The most inspirational stories of 2012

Photo by: Lizzie Velasquez
Having no body fat or muscle tissue makes Lizzie Velasquez prone to injuries that most people would never think about -- like stress fractures in her feet from walking or ... more 
Photo by: Lizzie Velasquez
Having no body fat or muscle tissue makes Lizzie Velasquez prone to injuries that most people would never think about -- like stress fractures in her feet from walking or standing, since the bottoms of her feet have no padding. (She's in a cast right now. "I fracture my foot if I'm not wearing the supportive shoes I'm supposed to wear," she confessed to Yahoo! Shine. "I'm usually wearing the cute shoes that match my outfit.") But it's made her think about New Years' resolutions, and how people are often focused on improving their outward appearances. "Instead of making it a goal to lose weight or to grow your hair longer, whatever it is to make yourself physically better, people should look toward making not only their character better, but helping others," she suggests. (Read her story: Lessons from "The World's Ugliest Woman": Stop Staring and Start Learning.)
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Fri, 21 Dec, 2012 3:38 PM EST
Once called "The World's Ugliest Woman," Lizzie Velasquez was born with a medical condition so rare that just two other people in the world are thought to have it: She weighs just 60 pounds and has no adipose tissue, and cannot create muscle, store energy, or gain weight. She inspired women the world over earlier this year when, during an interview with CNN, she said that people "should stop staring and start learning." Since then, she told Yahoo! Shine, she's been flooded with speaking requests and supportive emails. In 2013 she's hoping write her third book (her second, "Be Beautiful, Be You" came out in September), continue her work as a motivational speaker, and meet as many people as possible in 2013.

"There are so many different people out there with so many different stories," she told Yahoo! Shine. "Hearing their stories is what inspires me. That's what keeps me going."

Yahoo! readers called Velasquez's story one of the most-inspirational pieces they read in 2012 and praised her for her inner beauty and strength. Here are 10 more stories that struck a chord with readers this year. -- By Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine

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