Inaugural Bay Area Houston Women’s Conference welcomes anti-bullying activist Lizzie Velasquez as keynote speaker

HOUSTON-- On Thursday, author and anti-bullying activist, Lizzie Velasquez was welcomed with a standing ovation at the Bay Area Houston Women's Conference where she was the keynote speaker.

Velasquez was born with a rare congenital disease that prevents her from gaining weight.

She was once called 'The Ugliest Woman in the World' but instead of giving in to the bullies, the 28-year-old used her story, her charm and her genuine kindness to relate to people from all walks of life.

"Deciding to go public with my story was not easy but it was also a no brainer. I was so frustrated with people telling me who I was," Velasquez said.

In light of National Bullying Prevention Month, Velasquez's best advice to parents is to keep an open dialogue with your kids.

"Don't press them, don't get mad at them for not opening up or telling you because I didn't talk about it for a very long time. But giving them that safety net and feeling like they're encouraged and supported by you just listening to what they have to say is going to make such a huge difference," Velasquez said.