This Inspiring Social Media Star Is Blind + Her Fashion & Makeup Tips Have Gained Millions of Followers

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Molly Burke talks all things fashion, beauty, home décor, and adventure in her YouTube videos for 1.9 million subscribers—and what it's like to do it all blind

"When I was 14 years old, I lost the majority of my vision due to a rare genetic eye disease that I was born with, which causes the progressive loss of vision. It's called retinitis pigmentosa. After losing the majority of my vision, I noticed that people started treating me really differently to how they treated me before. People would talk to my family, instead of talking to me, they would ask my mom, "What does she want to eat?" instead of just directing their conversation to me. Whether I'm blind or not, I'm Molly, and I wish people would treat me that way," Molly explains.  

She actually started on her journey of motivational speaking at just five years old. "When I was five years old, I started public speaking as a youth ambassador for a charity that fundraised for vision research, and that unlocked an absolute passion for me," she says.  

"At 18, I started touring full-time as a motivational speaker going all over the world, speaking to audiences as large as 20,000 at a time," Molly adds. 

However, an accident would ultimately change everything for Molly and her future. "I had a very severe accident, a really bad blind girl moment. I walked straight off a five foot stage and ended up injuring myself. I had to quit my dream job and I was trying to figure out: what am I going to do with the rest of my life? That's when I started my YouTube channel, which has brought me to where I am today," she says.  

Molly's YouTube channel allows her to express herself in a most honest and real way. "My YouTube channel is truly like an expression of myself and my life that I just put on the internet for everybody to see. And, sometimes it's really funny and sometimes it's really sad," she adds.  

"One of the comments I always get, is who does your makeup and your hair and puts you together every day?’ I do it... all on my own. A lot of people assume things like makeup and fashion are purely visual, but I can't see. Every single day, I pick out my outfits. In fact, when I go shopping with my friends and family, I usually pick out stuff for them to try on, and that's what they end up taking home," Molly says.  

"Elton John is my guide dog, and he is the cutest fluffiest Labernese you've ever seen. He is my best friend, my baby. He is on my left side making sure that I navigate the world safely and with confidence," she explains. 

"The MIRA Foundation is the Guide Dog School where I've received all four of my guide dogs and they are the only guide dog school in the world that provides guide dogs for children ages 11 and up, which I think is absolutely incredible," Molly adds.  

One of the things Molly shares with us is the misconceptions she and the blind community face from society. "There are so many misconceptions that I face every single day as a blind person and those in the community face. Number one is that blindness is simply seeing nothing, which isn't true. An estimated 90% of blind people have some form of remaining vision. In my case, it's light and shadow perception, but it differs for everybody," she says. 

"There's also a huge misconception that we can't use technology. In fact, I would say we rely on technology even more than the average person does. So often society thinks of disability as simply disability. They forget to see the person behind that disability. Oftentimes people assume that being blind has limited what I'm capable of doing or what I want to do in life. And honestly, I feel like it's the absolute opposite. I've actually accomplished more as a blind person than I probably would've as a sighted person, just because my blindness has driven me to want to achieve more than society believes I'm capable of doing," Molly explains.  

Rachael asked Molly what it's like to talk to the people she impacts through YouTube and hear their feedback. "It honestly is the reason I do it. When I lost my vision and I was struggling with depression and I was being bullied and I felt so alone, I felt so isolated every single day when I would leave my house. Even though I was surrounded by people, I felt like I was the only one going through what I was going through. And it means so much to me to be able to be the role model for other people that I didn't have when I needed it," she says.  

"And whether that's because you can relate to me because you also live with vision loss or with a disability, or whether you can relate to me simply because my story is one of overcoming challenge, and that is something that everybody is going to consistently have to do in their life. And bringing people hope that no matter what challenge they're facing, they too can overcome it and move on to a happy life is so fulfilling," Molly says.  

"Your life is so incredible and you've become such a huge success, more than your personal success, but in helping other people be successful with their lives and feel good about their lives. What's next for you?" Rach asks.  

"I am the person who sticks to my hands in all the pots. I love keeping busy. If I have one day off, I'm bored. So right now, I'm working on a podcast. I can't say too much, but it will be launching later this year hopefully. And that's really exciting and it's going to be something so new that I've never done before, unlike any of my other content. So I'm very excited for people to be able to enjoy that," Molly shares. 

We can't wait to see what Molly all does in the future. And Rach made her promise to come back after the launch of her podcast! 

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