Months after becoming a viral sensation, this bullied teenager is speaking out. She is more than her body type, Lizzy has true talent and finally she is being recognized for more than her size. Well-known dance photographer, Jordan Matter, takes Lizzy to the New York location of the famous dancewear store, Capezio. Best recognized for his Youtube “10 Minute Challenge” stories, Matter offered a online contest to be in his upcoming photo series “Dancers Among Us”. Lizzy applied and her emotional story was easy chosen to be a feature in the series.
Lizzy’s mother passed away when she was only five which triggered her weight gain. She moved in with her aunt and guardian, Linda Grabowski and began dance lessons. Lizzy’s weight caused her to be the focus of a lot of hatefulness from peers.
“Dance is her outlet for all her emotions, good and bad,” Grabowski said. “She persevered. She wanted to drop out many many times.”
Now, Lizzy sees the importance of fighting for your passion and not allowing naysayers to determine your path in life. She has become an inspiration for so many who may not fit the typical “mold” for their passions.
"I think sometimes social media paints a pretty picture in people's minds. I used to think famous people's lives were all happy," she told POPSUGAR. "I think it helps to realize that people who hide behind a screen and bully you would never say anything to your face. If you are being told you should quit doing something you love, don't quit! It's one person's opinion, and honestly if they can't see how happy it makes you, their opinion doesn't matter. Only yours does."
This bullied dancer is taking on her naysayers with every fouette (ballet turn). Lizzy Howell is an incredibly talented young dancer. Bullied for her size, there have been many days that Lizzy wanted to give up. When a clip of her dancing went viral, she endured online shaming but also found that she was an encouragement to others who didn’t fit the stereotypes for their passions, such as dance.