This Instagram Makes A Powerful Point About Memes

Photo: John Lamparski/WireImage.
Lizzie Velasquez has been a victim of online bullying many times. But rather than take it personally, she's using it to start a conversation about a larger problem: meme culture.

On Sunday, she posted a meme with a picture of her face to Instagram, Mashable reports. It reads, "Michael said he would meet me behind this tree for a bit of fun. He's running late, would someone please tag him and tell him I'm still waiting?"

Her caption explains what it's like to see something like this — not just for her but for the many people who face online harassment every day.

"I've seen a ton of memes like this all over @facebook recently," she wrote. "I'm writing this post not as someone who is a victim but as someone who is using their voice. Yes, it's very late at night as I type this but I do so as a reminder that the innocent people that are being put in these memes are probably up just as late scrolling through Facebook and feeling something that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy."

Then, she explained why sharing memes that use people's faces as the butts of jokes can hurt those in the photos, even if no harm is intended.

"No matter what we look like or what size we are, at the end of the day we are all human," she said. "I ask that you keep that in mind the next time you see a viral meme of a random stranger. At the time you might find it hilarious but the human in the photo is probably feeling the exact opposite. Spread love not hurtful words via a screen."
The author and vlogger has been speaking about bullying since she was called "The World's Ugliest Woman" in a YouTube video in 2006.

"Am I going to let the people who called me a monster define me? Am I going to let the people who said 'Kill it with fire' define me?" she said in a TED talk. "No. I'm going to let my goals and my success and my accomplishments be the things that define me. Not my outer appearance."

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