Although social media has many positive sides, it often brings out the very worst in some people, and Lizzie Velasquez is here to fight back at internet trolls.
Velasquez is a disabled activist and speaker whose facial appearance is affected by her disability, and a woman recently used a photo of Lizzie to prank scare her son, telling him that it was his new teacher. Not only that the joke is incredibly bad, but it also used Velasquez’s disability in a mocking way. This prompted her to take it to TikTok and Twitter and share a very important message to parents, telling them exactly how this kind of ableism affects her and other disabled people.
— Lizzie Velasquez (@littlelizziev) August 9, 2020
In the video, Velasquez asked people, especially parents, to stop the so-called “FaceTime prank” which involves people using strange, scary, or funny photos on their phones and then telling someone (usually their children) that the photo is someone that wants to speak to them on FaceTime.
The joke is actually awful, and users post it on TikTok for others to see the surprised reaction of the other participant.
Lizzie Velasquez has a rare congenital condition called Marfanoid–progeroid–lipodystrophy which causes her, among other symptoms, to not retain body fat, especially in her face.
“If you are an adult who has a young human in his life, please do not teach them that being scared of someone who doesn’t look like them is ok. Everything that these kids need to know about having empathy and being kind to one another starts at home. This is not ok.” – she said in the video.
This is a trend that absolutely needs to stop. As Lizzie says it herself, disabled people are human and have feelings, and she asked parents to keep that in mind.
Hundreds of people on Twitter were very angry about the insensitive prank, and they took Velasquez’s side:
It breaks my heart that she had to plead for basic human decency hayst https://t.co/MuRHitcLXQ
— joum (@joummlnsn) August 10, 2020
Lizzie is such a beautiful person. I adore her. https://t.co/jXTuU8Z2Aq
— David Berger 🏳️🌈 – #BlackLivesMatter (@MrDBerger) August 10, 2020
I really hope this video of yours reaches that particular mother and that she understands just jow harmful her behavior is both for her son and you.
— Jake Boncutiu (@therecordmaka) August 9, 2020
It’s really shameful that grown ppl still believe mocking someone’s appearance is funny or rewarding somehow, they r raising bullies and it’s not ok. Lizzie u’re a beautiful, brave woman and I appreciate the light ur teachings about empathy and kindness brought into my life. 🙏🏻💕
— Yelu C. (@Bluelliance) August 9, 2020
I honestly didnt like this trend nor did I find it funny because it’s mean
— Tina Turtle🇭🇹 (@tinaqueen_15) August 10, 2020
The fact that she has to beg for basic human decency. I’m ready to throw hands fr
— Deyö (@m_dolllar) August 9, 2020
People can be so horrible. And the way you came at this all calm, collected, and polite…WOW. I’m not sure many people would be able to remain that classy. ❤ pic.twitter.com/m7PVFTTMC3
— River J. H🌕pkins (@Cyborg_Writer) August 9, 2020