying brave and speaking out.
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