Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story Review

Depending on how YouTube savvy you are, you may or may not have run into Lizzie Velasquez. Though that isn't the only place to find her, she has been on TV, she's been on TED, and she has talked all over the country and all over the world. She is an inspirational speaker and an anti-bullying activist. She is currently fighting hard in order to get a bill passed in Congress which will regulate and disqualify bullying in all school systems of all types all over the country. It would be an amazing thing for all school systems to pull off and would be a wonderful way to improve life around every school, no matter where you go.

Lizzie Velasquez was born with a syndrome which remained unnamed for years. Doctors would tell her that she had slight vision impairments and that her body could not obtain fat, but exactly what the condition was remained a mystery for a decent portion of her life. Still, she had a wonderful family who loved her everyday, but that didn't stop the bullying. It started with stairs and whispers, which is very wrong but thankfully nothing to the extreme. Unfortunately, Lizzie would experience the extreme in high school.

One day, while searching on YouTube for music, a 17-year-old Lizzie stumbled, literally stumbled, upon a video of herself. The video was titled "The World's Ugliest Woman."

Not only did she find a humiliating video of herself with such a repulsive name, the comments section of the YouTube was equally repulsive. This was the moment that sparked something special inside of Lizzie, something creative. She created her very own YouTube channel, discussing everything under the sun. Her channel soon picked up steam, and she suddenly found herself speaking all over the world, and soon became a full-fledged anti-bullying activist. It's easy to see why so many people are drawn to her. Anybody can use a terrible life experience to spearhead something important, but Lizzie's YouTube channel featured real flair, something fun and quirky. This is also what makes the movie so amazing to watch. Lizzie really lets her personality shine throughout the entire movie, and there are moments where you won't be able to laugh. Not at her of course, but just how much she has fully embraced life.

I also think "A Brave Heart" hit a strong cord with me, because it shed light on something I find very important. Yes, our world is full of problems at the moment, but something that has been a problem everywhere for years is bullying. I work at a daycare, and while children there have fought, with words and hands, or said mean things, all the children there for the most part like each other. Sure, there are bad days, but each class seems completely united in most aspects. But that doesn't mean that bullying isn't real, and it has come to the point where simply ignoring it won't stop it. I think the film highlights just how much bullying has evolved over the years. The movie makes reference to social media and  how people who are bullied are literally under pressure all day long due to social media. How can we protect children from it? Simply banning social media isn't really a solution, we need something like a law that can help out more aggressively at the school front. I think the movie makes some very good points and presents very good ideas without ever feeling like a political campaign. Something most documentaries have a hard time doing.

The film is more that just a cry for help. The movie is a near perfect example of where determination in anything can land you. It shows us that even when the world feels like it is kicking you to the curb, you can always get right back up and achieve your goals. "A Brave Heart" proves that making excuses for anything in life shouldn't mean anything, and that you can anything you set your mind to if your heart is in completely. Sometimes the world may get you down, but it is the decisions you make that really affect you. What a wonderful little movie this was.


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